50 Resources for Indie Authors in 2016
Let’s face it, in order for indie authors to get published these days they have to do more than write a great book.
You also have to know what’s selling, what isn’t, and how to market!
So with that in mind, I’ve pulled together a list of resources for authors to use, because when it comes to getting published in 2016, every indie author needs a village to help them get there. And even though 2016 may be more than half way over, you can still be a star!50
Smart Publishing People for Indie Authors to Follow in 2016!
Your homework is to check them all out. You don’t have to become a die-hard, because obviously that would be a lot of information to digest, but get to know them so you feel confident in the resources and information out there, so you can go back to these great people when you need them.
- Janet Reid, Literary Agent: I met Janet years ago at a writers conference and have been following her ever since. Her information is solid and she’s a great agent, too. jetreidliterary.blogspot.com
- Nathan Bransford: Nathan always has great publishing information and insight into the industry, definitely a must for indie authors, check him out when you get a chance. http://blog.nathanbransford.com/
- KM Weiland: KM’s website, helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com, is aptly named. She’s the award-winning author of the bestselling Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel. She’s an invaluable mentor for writers who want to become indie authors — follow her for rock solid tips to improve your writing skills. www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com
- BookWorks: Run by Betty Sargent, who has a very impressive publishing resume, it’s the new go-to for all things publishing (both traditionally and self-published). Their blog, bookworks.com, is fantastic, helpful and the entire BookWorks team works really hard to get out only the best and most helpful information on self-publishing for indie authors. They have worked to create a community where authors and professionals can come together to share guidance and insights — follow them to become a part of this community.
- BiblioCrunch: Run by Miral Sattar, BibiloCrunch is a fantastic portal to find great service providers that have been vetted by the BiblioCrunch staff. They also have a fab #indiechat every Tuesday at 4pm EST. Scope out bibliocrunch.com too.
- Kristen Nelson: She’s not just an agent but also a very smart publishing person who blogs on all things publishing-related. Don’t miss her take on latest trends, what’s selling and what isn’t. http://nelsonagency.com/pub-rants/
- Mark Coker: Founder of Smashwords, Mark has become the voice of indie authors. He works tirelessly to give authors the best possible experience on his site: Smashwords.com. He’s also a great speaker (I always love his sessions) and he’s a fan of hard data. The numbers never lie and he often releases real-time stats on book publishing that will blow your mind.
- C. S. Lakin’s Live Write Thrive: Author, editor and writing coach C. S. Lakin loves helping aspiring indie authors get their manuscripts ready for publication. On Live Write Thrive, she writes about proper scene structure, character development, editing and crafting a fantastic story. www.livewritethrive.com
- Nina Amir: I’ve known Nina for years. She’s always sharing some of the best information on marketing, writing a book (finishing a book, yah!), and other author-inspired posts. howtoblogabook.com
- Writer Unboxed: Writer Unboxed began as a collaboration between aspiring novelists Therese Walsh and Kathleen Bolton in January, 2006. They often dissected complex books and movies, analyzing what made them work so well, and had even written and published an article about Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings. When a second article idea was rejected, they decided to create their own forum where they could publish their observations anytime they wished. Writer Unboxed was born. They’re thrilled the site now includes contributors from all walks–from the not-yet-published to bestselling authors and industry leaders–and that it’s grown into such a rich community for writers. http://writerunboxed.com/
- Helen Sedwick: When it comes to legal and the legalities of book publishing Helen is your go-to. Can I legally use this song? What if I use the term Kleenex in my book, will I get sued? Oh, and speaking of books, Helen’s got a great one on all things legal and publishing. And it’s not a bunch of legal jargon, it’s a simple to understand guide to keep you out of the courtroom — a MUST for indie authors doing it on their own. http://helensedwick.com/
- Funds for Writers: Started by C Hope Clark, who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many times, FundsforWriters is a great online resource for writers and aspiring indie authors. Their emphasis is on finding money to make writing a realistic career. Of course, you’d write anyway. That’s the way of a writer. http://fundsforwriters.com/
Great Writing and Publishing Communities for Indie Authors in 2016
Your homework is to check them all out and feed off the positive energy and great tips they all have to share!
13. IBPA: Bar none, IBPA is a fantastic organization, it’s worth the small sign up fee to be a part of this great group of people. They also have a yearly conference, lots of webinars and a great magazine. www.ibpa-online.org
14. Nonfiction Writers Association: If you write non-fiction, this is a fantastic group to be a part of. They also have a yearly conference and a website that’s packed with helpful information and tips for new and established authors. http://nonfictionauthorsassociation.com/
15. Goodreads: Part social network, part platform building Goodreads is a fantastic resource for all things book-related. Go there, start a profile (once you do, upgrade to an Author Profile) and start networking with readers, reviewers and other authors!www.goodreads.com
16. Write On by Kindle: Write On is a place for all the people who make great writing happen. Here, you can get support and provide feedback at every stage of the creative process. You can read works by other authors, give feedback, post your own work and see what people have to say. Getting the right input early on is vital and this site can help get you there! https://writeon.amazon.com/
17. SheWrites Over 27,000 writers of all levels of expertise have joined this buzzing community, founded by author Kamy Wicoff. At She Writes you can create your own profile, build your network, share your work, get expert advice and feedback and discuss all types of things in the forum. http://www.shewrites.com/
18. Kindle Boards: This site has an insane amount of information in it all around publishing, eBook and book promotion. Stay focused only on the conversation strings that are current and where you see active participation. http://www.kboards.com/
19. Prosperous Writer: Christina Katz’s’ Writing and Publishing School blog focuses on helping writers follow through when giving up seems like the only option. I also love her “Writer Mamas” section directed at moms who want to grow their career and still make time to be a parent. Yes, apparently it is possible for women to do both. http://christinakatz.com/
21. Alliance of Independent Authors: Dedicated to indie authors, this great organization not only has a very active blog but also a host of events and some great marketing advice!http://selfpublishingadvice.org/
22. WattPad: Wattpad is a great place to tell stories and help them go social. Hailed as the world’s largest community of writers and readers, members are free to post and read original stories and engage in conversation with each other. This is a great platform to build buzz around your writing. https://www.wattpad.com/
Staying on Top of Publishing Changes
If you hit a publishing snag, or are just committed to rocking your chosen industry as an Indie author (you are, right?!) these sites and individuals will certainly help you along the way!
22. Publisher’s Lunch: They have a fantastic newsletter you can subscribe to which is all about publishing changes, what’s new, what’s happening, what’s being sold and what’s coming up. It’s $20 a month to subscribe if you want the paid version which also gives you access to their extensive database. It’s worth it for Indie authors since you’re not being backed by a publisher who should be tracking all of this. http://lunch.publishersmarketplace.com/
23. Digital Book World: This site is packed with blog posts, some of them from guest experts, on all things publishing and marketing. It’s free to sign up and every day you’ll get a great email packed with links to helpful blog posts and insights — this includes a lot of new information on indie publishing too so don’t miss it! http://www.digitalbookworld.com/
24. BookLife: Sponsored by Publisher’s Weekly, BookLife is dedicated to news and education for all things indie author. http://booklife.com/
25. Writer Beware: If you’re going to be in this industry as an Indie author you should know that like every market, there are people who will want to take advantage of you. Know who they are before you sign on the dotted line. This site has been around for years and is a great and invaluable resource for authors.http://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/for-authors/writer-beware/
26. Galley Cat: Another great site for all things publishing news, I’m addicted, you should be, too. http://www.adweek.com/galleycat/
27. JA Konrath’s Blog: JA is a super outspoken advocate for indie publishing. An author himself, JA is not shy about taking to task people and companies who want to take advantage of the little guy. Some of the sparing he does on his blog is also quite amusing! http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/
Genre Marketing Advice Blogs
If you’re an indie author working on your book marketing, you may looking for blogs in a specific genre of writing. Check out some of these ideas — all of them are fantastic. And keep in mind that you can learn from each blog, so don’t always feel like you need to stick with just your genre. All the genre fiction folks are super smart marketing people, too.
28) Sisters in Crime: Great organization, I’ve spoken here as well (at their conference). Lots of great info on writing, and publishing. And, as I mentioned, don’t forget about their conference which is fantastic. http://www.sistersincrime.org/
29) International Thriller Writers: A collection of thriller writers from across the globe. http://thrillerwriters.org/
30) Marketing for Romance Writers: As I said earlier, it doesn’t have to be in your genre for it to apply. They have so much good info on book promotion that it’s worth checking out regardless of what you write. I’m also amazed at what I learn from this great blog site: http://mfrw.blogspot.com/
31) Romance Writers of America: The first time I went to one of their conferences I was a speaker and I was shocked at how much information was shared in sessions at these events. In fact, I’d go to this conference even if I wasn’t speaking there (and I have!). The romance peeps are known to be super savvy and many of the bigger publishing trends start in the romance genre. You can sign up as a member and also get access to their classes and fabulous magazine. https://www.rwa.org/
Great Marketing & Social Media People
If you’re looking for blogs in a specific genre of writing, check out some of these — all of them are fantastic. And keep in mind that you can learn from each of these, so don’t always feel like you need to stick with just your genre. All the genre fiction folks are super smart marketing people, too.
32) Seth Godin: Who needs no introduction because he’s just rad. http://www.sethgodin.com/sg/
33) Writers in the storm: Probably one of the busiest blogs out there around marketing, this site is packed with great information, highly valuable guest posts and great marketing insights. Full disclosure, I write for them to and love it, I’m always so honored to be a part of their site! http://writersinthestormblog.com/
34) The Book Designer: Joel’s passion for his topic is unmistakable, he shares great information via his blog and Twitter feed. His blog, thebookdesigner.com, designed to help support self-published authors is a fantastic resource if you want to publish the right way. http://www.thebookdesigner.com/
35) Indies Unlimited: With over 5100 blog posts and nearly 64,000 comments, this site has got some mega-information just waiting to be delved into. Spend a few minutes on here checking out the various categories and topics and oh, be sure to sign up so you know when new stuff is posted. http://www.indiesunlimited.com
36) Anne R. Allen Anne’s blog, annerallen.com, which she writes with Ruth Harris, is full of unmissable tips for new writers. They both are industry veterans who are dedicated to helping authors create the best possible work AND engineer a successful launch. They are an invaluable resource for authors, both indie and traditionally published. www.annerallen.com
37) Jane Friedman I’ve known Jane for a long time and her information is consistently fantastic. She is always offering helpful insights into publishing — what works and what doesn’t, and she spends time researching publishers, marketing ideas and often has some great guests who contribute their knowledge to her blog, www.janefriedman.com.
38) Build Book Buzz: Sandra Beckwith has some of the best information out there and she stands behind everything she produces. Her information is timely, easy to implement and very, very helpful. And with a name like Build Book Buzz, how could you resist, right? http://buildbookbuzz.com/
39) Mari Smith: Follow Mari for everything Facebook — she simply rocks it on Facebook. She also tweets out new Facebook tricks, changes and updates to all things Facebook. And of course, you should also follow her on Facebook! On the web, she’s at: marismith.com. Oh and if you ever get a chance to see her speak in person, do it. She’s as good in person as she is online!
40) Kim Garst: I had the pleasure of seeing her speak recently and she’s as informative in-person as she is on her site. She’s the founder of Boom! Social and though she focuses on personal branding, she’s also the go-to for things like Pinterest, Periscope and all things social. I love her blog posts. Always helpful and insightful! www.kimgarst.com
41) Jay Baer: Here’s another guy who is on it when it comes to all things social media. He’s also an author (his recent book Hug Your Haters). Additionally, he’s got a fantastic podcast about marketing and social media. I’ve met Jay a few times, he’s an incredibly personable guy, which comes through in his blogs, social media and his podcast. www.jaybear.com
42) Peg Fitzpatrick: I got to know Peg through her work with Guy Kawasaki. Peg is a social media goddess and never ceases to amaze me with her mega-creative, super insightful posts. I really love her stuff. If you want to stay current on all things social media, and get some great ideas in the process, Peg is your gal. Find her on the web at pegfitzpatrick.com
43) Frances Caballo: Frances began as a reporter, moved into public relations, but found her love in social media. As a rock solid Social Media Strategist/Manager for authors, she stands among my top 30 websites for independently published authors. Find more goodness on Frances’ site, socialmediajustforwriters.com.
Best Podcasts for Writers & Authors
As an indie author, a great way to improve your writing is by listening to podcasts in your “spare” time. Here are some great options you can listen to while at the gym, on the train, hanging out at home, etc.
44) Writing Excuses: This podcast is all about how to write amazing fiction. Hosted by Brandon Sanderson, these focused, fast-paced fifteen minute episodes will teach you not just the basics, but also advanced techniques from New York Times bestselling authors.www.writingexcuses.com
45) Novel Marketing: In this podcast, bestselling author James L. Rubart and I talk about how best to market your fiction. We talk about how to “build a platform” that attracts publishers, but we also get into advanced techniques to boost book sales. Disclaimer: This is my podcast, so I may be a bit biased. www.novelmarketing.com
46) Author MBA: This podcast focuses on how nonfiction authors can grow a business around their books. They interview top experts that even a novelist could benefit from. (Note: although this podcast ended in late 2014, I’m still including them because there is so much great information for authors and writers.) https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/authormba-conversations-about/id714292885
47) The Self-Publishing Podcast: This is flat out a great show, helpful, insightful and funny. Tune in when you can, I’m sure you’ll get hooked! www.selfpublishingpodcast.com
48) Grammar Girl: Another super popular podcast. These short episodes will clear up grammar questions, like when to use “their” and when to use “they’re.”http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl
49) Expert Entrepreneurs in Publishing With Viv Oyolu: I had the honor of being on this show and have been addicted to it and Viv’s advice ever since. This podcast from across the pond connects listeners with some of the top experts in writing and marketing.https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/dream-corner- with-viv- oyolu/id588188243?mt=2
50) This is Your Life With Michael Hyatt: Michael Hyatt started off by talking about platform-building for authors. Since then, he has tackled topics on productivity (always a good one), leadership, and success (yah!). http://michaelhyatt.com/thisisyourlife
This article originally appeared as a series on www.AMarketingExpert.com.