This page features some of my favorite resources for writing and publishing — from how-to books to coaches and marketing resources. This page is updated regularly, so I encourage you to visit often. And, be sure to sign up for my newsletter so you’ll get word right away when new resources are added.
In Your First 1000 Copies, seasoned book marketing expert Tim Grahl walks you through how successful authors are using the online marketing tools to build their platform, connect with readers and sell more books.
Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell
A highly practical guide to developing a plot and crafting a novel that will keep readers turning the page. This is a practical guide full of tips and tools to help you write books that will sell.
Write Your Novel From the Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone in Between by James Scott Bell
James Scott Bell insists the middle of your book is the best place to find your story’s heart and heat. Bell’s “Mirror Moment” is the secret, and he presents a truly unique approach to writing a novel.
On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
This book consistently appears on writers’ recommended reading lists. On Writing is part memoir and part writing guide, full of practical tips on the writing craft, as well as inspiration from one of the masters of the craft.
Veteran literary agent Donald Maass brings together the most innovative and practical information from his workshops and previous books to lead you through every aspect of setting your novel apart from the rest. Includes examples from contemporary writers across all genres and over 70 practical exercises to help you move your writing from blah to breakout.
Self-Publishing Attack! The 5 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws for Creating Steady Income Publishing Your Own Books by James Scott Bell
A simple yet powerful plan for creating an increasing stream of revenue publishing ebooks––and keeping it flowing for as long as you write. This is not a technical, how-to-upload manual but a strategic and businesslike program for long-term publishing success.
Written by respected editor Jodie Renner, this book is chock-full of excellent tips to help you learn to write like the pros and create a compelling novel that sells.
The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi
One of the biggest problem areas for writers is conveying a character’s emotions to the reader in a unique, compelling way. This book comes to the rescue by highlighting 75 emotions and listing the possible body language cues, thoughts, and visceral responses for each.
Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt
Michael Hyatt, former CEO and current Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers, takes readers behind the scenes, into the new world of social media success. He shows you what best-selling authors, public speakers, entrepreneurs, musicians, and other creatives are doing differently to win customers in today’s crowded marketplace.
Writing and Publishing Tools
Book Templates from Book Design Templates
Quickly and easily create beautiful books right in Microsoft Word with these templates designed by Joel Friedlander, The Book Designer. Built to industry-standard specifications, your book will be ready to print when you use these templates. A detailed guide walks you through the steps to use the template, with clear and concise instructions. More than 20 designs to choose from, with ebook templates available as well.
Scrivener from Literature and Latte
If you’re serious about writing, you need Scrivener. This powerful program puts everything you need for structuring, writing and editing long documents at your fingertips. Scrivener is a word processor and project management tool you can use from that first, unformed idea all the way through to the final draft. Outline and structure your ideas, take notes, view research alongside your writing and compose the constituent pieces of your text in isolation or in context. And, you get a ton of value for the low price.
Learn Scrivener Fast with Joseph Michael
Scrivener is the best writing tool on the market today, but anyone who’s used it will tell you it’s SO feature-rich that it can be intimidating to master. Joseph Michael is the guy who’s mastered Scrivener and now trains others to get the most from this powerful tool, through his Learn Scrivener Fast training program.
Web Design/Website Help
I’m going to assume you know how important it is to have an author website — your online “home” where readers can visit to learn more about you and your books. Unlike social media platforms (which includes Facebook), you have complete control over what happens on your website, and you own the content there. Yet launching a website can be daunting, time-consuming, and expensive. But it doesn’t have to be! These days, you do have affordable options that don’t require you to have an IT certification to manage. One note: I know of people who use website services such as Wix, Squarespace, and GoDaddy’s website builder. Since I do not have direct experience with any of these, they are not included in my recommendations here.
WPLaunch is a super-easy, budget-friendly option for getting a quality WordPress site launched within a matter of hours. Four website “kits” are available (blogger, podcast, e-commerce, and professional for real estate agents) ranging in price from $297 to $497. For one price, you get a fully configured website (theme included), one year domain registration, one year of hosting, analytics, and more.
Rainmaker Platform from Copyblogger
I’ve been a fan of Copyblogger for a number of years, and if you’ve never spent time absorbing Copyblogger content, you need to work that into your schedule now (well, after you finish on this page). Once I learned how to use WordPress, and how to set up my own website, I became a true fan of StudioPress themes (more on that in future blog posts). When Copyblogger launched their New Rainmaker Platform, I signed up for the free trial to take it for a spin, and ultimately chose Rainmaker when updating this site. Rainmaker is definitely more of a financial commitment than other website options, but if you’re ready for some advanced features on your website but have minimal technical skills, Rainmaker may be right for you as well. The good news is, you can get a FREE 14-day trial to test it out.
Perhaps you’re still in the writing — or even brainstorming — phase of your book and need some more personalized guidance to finish your manuscript. Below are two very experienced book coaches I recommend.
As a ghostwriter, editor, and book coach, Erin helps bestselling authors, experts, speakers and coaches share their messages effectively and professionally. Her clients include Darren Hardy, publisher of SUCCESS Magazine; Allyson Lewis, a popular keynote speaker and time-management expert; Joel Boggess, an online radio host and life coach; and Dave Burgess, a teacher and educational speaker.
Erin is the author of the Zany Zia’s Hats to Where series for young readers, and Get Personal: The Importance of Sharing Your Faith Story.
If you’re not yet ready to invest in one-on-one book coaching, Erin has a self-paced program for authors that will walk you through the steps of planning a non-fiction book. Learn more about Erin Casey’s 8 Weeks to Authorship.
Jennie Nash is the author of four novels, including Perfect Red, The Threadbare Heart, The Only True Genius in the Family and The Last Beach Bungalow. She is the author of three memoirs, including The Victoria’s Secret Catalog Never Stops Coming and Other Lessons I Learned From Breast Cancer. She has been an instructor at the UCLA Extension Writing Program for eight years and is the founder and Chief Creative Office of The Author Accelerator, an online program to help writers get from inspiration to publication.
Exclusive one-on-one coaching can be expensive, so if that isn’t right for you, or not in your budget, Jennie Nash has a great program called Author Accelerator. With Author Accelerator, you still get personalized feedback and support from Jennie’s team, but within a proven system developed by Jennie herself. Author Accelerator is designed to help you produce a solid rough draft in 6 months. If you want to explore the program, Jennie has 5-part free video series, and three free programs you can test out: The Book Startup Mini Course, The Chapter One Checklist, and The Query Letter Solution. If you decide Author Accelerator is right for you, be sure to tell them Diane sent you!
Do you have a great resource to recommend? If so, email me at email@example.com and let me know.
Full disclosure note: The links associated with some products on this page are affiliate links, which means I receive a small monetary reward when you make a purchase, but your purchase price is not affected in any way. Although I may receive a small monetary reward for referring you to one of these people or resources, I only recommend people I know and trust, and products I have used myself.