Below is a list of curated resources specifically designed to help writers in their authoring careers.
While there are free services on this list, it does contain some affiliate links, meaning if you buy a product or service using my links, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. That said, I only recommend affiliate products that I’ve used and am proud to share.
101 Nights Of Supernatural with Lisa Mangum
Lisa Mangum is a national bestselling author of The Hour Glass Door Trilogy, and the managing editor for Shadow Mountain Publishing. She’s worked with several NYT Best Selling authors, including Ally Condie, and Brandon Mull. She’s also a huge fan of Supernatural, and created this amazing Facebook group for writers, where she compiled writing tips from every episode of Supernatural.
Not only is Lisa considered one of the best editors, and writing coaches out there, but she’s incredibly kind and is always looking for ways to help up and coming authors.
Her Supernatural Facebook groups is one of the best, if not the best, resource I’ve ever had for my writing. I don’t say this lightly. And to top that off, membership in the group, and access to all tips is 100% FREE! Woot woot! You can join the group here.
While you can find her lessons from every episode in her group using the search bar, she also compiled them all into those lovely, handy dandy books you see above, which you could buy directly from her in her group. And, bonus, Lisa was kind enough to allow fans on the page to comment with their own insights and writing tips, and even included many of these comments in her books. You’ll find comments and tips from me in them, as well. I’m so incredibly flattered to have been included.
Creating Character Arcs by K.M. Weiland
If you aren’t familiar with K.M. Weiland and her website and/or podcast, you need to fix that immediately. She is a wonderful writing coach.
Her Creating Character Arcs book is a deep look into character arcs that’ll blow your reader’s minds! I’d be lost without it. And I mean that quite literally. It’s saved my bacon when I’ve been stuck on a number of occasions. So, much so that it’s now an integral part of my outlining process.
While this resource isn’t free, I’m not receiving a commission from it.
7-Point Plot Structure by Dan Wells
Between K.M. Weiland’s Creating Story Arcs and Dan Wells 7-Point Plot system lies the foundation of my outlining method. And it’s magic. (Seriously, download, or print out the above picture, and keep it by your computer.)
Dan Wells is not only an international, NYT bestselling author, but he’s also an amazing writing coach.
I’ve been using Wells’ system for years now, and it has been a lifesaver. Now, while he adapted this from a system used in Hollywood to create exciting plots for films, Dan is widely considered the foremost expert in the use of this system for authors. If you’re going to learn it from someone, he’s definitely the first stop.
Check out his videos on this system here. There’s about a two and a half minute introduction before the lesson starts, and this is part one of five videos. I’ve been lucky enough to see him teach this course twice at two separate writer’s conferences, and I’d take it again. In fact, I might go watch these videos right now . . .
What Editors Want & What They Don't
This is a freebie I pulled together with advice from over 30 professional editors, including myself, Lisa Mangum, (101 Nights of Supernatural Facebook group,) and others from publishing houses to freelancers.
When I say this is your go-to document for creating the best finished manuscript possible, I’m not joking. These editors know what they’re talking about. In it, you’ll find how to:
- Better understand the mind of an editor, and how to work with them for optimal results and smaller fees
- Format the best MS possible for editors, agents, and publishers
- Learn some of the best writing practices out there to expedite the learning curve
- Better grasp the intricacies of story, including: plot, character, and theme
- Become a better writer. Period.
And you’ll receive a special bonus with over a hundred examples of show vs. tell.
You can get this exclusive bonus, here.
I love listening to podcasts. They’re so convenient, and if done right, an excellent resource. Here are three of my favorite writing podcasts, and I’m sure you’ll recognize the names of some of the podcasters:
- K.M. Weiland’s Helping Writers Become Authors
- Authors Dan Wells, Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Howard Taylor’s Writing Excuses
- Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips
As I mentioned above, I have a very detailed outlining system that I use for my novels. Scrivener is a big part of that process. The way their system is set up, helps me to keep track of what I need to write and when. The result being that I get a first draft with fewer plot holes, and less overall work toward the second draft.
You can download a free trial for macOS, Windows, and iOS here.
I have used a lot of editing software, and I like a lot of them. Grammarly is excellent, as is SmartEdit and the Hemingway App. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, but I’ve found that ProWritingAid, really is the best of all of them. It has its own strengths that are unique to it, but also combines most of the strengths of the other apps as well.
I used to use all the other apps I mentioned on every document. Talk about time consuming! Now, I just use ProWritingAid. And I love it.
Check it out here.
Pin & Repin Group for Authors & Writing Coaches
A place where authors, writing coaches, and editors can post their pins so that others authors, writing coaches, and editors can repin them and help get saves and clicks right away.
This group won’t be open admission for long, so jump in while you can.
Canva is my go to tool for all my marketing graphics. I use it for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and for my website. I don’t know where I’d be without it. It’s so easy to use and has everything I need in one place.
While the free package is a wonderful tool, I just started using Canva Pro a few months ago and I wish I’d gotten it sooner. It’s absoultely worth the cost.
Canva Pro lets you create logos with clear backgrounds so you can put them over any background you want, it also stores all your brand fonts and colors, gives you access to premium images, and allows you to resize any post you make to fit all the major social media platforms. (Such a time saver.)
In fact, I love this tool so much, and what it can do to help us authors promote ourselves and our books, that I’ll be doing an entire series on how to use Canva and Canva Pro.
I highly recommend it.
The Tribe Builder's Network Facebook Group
The Tribe Builder’s Network was founded by my friend, Frank McKinley. Frank is one of the best at networking and growing his audience that I’ve seen. In fact, he contacted me through twitter, after having seen my profile, (which says I’m an editor,) and wanted to know if he could interview me for his website.
I did the interview, and found myself pulled into his amazing and helpful group of close to 300 writers. (Talk about amazing networking.)
Here’s a part of the group’s description:
Are you a writer who wants to build your influence?
Do you want to:
- sell more of your books, products, and services?
- get more likes, more shares, and more comments?
- be part of a genuine community that exists to help each other grow?
If this is you, we’d love to have you join us!
We have a variety of ways to share every week:
- Monday: Medium
- Tuesday: Twitter
- Wednesday: General Sharing
- Thursday: Thriving across platforms
- Friday: Fanfare Friday
We also have a 3 stage support thread during the week to help you stay on track with your goals.
- Sunday: Set your goals
- Wednesday: Check your progress
- Saturday: Report your results
If you’re looking for an awesome group of writers that will also help you grow your platforms, then The Tribe Builder’s Network is the place for you.
There really aren’t words to describe my love and loyalty for Bluchic. I own so many of their products, and every time they release something new, I pounce on it like a chinchilla on a twig. (Chinchillas love twigs!)
They have all sorts of wonderful materials to help you market you website, books, services, and more, like a boss. They include:
- Instagram Landing Page, which allows you to have more than one link on Instagram
- Landing Page Templates, which help you build your email lists, launch products, and make sales, etc.
- And their Canva Social Media Templates, which I absolutely adore and use daily. Not only are they beautiful, but they’re also super professional. They helped me look like I knew what I was doing, when I was still trying to figure out what I was doing. And even though I know what I’m doing now, I still use them for the reasons I listed above, but also because they’re a huge time saver.
- Canva Lead Magnet Templates, which help you create stunning freebies
Everything Bluchic offers is phenomenal and well worth the price.
I will be buying their products for years to come, I’m sure, and I’m so proud to recommend them. If you want to check out all their themes and products, you can go to their store, here.
They also have a totally free email course, on how to Launch Your Dream Website. I’ve taken it myself and it has so many valuable insights. I definitely recommend it.
If you’re looking to self-publish your book, you can’t get much better advice, tools, step by step lessons, or support than you can from Self-publishing School.
They walk you through mapping out your book, getting it written, getting editors, cover designers, how to launch it, getting a launch team, and much more!
While I do have a publisher for my Contemporary Reboot Series, Gelato Books, my publisher is a hybrid publisher, which means that a lot of the marketing is up to me.
I’m not sure what I would’ve done without the amazing information in this course, and their Mastermind community on Facebook. They filled in the marketing gaps that I didn’t know about. And, I’ve made lots of friends as well.
If you’re interested in taking this course, leave me a comment below, and we’ll chat. If I recommend you to them, they’ll give you a $250 discount on the course. Not bad, eh?
You can learn more about the school and what they offer, here.
If you’re looking for a website host, there’s no better than SiteGround. While I’m not a techie person, I am a person who is very methodical in my approach whenever I’m going to spend money on something. There are other good hosting services out there, but for optimal performance, and the best customer service, Siteground is hard to beat.
Bluchic (Yes, again.)
Well, I did say I love Bluchic, maybe now you’ll believe me. Along with all their fantastic marketing materials, they also have gorgeous website themes. Do you like the look of my website? That’s thanks to their lovely Victoria theme.
I’ve never had any issues with any of Bluchic’s products, and to top it off, they have videos that show you how to install your theme, and customize your website, and if that still doesn’t help, they also have a place where you can submit questions for help. But if that’s still not enough, they also offer installation services.
For someone who isn’t super techie, like myself, those extras have been invaluable.
You can check out all their themes here.
Shannon Mattern's FREE 5-Day Website Challenge
While Bluchic’s theme and set-up videos are incredibly helpful, the WordPress Dashboard was still a total mystery to me until I took this course. There were just some things that I knew my website needed, but that I had no idea how to go about implementing. (I’m so not a techie.)
And the best part is, it’s FREE for a full 30 days. And while it took me more than 5 days to get through the entire course, it definitely didn’t take me anywhere near 30 days.
I did buy the course at the end of the 30 days, but I didn’t need to. I just didn’t want to lose access to something so valuable, and for the measly price, it was more than worth the investment.
Learn more here.
Must Have Legal Templates for Your Website
For instance, do you have EUs GDPR compliance set up? Are you following all of the new rules set up by California? Are you going to be selling products or services? Is your website fair use? Can a customer consider you their legal advisor?
These are all questions, (and more!), that you have to worry about.
I spent weeks trying to figure this out, and make sure I was in compliance where I needed to be and that I was protected. It was a nightmare.
So, you can imagine my relief when I came upon Amira’s Legal Bundle. Amira is a lawyer who specializes in businesses. And if you’re an author, you’re a business.
Not only did her bundle save me weeks more of headaches trying to figure it out on my own, (once I purchased it I had all three templates up on my website in 30 minutes,) but the price was right too. I can’t recommend it enough.
You can check out her legal bundle, here.
I use MailerLite for this website, and so far I’m loving it. It’s intuitive and makes setting up email campaigns, doing segmentations, collecting emails and so much more, oh, so easy. This is also the email service Shannon Mattern recommends and walks you through in her 5-Day Website Challenge. You can check it out, here.
I’m sure I’ll be adding more resources as I find them, but these should offer you an excellent start.
Thanks for stopping in, and don’t forget to grab your copy of What Editors Want and What They Don’t. You’ll be glad you did. 😉