Vera Nazarian

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Author Utilities

Written By: Vera Nazarian

Some fun and useful Utilities for Authors…AuthorUtilities

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

General Knowledge for Authors:

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)

Bookbub Promotion Requirements / Pricing / International Retailer Links

Ultimate Guide to Self-Publishing & Book Distribution Tools (BookBub) – useful comparison of aggregators and distributors such as Smashwords, BookBaby, Draft2Digital, CreateSpace, IngramSpark, Amazon KDP.

CreateSpace vs. IngramSpark – Part 1Part 2 (Giacomo Giammatteo) – detailed comparison and contrast of the two POD service providers.

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

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

Self-Publish Your Book Here:

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

Smashwords – Set up your author account here

Reviewers, Bloggers and Book Tours:

Book Blogger Directory

Networked Blogs – Paranormal Romance

Book Tour Coordinators – spreadsheet of various

NetGalley – professional review source

Advance Review Copies: Why Theyโ€™re Used and How to Create Them (IngramSpark) – useful article on ARCs

Giveaways:

LibraryThing Member Giveaway – form to post giveaway (ebooks)

Goodreads Giveaway – form to post giveaway (paper print)

Amazon Giveaway – various

Publicity and Street Teams:

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 โ€“ an indie authorโ€™s secret weaponBloggers, Reviewers and Street Teams?Why I Donโ€™t Like Street Teams

Mailing Lists and List Building:

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 Spam Filter Trigger Words To Avoid In Your E-Campaigns

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

Hosting Venues to Store or Direct-Sell Ebooks:

Aer.io (Ingram) – Native Retail Network for making a store online.

BookFunnel – upload and store freebie ebooks for mailing list signup incentives

Payhip

Gumroad

Fans and Fanfic (Fan Fiction):

Professional Author Fanfic Policies (Fanlore) – various fan fiction policy examples

Cracking the Wattpad Code

Book Awards for Indies:

Book Awards For Self-Published Authors (Publishers Weekly)

50 Book Awards Open to Self-publishers (Alliance of Independent Authors)

Countdown Clock Widgets:

Countdown Clocks Widget (free)Widget 2

Word Count and Word Trackers:

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

Various Analysis Tools:

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

Buy Links and Universal Link Redirects:

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

Promotion, Cross-Promotion, and Book Submission Tools:

BookPromoCoop.com (Gerald M. Kilby) – cross-promote with a huge network of other Indie authors via a painless widget on your website.

Bookbub Promotion Requirements / Pricing / International Retailer Links

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

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

Tell Us About Your Free Titles! (Kobo Writing Life) – form to submit perma-free Free First in Series titles to Kobo

Writing Productivity and Increasing Output:

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.)

Writer Critiquing, Writers Workshops, and Beta Readers:

Critters.org – excellent online workshop

Scribophile

CritiqueCircle

Book Cover Design:

James at GoOnWrite.com / Humble Nations – excellent book cover design

MyeCoverMaker – create your own 3-D book covers for boxed sets

3DPackage Online – another 3-D cover tool

27 Superb Sites With Royalty Free Stock Images For Commercial Use (Verve)

Deposit Photos – stock photos, supposedly without the 100,000 usage limit, please verify this

Ebook Formatting and General Guides:

Smashwords Style Guide – How to Format Your Ebook (also free on Amazon)

Smashwords Book Marketing Guide – How to Market any Book for Free (also free on Amazon)

Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success – Smashwords (also free on Amazon)

Stats and Analysis Tools for Sales Rank Tracking:

Sales Rank Express

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

Categories and Keywords:

Categories on Amazon (keyword charts)

Keywords on Amazon (best practices)

How to Choose Kindle Keywords – useful explanation

Wordtracker – Keyword Research Tool

YASIV – Amazon “also-boughts” relationship analyzer

Submission Tracker:

Story Tracker for iOS (Andrew Nicolle) – track story submissions to publishers

Sales Statistics and Royalties Apps and Trackers:

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.

KDPulse – The Complete Kindle Stats Dashboard that Amazon forgot to give us Authors, all your Kindle stats in 1 click.

Afterwordย  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

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13 Comments

  1. Lina Gimble says:

    Great list! The Mac site is for those that don’t have macs already. I’m not in the ibook library, but I should be I suppose. Another thing to figure out. Any good resource for figuring out how to do that??

    Li

  2. Gwynn White says:

    Thank you! Great list. Appreciate it.

  3. […] shivers of wonderment all up and down my aging spine in order to compile a list of what she calls Author Utilities: widgets, directories of promotion sites, book cover tools, and more. Hours of intrigue for […]

  4. Thanks for the mention, Vera! I will have to wade through your list soon to see what I can glean from it in return. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Neal Martin says:

    Pretty awesome list of resources, many of which I found to be helpful as well as interesting. This post must have taken a lot of time to compile. Thank you for doing it!

  6. Miral says:

    Thanks for the mention of Bibliocrunch, Vera!
    I also discovered some new tools I hadn’t heard of before! So thanks for that!

    Miral

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