Recommendations

Here is a list of resources we recomend. Affiliate links are marked.

Indie Publishing

Amazon KDP
For most authors, this is the best choice for indie publishing. You have to have a good reason not to go with Amazon KDP.

Ingram Spark
Better if you plan to “go wide” also sometimes better for specialty books like some kinds of children’s books.

BookBaby
A full-service indie publishing platform. BookBaby helps with the cover and editing for a fee. This is more expensive than Amazon KDP or Ingram Spark but for some authors, the added cost may be worth it.

Website Hosting

BlueHost (Affiliate Link)
This is the hosting we recommend for most authors. It is the best cheap hosting out there. It is very WordPress friendly

WP Engine (Affiliate Link)
This is the hosting we use. It is designed for websites that get a lot of traffic. It is a lot more expensive for a reason. If you plan on writing viral blog posts, this is the level of hosting you want.

Domain Registration

Namecheap (Affiliate Link)
This is who we use for dozens and dozens of domains. While Namecheap is great for domain registration, we don’t recommend them for hosting.

Website Templates

Divi by Elegant Themes (Affiliate Link)
We use and recommend this WordPress theme because it gives you the drag and drop ease of use of a platform of Squarespace or Wix while preserving the power and flexibility of WordPress. It really is the best of both worlds.

WordPress Plugins

MyBookTable
This plugin got its start right here at Author Media! It is the most comprehensive and robust bookstore plugin for WordPress.

MyBookProgress
This plugin helps you track your writing progress publically to build enthusiasm about your book and keep you motivated to keep making progress. There is no other plugin quite like it. This plugin also got its start here at Author Media.

JetPack (Affilaite Link)

Jetpack is a swiss army knife of tools from your website. From related posts, spam protection, and backups, there is a good chance it will help make your website better.

Publishing Market Research

K-lytics.com (Affiliate Link)
This site has some of the best reports giving you a state of the kindle ebook industry, including the book covers of the best selling books in each category. This is an invaluable tool for any author who is ready to use data to help them make more money with ebooks.

Publisher Rocket (Affiliate Link)
Excellent Amazon keyword research tool. We have a whole Novel Marketing episode about Amazon SEO.

Back Cover Copywriting

BestPageForward (Affiliate Link)

The folks at Best Page Forward have back cover copywriting down to a system. We have an interview with their CEO Bryan Cohen where we talk about how to optimize your Amazon listing overall.

Email Marketing

MailerLite (Affiliate Link)
MailerLite has the best-priced email marketing platform. While not as powerful as ConvertKit, it is easier to use than MailChimp and cheaper too!

ConvertKit (Affiliate Link)
This is what we use, while more expensive than MailerLite, it has more powerful features, particularly when it comes to automation. It is also easier to use.

MailChimp (Affiliate Link)
This is what we used to recommend for almost everyone. Now we only recommend it for authors who are just getting started and want to use it for free. It has the most generous free level. But once you have to start paying, we recommend MailerLite or ConvertKit instead.

Email List Building

BookSweeps (Affiliate Link)

Book Sweeps hosts frequent sweepstakes where readers can enter to win free books. It is not uncommon for authors participating in a BookSweeps giveaway to add hundreds of high quality subscribers to their email list. You can hear my episode about BookSweeps here.

StoryOrigin (Affiliate Link)

This website authors grow their email list in a dozen different ways, including delivering reader magnets, giveaways, cross promotions, newsletter swaps and more.

KingSumo (Affiliate Link)
This is the tool I use for viral giveaways. What is nice about KingSumo is readers get additional entries to a contest by getting their friends to sign up. When combined with the right prize, this can be a huge list builder.

Webinars

Crowdcast (Affiliate LInk)
This is what we use for our webinars and it had been one of the biggest sources of growth for our email list. It is powerful, flexible, and reliable.

Business Cards & Bookmarks

VistaPrint (Affiliate Link)
Vistaprint has fair prices and an easy to use interface for making your own business cards and bookmarks. They even have a square business card that is particularly good for podcasters.

Time Tracking

RescueTime (Affiliate Link)

Our CEO, Thomas Umstattd, has used RescueTime for years to get a report of how much time he spends on social media, writing, podcasting and more. RescueTime runs in the background and gives you a dashboard of how you spend your time. You can even categorize each website and set a productivity rating.

Podcast Hosting

Blubrry (Affiliate Link)
This is the service we use and recomend. If you use coupon code “novelmarketing” at checkout, you will get a free month of hosting.

BuzzSprout (Affiliate Link)
This is the service we recommend if you don’t use WordPress. They have some of the prettiest podcast pages and beautiful stats pages. They show downloads by the week in their charts. BuzzSprout also has some of the best podcast tutorials in the industry. They also offer a free option!

Podcast Editing

Descript (Affiliate Link)

Descript transcribes your audio into text allowing you to edit your podcast the same way you would edit a word document.

Podcast Transcription

Sonix.ai (Affiliate Link)
This is the service I use to turn our podcast episodes into raw text. We then edit this text into the blog posts that appear with each episode.

Podcast Remote Recording

Riverside.fm (Affiliate Link)
This is what I use to record guest interviews for both Novel Marketing and Christian Publishing Show. It can record video as well as audio and even supports live streaming and live audiences! The main reason I use it is because it records the guest in full quality, much better than Zoom or Skype which record the guest in compressed “internet” quality.

I have also used Squadcast (Affiliate Link) and Zencastr. I like them both as well but not as much as Riverside. They are both worth considering though. All three platforms are miles better than Zoom and Skype.

Podcast Gear

We have a complete gear guide available here. It covers various levels of podcasting from the occasional guest interview all the way to a major studio.

Here are the highlights:

Samson Q2U Microphone (Affiliate Link)
This microphone has amazing sound, especially considering its low price. It can plug directly into your computer via USB, saving you the need to buy a separate mixer or interface. It can also plug into a mixer, making it the perfect starter mic. It can grow with you.  This is a dynamic microphone which means it will bring in less room noise than condenser microphones like the Blue Yeti or Blue Snowball (which we recomend avoiding).

Samson SR350 Over-Ear Stereo Headphones (Affiliate Link)
These are the best studio headphones you can get for less than $20. They are good at isolating sound and will give you crisp, easy-to-hear audio without leakage. 

Neewer Adjustable Microphone Scissor Arm (Affiliate Link)
A microphone arm attaches to your desk and allows you to quickly put the microphone right where you need it, and get it out of the way. This is optional, but it makes life a lot easier.