One of my favorite things about self-publishing is the community. While there’s no guidemap for guaranteed success, there are so many authors out there who continue to share their tips for newbies. The community is also home to innovators who develop helpful tools that make authors’ lives easier.
When I first started self-publishing, I compiled my own list of the best resources that helped me along the way. I’m sharing these (and more) self-publishing resources for you below.
Influencers and Websites to Follow
- Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing Formula | On the SPF podcast, Mark Dawson and James Blatch interview top influencers in the industry and share tips about how to make a living through self-publishing. They also have a number of courses and resources for indie authors.
- The Book Marketing Show | Kindlepreneur’s Dave Chesson interviews some of the top book marketing pros in the industry and shares tips about how to market self-published books.
- Sell More Books | Hosts Jim Kukral and Bryan Cohen help new and experienced authors stay up to date with self-publishing news, and they share strategies to market and sell more books.
- The Creative Penn | Joanna Penn interviews authors, editors, and other industry experts.
- I Should Be Writing | For aspiring fiction writers, hosted by award-winning science fiction and fantasy writer, Murr Lafferty.
- The Book Designer | Practical advice to help build better books, and informative articles about self-publishing.
- Orna Ross | Orna Ross is a successful novelist and poet, and she is a co-founder of ALLi, the Alliance of Independent Authors. She is widely recognized as one of the most influential people in the industry.
- Carla King | Carla King is an author and she runs the Self-Pub Boot Camp, which is an educational program of books and online courses.
- Brian Meeks | In addition to being an author, Brian Meeks is considered an expert in Amazon ads. His courses show authors how to analyze, optimize, and strategize Amazon ads to maximize their ROI.
- Jane Friedman | Jane Friedman has 20 years of experience in publishing, and she specializes in business strategy for authors and publishers. She is also the co-founder of The Hot Sheet, which is an essential newsletter for authors.
- A.G. Billig | A.G. Billig’s Self-Publishing Mastery is the “independent writers’ home,” where authors can find industry news, helpful resources, and self-publishing services.
- Self-Publishing with Dale | Dale Roberts shares his experiences as a successful indie author through his YouTube channel, which covers topics like how to self-publish, how to build a profitable author brand, and the latest news in the industry.
- David Vandagriff | Known as the Passive Guy, David’s blog shares up-to-date news from the publishing industry.
- Joe Konrath | Joe Konrath is considered a pioneer in self-publishing. His blog covers writing tips, self-publishing topics, and more.
- Kristen Lamb | Kristen’s focus is how to develop a strong author brand and drive more book sales.
- Writing Excuses |A fast-paced, educational podcast for writers hosted by Brandon Sanderson and Mary Robinette Kowal, among others.
- The Fussy Librarian’s Author Newswire | The Fussy Librarian has a section on their website dedicated to authors. Subscribe for email notifications to get articles about self-publishing news, writing tips, and more delivered to your inbox.
How-To Guides and Helpful Articles
- 101 series: how to self-publish your books (Jane Friedman)
- How to rebrand by changing your titles and book covers (Joanna Penn)
- Turning your manuscript into a paperback (Hugh Howey)
- Book cover design mastery (Kindlepreneur)
- How to successfully take a series “wide” after Kindle Unlimited (Susan Kaye Quinn)
- Kindle Unlimited/KDP Select vs. going wide: which is better for self-published authors? (PublishDrive)
- How to set up a mailing list for authors, get more subscribers, and sell more books(PublishDrive)
- How to get book reviews and build an ARC (Advance Review Copy) team (PublishDrive)
- Your ultimate guide to front matter and back matter (PublishDrive)
- What’s the best ebook publishing platform for you (PublishDrive)
Ebook Formatting and Conversion Tools
- PublishDrive Ebook Converter | FREE online tool to convert your manuscript from Word DOCX format to MOBI and EPUB. No registration required, and no need to download any software.
- Calibre | A powerful tool for editing, creating and converting ebooks and much more.
- Reedsy Book Editor | A handy production tool that allows you to write and export a beautifully typeset book.
- Scrivener | An all-in-one product where you can outline, structure, write, and export your ebook manuscript in many different formats.
- Vellum | Create beautiful ebook manuscripts with formatting options like drop caps and decorative chapter headings.
- Atlantis Word Processor | A standalone word processor with plenty of user-friendly features. It can easily create ebooks with just a few clicks.
- Sigil | A multi-platform EPUB editor for advanced authors with HTML knowledge.
Beat Sheets and Plot Planning
- Scrivener template for romance novels using Gwen Hayes’ “Romancing the Beat” story structure.
- Jami Gold’s worksheets for writers. Includes beat sheets, story checklists, and more
- Dozens of beat sheets based on Blake Snyder’s “Save the Cat” principles.
- Free resources from Jonathan Maberry, including beat sheets, novel outlines, fight scene samples, and more.
- Derek Murphy's 24-chapter plot outline.
- Chris Fox’s “Write Faster, Write Smarter” series (topics include: how to write a book that sells, how to write faster, essential marketing tips, and more)
- Gwen Hayes’ “Romancing the Beat: Story Structure for Romance Novels”
- Patty Jansen’s “Self-Publishing Unboxed”
- Blake Snyder’s “Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need”
- “Write. Publish. Repeat. (The No-Luck-Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success)” by Sean M. Platt, Johnny Truant, and David Wright
- Brian Meeks’ “Mastering Amazon Ads: An Author’s Guide”
- Randy Ingermanson’s “How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method”
Other Tools, Apps, and Services
- Amazon Blurb Previewer | WYSIWYG editor to easily format blurbs for your Amazon book pages.
- Amazon Keyword Organizer | With this tool, you can enter a list of keywords and phrases, and it will optimize placement and space usage while maintaining best practices for keywords.
- Grammarly | Online proofreading tool that quickly checks grammar, punctuation, and style.
- CreativeMarket | Affordably priced design assets, including premium fonts, stock photos, social media templates, Photoshop actions, and more.
- DepositPhotos | Huge collection of high-quality stock photos.
- Canva | Free web-based design tool for creating book covers, social media graphics, and more.
- BookFunnel and ProlificWorks (formerly called Instafreebie) | Platforms for distributing free ARC books, reader magnets, etc.
- Reedsy | Marketplace for editors, designers, and other publishing-related professionals.
- Pressbooks | DIY book design software to format ebooks and print books.
Forums, Message Boards, Groups, and Organizations
- Kboards’ Writers Cafe
- Support for Indie Authors Goodreads Group
- Reddit: r/selfpublishing, r/selfpublish, and r/eroticauthors
- Facebook Groups: 20Booksto50k, The Writing Gals, Writers Helping Writers, Horror Writers Association
- ALLi | The Alliance of Independent Authors is a non-profit professional association for self-published authors. ALLi has a self-publishing advice center, weekly podcast, virtual online conference, and more.
- IBPA | Through the Independent Book Publishing Association, authors can connect with like-minded peers, share tips and learn from others on members-only discussion forums, attend an annual conference, get access to free webinars, and more.
- Author’s Guild | As one of the oldest professional organizations for writers in America, Author’s Guild has long been advocates for writers. They hold seminars, work to establish fair royalty rates, assist authors with issues of copyright and contracts, and more.
- 20booksto50k | Organized by author Craig Martelle, 20booksto50k is the gathering of self-publishing’s best hosted in Las Vegas, Nevada. If you’re an indie author interested in attending conferences, this one should be at the top of your list.
- London Book Fair | While its focus is mostly traditional publishing, London Book Fair has a growing indie scene and it’s a fantastic place to network with like-minded authors.
- Self-Publishing Advice Conference | A free online conference for self-published authors hosted by ALLi.
- San Francisco Writers Conference | This four-day conference draws over 500 attendees and presenters who gather to celebrate craft, commerce, and community in the publishing industry.
- Smarter Artist Summit | A casual, smaller conference where indie authors can network and learn how to take their self-publishing to the next level. Note: this conference has been renamed and rebranded to the StoryShop Summit. Visit their website for more details.
- Career Author Summit| An immersive, two-day conference and networking event in Nashville, Tennessee where you can learn how to become a career author.
- National Writers Union Conference | For writers in all genres and media, with several chapters across the US.
- Frankfurt Book Fair | One of the world’s largest trade fairs for books where authors, bloggers, self-publishers, podcasters and passionate writers can network and more.
Traditional Publishing Conferences
These conferences have more of a traditional publishing presence, so they’re great places to start if you’re looking to break into the trad publishing scene:
- SFWA Nebula Conference | A yearly conference from SFWA that brings together science fiction and fantasy authors for workshops, special events, and networking.
- StokerCon | Organized by the Horror Writers Association, StokerCon is an annual conference that features panels and readings, educational programming, an awards ceremony, and more.
- Thrillerfest | A premier conference for thriller authors, agents, fans, and industry professionals.
- RWA | The annual Romance Writers of America conference allows career-minded romance authors to network, attend educational presentations, and connect with editors, agents, publishers, vendors, and more.
- Killer Nashville | A yearly conference created by author/filmmaker Clay Stafford to bring together forensic experts, writers, and fans of mystery, thriller, and suspense. Attendees can expect intimate workshops and panels, as well as networking with a close-knit community of writers.
This list of self-publishing resources will be updated regularly, so be sure to bookmark this page!
A Note from PublishDrive: Hope you enjoyed our list of self-publishing resources! If you’re ready to distribute your ebook, consider using PublishDrive. We can distribute your title to over 400 online stores, including major retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play Books, and more. Sign up below to get started.