These days authors are doing it for themselves. And pulling out their hair while doing so. If you’re an author that’s interested in; editing your manuscript before handing it over to an editor; designing your own covers and finding the perfect fonts, formatting your own book, growing your mailing list and more, then I have a couple of websites that you just need to bookmark. First up is Pexels.com.
Pexels is a website that provides high quality and completely free stock photos licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. All photos are nicely tagged, searchable and also easy to discover through their discover pages. Authors can download and use the images to create book covers but also promotional images like teasers for Facebook and Twitter.
If you’re into designing your own covers then you know how important it is to find the right font for your designs. Font Squirrel scours the internet for high quality, legitimately free fonts and makes it easy for authors to download thousands of completely legal, high quality, fonts. I downloaded most of the fonts used on my personal website and on my book covers from Fontsquirrel.com. Their fonts are easy to download and install, however if you find yourself having trouble, Fontsquirrel’s sister site, Fontspring, has a great guide to installing fonts: https://www.fontspring.com/support/installing
After being a book designer for several years, and having hundreds of clients ask him if he could do their formatting, Derek Murphy decided to learn how to do print layout for POD books. But there were tricky issues: like not having headers or page numbers on chapter pages, or having blank pages and starting on the left or right. And if you screwed something up, the whole book could be off. But he kept at it, tired of leaving clients to do their own formatting without help: the manuscripts they made were unprofessional and full of errors.
When Derek stopped doing book design to write his own fiction, he wanted to put up a package of interior book formatting templates for InDesign, Createspace, Microsoft Word and more on this site (and he has done so). Plus there are lots of videos and guides – all free – so you can format your book on your own, save money, and have MUCH better looking books.
The next website on my list is Grammarly. Grammarly is a proofreading tool that checks text for grammar, punctuation, and style, and features a contextual spelling checker and plagiarism detector. Sadly it doesn’t work on mobile devices, but if you write on desktop then Grammarly is a great tool to have.
Unlike Grammarly, Pro writing aid does work perfectly fine on mobile devices. In addition to spotting grammar and spelling mistakes, ProWritingAid searches out elements like repetitiveness, vague wording, sentence length variation, over-dependence on adverbs, passive voice, over-complicated sentence constructions, and so much more.
If you’re a regular reader of NavigatingIndieworld.com, then chances are you’ve read T.J. Slee’s article about winning the top fiction prize in a contest organized by Booklife. (Check it out under Editor’s choice in the sidebar if you haven’t!) BookLife is a website from Publishers Weekly dedicated to indie authors. The site provides a free and easy way to submit self-published books to Publishers Weekly for review, and offers editorial content—success stories, interviews, author profiles, how-to pieces, news, and features—geared toward helping indie authors achieve their goals. Whether you’re an author who is focused on writing and editing, art and design, or marketing and distribution, BookLife has valuable resources that can help along the way.
The number one website on my list is InstaFreebie. InstaFreebie was created in 2014 with a mission to accelerate great stories and big ideas. Now, in 2017, and with over 10 millions downloads, Instafreebie has grown into one of the book world’s leading platform for exclusive access to sneak peeks, advance previews, and special giveaways. One of its greatest tool is the mailing list sign-up (which includes automatic integration with your Mailchimp list). It allows authors to select the “Mailing List Opt-in Required” and as a result readers need to subscribe to an author’s mailing list in order to be able to download the free book offered by that author. If you’re trying to grow your mailing list then Instafreebie is definitely worth looking into!
Do you have any websites that you’d recommend?
Author of “In flagrante delicto”