IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE: PLEASE READ BEFORE PROCEEDING
I am a proud affiliate for a few of these tools (not all), meaning if you click a link for a tool and make a purchase,
I earn a commission at no extra cost to you. My recommendations are based on experience with and knowledge of these companies and their products. I recommend them because they are genuinely helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I may receive.
Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP): KDP is the largest self-publishing platform, with millions of books published each year. It offers a range of tools and services, including formatting and cover design services, distribution to Amazon and other online retailers, and marketing and promotion support. KDP is a good option for authors who want to reach a wide audience and sell their books on Amazon.
Lulu is a self-publishing platform that allows authors to create and sell print and digital books. Lulu offers a range of tools and services, including formatting, cover design, and distribution. Lulu is a good option for authors who want to create and sell physical books.
ConvertKit describes themselves as a creator marketing platform, but what it really means is that you can connect with your audience through email. As writers it’s really important that you have a way to communicate with your audience either weekly or monthly, and ConvertKit does a really good job of allowing you to send broadcast emails, sequences, create landing pages and signup forms to capture emails. Because of the size of my audience I pay about $79/mth, however they do have a free plan and it goes up from there as your audience grows.
Zapier allows you to automate tasks that would otherwise take a lot of your time. It is compatible with a lot of apps that you are currently using like Gmail, Google Docs and more and really helps to save you time.
This is one of those apps that will be used differently by everyone. I use it to automate tasks such as when someone makes a purchase of a book or product, I will have Zapier tag them so that I don’t further market them that particular book or product or I’ll use Zapier to send them an email sequence that I feel will benefit them.
If you have only one task that you need automated, they do have a free plan. Otherwise, the pricing begins at about $19.99 per month.
Samcart allows you to sell your digital products, physical products, courses, and services. Of course, I still suggest that you have your book on Amazon, but if you’re also looking for a way to sell your book yourself where you can keep more of the profit, Samcart helps you to do this by allowing you to create a sales page that is set up to help you to boost conversions. I would recommend this app for someone who has an existing audience that’s growing. They offer a free 14 day trial and then packages start at $49/mth.
Endicia is a shipping software that connects with the United States Postal Service at deeply discounted rates and allows you to automate your shipping process. They offer a 14 day trial and then pricing starts at $17.99/mth plus taxes.
Speaking of shipping… because you are shipping books yourself, you probably don’t want to use your home address from a privacy and security perspective. So a PO Box is another service I use that allows me to receive mail, but also to have an address to put on the packages that I ship out. The pricing is dependent on the size of your box, but I rent a smaller box as I receive very little mail to it. The pricing seems to vary by location, but I pay $34 for 3 months of service.
Canva is an app that’s going to come in handy for you as a writer as this app will help you with graphic design, no matter your experience. I use this app for so much, from Instagram posts, to YouTube thumbnails, to images for my websites, and of course you can even use Canva to create book covers. Now for the longest I used the free version of Canva, and let me say the free version is sufficient. But as I’ve grown my writing business, I’ve found that I wanted to take advantage of some of the options of the pro plan which is $119.99 per year. But again the free version is robust.
Planoly is an app that is useful for people who want to plan out their social media content in advance. And of course if you are a writer with a published book and are looking to connect with your existing audience, social media is a must. But you may not be able to be at your computer or phone when it’s time to post, well Planoly allows you to schedule your content for Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. For the longest time, I used the free plan, which again is sufficient, but now I’ve graduated to the solo plan which is $7/mth.
While the software you’re using whether it’s Microsoft Word or Google Docs has a spell and grammar checker, I find Grammarly to be an extra layer of protection and I use it for every piece of content I create from books to emails. I still currently use the free version but you can also graduate up to the premium version that starts at $12/mth.
Oncehub is a scheduler. If you are a writer that also does coaching or consulting or just needs a way to get people on your calendar. Oncehub is a great app for that. They too offer a free plan, but otherwise starts at $10/month.
Godaddy is an internet domain registrar and web hosting company which is really a sophisticated way of saying you can buy your website and host it through them. So in other words, I own stefanienewell.com, thelifeofawriter.com and a whole of slew of other domains and I host my websites all through Godaddy. Domain names and website hosting varies, so I encourage you to check their site for pricing.