Here are some great resources for authors and bloggers, most of which I use myself. One caveat–there are a few items that are shameless self-promostions but most are just great resources free for the taking! Enjoy!
Graphic/Book Cover Design
- PurposeHouse Design: Need graphic design for your book cover or need promotional materials? Visit PurposeHouse Design for the best in creativity and affordability. Okay, this is shameless self-promotion but we stand behind our design.
Web hosting and design
- Bluehost: Need help hosting a blog or website? For as low as $3.95, you can get set up on Bluehost. Bluehost is one of the leading web hosts on the Internet, and they offer 24/7 customer service. They also help you register a domain and install WordPress, and you can get set up in minutes.
- WordPress: This is the free blogging software that I use and recommend. It’s the best. And it’s free. The link will take you to the Bluehost page where you can get a self-hosted blog set up.
- Canva.com: A great, free tool to create graphics for your blog posts, social media pages and more. This is a great tool for simple, crisp graphics for your blog post.
- Compfight: You can use Compfight to find photos for your blog posts. Just be sure to make sure you’re getting the free photos as there are also photos for sale.
- Creating and Maintaining an Editorial Calendar: Focus your blog and generate ideas for a yearly editorial calendar. Plus you can do this all in a few hours. Don’t believe me? Buy the book and give it a try! This is a proven method that is based on the way that magazines set an editorial calendar. You really can’t go wrong. Get organized and focused on your blog mission in the New Year!
- Scrivener: The best writing software ever! A must for anyone serious about their writing. Yes, you can get by with MS Word but this software will help take your writing to another level.
- You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One): This best-selling eBook by Jeff Goins offers practical tips and inspiration for how you can start living the dream and become a real writer by believing you already are one.
- Bird by Bird: Anne Lamott has a wonderfully unique and frank way of describing life, faith, and writing. This book is worth it if for no other reason than it helps you understand that every first draft is terrible. The job of a writer is to keep going.
- The War of Art: This book is a must-read for any aspiring writer.
- On Writing Well: This writing classic is a must-read for any aspiring author who wants to write nonfiction.
- On Writing: This more contemporary approach to writing by Stephen King is essential for anyone who wants to be a novelist or writer of fiction.
- Mailchimp: Super easy to use and free for the first 2000 subscribers. Ideal for writers and artists who just want to share their art.
- Aweber: Has some technical advantages over Mailchimp but starts out at $19/mo and takes some getting used to. Great for small business owners.
- Feedburner: A free solution from Google. For many, this does the job.
- SumoMe: Easy to use tools for growing your email list (pop ups, scroll boxes, header bars) on WordPress (via a plugin) or any website (with a snippet of code). Works with Mailchimp, Aweber and other providers.
Online shopping carts & product distribution systems
- E-Junkie: Easy-to-use online shopping cart. Great for selling eBooks and other simple products. Super cheap and has an easy-to-use affiliate program to help sell other people’s stuff.
- Paypal: Basically an online bank account that makes it easy for you to receive payments.
- Clickbank: A more advanced shopping cart than E-Junkie with a pretty sweet affiliate tracking system.
- Permission Marketing: Seth Godin is renowned for turning traditional business thinking on its head. In his classic, Permission Marketing, he puts the customers, not the marketers, in control of how products are advertised.
- Platform: Michael Hyatt tells you exactly how to build a powerful platform that will get you heard in today’s noisy world.
- Walking on Water: In this classic series of essays of faith and art, Madeleine L’Engle explains that writers don’t write to get published. They write simply to write.
- How to Write a Book: Donald Miller, bestselling author of Blue Like Jazz, tells in this blog post how he writes a book.
- Audible: Listen to books on the go. You get a free book when you sign up! Check them out.