Thursday, June 9, 2016

Top 10 Sites for Indie Authors

Updated 4/7/23

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 find traditional publishers that don't require an agent? Authors Publish 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.


1. 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. 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.  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 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. Build Book Buzz Sandra Beckwith is an author who started her career in public relations after getting a journalism/public relations degree. On her website she provides a helpful series of articles that can be downloaded as PDF files, including: Author book signing tips, How to set up Google and Twitter alerts, How to write a tip sheet, 6 surefire ways to promote your novel, 5 tips for writing a book announcement news release that will get used by the press, and more.
6. 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. Authors Publish Magazine provides publishing opportunities, plus tips on how gain readers, win over editors, and build a long-term writing career. Completely free via their email magazine.

8. 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. 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.


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

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


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