I’ve been sitting on this post for *ages*, but it’s finally happening! I’m going to share my list of essential tools for every booklover and reviewer.
I buy a majority of my books from my local bookstore, but I hit up online stores frequently for their bargains and greater range. I try to stick to Australian online stores – which do really well competitively, contrary to popular belief – but I’m an affiliate of The Book Depository so I get my international editions and boxed sets from there.
One of the best online tools for a booklover is Booko! Booko is an Australian website that will tell you the price (including shipping to Australia) of any book from a range of local and international online stores. It’s a tool I couldn’t do without!
Search for each book by title, author, or ISBN, and Booko will search for online retailers that have it in stock, pull out the price, and also add on shipping to Australia before displaying them in order of increasing price. You can also do carts on Booko – just click ‘Add to List’ in each book’s entry, and Booko will do the same for your whole list! You can also sign up to Booko, and it will keep track of our lists.
I don’t have a Kindle or a Nook – I read on my Samsung Tablet most of the time, and I own a Kobo Touch for when I go on holidays and need something that won’t use a lot of battery. I use the Aldiko app to read ebooks on my Tablet, even the amazing ARCs from NetGalley and Edelweiss.
You can put in your Adobe Digital Editions login details into Aldiko, and then it can open the .acs files that you download from NetGalley and Edelweiss. It keeps all the expiry details of your review books and allows you to rate books inside the app, highlight, take notes, etc (some of these features are unique to the paid version, but the free version is amazing too). It also opens almost all ebook file formats, so I can also transfer books I’ve purchased onto my Samsung device and read them inside the same app.
It won’t come across as any surprise that I use a calendar app to keep track of what I want to review and when.
As soon as I get a review book (physical or ebook) I stick it into my calendar highlighted in grey in the ‘To Be Read’ calendar. Once I’ve read the book I move the book’s entry into my ‘To Be Reviewed’ calendar, which is highlighted yellow. Then I review the book, and it gets moved into the green ‘Scheduled Reviews’. I also have a ‘Blog Tours/Interviews’ calendar which is purple, and every time I organise one it goes into the calendar as well.
This is what the next two weeks looked like when I was writing this post on Sunday:
The grey posts are changeable – I rarely ever get through every post I’ve got planned, and I usually add things in when I feel like it (like this post!)
When I’m making featured images for my posts I use Photoshop and this great HTML Colour Picker. What I love about it is that when you pick a colour, it shows you the colours 10 shades lighter and 10 shades darker. And it’s interactive, so when you click on a colour, it reconfigures the 21-colour scale!
One of the great things I’ve only just recently discovered is this Paletton – The Colour Scheme Designer. This is amazing. You put in the hexadecimal code of a colour you want to design your colour scheme around, and it will give you complimentary colours to go with it!
For example, when I was working out colours for my tabbed content on the home-page recently, I put #FCF1F4, which is the lightest shade of pink you see there. Paletton suggested the two darker shades of pink I used for the content.
AND it can show you an example of what a full website might look like using the scheme.
But that’s not all. It can also give you three or four complimentary colours (and shades) that go with your chosen colour, and show you a sample website using them as well!
I think it’s epic 🙂 I used that this weekend to change a few of the colours on this website around (like the buttons and the date box etc. on the font page), and I think it looks awesome!
OK, so those were some of my essential tools for every book lover and reviewer! I hope you liked them, and please let me know which online tools you think are indispensable to you 🙂