These are the professionals, services, and products that I engage as I work on my books. Please note while some of these are affiliate links, all links represent a genuine heartfelt endorsement.
Your ideas are inside of you. Sometimes you need some prompting to get them out, though. This idea of a Grecian Muse makes it sounds like an artist needs a push. Okay fine, we need a push, but we don’t need someone else whispering in our ear. Ideas are everywhere! Get out of the house. Go for a walk. Sit in a coffee shop and pick some random conversation’s tiniest point and blow the drama inflatable raft up to make it a life or death situation. Go to a museum. Visit a historical graveyard and pick a name off a headstone. Ask yourself ridiculous “what if” questions. Or use this online title generator to come up with a random string of words that inspire you.
Developmental Editing / Coaching
I have used Scrivener for my writing since the first time I tried to move a scene around in a long Word document.
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)
The New Year’s Resolution of writing, in an awesome community event that makes the act seem just a little less isolated.
Adobe InDesign for print layout
Vellum for eBook layout (and in Summer of 2017, the app will handle print layout, too!)
Lulu for quick paperback and hardcover proofs. Set your project to “Private” and order a copy to proof, markup, or just hold and admire.
Book production marketplace (editors, designers, etc.)
I build this list of marketing tools as I implement them and can be sure I’m not spreading snake oil.
Mailer Lite – All accounts get access to their full feature list. You only pay based on your subscriber numbers. (Use this link to sign up and get $20 credit)
Alliance of Independent Authors for Guidance and the Latest Indie Publishing Advice
Book Funnel – For sending out eBooks to your readers. They handle getting them the right format, and they handle support requests!
Twitter – Don’t pay for Twitter ads, which have one of the lowest ROIs of online marketing. But do be a normal (considerate) human who tweets about life and the things you’re passionate about (only the things you’d tell your mom about, though, maybe)
Facebook – Facebook Pages are a stupid necessity. Almost no one will see what you post, but you do want to have a presence. When you have a strong following, consider starting a Facebook Group, at least for your super fans. Group posts do show up more often, organically.
YouTube – Figure out what kind of video content you can provide and make regular updates.
Instagram – Photos of your daily life, your books when they arrive, your fans when you meet them out in the wild, and book announcements when your titles are released.
The thing about Social Media is that it can be a time sink. Don’t spend all day ‘developing’ your social media brand instead of writing your next book. Just be human, not a used car salesman.
IFTTT – I use their social media recipes to automate posting my WordPress and YouTube updates to my social media profiles.
Litsy iOS Android (user RJTheodore) – Honestly not sure if this platform will last, due to their content restrictions, but it seems like a good place to have a presence (and to reserve your pen name as soon as possible).
Website Hosting with A2 – I recently switched when my old host was bought out and stripped down. A2 has very responsive support and all the features I need, plus discount codes to save on your first year, and they’ll migrate your site over from any compatible server.
WordPress – I recommend hosting your WP blog on your own domain (and don’t pay WordPress.com to redirect for you, their prices are insane), but it’s an insanely easy platform to learn and handles a lot of customization without ever having to touch the template code.
Health & Wellness
I make no apologies for being a huge advocate for the Ketogenic lifestyle, so occasionally I’ll make mention of some supplements or other supplies that I use, and here they are so you can find them all together.
Doctor’s Best Chelated Magnesium Glycinate – the most efficient source of Mg, which helps balance your neurological and muscular as well as emotional well-being. Magnesium, Sodium, and Potassium are essential electrolytes, but Mg is the only one I supplement in addition to the real food sources. Doctor’s Best is one of my favorite brands, though Now would also be good.
Choline Force, Brain Octane Oil, and Unfair Advantage – There are cheaper versions of similar products out there but I really appreciate the attention that Bulletproof pays to the quality of their sources.
Keto Clarity – Book co-written by a doctor and a layman to help break down the science and the advantages of eating Keto.
Fat Head Kids – Book written by Tom Naughton of Fathead The Movie fame (I think it’s still on Netflix, if not, check YouTube). He uses a Science Fiction star ship metaphor to help folks of any age understand how the human body reacts to the food we shovel into it.