Some fun and useful Utilities for Authors...
Hey, fellow authors! So I got fed up with wading through my gazillion bookmarks, and decided to share some of my favorite utilities here, all in one place... Hope you find it useful! :-)
Know what your rights are worth (Courtney Milan) - how to evaluate a publisher's offer
Top 10 Reasons Why I Would Never Publish Traditionally (Dean Wesley Smith)
Author Earnings (AuthorEarnings.com, Hugh Howey, Data Guy)
Freelancer's Survival Guide (Kristine Kathryn Rusch)
Ultimate Guide to Self-Publishing & Book Distribution Tools (BookBub) - useful comparison of aggregators and distributors such as Smashwords, BookBaby, Draft2Digital, CreateSpace, IngramSpark, Amazon KDP.
Distribution: Getting Global Reach for your Self-published Books (Karen Myers) - great checklist for "going wide" with global distribution
The Liliana Nirvana Technique (Hugh Howey) - explanation of the successful practice of releasing many books at once, for maximum long-term impact
H.M. Ward's Book Marketing Tips - extremely useful blog articles
How Indie Authors Should Price a Book for Optimal Success (Digital Book World) - useful article on pricing best practices
How to Publish an Audiobook: Your Guide to Audiobook Production and Distribution (Written Word Media) - a good start to audiobooks
Helpful Links for Authors (Robert Bidinotto) - a wealth of author utilities links similar to this page
Writers' Resources (Laura Resnick) - a wealth of author utilities links similar to this page
The Hot Sheet (Jane Friedman, Porter Anderson) - essential publishing industry newsletter for authors
Writers Cafe at Kboards.com - the one-stop place for modern publishing
Writer Sanctum - the alternative forum similar to the above.
20BooksTo50K - a high-level motivational and informative Facebook group of both high-achieving and aspiring indies with cutting-edge info for marketing, increasing sales, and self publishing tips.
Amazon KDP - Set up your author account here
B&N Nook Press - Set up your author account here
Draft2Digital - Set up your author account here
Kobo Writing Life - Set up your author account here
Google Play - Set up your author account here
StreetLib - Set up your author account here
Smashwords - Set up your author account here
CreateSpace (Amazon) - Set up your author account here (paperback only) - NOTE: this program has been discontinued and in now merged/transformed into Amazon KDP (see above).
Lighting Source / IngramSpark (Ingram) - Set up your author account here (hardcover and paperback, widest distribution)
Copyright Registration (United States Electronic Copyright Office (eCO), Library of Congress) - register your book here within 3 months of first publication, current cost per book is $30.
Search Copyright Records - US Library of Congress search.
LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number) - Authors: How to Get Your LCCN (Library of Congress Number) for library cataloging.
PCN new account (US Library of Congress) - Get an account here to obtain an LCCN.
Book Tour Coordinators - spreadsheet of various
NetGalley - professional review source
Advance Review Copies: Why They’re Used and How to Create Them (IngramSpark) - useful article on ARCs
LibraryThing Member Giveaway - form to post giveaway (ebooks)
Goodreads Giveaway - form to post giveaway (paper print)
Amazon Giveaway - various
Rafflecopter - paid tool for running a giveaway
HARO - Free publicity connecting reporters and news sources
What is an Author Street Team? (BiblioCrunch) - how to set up a street team of fans to promote your books
The Balancing Act of Author Street Teams - explanation of different street team styles
More on Street Teams:
MailChimp - highly recommended mailing list provider
Setting up MailChimp (Desmond X. Torres on Kboards) - very useful instructions, all you need to know
How to set up an automated welcome email with Mailchimp (WrittenWordMedia) - basic intro article on autoresponder automation
Set up Custom DKIM (MailChimp) - set up account so mailings appear to come directly from your domain, instead of from MailChimp servers.
Email Whitelist Instructions Generator ( Key Web Data LLC, Chris Lang) - handy free tool for generating a page with whitelist instructions for your website
SubjectLine.com - tool to analyze the effectiveness of your email subject line
Mail-Tester.com - Test the Spammyness of your Emails
Free Course: List Building for Authors (Mark Dawson) - how to grow your mailing list
Revue - tool for paid newsletters, free up until 50 subscribers, then costs $5/month for 200 subscribers and increases.
Substack - tool for paid newsletters, free but deducts 10% of your subscription fee after costs.
17 Insanely Actionable List Building Strategies (That Work Fast) - useful article with strategies for building up your mailing list.
Aer.io (Ingram) - Native Retail Network for making a store online.
BookFunnel - upload and store freebie ebooks for mailing list signup incentives
Canva - free tool for creating images to use on social media
How To Make Killer Promo Graphics In Canva (David Gaughran) - useful instructions for making ad graphics
PSD Converter - tool converts your PSD image files to other image formats, such as JPG, PDF, BMP, PNG, GIF, TIFF and more.
Professional Author Fanfic Policies (Fanlore) - various fan fiction policy examples
Book Awards For Self-Published Authors (Publishers Weekly)
50 Book Awards Open to Self-publishers (Alliance of Independent Authors)
Word Trackers, various (Tracy Lucas) - 13 free writing meters, progress trackers, and word counters
Author Wordcount (Wordpress.org) - plugin widget shows word counts for works in progress
5,000 Words Per Hour (Sly Fox Applications) - app to increase hourly word count productivity, on Apple platform
Headline Analyzer (Emotional Marketing Value)
KnowEm Username Search (check for use of brand, trademark, product, etc.)
Bookalyzer - (Author Marketing Club)
PickFu - unbiased feedback on book titles, covers, and other aspects of your project
K-lytics - publishing analysis tool
Mobile-Friendly Test (Google) - check to see if your author website is mobile-friendly, with tips for improvement
UsabilityHub - place to post your website, book cover design, etc., for user evaluation and quick feedback
MacInCloud - virtual Mac service for uploading ebooks direct to Apple
Freebie.Supply (Awesome Free Things for Entrepreneurs & Startups) - useful tools, apps, and widgets
Books2Read (Draft2Digital) - new universal redirect free service for all authors, excellent
MyBookTable Bookstore (Wordpress.org) - plugin to display books with buy links
Kindle Instant Book Preview (Amazon) - widget for a mouse-over preview
bookShow.me - worldwide Amazon URL redirecting book purchase links
Geotargeted Amazon Shortlink - another Amazon URL redirector
Monthly Book Marketing Planner (Penny Sansevieri) - free PDF for organizing your monthly marketing activities, download in exchange for her newsletter signup
BookPromoCoop.com (Gerald M. Kilby) - cross-promote with a huge network of other Indie authors via a painless widget on your website.
Interactive List of Book Promotion Sites & Free Submission Tool (Readers in the Know) - useful tool for keeping track of all promo sites and their criteria
Book Promo Sites (Indies Unlimited) - very comprehensive
Free eBook Promotion Sites (Free & Discounted Books) - very comprehensive
KDP Select Free Promo Resources (The Self Publishing Toolkit)
Patty Jansen's Science Fiction and Fantasy Promo - sign up to be notified about next promo op
Nicholas Erik's List of Promo Sites - list of various promo venues
KDROI (Wesley Atkins) - bookmarklet tool submits both free books and paid books to promo sites, paid
Free Kindle Book Submission Tool (Author Marketing Club) - scroll down
eBook Submission Tool (Book Marketing Tools)
Ultimate List of Sites to Promote Your Free eBook (Kate Tilton)
Where to promote 99 Cent eBooks (Ruth Nestvold)
FREE book listing sites (C. Gockel) - spreadsheet of various
Author Resources (The Kindle Book Review) - various useful
Book Raid - promo site that only charges per click to your featured book, with maximum charge capped at $20.
For Those Who Write 5,000+ words/day (Kboards) - how to increase your daily writing output
The Snowflake Method for Designing a Novel (Randy Ingermanson, Ph.D.)
Virtual Assistants - people who provide services to authors who want some help with the business side of their workload
Critters.org - excellent online workshop
Canva - free tool for creating images to use on social media
MyeCoverMaker - create your own 3-D book covers for boxed sets
3DPackage Online - another 3-D cover tool
Covers Sell Books - create ads with 3D covers out of 2D cover images
Deposit Photos - stock photos, supposedly without the 100,000 usage limit, please verify this
Free Online Logo Maker, Generate Logos Instantly (Launchaco) - useful, easy, and free logo creation tool
Amazon Book Description Generator (Kindlepreneur) - tool for attractively formatting the book description section of your book record metadata on Amazon.
Kindle Best Seller Calculator (Kindlepreneur)
Sales Ranking Chart (Theresa Ragan)
KDP Sales Rank Calculator - estimated unit sales per rank (link seems to be down, but keeping it in case it is restored)
eBook Tracker (Kindle Nation Daily)
NovelRank - Amazon Sales Rank Tracker
KDSpy (Wesley Atkins) - very interesting Amazon multi-analysis tool, paid
KDP Rocket - "reverse-engineers" and analyzes Amazon data, key word searches, categories, paid tool.
Categories on Amazon (keyword charts)
Keywords on Amazon (best practices)
How to Choose Kindle Keywords - useful explanation
YASIV - Amazon "also-boughts" relationship analyzer
Story Tracker for iOS (Andrew Nicolle) - track story submissions to publishers
Kindle Sales Total (Eric James Stone) - Bookmarklet to add totals to Kindle sales stats
Author ROI Calculator (BookBub) - useful Excel spreadsheet for figuring out whether or not you made money from each of your marketing campaigns
Book Royalties Calculator (Shawntelle Madison) - calculator to determine units sales needed to earn out an advance
TrackerBox (StoryBoxSoftware.com) - sales tracking software for all vendors, excellent
Book Report (Liam) - KDP reporting bookmarklet, free if you make less than $1,000 a month, otherwise $10 a month.
ReaderLinks (The Author Helper, LLC.) - "The all-in-one tool for authors who want to simplify their business."
KDPulse - The Complete Kindle Stats Dashboard that Amazon forgot to give us Authors, all your Kindle stats in 1 click.
Afterword Free App for Android (GooglePlay) - check your Amazon KDP stats
BookTrakr - tracks your books on many vendors, includes sales numbers, review rankings, bestseller info
BookTrakker - send your book listings to over 25 online bookselling services
AKreport - The Reporting Tool Amazon Forgot to Give to Publishers