Thursday, June 9, 2016

Top 10 Sites for Indie Authors

Indie authors need all the help they can get. Self-publishing is taxing, time-consuming, and there is a steep learning curve. Fortunately, there are lots of people who are willing to help.

If you are considering self-publishing, you will need an arsenal of tools, tips, and strategies, all of which you can find in the following sites.

Need a free guide on how to get your book into bookstores? Galley Cat has one. Need daily updates on the publishing industry? Look no further than Publishers Weekly. Between these 10 sites you will be well-equipped to take the Indie world by storm.


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1. GalleyCat brands itself as "the first word on the book publishing industry." Here you will find the latest digital and print publishing trends, new books, and authors who might be "the next big thing.” The site features daily updates on Publishing, Book Biz, Reviews, Resources and Bookselling. They also list job openings in the publishing industry and offer courses (right side bar).

Every week Galley Cat publishes lists of the 10 top-selling books in the two major market places for self-published digital books: Amazon and Smashwords. The lists include a live link to the book so readers can buy it, right from the site.

In addition, Galley Cat provides a number of resources for self-published authors among which are: Free Sites to Promote Your eBook, How To Sell Your Self-Published Book in Bookstores, and How to Pitch Your Book to Online Outlets.

2. Publishers Weekly is an institution in the publishing industry. Founded in 1872, it is read by nearly every librarian, publisher, agent, and bookseller in the country. Publishers Weekly articles cover publishing, bookselling, marketing, merchandising, trade news, along with author interviews, people in publishing, and bestsellers.

Keeping up with the times, Publishers Weekly offers several free newsletters, one of which, the Book Life Report, is aimed specifically at self-publishers. In addition to providing the latest news about the ebook publishing industry, self-published authors can apply to have their book reviewed. Advertising space is also available.

3. TheBookDesigner.com  was founded by Joel Friedlander, the reigning "guru" of self-publishing. As a book designer and author, his site provides insights, tips and practical information for the self-published author, as well as offering breaking news about the industry at large. For resources, you cannot do better than this site. From free guides, to book templates, to media kits for your launch and print-on-demand book sizes, this site has everything.

In addition to providing extensive resources, Friedlander compiles a monthly blog carnival, The Carnival of the Indies, in which he gathers posts from all over the web. If you write about self-publishing, you can submit your blog posts to the blog carnival.

4. Jane Friedman.com. Jane Friedman has more than 20 years of experience in the book and magazine publishing industry. She has been a featured speaker in such notable venues at BookExpo America, Frankfurt Book Fair, and Digital Book World. Her site attracts over 150,000 unique visitors per month.

In addition to offering author services such as critiques of proposals, synopses, and query letters, Friedman publishes a free newsletter, Electric Speed, in which she recommends the best digital media tools and resources for authors. (About 2 messages per month.) Her Writing Advice archive provides invaluable tools for every type of writing and publication format imaginable.

5. BookWorks.com describes itself as "a community dedicated to producing, publishing and promoting its members' books, sharing what they learn and helping each other." Core membership is free. As a Core member you will have access to:
  • Works in Progress – Post 2000-word excerpts of your book for peer review 
  • BookWorks Blog – Where industry experts share valuable insider tips, information and how-tos, plus breaking news from across the indie blogosphere, guest writers, as well as archives of all past blog posts organized by topic 
  • Resource Directory— All the essential services; curated, arranged by category & updated frequently 
  • Author Profile – Your customizable online hub & calling card 
  • Community – Interactive, Social & News feed with member controls ... the heart of the BookWorks community 
  • BookWorks BookShop – Where you can showcase & sell your book(s) by linking your titles directly to retailers 
  • Service Provider Members – Everything from freelance proofreaders to web designers who offer services to help Indie authors self-publish 
  • BookWorks’ Learning Tools – “Success Series” white papers, as well as forthcoming podcasts & webinars.
6.  Blog.Smashwords.com. Mark Coker founded Smashwords in 2008 to change the way authors self-publish. By 2014 Smashwords had become the leading publisher of Indie books with a catalog of 336,000 books by over 100,000 authors.

The Smashwords blog was one of the first blogs dedicated exclusively to news and best practices of self-published digital authors. On this blog you will find the latest developments on ebook publication, digital requirements, breaking news, as well as the highly informative surveys Smashwords conducts each year.

7. DIYAuthor.com is a site that “educates and empowers writers — from the curious to the committed — with tools and resources to successfully develop, publish, and market their work with confidence.”

DIYAuthor boasts numerous resources: writing tips, editing, how to design your book (cover and layout), self-publishing platforms, how to promote and market your book, and managing your life as an author. This site is very user friendly and beautifully laid out. You won't have any problems finding the articles you need.

8. IndiesUnlimited.com was named as one of the top six blogs for authors by Publishers Weekly, and that's quite an endorsement. The link will take you directly to the blog, which like all blogs is arranged from most to least recent. But if you click on the Resources tab in the upper left corner, you'll find a long list of useful articles. This site also provides great links for finding reviewers for your book.

9. Author Marketing Experts, Inc. Penny Sansevieri started Author Marketing Experts because, like so many of us, she had written a book and had no idea how to promote it. However, unlike most of us, Penny had a background in marketing, which she put to good use. Her articles are practical, concise, and highly informative. Once you are in the site, look for Categories on the right side bar. These are nicely arranged into marketing, publishing, self-publishing, social media, and writing. You can also sign up for their free newsletter, which I suggest you do.

10. TheCreativePenn.com. Joanna Penn's blog is a wonderful resource for both aspiring and experienced writers. She delivers numerous marketing and self-publishing tools and updates via videos, tutorials, podcasts and, of course, blog posts. The site has over 1000 articles and over 100 hours of audio information, as well as downloads. Overwhelming? Yes, indeed. That's why there is a "Start Here" tab. Start there.

And as a bonus:

ThePassiveVoice.com. Passive Guy (aka David P. Vandagriff) is a lawyer who began blogging anonymously "so his snarky remarks would not show up when opposing counsel performed a Google search." Personally, I find his remarks to be anything but snarky. Although his disclaimer warns readers not to take his comments as legal advice ("get a lawyer") he has some truly valuable insights into contracts as well as self-publishing. (Look in Categories on the right side bar for a full list of topics,) Passive Guy's expertise makes this a popular site. It gets 2.5 million pageviews per year.


2 comments:

  1. Thank you for listing Indies Unlimited! You've got quite a line-up there and we're honored.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm surprised you don't have Foreword Reviews. We've been reviewing indie books for 18 years.

    ReplyDelete

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