Resources for Independent Authors

So you want to self-publish? Here are some of the best resources for independent authors and aspiring writers, broken down by topic.* Please note that a lot of the websites mentioned also include links to buy books written by those authors about more specific topics.

*I categorized these resources based on my own experiences with them; if you believe any of them have been placed in the wrong category or not placed in a category they belong in, please feel free to let me know.

Some of the links listed below have been submitted by readers via e-mail or comments. I can’t personally vouch for resources I haven’t used, but I’ll try to give credit to the person who suggested it so you can contact them if you have any questions. If you know a great resource that isn’t listed here, suggest it in the comments!



Cover Design

  • CreativIndie – Derek Murphy’s website
  • The Book Designer – Joel Friedlander’s website
  • 99 Designs (submitted by Em) – a website where you can fund a contest in which designers compete to create a cover for your book

E-Book Formatting

Print Layout Design


For alternatives to Amazon, see Alternatives to Amazon below.



Author Platform

List Building

Developing an e-mail list is a big part of Marketing and Author Platform, but it seems to be the most confusing (and perhaps also most important) part, so I decided to make a new category for it here.

Websites and Blogging


Note about Scrivener

Before you decide it’s not worth the money or the effort, get the free trial, go through the tutorial, and give it a fair shot. Scrivener has an intense learning curve and it took me about three hours to get through the tutorial, but being able to use Scrivener in every stage of production (planning, writing, revising, and publishing) has revolutionized the way I write and made me a much more effective writer than I ever would have thought possible before I used it.

Alternatives to Amazon

There are other options besides Amazon, but I don’t have enough personal experience with them to feel confident recommending them.  If you’re willing to do the research yourself, here are some of the alternatives I’ve heard bandied about:

Publishing and Limited E-Book Distribution (only to their own brand stores)

Wider E-Book Distribution (distribution to a variety of e-book sellers)

  • Smashwords
  • Draft2Digital – Update: I’ve started using Draft2Digital, but am still including it in this list so you can find it grouped with other e-book distributors.
  • BookBaby

Print Publishing


Join the Discussion

Did I miss anything? What resources would you recommend to other writers? Share your insights in the comments below!


  1. Alex and are also great blogging resources that I think would be helpful to list. Sitebeginner is a really simple layout (great for newbies) and BloggingBasics101 has a ton of helpful info to help bloggers up their social media game.

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