Resources for Authors (indie-published or otherwise)*
A Word of Caution:
If you are wanting to publish your book, please research the options very carefully. There are many ways to do it: traditional publishing, smaller independent publishers as well as the do-it yourself indie route. Whichever you choose we would advise authors against paying any money up-front to publish - you will rarely get a return on your investment. These so-called "partnership publishers" often just prey on authors' desires to get into print - their business model is based on getting money off authors , not book sales.
Forums and blogs:
Kboards – the largest forum for self-published authors
Absolute Write Water Cooler – a large forum great for finding critique partners. Also has a section for self-publishing, but isn’t as informative as Kboards
The Passive Guy – lots of useful info on self-publishing
Steven Kay’s blog post – with lots of useful links for self-publishers
Joanna Penn – another successful self-published author with lots of information
David Gaughran – very useful information on all things indie
Blog post about tax – catherineryanhoward.com
Some useful stuff about al aspects of indie-publishing including typesetting/formatting – thebookdesigner.com
A place where indie-authors share tips: publetariat.com
Advice on copyright: https://www.sheffieldauthors.co.uk/copyright-infringement
Useful tool to remove pirated versions of your work: https://www.blasty.co/
Alliance of Independent Authors: https://selfpublishingadvice.org/join-the-alliance-of-independent-authors/ ALLI is a non-profit members' organisation for authors, who provide all sort sof guidance and support for members. Worth a look to see if it could help you.
Promotion & Advertising – best used with free and £0.99/$0.99 sales:
Bookbub - the most effective of all promotion sites. Low acceptance rate.
E-reader News Today – very good promotion site that take on more books than Bookbub.
Kindle Nation Daily – very good promotion site. Also have a sister company called Bookgorilla.com.
Kindle Books and Tips – another promotion site with decent results.
BKnights – runs a service on Fiverr to advertise books. Excellent for free books, not quite as good for 99p books.
Book Barbarian – excellent for advertising science fiction and fantasy books, but they only take that genre
Ebook Soda – run by a UK based author, so they have more UK subscribers
Ebook Bargains UK – UK based
Free and Almost Free books – UK based.
The guide here is a must for any author, even if you are getting someone else to do your cover for you. It is the best explanation we have found on what works.
We like to support local talent. Sheffield has loads of talented illustrators who you might want to work with. Sian Ellis for example: http://sianellisillustration.co.uk/
This is a really cool, free (for basic stuff), DIY book cover design site: https://www.canva.com/templates/book-covers/
Stock Image Websites:
Image Manipulation Software:
GIMP (there are lots of tutorials on Youtube for GIMP and photoshop)
Cool Stuff: have a look at this for creating 3D images of your books.
Website Building and Designing:
Have a look at this site to help you choose which website builder is best for you. It contains some really useful advice: https://websitesetup.org/best-website-builder-tools/ and is very easy to use and intuitive and https://sitebeginner.com - a helpful step-by step guide to setting up a Wordpress website
There is also some good advice here: https://makeawebsitehub.com/blog/ . At: https://www.bestcloudtools.com/ web developer, Janz Nordman gives useful advice on tools for websites and reviews them. You might also find this
This is a useful guide to blogging: Podia
Writing workshops and spaces:
The Writers Workshop is a physical and virtual space to support writers at all stages of their writing journeys. There are associates include coaches, faciltators, editors and publishers. They provide one-to-one and group support services via Zoom and from The Writers Workshops in Orchard Square, Sheffield.
Editing and Proofreading:
Writing Craft books and resources:
If you have a few hundred pounds to spend on a course, then Guardian Masterclasses are worth a look. Well run and professional.
James Wood - How Fiction Works is excellent, especially recommended for anyone writing literary fiction.
Sandra Newman and Howard Mittlemark’s book How Not to Write a Novel is a light-hearted, but good point to start for someone just embarking on a writing journey
Harmony Kent – How to Polish Your Prose An Indie-author who has shared her knowledge. Especially good for self-editing.
Julia Casterton – Creative Writing – A Practical Guide. Some great advice on different sorts of writing plus exercises for writers to try and the best chapter ever on what makes a good short story.
*Disclaimer – there are loads and loads of other cover designers, editors, and promotion sites. These links are intended as a starting point. Also look through the Kboards Yellow Pages for more self-publishing related services: http://www.kboards.com/yp/ It’s worthwhile doing your own research to find what works for you. Our advice would be to be very careful before shelling out any money on trying to get your book known. There are no magic bullets in indie-publishing and promotion. We have experience of successful promotions and of wasted money; it is hard to give a firm steer.
Ask what you get for your money and how many sales you’d have to make to get it back. What is your aim? Is it to get reviews or to improve sales? If it is the former, are there other ways of getting reviews, through your own KDP promotions at no cost, or from bloggers who may have an interest in your kind of work. Promotion sites will not work for a weak book, and even if it is a strong book it may not be a good match for the promotion site’s readers or mailing list. Who are your readers and where on the web do they hang out?
There are lots of people out there happy to take your money off you with no guarantees of returns. The stories of people hitting the big-time are exceptions. There is no substitute for graft. Often the best thing you can do is to just get on with book number two, then book number three. And don’t give up the day job until that mega advance arrives!