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50 Websites Every Author Should Bookmark in 2014

December 31, 2013 | Planning, Pub. Industry, Writing Tips | 45 comments | Author:

  • Buffer

We’re at the end of 2013 already. Can you believe it? Throughout this year, we’ve done the hard work (so you wouldn’t have to) of bookmarking every site that we used or came across that you need to check out in 2014. The ones with stars are editor’s choice–the sites that we use all the time and have found superb for authors.

 

Social Networks

 

  1. Twitter*

Need we go into why Twitter is our number one favorite social network for authors? Besides the fact that it helped us grow our own following, we’ve seen authors use Twitter to promote their books, network with media, increase visibility, and create long-term fans.

 

  1. Goodreads*

We love Goodreads for its many purposes. Join the author program, enter your book in a giveaway, browse books for cover design inspiration, and encourage your readers to rate and review your book.

 

  1. Pinterest

Pinterest is a fabulous social network for authors of cookbooks, business, how-to, inspirational, and self-help. Create boards of your favorite things, pin your creations (recipes, infographics, tools, photos, and quotes), and build a following by creating informational boards that double as a resource repository. Check out our Pinterest profile to see how we’re using it.

 

  1. LinkedIn

 If you’re not a fan of Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, we recommend LinkedIn. LinkedIn is your best low-maintenance social media option. Post updates, send announcements about your book, add “author” and your book’s title to your profile, and join LinkedIn groups that include potential readers.

 

  1. Amazon Author Central *

Once your book is published, optimize your presence on Amazon by joining Amazon’s Author Central. It’ll allow you to sync your blog and Twitter accounts, add video, and a detailed bio. You’ll also have access to sales stats.

Amazon-Author-Central

Content Tools

 

  1. Tweak Your Biz Title Generator*

This is one of our favorite tools this year, especially for authors who are also bloggers. Put in a keyword and boom it generates a boatload of title options for you. Of course some of the titles are useless and silly, but if you’re at a lost, it’s a fun tool to help stimulate ideas.

Tweak-Your-Biz-Title-Generator

  1. Spreaker.com

Spreaker is one more way to share your content. Record a provocative scene in your novel, tips from your business book, or a reflective passage from your memoir. Upload and link it to your website. Don’t forget to infuse your personality and even ad-lib to add texture and authenticity. Spreaker integrates and sends updates to your other social networks.

 

  1. Slideshare.net

Pull tips, lessons, stories, and resources from your book into a presentation. Upload to Slideshare as another way your audience could potentially discover you. Include important links and contact information (website, email, social networking accounts) within the presentation.

 

  1. Scribd.com

We’ve enjoyed the evolution of Scribd. Read more about it here. Upload your entire book to Scribd as a PDF or epub file. You can also upload short excerpts, blog posts, etc.

  1. PicMonkey.com

If you’re using Pinterest, check out PicMonkey. Edit photos, create a Facebook cover, design a collage of images related to your book.

 

  1. Pinstamatic.com*

Another fun tool for Pinterest users and authors who enjoy repurposing text into images. We’ve used Pinstamatic to transform quotes from our book and blog posts into images that we posted to Pinterest and Facebook. We also created a board of our favorite authors on Twitter. You can turn audio clips, events, and websites into “pinnable” images. You can also customize photos and add captions–the possibilities are endless!

pinstamatic

  1. Pinwords.com

A tad more limiting than Pinstamatic, but another image tool that we’ve used to create images for blog posts.

 

  1. Shareasimage.com

We clearly loved image tools this year. Shareasimage is another favorite for creating images. Another idea: upload a stock image with a background related to your book, add your text and upload to your website. Pin the image on Pinterest, upload to Facebook, and Tweet it. Make sure it’s hyperlinked to a landing page, order page, or your book’s Amazon page.

 

  1. IFTTT

How does one manage several online accounts? Use IFTTT to create “recipes” that are automated. For example, create a “recipe” that automatically tweets your new blog post. Turn IFTTT into a “personal assistant” of sorts. A few popular recipes include: starring an email in Gmail and having it automatically saved to your reminder list; inviting new phone contacts to connect on LinkedIn; and adding receipts and orders to a Google Drive spreadsheet.

ifttt-receipes

  1. Buffer*

We use Buffer to make our lives easier managing Twitter and Facebook. When we read posts we like about writing and publishing, we often use Buffer, which adds those links to a queue and tweets them automatically.

 

  1. Feedly*

We were really sad to see our beloved Google Reader go away this year. In its place we use Feedly. As an author, keep yourself in the loop by using Feedly to follow all of your favorite websites/blogs. Skim several articles by topic and/or source in one place and you’ve made it much easier to stay informed.

 

  1. Social Cam

Use the Social Cam app on your smartphone to record a video and quickly upload. The major advantage is how easy it is to use on your mobile device as a video recording tool.

 

  1. Scrivener

If you’re looking for content software to help organize and structure your book, Scrivner is the best option out there. It boasts several content-generating features, our favorite being the Outliner.

 

  1. Tagboard

Advanced Twitter users will enjoy Tagboard’s ability to help you track your favorite hashtags. Create a hashtag for your book as author Aurora Whittet has for her YA novel Bloodmark (#Bloodmark) and track its activity on Tagboard. It’s pretty slick.

 

Marketing Resources

 

  1. Bookbuzzr

Bookbuzzr offers several book marketing technology tools for authors, including a “Book Tweeter” and several widgets. There are four pricing packages, including a free option.

 

  1. BookBub

We’ve heard good things about BookBub and its ability to help ebook authors gain more visibility. BookBub boasts thousands of subscribers. By signing up for one of their promotions (its fee-based), your book will go out in an email to subscribers and be featured on their site.

 

  1. Ebook Booster

Considerably cheaper than BookBub, Ebook Booster submits your ebook to 50 sites for $40. The price is low enough to give it a try this year.

 

  1. Help a Reporter Out (HARO)

Join HARO for free and get daily notifications from reporters that need sources. You might find yourself quoted in an article with a mention of your book.

 

Author Community Sites

 

  1. Figment

Mostly geared to the readership and authors of YA fiction, it’s a neat little community for sharing work. We love how easy the site is to navigate and the collaborative energy among fellow writers. However, if you’re looking for hardcore connections and networking, this isn’t probably the site for you, but you’ll certainly enjoy the work posted here and equally enjoy the process of uploading your work.

FireShot-Pro-capture-006-Figment_-Write-yourself-in_-figment_com

  1. Tumblr

Tumblr is part blog, part social network. Here’s an excellent GalleyCat article that explains perfectly how authors should use Tumblr.

 

  1. Library Thing

The Library Thing community is 1.7 million and counting. As an author, you can create an author page. Similar to Goodreads, you can enter your book in giveaways and join relevant discussions. Visit their page for authors and become familiar with the benefits for your book.

 

  1. Writer.ly*

We’re longtime fans of Kelsye Nelson, co-creator of Writer.ly. We recommend bookmarking this site right now (we mean after you’re done reading this post). Writer.ly is an online marketplace that connects authors with services and experts. The interface is simple to navigate and the selection of high-quality freelancers is decent.

writer.ly

  1. Book Country

We’ve heard good things about this community, specifically regarding workshopping manuscripts and networking with other authors. We’ve shared our take on Book Country before. However, full disclosure: we’ve also heard not-so-great things about Book Country’s self-publishing services. Read J.A. Konrath’s take here. So in a nutshell, check it out, but do your research before signing up for formatting or ebook services.

 

  1. NaNoWriMo*

If we had to pick a favorite community for writers, it’d be NaNoWriMo, which you can frequent all year long–don’t wait for November to make use of this gem. From the tracking tools, to the forum, to the events that you can discover in your own backyard, you will treasure this site. For novelists, NaNoWriMo is the mandatory resource for your arsenal.

 

Writing/Publishing Blogs

 

We won’t describe each blog here. Just know that these blogs are the best in writing & publishing and should be followed religiously.

 

  1. The Book Designer

  2. Copyblogger

  3. The Write Practice

  4. Your Writer Platform

  5. Nathan Bransford

  6. The Creative Penn

  7. Write to Done

  8. Helping Writers Become Authors (Formerly Wordplay)

 

Publishing & Crowdfunding Resources

Our choices below are the best sites for uploading your book and having it published instantly and for free. We threw in Pubslush as our favorite crowdsourcing site for authors. Of course there’s Kickstarter, but PubSlush is geared to authors. You keep anything raised above your minimum goal, not your maximum as in other crowdfunding sites. Read this recent article about them to learn more.

 

  1. Nook Press/Pubit

  2. Bookbaby

  3. Pubslush

  4. CreateSpace

 

Website Resources

 

  1. Hello Bar

We’ve used Hello Bar on our website in the past to promote a product and workshop. It’s a decent tool for linking to your book’s buy page on your website or offering a free tool in exchange for an email address.

 

  1. Dig Dig*

Don’t bother having a blog without the ability for readers to share your content. Dig Dig is our favorite share tool that provides a nifty floating bar with the ability to share each post via your social networking sites. You need only look to the left of this post to see it in action.

 

Marketing Materials

 

  1. Fiverr*

Need a business card designed, flyer, or postcard? What about a logo for your website or blog? Don’t want to hire a graphic designer for a simple design project? No problem. We LOVE using Fiverr for our uncomplicated project needs: website sliders, business cards, etc. Did we mention that you can get most things designed for as low as $5?

 

  1. Gotprint*

Need to print those business cards? Gotprint is inexpensive with decent quality to boot.

 

  1. Moo

If you want a fabulous array of beautifully designed stationery and business cards, we guarantee you’ll find at least one or two designs on Moo that you’ll love. You can order stickers, postcards, and they even offer Facebook cards. Their writer-centric business cards are our personal favorites.

Vintage Typewriter Business Cards 2

  1. Zazzle

Need swag with your book cover on it? With Zazzle you can add your book cover to phone cases, journals, t-shirts, coffee mugs, and so much more.

Education & Inspiration

 

  1. UDemy

Want to teach an online course related to your book? Check out Udemy. It’s also a valuable site for taking a course that might enhance your publishing process. Courses on writing, marketing, and sales abound.

 

  1. Writer’s Digest

Every writer should frequent the Writer’s Digest site and/or add it to your Feedly feed to peruse when you have free time. You’ll receive everything from writing tips, writing prompts, and tutorials to critique services and writing contests.

 

  1. Ted Talks on Writing

We covered a post not too long ago about our favorite Ted Talks on writing. Check that post out and then have fun rejuvenating your writing efforts this year.

 

So there it is…our roundup of the best in websites to stalk in the New Year. Which ones to did we leave out?


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45 COMMENTS


  • Natalie January 1, 2014 at 9:06 pm | Reply

    Great post, but I wanted to point out a small typo: the hyperlink to The Write Practice website actually points to Copyblogger. The Write Practice is so great that I’d hate for anyone to miss out due to a small linking error! :)


    1. Wise, Ink. January 2, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Reply

      Hi Natalie! Thanks so much for that catch!! So glad you caught it. Happy New Year :)


  • Sharon Smith January 2, 2014 at 12:44 pm | Reply

    This is valuable information for authors. Thanks for sharing.


  • Wise, Ink. January 2, 2014 at 5:04 pm | Reply

    Thanks for the comment Sharon! Glad you found it valuable.


  • Adam Henig January 3, 2014 at 1:14 pm | Reply

    Thanks for sharing. This is great. Already bookmarked under “Marketing Ideas.”

    Glad you put Twitter on the top of the list. I have personally benefited from it in the 6 weeks I’ve been an active user. I have been able to connect with the media, fellow writers, and, most importantly, readers!


    1. Wise, Ink. January 4, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Reply

      Thanks Adam! Twitter has been super vital for us. Glad you’re using it and that it’s been helpful. Keep us posted on your book’s release. We’ve been keeping our eye out for it.


  • Sylvia Liu January 5, 2014 at 8:02 am | Reply

    What a great list. I’ve added this link to a couple of pages to a new children’s book writer & illustrator site that compiles all sorts of information: http://www.kidlit411.com Thanks for the great info.


    1. Wise, Ink. January 5, 2014 at 1:49 pm | Reply

      Thanks Sylvia! We appreciate the comment. We’ve never heard of kidlit411.com. Thanks for sharing. We’ll be checking it out.


  • Isabel Burt January 5, 2014 at 2:07 pm | Reply

    Good list! If I incorporate even five
    of those I will be happy. Thank you.


  • K. S. Brooks January 5, 2014 at 2:45 pm | Reply

    Great list! Some new things to try out. Thank you for that. I’d like to mention the fantastic site Indies Unlimited. (http://www.IndiesUnlimited.com) wasn’t on the list. The site has something for authors of all levels and has even published a number of books to help authors with their online presence and writing skills. I believe it should be on every author’s daily rounds. Thanks again!


  • Nicky LaMarco January 5, 2014 at 4:17 pm | Reply

    Don’t forget about my blog for newbies: http://www.freelancewriting4beginners.com. :)


    1. Wise, Ink. January 5, 2014 at 7:01 pm | Reply

      Thanks for the link Nicky!


  • Deborah Hughes January 5, 2014 at 5:16 pm | Reply

    This is very helpful! Thanks so much for putting this together and sharing it!! Another great site that’s a big help to me is the World Literary Cafe http://www.worldliterarycafe.com/. They are all about helping writers out. I’m bookmarking this and “pinning it”! Thanks again!


    1. Wise, Ink. January 5, 2014 at 7:02 pm | Reply

      Thank you Deborah. We are familiar with World Literary Cafe and really like the work they’re doing with authors. Good add!


  • Nichole Bernier January 5, 2014 at 10:21 pm | Reply

    Great list! I’ll be tweeting this piece from the twitter feed of our literary blog, Beyond the Margins (http://www.beyondthemargins.com)….which you might want to check out for your list of publishing sites! We run daily essays on the craft and business of the writing life.


  • O'Brian Gunn January 5, 2014 at 11:41 pm | Reply

    Thanks for this great list! Hopefully 2014 will be kind to us in all of our writing endeavors. I just got started on an interesting site called Medium. It’s basically a place to share stories and ideas. I’m not sure how much use it would be to fiction writers looking to share stories, but it seems like a good place to build an audience, connect with professionals and like minded individuals, and take a break from working on your WIP while still working out different writing muscles.


    1. Wise, Ink. January 6, 2014 at 10:58 am | Reply

      Hi O’Brian! Fabulous recommendation. I (Dara) am a huge fan of Medium. I forward articles that I read on there all the time. It’s a perfect and powerful tool for authors to grow a platform and build a fan base, especially for authors of business, how-to, self-help, and inspirational books. Thanks for the comment.


  • Kimberley Grabas January 6, 2014 at 1:48 am | Reply

    Woot! Thanks a bunch for the mention, ladies!

    I appreciate the inclusion of Your Writer Platform on such a helpful list for writers.

    Bookmarked, shared and pinned! :)


    1. Wise, Ink. January 6, 2014 at 10:58 am | Reply

      Thanks Kimberley! Huge fans. Keep up the awesome work!


  • […] http://www.wiseinkblog.com/publishing-industry/50-websites-every-author-should-bookmark-in-2014/ […]


  • Mary Sayler January 6, 2014 at 4:15 am | Reply

    Great resources for Internet use and marketing! Thanks. If any of you like to write, the Writing Resources page on my website can help you research, write, revise, and send your manuscripts to traditional publishers – http://www.marysayler.com.


    1. Wise, Ink. January 6, 2014 at 10:59 am | Reply

      Thanks for the comment Mary!


  • Resource List! | Corner Office Books January 6, 2014 at 6:03 am | Reply

    […] http://www.wiseinkblog.com/publishing-industry/50-websites-every-author-should-bookmark-in-2014/ […]


  • Lou Treleaven January 6, 2014 at 11:35 am | Reply

    An excellent list – will be spreading the word about this and looking forward to working my way through them myself!


  • Kevin Johns January 6, 2014 at 1:32 pm | Reply

    Wow, what a fantastic compilation! As someone always on the hunt for helpful book publishing and writing related online articles, this list it a gold mine! Thanks for putting this together! Wise, Ink indeed.


  • […] Via Wise Ink Creative Publishing: 50 Websites Every Author Should Bookmark in 2014 […]


  • Monday Must-Reads [1/6/13] January 6, 2014 at 11:27 pm | Reply

    […] 50 Websites Every Author Should Bookmark in 2014 | Wise Ink’s Blog for Indie Authors about Sel… […]


  • Jim Kukral January 7, 2014 at 11:36 am | Reply

    Great list! Hopefully you’ll consider adding us in a future post. http://www.authormarketingclub.com


  • David Beaumier January 7, 2014 at 3:42 pm | Reply

    Super cool article! Several of these are resources I have personally used, and I’m already excited by what I see in the other links here. Do you have any information about writing contests? I just started interning at a great company that puts them on. Do you know any other good places to look? Also, here’s a link to the contests page I’ve been working with, if you’d be interested in checking it out: http://chantireviews.com/store/#!/~/category/id=5193080&offset=0&sort=normal
    Thanks again!


  • Dutch Jones January 8, 2014 at 1:51 pm | Reply

    Stupid question. I see you mention several times about ‘connecting with the media’. Not sure what that means, like with Twitter. Can you site a couple of examples that I might want to connect with? Thank you!


    1. Wise, Ink. January 8, 2014 at 5:28 pm | Reply

      Hi Dutch! No question is stupid. Connecting with media is fairly broad these days because “media” has evolved so rapidly. Media can include: bloggers, book reviewers, print publications, podcasters, radio, and TV. It’s our opinion that “media” describes an outlet that will feature you (the author) and/or your book. Your goal in having a media strategy is to promote your book, although most TV, print, and radio outlets require a story bigger and beyond your being an author with a new book. Social Media is more interactive and shouldn’t be used as a primary tool to promote your book because it eventually becomes annoying and is considered spam over time. So we’re typically not talking about social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Instagram) when we mention connecting with media. I hope this helps!


  • Niall Devit January 9, 2014 at 10:48 am | Reply

    Hi there, what a great list and thank you for including the Tweak Your Biz title generator tool. Happy New Year, Niall.


  • […] 50 Websites Every Author Should Bookmark in 2014 from Wise, Ink […]


  • Sherrey Meyer January 12, 2014 at 6:50 pm | Reply

    Great information! Thanks for a most helpful list for the new year.


  • Kate January 17, 2014 at 3:16 am | Reply

    Plus BookLikes (http://booklikes.com/) – blogging platform designed for book lovers, great for readers, and writers to share book info and gain new readers and fans.


  • Elaine Kearns January 18, 2014 at 7:32 am | Reply

    What a great, inclusive list! Maybe next year you can add kidlit411.com to it!! :)


  • Leslie January 26, 2014 at 11:53 am | Reply

    This list is so helpful! Thank you!


  • Glenn Miller January 30, 2014 at 11:15 am | Reply

    I love this list. So many are go-to standards for me, and some, like spreaker, have opened whole new possibilities. But is there really no mention of google+?

    At least to establish authorship, one needs a profile there. There’s just no alternative. And it might help with SEO. And it’s not going away; instead it’s growing in readership as Google continues to use it as their social glue to connect all of their other properties, including YouTube, for example. I say a little more about exactly this, along with echoing your support for Goodreads and Amazon’s Author Central here: http://glennjmiller.com/2014/3-online-profiles-every-author-must-have/


  • Louisa February 16, 2014 at 6:46 pm | Reply

    Check out http://www.indicated.com.au for a comprehensive list of promotion opportunities for authors


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  • Rebecca Dettman March 31, 2014 at 6:35 pm | Reply

    I’m a novelist who finds Janice Hardy’s Fiction University articles to be very unique and original, covering all sorts of scenarios and fascinating advice… http://blog.janicehardy.com/


    1. Wise, Ink. April 1, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Reply

      Thanks for the tip, Rebecca!


  • Crassenstein April 3, 2014 at 6:46 pm | Reply

    thanks fr such a list :)



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