Do you have a story you want to tell?
A friend and fellow author helped me when I started out, and it can be a daunting process if you aren’t sure who to turn to for advice.
I can only speak from my own experience and research, but I hope that what I have learned during my own independent publishing process may be of use for you while you get started on your own writing journey.
Here is a list of some links for some resources! I will also be linking my own videos and tutorials here in the future.
Cover Art Design Advice!
I LOVE YOUR COVER AND NEED ONE AS EPIC AS THAT!!!
Thank you! Please check out my illustrator Jonathan Hunt’s page to contact him for details and rates! If you want a quality book cover and are an independent author, let him know. His quality is unmatched for his price!
Click here for Hunt Illustration! <— Check out his art, seriously! It’s incredible!
What’s your advice on covers? And why did you change yours?
My advice here is that your cover is an investment. I loved my original design cover. I went to school for media arts and animation and I was able to make my own successful cover. However, when it was time to update my cover to follow more current cover trends, I knew it was time to ask a professional. I knew Jonathan Hunt because he was my teacher when I went to the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, and knew his style would be perfect to fit the tone of Tainted Moonlight. I highly recommend you check out his site for more of his art and if you’re looking for an incredible cover artist, he’s your guy! Please note that hiring a professional, you will be paying for that time and experience, but the quality you will get is unmatched. Your cover is what draws people to your book, and this is one investment you’d like to make. That being said, it’s an investment worth making, and I encourage you to do so. You typically want to give a cover artist about 2-3 months to complete a cover as well, though depending on the details necessary, turn around times may vary depending on the artist and their work load.
Writing and Editing Advice!
More Links coming soon, but check out some amazing resources below!
Free Resources for Authors
Click on the links below to access some great websites that help with writing, marketing your book, useful tools and more!
DIY 3D Book Cover Creator – Make a digital mock up of your book cover in a few easy steps! This is a great tool to use to make online ads and more. It can be a little wonky to use at first, but if you follow their steps you can make a quick mock up to use for your own advertising.
QR Code Monkey – Make your own, unique QR code so customers can get to your website, social media, and more with a simple scan of their smart phone!
Kindle Direct Publishing aka KDP / Amazon and Barnes and Noble Press – When you’re ready to make the move, KDP is a great place to start, with one exception- getting your first proof copies. I recommend using Barnes and Noble Press for your proof copy because unfortunately Amazon puts a very ugly gray watermark across your cover that hinders your ability to market your book before release. They will not remove the watermark, even if you submit your own cover design, so it’s best to start with Barnes and Noble press and then do a proof copy with Amazon just to check the difference for yourself. They both have very user friendly websites and KDP even has a video that walks you through the process. so they’re both great to check out. There are tutorials by various people on YouTube too, I’ll link more details to specific ones to check out down below in the YouTube section.
Once you have published through KDP/Amazon you can look into producing an audiobook through ACX, an Amazon company that distributes your audiobook through Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. There’s also a lot of information on their site and it’s very user friendly. I recommend checking out the posted demo reels and listening to various voices before making an offer. Check out the quality of the recording, and think if the voice sounds right for your story. If you have never listened to an audiobook before, I recommending checking out Audible first so you know what to expect, especially listening to books in the genre you are writing. If you aren’t a member and want to check out Audible for free, you can use this affiliate link to get started and it helps me out too. You can even help me out a bit more for this great tip by listening to Tainted Moonlight if you’d like, but you can select any book using that link and it will still help me out for giving you this excellent advice. 😉
Twitch – It may be surprising to learn but there is a fantastic writing community on this streaming platform. You may even see yours truly streaming on there in the near future, hosting writing sprints and art streams to help you stay motivated and conquer your word count and creative goals. Until my channel gets under way, though, I’m going to provide a couple links for two of my favorite Twitch streamers, and full disclosure, two writing partners of mine who I have known for years and would recommend them anytime for their entertaining and helpful streams.
Tainted Moonlight – My Twitch Channel! I will be having more information coming soon as well as a streaming schedule, but follows are appreciated and help a ton! I plan on hosting write ins, art streams, and maybe some variety content in the future for fun.
Karenthology – My dear friend and fellow author, Karen Osborne, traditionally published through Tor. You can find her website here as well to check out her amazing sci-fi duology.
Drawstone – An incredible human being who hosts a variety of things on her Twitch, including draw-a-longs and my favorite, our Monday night Girl’s Game Night stream, where you never know what we’ll be playing together. It’s for fun and we often donate whatever is made on the stream, so if you’d like to check out what we’re up to next, stop by Mondays around 9 PM EST to 11 PM EST to check it out!
YouTube – There are so many who give great advice, but as always, when traversing the web for information, your results may vary compared to some of these authors. It’s still a great place to start looking for writing advice if you are looking for a place to start! I will link some of my favorite channels that I have found useful and motivating when I was getting started.
Author Level Up – Author Michael La Ronn gives some amazing and specific advice on writing, while also showcasing various tools and software tutorials that you can use, such as Scrivener. He also hosts monthly writing streams that are helpful to boost your word count. If you haven’t checked out his channel before, I highly recommend you do.
Jenna Moreci – Writing and self publishing advice, with an emphasis of some helpful writing tips, great marketing and sometimes snarky but useful tips on getting started in self publishing.
Mandi Lynn – Helpful writing advice with the added bonus of cover design suggestions as well. She has a lot of great comparison videos when it comes to shopping around for a publisher.
Aphrodite Lee – This charming and lovely romance author has a lot of quick videos on writing and publishing advice, as well as streams a lot of writing sprints to help boost your word count and stay motivated. Check out her channel and definitely subscribe to join us for writing sprints, occasional contests, and more!
D.L. Tillery – Another fantastic author who specializes in horror, and has tons of great advice on her channel as well as writing sprint streams. She is amazing and worth checking out, be sure to subscribe… if you dare.
Alexa Dunne – If you’re looking into getting traditionally published, she has some useful videos on how to get started with query letters and more.
There are so many others, but definitely check these ones out! I will update this list if I find some more AuthorTubers to check out.