From Category: Self-Publishing Resources
Pexels is a curated archive of free stock photos that writers can use to illustrate their blogs, book covers, or promotional materials.
Fine art photographer Carol Bloom's landscapes, street scenes, still lifes, and abstract images are composed with the care of Old Masters paintings, as charged with dramatic tension as an Edward Hopper scene. These evocative works would be suitable for licensing for a poetry collection, literary fiction, or memoir book cover. Locations include New York City, Paris, and Israel.
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.
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.
Reedsy is a networking and resource site for book marketing. This curated list features 174 book review blogs that were active as of 2017, searchable by genre and openness to indie books (self-published and print-on-demand).
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.
Self-published author Andy Kessler shares secrets of his success in this Wall Street Journal editorial. Kessler took advantage of the speed of self-publishing to get his book into stores while the topic was still newsworthy.
In this 2017 guest post on publishing expert Jane Friedman's blog, Nicole Dieker offers a dollars-and-cents case study of all the marketing strategies she used for her debut literary novel, The Biographies of Ordinary People: Vol. 1: 1989-2000, and their return on investment. A must-read for indie authors on a budget.
The Self-Publishing Advice Center website is a project of the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi). Features include tech recommendations, author interviews, marketing and editing advice, and scam-busting pages that rate the leading indie book contests and self-publishing service providers based on their price structure and ethics.
Children's book author April Cox offers numerous services for self-published authors, including an indie author interview series on YouTube, an author workgroup with step-by-step advice for creating and launching your book, and online courses. Visit her YouTube channel for book marketing tips and profiles of worthwhile indie books.
Self-Publishing Review offers book marketing and editing services for indie authors. Their blog features useful articles on book promotion, choosing the best release date for your genre of book, technical advice and recommended apps, and more. Self-published and small press authors can enter their annual awards to win a promotional package. (We do not recommend using paid book review services, which they also offer.)
Self-Publishing School offers intensive, individualized coaching programs to help authors finish, design, and promote their self-published books. With a prize tag of around $6,000 per course, this program is most useful to writers who already know the fundamentals of copyediting and story structure, and who can commit to finishing their book within a few months. It is not an editing or ghostwriting service. Best for authors of commercial nonfiction, genre fiction, and children's books.
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.
This site, run by publishing and graphic design expert Joel Friedlander, gives resources to help self-publishing authors design professional-looking books. The site includes articles on marketing, a guide to software options, typeface suggestions, and book design templates.
The Independent Publishing Magazine is an online magazine that highlights trends, resources, and best practices in self-publishing and small presses. It is edited by Mick Rooney, an author, journalist, and consultant, who has written two books of advice on self-publishing.
Intellectual property lawyer David Vandagriff (a/k/a "Passive Guy") blogs about trends in self-publishing and traditional publishing. His posts on publishing contract terms and pitfalls are especially valuable.
At the website of Poets & Writers magazine, publishing veteran Debra Englander has interviewed numerous self-published authors about their experiences creating and marketing their books. Each interview is supplemented with expert opinions about the success of the author's self-publishing plan, adding up to a valuable case study on all aspects of self-publishing.
The Self Publisher is the writing resource site of novelist and writing coach C.S. Lakin. Her blog features useful articles on such topics as copyrighting your work, building an author website, how to price your books, and getting Amazon reviews.
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."
This article from self-publishing and marketing service BookBaby, by professional editor Jim Dempsey of Novel Gazers, explains the three types of editing that every manuscript needs before publication, and when to do each one. The page includes links to other useful articles on the same theme.
This page from the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America's advice site offers a comprehensive look at the varieties and pitfalls of POD publishing.
AJ Wells, a judge for the self-published book competitions at Writer's Digest, breaks down the key ingredients of a successful entry. Professional cover design is a must, as is editing to eliminate extraneous details that slow down the story. Don't rush the book into print without making it as polished as possible.
Wall Street Journal feature tracks some of the pitfalls of self-publishing. Some tips: arrange a distributor before printing; don't order too many copies; pick a title with the widest possible appeal.