Resources for Authors

This is a list of resources I have found helpful on my journey to becoming a published author (and, I hope, a better writer).   I do not make money from recommending these (though, in some cases, I probably could get an affiliate link). I hope you find them helpful. If you can think of others I should review, please let me know about them.

On Writing and the Writing Life:

The Get Published Course by Michael Hyatt
This is an audio course that provides a ton (a metric ton!) of information about the world of  publishing with a focus on traditional publishing.  He has a lot of  practical advice about becoming an author.  Michael was the CEO of Thomas-Nelson (so he has a traditional publisher is best bias) but he is also a best selling author and has been an agent and an editor.  He has experienced the changes in publishing and he gives solid advice.  I like the course and I think everyone who is thinking about publishing (even as an Indie Author) would get something out of this course.  Something I have not seen other places (except for Holly Lisle) is a discussion about what happens when your books do well, and how to manage all those publicity pieces.

Any course from Holly Lisle

I am going to tell you right up front, I love Holly Lisle.  She writes about writing the way my muse works, and I have learned a lot of practical things from her writing.  Her short courses are excellent; her long courses take work.  They make you a better writer, but you have to know up front that they are going to be hard rewarding work.  Her How to think Sideways Course is the practical application version of Michael’s course.  She has a definite bias towards Independent Publishing, based on her many years of experience as a published author under a number of publishers.  If you want to learn to write and you can only afford one big course, HTTS would be my recommendation.  Otherwise, start with her free Flash Fiction Course and go from there.

 

On Marketing:

Your First 10 000 Readers 

Just take it.  It is the Writer’s version of Product Launch Formula and it is awesome.  Clear, step by step instructions and videos, sensible marketing on steroids.  This got me over the ‘need my own space but cannot do it’ block. I have learned so much from this one.   Just take it.

Tribe Writers

Tribe Writers is a course that mixes writing focus and marketing.  It is aimed at writers developing an online presence (including bloggers) and learning their voice.  It has a different focus and feel than other courses.  What this has that the other two do not is a whole bunch of writer interviews about different areas of writing.  I had mixed results with 1.0. I like 2.0.  If you are starting out, this is a good place to begin, particularly for someone who has not found their voice yet.

 

On Editing

The Story Grid   All of his information is free on his site, but his information is totally worth paying for.  You can buy his book at this site, or on Amazon.

How to Revise Your Novel   by Holly Lisle.

This is a 26 week course on how to edit and revise your first draft to a publishable book.  This is not an inexpensive course, but I highly recommend it.

 

On Making Book Covers:

3D Book Cover Tutorial

Udemy Course by Brian Jackson  This course is the first in a series of three about creating ebook covers using GIMP, a free program.  My cover for Son of a King used his instructions.  He has three courses for GIMP, and several using other platforms  so if you are just starting out this is a good place to begin.  He will send you links to get other courses for not a lot of money (5 or 10 dollars for each of them).  His instructions are clear and easy to follow.

On Making a Website

This site has a free course on making a website for authors.  It is recommended from the Tribe Writers group, so you know it has been tested by a lot of people.

 

On Planning your novel

Ok, I am going to be honest here.  I am a pantser and I read a lot.  This is a list of reading resources I have tried.  Some of them might work for you.  Some might not.  But the list is here in case you want to try any of them out.  My muse seems to believe if I have done an outline I have already written the book.  Your mileage may vary.

The Snowflake Method  This method kind of circles inward from the sentence to the full meat of the plot.

Save the Cat  This is a book for screen writers, but the information is also useful for novelists.  Worth reading and trying out.  It makes the point that there is an event that makes the main character sympathetic for the reader even as the main character changes.

Write your Novel from the Middle  Every book has a mirror point, a turning point for the main character.  This book talks about plotting in both directions from that point. Worth reading and trying at least once.

The Nine Day Novel  Otherwise known as 10K words a day and you will manage to get the whole story out quickly.  Worth trying, or adapting.  (Or reading and wondering why he isn’t divorced yet). His comments about how to find time are both hilarious and terrifying at the same time.  He has a whole series of books on writing novels, but this one is probably the best known.  My writer’s group recommends this one.

Take off your Pants: outline your book…  This one was the one that appealed to me the most, but it is one approach of many that might work for you.   She gives a really tight outline structure.

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