There are a lot of things to love about being a self-published author: the royalties, the control over the process, the ability to take real ownership of your business. However, in my opinion, the best thing about self-publishing is the community that has grown up around it. Writing is an inherently lonesome endeavor, and it can be really hard to know what to do in when you’re in this thing by yourself. Luckily, the self-publishing community is one of the best around in terms of supporting each other, offering advice, celebrating successes, and commiserating over difficulties.
So, with that ethos in mind, I wanted to introduce you to a few resources that I find invaluable. Not only do the following blogs provide realistic, actionable advice, but they are often home to a lively comments section where you can meet fellow authors/publishers. Most maintain an active social media presence, so you should probably get to following them while you’re at it.
Why you should read it: Jane is a well-known industry expert with an emphasis on digital media. She can often be found giving keynote addresses at writing and publishing conferences, as well as offering some the best online courses available. She also doles out some her best advice for free on her blog. She was one of the first industry voices to take self-publishing seriously and she always offers informed, balanced opinions on the state of publishing in the 21st Century.
Where to start: The post, aptly titled Start Here: How to Get Your Book Published, is the first place I send people new to self-publishing and wanting to learn more.
Why you should read it: Joel Friedlander runs this blog and he’s another industry veteran. His background, unsurprisingly, is in book design and layout but since self-publishing his own books way back in the early days he’s been helping other authors along their journey. This site is a fantastic resource if you are interested in print books, and is particularly good and explaining the nuts and bolts of publishing like ISBNs and copyright issues.
Where to start: This post on understanding the use of fonts and typography shows off Friedlander’s own expertise and is a great example of his ability to highlight the importance of things other bloggers may overlook.
Why you should read it: Mick Rooney is the go-to voice for unbiased reviews of publishing services. He’s been around for ages and has seen it all. If you’re considering using a publishing services company rather than doing everything yourself, it’s essential to start your research here. Rooney’s site is also much more newsy so it’s a great way to stay on top of industry trends.
Where to start: Rooney regularly updates his rankings of various service providers, so start with his latest publishing service index.
Why you should read it: Reedsy is relatively new to the scene (they launched last year) and they are essentially a marketplace for publishing professionals. They actively maintain their blog and it reflects their very start-up based approach to publishing. So far they have been dedicated to providing original, useful content on their blog and it’s fast becoming one of my favorites. Come here for interviews with successful indie authors, a fresh and actionable take on marketing, and focus on the business side of being your own publisher.
Where to start: This interview with bestselling author Patrick Vlaskovits is a great example of how the Reedsy blog takes a start-up mindset and applies it to publishing.
Why you should read it: First, a major content warning. This is the personal blog of author Chuck Wendig and he describes it himself as “NSFW. Probably NSFL.” If foul language bothers you, stay FAR away. But, if you want real-world, no-holds-barred writing advice that happens to be funny as hell, this is your new favorite place on the internet.
Where to start: In this post, Wendig answers his most frequently asked writing questions and, as usual, it’s equal parts helpful and hilarious.
Why you should read it: Unlike the others on this list, Contently offers little in the way of writing or self-publishing advice. Rather, it’s a content marketing blog. Why should you be reading a content marketing blog? Well, what do you think trying to sell a book actually is? If you need a hint, it’s marketing your content. I will warn you that this blog is definitely better suited for people who look at self-publishing like a job, rather than the casual reader.
Where to start: This post about content targeting is a great example of how advice meant for a company can be leveraged by an indie author in their own marketing strategy.
Why you should read it: I may have a soft spot for the Wise Ink crew since, like us, they are an independent publishing company located in Minneapolis and committed to helping authors make the best choice for their book. However, their blog is also a great and fun resource that covers a wide array of topics.
Where to start: This post on signs that your publisher is a scam is not only super useful but highlights Wise Ink’s mission to make the self-publishing industry better for everyone.
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