I use each and every one of the tools listed on this website. I will never recommend something I do not use. These tools are listed in the order of importance to me.
- Scrivener – Scrivener is the number one tool on my list because it is essential to writing and publishing. Many of the self-publishing tips you’ll find on this website use tools found in Scrivener. Scrivener was built specifically for writers who have self-publishing in mind. It has a wonderful “compile” feature that will format your work into any output you want in a few clicks. It costs only $45 (USD) and has a very generous free trial. It is available for MAC and Windows.
Scrivener 2 for Mac OS X (Regular License)
Scrivener for Windows (Regular License)
- Vellum 2.0 – Create beautiful eBooks and Paperbacks in SECONDS. If only all the world worked as flawlessly as Vellum. Seriously, this program rivals Scrivener as my number one tool. It formats all my ebooks and paperbacks, complete with clickable links to specific stores depending on where the user purchased the book. So, all the Apple links go to Apple, Kindle links go to Kindle, and so on. It’s a one-time purchase and worth every flipping penny.
- Carson Beck – Carson narrated and produced my audiobook for The Detective. He’s crazy-talented and very professional. If you need help with audio, he’s a great guy to know.
Author Marketing Tools
- Barbara Vey Author Consulting – OK…she’s not a tool; she’s a person. But she’s been an invaluable asset to me. We can do marketing on all the right platforms with all the right metrics and still fail if we don’t CONNECT with readers. And that connection is what Barbara Vey does better than anyone I’ve ever seen! She will look at your website and your social media accounts and teach you how to brand yourself to readers. Barbara Vey was a contributing editor for Publisher’s Weekly for seven years and is still a paid speaker and workshop leader at RWA and many other global writer’s conferences. And you can hire her for private consulting for less than most every “tool” on this list. I get zero commission from this recommendation and she’s still at the very top of my list because she’s that good.
- Facebook Lead Ads – I add about 40 subscribers to my mailing list every day by using Facebook Lead Ads and giving away a free book in exchange for an email address. I’ll give some mini-lessons on how to use these ads, but I highly recommend checking out Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing Formula. He’s the Facebook Marketing Guru.
- ConnectLeads – ConnectLeads connects Facebook Lead Ads to Mailchimp and automatically imports the email addresses collected by lead ads. This is important because the mailing list in Mailchimp automatically sends the subscribers free book within moments. This tool runs seamlessly in the background, and I don’t have to worry about it. ❤
- Your First 10,000 Readers – Nick Stephenson literally wrote the book on selling eBooks. It’s called Supercharge Your Kindle Sales. He also has a fantastic course called Your First 10,000 Readers. It changed my life.
- KindleSpy – This is a tool for picking out keywords and analyzing the data of your own books and the books of your competition. I never launch a book without it, and I regularly check in to monitor what’s happening on Amazon.
I use two different email management systems. And YES, you need an email list. Don’t waste your time sweating over Facebook and Twitter…why do you think even social media sites require you to login with an email? Because email is still king. Why do I use different providers? For differents reasons. I’ll outline them here:
- ConvertKit – Currently, I use ConvertKit to manage my main email list.ConvertKit is more expensive than other options but (in my experience) they get better open rates. Their list is managed by a tagging system so you can have 1 user with multiple tags (to attach 1 email address to multiple lists.) Their email templates are basically plain-text (which helps open rates), so if you want lots of formatting and pictures, they probably won’t be a good fit for you.
- MailerLite – A good alternative to Mailchimp for less! I primarily use Mailerlite to manage my subscribers I receive through Instafreebie. You can read more about that here: Instafreebie & MailerLite. I also use MailerLite to manage my Cold Subscribers (people who haven’t opened emails in a while). I really like their product though and it’s a great option especially for newer authors with a limited budget.
Author Website Tools
- Dreamhost – Web Hosting – All my author websites are hosted with Dreamhost. I’ve used them for over a decade because of their great rates, support, and their easy user interface. They have a 1-click install for WordPress for those who are not so tech-savvy. Wordpress is a MUST-HAVE for authors.
- Optimize Press – Landing Pages (Email sign up forms) All my landing pages and new release pages on EliciaHyder.com and TheSoulSummoner.com were created with Optimize Press.
- Bench – I’ve recently fallen in love with Bench, an online bookkeeping service for businesses. After a year of fighting with Quickbooks and causing my accountant’s hair to fall out, I finally have a bookkeeping team to handle my book business financials. And guess what? It’s AFFORDABLE. Tell them Elicia Hyder sent you!
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