The 50 Best Self-Publishing Resources And Tools You'll Ever Need

The 50 Best Self-Publishing Resources And Tools You’ll Ever Need

By JoAnne D. | eCommerce/Dropshipping

The 50 Best Self-Publishing Resources And Tools You'll Ever Need

Selling and making money from your eBooks start with the writing, but definitely doesn’t end there. This exhaustive list contains excellent, highly recommended self-publishing resources that you’ll want to bookmark for your reference.

Publishing your own eBook is a potentially lucrative endeavor.

But it’s not as simple as pounding out the book, slapping on a cover, and posting it on your website or submitting it to Amazon (or Kobo, or iBooks).

There are plenty of moving parts involved in self-publishing; writing, editing, designing, marketing, and selling.

Doing all this on your own is pretty much a given, hence the term self-publishing. But you still need tools and sometimes even other people to help you so you don’t get bogged down by all the hats you’re wearing.

hats on two briefcases on the sidewalk

“Hmm, which hat should I wear today? Writer? Editor? Designer? Marketer?”

In today’s article, I’ve put together a list of self-publishing resources to help you put together a high-quality, profitable eBook.

I highly recommend bookmarking this page for easy reference as you go through each stage of the self-publishing process.

Note: I focused more on self-publishing eBooks instead of physical books because eBooks are the future and they’re less expensive to produce than physical books. But plenty of these resources are also helpful in publishing paperback formats of your book.

Information disclaimer: Prices are accurate as of writing but are subject to change over time.

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Keyword Research Tools

When you’re trying to get content in front of an audience, you want to research the keywords that your potential readers are likely to use when they search for a subject that your eBook is about.

word cloud with "keyword research" the most prominent

Here are some useful keyword research tools to help you with this.

Google Keyword Planner (Free; must have Google account)

Yes, there are other search engines, but chances are your target audience is using Google to find information on a particular subject, and so you’re more likely to find the keywords they’re using when you use this tool.

You can search for words and phrases related to your eBook topic and discover new keywords as well.

Amazon Keyword Tool (Starts free; Pro version starts at $48 per month)

Amazon is an online store, so when people are on Amazon, they have a clear intent to buy, or at least window shop. Thus, the words and phrases they use are the ones you should be targeting if you’re planning to sell your eBook on Amazon.

Amazon Keyword Tool uses Amazon autocomplete to generate relevant keywords that you can target. The free version gives you plenty of keyword suggestions, but going Pro will give you more information, such as search volume (how many searches the keywords get each month), and gives you twice as many keywords as the free version.

Soovle (Free)

Soovle is a free, no-frills tool that also uses autocomplete to give you keywords you can try to target from plenty of different websites, with Amazon being one of them.

It’s a great source of ideas, and no other information is provided, but for your purposes, you don’t need any more than that.

Writing Tools

Writing your eBook is perhaps the most essential part of self-publishing. After all, what’s there to publish if there’s no eBook?

workdesk by the window with laptop notebook pen and coffee

You probably already have word processors that you already use to write, but writing longer documents means having to

Here are some tools and writing applications that will take your writing further than TextEdit or Notepad ever will.

Google Keep (Free; must have Google account)

If you’re the forgetful type, or you tend to get inspired and come up with at random and then quickly forget them, this app is for you.

Google Keep is a note-taking application that’s similar to writing on virtual sticky notes but being able to access these sticky notes wherever you work: your smartphone, your tablet, and your desktop (through your internet browser).

Evernote (Starts free; Premium at $7.99 per month)

Evernote is the classic “notes in the cloud app” that many companies have tried to emulate since. Still, nothing beats a classic.

Evernote allows you to take detailed notes with extra features such as images and the ability to clip entire web pages, which is very useful when you’re doing research. You can organize these notes into notebooks, and even organize notebooks into notebook stacks so you’ll know where to find everything.

In case that fails, Evernote features a robust search function so you can always find that snippet of text you wrote last week that was pretty good but isn’t where it’s supposed to be (speaking from experience).

Microsoft Word (Part of basic Microsoft Office Suite; Office 365 starts at $59.99 per year for 1 user)

The word processor we all used at some point in our lives, Microsoft Word has always been robust for long-form documents, but is also surprisingly good for writing an eBook as well.

Word can format your book as an HTML file, which makes the conversion to .mobi (for Amazon Kindle) or .epub (everything else) so much faster. Plus, it can print to PDF, if you also want to offer this format to your readers and/or if you want a printable format for author proofs or for selling a paperback version of your eBook.

Scrivener (Standard license starts at $19.99 for iOS and $45 for macOS and Windows)

Scrivener is a writing software made by authors for authors.

Aside from being a word processor, it has project management and productivity features designed to help you write your eBook, whatever your working style.

You can set writing targets and deadlines so you can work towards a goal and see your progress. It also offers a place for you to store files for research, such as documents, images, videos, notes, and other files that you refer to, so you don’t have to switch programs or windows.

Different writing views are also available. If you tend to be more visual, you can have subdocuments as “index cards” pinned to a “corkboard” so you can see everything at a glance, as well as drag and drop cards to rearrange the cards to improve the flow.

If you’re more of a linear thinker or an outliner, there’s a view for you as well. You can see rows of text and group them together in a dropdown fashion.

When you start to combine chapters and sections, you can do so without getting lost in a large document, as you can see everything on the left sidebar.

Plus, it formats your manuscript straight to .epub or .mobi format instead of going through an HTML file before conversion.

Ulysses (Subscription starts at $3.33 per month, billed annually; 14-day free trial)

Another writing software made for authors, but only those who use macOS or iOS.

Ulysses is a minimalist app that makes Apple users feel right at home; it looks and feels “Apple.”

But beneath the sleek and simple exterior is a powerful tool that allows for distraction-free writing while giving you features such as the ability to set writing goals and organize your content as well as your research.

It’s comparable to Scrivener in many ways, but the most apparent difference is the pricing model (Scrivener charges upfront) and compatibility with operating systems (Scrivener has versions for both Mac and Windows).

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Done-For-You Cover Design And Book Formatting

The actual content of your eBook is crucial, no doubt.

But if the cover looks sloppy and amateurish, potential readers won’t take your book seriously and scroll on past. Which is a darn shame and waste. Avoid being rejected at a glance by ensuring that your book cover is eye-catching and professional-looking.

stacks of books in a bargain bookstore

Your cover will have to stand out from this collection of books.

Premade book covers are book covers that already have the visual elements in place (main image, title font, author font, etc.) and just require your eBook’s title and author name to be made. Delivery is faster since you don’t have to do anything else.

Custom book covers require more input from you and a few rounds of drafts and approvals before they’re done. They typically cost more, but they’re up to your specifications, and you have the final word on the book design.

If your target readers do end up buying your eBook and make it past your eBook cover, they also need the whole reading experience to be visually pleasing, or at the very least streamlined.

You don’t want their flow of thought to be interrupted by visual distractions, like incorrectly rendered characters, random line breaks, or illustrations that are low-quality and low-resolution.

Here are some cover design and book formatting services that you can consider to help you design your eBook for the optimal reader experience.

Kingwood Creations (Price ranges from $30 to $150)

If you want a premade book cover fast (as in “within 2 business days” fast), this minimalist website offers a variety of gorgeous premade covers to choose from.

You can even select by genre so that your choices are narrowed down to what’s truly relevant to your eBook. Honestly, if you want to be taken seriously, you don’t want a cover meant for a romance novel on your eBook on productivity.

Aside from premade covers, they offer add-ons such as a print cover (that is, front, back, and spine design) and an audiobook cover if you need them.

They look like a pretty new company, but their designs are beautiful and polished. Plus, they can also make custom-made book covers by inquiry only.

Damonza (Premade covers at $195; Custom packages start at $495)

Damonza offers 4 custom packages: eBook cover design, print and eBook cover design, eBook cover design plus formatting, and print and eBook cover design plus formatting. They also offer premade covers, and eBook copy editing and proofreading. However, a truly unique service they offer is their book trailer service.

For a minimum of $995, you get a 1- to 2-minute video designed to give your potential readers an idea of what’s inside your eBook and spur their interests. It looks geared toward fiction authors and novelists, but this may also work for non-fiction genres. It’s certainly a rare marketing strategy and a surefire way to get noticed.

If you have the money to burn and you’re confident you’re going to earn it back, you might want to try this out, but if your budget isn’t very high, this isn’t for you.

BEAUTeBOOK (Premade covers at $99; Book formatting at $150; Custom packages start at $275)

Not only do they offer eBook cover designs and eBook formatting, they also offer to create and design your website if you don’t have one yet or if you want one specifically for your eBook.

Sure, you can build your website yourself, but the folks over at BEAUTeBOOK will build it for you from the ground up, plus design a logo for you and your entire website, set you up with a mailing list, teach you how to run contests and surveys, and then turn over the whole website to you for you to manage.

This service will save you plenty of time and energy, especially when it comes to the design aspect. Best thing here is that you don’t have to keep depending on them for support when you want to change something or switch providers; once they turn over the control to you, you’re in charge.

Ebook Launch (Premade covers at $99; eBook formatting starts at $29 for 20k words; Custom packages start at $349)

Ebook Launch offers eye-catching premade covers, as well as custom eBook cover designs, eBook editing and proofreading, and eBook and print formatting.

Their copy editing and formatting services are dependent on the number of words of your manuscript and how many file formats you need (i.e., .epub, .mobi, or PDF), so you get to save somewhat if your eBook is not very wordy and/or you only need one file format.

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DIY Book Cover Design And Book Formatting

Maybe you have a knack for design and you have a specific look you’re going for.

Or maybe you’ve browsed eBook cover services and didn’t like any of the premade covers, or maybe you find custom-made covers and formatting services above your budget.

Whatever the case, you can certainly design your eBook cover yourself.

designer using a tablet to draw on a computer

Here are some tools that can help you create your eBook cover and format the inside of your eBook as well.

DIY Book Covers (Free; Requires subscription to mailing list)

Derek Murphy of Creativindie offers free book cover templates on this site plus a free eBook about how to create book covers that attract readers. You only need to opt in to his mailing list.

Aside from the templates, he has video tutorials for you to learn how to use them to design a compelling cover. He also offers a free, web-based cover creator software with video tutorials on how to use it.

DIY Book Formats (Free; Requires subscription to mailing list)

These templates are also brought to you by Derek Murphy. There are only 5 free templates in the package, but these are beautiful and should be enough to get you started. As with the free book cover templates, these have video tutorials to go along with them.

The resources that Derek Murphy put together, including individual video tutorials and free eBooks about self-publishing and marketing your eBook are worth the “price” of admission; that is, your email address. Besides, you can opt out whenever you want.

Book Design Templates (Book templates start at $59 for single book use)

This site also offers premade covers and done-for-you covers and formatting, but their main focus is their wide variety of book design templates you can customize for your own eBook.

The formatting templates are compatible with Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, and Adobe InDesign, so you can customize the template with whichever program you’re comfortable using.

You’re also provided with access to their US-based support staff, so if you get stuck, someone’s ready to help.

GIMP (Free)

The gold standard photo editing software is Adobe Photoshop, but since it can be quite expensive, low-cost or free alternatives are always in demand.

GIMP is one of the best free alternatives to Photoshop in terms of basic functions such as filters, airbrushing, and other simple photo editing functions. So if you want to design your own book cover and edit images and photos for it but you’re on a budget, GIMP is a suitable substitute for Photoshop.

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Publishing Platforms

Since the rise of self-publishing, digital publishers have cropped up to fulfill the demand.

Kobo eReader

The ideal strategy is to publish in as many platforms as possible, but bear in mind that they accept different formats. Plus, publishing in one of them could mean you can’t sell through any other publisher, so always read the terms and conditions very carefully.

Here are the major digital publishers you should consider.

Kindle Direct Publishing

Amazon’s digital publishing platform is the most popular one by a wide margin, and for good reason: Amazon is the largest e-commerce site, and the Kindle line of eBook readers is the most popular line of eBook readers.

Kobo Writing Life

Kobo eReaders are the closest rival to the Kindle eReaders, so it might be worth looking into publishing with Kobo.

Apple iBooks

Apple iBooks is another popular digital publisher, as the app is included by default in all Apple devices. This is especially useful for those who don’t have eReaders and prefer to read eBooks on their smartphones.

You can create iBooks using the iBooks Author app exclusive for Mac users, or you can create an .ePub book using any program of your choice and submit it to iBooks using iTunes Producer.

Google Play Books

If iBooks is for iPhone users, Google Play Books is for Android users and iPhone users (you can download the app in your iPhone as well).

To publish your eBook on Google Play Books, go to Google Play Books Partner Center and upload your finished eBook.

Currently, they’re limiting the number of new publishers they accept, so you’ll need to fill out a form expressing your interest and how many books you plan to publish with them. When there’s an opportunity for you to be published, they’ll contact you back.

One-Step Distribution

Another option available is to submit your work to an eBook distributor and have them distribute your eBook to the major as well as not-so-major digital publishers and even to libraries.

shelves of books

This saves you plenty of time researching and submitting requirements to multiple publishers and gives you a central place or site to submit your work.

Here are some of the most recommended eBook distributors you can work with.

Draft2Digital (No upfront fees; 10% commission from your royalties)

“Write. Upload. Sell.”

This is Draft2Digital’s tagline, emphasizing how simple their process is. Simply upload your manuscript and they’ll take care of converting it to the proper eBook file format. Choose which digital publishers you want to sell your eBook on, set your price, and Draft2Digital will take care of everything.

They partner with 10 major digital storefronts, including Amazon, so you can widen your reach considerably.

Lulu (10% commission from your royalties)

Lulu’s main service is print-on-demand (i.e., producing paperback books), but have since expanded their services to digital distribution. They partner with only 4 digital storefronts, but these are major ones, including Amazon and Kobo.

Aside from distribution, Lulu also offers publishing services like formatting, copy editing and proofreading, as well as marketing services. They also have their own bookstore where your audience can buy your eBooks directly.

BookBaby (Price varies)

BookBaby also started as a print-on-demand service, but have since gone into eBook distribution as well.

Similar to Lulu, they offer other publishing services and book marketing services, and they also have their own bookstore. But what sets BookBaby apart is that they partner with more than 60 stores in 170 countries, giving you a better chance of connecting to more audiences.

Their pricing model is a bit different, though. There are plenty of different factors that determine how much you need to pay for them to distribute your eBook. Luckily, they recognize this and have created an online price quoter so you can determine exactly how much you need to pay in a few clicks.

Smashwords (20% commission from royalties from Smashwords sales; 40% commission from royalties from other stores)

Smashwords distributes to major retailers, but Amazon isn’t one of them. The usual technique of those who work with Smashwords is that they submit their eBook to both Amazon and Smashwords separately.

However, they do distribute to thousands of public libraries through 5 library providers including Overdrive. Plus, they have their own bookstore.

They don’t offer much of anything else outside of eBook distribution, but it can be a good thing because they are more focused on getting your eBook in front of audiences and selling them. After all, they only make money if your eBook sells.

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Selling eBooks On Your Own Site

There are plenty of possible reasons why you don’t want to sell your eBook on other online stores.

Maybe you don’t want to bother dealing with other companies, or maybe you want a deeper relationship with your readers, or maybe you want more of the profits of your eBook.

indie book seller on the streets

Whatever your reasons, bear in mind that it will take more time and effort for you to build a following when you take this on yourself. Aside from the technical and legal knowledge required, you have to ramp up your marketing efforts considerably.

Luckily, there are plenty of tools to help you sell your eBook on your own website successfully. Here are some of the highly recommended tools to help you sell your eBook.

BookFunnel (Starts at $20 per year)

One of the hurdles of selling your eBook on your own website is that buyers will likely be using different e-readers and thus require different formats. Bookfunnel offers book delivery for different e-readers and even tablets so your customers can read their eBooks wherever they want.

Plus, they offer technical support for your customers in case they have any problems downloading your eBook, saving you time and effort. Further, they don’t keep any of your customers’ information; your readers remain your readers.

You can even use BookFunnel to send sneak previews of your eBook to your mailing list to drum up their excitement for your upcoming eBook launch. The copies are watermarked for security, so if anything leaks, you’ll know where it came from.

Ganxy (10% commission from profit; minus fees to payment processors such as PayPal or Stripe)

Similar to BookFunnel, Ganxy offers digital distribution of eBooks on your own website. Additionally, you can link to other stores where your eBook is available.

For example, if you chose to sell your eBook on Amazon before you decided to go with Ganxy, Ganxy allows you to link to that eBook easily, so your customers can choose where they want to get your eBook from.

A unique offering of Ganxy is their Gansxy cards. These are cards with QR codes that the cardholder can redeem for your eBook or a portion of it online. This gives you an edge when you go to offline events and conferences, or when you want to promote your work in your local neighborhood.

DPD (Digital Product Delivery) (Starts at $10 per month for 1 GB of storage and 20 products; 30-day free trial)

As their name suggests, DPD is a digital publishing platform for helping creators sell digital content including eBooks.

It’s quite a straightforward process: upload your eBook to DPD, embed their cart buttons on your website, and when customers buy your eBook, DPD delivers the file/s to them.

Their pricing is dependent on the size of your files and how many products you sell, and they don’t earn anything on commission. This can be a good or bad thing depending on the volume of your sales; of course, higher sales means more profit for you and the monthly subscription becomes cost-effective. But at the start, when sales are a bit low, you may be spending more than you’re earning.

SendOwl (Starts at $9 per month for 1 GB of storage and 10 products; 30-day free trial)

SendOwl is similar to DPD in terms of features and pricing model, so it may come down to the tiniest details if your choices are down to these two.

E-junkie (Starts at $5 per month for 200 MB of storage and 10 products; 30-day free trial)

E-junkie is yet another service similar to DPD and SendOwl, although they do have a lower entry price point. Again, it may come down to the tiniest details.

Since DPD, SendOwl, and E-junkie all offer 30-day free trials, I recommend taking advantage of them and trying them all out to see which service you like the best.

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Audiobook Production And Distribution

There’s more than one way to consume eBooks, and audiobooks is a pretty powerful format, especially for those who enjoy the spoken word more than the written word.

Audiobooks are also a hit among bookworms who feel there aren’t enough hours in a day to read all the books they want to read and tend to multitask instead; listening to audiobooks while on their commute, while cooking, or even while exercising.

woman wearing headphones jogging in the woods

“That’s not Lady Gaga in my ear; that’s Shakespeare.”

Here are some of the best platforms and distributors of audiobooks for your reference.

Audible

Amazon-owned Audible is among the biggest platforms you can get your audiobook on.

When you offer your eBook on sale on Amazon, you get offered the Audible audiobook if available. But Audible subscribers can buy your audiobook separately, so offering your eBook on both Amazon and Audible widens your reach significantly.

iTunes

As all the Apple devices from MacBooks to iPads to iPhones have the iTunes app, it’s safe to say that your reach is extensive if you offer your audiobook in the iTunes store.

Plus, you don’t need a subscription to buy audiobooks on iTunes; all you need is the app.

Google Play Audiobooks

Google Play is the new kid in town among the three, only starting to offer audiobooks for less than a year as of this writing. But again, offering your audiobook for sale in both iTunes and Google Play Store increases your reach and the possibility that your content is found by your target audience.

ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange) (Price varies)

ACX is a one-stop audiobook platform that takes you from production to distribution.

Upload a snippet of your eBook, listen to narrations and invite narrators/producers to audition for your book, select one, assess their work at different steps along the way, and approve the finished product. You have the option of paying for the production fee upfront or share the royalties with the producer.

You can also narrate your eBook yourself, though it is highly recommended that you hire a voice actor to do it so that it sounds professional and expertly edited.

The final audiobook file will then be distributed by ACX to Audible, Amazon, and iTunes, which are the three largest audiobook publishers.

The catch here is that signing up with ACX means a 7-year exclusivity clause, unless you opt for non-exclusivity and pay for the production fee upfront.

Royalties differ as well; you get 20% of the retail price by default, 40% if you pay for the production fee, and 25% if you pay for the production fee and opt for non-exclusivity.

Author’s Republic (30% commission on royalties earned from all the publishers you choose to sell your audiobook)

A solid alternative to ACX.com, Author’s Republic prides itself on being “the world’s widest audiobook distribution network.” As of this writing, they distribute to 30+ publishers, including the Big Three (Audible.com, Amazon.com, and iTunes).

Author’s Republic doesn’t ask for any listing fee, submission fee, or any other fees. They also pay you a larger percentage from your royalties.

However, you do have to find and pay for your own narrator. They present you with solid options, but the product you submit to Author’s Republic should be a completed audiobook.

DPD (Digital Product Delivery), SendOwl, or E-junkie

As with your text eBook, if you don’t like dealing with all this and want greater control over the price and distribution of your audiobooks, you can always sell them through your own website.

You can use DPD, SendOwl, or E-junkie to sell audiobooks as well, and if you’re already selling your eBook on your site, you can actually bundle your eBook and its accompanying audiobook together.

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Freelancer Help

Instead of handing the work over to a single company, you may want to work with different people for different parts of the project. That way, you have greater control over the price of the work as well as greater control over the quality of the work.

team fistbump over a workdesk

Here are some sites where you can find freelancers to help you create and polish your eBook for publishing.

Upwork (Price varies)

In Upwork, you can find and connect with freelancers for a variety of services: proofreading, copy editing, book formatting, book cover design, and even voice talents for your audiobook if you decide to publish it on your own site.

Upwork also provides the ability to collaborate as well as a single place for payments. You and your freelancer are also covered under Upwork Payment Protection, ensuring that you get the work that you asked for and that the freelancers you work with get paid for completed work.

Fiverr (Starts at $5)

You might say that Fiverr is “Upwork Lite,” in that the jobs start at $5 each. The diversity of freelancers can be overwhelming, so make sure you look for higher rated freelancers and read feedback.

There’s also Fiverr Pro, which features higher-tier professionals that charge more for premium services.

99designs (Price varies)

If you’re looking specifically for graphic designers for your book cover design or other design elements of your eBook, 99designs may be a good fit for you.

99designs offers 2 options for you to be able to find a designer: either go through portfolios and request quotes from different designers, or open your design requirements to the entire 99designs community, have them submit ideas, and choose the best one among them.

Multi-Service Marketplaces

You can meet plenty of freelancers in Upwork and Fiverr, but nothing beats professionals with actual experience in the publishing/self-publishing industry.

hands holding photo in front of laptop

Here are a couple of multi-service marketplaces to find your dream team for your eBook.

Reedsy (Price varies)

Reedsy is a platform that helps self-publishing authors like you to connect with experienced editors, designers, marketers, publicists, ghostwriters, and web designers.

When you sign up with Reedsy, you’ll be asked to choose the service(s) you require, after which you’ll be given professional profiles to check out. Request quotes from these pros, choose the best ones, and start collaborating.

Reedsy prides itself on working with only the finest publishing specialists and vets everyone thoroughly.

Not only do they offer the best freelancers, but they offer free webinars and 10-day courses on self-publishing to help you get started on the right track.

Bibliocrunch (Membership starts free; VIP at $25 per month or $119 annually)

Bibliocrunch works almost the same as Reedsy, in that authors get to connect with carefully vetted professional editors, designers, and marketers.

However, VIP membership to Bibliocrunch gives you so much more: access to email and phone consultants, promotion of your book on social media, Goodreads, and Wattpad, and access to their Author Academy, which is a great educational resource on self-publishing.

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Email Autoresponders

Selling something without a mailing list, even eBooks, is like throwing away money.

email marketing

Of all the marketing tools you’ll use, email autoresponders are the most important because these allow you to set up your mailing lists and reach your target audience directly, on your own terms.

MailChimp (Starts free up to 2,000 subscribers, Growing Business starts at $10 per month, Pro starts at $199 per month)

When you’re only starting out with your eBook, you’ll want to keep costs down while still getting the job done. MailChimp is where most beginner authors start their mailing lists, as it’s free for the first 2,000 subscribers with up to 12,000 emails a month. This allows them to reach as many of their target audience as possible for free.

Drip (affiliate link) (Starts free up to 100 subscribers, Basic plan starts at $41 per month)

After a while (or after a few eBooks), you’ll want a solution that gives you more insight into your readers, allows you to send an automated series of emails, and personalize email campaigns based on your readers’ preferences. Drip allows you to do all these and more.

AWeber (affiliate link) (30-day free trial; subscription starts at $19 per month for the first 500 subscribers)

AWeber offers plenty of features, such as automations, integrations, and good customer service, but they’re slightly behind Drip when it comes to how well these features work. It’s a nice option for when you want more features than MailChimp offers but don’t quite have the budget to get Drip.

Landing Page Creators

If you already have a blog or website, you can actually create a landing page right on your website.

landing page icon

But if you don’t have one yet, or if your website platform a bit intimidating to learn, landing page creators are a life-saver.

Aside from saving you time and effort in creation, landing page creators offer templates that are already predesigned for conversion. They also normally take care of integrating the landing page with your chosen email autoresponder.

Landing Pages Creator by MailChimp (Free with MailChimp subscription)

If you’re already using MailChimp, they offer a free drag-and-drop landing page creator as well. It’s fairly simple, with only 2 templates that you can customize with fonts, colors, and images.

This is best for beginners in landing page creation, as you can’t do any A/B testing and you can’t use your own domain name.

QuickPages (Free)

Quickpages is another free landing page creator that offers a bit more than MailChimp. It offers 6 templates for customization through point-and-click functionality and calculates the conversion rate for you.

LeadPages (affiliate link) (14-day free trial, Standard plan starts at $25 per month)

LeadPages takes your email marketing to the next level with more templates, more page types (e.g., basic squeeze page, Thank You page, Coming Soon page, etc.), single-click integrations, and A/B testing.

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eBook Promotion Sites

Promoting your eBook through email marketing should be a given, but there are a few more ways to get your eBook in front of your target audience.

various advertising posters on a wall

Finding interested readers takes more than the usual digital marketing strategy; you have to find where eBook readers are and meet them there, so to speak.

Here are some of the best eBook promotion sites to promote your eBook on.

Goodreads

Goodreads can be described as a social network for readers and authors, where users can share what they’re reading and receive recommendations for books to add in their reading list.

Because users in this site are likely to be readers, you want your eBook to be in the Goodreads database so it can be found and recommended (by the Goodreads algorithm or those who have read your eBook) to readers who are likely to find your eBook interesting.

The first thing you need to do as an author is to join the Goodreads Author Program. This allows you to create your author profile page, which is similar to your “About Me” page on your blog. Most importantly, this is where you list your eBook.

Having an author page on Goodreads then allows you to advertise on Goodreads (costs will vary, but the minimum is $0.15 per click). You can target readers of other books that are similar to your work, or if you have written multiple eBooks, you can show your new books to readers that have rated some of your older books.

You can also interact with your readers by hosting a Q&A discussion group about your eBook. Starting a conversation sparks a more intimate relationship with your readers, turning them into your loyal fans.

When you now have loyal fans, you’re now in the position to ask them for reviews on Goodreads. More

Plus, being a Goodreads author enables you to connect your blog so that your readers can be notified whenever you have a new post. More traffic to your blog is always a good thing.

BookBub

BookBub is a site that helps you discover bargains on books you’ll love, get the latest updates from your favorite authors, and recommendations from other BookBub users, authors, and BookBub editors.

To start promoting your eBook, you need to first apply as a BookBub Partner. Similar to Goodreads, you can set up an Author Profile page where you can list all your eBooks.

What makes BookBub different from Goodreads in that the BookBub editorial team has to approve eBook submissions based on certain criteria; that is, not all the eBooks submitted to them end up being promoted.

Plus, if you want to get in their Featured Deals, there’s a fee that varies depending on the category, promo price of your eBook, subscriber demand, and actual sales, among other factors. Their pricing table gets updated frequently, for your reference.

As of this writing, the highest price for promoting a free eBook is in the $500+ range for the Crime Fiction category. It seems pretty steep, until you consider that this category has more than 3.8 million subscribers and average downloads of more than 54,000.

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Forums

Working on your eBook can be terribly isolating and lonely at times. Participating in forums and finding your tribe, so to speak, can ease you out of your loneliness and give you a dash of inspiration, plus some much-needed help and support.

forum with colleagues in a meeting room

Here are some forums and discussion groups where you can bounce ideas off other authors, share your experiences and learn from others’, and get the latest news and tips from the self-publishing world.

Quora

So Quora is more of a Q&A site that it is a forum, and it isn’t specific to self-publishers and authors, but if you browse through Quora topics such as
Self-Publishing, eBook Publishing, Digital Publishing, or Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, you’ll likely find valuable knowledge.

Moreover, if you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can always ask your question for other authors, designers, or marketers in self-publishing.

Goodreads Groups

Goodreads doesn’t just offer recommendations; it also hosts discussion groups based on a genre, an author, a book, or virtually any book-related topic.

Since Goodreads has a huge membership, chances are you’ll find a discussion group for authors in your niche. If not, you can start with the Support for Indie Authors discussion group for self-publishers.

Writers’ Cafe

KBoards is a discussion board specifically for Kindle users and authors of Kindle eBooks, and Writers’ Cafe is the board where plenty of authors who are selling or want to sell their eBooks on Amazon engage and swap tips.

The discussions here aren’t limited to Kindle eBooks, though. authors who are publishing on Kindle are likely to be publishing elsewhere as well, so you can expect general self-publishing topics here.

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Recap

If you’re new to self-publishing, you can use all the help and all the tools you can get.

Here again are the 50 best self-publishing resources and tools. I recommend bookmarking this page for easy reference.

About the Author

JoAnne is your average, everyday, sane stay-at-home mom who believes in the power of the internet to make dreams come true. She has an insatiable appetite for chocolate, as well as all things internet marketing. She keeps up with the latest trends in blogging, affiliate marketing, e-commerce, and more.

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