DIY Indie Author Resources
So you’re looking for author resources? Well, these are the author tooIs I’ve used personally. This information is here to pay forward all the resources I’ve received from people who helped me over the last fifteen years.
There is a difference between being an Indie Author, being a DIY Author, and being a DIY Indie Author. Neither is better than the other. What you choose is driven by your personality, budget, and goals. Over the course of your author career, due to market changes and budget restraints, you may experience being all of them. I work outside of publishing so I can invest in promoting my books. However, thanks to my formal education and business experience, I am capable of doing a large amount of things for my book business myself — including handbinding my autographed print books using in-home print-on-demand resources to create author copies. This is my preference, but it may not be yours. The beauty of technology is the ability to customize the DIY parts of your author journey to you.
Listed below, you’ll find several types of author resources: books, courses, blogs, and podcasts for indie and DIY authors. You won’t find videos or YouTube channels. Your Google history and watch patterns can help you find YouTube resources way better than I can. Most of my craft resources are books and blogs. I read much faster than watch with retention, comprehension, and application. So I rarely watch video resources about building a book business. Plus, they’re often too “motivational”, “salesy”, and “markety” and flat on actual valuable information. As an intrinsically motivated person, this grates on my nerves. So written resources work best for me. Moving on.
Traditionally published or hybrid authors may find some gems in the mix, but after fifteen years in the industry, my observation is people who like being traditionally published don’t like the business responsibilities of publishing. If you’re looking for craft books and writing resources those are covered on other sites so I won’t waste your nor my time listing them (their usefulness is very subjective, based on personality and work habits so I say use the Look Inside feature on Amazon). The truth is Google’s algorithm knows you better than I ever will, so for craft resources other than books… start there. On to the resources.
My Overall Indie Publishing Resource TLDR Joanna Penn aka the Creative Penn
My favorite author industry expert is Joanna Penn. She is the most consistent, thorough, and seems like a genuinely nice person based on my limited public observation of her since I started writing and publishing back in 2005. She has a podcast, book or course on darn near any self publishing topic you can imagine (except for bookbinding, but no one is perfect). I’m all about uplifting other women in business who have shown themselves to be empathetic and authentic. You can find other complementary resources to what Joanna offers below.
Books I recommend
Following and BookBub Ads by David Gaughran
This man is an entire hoot. He is hilarious. Like I can tell at a party, he is probably a good time. Extroverted writers who love colorful entertaining moments while being taught will find him especially refreshing. These things normally put me off of experts – I prefer the instructions, fact, figures, and resources because I read fiction or watch streaming shows to be entertained. However, he is the exception to my preference because he is just being his entire self and between the jokes, you get all the above with proof to back it up. So he is a definite read. I also took his course, but I’ll touch on that more below.
Advantage by Joe Solari
This book gave me so much happiness. Not because I learned much from it. I found some very useful nuggets, for sure. To be honest, I didn’t learn a heck of a lot I hadn’t picked up from the work I do in the tech industry or corporate America and studying the book business. The book made me happy because I didn’t have to explain its principles to other people anymore. From now on, I can just send people to his book or him for a resource. He wants to do book consulting and coach authors for a living. I don’t. He recommends “marketing” where I prefer brand communications, which is primarily what he calls “virtuous marketing” in the book. Just grab a copy and settle in. The information is dense and very nerdy. Which also made me very happy.
Courses I recommend
Starting from Zero by David Gaughran
Leaving my book business dormant to complete my Master’s degree was the best and worst thing possible for me to do for my book business. Two years in digital markets today is the same as a decade of changes in the 20th century. David brought me up to speed on things. While I continued to read the blogs and perused my favorite resources on semester breaks, I knew I’d missed a lot of changes. This course helped me because launching in new genres and coming back to books after two years felt like starting from zero. It’s also free, so yeah, that helped.
Ads for Authors by Mark Dawson
I paid for this course in the middle of my return to undergrad. The fall after I completed my marketing certification. So I don’t know what is in it now, but back then I’d easily recommend it to someone who knew nothing about digital ads. Since I literally went to school for business and completed a marketing certification, I asked for a refund and kept it moving. If you have no clue about ads and want a motivated community to help you (have a thick skin… they are brutal when giving feedback… but you need to have that if you’re publishing anyway) this is the resource for you.
Recommended Podcasts (not a big podcast person, but I’ve finished entire episodes from the ones below)
Creative Penn Podcast by Joanna Penn
Self-publishing Podcast by Mark Dawson