If you search Google for “best resources for authors,” you’ll get thousands of results, and each result has dozens or more of the supposed best resources on their blog. It can be overwhelming.
And how can you know for sure that Jim Smith’s blog isn’t referencing a specific resources simply because they are affiliates with that business (meaning, they make money for everyone they direct to the resource)?
So, I decided to put together what I consider the ultimate list of resources for authors to get you from the very beginning phases of writing your novel all the way through publishing and even marketing.
And, no. While a couple of these resources have sponsored my podcast in the past, we do not have an affiliate relationship with any of them.
This is simply my favorite resources I think every author could use for each step in the self-publishing journey.
And here they are:
Anyone who’s been following us on social media, listened to our blog, or read our blog is aware that my absolute favorite tool for writers in the planning and plotting phase is OneStopForWriters! Created and run by my friends, Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi (co-authors of The Emotions Thesaurus, et al), this online platform is packed so full of useful tools, I could write (and have written) an entire article on just this one alone. But trust me when I say, there is no better platform or website out there that allows authors to build their world, develop their characters, plot their storyline, and much more, all in one central location. The best part? Monthly membership is less than $15/month!
Now, I’ll be honest, when Scrivener first came out years ago, I wasn’t a big fan. I didn’t find it super user-friendly, and I couldn’t see the benefit of writing a book in a non-linear style. However, since launching Version 3.0 this year, Literature and Latte has made the platform MUCH easier to navigate and learn. It helps you by allowing you to toggle between your outline and your script, uploading images for inspiration, and dragging and dropping scenes when you need to move them around. When you’re done, simply upload your manuscript to a Word or Google Doc document, and voila! Your manuscript is complete. The license to download Scrivener is less than $50 and well worth it. Click HERE To check them out now.
Yes, there are many different self-editing tools on the market; the two most popular being Pro Writing Aid and Grammarly. I used to like Grammarly better, simply because it was cheaper and a bit easier to use. BUT…once I got used to all the amazing tools PWA has built into the software, I became an instant convert, and now, all I use is Pro Writing Aid. What sets it apart from the herd is the fact that it doesn’t just check for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. It also checks for bigger issues like consistency, overused words, adverb usage, and style. But be sure you don’t just download the desktop version (Mac or PC), but also download the Google extension. This will allow you to check your spelling, etc. when posting online and emailing, too.
Hands down, Canva is the best resource for authors who need to create marketing graphics but have no design background. I’m probably the least artistic of anyone in my family (I come from a family of artists – go figure!), but with Canva, I can create any kind of graphic I need by using their templates and dragging and dropping text and new images into them. It really is that simple. You can even create temporary book covers for marketing purposes, though, you know I still believe you should always hire a graphic designer for your final covers. It’s super easy to use and very affordable. There’s a free version, but even the paid version (with more templates and graphics) is less than $15/month. I couldn’t run my business without Canva.
Dave Chesson, owner and founder of Kindlepreneur, has made it his life’s mission to make self-publishing and marketing easier for indie authors. His website, which is free to all users, is chock-full of free, helpful templates and tools. One of my favorites is his blurb generator. With this one tool, you can copy and paste your blurb/Amazon description into the generator, click a few buttons, and out comes a perfectly formatted, more appealing description for you to place on Amazon! And with blog posts and videos that cover every single topic related to publishing and marketing on your own, this website is one you MUST bookmark for daily use.
So, those are my top 5, can’t live without, amazing resources for authors which cover every stage of the publishing journey. Remember, I’m not getting paid one red penny for mentioning these services. I just believe in them that much.
What’s your favorite resource? Feel free to leave a link in the comments so we can all help each other out and have all the tools we need for a successful book right there at our fingertips.