Last updated: February 15, 2017
The above information only scratches the surface of what is available. Please contact me with more useful tips and websites that can help out Indie Authors and I'll be sure to add it here!
Love and thanks,
Disclosure: This page is strictly dedicated to help other independent authors. All advice is given based on personal experience. This is not a professional advice site. You must always carry out your own research and make your own decisions regarding your business.
There are a ton of resources for this. Some can be costly, others are free. Canva is a site that offers both free & paid options for eReaders and custom dimension paperbacks (I love this site). You design your own cover and it's user friendly. Pixabay is a great site for free images if you are on a budget and don't want to spend money on costly Shutterstock photos.
If you find that you are struggling with creating your own cover, try out The Cover Collection. They charge a fee, but have options for both print (CreateSpace) and eReaders (Kindle).
TIP: If you are designing a cover for Createspace, use Canva's custom dimensions and set them for 6.25 in. x 9.5 in. if you are publishing a 6x9 paperback.
Amazon will probably end being 70% of your revenue. However, I do NOT enroll in KDP Select. Allowing Amazon to "own me" for 90 days cost me revenue from other book sites - revenue that was not made up by being a part of KDP Select. However, Amazon does give you better exposure. You can decide.
TIP: Use caution before you use the 'Create Paperback' on listed in your KDP Bookshelf. If you create a paperback though Amazon directly, you will give up your rights with Create Space. This means that you cannot order proofs of your book before it's release and you will lose expanded distribution channels.
See the extremely helpful link below for resources on creating your pre-orders.
Smash words is a great place to upload your book and track sales on many platforms at once (Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, etc...). This site is especially useful if you are not very tech savvy.
Illegal downloads of copyrighted books are a struggle that many authors face. Don't believe this is you? Try doing a Google search of your author name and see how many times the word TORRENT appears.
I have yet to find a solution to prevent this. I could rant about it for hours, but it won't get me anywhere.
Instead, I'll give you a few useful links that might help you with the removal of your pirated works.
TIP: Be very selective when giving out review copies to book bloggers. I don't say this to scare you, as most of them are on the up & up. In fact, I consider many bloggers my friends. However, protect yourself. Do the research before giving away the work that you've worked hard to complete.
Virtual Book Tours
These can get costly, but they give you additional exposure. The links below are for a few reputable sites that I've looked into and are reasonably priced.
TIP: Spread them out so that they don't overlap. This way you can see which one is worth your money, and know if you'll want to use them again.
We all know that Amazon reviews are an author's bread and butter. However, I do not believe in paying a service for book reviews. I think that those who pay for reviews cheat the system - especially since reviews are the driving force behind getting on Amazon's "if you like this, then you might like this" customer suggested pages.
It's certainly an ethics battle, and I understand how tempting the option can be when you are trying to gain reviews for your book. But to each their own...you can decide.
This page is devoted to tips and tricks that I've learned, resources for getting reviews, and links to FREE or low-cost advertising for your book. I don't pretend to know everything or have all the answers, but I know how tiring it can be to weed out the good sites from the bad. I have not been compensated in any way to promote these sites - they are only my recommendations based on personal experience.
This page will be updated regularly to include new ways to promote your work, so make sure to check back often! If you have a great resource to share with the Indie community - contact me and I'll add it!
Please follow @DW_IndieAuthors on Twitter and use the hashtag #SupportIA for
FREE retweets of your books!
Here are a few FREE and low-cost options for you to consider. Books Butterfly is priced on the high end, but they guarantee results. Some authors have good success with them. I personally didn't see a spike in sales from them, but they issued a partial refund to me. Check out the Indie Listers link to see what's working for other authors.
Tip: If you can afford a good PA - do it! A personal assistant can really help you with this.
Tips on Where To Start
You've written your book and have chosen your platform - whether it's Amazon, Kobo, Nook, or paperback, everyone has to decide what's right for them. No matter how good your writing is, your book isn't going to sell at all if you don't promote it.
Social media is an amazing tool. Minimally, you should set up a Facebook page & Twitter account. Check out Hootsuite to help with managing your social media and to save you time.
This probably won't make or break your first month sales, but I highly recommend it as many bloggers reference your site. The easiest thing to do is go to GoDaddy.com. They provide you with the domain, and have a very user-friendly website builder that you can use to create your website.
TIP: Don't pay full price - find a coupon code on RetailMeNot.com and save a ton.
Link your Amazon book to Goodreads. Thousands of people use this site daily and often write book reviews here. You can list book giveaways, advertise, and find reviewers here. Add book bloggers to your list of friends (but don't spam them). For more info on getting book reviews, scroll down.
Still looking for someone to publish your book? Here are a few links that might help you.
Below are sites that give honest and FREE book reviews. Some require you to have a minimum star review on Amazon, others do not. Be patient with their response time, as many reviewers are flooded with daily requests. This is only the short list. There are a ton more out there.
TIP: READ SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS CAREFULLY. If you don't give them exactly what they are looking for, your book will be scrapped before they even read the title page.
Just random information that I found useful or interesting...