Here it is, the list of 40+ resources authors should know about, thought really there are now over 50, to help make life easier.  I guarantee there is going to be at least one thing on this list you didn’t know about that will make you happy. You’re welcome.

I plan to keep this list up to date. So if I find something else I think you should know about I will add to it and if you know of something that I should share let me know in the comments!

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Last updated:

11/27/17

updates shown in pink text.

THE 40+ RESOURCES AUTHORS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT

40 plus resources every author should know about

Must have resources for authors

SOCIAL MEDIA

The bane of many author’s existence.  If only you could ignore it and still sell books but alas for many a indie author social media is what sells books.  So instead of letting it get you down here are some tools that can help make life simpler.

Social Media Management

Buffer – This is a great app for those wanting to have the versatility of scheduling content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.  If you have posts you want to schedule in your Facebook groups this is your friend. You can schedule your posts straight in Facebook for your business page, or use buffer (but it will say “Posted by Buffer” so engagement can be affected if using for your Facebook page).  I love that this posts to Pinterest too and FollowerWonk (see below) can integrate the analyzed twitter schedule into buffer. What I love as a PA? I can connect up to 10 accounts/profiles to the standard plan for $10 a month.

Hootsuite – This is another social media management platform that people love to use.  Why didn’t I go with it? Simply because I wanted the option to schedule to Pinterest for clients.

Meet Edgar – The Cadillac of social management if your focus is Facebook and Twitter.  Pricing starts at $49 a month but this bad boy has some pretty cool ease of use features and is awesome for those wanting to really work on managing multiple social media accounts (profiles, pages, groups).

CoSchedule – Another beast of a social media and content management app.  This is great for teams and those that do a lot of blogging within wordpress as well. Starts at $30 month. Personally I think would be more than any one author would need but those managing marketing for several might like what this has to offer.

SmarterQueue – This one again focuses just on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  Starting at $19.99 a month this one offers what appears to be great evergreen content rotation if that is something you are looking for.

Tailwind – This is a Pinterest content management system for those trying to improve their Pinterest game. Benefits of this app is it is actually endorsed by Pinterest.  Month to Month subscriptions start at $15 and that only allows for you to link it to 1 Pinterest account.

FollowerWonk – I found this not that long ago and it blew me away. It analyzes your twitter followers and gives you a lot of great data on them.  The best thing (in my opinion) was it analyzed when your followers are most active on twitter giving you a best to tweet schedule that you could integrate into Buffer.  The BEST best thing? It is free.  BOOM.

Click to Tweet – Want to create easy click to share links (outside of in your blog post) then this free tool is for you. Great way to make easy to share tweet links.

Jon Loomer – Looking to stay up to date on what is happening with Facebook? Wondering if the cover graphic size has changed again on Facebook, how to optimize ads, or what new features are being introduced to groups?  This site is a great place to go to be kept in the loop.


WRITING/PUBLISHING/MANAGEMENT

These apps/software/services will help you with writing, publishing and managing some of the marketing needs of your book.

Scriviner – Writing Software –  I played around in this way back when I thought I would try to write a book (I would need a freaking distraction reducing bubble to make that happen) and LOVED it.  Many people happily use word or other options but seriously if I ever attempt to write a story again I would be doing it in here.

Vellum  – Book formatting Software – I have had several people swear by this and the simplicity of formatting for them.  I’ve heard its praise spoken repeatedly by many and I almost want to get it just to have

BookFunnel – Ebook Delivery App – I freaking LOVE.  Send giveaway winners digital copies of your books, send entire ARC team your upcoming book, run giveaways for your books.  Just so much everything, so much love.

Muso – Anti Piracy Managment Solution – If you want to combat piracy of your books this is just a given. It won’t stop it, but it will reduce instances of people being able to find pirated works of yours and help keep the top search results for your book as legitimate sources

AsanaTask Management Web App – I would be lost without this and around a new release it is amazing with keeping all the todos organized and sending reminders. As a PA I LOVE THIS.  I can assign a task to my author client and they are emailed the reminders about it!! Then they can check things off as they do them and they can see where I am at in my tasks. Perfect for planing out release post across social media, Goodreads, newsletters, EVERYTHING.


EMAIL

This section started off as part of the one above but as my list grew so did this section and it earned its own spot.  Email is major if you are publishing a book, both your email list, but also just your regular email that you send with daily communications.  Your email is an extension of your brand and should reflect it whether in the newsletter you send out or an email response to a reader.

Email Marketing Services

Mailchimp – I’m biased but I love it. It has so much power and you know what you can do a TON for free. Their free plan even now allows for automations!! Templates are a breeze, states, segmentations, importing, automation AND MORE. So much it can do and so much more than I even know it can do. Power people, power.

MailerLite – Another service like Mailchimp.  I don’t know all that it can do but check out their features. They also have a free plan and I know others do use them and like them.

ConvertKit – So this is apparently the Cadillac of Email marketing services. This is for those who really need some major power and will cost you at least $29 a month.

Tutorials

Chimp Essentials This is a course that will make you a Mailchimp master. Paul only opens the course for enrollment a couple times a year, I was on the waiting list for 5 months before it came round again and I could enroll. I highly recommend getting on his waiting list, maybe take his free lessons (there around 6).  This is an investment, but one that is well worth it for understanding just how powerful Mailchimp is and being able to utilize it well. I do not regret taking the leap to buy this course.

Email List Growth

InstaFreebieEbook Giveaway Service -An ebook giveaway management services that gives your books away while collecting an email address for your newsletter.  You can join group giveaways to increase reach.

Author Platform Rocket – One of the first places that gave me great insight into the power of a strong email list, growing it and how to manage it using MailChimp. They offer list growth opportunities through hosting giveaways that they promote heavily but recently they have also started offering advertising to expose your brand and not just grow your list. This company is a great resource to help you grow, but shouldn’t be the only way you plan to market yourself and your books.

KingSumo Giveaway This is a WordPress plugin. This has so many amazing features, no monthly payment (just a one time fee). I purchased it on Black Friday. If you don’t want to fork over the $198 (I don’t blame you, neither did I even though I wanted it badly) then wait for a sale. Black Friday sale they took 75% off and I snagged it for $49.

ThriveLeadsAgain, a WordPress plugin. The ribbon you see at the top of my site? This plugin, the exit popup? This plugin.  This is an amazing plugin that integrates directly with your email management service and increases conversions amazingly. We all know the importance of cultivating that email list. I HIGHLY recommend this plugin. I went with the one-time single site license.

Email Management – Personal

Hubspot – Hubspot offers a FREE email signature creation module and I used it to create the one you see below. You send out a lot of emails every day, and if you don’t have a signature set up that calls attention to your brand and your site then it is a missed marketing opportunity.

Mail ActOn – This is for my Mac users out there.  This plugin in for Apple mail has made life so much easier for me. I’m actually considering the suite of plugins they have. This plugin allows me to schedule emails to go out when I want.  So if I get an email on the weekend and want to respond and check it off my to do list, but don’t want the email to go out until Monday, then I write it like I would, schedule it for Monday hit send and call it a weekend. You can try for free for a month and then you will need to purchase for $30.


DESIGN

It would be odd if I didn’t drop on you some design knowledge/resources that would benefit you in the marketing of your book. So below find sites, programs, and people that can help with your design needs.

Stock Images

Deposit Photos – This is where I have my current stock subscription. There is great stock images, plans to accommodate any price point and even better, they are willing to create a plan for you if you don’t see one that suits your needs.

Shutter Stock – I used them for over a year and it is still one of the better stock imagery sites out there with a HUGE selection.  I left because of the lack of a plan that fit my budget and needs. In other words, I wanted to save money.

FotoSearch – After I left ShutterStock but before I found Deposit photos I used Fotosearch.  They had a good selection and a price point that fit my needs at the time.

Stocksy.com – When you need stock images that you won’t find on every other stock photo sites. This place has some great original images but you can’t buy a plan, this is more for when you are looking for that perfect image and willing to pay $15 or more for each one.

iStockphotos.com Not going to lie, I covet their signature collection.  For teaser images, at the rates I charge I can’t use this site. But if you are looking for some unique and really perfect for romance images this is a site to check out.  Again, pricey and they have rules. Like use the image within 30 days or your license to it expires.  

NeoStock.comI found this site and could hardly contain my excitement. It is just in its starting stages but everything I’ve seen so far had me quickly informing any authors I know that work with Urban Fantasy/Paranormal/Sci-Fi/ etc. 

Graphic Design Programs

Adobe Photoshop – I use this because of the features and versatility. I love it and the power and capabilities it gives me in creating images and animated GIFs. Additionally, a lot of design assets are designed to work specifically in Adobe products. Around $15 a month for just photoshop or you can go for the whole Adobe Creative Cloud Suite for $49 a month which is great if you want to use Illustrator, Premier Pro or After Effects. The CC suite has many, many more apps than just the ones I listed.

Canva – For when you need it free and you need it now. Canva is a popular free web-based resource amongst authors and bloggers. Offering an easy drag and drop interface with many backgrounds, frames and layouts to choose from.

Pixlr – Another browser photo editor like Canva but offers just a bit more power and freedom. And another great benefit? It is FREE.

Visme.co – Another web base visual content creator. You can try this for FREE then pay $10 a month. Create graphics, slides, infographics and more.

Gimp – for when you want more advance options without having to pay. This is software you download so you don’t have to stop working if your internet craps out on you. A great free option for those looking to save a little cash.

Design Assets

Creative Market –  What can I say but wow. I can spend forever on this site looking up beautiful custom fonts and design assets ranging from brushes, actions, shapes, overlays, etc.

Font Squirrel – If I need to figure out a font and Adobe’s match type has failed me this is the site I go to. Their font identifier works really well and is a huge help.

MyDesignDeals – I love this site’s bundles and I love the easy to understand extended licensing all their bundles come with. They often have deals too if you buy multiple bundles. Very addicting for me.

Pixelo.net – Another site I like to get asset bundles from from time to time. What I also love is getting their emails with their Freebie roundup.  I love Free stuff!

Pixel Surplus – Yup another site with bundle deals and even a FREEBIE round up.

TheHungryJPEG – Another site to check out for bundles and assets.  I love bundles, bundles tempt me and make me happy because they save me money.

GraphicRiver – Like Creative Market I can find photoshop brushes, actions and other assets here that help me achieve looks for cheap whilst saving some time.


WEBSITE

If you want to publish books and try and make money from it you need a website, end of story.  Nope sorry no excuses.  You have a Facebook page? Awesome, not enough. Not all potential readers use Facebook, or other social media for that matter. You need a site with easy navigation that readers can go to, to see what you have out, what is coming out, reading order, FAQ, etc.  Social Media wont provide that for them.  Below is just a few of the platforms you can use to build your web presence.

Creating A Website

WordPress – You can either host your site for free on wordpress.com or use WordPress on a site you host yourself.  This is a great content management system and one I use and love. FYI, I self-host. You can either use and customize some of the free themes or purchase ones. I recommend going the self-hosted route instead of using wordpress.com which is why I am linking to the .org instead.  This is a really good platform if you plan on blogging, or adding fresh content regularly.

SquareSpace – Another content management system that also has templates ready to be used or customized.  There is no self-hosting option, you use Square Space with a domain you purchase and that is it. This offers some visually beautiful options and has templates geared towards showing off things in a visual manner. Easy drag and drop options for creating your site. No free option here, you must pay to play my friends.

Wix – Another content management site that offers visually beautiful templates but gives you vastly more template options than Square Space and has both free and paid services options.

Plugins for WordPress

I use WordPress and thus have some must-have plugins that I think you would love

Novelist – Talk about simple and beautiful plugin that helps manage your books on your website and it is FREE. I love it as it makes updating information a breeze and is great way to keep everything organized.

MooBerry Book Manager This was recommended down in the comments of this page actually! (See I pay attention 😉 ).  This is another book managing plugin to check out. I’m partial to novelist just because it is what I have used before but seeing what your options are is always good to do first.

Better Click to Tweet – Ever wonder how people put those pretty “Click to Tweet” embedded call to actions in their blog posts? Well now you know, for over a year I was trying to figure it out myself.

KingSumo Giveaway This is a WordPress plugin. This has so many amazing features, no monthly payment (just a one time fee). I purchased it on Black Friday. If you don’t want to fork over the $198 (I don’t blame you, neither did I even though I wanted it badly) then wait for a sale. Black Friday sale they took 75% off and I snagged it for $49.

ThriveLeadsThe ribbon you see at the top of my site? This plugin, the exit popup? This plugin. This is an amazing plugin that integrates directly with your email management service and increases conversions amazingly. We all know the importance of cultivating that email list. I HIGHLY recommend this plugin. I went with the one-time single site license.

Sumo –  A bunch of free apps with this plugin to help your site/list everything grow.  Check it out and see if there is something that can benefit you. I used their listbuilder for my site’s popups before finding ThriveLeads.

Themes for WordPress

NoseGraze ThemesMy original site was built on the TweakMe v2 and I loved it. Lots of options for customization and nicely affordable.

BluchicMy current theme is a BluChic theme, Victoria to be exact. I loved my NoseGraze theme, but I also love this theme too.

 

Was this list beneficial to you? Let me know your thoughts below.

Must have resources for authors

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