Authors often ask us for our favorite self-publishing resources and sources of information for writers. Over the years we’ve accumulated some favorites and in researching this article, came across a few new ones as well. Here’s our list of resources for indie authors. Let us know of your favorites and we’ll add them to the list.
IngramSpark: We’re particularly impressed with the practical and informative resources IngramSpark is adding to their website, and we reference their videos often. On the Resources tab of the IngramSpark website, you’ll find a list of their educational materials, including videos, blog posts from publishing experts, and new this year—podcasts. Their newsletter is also a wealth of information for authors and indie publishers. http://www.ingramspark.com/
Self-Publishing Advice from the Alliance of Independent Authors: The Self-Publishing Advice Centre publishes articles from its members on topics that include Writing, Editing, Design, Production, Contracts, Marketing and more. Sign up for their informative newsletter, which provides weekly doses of timely information. They also produce a Self-Publishing Advice Conference three times a year. https://selfpublishingadvice.org/
Book Architecture: Stuart Horwitz says, “If it has to do with writing, we’re interested.” Stuart offers ghost writing and developmental editing, and everything in between. Authors may wish to check out his blog, which contains many writing tips. Those beginning the writing process will find his Book Architecture trilogy to be very helpful, including his book, Finish Your Book in Three Drafts: Write, Revise, and Complete a Book While You Still Love It. https://bookarchitecture.com/
AuthorU.org: If you’re local to Denver, Colorado, you’ll benefit from regular get-togethers with other authors and indie publishers. If you’re not, you will still benefit from a ton of great information from “Book Shepherd” Judith Briles. Topics include “publishing blunders to avoid,” self-publishing, book marketing, distribution and much more. https://authoru.org/
Enchanted Learning: The website design might look a bit sketchy, but when you’ve just typed “said” for the hundredth time and you’re in need of a new word, this is the place to come. Click on a word to find alphabetized lists of alternatives. (Here are some ways to say “said”: implied, hissed, hooted, asserted, babbled….) http://www.enchantedlearning.com/wordlist/
Chicago Manual of Style: When writing a book, you need a standard—a style guide—for word usage, grammar and punctuation. At 1106 Design, we use the Chicago Manual of Style. It covers everything from punctuation, number formats and abbreviations, to citations, quotations and dialogues. It even covers the publishing process. The online version allows you to easily search for what you need, and it comes with video tutorials and an entertaining Q&A section. There is a subscription, but the price is very reasonable for a resource you will turn to again and again. http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html
Center for Book Publishing: This website provides information, guides, and vendor reviews for everyone, from the novice self-publishing author to the seasoned professional. It provides reviews of self-publishing services, reference guides, and a very comprehensive list of writers conferences and book fairs in the US and Canada. Members also get self-publishing advice from experts. http://centerforbookpublishing.org
Thesaurus.com: Some websites might feed into your need for diversion during a bout of writer’s block. Thesaurus.com is one of them. You’ll go on there looking for another way to say “house” and end up two hours later reading about the history of memes. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. All kidding aside, the word search on this website is powerful and can really help you improve your word usage. You can also switch easily between this website and an online dictionary. http://www.thesaurus.com/
Jane Friedman: Informative blog posts including my favorite—What You Need to Write Your First Book After Age 50—along with online course offerings, books, interviews and advice for writers. With twenty years of experience in the publishing industry, Jane Friedman is the co-founder of The Hot Sheet, the essential industry newsletter for authors. Her newest book is The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press). https://www.janefriedman.com/
Oxford Dictionaries: More than words, this entertaining and informative blog provides inspiration and advice on proper word usage. Their weekly word watch is great for authors who want their characters to be using the latest buzz words. And did you know that “clatterfart” is a synonym for a “talkative person?” Now you do. https://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/
Margaret Atwood: Resources for Writers: A very brief, very quirky page with sage advice from one of our greatest contemporary authors. Possibly speaking from experience, she warns authors about the dos and don’ts of book readings and public speaking, and provides links to an interesting writing course. http://margaretatwood.ca/resources-writers/
GrammarCheck: While no substitute for an editor, this website checks your grammar. We love their great infographics on such topics as making you a better writer, how to use apostrophes correctly, myths about English writing, and much more. https://www.grammarcheck.net
On the 1106 Design website, you’ll find the “How to Self-Publish” page, which takes you through the steps to self-publish a book, and the Resources page, with videos, podcasts and links to information of interest to indie publishers. If you can’t find the answer to your question, then be sure to drop us a line and we’d do our best to help you.