Zoë Landale

Writer & Indie Publisher

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Many wonderful people in the writing, publishing and reading communities have helped me in my journey as an author. This is a way of giving back. There are zero affiliate links, though I see writers I respect doing that. I am not selling how-to books or how-to courses. The information seems to be more or less endless. But these links are some of what I am finding. I remove links if I find a particular indie author guru gets too technical or boring, so if this page looks different from week to week that's why. 
Last updated April 2, 2019 

Indie publishing

The GoodEReader, what's up with digital publishing

State of Digital Publishing, big picture news with articles, trends, ideas on digital publishing

Self-publishing resources from Mark Dawson, separate from his site. This guy is pretty much the king of indie publishing. After listening to numerous free podcasts, I was impressed enough I signed up for Dawson's SPF 101 course, which he offers a few times a year. Worth every penny! This is not a how-to-write course but a how to get a properly edited book out into the world as an indie author. I could've researched for ten years and not come up with all the technical info that's contained in the course. But be aware that a certain amount of technical knowledge has to be mastered here. If you are wary of tech stuff, consider D2D, an aggregator, to do it for you. See link to Draft to Digital below.

Mark Dawson, best-seller indie author, article about

The Creative Penn Podcasts--Another amazing site full of free resources for indie writers. I've signed up for her Joanna's newsletter. Suspect it will take me a year to work through the riches here!

Nick Stephenson--Your first 10,000 readers. Establishing an email list is crucial for our success as indie authors. But where on earth does one start? Once I've worked my way through Dawson's SPF 101 course, I may take one from Stephenson. 

Dave from Kindlepreneur compares 4 self-publishing courses. Dawson and Stephenson are the names I'm familiar with. His assessment of those two courses seem pretty spot on.

Joel Friedlander--another industry giant. Lots of free resources. I'm subscribed to his newsletter.

Jane Friedman blog. Another industry fantastic reference. I'm not subscribed to her blog as I am currently experiencing email glut and screaming frustration in response. Well, inaudible, perhaps, but I want to pick and choose right at the moment. 

K-Lytrics blog--It’s not enough to get your e-book published.  We then have to educate ourselves on the key words we use to get the books into readers’ hands. The learning never stops! But if it helps sell books, well. . . I take their free stuff. Maybe at some point I will pay for membership. But I do like to try out freebies to see if this is genuinely where I want to spend money.

Book Funnel–very affordable system that supports indie authors to gets their books into customers’ hands.  It’s neat because it of delivers your ebooks to a multitude of reading platforms. Full tech support for buyers, who are not then coming to the author with emails. Gold stars on this one. Must-have if you are offering a book for free download.

Guiding indie authors through email sequencing with author Stephanie J Pajonas, an interview. A little different than Mark Dawson's approach, but nice. Be aware that while her sequencing is great, the remarks on pricing at Mailchimp are out of date. So much is free now. 

2019 comparison of book aggregators--Now this is interesting and gives us up to the moment info.

The Alliance of Independent Authors blog, Self Publishing advice--free, knowledgeable lots of articles. Writer, educate thyself! 

IngramSpark–This is a real, we’ll do it for you, just fork over the money kind of site. But interesting, though I am not wild about the cover designers. Snob that I am!  I like it for the different things it makes me think of; see the bottom for what to do before the launch. Note: indie publishing expert David Gaughran says that D2D interface is "four billion times easier to use than IngramSpark."

Draft to Digital. Like the above company, these folks are aggregators. They'll do the tech things for writers and the fee is very reasonable. Less hard-sell that IngramSpeak. D2D has a good reputation with folks who blog about indie publishing. It's what I would recommend to my writer friends who cringe at the idea of having to figure out so much tech stuff. 

How best selling author Joanna Penn doubled revenues from print books in one year. Article for Alliance of Independent Authors.

The Story Studio/Sterling and Stone podcasts page. Lots of small snappy sound bites. These folks have made a LOT of money. They call themselves the Smarter Artists and you can see why. All free! I did not buy their library when it went on for sale in 2018. Indie publishing is an environment that changes, literally, from month to month. 

Creating Graphics For Blogs and Instagram With Photofunia. The key words for this seem to be "easy" and "fun". As in playing that works, even for non-nerds. I came up with a usable product in two minutes! For the actual system of Photofunia, click here. 

Remove background from photos, free, takes five seconds. Useful tool.

Book covers. My very firm recommendation: don't even think about a) designing your own cover or b) cheaping out. Doubt me? Go to your nearest indie bookstore and check out the section where your own published book would be shelved. Which covers attract you? A friend and I did this and we laughed. I told her I could pull out any YA fantasy books that I'd like to read just from the spine--and I was right! There's an ethos with each genre that good e-book cover designers are very familiar with.
BespokeBookCovers.com I have had very happy dealings with Peter O'Connor. He has done three covers for me. I really like his design sense and he's been great about making the tweaks I've asked for. Have never needed more than that! Timely, professional, courteous. 
Joanna Penn's recommendations. Look at lots of covers in the genre you're writing in. Find writers whose work you admire and buy! Educate yourself for weeks before you commit. Do NOT assume I like more than one or two designers in this whole list. 
Books Covered is who Mark Dawson uses. Very very busy. Takes orders months in advance.

When you're ready to launch--

Build BookBuzz blog--sophisticated and usable marketing tips. 

Book Blogger List. Reviewers must post every couple of months, minimum, to stay on the list.

11 Creative Ways Writers Launched Their Books

Making Free book trailers. What will people think of next? This looks like great fun. I'm going to try it. 

Author Marketing Gurus to Follow in 2019

How to Work with your Audiobook Narrator

Do it yourself audiobook guide--not endorsing this as I haven't tried it, just putting it out there as a possibility!

Self-publishing audiobook production and distribution--even more detailed. Man, there's no copping out of not knowing anymore.

Blasty--this is an anti-piracy software. Something like 18% of the books sold online have been pirated. As I am busy sending out review copies of ebooks, this strikes me rather forcefully. Quarterly payments, around $50 per. Blasty caught my free book being pirated after one day and had the site taken down, so I think highly of them. 

YA and Fantasy Markets

SF and Fantasy Markets updated 2018–This is from the folks above, K-Lytics. 

YA and New Adult Book Markets Kindle, ah, the giant earthmover of books

Young Adult and New Adult Book Markets, facts and figures, Dec 2018 

Selecting browse categories

Of interest    

Book Covers of Note, Feb 2019--Feast your eyes on these top notch covers from big presses. Some might be hard to read as thumbnails. For indies, this always needs to be a consideration.