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Helpful Apps & Websites for Authors
Written by
Bernadette Geyer
October 2017
Written by
Bernadette Geyer
October 2017

I have been collecting information about a wealth of helpful tools – some of which are apps, and some of which are websites. Because authors are always concerned about cost, my reviews will focus on the helpful tools that are free, or that have a free basic version and can be upgraded later on.

Here’s a look at three of the tools I’ve been looking at (and using) over the past few months.


Ripl is an app that helps you create animated images. There is a free basic service, which includes a limited number of templates and font/color options. The animated images are created as short MOV files, which can then be uploaded to your social media profiles, or put on a website.

Here’s a look at a graphic I put together in just about an hour. Click on the play button in this Tweet ( to view the video.

Ripl is fairly simple to use, but it is only available as an app to use on your smartphone or tablet. There is not a desktop option.


Google Play:

For those of you who love Instagram but find the “only one link, and only in your profile” limitation to be problematic, is a handy workaround. This free tool allows you to create a “tree” of multiple links that you can quickly and easily change around as needed. The “tree” is accessed with one link, which is the link that you can then put in your Instagram profile.

I created a link for my own Instagram profile. Here, you can see what the link looks like on my profile. Next to it, you can see what the visitor sees when they click on the link (as well as the links when they scroll down).

This way, no matter what I’m posting or how often I post different links, when I say “Click the link in my profile,” a follower can access the info days/weeks later. I can just keep adding links to my tree. The free plan even allows for an unlimited number of links. If you want to customize it with your favorite colors or a custom page title, you can upgrade to the Pro Plan for just $6/month while it’s in Beta.

Creating a account is simple: log in using your Instagram account, using either your smartphone (via browser) or via the website using your PC browser.


If you have not yet heard of WeTransfer, it’s kind of like Dropbox, but much simpler. With the free option, you can quickly upload a bunch of photos or large files (up to 2GB at a time), then send them via a link in an email to another person. The files automatically disappear after seven days, so that you don’t have to deal with storage limit issues.

Authors or publishers who will use WeTransfer on a regular basis can upgrade to WeTransfer Plus in order to customize the look of their WeTransfer account, change the default deletion period, or password protect their files.

Bernadette Geyer helps authors, creatives, entrepreneurs, and small businesses expand their reach and readership through her editorial services. She is an experienced copy editor, proofreader, and translator, with decades of experience on both sides of the publication process. Check out her portfolio of copy editing projects here.


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  • Bernadette Geyer

    Thanks for the tip on the Thesaurus app, Cathy! I will look at that, too!

  • Betty Hafner

    The app solves an almost daily problem for me on Instagram. Thanks for the info!

  • Cathy Krizik

    Bernadette, thanks. These are all new to me. No conversation about Apps for writers is complete without mentioning my always-within-reach Thesaurus app. Maybe I shouldn't say that. Maybe, as a writer, I'm supposed to have the perfect word at the tip of my tongue all the time but, well, I don't. More often than not the word is floating in the air, torturing me with it's proximity. So, I reach for my phone, find Thesaurus and there it is. Scrolling through words in my Thesaurus app makes me a better writer. By scanning words, I come to understand what I'm trying to say. When I receive my Pulitzer or find my way onto a stage with Oprah I won't be thanking God or my third grade teacher or my dear departed mother. I'll be thanking my thesaurus app.