Struggling Authors: Use these hands-down absolute best resources for authors to successfully write and launch your next book!
One of the most common issues authors struggle with is that they can’t find the tools and resources they need when writing and publishing their books. Or, in many cases, when they search online for the best author resources, they are hit with an avalanche of information overload.
In this post, I’m going to do my part to help you find the best author resources and author tools, not just based on popularity but on my personal experience and the experiences of my clients.
I’ve chosen the absolute online resources to help you on every step of your writing journey. Here goes.
(CLICK ON EACH LOGO TO VISIT THESE APPS IN A NEW WINDOW)
FOR INSPIRATION & MOTIVATION:
One of the most common struggles my author coaching clients deal with daily is lack of inspiration and/or motivation to write. To help, after a healthy pep talk, I give them a short list of things they can do to get their writing mojo back: read tons of books (successful, recent ones) in your genre, turn off all distractions, organize their writing space, take a walk, do some yoga, and yes, believe it or not…watch television/movies (in their genre, of course)! But I also always suggest searching Pinterest for things like, “writing tips,” “writing prompts,” and “inspirational writing quotes,” and voila! So much content will appear before you, you won’t be able to take in half of it. And don’t forget to check out the newest feature, Idea Pins, which is their answer to Tik Tok’s domination and increased popularity of video content. In fact, within 2 weeks of posting my first idea pin, I shot up to an average of over 100,000 viewers per pin! You can follow me and grab some inspo from my feed HERE.
FOR LEARNING CRAFT:
Most authors recognize MasterClass as the website where you can take courses on writing in general or even specific genres from some of literature’s greats, like James Patterson, Margaret Attwood, and more! But you may not realize they have a FREE blog that covers almost every craft and storytelling question you can think of, including character development, pacing, plotting, dialogue, plot twists, and more. I cannot recommend this site any higher. But if you are able, I would definitely also suggest taking one of their courses, especially Margaret Atwood’s course.
FOR LEARNING SELF-PUBLISHING:
In case you’ve been living under a rock, the fact is, in the past 2 years, self-published authors have begun dominating the publishing industry. We sell more books by the unit than traditional publishers, but more exciting is the fact that we are making so much more NET revenue than they are. According to SelfPublishingAdvice.org, where trad pub authors take home, on average, 7.5% of their gross book sales (I actually was told 5%), indies get to keep anywhere from 70% of our book sales (if published through KDP, Kobo, Ingram Spark, etc.) all the way up to 96% (if published through our own websites). So having access to a website that is chock-full of not only advice, blog posts, and tips for indie authors but also some tools you can use right there on their website is invaluable! So, definitely bookmark this one.
The Story Shack
Don’t let their not-very-fancy website design fool you. Normally, I’m a website design snob, as I believe it’s important to put your best face forward, but I’m glad I didn’t click away to fast when I stumbled up on this amazing database that has almost every kind of generator you can think of to get your creative juices flowing. They have generators for worldbuilding, character backstory, name generators, world name generator, and more.
FOR PLOTTING & DEVELOPING:
This one is (somehow) a recent discovery for me, and I hope to one day connect with these folks and collab with them, but so far, their website has the very best advice and guides when it comes to the content, structure, and development of your plot! Of course, that’s not all their website offers. They also have helpful resources on dialogue, motivation, and character development, to name a few. Definitely worth checking out!
FOR EDITING YOUR FIRST DRAFT:
This online editing tool uses a way better AI interface than Grammarly, and I love the fact that you can use the app several different ways. You can download the program to your desktop, use the Chrome extension, copy/paste into the online tool, and even install the plugin for Microsoft Word, which allows you to edit as you write in Word! Just remember, like any other writing tool, ProWritingAid should be used for online content, emails, your first manuscript runthrough, and while-you-write edits. Not even the most brilliant AI can replace the brain of a skilled, trained, and experienced manuscript editor.
Okay, yer right. That’s me. But come on. I couldn’t create this whole list of totally awesome resources for authors and NOT include at least ONE of my amazing resources…right? And I chose to list my website under branding because many of you know that I help with the craft and development of your novel in my author coaching programs, courses, and resources. But many don’t realize that it is so crucial to begin your early marketing/branding campaign the moment you’re committed to seeing this book through to the finish line. As in…do NOT wait until you are even halfway done with your manuscript. Start now! And since my Author Branding Toolkit is by far our bestselling author resource in our Etsy shop, then it makes sense that it made my Best Resources list…don’t ya think?
FOR SELF-PUBLISHING LAUNCH:
For self-publishing, indie authors have more paths to choose from when it comes to getting their book out into the universe than most realize. You can publish on KDP (Amazon), Instagram Spark, LuLu, BookBub and others. Or you can use some really great, well-established self-publising services like BookBaby, SmashWords, and Draft2Digital, which don’t actually do the work for you, but they provide you with self-service platforms and tons of resources. I ultimately chose BookBaby.com not just because they consistently rank highest on other “comparison” lists, but there’s just no beating the amount of help and resources you can get on their site. For example, you can not only format your books and print them (if you choose to sell from your website or consign at bookstores), they also have advertising services, social media services, ebook cover design, and on and on it goes. When planning your publishing path, you should at least give BookBaby.com the consideration it deserves.
FOR BOOK MARKETING:
This was another category that was harder to narrow down. Between Reedsy.com’s amazing service that allows you to find and connect with publicists and marketing professionals and Kindlepreneur’s flat-out cover-all-the-bases website, I couldn’t decide! Until I took a step back and asked myself, “Self, what is the ONE thing you tell authors they absolutely must do to have an effective book marketing strategy and launch?” And that’s when it clicked, and I decided to list GetResponse.com as a great (albeit not too common) resource for authors. GetResponse does more than just manage your newsletter subscriber list and let you send out your emails. You can build your sign-up form, landing pages, autoresponders, funnels, and even Facebook Ads! I do love MailerLite, but its features have NOTHING on GetResponse.
To wrap it up, here's how you can get the best out of these amazing resources!
While I’m sure you’ve heard of a few of these resources before, hopefully, I’ve shown you a new tool or two you can now use to kickstart your book writing career. I have personally used each of these resources and most, I’ve even used with my author coaching clients.
And if you want to get the best out of these resources, you’ll need to create a plan for your entire writing journey, start to finish.
As I teach my clients, every single step of the writing, publishing, and marketing process should be deliberately and intentionally planned in advance. There’s no such thing as “winging it” in self-publishing. Not successful self-publishing, anyway.
You’ll first want to create a manageable but productive writing schedule between the time you spend developing your story and when you begin writing.
Then, you’ll need a checklist of all your branding tasks and when each should be completed.
You’ll need to also plan your entire launch from the moment you type “THE END” through to pub day.
And finally, a good, effective marketing campaign is planned well in advance so no important steps are missed.
But before you panic and ask me, “But how am I supposed to know all those steps, let alone know when to do each one?”
WORRY NOT, MY FRIEND. I’VE GOT YOU!
It’s the entire reason I created The Book Boss Author Planner!
And while the spiralbound version has been delayed due to unforeseen overseas shipping nightmares (don’t worry…it’s coming soon), you can already grab the DIGITAL version of my first-of-its-kind author planner from my Etsy shop. Here’s the link.
If you have used any killer resources, tools, or platforms for authors not mentioned in this post, feel free to drop it (links allowed) in the comments below!
If you know any authors who are desperately seeking resources to help guide them on their author journey, share this post by clicking any of the social links below!
And finally, if you would like to learn more about my author coaching programs, downloadable resources, book editing services, or anything else I offer that may help you write your best book and plan your successful launch, CLICK HERE NOW!