KBoards Writers’ Café is my go-to spot for staying up-to-date on what’s going on in the industry. You could spend hours perusing through the threads and learning from fellow indie authors. I don’t personally participate in the forums, but I love to lurk and learn!
The 20BooksTo50K Facebook group is a wealth of information and a great place to ask questions.
The SPF Community Facebook group is another place you’ll find fellow indie writers who are more than happy to help answer questions and provide feedback.
The best advice anyone ever gave me when I first got started in self-publishing was to look into Mark Dawson’s courses. If you aren’t ready to dish out the money for a course, he even has a free Masterclass on building your mailing list.
After being impressed by the free course he offered, I signed up for Self Publishing 101. If you have a finished manuscript and aren’t sure what to do next, the course walks you through it step by step. There is so much conflicting information out there, and I found the information in this course to be well worth the money spent. Yes, the course itself is great, but what I am eternally grateful for is the communities Mark and his team have built on social media. It is a super supportive environment where past and present course members can ask questions in a private setting, share successes and support one another. Some of us have split off into our own private sub-groups, and that has been my absolute favorite part. I’ve made so many (online) friends who are genuinely interested in helping one another succeed.
The great thing about his courses is that once you’ve taken it, you receive all future updates for free. So let’s say, for whatever reason, I decided to wait a couple of years to implement his strategies—but by then there’s some new way of doing things. The great thing is that it won’t matter. Because I’ve already taken the course, I’ll have the latest info on marketing strategies right at my fingertips.
My absolute favorite podcast is The Creative Penn Podcast by Joanna Penn. Honestly, even though I’ve never met her, I just love her as a person. She is so upbeat and optimistic about self publishing as an industry. Seriously, I could probably listen to her read her grocery list and be entertained. Thankfully, though, she also provides great content. She features fantastic interviews with indie and hybrid authors and talks about everything from writing to marketing and so much more.
Another podcast I listen to regularly is – surprise! – Mark Dawson’s Self Publishing Formula Podcast (I promise I’m not getting paid to endorse him – he’s just that good!). It is full of interviews that offer a wealth of information and inspiration.
I’m old school and use good ol’ Microsoft word for writing my manuscripts. However, sometimes I like to change things up and use Dragon NaturallySpeaking voice transcription. It’s a fun way to change things up when I grow tired of staring at a screen. It’s great because I can sync it up with an app on my phone and walk around my room speaking into my cellphone rather than sitting in front of a computer to type.
Mailing List Provider
Most indie authors swear by using mailing lists to build a following. After researching the various providers, I finally settled on MailerLite. It’s affordable and I feel like you get a good bang for your buck.
My latest obsession is K-lytics. If you are a data geek, this will knock your socks off. Through K-lytics, you can access genre reports and detailed analysis of the market. It’s very useful for researching categories you’re interested in writing in as well as figuring out the best categories to place your current works in. I can’t recommend it enough.
Social Media Post Design
Canva is a fantastic resource for creating free or affordable designs for social media, blog posts, newsletters and more. I could spend hours and hours playing around with it (okay, okay – I do spend hours and hours playing around with it!).