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Useful Tools for Self-Publishing Children's Books
There are a couple tools that I find to be indispensable!
January has always been a torture for me because I had to do end-of-year accounting. This is the hardest thing I do! I thought that in my accounting software, I had to account for every sale, no matter how small.
An ebook sale in Switzerland for $0.15 USD. Check.
A “view” in India for $0.02. Check.
I need to know those sources of income and how each book/format is selling and where they do well. But it doesn’t have to be in my accounting software!
ScribeCount for the Win!
I started looking for programs that would allow me to input quarterly payment from my partners. Last year, my income came from 20 different sources. After a fruitless search, I went back to look at ScribeCount (Affiliate link). Wow! It is exactly what I need! Off the shelf, it pulls daily data from KDP, Apple, GooglePlay, D2D, and Kobo. But you can upload any spreadsheets you want. Perfect! I can upload those other 15 sources of income.
They have a brilliant “sunburst” that is the current darling of “business intelligence” or BI, the use of artificial intelligence applied to business.
So, here’s my January sales in ScribeCount’s sunburst. The gold color is Amazon, the green is Apple, and the blue is GooglePlay. It looks like most of my income is from KDP/Amazon. (Need to boost my books on Apple and GooglePlay!) But contrast that with the second sunburst below.
This sunburst shows the 4th Quarter of 2021. The brownish color is all my OTHER sales. ScribeCount is adding new features continuously, and this will become more colorful as the uploads are tagged better and the year progresses. For now, you can see that Amazon about 15-20% of my overall income. Hurrah!
I LOVE how visual this is, and yet you can dig into the stats in many ways. There are tables, options to tag in ways that make sense to you and so much more. If you click on one section of the sunburst, it will dive deep into the data for that section.
And until you earn over $1000 on the platforms they automatically check (i.e. Amazon, Apple, GooglePlay, Kobo, D2D), it’s free. Even the highest earning authors just pay $20/month. I am in love with this tool! And I no longer fear accounting!
ScribeCount (Affiliate link)
ProWritingAid for Clean Text
A second failing is that I’m lousy at copyediting. Really. I’m bad.
Grammar witches, I’m in awe of you. How do you SEE everything?
I simply don’t. So, I find ProWritingAid (Affiliate link) to be invaluable! It is another artificial intelligence program that looks at your text and following standard grammar rules, it makes suggestions for change. Always, always, always remember - it’s merely an AI suggesting changes. You are in control and do NOT have to make that change in your story.
But I find that it helps me with commas, typos, and things like duplicates. For example, supposed you choose an alternate spelling for your character’s name, Salley, But a few times you forget and call her Sally. The Consistency Report will catch this.
It catches so much more! Does it replace a good copy editor? Absolutely not! But my copy editor charges by the hour. If this AI program can catch a lot of the problems, it saves me money. (And embarrassment!) Try it out! ProWritingAid (Affiliate link)
What tools do you use? What do you find to be crucial for your success in publishing children’s books?