Welcome fellow authors!
I love helping authors succeed in publishing and marketing books. As an author myself, I know that a big part of success is having the right tools. On this page I’d like to share the tools I use for publishing and marketing our books as well as some that we would recommend for new authors.
My goal is to help YOU in every way I can, so if you don’t see something listed here that you want to learn about, contact me and I’ll look into helping you find the tools you need to succeed!
Here’s Our List…
Dropbox – A must-have if collaborating on any projects. This is great to use when working with an editor, cover designer, etc. on your book project.
Evernote – One way to keep track of your research for your book. Also, I uses Evernote to keep track of her business receipts for taxes.
Dragon Naturally Speaking Software – This is a voice dictation software that both dictates what you say and can enable you to control your computer with your voice.
Backblaze – We highly recommend that you also have a system you use to backup your computer. As an author, your business depends on the files you save to your computer. I use Backblaze and recommends it. Thankfully she hasn’t had to use it yet! Currently it’s pretty affordable at only $5/month…which gives you peace of mind that your files are safe.
We also have a list of books we use and recommend for fiction authors here.
AudioBooks – Once you have finished the hard work of writing your book, you should also consider publishing an AudioBook version as well. It is easier than you think and we share how to do it in our book here.
Writing a Book Proposal – Interested in getting traditionally published? Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Tyndale Publishers, shares tips on how to write a book proposal for both nonfiction and fiction here.
Book Templates and Formatting
Joel Friedlander’s Book Templates – While we use our own templates for most of our publishing needs, we have used Joel Friedlander’s templates for Children’s books (you can watch our video tutorial about it here). We have also started using his print templates as they provide a much more professional look. He has some great templates and we highly recommend them.
Kinstant Formatter – If you are looking for a simple solution to formatting your Kindle eBooks, check out Kinstant Formatter. I have has them and recommend them for an affordable solution.
We have a list of recommended outsourcers that you can use for editing available here.
Self-Editing – Find out our 5 steps to self-editing your work.
Fotolia – Royalty free photos you can download and pay as you go. This is a great option if you don’t need many photos at first.
Dollar Photo Club – Royalty free photos for just $1 each. The best part? You get the print quality version of the photo for just one dollar. We are members here and love that you can download a print quality picture for such a great deal. We haven’t found a better price anywhere. You can also use these pictures for your blog posts, social media posts, etc.
Image Monthly: Get 25 royalty free images every month, plus quote backgrounds, quotes, and more.
Cover Templates – We start all of the book covers for our print books with CreateSpace’s free cover templates. You can build the correct size template for your exact book dimentions free at: https://www.createspace.com/Help/Book/Artwork.do
Cover Mania – 60 ready made cover templates all easy to edit with or without Photoshop. It is the biggest collection of premium eBook cover templates on the market. You can create unlimited book covers for all your publication needs using these premium made templates. We have even used them for some of our books and have had professional designers ask us who created them for us! See all 60 templates you get here.
Killer Covers – An option for eBook covers.
If you want to hire a designer, but don’t know who to trust – consider crowdsourcing sites like 99 Designs and Crowdspring. Simply name your price, post your project and then watch as graphic designers bid on your job. The best part? Love your book cover design or get your money back!
- 99 Designs – One crowdsourcing option.
- CrowdSpring – Another option to find graphic designers for your book covers.
Photoshop is our favorite graphic editing tool. We use it for all of our book covers as well as our other graphic editing needs.
Author Marketing Club – You get a TON of value from the Author Marketing Club premium membership. Highly recommended. Get a sneak peek into their membership and see my review on YouTube here. One of my favorite tools they offer is the ability to find and contact Amazon Reviewers. And download their free eBook on Amazon descriptions here.
How to Get Honest Reviews and Endorsements Toolkit – This is a toolkit we have put together with the checklists, templates, spreadsheets, and other resources we use for collecting honest reviews for our books.
My Book Mastermind – Kristen Eckstein has a book marketing membership group where she shares a new book marketing strategy for you to study and take fast action on each month. There’s also a monthly live Q&A call where you can get your questions answered.
Book Marketing Spreadsheets – Every author needs a plan when it comes to marketing their books. In our training, Building A Book Marketing Plan, we’ll walk you through marketing your book before, at, and after publication as well as creating an ongoing book marketing plan that will work for you. This is the process that we use for our own books, and we share our templates with our newsletter subscribers free of charge.
Webinars on Air – Use this tool to host your own Google+ Hangouts as live webinars.
GotoWebinar – One of the best tools for hosting online webinars.
Reader’s Favorite Book Awards – We have personally applied for and received an award from Reader’s Favorite and recommend them to other authors. Receiving a book award can give you publicity and boost your credibility as an author. You can also add “award-winning author” to your bio!
Booker List (coupon code ATRAIN) is a paid membership site that gives you access to the names and contact information for those who book guests on national TV and radio shows. There is currently a list of over 100 shows on their site, but their database continues to grow. If your goal is to be booked on TV or radio, check out their site. (Note: When you enter the promo code ATRAIN at checkout, you will get a special discount of $50 off the monthly membership or $600 off the annual membership.)
CrossReads – A membership that helps Christian authors marketing their books.
Signature Speech Wizard – I own this software and used it to help create her presentations for both live events and webinars.
Bluehost – We use Bluehost to host some of our websites.
Servint – If you need more robust hosting, we recommend and use Servint’s VPS hosting. Their support is excellent and they will even migrate your site to their hosting for FREE. This is what we now use for this website.
WPCurve – You can use this service to outsource website tasks. This can free up your time and save you the headache of figuring out issues yourself.
Studiopress Genesis Themes – Great themes, with SEO in mind, that we use. In fact, the theme for this site is their Education theme.
AutoSiteSaver – If something would happen to our website, we would lose our business. Therefore, we decided to have extra backups created via AutoSiteSaver. It was a bit confusing at first, but Lynette was so helpful to get everything set up and customized for exactly what we need. This will also completely back up our members area which other backups did not. Totally worth it for peace of mind that your business can be restored if needed.
Amazon s3 – A very cheap way to host videos and file downloads.
LastPass – I wouldn’t do business without a password manager like LastPass now. This keeps me sane by managing all my logins, passwords and also allows me to give access to outsourcers without giving them my password. Plus, I can access it on any computer and on my phone. There is a free account and a paid account. Watch the tutorial here.
WP Courseware – a plugin that makes it easy to host your own online courses.
MemberSonic – a membership plugin that is easy to install and integrates with most payment processors.
SonicIPN – a helpful plugin to use if you have multiple membership sites using the same Paypal account.
Amember – The membership software we use for this site. It is more complicated to get set up at first but has a lot of great features we like.
E-mail List Management
LeadPages – We LOVE using LeadPages to create e-mail optin pages, squeeze pages, sales page, and more very quickly. We’ve used LeadPages to create this e-mail optin page and to customize our thank you page as just two examples. Sign up for their free weekly webinar where you can learn great marketing information you can use even if you don’t sign up for an account. You can also use their free templates and edit the code yourself.
HootSuite – Love HootSuite for organizing our social media. You can add up to 5 accounts for free and update Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn all from one spot.
We also use Gremln to schedule recurring tweets.
100+ Inspirational Graphics Bundle – Get 152 graphics with inspirational quotes that you can use on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and more! Plus, it will save you tons of time creating your own.
Audio and Video Marketing
Camtasia – This is not cheap, but is something I use all the time! If you follow my videos on Facebook and YouTube, you know that I create a lot of tutorials where I show my screen. I’ve done that using Camtasia. You can create similar videos with the JingProject.com under 5 minutes for free, or start out using the pro-version of Screencast-O-Matic, it was lower quality, but more affordable.
Logitech HD Webcam – I use mine to make “talking head” HD videos with the convenience of a webcam. Highly recommended.
Audacity – The best audio editing software out there…and it’s free!
Blue Yeti USB Microphone – Originally I used a Plantronics headset which cost around $30-40. It worked well for me and is adequate to get the job done. However, I eventually upgraded to a higher quality microphone – the Blue Yeti USB Microphone. If you have the money to pay $99-150 for the Blue Yeti, it will be worth the investment as you can use it for your audiobooks, podcasts and much more.