13 Great Resources for Self-Publishers
Updated: May 14, 2021
Hello dear readers! I get so many questions from people who plan to self-publish their work. I am always happy to answer them, too. (And if you have questions, feel free, as always, to Tweet me, leave a comment below, or drop me a line!)
I thought I would put together a list of my most-commonly referred to resources for self-publishing authors. Bookmark this blog and keep this list for yourself!
When you're seeking development, line, and copy editors, and proofreaders:
When you're looking for editorial pros you can trust, this should be your first click. They also provide a list of what services should cost, and how long they should take, which is instructive and should be your first read before you begin hiring freelancers. It is the bible of freelance rates!
A great place to look for publishing pros, and Reedsy verifies profiles, so you'll know you're better protected from people who may not actually be everything they say they are.
Well of course, if you're seeking an editor, why not start with yours truly? If I don't toot my own horn, who will?!? I'd love to help you with your book, and if I'm not the right person for you, I'm glad to point you in the direction of others who may be!
When you're seeking designers:
As with their editors, you can also find vetted book designers here. And if you're self-publishing, you absolutely cannot skimp on design!
I adore Clare Finney's work. After a career designing books for Writer's Digest, she's launched her own business. Her designs are gorgeous, and she is an absolute dream to work with. We are blessed and lucky that she is a freelancer now! I cannot recommend her highly enough.
Renaissance man and all-around helluva guy Bob Eckstein designs fantastic book covers. Bob is one of my favorite artists and writers of all time, and you'd do well to have your cover done by him! Easy to work with, talented, skilled, knowledgeable, and also funny as heck to boot! Again, there's no universe in which I couldn't recommend Bob more highly.
For all things children's books:
When you need to find an illustrator for your children's book, or any information or advice on this segment of the book publishing game, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators is the first place you should look. They have a full and diverse list of artists and illustrators, and targeted resources and advice for self-publishers. Their annual membership fee is nominal (and a good business deduction!). Worth every nickel if you intend to self-publish children's books.
When you're seeking help marketing and selling your books, and navigating social media:
Keri Barnum and the team at New Shelves are an absolute godsend to self-publishers. Their weekly webcast, Free Advice Fridays, is a must-watch, and a gift to the self-publishing community. They help self-publishers market, distribute, and sell sell sell! their books. If you want to be as successful as possible as a self-publisher, I recommend you hiring them. They get your books on shelves, and in the hands (and Kindles) of readers.
For many of us, social media feels labyrinthine and gives us sweaty palms. Even if you don't hate or aren't befuddled by it, perhaps you just don't have time as a self-publisher to manage it for yourself. If any of this is you, look no further than Mark It Done. Sharon Drapeau, Mark It Done's principal, is a social media and branding genius, and wonderful to work with. She is yet another person in this business I feel lucky to know, and am thrilled to recommend to the authors I work with.
When you want to learn more about this crazy business we call publishing from the best in the field:
Annalisa Parent helps writers start, finish, and polish books, and sell them. She is an amazing coach, and offers some of the best writing and publishing advice anywhere. She has helped thousands of writers achieve (and even surpass) their goals. You should definitely be following her!
Jane Friedman is, well, Jane (frigging) Friedman! The foremost expert, to my mind and many others', in the publishing world. Her site offers an absolute gold mine of information. Her newsletters are top-notch. If you follow no one else in this business, let it be Jane.
When you need help staying inspired to write, a community of writers to engage with, or advice on the nuts & bolts of writing and self-publishing:
This is, hands down, my favorite blog by writers for writers. I have learned so much from their posts, and have even contributed a couple myself. This is a great, passionate, knowledgeable, engaged group of writers. They are perfect for when you're feeling burned out or lost on your writing path, and even for when you're not. Required reading!
Yes, I am a little biased on this one, having been their Editor-in-Chief, and now an Editor-at-Large. But there is a reason they've been around for 101 years! They're the flagship resource for writers of all stripes, from the beginner to the expert, the hobbyist to the self-publishing pro. From grammar tips to marketing on a budget to inspiring prompts to markets for your work and interviews with and articles by the best writers in the business, WD absolutely covers it all.
If you are a self-publishing author, join this organization right this second. ALLi's list of the good, bad, and ugly of vendors for self-publishers is absolutely invaluable. They truly are the premier resource for all things self-publishing.
Did I miss any of your favorite resources? Share them in the comments and help your fellow authors.
Until next time, happy reading, and KEEP WRITING!