It’s 2022. The publishing world has changed. Opportunity is knocking.
It’s a great time to be an indie author. Find the best author tools and resources below.
(click the buttons below to go to the desired section)
Resources to help before you start writing your first draft.
Visit the Amazon Kindle Store and get very familiar with the genres. Pick a genre that you want to write in and study it. Read Write to Market by Chris Fox if you want to write a book that satisfies readers and sells a lot of copies.
Become a master of your genre. If you really want to dig deep, take a look at Genre Report, Kindle Spy, Sonar Tool, or KDP Rocket for details on keywords and competition in Amazon.
Visit the Amazon Kindle Store and research your genre.
Read Write to Market by Chris Fox (affiliate link)
Check out the Genre Report to research categories.
PANTSERS VS. PLOTTERS
Pantsers like to start writing and let the story unfold as they type. Plotters like to outline their story before writing. Try them both. Find out what works best for you. You might be surprised. Take the best of both worlds and make it work for you.
Read Writing into the Dark by Dean Wesley Smith
Read Outlining Your Novel by K.M. Weiland
Read Take Off Your Pants by Libbie Hawker
A few tools to help you organize, outline, and structure your stories. Some people like to keep it simple and use notecards, paper, word processors, or spreadsheets. Or, you can use any of the amazing apps like Scrivener, StoryShop, or Aeon Timeline. If you like mind mapping, you might want to take a look at XMind, MindNode, or Scapple.
Here are a few indie podcasts to help you keep up with the changes in the publishing world.
The Creative Penn
Sell More Books Show
Resources to help you finish the all important first draft.
Writing software can help keep your story organized while you crank out the first draft and all the rewrites and edits that follow. In addition to the resources listed above in the Prewriting section, you can try these great writing apps – Scrivener, Ulysses App, or Storyist.
EDITING YOUR NOVEL
Publish the highest quality book you possibly can. That’s what editing is all about. Run your novel through your built-in spelling and grammar checker, then run your content through Grammarly, the Hemingway App, AutoCrit, and/or Pro Writing Aid for a more detailed analysis.
Software is not a replacement for human editors. Check out these resources for high-quality editors to help you publish the best novel possible – NY Book Editors, Alida Winternheimer, Jason Whited, Reedsy, or maybe Book Coach, Jennie Nash.
Prepare your book for your readers and publish.
People will judge your book based on the cover, so get a good one at 99Designs, DIY Book Covers, Bookfly Design, Damonza, Reedsy, or The Book Cover Designer.
If you have design skills and you want to do-it-yourself, take a look at Canva, Affinity, Adobe, or My eCover Maker. Visit Unsplash, Pixabay, or Pexels for free stock photos. Check out iStockphoto, Shutterstock, Neo Stock, or Fotolia to buy stock photos.
Your novel has to be in a specific format to publish on different platforms. While you can use Word, Storyist, Ulysses, or Scrivener to format your novel, there are other options.
Check these out for more options – Vellum, Reedsy, Draft2Digital, Lightning Source, Calibre, Sigil, Jutoh, DIY Book Formatting, and this series of articles on formatting by Guido Henkel.
WHERE TO PUBLISH
The majority of ebooks (over 70%) are sold on Amazon followed by iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Google Play Books.
However, there are more resources to make publishing easier and tap into new markets. IngramSpark. Smashwords. Draft2Digital. Audible. BookBaby. PublishDrive. StreetLib.
More resources to explore: Aer.io, Books2read.com (Link Management), Lulu, Blurb.
Find your readers and sell more books.
YOUR AUTHOR WEBSITE
A website is crucial to your success as an indie author. You can use it to promote your books, collect reader email addresses, and share information with your fans.
Get your domain name at Namecheap, web hosting at Siteground, use OceanWP theme (basic version is free), install Elementor plugin (basic version is free) to design your pages, and Mailchimp or ConvertKit for email marketing. Visit this page if you want to learn more about author website design.
Here are a few more resources that can help you build an awesome (and more effective) website. TinyLetter, OptinMonster, BookFunnel, Instafreebie. Book Brush, and ReaderLinks.
A common way to find readers is to publish your book on Kindle Select. When you publish on Kindle Select, readers can read your book for free if they’re members of Kindle Unlimited. Offer another free gift (book or otherwise) to readers, include a link back to your website and build your audience over time.
Many authors are having success with Facebook Ads and Amazon Ads. You can use ManyChat with Facebook ads, or check out Needls if you want a more hands off approach to advertising. And check out Ebook Booster too. If you can get a promotion on BookBub or Buck Books, you’ll get a nice boost in sales and gain some new readers.
If you’re looking to build or manage an advance reader team, check out Booksprout. They also have a free app to send mobile notifications.
BOOK PROMOTION WEBSITES
There are a lot of websites that claim to provide exposure for your books. Some are good. Some are a waste of money. Before you spend money on any book promotions, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting in exchange for that money. Here are some websites that you can take a look at.
BundleRabbit, Bookbub, Freebooksy/Bargain Booksy, Instafreebie, Book Gorilla, The Fussy Librarian, Instafreebie, BookSends, Ereader News today, Written Word Media.
For Contests and giveaways check out Rafflecopter, Gleam.io, or Kingsumo. Also consider BookFunnel, Story Origins, and Books2Read to make giving away books much easier.
EVENTS IN REAL LIFE
There’s nothing like meeting readers in real life to establish a strong connection. Instead of attending writer events, consider nontraditional events like wine tastings, craft fairs, etc.
If you want to connect with other writers and learn from experts, consider attending one of the many writing events in the real world. Here are a few of the more popular events you might want to consider.
Romance Writers of America
Book Expo America
Be more efficient and write more books.
Many of the tools used to keep your ideas organized and outline your story can also be used to write your novel. Find out what system works best for you and get to work.
Here are some basic applications that can help you stay organized and produce great stories – Bear Writer, Evernote, Google Drive, OpenOffice, Pages, Numbers, Word, or Excel.
Technology isn’t always the answer, but sometimes it can help give you the push necessary to get things done. Here are a few apps that you might find useful.
Track your time with detailed reports – aTimeLogger2
A very simple ToDo app – Things
Simple Reminders and Timers – Due App
Build Habits by Setting Daily Goals – Streaks
Block distracting websites, apps, or the internet so you can focus on writing – Cold Turkey, Freedom, and RescueTime.
Some apps that can save you time – BookFunnel, GetBookReport, and Books2Read.