2015 was an exciting year for being an indie authorpreneur. I made great strides, had a lot of fun, and had more than my share of successes. But just like it takes a village to raise a child, success as an indie author takes more than one person. It also takes the help of other people and resources like the ones listed below.
I’m not going to list the obvious ones like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or the other online stores. Also not listing resources like Kindle or Createspace. For the most part, the following list is of new resources that I discovered and used during 2015.
Here are my Top Five
Your First 10 K Readers Course
This has to be my #1 top pick for 2015. Nick Stephenson’s course on how to attract your first 10,000 readers is not only the best online course I’ve taken in years but the ongoing support from the included Facebook Group has been worth the tuition even if there hadn’t been a course. In fact, many of the other resources listed here came directly or indirectly from either the course or the Facebook group. So, kudos to Nick and my other 10K Reader authors.
Book Review Targeter (BRT)
I’m not sure if I heard about BRT from the 10K Group, but I do know it was from someone on Facebook. It’s a fantastic tool that has made gathering up legitimate and ethical reviews much easier in 2015. BRT had it’s ups and downs especially during the beta phase, but its creator, Debbie Drum, did an admirable job in persevering through them. I’ve used it many times to connect with avid readers who have given me honest reviews in exchange for a copy of my books.
Typos, misplaced words, and punctuation problems are the bane of a lot of authors. I know they are for this one. Grammarly is an online resource that can greatly reduce such errors showing up in the final product. There’s also a free version that you can load into your browser that will help clean up your blog posts as well as email messages. Grammarly is well worth investigating.
Marketing and promotion are key facets of being a successful indie author. It’s an ongoing learning curve to discover what works and what to ignore. Along that path, there are a growing number of resources that can help. Kindle Spy helps authors to identify ‘bestselling Kindle niches’ so your books are well positioned to be found by readers. One of its neatest features is that it’s a Chrome browser extension so it’s conveniently located on the upper right-hand corner of your browser.
Fiverr claims it’s “America’s leading marketplace for services, starting from just $5.” I would have to say that claim is correct. I know my initial reaction when I heard of Fiverr was skeptical at best. “How can you get any decent service for just $5?” Well, you can IF you’re discerning, plus the keyword in their claim is starting. Here are a few of the services I’ve used from Fiverr:
- Facebook Ad graphic (Used Graphichubs) 5-stars
- Female voice intro for podcast introduction (Used Sandravo) 5-stars
- Podcast Cover Art (Used CreativePro ) 5-stars
I’m now looking into hiring someone through Fiverr as a part-time virtual assistant. (If you’ve found a good VA through Fiverr, let me know who it is in the comments below.)
Here are a few other resources that I’ve found to be useful and valuable in my indie author career but didn’t quite make the cut into the top five. I may write about more of these during the year. Let me know if there are particular ones you want me to elaborate on.
- Mail Chimp
- Optimize Pres
- Dragon for Mac
Not New but too Good not to Mention
Scrivener continues to be one of the most awesome and best-bang-for-the-buck software program for writers. I honestly don’t think I could live without it at this point. I’ll never, ever go back to MS Word or any other word-processing program.
And What May Make the 2016 List
My theme for 2016 is “Courageous Creativity and Collaboration.” Shortly after choosing this theme, I heard about Creativia — a “community-driven, independent publisher of bestselling fiction & non-fiction.” I reached out to Miika Hannila, its founder, by submitting a couple of my books. They’ve picked up Amberlin: Divine Destiny and will be publishing one of my nonfiction books later in the year. So, we’ll see. Maybe they’ll be on the top five list for 2016.
If you’re an indie author, please share any resources you’ve found that have helped you. My inquiring mind wants to know.
I will check out Fiverr. Creativia has been the best thing that has happened to my books as I no longer have the energy I once had.