A comprehensive list of all the best tools and resources for authors, that help simplify the process of writing your book.
Top 5 Writing Software’s for Authors
Specialized writing software’s for authors can help ease the complexity of managing the various tasks inherent to writing a book. The top 5 most popular writing software’s used by author’s are given below.
For a detailed comparison of these tools (including video demos), see: Top 5 Writing Software’s for Author’s Compared.
Top Transcription Services for Authors
Narrating your first draft in auto and using a transcription service to convert it into text, can significantly speed up the time it takes to complete your first draft.
The following are some of the top transcription services used by authors.
- Top manual transcription services ($1-2 per minute): Rev (most recommended), Go Transcript, Transcription Panda and GMR Transcription.
- Automatic transcription services (free to $0.2 per minute): Google Docs/Voice, Otter, Temi, Trint and Sonix.
- Manual + Automated transcription services: Scribie and TransribeMe
For a detailed comparison of the various transcription services (including quality testing), see PC Magazines Review of the Top Transcribing Services.
Top Editing Services For Authors
There are 2 distinct types of Editing services used by Authors – Professional Editors & Editing software.
The cost of a professional editor can vary significantly, based on the type of editing (developmental, copy-editing, proofreading), quality & experience of the editor, timelines and the complexity of the project. While there will be cheaper and more expensive options available, you can consider $0.01 – $0.05 per word ($500 – $2500 for a 50,000 word book) as a reasonable estimate for quality editing.
The Creative Penn has a large list of recommended Editors in their blog post: Professional Editors To Help With Your Book.
It is important to note that editing software’s are not a replacement for the services of a professional editor. While all writing software typically come with some form of editing functionality, these are typically rudimentary and more geared towards catching spelling and obvious grammatical errors.
The 2 most recommended editing software with more advanced editing functionality include
Top Keyword / Category Selection tools for Authors
- Publisher Rocket (recommended): the most comprehensive and feature-rich tool dedicated for keyword and category research for Books.
- Generic Keyword research tools: Keyword Tool Dominator, Google Keyword Planner, Keywordfinder.com and Keyword Explorer.
Top Book Cover Resources for Authors
A high-quality book cover is essential for the success of your book. The following are some of the top resources for generating high quality book covers.
- DIY Book Cover Software: Canva, Adobe Spark, CorelDraw, PosterMyWall, Placeit, GIMP, DIY Book Formats.
- Professional Book Cover Designers (Mid-range): Reedsy, Damonza and Design Hill are some of the most popular platforms for finding professional book cover designers (an approximate range of $50 – $500 for a cover). A detailed list of recommended book cover designers is maintained by The Creative Penn at Book Cover Design.
- Professional Book Cover Designers (Lower-range) Fiver, 99designs and Upwork are platforms that can be used to find cheaper freelancers (for as little as $5) but the quality may not match up to the more specialised service providers.
Top Sources for Royalty Free Images
- Top 5 free royalty-free image websites: Unsplash, Pixabay, Pexels, Life of Pix and Gratisography.
- Top 5 paid royalty-free image websites: Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, iStock, Stock Unlimited and Getty Images.
Top Book Formatting Tools & Services for Authors
- Paid tools: Vellum (gold-standard) is clearly the easiest and most flexible tool to use for formatting your books. Scrivener and Ulysses offer 1-click ebook conversions, but none of them offer the functionality that Vellum does.
- Free online formatting tools: Kindle Create, Draft2Digital, Reedsy and PublishDrive.
- DIY without tools: The Smashwords Style Guide is a great free resource that puts together all the rules and guidelines to be followed for an effective conversion of a word document into a properly formatted ebook.
- Curated Lists of Professional book formatters: Smashwords curated list / The Creative Penn’s curated list
Top Tools & Services for Advanced Reader Copies
- BookFunnel: delivery of eBook to reviewers in popular formats. Starts at $20 per annum.
- Booksprout: helps connect authors with ARC readers and also deliver the ARC via their app. Free for up to 20 readers with upgrade options.
- Hidden Gems ARC Program: helps connects authors with their list of reviewers. Costs $20 registration + $2 per reader.
- Prolific Works (earlier called InstaFreebie): for providing free copies of your books to your ARCs
- Library Thing’s Early Reviewer Program: helps connects authors with their list of reviewers.
- NetGalley: connects authors to professional readers and reviewers. It is more expensive at $399, but gives you access to a more professional reviewer community.
Curated List of Book Promotion Sites
- Kindlepreneur: Dave at Kindlepreneur manages a large list of over 120 curated book promotion sites
Curated List of Book Bloggers
Media Coverage for Authors
Curated List of Press Release Services
Top Email Marketing Platforms for Authors
Curated Lists of Top Social Media Groups for Authors
- Facebook Groups: The Write Life | Pro Writing Aid
- Goodreads Groups: Goodreads
- Twitter / Instagram Hashtags: Kindlepreneur | Self Publishing Author Podcast | Pillow Talk Books
Other concepts on Writing
It is essential that you have a strong understanding of your customer or reader, in order to be able to tailor make your content to resonate with them. You need to understand who they are (their age, sex, demographic profile), their interests, what stage of the journey they are on and more to be able to make your communication a success.