Author Resources for Writing, Design, Layout, Publishing and Marketing Your Book

Not Sure Where to Put it
Digital Children's Book Collection at the Library of Congress

Some of my favorite writing and publishing resources, all available on
Making Your Book
These two free books by Amazon on formatting your Kindle book are excellent and in my opinion are all you really need. The secret is to follow their instructions exactly. The only real difference between the PC on and the Mac one is on how to build a table of contents.

Transcription Services, Video & Audio to Text
You don't have to always write your book, you can dictate it or transcribe a video of you giving a talk or conducting an interview. Creating your book from audio is becoming very popular. Here are some excellent resources for moving the audio into text. For most of these services you just upload a video or audio file or just the link for them. The services also seem to be getting better and better.
•, one of the best transcription services around. $1/minute.

•, this is's little brother. Instead of people they use AI. It isn't quite as good, but it is only $.10 a minute.

There are even free transcription services for doing this. 
•, is pretty cool. Just turn it on and it transcribes while you are talking. If you are conducting an interview this can be running in another browser. Pretty accurate and free.

• is another real time transcription service. It has the added feature of the text showing up really big on a black screen. Perfect for free close captioning on the fly.

Editing pulls your book together, it fixes errors and improves your writing on all fronts. Finding an editor is often a challenge to new authors. Below are some resources to help you out.

• Editorial Freelance Association, how much does an editor cost and where do I find them. Find a Freelancer and figure out what it might cost.

You can hire an editor, and there are many different kinds; development, copy, and proofing. You can also use some software products that do alot of the work for you. Having that second set of eyes is always valuable but the software options can be a good pre-step. Here is an excellent article from on 9 Manuscript Editing Software Programs You Should Consider

• ProWritingAid:

• Grammarly:

• AutoCrit:

• SmartEdit:

Finding Content Ideas for Your Book
There are a number of ways to come up with content quickly. I talk about this in my Top Ten Book Creation Technique.
• Google Alerts
• Do a Google Search and watch the drop down menu for Google's suggestions. Also look at the bottom of the search results for additional ideas. This also works very well with Amazon and YouTube and Bing. All of these search engines attempt to figure out what you are looking for based on crowd sourced searches. 
• Type this phrase into Google Search, Top Ten Tips on XYZ or Top 5 . . ., or Best Tips . . . any of these will generate a list of top ten lists that you can use to generate ideas on your topic
• Type this phrase into Google Search, Best XYZ(Your subject) for, and watch what falls out of the search box. Great way to find unexpected topics.
• Using the See Inside feature of Amazon and looking at the Table of Contents
• Check out an amazing idea generator based around key words.

Quote Websites
Sometimes we need a quote for our books, below are a couple. Be sure to check the Terms of Use page on each site for usage.
Values of the, 30,000 searchable quotes about wisdom and values based around progressive thinking and ancient wisdom., this is the big online quote site. Quotes on topics, authors, news makers, quote of the day.
Quote a lot of quotes on a lot of topics,


Book Covers
There are lots of places to get your book cover made, here are some popular resources in order of costs
•, Canva has some really cool pre-made templates that you can customize

•, probably the cheapest, you will need to dig around some but very popular

•, a little more money but you can get a really cool from their pool of designers

• 3D covers for marketing and promotion, Boxshot has free and paid covers (left)

• A free site for making 3D book covers, including hardcover books, and books in tablets and smartphones and combinations of devices DYI Book

Ronenness 3D box Cover Generator. This site works pretty well for creating a box, you can create the box using Chrome but will need Firefox to create and download the final image,

• Additional 3D book cover resources,

Book Insides
You can also connect with and for interior designs, along with finding a local freelance designer or also do the book yourself. For a Kindle it isn't that hard to do, the paperback is a little more work and you might need help.

• If you want to format your Kindle book yourself you can check my course Easy Kindle Book. I take you from initial formatting all the way through to hitting the publish button. Includes formatting, table of contents, working with images, making your cover, uploading to Kindle and hitting the publishing button.

Choosing Colors
Need help coming up with your books color pallet, check out Thousands of color options

Book Layout
My go to program for all book design and layouts is Adobe Indesign. It is a big, powerful program that is the leader in graphic design. Maybe to much for just one book, but if you are designing and producing many books this is the program. Also goes with PhotoShop and Illustrator. You can rent it monthly.

Don't want to go that far try PowerPoint. Upp, this works also and almost everyone has it. Great for children's books and journals. I call this the poor man's graphic design program. It is powerful and saves in jpg and pdf.

Programs to Use for Book Design and Layout
MS Word, this has been the standard for ever for writing. It is great for writing but also for layout for Kindle ebooks. What else can I say. It is what everyone uses.

Google Docs, if you want to be online and have full access from anywhere, Google Docs works great. You can even create the book completely here, writing and Kindle ebook files. Learn more at

Scrivener, a popular word-processing program and outliner program designed for authors. Allows you to keep all your image files, pdf documents, movies, sound files and web pages right inside Scrivener. Learn more at

Adobe InDesign, InDesign is the premier page layout program. Different versions of it have been around for over 30 years. InDesign can handle any kind of graphic design project from business cards to books, flyers, brochures, newspapers. Really anything related to design. If you are at all serious this is the program to use. It does have a learning curve but will cover everything. Is now purchased on-line and rented monthly under the name Adobe InDesign Creative Cloud. I use and highly recommend this program. To learn more,

Quick link for InDesign Mac and PC keyboard shortcuts

Adobe Illustrator, What InDesign is to page layout, Illustrator is to illustrations. This is the premier illustration and drawing program. Part of the same Creative Cloud package these two programs go hand in hand. To learn more,

MS PowerPoint, PowerPoint has been the premier presentation program forever, but what most people don't know is that it is also a pretty good book creation program. If you don't have InDesign and are creating, coloring books, picture books, children's books or journals you can make pretty good version using PowerPoint. Not perfect but pretty good, especially for the insides. The covers can be a little tricky but the insides are work just fine. It also works for any other graphic you might need like a little flyer or book mark.

Scribus, an open source page layout program for just about any operating system from Lynux, Windows, Mac OS and a lot others. Similar to Adobe Indesign but free. I don't know much about it but very interesting. Seems to support pretty much eveything.

Online Programs, Canva online graphic design templates, beautiful designs, free and very small pay options. Tons of templates and ideas for everything online. They also have a great Kindle cover template

Relay, like Canva, this is also an on design program for everything social media wise. Upload the graphics and you get tons of customizable options to choose from.

Book Categories
When you select a category for your book you use what is called the BISAC subject categories. It categorizes where the books go in Amazon. The BISAC codes loosely apply to the Amazon categories but not quite. It is all kind of mysterious in the background as to how and where a book ends up. To learn more about the BISAC codes you check out this link.

Jane Friedman from Jane has some excellent Publishing Checklists on her website, great for planning out your book
The Self-Publishing Checklist: Editorial, Production, and Distribution

Along with some other articles on marketing and publishing for writers
Marketing and Publishing Checklist for Writers

Stock Photos and Artwork

Stock photos, Clip Art Sites
• yearly fee, almost unlimited uses, unlimited downloads

Use the rights free ones
Google and Wikipedia

Online Free Photos, this site is fill with royalty free photos, vectors and art illustrations that you can use for all kinds of things., Free High-Resolution photos, all of the photos are copyright free under the Creative Commons Zero license. Pretty cool images, a very cool site with commercial, non commercial, public domain photos of all kinds,, more free images,
99Designs Free Images, 99  has put out a fantastic list of 30 public domain photo websites. You always need to check to be sure but this is great place to start,

Royalty Free Maps
Editable Adobe Illustrator and PowerPoint Maps for Illustrations, Presentations, Graphic Design, Web, and Education
World of Maps, •

Online Photo Editing
•  jpg
•  jpg
•  jpg and tif
• jpg
• PicMonkey jpg
• Canva, one of the best image creating sites,

Converting Images from 72dpi to 300dpi for Print Projects
• Number 1 is Adobe PhotoShop, which you can now rent at a very reasonable price. You can rent on a month plan of about $32/month. Gather your images and rent for a month, sometimes there is even a free trial.

On a Mac, it is actually pretty easy, use the Preview app that comes with every Mac. Go to Tools > Adjust Size, deselect Resample image and then type in the new resolution, 300. You will notice that your sizes change to the appropriate size, keep Scale proportionally checked. Save and you are ready to go.

• On a PC. looking for a good solution.

• Converting images from 72dpi to 300dpi for print projects is easy to do with PhotoShop but is a pain if you don't have it. A really fast way to resize your original camera image from 72dpi down to 300dpi for print projects is to use a service like Convert Town. You can't crop it but this site does a pretty good job of downsizing. What I might do is crop your image in a site like at the original 72 resolution and then come over to Convert Town to change the resolution.

• Another solution is the open source photo editor GIMP. GIMP is a cross platform manipulation program. GIMP is free to download and use. I am assuming it will work on most computers. But I have a newer iMac and it blocks it because it isn't part of the Apple developer program. So it may only work on Windows. But you can try it.

Vector Graphics
Artboard Drawing Softward, alternative to Adobe Illustrator

Auto Drawing by Google
If you need a quick drawing for your book you can have Google do it for you with their Auto Drawing tool. Take a quick stab at drawing the outline and then let Google finish it off. It is pretty cool how it figures out what you are trying to draw.

Image Converter
Sometimes you need to convert files from jpg to png or to something else or you need to change the dpi but you don't have Photoshop. is a pretty good place to go. They can also do a lot of other conversions.

Turning Photos to Black and White Outlines for Coloring Books
This video isn't perfect but gives you a pretty good idea of how to turn a photo into an outline image for a coloring book,

Creating art for Coloring Books
There are lots of ways to create your illustrations for your coloring book
• You can hire an illustrator, Fiverr is a good place to look
• You can license it from a stock photo house like ShutterStock, Dreamstime, Pixabay. Look above for links
• You can draw it yourself using pen and paper, scan it, clean it up in photoshop
Use a WaCom tablet connected to Illustrator or Photoshop
Use a art/drawing app like Symmetry Lab on your iPad or tablet. The cost is minimal and the tools are powerful. Here is a quote from on of the members of my How to Publish Your Book Facebook group:

"I use a stylus on my iPad - much easier than using Wacom. there are so many art/drawing apps - I use Symmetry Lab - you can get it free or the paid version, which is like $1.99 or something ludicrously cheap. Well worth the spend for the expansion of what you can do with it. I set it to draw one iteration and do my thing, save it to Dropbox, and download it to Photoshop, where I modify it and tweak it. saves me so much time! I did 7 coloring books in 3 months - never could have done that drawing on paper!

Symmetry Lab also allows you iteration functionality - draw one line, get 2,3,4,5,6 or 7 more aligned lines, like instant mandalas." 

1. "drawing" right on the screen. The Wacom seems confusing to me. 
• yes, drawing on the screen is much easier. 
• I have a large iPad, which makes it that much easier, too. with the Wacom, you are disconnected from the screen I could never get used to it.

2. How do you set up a normal page size, export, etc. Do you have to use IN Design, Photo shop, etc? 
• I save the image to dropbox, which I have set up to immediately download to my computer. 
• I retrieve the image on my computer and open it in photoshop. it will be at 72 dpi. so I make corrections and then convert it to 300 dpi. it will be horribly fuzzy.
• so then I open it in Illustrator, and make it into a vector image - nice clean lines. 
• then I copy and paste it right into the photoshop file and flatten it, name it and save it.
• I make copies of it - in page size, and also 1000 px wide or tall to use on Instagram of FB if I wish.
• now I open InDesign and import the image to my page.

3. Also can you upload a scanned sketch somehow onto the iPad to make final lines over it with your stylus?
• I've never tried, so can't answer that - I doubt it with the app I'm using, but with others it might be possible. hope this has helped.  —Angela Treat Lyon

Wacom Intuos Draw CTL490DW Digital Drawing and Graphics Tablet
There are many different kinds of tablets, WaCom, Huion, Ugee
• Symmetry Labs drawing app for iPhone, iPad and Android, check your App store
Article from Digital Trends, The Best Drawing Apps for the iPad Pro

Media Kit
Need to remove the background from your photo? Check out Remove.BG. it is pretty amazing

Books don't work without text of some kind, but where do you get them? The first place to look is right on your computer. Both PC and Macs come with a very nice selection of fonts. If you want more options then check out the sites listed below.

eBook Fonts
My recommendation for fonts for your Kindle publishing is to use Times and Arial fonts. These are probably already on your PC or Mac and they will work just fine. In reality the reader selects the font that they want for their reading device. You want to keep your ebook formatting as simple as you can. It is different than a printed book. With print you can do whatever you want but with your ebook simpler is better.

Printed Book Fonts
Again our computers today come with a very nice selection of regular serif (Times) and san serif (Arial, Formata etc.) fonts. Fonts like Baskerville, Adobe Garamond, Minion, Bookman, Times, Janson, Minion, Century Schoolbook and Calibri. Fonts that are easy to read and work well. But there are lots more especially if you need a decorative font for a chapter title or cover. I will often purchase my fonts but there are also many free sites. My go-to pay site is, they carry all major type houses.

Pay Fonts Sites, Fonts,,

There are also lots of free fonts out there. Be careful with them and make sure they work correctly when creating your pdf file. I do not recommend using any unique font that you download or that isn't already on your computer for your Kindle ebooks, but for print it is ok, just test first. And be careful not to download any fonts with spam connected to them

Free Fonts Sites,,
Google Fonts,,

Figuring Out a Font??
You are trying to match or figure out a font on an existing project. What is it, where do I get it? It can be almost impossible to figure out. But there is a great tool from Font Squirrel that can really help. They have a Font identifier feature that lets you upload a picture of your font. It scans it and figures it out, or pretty close.
Font Squirrel Font Indentifier:


e-Books, breaks down to two areas, Mobi for Kindle, and epub for everyone else
  • Kindle/Amazon Publishing, is the biggest and where you should start first with your e-book publishing
  • Kindle has a new app for creating regular e-books, like novels, non-fiction etc books and books from pdfs like picture books, children's books, travel books, cookbooks, etc. It is called Kindle Create. It is fantastic and easy to use. Frankly I would't even both with the old way of making Kindle e-books by formatting Word files. I am leaving the Kindle resources below if you want them but just go with Kindle Create. Works great on Mac or PC. Super easy for making table of contents even on a pdf file.
    Free to download and use from the KDP/Kindle site, Kindle Create

Kindle has a new service that walks you through the e-book publishing process called Kindle Jumpstart. They break the process down into 4 areas, Getting Started, Book Details, Manuscript & Cover and Rights and Pricing. Click here to start with the Kindle training, Kindle Jumpstart

Amazon/Kindle has an excellent book on setting up your MS-Word file for Kindle. It is simple and direct. The tricky parts are dealing with images and the Table of Contents. Follow exactly what these books say to do and you will succeed getting your book up correctly.
Kindle PC, Building Your Book for Kindle
Kindle Mac, Building Your Book for Kindle Mac edition

There are a lot of other e-book publishing sites. Some of these will interface with Kindle and then with a lot of other e-book sellers and readers. Every site other than Kindle uses the epub format.
  •, integrates with a number of platforms
  •, integrates with a number of platforms
  •, integrates with a number of platforms
  • Apple iBooks

Physical Book with Print-on-Demand Publishing
  • is a division of Amazon an is free to use and allows you sell your books on Amazon. Amazon’s Print on Demand prints an individual book every time a book is ordered on Amazon. I have over 40 books on Kindle, it works great. Kindle/Amazon is the main site for self-publishing
  • Video from Kindle University/Amazon on Formatting Your Paperback.

Kindle Support Links

Other Print-on-Demand Publishing Sites
  •, lots of options for sizes, and binding, has a relationship with Amazon
  •, great for photo books, cool online software, Bookwrite
  •, distributes books to many ebook and print outlets
  • Books-A-Million D.I.Y with BAM! Publishing, write, publish, print and distribute in print or ebook
  • MagCloud, another option that I just discovered for printing and selling your books. It looks like they have paperback, hardcover, saddle sitch and spiral binding-cool. Plus a variety of other things they can print such as books, flyers, posters. Might be a nice alternative to the high prices of Blurb. Plus they have an 14x11 tabloid book.
  • The Bookstore Route. If selling in bookstores is part of your marketing and distribution plan then you need to go in a little different path. I am a huge fan of Kindle/Amazon and their print on demand model. It works great. But if you want to be in bookstores not so much, Kindle/Print doesn't really distribute to brick and mortar stores. An alternative is to use a service like Ingram is the worlds largest book distributor with over 39,000 outlets and retail stores. They also have a print-on-demand side called Similar to CreateSpace but they also give you access to their bookstore catalog and stores worldwide. They are a little more money and a little more effort but this is the direction to head if you want to sell in stores. If you are thinking of being a publisher this is the direction. I recently interviewed Robin Cutler on how they work and you can check that out in this video.
  • Gatekeeper Press is another option for printing and distribution. They do have fees but they can be an alternative to IngramSpark.
  • If you are printing journal books, especially if you want spiral binding then might be a place to look. They can create all kinds of cool journals, planners, and appointment books with a variety of bindings. 

Saving Files as PDF for KDP.Amazon
For KDP.Amazon print books we need to save our files as high res pdf files. 
• In InDesign, this is done from the Export PDF window.

ISBN Numbers
If you are creating a printed book and for some ebooks you will need an ISBN number. Here is an excellent article from the blog on the ins and outs of ISBN numbers.
You can use the free numbers supplied by most of the print-on-demand publishing sites or you can purchase one from Bowker. ISBN are purchased at, owned by Bowker

Audio Books
Audio books are as growing part of the book publishing mix and are now bigger than ebooks. You can often charge more for an audio book than your do for a print or ebook. The dominant site is Audible owned by Amazon and accessed through ACX is kind of like the Kindle for audio books. But their are other sites also. Below are some resources to check out. To be on Audible you generally need to have pretty good production quality
• Audio books from Amazon, is a subscription service., where you go to create an audio book for selling on Amazon,

Findaway Voices, an alternative to ACX and a way to create and distribute audio books to multiple retailers. Great for indie authors., they have an excellent Help page which describes the process,

•, a site for purchasing audio books,

Narration for an Audiobook
Looking for someone to narrate your audiobook for ACX or Findaway Voices?
• Dave Courvoisier is a voice expert. He has years of experience from TV and radio and can either create the audiobook for you or guide you through the process. Learn more at or call 702-610-6288
• There are also quite a few other freelance voiceover and audio folks at Fiverr

PDF Digital Publishing Platforms
  •, a PDF publishing site, kind of like YouTube for pdf files
  • online publishing, magazines, heavy into fashion and style

How to Self-Publish
Here is an excellent article by Jane Friedman on How to Self Publish Your Book, covers all the basics, and some excellent resources on publishing

Comic Books
Digital printing for comic books Ka-Blam Digital Printing

Audio Recording
You can publish your book in print, but you can also publish your book as an audio book. If you are going to distribute your book on Amazon then you are probably going to sell through To submit your book to Audible you will need to go through another company called ACX manages the process of recording your book and moving it over to Amazon for sale.

But you don't have to do this if you want to just record your book and sell it on your website or turn it into a pod cast on iTunes. To record your book you can use a $100 microphone like the Blue Yeti and a free software like Audacity. It is a little more complicated than this but it is actually pretty simple. You can also record your book as a series of videos and host them on YouTube and your website. A teleprompter can be very useful if you are going to record your book as a series of videos. There are a number of free ones that work pretty well. I recently use EasyPrompter to record a series of book videos. CuePrompter is also pretty good.
  • Amazon Audible
  • Amazon ACX
  • A cool new service for publishing audio books. FindAway VoicesFindAway Voices helps authors and publishers create professionally-narrated audiobooks at the best possible rates. Then, they make those audiobooks available for sale through the world's largest network of audiobook sellers. Gives you control over your content and an easier way to enter the audio market.
Blue Yeti USB microphone

Video on Using Audible 

Puzzles, Games, Spiral/Wire Bound Books
Puzzles, if you have illustrations how about turning them into puzzles. Puzzles Unlimited is the premier manufacturer of specialty custom made-to-order jigsaw puzzles. The price is pretty affordable and this might be a nice add on product.

Games, Making a board game can be expensive and hard to do, there are a lot of parts. But with Print & Play Games of Vancouver, Washington you have the power of print-on-demand and might be able to create one. Worth checking out,

• Another game company where you can make games, The Game From their website ["The Game Crafter (TGC) is the world’s first web-to-print game publishing company and offers a print on demand game publishing service. TGC empowers game designers around the world by allowing them to make a board game, card game, and custom playing cards through a website. Using the latest web technology, TGC developed an online publishing platform that simplifies the design, manufacturing, and retail processes related to tabletop games. TGC offers templates, instructions, videos, and proofing tools to help designers create a quality product."] Looks like a cool company and their is a ton of info on their site.

Journal Books. I get this question now and then, can we make a spiral or wire bound journal book and with a hard cover. With CreateSpace and IngramSpark no, but there is a company that does create them. It is called I not a big fan of having piles of books sitting around but if you have an audience and are into shipping then this might be a great option.

Legal Rights and Copyrighting Your Book
All books should be copyrighted when they are completed. Just by being created and put on paper they are copyrighted but they are not registered. What most self-published authors do is at a minimum is add the copyright notice on the bottom of the title page and/or on the disclaimer legal page that sits behind the title page. This is important to do. It should be written like this:

© Copyright J. Bruce Jones 2018

Have the little © the word copyright, your name and then the year.

You can also go the full step and register your book with the US Copyright office

The advantage of registering your book is that you can sue for damages if your book's copyright has been violated. Your book is copyrighted without registering but you can't get any legal damages. Most books never have any copyright issues, it is pretty rare. If you do have issues it is also very expensive to take someone to court for copyright violation. But you can only do it if your book has registered. It is a choice, but to register isn't very expensive. Online is $35 and on paper $85.

Click here to learn more about copyrighting your book

Public Domain
This question comes up all the time. Can I use someone else's content? When does the copyright expire? What is public domain? What is royalty free? What is patent and trademark? How do I register my book? Public domain and copyrighted content is a confusing topic and is different in every country but there are some laws and treaties that govern it.

In the US pretty much everything published before 1923 is in the public domain and can be used however you want. After that date things get confusing and you need to be careful. Europe is governed by the Berne Convention which the US only joined in 1989.

It is best to read some of these articles and if in doubt it is best to check with an intellectual property attorney. Don't ask a general lawyer, they don't know, find an IP attorney.

Stanford University Copyright and Fair Use, this is an excellent resource, go right to the source, the US Government

Public Domain Wikipedia, also pretty good, but the Stanford article is a bit clearer

Royalty Free Wikipedia, does not mean it is copyright free or in the public domain, it just means you don't have to pay royalties or license on it. Usually applies to clipart art, video or music

Trademark, Service Marks Wikipedia, applies to logos, packaging, brands, products, that kind of thing

US Government Trademarks and Patent Office, search their database

Copyright in Other Countries
We had a great question about which country we should copyright our book. The one we live in or the one publish in? Brook Smith gave an excellent answer:
"The copyrights to your book should be filed in the country you are in. Copyrights are a legal action type document meaning that if your rights are violated (say for instance someone steals your book = collection of the arrangement of words) then you have the power to sue them within the jurisdiction = area in which it was created (your home country).

The rules will differ between the US, Canada, Mexico, Japan, etc, therefore, your book must be filed within the country it was created. Now with that being said, you do not need to file a copyright in other countries, if you want to publish your book in the other countries. Example, you live in say, India. You file your copyrights in India. But you want to publish in the US, you CAN do that without a copyright in the US because it is already protected in India (or whatever country you are from). Just make sure to put your copyright notifications in your book so that the common person/reader understands where the jurisdiction (your country) is located.

Any infractions against your book will result in a lawsuit being filed in YOUR country and they would have to come to your country to answer to the courts as to why there was a violation. All of this sounds complicated, it isn't really. I hope I haven't confused you further. *I am not an attorney, and I am not giving you legal advice just sharing information to help in education and sharing opinions. If you have questions always always consult an attorney. I hope this helps. "

Marketing Checklist

Some excellent articles on launching your book

I also include my own book in the mix. Book Marketing Checklist for Self-Publishing. I put in all the things I have learned from creating and selling over 40 books. Available at

Tim Grahl's Book Marketing Checklist
Book Marketing Plan, The Definitive Checklist
Tim also has an excellent post on building a Author Blog
How to Build the Ultimate Author Website 

Also How to Create The Perfect Book Media Kit by Tim Grahl the what and the how
The elements include:
  • Book Description
  • Author Bio
  • Book Cover Images
  • Author Headshots
  • Blurbs and Testimonials
  • Sample Interview Questions
  • Shareable Media
  • Contact Information 
  • A Book Trailer Video
  • Links to the Sales Locations, Like Amazon and Kindle
Resource for creating book trailer videos, videos made easy
An excellent set of marketing books for publishing from Tim Grahl

Rob Cubbon, Kindle Launch Schedule of an Amazon Bestseller, excellent article on building your Street Team and launching your book

Side Hustle Nation, Nick Lober, Here's Everything I Did to Launch a Bestselling Book

Launching with out Social Media, Sandra Beckwith and Daniel Hall
How to Promote Your Book Without Using Social Media

Build Book Buzz with Sandra Beckwith, excellent book marketing tips

You have launched your book, now what, how do you keep the sales going. Nice article from Sandra Beckwith on 5 Ways to Promote Your Book Long After the Launch

Lots of excellent book marketing ideas in this blog post from Author,
89 Book Marketing Ideas that will Change Your Life

Another excellent article from Self-Publishing School by Chandler Bolt, How to Sell More Books on Amazon. the print-on-demand product site put out an excellent marketing challenge called the #PrintfulChallenge. It gives you 30 different tasks to do to market and promote your store, or products or books. Looking for great marketing ideas, check out the PrintfulChallenge. 

Virtual Book Tours 
Putting together a virtual book tour for your launch can be a great way to gain exposure. Setting up interviews, writing articles, and doing videos that will appear on different blogs, podcasts and social media are all very doable. You need to start working on building these relationships weeks if not several months before your book book launched. You can't just contact people and ask them to talk about your stuff, you need to build relationship.  For more details I talk about entire strategy for getting in-front of influencers in my How to Market Your Book course

One resource to get started is to get yourself listed at sites like and Interview Guests which are a sites for either finding good guest to interview around your topic or listing yourself as a good guest to be interviewed around your subject. 

Animated Gif Graphics for Your Web Site
Lets say you want to make an animated graphic of your book illustrations on your blog or maybe Pinterest. How would you do that? Well there is a cool site called that will do it for you. Check the link and a training video below
YouTube: How to Animate your Zazzel Collection for Printerest Using

Press Releases

• Getting interviews is a great way to let the world know about your book, check out for a ton of places to connect with

To see a great example check out the media page that Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner did for his book launch

An excellent article by Michael Hyatt on How to Launch a Best Selling Book

Building and author website, all the parts by Tim Grahl
How to build the ultimate author website in 1 hour

Media Page for Your Book
Every book should have a media page on your book blog or website. This is central place for everything about your book. Contained here should be:
• Author name, about the author and description
• Book name and description, different lengths, short, medium and long
• Who this book is for
• Include a sample chapter in pdf and word-.doc format
• Pull out some key facts from your book or good opening paragraph from the book
• Images of the book that people can download, include captions, author etc. with each image
• Videos about the book that people can embed
• Press Release
• Press mentions
• Quotes and testimonials about the book
• All the contact info for the author and where to buy the book

3D Book Covers
Having book cover shots for your book is vital for marketing it. Use them for your blog posts, or social media. They are easy to create if you have a jpg cover shot. Included here are a couple of sites
• Making 3D covers for marketing and promotion
• Another site for 3D book covers, including hardcover books DYI Book

Free Media Attention
Getting attention from the broadcast, TV and Radio and Print media can give your book a big push. In this post from Liz Willits at AWeber we learn from media expert Paula Rizzo how we can land free media spots.

Video Book Trailers
Having a video book trailer(s) is essential for your book marketing these days. They are easy to make with your smart phone, iMovie on the Mac or Movie Maker on the PC, or some of the on-line and phone apps. Even PowerPoint has a Make Movie option to turn a slide presentation into a video. You can be in them or not.  Your video should contain 4 parts:
1. Who you are, your name
2. What you have got, your book, included the title, show the book
3. What it does for the reader or viewer, the benefits, look at your table of contents
4. What you want me to do next, call to action, "Buy at Amazon"

Here are some on-line services
Ripl a smart phone app for making animated videos.
Animoto, for making videos and animated slide shows.

Building your author email list

Free eBook Promo Sites
There are zillions of free ebook sites that you can share your Kindle/ebook out to the world through for promotion. Books are submitted and shared. For many authors this is part of their launch and promotion process. It is an ever changing group of sites, they come up and then go down, don't be surprised if they disappear. There are also sites that you can pay to spread your book.

Here is a pretty good one of 90 plus sites from

Book Review Sites
Getting your book reviewed and exposed can be an effective way of spreading the love about it. Here is a pretty good list from Erica Verrillo's blog, Publish to Death

Book/Author Blog or Website
I am a huge believer that every author should have a home on the web. Either a blog or website. I am more a fan of a blog because it is easier to update, manage and add content than a website but either works fine. If you have a website make sure you have a blog page that you yourself can edit and ad content to. Below are some good examples of author blog/website. One of the advantages of having a site is that this is the home for your book and any other product or service you can create.
Prose on Fire with Monica Leonelle
The Creative Penn with Joanna Penn
Mandala Happiness Coloring Book by J. Bruce Jones

Marketing Books
Email Lists Made Easy for Writers and Bloggers, Kirsten Oliphant

Landing Pages
Landing pages as places to send interested people to when you are running some kind of book promotion or launch. Landing page enable you to collect an email address and sell or direct someone to purchase something. Most of them cost money such as ClickFunnels or LeadPages, but there are some free ones like ONTRAPages. I have also just used a blog post with an email sign up box on it.

Social Media Posts
Social media is a very powerful tool and needs to be used for exposure, building your platform and marketing your book. One of the questions that comes up is what channels should I be on? And how do I make the graphics and what size should they be for the posts and just opening your account.
Here is a great resource on all the social media graphics
Louise Myers Social Media Check Sheet

Organizations and Societies
What better places to connect than face to face. Every genre has a society or organization to support it. They all come with annual meetings, local chapters, awards and resources to support them. Join your genre and then go meet and learn.

Historical Novel Society (HNS)
International Association of Culinary Professionals, (IACP)
Mystery Writers of America (MWA)
• Romance Writers of America, (RWA)
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrator (SCBWI)

Piracy, Someone put my book on line, what do I do?
Here is an excellent article by Tim Grahl on ebook piracy and book marketing. This article will change your views on this.
Tim also recommends that you can get infront of this by putting your own books up on the piracy sights, take command,

Writing and Publishing Resources

Jane Friedman's Blog for writers and publishers

Pat Flynn and the Smart Passive Income Blog

Michael Hyatt, Your Virtual Mentor

Joan Stewart The Publicity Hound, Excellent practical advice on how to promote and market yourself and your products, excellent e-newsletter,

Amazon Author Insights, resources blog from Amazon on writing, publishing, marketing and tools for bringing your book to market. by Kirsten Oliphan, marketing, Facebook and publishing info
How to Create a Freebie for Your Email List, excellent article

On-Line and Off-Line Sites to Sell Your Content

It is so easy to sell your content online, make stuff and start selling. Just because you are selling on Amazon, doesn't mean you can sell your book independently. By using a site like Gumroad or DPD you can add additional content to your book. Like some videos or checklists. The world is wide open, get out there as sell your content., one of my favorite sites for selling content. Kind of like an electronic bucket. Load up your content, pdf, mov video, zip files. mp4, mp3 any kind of file or combo of files. Plus coupons, affiliates, pdf stamping and much more Teachable lets you build an entire school with courses. I use this site for my Book Publishing School. It is affordable and gives you the next step up when your products have more parts than are comfortable on Gumroad. I use both sites and like them both. Very similar to An ecommerce site to sell your digital products.

• PayHip, it is like a British version of Gumroad. Many of the same features, different files, coupons, affiliates, pdf stamping

Digital Product Delivery, DPD. Similar to to Gumroad and another place to sell digital versions of your books. $10/month for 20 products and unlimited downloads. One of the biggest sites for selling online is Mostly focusing on the craft and self-made art market, Etsy sells everything. It is an easy platform to load your content up on, they handle all the e-commerce and delivery and people LOVE it. Think of it as Amazon for artists and craft folks.

Selling Physical and Digital Packages and Bundles Including Through Amazon
Do you have a digital download product and would like to sell a physical version such as a DVD along side?
Do you have a series of books and would like to bundle them and sell them as a collection on Amazon?
Would you like to capture the customer details such as email and the physical address?

Selling physical goods along with digital goods can be a powerful sales combination. How do I do this? One way is to use a fulfillment service like Acutrack works with Amazon to fulfill the orders. Inventory is sent to Acutrack, your product is shown and sold on Amazon and Acutrack fulfills, ships and collects the customer data.
To learn more check out is another fulfillment company, using their Fulfillment Services, Corporate Disk Company will store your products, integrate with your online shopping cart, help distribute your products nationally or internationally, & back it up with complete shipping & tracking so you can focus running your company.

Re-Purposing Your Content into Products
Take your content and make a workbook or journal from it. Make a course. Make t-shirts, cups and pillows. Record your content and make an audio book, or podcast. Read your book into a video camera and use it for promotion and education. There are many ways to extend your book's content.

Make Some Products
One of the easiest ways to make a product is take your book's illustrations and create products with them such as t-shirts, mugs, hats, clocks, pillows. All kinds of things. There are a lot of sites that you can upload your artwork and turn it into products and then link them to your website. You don't need to print or create inventory or ship anything, just use one of these sites., One of the original product sites, I have products here, All kinds of things, great for making posters, I use this site, works great, Online printing, fulfillment and shipping, can be integrated wth your website, Products designed by independent artists

Make a Workbook
One of the easiest ways to expand your book and repurpose the content is to add a workbook to your current book. You can design your book so that it is easy to spin off a workbook. One of the easiest ways is to have some questions at the end of each chapter. Questions that help your reader define their goals and think about the topic of your book. Here is an excellent article on how to create your workbook from Cole, How to Create Incredible Workbooks

Want to spread out, find a good niche and build a book around it. Instead of writing to your interest, find an interest and write to it. Such as books on different dog breeds, or elves, or whatever you see people doing. Here is a good article from on identifying niches.
From, How to Find a Niche Market for Your Online Store, 115 Niche Market Ideas.

People or Sites to Follow

Pat Flynn and the Smart Passive Income Blog

Michael Hyatt, Your Virtual Mentor
Steve Scott
Joan Stewart 

Business Services and Tons of Other Cool Resources
This came by way of the great Andy Falco, a fantastic list of resources of all kinds but many along the publishing and images direction, most of these are free

Courses and Sites with Publishing Training
Author Marketing Club with Bryan Cohen, member site with a lot of book marketing training courses
7 Steps to Publishing Your Book, by Bruce Jones. Online training course taking from writing to design, publishing and marketing of your book. (this is my course-shameless plug)

Online Learning for Writers, Writers Digest University, learn from a variety of current and successful writers, part of the Online Writers Workshop.

Learn how to make children's pictures books and sell them on the Amazon Kindle. Using popular software that we probably already have on our computers and the Kindle Kid Creator app from Kindle it is pretty easy. Learn how with the online course, How to Make Children's Picture Books for Kindle, by Bruce Jones

Online Broadcasting
Broadcasting tools now for your smart phone, Facebook Live Video which you can broadcast to your pages and groups. Get involved in Facebook Live. There are also many other broadcasting platforms that are constantly popping on the market, Bluejeans,, ECamm. It is constantly changing but if you want to get you message out there are lots.

Giving Back
Want to support a classroom, check out As they say support a classroom, build a future.
Skype-in-the-Classroom, connect with classrooms and education all over the world. Have something to teach, this is a great way to connect.

My Big List of Resources
Over the years I have compiled quite a list of resources that I use for researching, producing, publishing, distributing and marketing my print, web and video projects. I thought it might be fun to let you see it and it might help you in your projects.

This list is a work in progress and will change over time as I add or subtract resources. Love to hear about your resources, send them over.

Product Research
Research/Keyword Resources for Web Sites and Products
Google, Blogs, YouTube,
Google Keyword Tool/external, phrase match
• WordTracker
• Word Tracker Questions

Web Traffic Research
• Quantcast

Google has many fantastic tools to use for learning about and keeping track of your market area, competition or products
• Gmail, search on gmail, signup, Start here I opens you to the Google world
• Google Alerts
• Google Analytics
• Blogger, an easy place to start with your web presence
• Google Trends
• Google Images  make sure your images are here, great place for research
• Google Places, making sure your business is found, list it here
• Google Adsense, make a little money along the way
• Google Keyword Tool/external, find your keywords, learn what new keywords you should be using and paying attention to, because of recent changes I like the phrase match option now.
• Learning the process via Ed Dale, the four pillars, Research, Traffic, Conversion, Product

Product Creation
How to Write a Book Using a Blog
• Pat Flynn
Pat’s ebook is the best I have seen on how to pull a book, ebook or regular book, together using a blog.

Print/Web Site/Product Creation
Print and publishing is in constant change right now. Sometimes we are designing and printing on paper with ink, other times we are designing and publishing to the web, and often we are doing both. Either way most of the resources below are working with both.

Design and Layout
• Adobe Indesign
• Adobe Photoshop
• Adobe Illustrator
• QuarkExpress
• Apple Pages
• Microsoft Publisher
• Microsoft Word
• Apple Pages

Tools for Making Kindle Books
• Kindle Kid Creator, turns pdfs into Kindle books, fantastic app from Amazon
• And my favorite tool for preparing my ebooks, Kindle Create. A newer version of the Kindle book creation tools. Create is very easy to use for converting Word docs and pdfs into Kindle books. It is really a fantastic program and free for both Mac or PC/Windows. If you are converting a pdf into a book you can now add a clickable Table of Contents. Keep your Word doc simple and do the formatting in Kindle Create
Stock Photos, Clip Art Sites
• yearly fee, almost unlimited uses, unlimited downloads

Use the rights free ones
Google and Wikipedia

Royalty Free Maps
Editable Adobe Illustrator and PowerPoint Maps for Illustrations, Presentations, Graphic Design, Web, and Education
• World of Maps, Adobe Illustrator, PowerPoint, JPG,
• Maps for Design, editable PowerPoint Maps

Copyright Free Images You Can Use on Your Website,
Creative Commons 0, CC0

• Pixabay, over 600,000 photos,

Photoshop: Resizing and Resampling Images,
The entire resizing, 300 to 72 dpi, and resampling of an image can be super confusing. This video does a pretty good job of explaining all this

Online Photo Editing
• Google Photo Editor
• Online-Converter
• Working with collages, posters, social media graphics and photo cards, check out a free photo collage site. Lots of templates to choose from.

Signature Generator
This is just kind of cool, sometimes you need signature for a recommendation on your site or somewhere. Here is one that does a great job,

Print on Demand Sites
• CreateSpace, an Amazon company, gets your book into the system, excellent quality
•, one of the major players, lots of options, excellent quality
•, used by a lot of artists and photographers for excellent quality with images

National Printing Services

Make a Physical Product Around Your Subject, t-Shirt, Mug, Bag, etc.
Zazzle Products

Web Books
Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition, by Steve Krug. Excellent book for figuring out if your website is working. Short and to the point, personally recommend.

Web Sites for Ideas

Google Images, I use Google Images all the time for ideas,

Video Creation
Equipment for making actual videos
You Smart Phone actually works great
On your computer you can use the included camera or if you want to go a little better the Logitech 920 is excellent

There are a ton of options for microphones.  Sennheiser makes great professional microphones, they aren’t cheap but will give you a great sound. Want more affordable take a look at Audio Technica. Make sure your microphone will work with your camera. Check the connectors
Sennheiser MKE 400, small shotgun microphone
Sennheiser ME66 short shotgun microphone
Sennheiser also has great wireless mikes as well
For a more affordable microphones check out Audio Technica
Audio Technica ART-3350 Lavalier Omnidirectional Condenser microphones
Audio Technica ART-55 Condenser Shotgun Microphone

B & H Photo Video are very helpful if you call with guiding you to the best option. Amazon is also a great place to look but there is no personal service. Pricing is often about the same.

Editing Software
Apple iMovie
Movie Maker
Sony Vegas
YouTube  You can edit clips right in YouTube now

B&H Photo Video

Stock Video Footage,,
Corbis Images
Getty Images

Stock Music

Screen Capture Videos
Making video right from your computer with no camera

Computer based screen capture
ScreenFlow, a Mac based program that captures the computer screen and the video that comes from the iSight video camera. Screenflow is a game changer in terms of a simple program that allows you to record and edit how-to-videos from your computer almost easier than anything else on the market. The editing is very straight forward line editing but with the added feature that you can zoom in and around to highlight areas, add text, additional media including more screen sharing into the current project. What is really cool is that each track of video is independent and can be customized however you want. All of those how-to-videos you see with a shot of the person in them have been produced with Screenflow. I personally have done hundreds of videos with it, it is an amazing product and only $99. If you are producing how to videos or recording a broadcast and have a Mac or better yet go buy a Mac, this is the product to use.

• Camtasia Studio, Windows and Camtasia for Mac, captures the screen but not the video camera

Web based screen capture
• Jing

Dragon Stop Motion
Stop Motion Pro  The basic version begins at $70, but more sophisticated editions, which offer higher definition and the ability to connect with high quality digital S.L.R. cameras, can cost up to $295.

Other programs from free to hundreds of dollars
AnimatorDV and Animator HD
iStopMotion, Mac Based program
iKITMovie, includes a version with over 2,200 sound, good for school kids,

Online Resources for Video/Video Marketing
Will Video for Food, Kevin Nalty
Web Video University  with Dave Kminski

Online Video Tutorials and Training
• Web Video University  with Dave Kminski
•, one of the longtime standards for online training for all kinds of software,
• DovS-Simens’ & Hollywood Film Institute’s Web Film School
• Video, video production training videos, this is a paid member site but is a great place to learn,

Product Tutorials
iMovie 11, learn from Apple’s site
Final Cut Express, learn from Apple’s site,
Final Cut Pro, learn from Apple’s site,
Final Cut Studio, learn from Apple’s site,
Microsoft Windows MovieMaker

Actual Live Video Courses
Bill Gentile
Maine Media Workshops, video and photography courses

Books on Producing Video
• Web Video: Making It Great, Getting It Noticed by Jennie Bourne and Dave Burstein, Excellent book on producing video, how to, tips, equipment. Personally recommend (amazon affiliate link)
• Get Seen: Online Video Secrets to Building Your Business by Steve Garfield and David Meerman Scott (amazon affiliate link)
• You Made Your Video-Now What? 10 Essential Tips for Marketing Your Video, by Bruce Jones, download our book, just sign up over on the right.

I have had great luck with the Dummies Books on pretty much any subject, available at

Product Publishing/Distribution

Publish a Book Using Print on Demand
Print on Demand site for books, DVD, CDs, gets you in the Amazon system
Scribd pdf publishing site Largest book distributor in the world, prints using print-on-demand

Video Distribution/Sharing Sites
Amazon S3 video distribution

Livestreaming Video on the Web
Broadcasting our messages using video has change dramatically in the last couple of years. Using web cams built into our PCs or small video cameras we can now create, broadcast, distribute and record for later our video content all in one unified step and send it out to the global community. Plus once we have broadcast our message, our content is stored and displayed for anyone to view whenever they want, basically for free.
Personal Broadcasting Channel, live streaming
Facebook Live
Livestream your events,

Web Based TV
Facebook Live and YouTube would be my two options

Product Marketing
To Keep Up and Learn about Social Media
Social Media is a fantastic site on social media info, it is my go to site for info

Email Marketing Management
Constant Contact
PR Resource, Great PR tips
Subscribe to Joan Stewart’s weekly newsletter
Web/Blogging/Social Media

Hostgator, Web hosting

Domain Registor

Blog Platforms
Wordpress, or

Photo Sharing Sites
Picassa, Google site

Social Media
Linkedin for professional contacts

Books on Social Media
• Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk, a great short, right to the point read on building your own personal brand using social media. Personally recommend (amazon affiliate link)
• Social Media 101: Tactics and Tips to Develop Your Business Online by Chris Brogan (amazon affiliate link)
• Trust Agent by Chris Brogan (amazon affiliate link) • Social Media Bible by Lon Safko (amazon affiliate link)
• Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs by Brian Halligan, Dharmesh Shah, and David Meerman Scott. These are the HubSpot guys (amazon affiliate link)
Social Media Web Sites

Online Freelancing and Outsourcing
• RentaCoder

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links to products that will earn me a commission. I am recommending these products because they are helpful. I have also used most of them on a regular basis over the years and are worthy of making this list.

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