It’s 2016. The publishing world has changed. Opportunity is knocking. It’s a great time to be an indie author. There are lots of amazing resources and tools available to help you build your publishing empire. Some of the best self-publishing resources are listed below. They just might help you jump-start your indie author career.


If you haven’t written a novel before, you’ll probably want to understand a few things before you start writing. If you do a few things before you start writing, it can save you a lot of time, a lot of frustration, and you will very likely end up with a much better book that readers will love.

Genre Research

Visit the Amazon Kindle Store and get very familiar with the genres. Pick a genre that you want to write in and study it. If you want to write a book that satisfies readers and sells a lot of copies, become a master of your genre.

Read Write to Market by Chris Fox (affiliate link)

Pantsers vs. Plotters

Pantsers like to start writing and let the story unfold as they type. Plotters like to outline their story before writing. Try them both. You might be surprised.

Read Writing into the Dark by Dean Wesley Smith
Read Outlining Your Novel by K.M. Weiland
Read Take Off Your Pants by Libbie Hawker
(affiliate links)


There are great tools available to organize, outline, and structure your stories. You can keep it simple and use notecards, paper, word processor, or spreadsheets. Or, you can use any of the amazing apps like Scrivener, StoryShop, or Aeon Timeline.

If you like mind mapping, you might want to take a look at XMind, MindNode, Scapple, or FreeMind.

Staying Organized

Many of the tools used to keep your ideas organized and outline your story can also be used to write your novel. Find out what system works best for you and get to work.

Here are some basic applications that can help you stay organized and produce great stories – Evernote, Google Drive, OpenOffice, Pages, Numbers, Word, or Excel.

Your Author Website

A website is crucial to your success as an indie author. You can use it to collect reader emails and share information with your fans.

Get your domain name at Namecheap, web hosting at Siteground, buy the X Theme for your WordPress website, and Mailchimp or ConvertKit for email marketing (affiliate links). Learn how to build an awesome author website here.

Great book if you want to learn
how to succeed in the self-publishing industry.


Most of us have a natural instinct for storytelling. However, writing a novel is a bit more complex. It’s important to understand storytelling and the craft of writing as it relates to novels. You want to make sure you write a good story, well-written, that caters to your specific readers. The books below really helped me understand what it takes to write a good story.

Writing Software

It can be difficult to manage all the characters, plots, chapters, and scenes when you write a novel. Writing software can give you the help you need to stay organized and keep writing.

In addition to the tools listed above in the Prewriting section, you can try these great writing apps – Scrivener, Ulysses App, or Storyist.

Editing Your Novel

You want to publish the highest quality book you possibly can. That’s what editing is all about. Run your novel through your built-in spelling and grammar checker, then run your content through Grammarly, the Hemingway App, or Pro Writing Aid for a more detailed analysis.

Software is not a replacement for human editors. Check out these resources for high-quality editors to help you publish the best novel possible – NY Book Editors, Alida Winternheimer, or Jason Whited.


Your book is done. Now what? Get it ready for publishing.

Book Covers

People will judge your book based on the cover, so get a good one at 99Designs, DIY Book Covers, or The Book Cover Designer.

If you have design skills and you want to do-it-yourself, take a look at Canva, Adobe, or My eCover Maker.

Format Your Novel

Your novel has to be in a specific format to publish on different platforms. While you can use Word, Storyist, Ulysses, or Scrivener to format your novel, there are other tools.

Check these out for more options – Draft2Digital, Sigil, Jutoh, DIY Book Formatting, and this series of articles on formatting.

Where to Publish

The majority of ebooks (over 70%) are sold on Amazon – Kindle Direct Publishing followed by iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Google Play Books.

However, there are more resources to make publishing easier and tap into new markets. CreateSpace. Smashwords. Draft2Digital. Audible. BookBaby.


After you publish your book, it’s time to let people know that you exist. The hurdles you will overcome include getting people to know your book exists, getting people to read your book, getting people to review your book, and getting people to share their email address with you.

Your Author Website

Your author website is the center of your online universe. Everything you do is to get interested readers to visit your website and sign up for your email list.

If you want an in-depth resource on author websites, visit this page. Otherwise, here are some resources that can help you build your fanbase – ConvertKit, Mailchimp, TinyLetter, OptinMonster, and BookFunnel.

Finding Readers

A common way to find readers is to publish your book on Kindle Select so people can read it for free on Kindle Unlimited. Offer another free gift (book or otherwise) to readers, Include a link back to your website and build your audience.

Many authors are having success with Facebook Ads. And check out Ebook Booster too. If you can get a promotion on BookBub or Buck Books, you’ll get a nice boost in sales and gain some new readers.

Hook Hill Publishing


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