Self-Publishing Resources

Self-Publishing Resources For The Author Entrepreneur

These self-publishing resources is a place for me to share with you everything that I use personally in my author business.

Keep in mind that this is an on-going list because I may find better tools that will benefit the authors. So, my suggestion is to bookmark this page so then you can come back here as a reference.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links here are affiliate links which would mean that I will make a commission whenever you decide to make a purchase via these links without additional cost to you, of course. Everything that I have recommended here are the things that I have used personally, whether it’s in the present or in the past. I’m a big believer (not belieber, okay?) that you don’t need to spend a lot of money when it comes to creating an author site so get these apps and software if you find it necessary for your book marketing. 

Website Resources

  • WordPress: This is the blogging software I used for The Efficient You and my author site, Sekina Mayu.
  • Hostgator: This is the hosting company that I’m currently using to host The Efficient You and my author site. Use the coupon code EFFICIENT to receive $9.94 off on any hosting plan during your first month.
  • Namecheap: This is the place where I purchased the domain name for The Efficient You and my author site. What I really love about Namecheap is it’s cheaper than any other domain registrar I have come across. Perfect for general extension (.COM, .NET, .ORG). But if you’re looking for a country-specific extension, then Namecheap doesn’t have many choices here in this department.
  • iWantMyName: This is the domain registrar that I have used in the past for my Tumblr. If you decided to have a presence on Tumblr and want a dedicated domain just for your Tumblr, this is the domain registrar for you as they have one-click domain mapping specifically for your Tumblr. Other app with the one-click domain mapping is Shopify.
  • Divi Theme: It’s a premium theme by Elegant Themes. And it’s the one I’m currently using for The Efficient You and my author site. With just $69 annually, you don’t just have the access to Divi theme, but also other premium WordPress themes they have.
  • WooThemes: If you’re looking for free WordPress themes besides the one you can get from WordPress themes directory, you can get it here. Of course it’s much better to get yourself a premium theme (they also sell premium WordPress themes too) for the professional look but you can get decent looking WordPress themes here if you’re on a tight budget.

Email marketing

  • Active Campaign: This is the email marketing software that I have used in the past for The Efficient You. But I’ve decided to switch back to MailChimp after trying it for a couple of months.
  • MailChimp: This is my current email marketing service I use for The Efficient You and my author site. It’s not as impressive as Active Campaign in terms of its free plan. But MailChimp has a lot of integration with software, apps, and WordPress plugins. MailChimp is perfect if you use a lot of integration.

Keyword Research

  • Google Keyword Planner: This is a free keyword research tool if you need to know what keywords that bring traffic the most. You need to have Google AdWords account in order to use this tool, even if you don’t have any plan to advertise with Google. Keyword research is essential if you want to find out what keywords you should use for your book description so then people will discover your book based on the keywords you use in the book description.
  • Market Samurai: This is the keyword research tool that I’m currently using to do SEO  for The Efficient You and my author site. It’s easy to use too.
  • Google Trends: Knowing what keyword to use is not enough. You need to know whether people are searching for your products and services in the long term or not. The best way for you to know what’s trending is to use Google Trends. It can also shows you a forecast trend so you can see whether the trend will go upward, downward or sideway.

Accepting Payments

  • PayPal: The easiest way to get paid and paying your outsourcers. I don’t have Paypal enabled on my site but you need it if you use Gumroad to accept payment. Gumroad will send your payments to your Paypal account if you live outside US and Japan.
  • Gumroad: This is the payment processor I use to accept payment for my book. They charge 5% + 25 cents transaction fees based on the price of the items. You can easily integrate Gumroad on WordPress too with Official Gumroad plugin. I don’t use the plugin but I just provide a link to my Gumroad sales page.
  • Selz: Like Gumroad, it also allows you to sell directly on your website. But what I love about Selz is it allows you to sell services directly. It’s highly recommended if you’re selling services like coaching and consultation. I used Selz back then when I was selling services on The Efficient You before.
  • WooCommerce: If you sell both digital and physical products and you live outside US, then WooCommerce is perfect for you. Best of all, WooCommerce plugin is free and you can download it from WordPress plugin directory. I have written about WooCommerce in my book, Online Store Blueprint: How To Create & Manage An Online Store For Beginner
  • Payoneer: If you live in a country where Amazon doesn’t offer direct deposit as a payment option for your book royalty, you can use Payoneer to receive payment from Amazon. This is what I use to receive direct deposit  payment from Amazon since Amazon only offers check payment for other countries.

Productivity

  • Evernote: Whenever I have come across interesting blog posts and I want to save it for the future reference, I will use Evernote to save anything that I found beneficial for my business. Not only I can save the blog posts and view them later, I can also view it offline on my PC and my phone. It works much better than bookmarking the page.

Project Management

  • Wunderlist: It’s a to-do list app where you can create any lists such as your grocery lists. I use Wunderlist to plan what I need to do today.
  • Trello: It’s an app that I use to keep track of the to-do list for my projects. I also use it to organize my project as well.

Testing and Tracking

  • Google Analytics: This is certainly a must-have for those who have a website of any kind. And of course it’s free unless you have a large team that requires access to your analytic.

Social Media Management

  • Tweetdeck: This is what I use to manage all of my Twitter accounts. I like the interface where I’ll be able to see all of my Twitter accounts in one tab.
  • Buffer: I use this to schedule whatever blog posts I’ve come across without needing me to set what time I want the post to go live. All you need to do is to connect with whatever social media account you have and you can schedule and cross-posted the post to your social media account.

Bookkeeping

  • Wave: This is free bookkeeping software which is also the current bookkeeping software I’m currently using. You can easily connect it to your PayPal and bank account and it will automatically record every transaction occurred in your account. The only downside is it won’t be able to connect with your bank account if you live outside the United States.

Ebook/book creation

  • Hemingway App: It’s a tool that I use to do the copyediting for my book. This app also available for PC and Mac, but they’re the paid version. I use the web app which is free.
  • Grammarly: It’s a tool that I use to check my grammar and typos. The free version allows you to do the basic grammar checking while the premium version offers you vocabulary enhancement.
  • Canva: I don’t use it to create an ebook cover or a print book cover. But I do use it to create Pinterest and Twitter graphic for my blog posts and also my audiobook cover. You can use this app to create an ebook cover if you prefer to create the cover yourself.
  • DIY Book Formats: It’s a free paperback book templates by Derek Murphy from Creativ Indie. I have to admit that my print book looks like it’s being professionally formatted thanks to his book templates. I highly encourage you to get the book templates if you’re publishing a print book.
  • Recordio App: This is a handy app for me to record my audiobook. It’s available for Android, iOS and also the web app.

Ebook/book publishing platform

  • Smashwords: This is the place I use to publish my ebook and distribute to major retailers such as Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, and Scribd.
  • Amazon Kindle: This is another place for me to distribute my ebook in Kindle format.
  • Createspace: If you’re thinking about publishing paperback for your book, this is the print-on-demand (POD) service I’m currently using to publish the paperback version of my book.
  • Author’s Republic: If you live outside the US and the UK, you may not be able to distribute your audiobook through ACX. Now you can do that with Author’s Republic. Not only they will distribute your audiobook to Audible and iTunes but also to other websites that sell audiobooks.