From Category: Business, Marketing, and Technical Resources
Penmob aims to create a virtual writing workshop experience by acting as a clearinghouse to match freelance editors with writers of short prose and poetry. Writers post their work on the site to solicit feedback, and editors choose the projects that interest them, charging standard industry rates of 3-6 cents per word. Penmob takes a 20% matchmaking cut.
Author services at ProofreadingServices.com include manuscript critiques, developmental edits, line edits and proofreading, e-book formatting, and book cover design. Pricing is transparent and affordable. Affiliated with QueryLetter.com.
PublishDrive's free converter tool will change your MS Word documents into ePub or Kindle mobi files (two of the most popular e-book formats). Note that conversion of complicated publications is not guaranteed (magazines, textbooks, books with many pictures or too long and wide tables). Files must use Latin characters only, no foreign-language alphabets.
Publishers Marketplace is an industry news website that can help authors connect with agents and editors. Their newsfeed tracks publishing deals, agents, editors, submission calls and more. Full membership is $25/month. If this is out of your price range, there is also a free, shorter daily email newsletter called Publishers Lunch.
Diana Urban, industry marketing manager at the self-publishing company BookBub, compiled this list of 48+ reputable vendors for every stage of book creation and marketing. Categories include developmental and copy editing, graphic design, distribution for self-published books, marketing, publishing industry news, authors' associations, and website building tools. Links are current as of 2019.
This resource portal from Purdue University in Indiana features basic exercises to learn grammar, punctuation, spelling, APA and MLA citation styles, and composing resumes and business letters.
The publishing industry professionals at QueryLetter.com will write a query letter, synopsis, and outline to pitch your novel manuscript to agents and publishers. Fees are on a sliding scale based on the length of the book, e.g. $379 for a manuscript of 80-120K words (as of 2020). You can also pay to have them generate a list of agents and publishers to target, but we at Winning Writers recommend doing your own research instead.
R.R. Bowker is the authorized ISBN Agency in the United States, responsible for assigning ISBNs as well as providing information and advice on the uses of the ISBN system to publishers and the publishing industry in general. (An ISBN, or International Standard Book Number, is a 10-digit number that uniquely identifies books and book-like products published internationally.) Their website includes instructions for publishers or self-published authors to obtain an ISBN for their titles.
Tucker Max is the co-founder of Scribe Writing (formerly Book in a Box), a writing coach and ghostwriting service for business professionals. In this article from their website, he explains the metrics behind newspapers' and online retailers' bestseller lists, and the reasons why getting on the list is not a cost-effective goal for most authors.
Scribendi provides a wide variety of proofreading and copyediting services for literary manuscripts, personal and business documents, and academic writing. Pricing is per word. They can also help write a query letter, synopsis, and outline for authors of fiction and nonfiction books who are shopping their manuscripts to agents. Specialty services include religious editing and proofreading for hymns, sermons, inspirational blog posts, and academic theological works.
This review posted in November 2012 on the tech site GigaOM evaluates three apps for Mac computers that writers can use to create e-books: Apple's Pages, Adobe Indesign, and Scrivener.
An alternative to in-person trips to the post office, Send Mail From Desk allows customers to send documents, letters, and invoices via FedEx Standard Overnight, USPS Priority, Express & First Class Mail, all from your computer dashboard.
This website helps authors, agents, and publishers convert their books into a variety of popular e-book formats and sell them on the Smashwords site. Membership is free; Smashwords takes a percentage of net sales proceeds.
Web Design Relief is a site with articles on social media marketing, site design, and building your author platform online. This article from 2017 suggests 55 popular writing-related hashtags that can boost your profile on social media and give you entry into useful conversations and communities. The article includes examples of how to use them effectively.
Blogger and social media expert Mike Wallagher created this site to give writers a simple step-by-step introduction to creating their web presence. Topics include choosing a blogging platform, the pros and cons of free versus paid hosting, promoting your blog on Twitter, search engine optimization and digital marketing.
This online submissions manager is used by a growing number of contests and journals. You can also use it to manage resumes and job postings.
Launching in 2020, Submittable's Universal Submission Tracker is a new record-keeping feature available to anyone with an account at their online submissions platform. The designers say: "In addition to tracking the progress of submissions made using Submittable, you can now add submission details for any opportunity made outside of our platform, including the status, submission date and title, name of the organization reviewing your work, and internal notes specific to that submission."
TCK Publishing is an independent publishing company specializing in digital marketing. Founder Tom Corson-Knowles teaches online training courses in self-publishing and book promotion. This list compiles over 100 basic tools to write, design, and market your book.
This list ranks the top sites that advertise discounted Kindle e-books to consumers, based on how much traffic they get. The article also includes a link to TCK's companion piece about sites that list free e-books.
This 2018 article from the product review website TechRadar recommends various free programs to convert text to audio files.
By Jane Friedman. The expert publishing blogger teaches writers about the economics of their industry in this book from the University of Chicago Press. The book is intended to help writers craft a realistic plan for earning money from their work.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of five how-to books for writers, including 'The Frugal Book Promoter', has condensed her expertise into 'The Great First Impression Book Proposal: Everything You Need to Know About Selling Your Book in 20 Minutes'. Check out other useful resources on her website.
In this 2016 post from his blog Dying Words, a resource for mystery and thriller authors, crime novelist Garry Rodgers interviews nine best-selling indie and self-published writers about the strategies that took their book sales to the next level. Some common themes: build a mailing list, focus on your niche, and keep putting out new titles that are well-written and professionally edited.
A project of Wildbound PR, TrailerShelf is a curated site that features book trailers in a variety of genres including literature and fiction, mystery, young adult, spirituality, history, biography, art books, children's literature, and indie authors. There is no charge to submit your book trailer, but the site is selective about acceptance, based on the quality and creativity of the video and the expected audience for the book. They expect to add a paid advertising feature with modest fees. Wildbound PR founder Julia Drake says, "The prices [are likely to] range from $10 for social media amplification to $75 for being featured in our Top Trallers section. There's no way to tell on the site whether placement is paid for or not, but bear in mind that we have to accept the submission, so if we feel that the placement is not warranted, we won't accept the sponsored listing. We will have a special section to highlight great trailers for self-published and indie books to help self-published and indie authors get more exposure."
Freelance website developer Lisa Sanovski reviews service providers on her Web Hosting Rating site, which includes this extensive list of her favorite resources for fonts, graphics, stock photos, logo editors, and other web design tools.
Website Setup is web designer Robert Mening's tech support site for artists and small business owners seeking to set up their own website or blog. Authors who are weighing the pros and cons of a custom design versus website-building software will benefit from this list, updated annually, of the most user-friendly and cost-effective site builders.
WordCraft is a writing consultant collective in Los Angeles. Their blog features a weekly "Submission Sunday" post that shares the latest calls for submissions from reputable literary journals.
Writer Beware, a project of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), shares detailed guidelines for evaluating the credibility and experience of literary agents, plus warnings about common scams in this field.
At the online portal for Maryville University, a Catholic college in St. Louis, MO, this article reviews a number of popular software programs for authors and explains their purpose. Included are website blockers to filter out distractions, programs for keeping track of your drafts, and plotting and editing tools for fiction writers.