Self-Publishing Advice

The Top 5 Author Resources You May Have Overlooked!

How much time have you spent, since you first decided to be an author, scouring the internet for author resources to help you improve your writing craft and write an amazing book (and future bestseller)?

You’re certainly not alone. It’s one of the questions I’m asked most often on social media, in comments, and during live events.

And guess what? I can totally relate. If you could only see how many pages are bookmarked on my browser…

In fact, recently, I was on one of my weekly live events (follow me for announcements @writeyourbestbook), going on and on about all these amazing resources I now have access to, thanks to my career as an author coach when one of my followers said I should write a blog post about my favorite resources for authors. 

The problem was, I have well over a hundred of them bookmarked on my browser, and while some are totally AMAZING…some are just…okay.

So, I spent the better part of the past week pouring through those resources.

I immediately eliminated the outdated resources, the dead links, and the pages that had not been updated in years. Next, I wrote off the ones I just sort of like, but they don’t do anything all that special.

When I was done, I realized I was down to FIVE of the absolute best author resources from all across the interweb.

And now, I’m going to share with you the 5 absolute best, cream of the crop, best bang for your buck, killer online resources for authors (oh, and…maybe a bonus resource thrown in at the end if I’m feelin’ froggy)!

Note: Each of these I have personally used, so I feel 1,000% confident vouching for them, even those with which I happen to have an affiliation.

Another Note: I’m also legally obligated to state that some of these resources MAY be affiliates of mine, which means I may get a small percentage commission from the provider that DOES NOT come out of your pocket or your purchases whatsoever.

With the legalese out of the way…here are the BEST ONLINE RESOURCES FOR AUTHORS (in no particular order), used by and approved by Yours Truly (and thousands upon thousands of authors)!

What it is: Celebrating their SIXTH year online, this amazing resource really IS the one-stop for writers when it comes to all the information and tools you need when planning and preparing your novel! This blow-your-mind tool helps you create multi-dimensional characters with depth, set a cohesive and easy to follow timeline for your plot, build an incredibly stunning and transportive world, and everything in between!

My favorite feature: Gun to my head, the character builder tool. It walks you through every step of creating characters who are well-developed, who are relatable, and who experience emotions that will transfer to your readers. Be sure to use this coupon code at checkout for 25% off: WRITEYOURBEST25

What it is: While technically not just a resource for the craft of writing, it still fits, in my book. Why? Because you can use the “as you write” feature to catch all those pesky little mistakes we all make, especially as new writers, when it comes to spelling, grammar, and punctuation. And besides, self-editing BEFORE you hire a pro editing service (like Write Your Best Book) is a crucial part of the process. 

My favorite feature: Aside from the obvious spelling and grammar checker, I highly recommend getting the Chrome extension! This will help you catch those same pesky mistakes while writing anything online from emails to social posts, newsletters to blogs, and beyond! 

What it is: What ISN’T it? This should be the one resource you bookmark AND add to your favorites bar! There are blog posts, tutorials, courses, and tools for every step of your journey, including character name/idea/pen name generators and even a PDF to ePub converter tool! There is even a section of their site dedicated to helping you connect (as a member) with ALL the vetted, trusted professionals you will need to work with along your journey (and, yeah, I’m listed under Editors)!

My favorite feature: I highly recommend you sign up for their free writing courses on any given topic, which come to you as weekly newsletters (kind of like the one I wrote for them on writing suspense novels)! 

What it is: It’s a brand spankin’ new (early access only as of date of post) program developed and brought to you by Dave Chesson, Founder/CEO of Kindlepreneur. I was blessed enough to have the opportunity to beta test Atticus this year (as an author), and when I say “Scrivener Who?” I mean, you will see for yourself exactly why plotting, outlining, and writing your manuscript should NOT require an hours long course to learn the program! This baby is going to be THE answer to the age-old question, “What program should I use to write my manuscript?” 

My favorite feature: Isn’t even out yet, but I just HAD to mention it here. Soon, Atticus will feature a collaboration feature which will allow you to, yes, collaborate AS you write and finalize your drafts between your own desktop and that of your co-author, editor, and even your beta readers. For reals.

What it is: A central hub for all the learning your brain can handle when it comes to being a self-published author, from brainstorming to launch and beyond. Like Reedsy, they have different platforms within the main hub, which you can visit depending on where you are in your journey, from help with craft to publishing and even marketing. Don’t forget to check out their online courses!

Favorite Feature: The Write Life blog, hands down. When planning, developing, and writing your book, you cannot beat their seemingly never-ending list of blog posts on just about every struggle you might encounter when putting your bestseller together.

BONUS RESOURCE

What it is: While not technically an “online tool,” I’d be remiss not to mention my own little foray into the world of author resources. Christmas 2020, I was relaxing by the fireplace, scrolling around the web, looking for a planner I could use with my author coaching clients, since so much of my program depends heavily on a productive writing schedule and planning/preparing for your launch from the first word you write (seriously – you need to start that early)! Lo and behold…none existed ANYWHERE! So, I spent 8 months designing and developing The Book Boss Author Planner, which will walk you through every step you MUST take to be a successful author from brainstorming to developing to writing to launching and everything in between. Not only does it have all the standard calendar pages you’d expect from an Erin Condren or Emily Lay type planner, the first third of the notebook is filled with all my best tips, tricks, and advice on writing your best book, branding, publishing, and early marketing, all of which I typically only share with my coaching clients! The digital version is already available in our Etsy shop and our website, but come early December 2021, the spiralbound version will make its worldwide debut. 

Favorite Feature: Hands-down, I’d have to say the layout. I took great pains to make sure The Book Boss Author Planner is put together in a way that walks you through every step to launching with success, from nailing your best story idea, all the way through planning and promoting your launch! 

I recommend using all (or as many) of these resources to improve your writing craft and to help you write your best possible book. That’s why I included free trials and/or discounts whenever possible.

Results may vary…blah, blah, blah…

However, I can tell you this much: if you try to do it yourself and never lean on the current, useful resources, which are available to you, you’re going to have a tougher row to hoe (as we say in the south). 

But your best bet is to learn from my biggest mistake when first began writing all those years ago, which was to dive right in, assume a good story and a natural talent with words was all I needed, and try to rush toward the finish line. 

Using the best resources available to me, once I learned this lesson the hard way, was an absolute game changer for me, and I truly believe it’s the key factor that helped me become an award-winning, bestselling novelist. 

Have I left out any other must-use online resources for authors? Feel free to drop ‘em in the comments below! 

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