Are you on the verge of publishing? Or are you looking at your already-released book, wondering if you’ve done everything you can? Things are changing fast, and authors are often left with too many choices, and not enough information. Here are the publishing resources that I’ve found useful:
I teach classes about the publishing process often, looking at the journey from manuscript to finished book from one angle or another. These are the slide shows (which include lots of links) that accompany some of my most popular talks:
Shared with the Sno-Isles Library’s #WriteNow program, Winter 2016-17
Shared with The Seattle Public Library’s #SeattleWrites program, Fall 2016
Shared with The Seattle Public Library’s #SeattleWrites program, May 2016
Here are the companies, articles, blogs, and services I’ve worked with or reviewed.
Writing and Editing
- The First Five Pages and The Plot Thickens (and really anything) by Noah Lukeman Read my review on Goodreads
- Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Brown and Dave King
- The Pacific Northwest Independent Editors Guild is a nonprofit organization that connects professional editors in the northwest with clients, training, and resources. They have a free, searchable directory of vetted editors for all types of projects and services.
- The Editorial Department offers a variety of services. Amanda Bausch from TED did my copyediting for The Author’s Guide to Marketing.
- The Editorial Freelancers Association offers a national directory of freelance editors.
- Wattpad Want some quick reader feedback? Share a chapter on this online writing community, and get feedback from real readers.
- APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur: How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki (Read my full review on Goodreads)
- 2017 Writers Market offers (mostly) up-to-date lists of agents, publishers, and articles to guide writers through traditional publishing.
- Step-by-Step Pitches and Proposals and How Can I Find a Literary Agent by agent Chip MacGregor and Holly Lorincz
- Seeking traditional publication? Subscribe to the amazing, resource-laden blogs from agents Kristin Nelson,Rachelle Gardner, and Chip MacGregor
- Self publishing? Start with this post from Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware, which has a comprehensive and balanced list of questions, resources, tools, and links. Check out David Gaughran, The Book Designer, and The Passive Voice (warning: he’s prolific)
- Agent Query or Query Tracker for (mostly) up-to-date information on literary agents.
- Publisher’s Marketplace has information on agents and publishers, as well as a free daily email tracking trends and publishing news. A monthly subscription is required to access the full Deals database.
- Preditors and Editors and Writer Beware both provide feedback on unethical agents, publishers, vanity presses, marketing companies, contests, and more. Before you hand over your money to anyone, run them through these sites.
- Independent Book Publishers Association is a gold mine for professionally self-publishing authors, with a full roster of discounts, educational tools, conferences, and contests.
- Looking for a great cover designer? Check out Tiger Bright Studios, 1106 Design, and The Thatchery.
- Feeling brave (or cash-strapped) and want to keep cover design costs low? Try Canva or Cover Design Studio.
- Don’t forget about interior design.
- Hire a professional like Write Dream Repeat or Keith Snyder at Typeflow Designs.
- Ebook distributors like Smashwords will format your e-book manuscript for free (if you follow their instructions).
- Use an inexpensive print template from Book Design Templates.
- For ebooks, dive right in with popular programs Sigil or Calibre.
- Make it official by registering your book:
- The best place for an aspiring writer to both learn and network is a writers conference. Check out this directory from Shaw Guide to find the event near you.
- The Author’s Guide to Marketing: Make a Plan That Attracts More Readers and Sells More Books (You May Even Enjoy It) by Beth Jusino.
- The Zen of Social Media Marketing by Shama Hyder Kabani. (This is the book I reference in The Author’s Guide to Marketing, and the source of the A-C-T marketing principles.)
With so many new services and companies popping up every day. who should you trust? Experiences vary, but here are the teams I’ve worked with or plan to work with, and recommend:
- Ready for some hands-on marketing help? The folks at Ryder Author Services are experts at everything from social media to project management.
- Netgalley: electronic galley (or new release) distribution to influential readers
- NoiseTrade: book giveaways (tipping optional) to get your work in front of even more readers. It’s all about the discoverability…
- Goodreads: a community of 20 MILLION book readers. Don’t miss the Giveaway program, and sign up for their Author Program.
- Bookbub: currently the best bang-for-the-buck in terms of online advertising, timed to a special sale or giveaway
- Publisher’s Weekly, the respected trade journal for trade book publishing, has free e-newsletters for general publishing news, children’s publishing, religion publishing, cookbooks, comics, self publishing, and publishing trends
- Writer’s Digest has a “New Agent Alert” series on its website, which is a great way to find agents who are actively acquiring authors and building their lists.
Writers Tools, PNW Edition
(Last updated February 2017)
Is there a great book or resource that is missing from the list? I’d love to hear about it! Submit your own recommendations, and I’ll add them here. (Note: please don’t be spammy. Don’t recommend the company you own or work for. Don’t recommend your own book or blog. )