These are the professionals, services, and products that I engage as I work on my books.
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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
Hybrid Author Podcast
I just so happen to co-host the Hybrid Author Podcast (beginning Nov 1, 2017) with my good friend, Brian Williamson. Each week we chat about writing, publishing, and marketing for traditionally published, self-published, and hybrid authors.
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.
I *love* having a place where I can track multiple projects at once, and while the social aspect of it is not as robust as other platforms, I hope it will improve as it moves out of Beta.
Adobe InDesign for print layout
Vellum for eBook and print (with upgrade) layout. Mac only, but many folks set up a Mac emulator to run this off their PCs.
Draft2Digital has a variety of services for layout and production which are free to use even if you don't choose to use their distribution services (though there are arguments to be made for using them).
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.)
CreateSpace – For directly producing your print book for Amazon distribution.
IngramSpark – For directly producing your print book for the non-Amazon global distribution.
Bowker – For sourcing your own ISBNs. Their other services are wildly overpriced, but it may be worth signing up for their offer emails for the occasional ISBN specials.
Draft2Digital – Formatting and distribution for your digital and print book formats. Also recently partnered with Findaway Voices to circumvent the ACX/Audible process.
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! They have recently added services to support book giveaways and direct sales of digital books from your website.
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 so I don't have to remember to go back after a scheduled post has published.
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 perhaps the easiest 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.
Ballistic Keto High Octane MCT Oil Powder - High-quality C8 and C10 MCT Oil powder to add to your favorite hot beverage. The Salted Caramel, not even a flavor I normally like, has completely eclipsed my love of Heavy Cream in coffee.
Keto Clarity - Book co-written by a doctor and a layman to help break down the science and the advantages of eating Keto.
The Ketogenic Bible - Written by doctors, this book explains the science and fundamentals to people new to this lifestyle.
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.