Useful Resources

This is a collection of useful resources for multiple self-publishing related topics - author websites, book marketing, book covers, tools , books and other things that can help you!

I’ve found lots of useful resources and blogs over the years so decided to keep them in one place. I’ll curate and keep adding stuff that is great as time goes. 

Tools

Skillshare – a place where you can find over 24000 courses of all kinds from marketing, to writing, to drawing, to photography etc. Superb place for us creatives! 

Deposit Photos – if you need photos for your website or book cover Deposit Photos is a great choice. Not as expensive as other stock sites, but has huge selection (millions) of stocks and I’ve been using them for book covers and author websites myself for years.

FastComet – web hosting company to use if you want to have best price but not a crappy quality. Inexpensive (starts are $2.95 a month), good, no tricks with pricing unlike other hosts and includes a free domain name for life. It has a downside of not being the no.1 host when it comes to website loading speed but the pricing is incredible so you can’t expect everything from it.

Siteground – a more premium host when it comes to cheaper hosts. Faster and with great features it beats FastComet in speed, but their prices are much higher once you want to renew with them (year or two or three in the future). It is possible to just get their cheapest first deal for 3 years at once and have low price, then you have 3 years to get the books paying for the next bill.

Elementor – a WordPress plugin that makes designing your website a lot easier and even starts at free! You can literally design your website without needing to code anything. Huge time saver!

Grammarly – a life saver!! Even has a free version! It’s a software that spell checks what you write in real-time and offers fixes. I’m a huge fan of it and my writing would have a ton more mistakes (so would cost more to proofread) without it. It also sends a weekly overview email which states how may wrote you wrote, how many mistakes you had and compares that to other Grammarly users. There is a Premium version with more advanced mistake check ups and fixes and even genre-specific writing style advice.

Book Sirens – a mini-Google for finding book reviewer blogs. Super useful tool to look for people who do reviews. 

DIY Book Covers – as the name says, it’s a website and tool for those who want to DIY book covers. Created by the formerly mentoined Derek Murphy from CreativIndie.

AppSumo – a site/email newsletter for great deals of all kinds. From stock photos, to all kinds of useful programs and online tools. AppSumo finds great deals and offers them for a certain period of time. Great thing to check out from time to time o just watch their emails. Can save a lot of money on useful tools.

Uptime Robot – a tool that tracks how reliable your website hosting is and how often the servers crash. It’s free and super easy to set up without technical knowledge. It’s a great way to see if your hosting company is doing a good job.

LastPass – if you tend to forget passwords for your online stuff this is a lifesaver. It’s a password manager for your Browser. Any time you create an account or log in for the first time, it asks if you want it to remember the login name and password for you so that next time you need to log in it automatically fills in the details. So you don’t need to remember your details anymore for all the websites and can log in with it.

Self-Publishing Blogs

BookBub Partners Blog – BookBub is not just the best advertising newsletter for authors these days but they also have a great blog with lots of useful information for self-publishing authors. Great, in-depth articles.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch – a very successful author with an incredibly diverse experience. She has been traditionally published, self-published and also runs a publishing house so her insights are coming from multiple POVs and her understanding of businesss side of things is awesome. Must read blog!

The Creative Penn – blog and a podcast by a successful indie author Joanna Penn. Lots of great advice on how to start and how to run your career, she quite transparently shares her own successes and losses.

The Book Designer – a great blog about book design and self-pub in general. Has been one of the main blogs about the topic for years.

Goins, Writer – another blog by a successful indie author. Full of great advice, inspiration and a great philosophy – Real Artists Don’t Starve!

Kristen Lamb’s Blog – lots of great articles about marketing and social media (she’s really good there!). And I’m not just saying it because of her hilarious use of GIF images. 

David Gaughran – a bit of a watchdog blog for self-pub. Gaughran does good job researching and exposing BS practices by Amazon, service providers etc. He also has good understanding of marketing of books. Lots of good reading there!

Alliance of Independent Authors – a non-profit association for indie authors. Great blog and must use resource. 

Book Launch – a blog by Tim Grahl who is a book marketing expert with lots of success and bestseller books for clients. Must read.

RockingBookCovers.com – features articles about things to know before working with a book cover designer (my website).

CreativIndie – blog by former cover designer now turned indie author, Derek Murphy. He’s doing lots of interesting stuff in book marketing, has lots of useful side projects for indies and is a good source of advice for all kinds of sel-pub stuff.

Jane Friedman’s blog – another great blog by long-time self-pub expert Jane Friedman. Must read for insights.

Writer Unboxed – great big blog(more like a magazine) about self-pub and writing where many experts come to contribute great articles. 

Anne R. Allan’s blog – another great personal blog from an author. Lots of relatable and helpful posts.

Your Writer Platform –  a great site by Kimberly Grabas. Lots of great posts about building up your ‘author platform’ (website,emai list etc). 

 

Podcasts and YouTube Channels

Self-Publishing Formula – podcast by super successful indie author Mark Dawson who not only writes well but has also helped thousands if indies with Facebook advertising. Must listen. 

WP Crafter – a great channel for non-techies on Youtube about running your own WordPress website, tools and plugins for it etc. The guy tests plugins, themes and reports back, gives advice on what to choose etc. Very useful channel.

Elementor on YouTube – official channel for YT for the page builder I recommend, Elementor. 

Chris Fox’s Channel – a very successful indie author with great books like 5000 Words Per Hour or Write to Market. He’s got lots of good video about all publishing related topics on Youtube.

Groups and Forums

20Booksto50k – an awesome Facebook group about book marketing. Possibly the most useful one. Huge but still isn’t contaminated with spam and pitches. Lots of advice and help given. Owner M. Anderle has bold audatious goals and shares lots of great advice for free (while doing great as indie author himself).

Indie Cover Project – a Facebook group for getting your book covers/blurbs/author websites critiqued by designers and other authors. 

Writer’s Cafe on Kboards – one of the oldest, biggest indie author forums online. Thousands of members and lots of good threads.

 

This is not the final list of resources. I’ll update them as I find new ones. If you find it useful, please share it or any article with your author friend who might need it!

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