Writer Resources


Writing and publishing a book is such a huge, creative undertaking, I admire and commend anyone brave enough to tackle this extraordinary feat! Professional editing and proofreading are important parts of the book-publishing process, but there are many other steps involved in turning your first draft into its final form. Below is my ever-evolving list of resources to help you with the exciting journey to becoming a published author. If you know of any resources that should be included, please let me know!

Writing Craft & Skills 

Writing your manuscript is obviously the most important part of publishing a book! There are many resources, both online and in your community, to help improve your writing skills or to provide a supportive environment to encourage and assist with the task. Many of the links below are specific to the Pacific Northwest or Seattle area, so I encourage you to check out your local library or other community organizations to find classes and/or writers' groups near you.

Seattle-Area Classes & Workshops:

Online Classes & Tutorials:

Articles, Podcasts & Websites: 

  • Conscious Style Guide--An online resource for implementing inclusive language and removing bias language from your writing
  • Grammar Girl--Quick and dirty tips on all things grammar; in article and podcast format
  • Grammarly--FREE tool for finding and correcting minor spelling and punctuation errors in your documents (this does NOT replace a professional editor or proofreader, but it can save you money by fixing some common errors before sending to a professional for review)
  • NaNoWriMo--A nonprofit dedicated to providing the "structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page," most famously through their annual November novel-writing challenge (to write 50,000 words in 30 days) but with other programs and support year-round
  • Reedsy Blog--Lots of great tips on all aspects of writing and publishing
  • WriteOnSisters.com--A fun blog full of helpful information on writing craft, the road to publication, and the writer's life
  • Writing Class Radio Podcast--If you love stories and get inspired by hearing other people tell their stories and want to learn a little bit about how to write your own stories, then this writing-class podcast is for you.

Self-Publishing

There are many reasons why more and more writers are choosing to self-publish their books; even authors who have been previously published through traditional houses are switching over so that they can have more control over various aspects, such as book title, cover design, production schedule, and pricing. There is no shortage of assistance with this process on the world wide web. Here are some of the main services that you will need if you choose to DIY:

General Self-Publishing Info:


Print-on-Demand (POD) & E-Book Publishing/Distribution Services*:

*Note that no single publishing path is "right" for everyone, and each service has its pros and cons. Some you work with directly, others act more like middlemen, and you may use a combination of two or more. You have to choose which path best fits your skills, experience, budget, and publishing goals. But some are rated more highly than others, so before using any self-publishing service, check them out thoroughly, read reviews, and see how they compare to each other. Also note that the industry is constantly changing and services with poor reviews may make changes to remedy negative customer feedback, so it's important to read the most current reviews. Here are a few links that review, compare, or recommend various services:

 

Book Formatting:

  • Pressbooks--Create your document directly within this online word-processing software program or upload your already-created files; converts your document into all publishing formats (MOBI, EPUB, and PDF); one-time fee per book: $19.99/e-book; $99/PDF+e-book (no longer available through Seattle Public Library)
  • Adobe InDesign--Subscription-based software for book formatting and interior layout; recommended for graphic-heavy or other specialty layouts (definitely NOT free; you may want to hire a professional)
  • Scrivener--A powerful word-processing software that allows you to write and organize your project, then convert to various publishing formats; low-cost, one-time fee; available for Mac or Windows
  • Draft2Digital--FREE file conversion to EPUB and MOBI for e-books and print-ready PDF files to use with POD, even if you don't use their distribution services
  • Reedsy Book Editor--FREE interior book layout tool; converts files to PDF for print books or EPUB for e-books 
  • Vellum--Software for creating e-book and print-ready files; unlimited books for a one-time fee; available for Mac only
  • How to Prepare Your eBook Files--Free downloadable PDF booklet from BookBaby on how to format your Word document for conversion to e-book

Cover Design Services & Professionals:

Readers can and do judge a book by its cover, so, unless you are one yourself, this is one aspect of self-publishing where you should seek the assistance of a professional graphic designer to create an eye-catching, genre-appropriate book cover--whether for an e-book or a print version. Here are a few websites where you can connect with freelance artists from around the world; I've also listed individual designers in my network or who have done work for some of my clients (many who also do formatting and interior layout design as well). 

ISBN Info & Purchase:

  • Bowker--Buy a single ISBN or a discounted bundle package of 10 or 100 (you'll need one for each format of your book, so the 10-pack is usually recommended if you plan to have your book available in more than one format, such as e-book, paperback, hard cover, or audio)

Author Marketing

Whether you're planning to self-publish or go the traditional route, having an author platform to market and promote yourself and your book(s) is essential. And if you are planning to DIY, having a web presence is nonnegotiable! It's also important to get started before your book is published to get readers excited about your forthcoming book. Here are some links, tips, and resources to help get you going:

 

Free Website/Blog Hosting:

Books:

Articles, Podcasts & Websites: