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List of Online Resources and Blogs for Aspiring Authors

 

 

For aspiring authors, there are a lot of great resources available online to better understand the publishing and marketing aspects of becoming an author. The information below is a list with a brief summary of ten websites that offer free (at least partially free) information and educational resources. Most of these websites have some form of a paid product or service, but they all have free information available as well — mostly through joining their respective newsletters. Let’s take a look at each of them.

 

Marketing / Social Media Advice

Social Media Examiner {Link}

This website is a great resource for learning about marketing, particularly how to integrate social media into a workable strategy. Authors can certainly gather information from the website, but the scope of Social Media Examiner is for the purposes of online business and entrepreneurs in general. They produce and provide a free annual report called “Social Media Marketing Industry Report” that delves analytically, visually, and demographically into the latest trends on how businesses operate on social media platforms.

Ad Espresso {Link}

If you are considering marketing on social media, Ad Espresso is a great resource for authors (or even just businesses in general) who wish to learn about Facebook Ads. Now, Ad Espresso does have products/services available for purchase, but this website offers a good deal of free literature under their “Academy” tab. That tab offers free, in-depth guides and e-books that help explain how Facebook Ads work and how to optimize them for better results.

Melyssa Griffin {Link}

If you are looking for marketing advice on Pinterest, Melyssa Griffin is a leading expert in marketing for that platform. She formerly called her website “The Nectar Collective.” Griffin has paid courses, but useful and helpful information is available if a person joins her webinars, podcasts, and/or newsletters. While her marketing advice could help authors in general, she increasingly places an emphasis on teaching how to turn non-fiction works into online courses in order to sell them passively. 

Later {Link}

Another niche marketing resource is Later, which specializes in providing information for how to interact and use Instagram. They have a paid product that is a social media scheduler for Instagram. But their website offers a blog with a ton of informative articles on best practices and the latest trends for Instagram.

 

Indie Authors Advice

Your First 10k Readers {Link}

Nick Stephenson is an author and online course maker who runs the website. Your First 10K Readers contains a mix of “how to” blog articles and life stories from up-and-coming indie authors. Stephenson has a great resource called “Book Magnets,” which highlights a common marketing technique of providing a free downloadable e-book in exchange for obtaining a reader’s email (in order to market to them later). Stephenson is also knowledgeable about using Facebook Ads for authors. His framework is to start small and scale to larger daily amounts once successful.

The Book Designer {Link}

Joel Friedlander is the person behind this helpful website, which posts several blog articles each week. Friedlander has paid products related to interior font design/layout for print books and e-books. His newsletter is a little spammy, as it includes a lot of affiliate sales from other vendors. But the website itself contains nice blog articles dealing with a wide range of publishing industry topics. The site is mostly geared towards indie authors.

Jane Friedman {Link}

Jane Friedman offers consulting and books as paid products. But the site has an active blog with articles on author-related topics. It still contains general publishing blog entries, but over the last 12 months, the site has morphed more into a niche site for writing advice as opposed to just publishing help. Whereas Joel Friedlander’s site deals more with “how to publish,” Jane Friedman’s site focuses more on “how to write” — including topics on technical writing, grammar, novel structure, writer’s block, genre writing, tone, and character perspective.

The Creative Penn {Link}

Joanna Penn is the person behind “The Creative Penn.” She is a fiction writer — mostly in the thriller genre. But she is also a non-fiction course developer, primarily teaching how to become an indie writer/publisher. The site has blog entries on four topics: writing, self-publishing, marketing, and entrepreneur.  

 

Traditional Publishing Advice

Build Book Buzz {Link}

This website operated by Sandra Beckwith is similar to the four just mentioned, however it leans more on advice for how to become traditionally published (literary agents, manuscript editing, etc.). Since it is not geared to indie authors, the marketing advice also steers more into the traditional routes of marketing (interviews, book fairs, etc.) with less discussion on social media options.

Reedsy {Link}

Reedsy provides a variety of free publishing courses — courses that are delivered in small chunks to your email over a 10-day period. This process is sometimes called drip delivery. The courses are under the Reedsy Learning tab on the website and they spell out several topics within publishing, including writing, editing, design, marketing, publishing, and distribution. Reedsy makes money by selling access to a marketplace, where you could find someone professionally to help you with any of those steps in the publication process. But the free courses are very useful in themselves. Furthermore, Reedsy offers a free file converter — one that can take a Word document and transform it into an epub (e-book) file.       

 

Summary

Well, that wraps up a look at various websites geared towards helping aspiring authors. As you may have noticed, indie authors take on some (or all) of the responsibilities themselves that publishers perform. For an understanding of the concepts behind traditional, hybrid, and indie publishing, check out this link to another resource from Jane Friedman. Thank you for reading. Join us next time, as we delve into exploring another technology question.

Bret Fearrien's picture
Bret Fearrien
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205 S. Central Ave., Medford, OR 97501
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