Great resources

These resources were originally collected for writers, but apply to anyone looking for digital and social media help.


• Writing a book
Not sure how to get started writing your book? Prolific author Jerry Jenkins has written a post called “How to Write a Book: Everything You Need to Know in 20 Steps” which shares his best practices on getting started, keeping going, and what to do once you’re done writing. Everyone’s work styles are different, but you might find Jenkins’ hard-won writing advice illuminating.

Having trouble finishing your book? Or maybe you’ve finished your book but now want someone to give it a professional look-over? Look into Diane O’Connell’s Write to Sell Your Book editorial coaching services.

• Practical advice for producing your book
Joel Friedlander, a veteran book designer, has put together quite a resource site over the past few years—from editorial & writing tips to publishing timelines, along with lots of production advice. He’s trying to monetize his site now with webinars and programs, which are also useful. Make sure to especially check out his various book templates, if you’re trying to layout a book yourself.
As of March 2017: Friedlander has just launched a soup-to-nuts book production company for indie writers and publishers. It’s called The Bookmakers. Worth checking out!

• Book cover design
This tip comes from reader Emily Strum. After doing lots of searching she found the folks at to offer the best cover design services. The site makes it super-easy to match your project to a potential designer at a very good price. (It happens in contest fashion, where you are the final judge.) They also have human consultants who can walk you through the process, if you prefer.

Another resource for ready-made covers is Canva. This wonderful graphic design website has an extensive library of customizable book cover templates for any sort of fiction or nonfiction book. Free after sign-up. (Canva is also great for easily designing FB or Pinterest graphics about your book.)

Building a Website

• Why to have a website
Just in case you’re still wondering. This article is aimed at authors, but applies to all those who still don’t have a website. The larger website is a goldmine of helpful posts about promoting your book.

If you’re not using the services of a designer, Website Setup (again per reader Emily Strum) is a very helpful site that walks you through the steps of setting up a WordPress website. (And also helps you understand the terms “domains,” “platforms,”  “plugins,” and “themes.”) WordPress used to be best known for its powerful blog aspects but now most of its themes give you choices about how prominent the blog appears on your site. The owner of, Robert Mening, says he gets more than 50 questions a day from readers (I bet!) and tries his best to answer them.

» If you don’t feel up to figuring out Wordpress and want a website today, NOW, I suggest using the click-and-drag website builders,, or the templates that are often offered when you buy your domain. They all will get you up and running in under a day (if you have the content and images all ready to go)—but may not be a longterm solution if you also need a robust blog, video, or sales cart functions on your website. has done a comparison of the above website builders, if you’re having trouble deciding among them.

• Hire a designer
Many website owners don’t want to get their hands dirty with the backend of website building nor with creating the graphics that make their sites unique. If that applies to you, you may be best off hiring a designer. But since you won’t know how to make your own future changes, that may mean you’re tied to your designer for life!

The best way to find an agreeable designer is to get references from satisfied customers. Find a site you admire and that has the functions you suspect you need on your website, and use the contact page to write to the owner and ask who designed her site.

You can also use many of the design project matchmaker services, like the above-mentioned

And remember: keep the info on your website updated!

Why to get on the Social Media bandwagon

• Maintaining Your Writing Career (cuz if you don’t do it, who will?)
by Andrew Zack, President, The Zack Company, Inc., and Author Coach

• Why every author needs a powerful online presence
by Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, now consultant and blogging evangelist

• For Publishers, Who Should Be the Gatekeepers of Social Media?
by Matt Kinsman, Folio
Who gets the keys to the engine, edit, sales or marketing?

Building a Social Following

• Author Websites — How to Get Search Engine Traffic
For all those wondering how best to get people to know about you and your books, The Book Marketing Maven, Dana Lynn Smith, shares how to make your author website more search-engine friendly—some easy tips mixed in with some technical advice. Good stuff to know!

• 7 Tips to Building an Online Following
by Nathan Bransford, author and former literary agent now working in the tech industry, and a wealth of information for authors.

5 Tips for Managing Your Online Reputation
by Debra Murphy, who runs a top-notch digital marketing services website. She offers tips on monitoring what’s being said about you online and how to combat negative comments and reviews. 

Creating a Plan

• Author’s Plan for Social Media Efforts
A great list that’s exhausting even to read, from social media superstar blogger Chris Brogan.


• Four surprising conclusions about author websites
by Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, now consultant and blogging evangelist

• Anatomy of writing a good 500-word blog post
by Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, now consultant and blogging evangelist

• A Simple Step-by-Step Guide to SEO 
by Kristi Hines, a top writer/blogger whose blog Kikolani focuses on blog marketing for personal, professional, and business bloggers.

• 6 Ways for Writers to Make Their Blogs More Search-Engine Friendly

• Creating a Blogging Calendar

• Must-See SEO Guide for All WordPress Bloggers
An advanced primer on how to write items that search engines will find


• Twitter Etiquette for Authors – How Not to be Obnoxious
Tips for those who don’t want to tweet about what they ate for breakfast, from Bibliocrunch, a hub for indie writers

• 33 Twitter Tips for Authors and Book Marketers
Good list of current (2012) tips by Brian Feinblum, the creator and author of BookMarketingBuzzBlog

• Should I Tweet?
by agent Betsy Lerner, one of my favorite tough-talking publishing bloggers

• The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter
by Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, now consultant and blogging evangelist
You can tell this was written several years ago, since Michael Hyatt uses the term “twittering” rather than the more commonly used “tweeting,” but still is a great primer.

• How to Use Twitter
by Nathan Bransford, author and former literary agent now working in the tech industry, and a wealth of information on publishing and blogging

• How to Set Up Twitter Lists (so you’re not overwhelmed with all the streaming posts)
A short primer from the New York Times Gadgetwise blog (which has lots of great techie tips)

• Organizing Your Twitter Use via Hootsuite (video)
by Marian Schembari, wonderful demystifier of all things social media. An 11-minute video about setting up Hootsuite.

• Twitter Lingo & Tips for New Twitter & Facebook Users
by Kristy, social media maven at the informative Kikolani blog

• The Best Twitter Hashtags for Writers
by Kristin Thiel, Christian Science Monitor|+Books%29

• Weekly Discussions on Twitter for Authors
Long list of author/reader chats on nearly every topic

• List of Weekly Tweet Chats for Authors
by Debbie Ridpath, Inkygirl author and blogger

• If Your Twitter Account Gets Hacked


• Why to create a Facebook Author page
Good advice from blogger/writer Joanna Penn, a wonderful writers’ resource based in Australia.

• The Easiest and Most Idiot Proof Guide to Facebook in the World
A great primer for Facebook skeptics, from the savvy women at the useful site.


Google+ is no longer a big presence in social media, but the more you know about Google and how its search processes work (and are ever-evolving), the better off you’ll be. Use Google itself to find the latest articles about search, keywords, and visibility.

 Why Every Website Owner Needs a Google Account
by MaAnna Stephenson


• Promote Your Books in the Publications Section on LinkedIn
by Dana Lynn Smith, a book marketing coach (The Book Marketing Maven) and author of the Savvy Book Marketer Guides.

• How to Feature Your Book on Your LinkedIn Profile
by Dana Lynn Smith, a book marketing coach (The Book Marketing Maven) and author of the Savvy Book Marketer Guides


• How to Use Pinterest to Market Books
by Rob Eager, head of a dynamic marketing firm for authors and others looking to “spread their message like wildfire.”

Book (& Self) Promotion

• 10 Ways to Sell Books on Amazon
by Carolyn Howard Johnson, author of The Frugal Book Promoter

• How Authors Can Use GoodReads to Promote

• Authors and Podcasting
by Joanna Penn, author and book marketer at The Creative Penn

• How to market an “old” book
by Terry Cordingley, book marketer

Royalty Info

• E-Book Royalty Math (the House Always Wins)
by the Authors Guild

Networking via Blogging

• Why & How to Guest Post
by Marian Schembari, social media consultant
• Use Blog Commenting as a Networking Superweapon
by Arik Hansen, ACH Communications, and the great Social Media Examiner blog

Being More Productive 

• Excellent list of tech tools and apps to be the most productive writer/speaker/blogger you can be 
by Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, now consultant and blogging evangelist

• Great crowdsourcing research tool: Twitter

• MacFreedom
A simple productivity application that locks you away from the internet on Mac or Windows computers for up to eight hours at a time.

• Scrivener
Long-form writing software that helps with organizing notes and revisions

• Evernote: A Better Filing System for Writers
by Michael Hyatt

• How to Manage Your E-mail Inbox
by Nicole Marie Richardson, Inc. magazine


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