40 Self-Publishing Resources, Tools, and Assets To Accelerate Success
As much time as we writers spend alone behind our computers tap, tap, tapping away, one thing is certain: we just can’t do it alone.
The business of writing, designing, editing, publishing, marketing, and selling your books requires the kindness of strangers — or at least a little help from your online friends who offer various products, services, and insights to help you stay focused, motivated, and up-to-speed on the ever-changing self-publishing landscape.
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As you know, being a successful self-published author requires a lot more than just writing a great book. You have to morph into a one-man band, ready and willing to change out of your writers cap and into a variety of other hats depending on where you are in the process.
You may not have the skills or willingness to tackle everything with your own two hands, and that’s why it’s so important to develop your own file of go-to resources along the way.
Steve, Ron, and I rely on a laundry list of resources that have become essential for our Authority Pub business and our individual book businesses. We’ve gathered our favorites and want to share them with you.
Here are 40 self-publishing resources and tools to catapult your book business:
Useful Blogs and Sites
This workhorse blog managed by our friend Alexis Grant is a one-stop-shop offering all you need to figure out how to work with clients, navigate the changing landscape of publishing, learn the ins and outs of social media, grow a following for your blog and find a community that will support you along the way. You’ll always find something useful for your book business here.
If you want to dig deep into the goulash of marketing your books, Dave Chesson of Kindlepreneur is your guy. As he states, a Kindlepreneur is someone who is “ready to take action and promote their works, they are writers, marketers, designers, and strategists all combined in one.” Every successful self-publisher has to wear all of these hats, and Dave shares his years of marketing experience and success to show you how to promote the heck out of your books.
Joel Friedlander, the creator of The Book Designer, says “Writers change the world one reader at a time. But you can’t change the world with a book that’s still on your hard drive or in a box under your bed.” He gives you everything you need to get your book out of the box with a variety of self-publishing guides, advice, templates, and toolkits. With his experience in book design and advertising, Joel has the creds to help you produce and sell a great-looking book.
The Creative Penn is run by Joanna Penn, who has been wildly successful with fiction and nonfiction. In her blog and podcast, she covers every aspect of what it takes to start and run a successful author business. She also has a grab bag of books on various self-publishing topics if you can’t get enough on her blog.
Writership is a stunningly beautiful site that where writer/editor Alyssa Archer and Leslie Watts “support and guide aspiring writers, helping them more easily access their creative genius, release their fear, hone their craft, and most importantly, tell their stories.” We interviewed these two amazing women on our podcast where they share their thoughts on the book editing process.
David is an Irish writer, living in Prague who spends most of his time traveling the world, collecting stories. His site is packed with current news and his insightful reflections on the self-publishing industry. And he’s written two powerhouse books on self-publishing that are worth checking out.
Jane has more than 20 years of experience in the book and magazine publishing industry, with expertise in digital media and the future of authorship. Her site is full of actionable content and detailed strategies for the aspiring author from someone who’s been there and done that many times over.
This is our publishing-specific Facebook group here at Authority.Pub. With almost 5,000 members and growing daily, there are lots of great conversations happening here, as well as support, feedback on your book covers, and answers to your specific self-publishing questions. This group is always the first to know about news from Authority.Pub, so be sure to join us!
Podcasts Worth Your Time
Please forgive the shameless self-promotion here, but we are particularly partial to our own podcast. 🙂 Between Steve, Ron, and myself, we cover just about every writing, publishing, marketing, and selling topic under the self-publishing sun, while having a whole lot of fun at the same time. And we have regular guest experts like social media guru Laura Roeder, acclaimed writing coach Honoree Corder, and #1 bestselling fitness author Derek Doepker.
This show is the first publishing-related podcast that we followed, and it’s still an all-time favorite. It’s hosted by three prolific fiction writers, Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt, and David Wright, and they give you the scoop about what they’re currently doing to build their book-based businesses. Warning: This show is not safe for work or children because they curse — a lot. This doesn’t take away from the quality of the content, but it might not be for you if you’re offended by certain language.
Hosted by Jim Kukral and Bryan Cohen, this is a weekly podcast that reviews publishing-related news and tips. If you don’t have time to read blogs or forum posts, this is a great way to stay on top of information you can use to grow your business.
The host, Simon Whistler, focuses on in-depth interviews with successful fiction and nonfiction authors. What we love about this show is that Simon asks probing questions that compel the guests to provide more detailed and thoughtful answers.
This is where a lot of smart, self-published authors gather. Be sure to check out the most-viewed threads and ask questions whenever you’re stuck with any step in the process. You’ll find lots of insightful threads posted here, so be sure to check it out regularly.
14. Goodreads Groups
Goodreads is the mega-site (with over 20 million members) for authors and readers. They have more specialized groups than you can count, and if you can’t find an answer or inspiration here, then it doesn’t exist. You might feel a bit overwhelmed, but here’s a smart article on using Goodreads to support your author business.
15. Writing Forums
A pretty traditional style forum with a really large community. Well-organized and easy to find what you’re looking for.
16. Absolute Write
This forum is another good one that’s a bit smaller but perhaps less overwhelming. It’s the useful sidekick of a great blog for writers as well.
Scrivener is a powerful writing tool for authors that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring your documents. Get a free 30-day trial to experience if Scrivener is right for you.
This proofreading application is an improved version of your standard spellchecking program. Simply copy and paste blocks of text into Grammarly, and it will check your writing for common mistakes. The reason it’s better than most spellcheckers is that it provides useful feedback that will improve the overall quality of your writing.
19. Hemingway Editor
Great writing is quite often simple writing, and Hemingway was the master at that. Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, your narrative should get to the point with simple language. With the Hemingway software, you will learn how to simplify your writing.
Book Publishing and Freelance Help
20. Archangel Ink
Archangel Ink is a one-stop solution for getting your book ready to publish. Archangel offers a range of services to help you with cover design, editing, formatting, audio book production and much more. They are the go to solution for Steve Scott and Barrie Davenport.
21. 99 Designs
This is a service where you post a design project, like your book cover, and dozens of freelancers submit mock-up examples. You then select finalists based on the submissions and choose the winner to work with you to create a finalized version. 99Designs can be pricey, but it’s a great option if you want a professional cover design for your book.
The two amazing editors from the Writership blog offer a variety of editing services you can use to create a polished final draft.
One the largest websites for hiring freelance talent. If you want to find the largest pool of people, then this is a great place to look.
Reedsy offers a boutique experience for editing and cover design. Most freelancers here have worked in the publishing industry, so they have a thorough understanding of what will work for your books. But you should also expect to pay more for the freelancers you find here.
PickFu allows authors to get instant feedback on your book before you publish using audience polls. Take advantage of the special offer for Authority Pub Academy and get 20% off your first poll.
26. Survey Monkey
is good for multiple choice questions and getting demographic information about your audience, like age, sex, or occupation. It’s a great starting point if you have a following, but you don’t know what to include in your reader avatar.
With a drag and drop email builder, unlimited image storage and an easy to use interface, aWeber is a great tool to manage your email marketing communication.
MailChimp offers 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers – free. That’s what Mailchimp can do for you. A great email marketing resource if you’re just getting started. Mailchimp is easy to set up, easy to manage and offers an easy to scale pricing plan as your list grows.
29. Constant Contact
You can’t call yourself constant contact and then not be available to your customers. And that’s just what makes this email automation company shine. They offer round the clock support 7 days a week. They also offer 60-day FREE trial.
30. Get Response
Get Response is easy to use and they boast a 99% deliverability rate. They offer a 30 day free trial (no credit card required), it’s a great lower cost solution to some of the larger and higher priced email marketing options out there.
A Terabyte of space is a lot of room for digital files! And DropBox offers just that with their in the cloud storage of all things digital. Dropbox is the most frequently used “in the cloud” option for storage. We love it, and use it all the time.
Evernote is great organization tool. It stores every idea, research plan and content structure or image for your webinar. You can store snippets of content you find online and go back to all of it in a searchable, taggable easy to find notebooks on Evernote.
33. Google Drive
Accessible from anywhere with internet, Google Drive is a great collaborative tool for teams to use when you’re working with content, files, or images in tandem.
34. Team Viz
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management strategy preferred by many self-publishers. It’s not always easy to keep track of the non-writing tasks related to your book projects. With the Team Viz app, you can transform your writing into a series of bite-sized Pomodoros and keep track of each session.
It’s like super chat. Instant communication. Instant file transfer. Indexed and Searchable. We use it every single day.
36. Lead Pages
One of our favorite tools for creating beautiful and quick landing pages that convert! Lead Pages offers multiple templates that are customizable with your colors, images, logos and copy to create a landing page tailored to speak directly to your audience.
37. Thrive Themes
We are really enjoying using Thrive Themes for a number of our landing page. Thrive Themes offers a drag and drop user interface that is super easy to use and highly customizable.
38. Host Gator
One of our favorite hosting companies for the money. They have good support and a solid server platform for your website for less that $5 per month.
39. WP Engine
WP Engine is a hosting company that provides managed WordPress hosting for websites around the world. They have great support and there servers help you WordPress site run a top speed. Steve Scott uses WP Engine on his website Develop Good Habits.
If you’re really serious about building a business or sustainable income with your books, our Academy leads you through every single step — from writing your first word to creating multiple income streams. Between us, Steve and I have written almost 80 books with dozens of bestsellers. We share every strategy we use in bite-sized videos to make it simple, clear, and easy to take immediate action for your books. We stand by the value of this course like a mama bear stands by her cubs. 🙂
Do you have any writing or self-publishing resources that have been useful for you? If so, please share them in the comments and let us know what you found most helpful. Spread the self-publishing love!