#3 Useful Apps for your Writing #Toolbox

newsworthy

 

I’ve written a few posts before about how I’ve found a few Apps particularly useful to my writing arsenal. Lately, I’ve noticed people sending me inquiries about the use of some of these Apps, so I’m going to go over them here today, and tell you why Blasty, Dropbox and Evernote are some of my best picks.

  • Dropbox is a cloud based App that allows you to store copies of anything from documents to photos in a folder for safe keeping and easy access. Sure you may be backing up and/or saving your work on a flash drive or a hard drive, but extra back up with a handy retrieval system is crucial for me. With Dropbox you can access your stored files from anywhere, anytime, even if you aren’t on your own computer. You can pick up a file on your mobile devices as well, all by just signing in to access to access them.

  • Evernote has become my best pal of all. Evernote is similar to a virtual library where you can add anything to it to be saved in a cloud file. For example, when I come across an article I’ve found in a newsletter pertaining to something I want to have on hand for future use ie: publishing matter, editing tips, etc., I clip it with the Evernote clipper installed on my computer toolbar and the box will open up asking me which file I want to save it to, or give me the option to create a new file. You can also download it to your mobile devices, again, to have handy access to refer to your notes on the go.

 

  • Blasty is starting to garner more attention lately, and I’ve previously written 2 posts on how the process works. Blasty is still in beta stages which offers a FREE subscription while still new. I recommend every author sign up for Blasty if you’re concerned about your books being pirated. So far, I’ve ‘Blasted’ almost 300 sites that were pirating free downloads of my books. Don’t ask me how they get there, but Google sure knows how to search out these crafty criminals. And by letting Google do the work of finding these sites, it saves me hours on end of searching myself.

HOW DO THESE SITES WORK?

 

Dropbox:

Dropbox is FREE to sign up to. They will start you off with 2 gigs of free space. If you go over this limit, there are 2 options to obtain more storage. One method is to upgrade to their Pro version and pay a few dollars a month, which I’ve managed to avoid doing. The second option has been working great for me, and here’s the deal. Dropbox will allow you 500 mbs (half a gig) extra space for every person you get to sign up with your invitation link. And not only 500 for the person whose link you join from, but 500 mbs EXTRA for YOU too! It’s a win, win by sharing. I can tell you that I have thousands of files, photos, and even all my book’s manuscripts filed there for safekeeping and easy access. I joined Dropbox 3 years ago at a most opportune time, only weeks before I published my first book and my computer CRASHED! If I hadn’t put everything I write in those files, all my work would have been lost! Flash drives are great, but they can get lost, and you may not always have them handy when you’re somewhere and need to have access to your files or photos. Get Dropbox today by going through My Invitational Link here, and help me add more storage to mine as you build extra storage space for yourself!

 

Evernote:

Evernote is a FREE App to sign up to. It will give you up to 60 MB of space to save articles per month. Believe me, that’s a lot, and enough for me, and I’m an avid clipper. But for those looking to store mega volumes of files, notes, photos, etc., they also offer a low annual cost to purchase. They’ve recently changed their usage from the ability to sync across all your devices to syncing to up to 2 devices for the free usage, but this hasn’t hindered my ability at all as I can clip articles or photos to save from my desktop and laptop, as that’s where I chose to have access to clip to. You can virtually sign in from anywhere on any device and log in to your account to find things if you’re not on one of your 2 devices you signed up to the App where you’re able to use the Clipper. Now, when you sign up, you’ll also download their WebClipper, which gives you the little elephant icon that represents their site, on your top tool bar. This is where you’ll click when you come across an article you want to save to a folder, which ‘clips’ the article and files it for you. I use this App as my bookmarking system. It’s like a virtual filing cabinet with easy access. Visit Evernote Here and start building your own file finding system.

 

Blasty:

Blasty is FREE while in beta stages now. It works with Google to search your content on the web that flags suspicious postings. When you sign up and become accepted, Blasty will offer you a place to add your content to be flagged. You can add each of your books, and you can also add your website. When your membership becomes accepted you will be notified and a little ‘B; icon will be available on your toolbar for easy access to their site to check on updates of your work found that seeks approval to be blasted or not. The site explains the procedure well with numerous short videos. Because this App is still in beta, their sign up procedure goes as follows: Once you sign up, your information has to be verified through them and Google, to make sure you’re legitimate copyright holder of your own materials (makes good sense!) The process can take from 3 days up to 2 weeks until your accepted OR if you can share your join up link with others, and once you get 3 others to sign up, you will be approved the same day! When I joined, I wrote 2 posts about this site and had many sign up immediately, so my books were listed the same day once approved. I’m still getting people signing up through my link, and although I’m already a member, I’ve been getting frequent correspondence from the CEO of Blasty, asking my opinion on certain features. It’s a great tool and time saver for authors to check up on their book’s piracy activity as often as you like. Just visit the site and you will have notifications of suspicious activity and be given the opportunity to ‘blast’ the site off Google completely, or to approve that a site is okay to promote your work.

Here are my invitational links again. Join through using these links to get your extra storage space on Dropbox and your quick approval on Blasty.

 

Dropbox:  https://db.tt/0Dyr7fRv

Blasty:   https://www.blasty.co/invitation/bituzNcZ

 

Let me know if you’ve joined any of these sites and if you’re loving them like I am!

You Don’t Have to be Famous to be #Pirated – Blasty Part 2

calm pirates

I’d like to thank the first three people here who must have signed up to Blasty, because they accepted me yesterday instead of the 12 day waiting period. And I’m willing to bet several more of you have also signed up. And if you haven’t, you may want to after reading this. And if you’re wondering what Blasty is, please see yesterday’s post Here.

 

I received my confirmation today, allowing me to add my other books to the site, as well as my blog. When I first signed up, they allowed me to enter only one of my books. So I entered my first book Conflicted Hearts, and WHAT DID I FIND?

 

I found 165 suspicious postings on Google about that book, and after going through the list, 135 of them were pirate sites offering free downloads on my book! I BLASTED them right off Google! Now I’m afraid to go back later and find how many more are pirating my other books. Sheesh! One would think I should be a famous author by now, lol.

 

But here’s the thing, I’ve read many articles by some well established Indie authors about piracy who say we can’t control all the thievery going on, so we can hope that those who are downloading our books for free are giving us FREE exposure. I certainly don’t have the time to send cease and desist letters to hundreds of sites. I can be grateful now that Google has banned them from being allowed to promote on the world wide web and now they will be small potatoes promoting to whoever happens to read.

 

Blasty is now just one more job for me to keep check on, but at least by Blasting them off Google, they are being punished. The site is easy to navigate. When you sign in, it will show you a list of suspicious Google posts and you will then have the choice to ‘Blast’ them away, or ignore. Note:  Don’t just Blast away without checking the sites because there are legitimate posts from sites you may have advertised with, or a fellow writer or blogger may have featured you and your books on. If you ‘Blast‘ a site in error, you can go back and ‘Unblast’. The rules are simple but must be adhered to because you don’t want to blacklist a legit post in error.

 

Now, I suggest you take another look at this helpful site and start Blasting away the pirates! Blasty

 

I’d love to know what you guys who are using it think about it. I know I’m happy to have a free babysitting service with ‘Blasty’.

Keep Calm and #Blasty off #Piracy

BLAST OFF

Hi people! I know, so unlike me to post twice in one day, but I just wanted to share something of interest I came across last night while reading a post from a fellow blogger, Damyanti’s blog.

 

She mentioned a new site called Blasty . This is a new site still in beta. It’s created for writers and artists to enroll their books and anything copyrighted to be flagged to your account if any suspicious ‘BUY’ links are found from pirates on Google. When suspicious links are found WE are then given the right to ‘blast‘ the link right off Google ourself! Imagine that, we don’t have to go through the ringers to submit our findings, begging them to take them off, we have the power to blast them ourselves!

 

Natch I joined! Once you’ve joined and submitted your own copyrighted content, it takes 12 days until you’re accepted because they have to verify you are holder of copyright and that takes time. BUT if you share and get 3 people to sign up, they will push the registration to 1 business day! They will send you an invitational link by email to share with others in case they want to join. And not only that, if you join now while it’s in beta stages, they waive the fee!

 

As a published author, it’s a no-brainer for me to have Google babysit the pirates, so I’m in. The site has a great FAQ section and little videos demonstrating how to use Blasty correctly and efficiently. You can even ‘unblast’ if you’ve blasted something in error.

 

Anyhoo, I suggest you check it out. And I’m leaving the link here with my invitational code to their site for you to visit, so if you sign up from my link, they’ll know you were invited there, and I’ll get to add the rest of my books in one day instead of 12.

 

You know me, always glad to pass on great info after doing the investigations. So if you decide to sign up who wouldn’t, please go in through this link https://www.blasty.co/invitation/bituzNcZ so I can get my books up by tomorrow. Then you will be emailed your own ‘invite’ link and you can ask the same of others.

 

Note: I already have a follow up post to this Read Here  to see how many books of mine are being pirated.

 

Please let me know what you think about this.