Resources for Self-Publishers

Please note:

I only include links on this page that have been recommended by at least one person I know. However, inclusion on this page is not a personal endorsement of any person or company. You own your own publishing choices. Choose wisely.

Also, some of the services and tools may overlap or spill into other categories, so check the web sites for specifics.


Do-It-Yourself Tools
Ebook and POD Publishing
Photos and Illustrations
Random for Writers
Artwork and design
Editing, Copyediting, Proofreading
Writer Beware

Do-It-Yourself tools

AutoREALM, open source vector drawing software for maps and RPGs
Book Report, analyzes your Amazon sales data
calibre, ebook formatting software
Canva, simple online graphic design
CJ’s Easy as Pie Kindle Tutorials, Kindle formatting in MS Word
Color-Hex, find hexadecimal codes for colors, with related colors, contrasting colors, and more
Create Covers with PowerPoint (tutorial)
DAZ 3D, 3D modeling software
Declan Conner’s POD Formatting Guide
DIY Book Covers, customizable book cover templates
Epub Validator (free)
GIMP, open source graphics program
Guido Henkel’s Ebook Formatting Guide, formatting in HTML
Jutoh, epub formatting software
Inkscape, free open source vector graphics software
Inkscape Tutorials
Self-Publishing Basics, by David Gaughran (PDF), online software tutorials (sub. req’d)
Mobipocket Creator, ebook formatting software
Pinoy 7’s Graphics Tutorials
Poser Pro, 3D character and animation software
Pressbooks, simple book production software
Quick and Dirty Formatting Guide, by David Dalglish, free tool to remove the background from an image, automatically
Serif’s Free Graphics and Web Programs (i.e. PhotoPlus, DrawPlus)
Sigil, epub editor
Smashwords Style Guide, formatting Word docs for Smashwords
W3 Schools HTML Tutorials
Writers Block, word processor that locks out other applications by time or word count

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Ebook and POD Publishing

Bitbooks, sell your books for Bitcoins
BookStrand, ebook retailer
Brave New Books, self-publishing affiliated with
    BOL (Bertelsmann OnLine) is owned by Bertelsmann, a German media company. BNB’s site is in Dutch.
CreateSpace, POD
Draft2Digital, ebook distribution
DriveThruFiction, ebook retailer
eBook Partnership, ebook distribution
Google Play Books, ebook retailer
Gumroad, sell direct to your audience
IndieBookCards, book catalog for indie bookstores, self-publishers, and small presses
iTunes Connect, Apple ebooks, Mac only
Kindle Direct Publishing, ebook sales on Amazon
Kobo Writing Life, ebook retailer
Libiro, ebook retailer
Lightning Source, POD
Lulu, POD
Nook Press, ebook retailer
Payhip, sell on your site with Paypal
Smashwords, ebook distribution
XinXii, ebook retailer (European-based)

Note the difference here between ebook publishers and POD (print on demand) companies which publish printed books one at a time. Amazon Direct publishes to the Kindle ereader, and CreateSpace is the POD portion of Amazon Publishing. PubIt is part of Barnes and Noble, and publishes to their Nook ereader. Smashwords submits to the Apple store, Kobo, Sony, and Diesel, as well as Barnes and Noble. XinXii seems to be its own operation and doesn’t publish to specific platforms as near as I can tell.

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Blambot Font Archive, comic fonts and lettering
dafont, fonts
exljbris Font Foundry, free fonts from Jos Buivenga
Font Bureau, fonts for fees
Fonts 101, free TrueType fonts
FontSpring, font licensing
Font Squirrel, free fonts
FontYukle, fonts
FontZone, archive of freely downloadable fonts
Google Fonts
House Industries Fonts, must license through H.I.
Identifont, font identification, with links to sources
JTD Type Foundry, licensed fonts, limited free trials
League of Moveable Type, open source fonts
Lost Type Co-op
MyFonts, fonts
Okay Type Foundry, licensed fonts
Planet Typography, links and references
Scriptorium, fonts
Set Sail Studios, hand-drawn fonts
Typekit, fonts by Adobe
Type Supply, licensed fonts
Walden Font Co., historic font reproductions
WhatTheFont!, font identification

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Photos and Illustrations

Adobe Stock, royalty-free images
Arcangel, rights-managed and royalty free images, stock and vintage
BigStock Photos, royalty-free
BRWN Stock Imaging, stock photos with people of color
CanStock Photos, royalty-free
Cartographers Guild, map makers
Cover-Ready Art, royalty-free photos
Deposit Photos, royalty-free
Dover Books, public domain art books
Dreamstime, royalty-free, also has a free photos section
Flickr Commons, copyright-free works from several sources, including The Library of Congress and the British Library
Fotolia, royalty-free
Internet Archive Book Images, images from public domain books
iStockphoto, royalty-free
Karen’s Whimsy, public domain images
List of 100 Stock Photo Sites, with details and ranks, by Scarlett Rugers
MorgueFile, public domain
Mosaic Stock Photos, emphasis on diversity
New York Public Library’s Public Domain Collection, more than 180,000 freely usable items
Photos Public Domain, free for all uses, including commercial
Photoshop Support, list of free photo sources
photoXpress, royalty-free
pond5, stock media including video, SFX
Public Domain High Resolution Images
Reusable Art, public domain
Shutterstock, royalty-free
State Library Victoria, copyright-free digital image pool
Stock Free Images, free stock photos
Stock Fresh, royalty-free
Stocksy United, royalty-free
stock.xchang, free stock photos, now owned by Getty
The Stock Alchemist, young, diverse models
Veer, images and fonts
Wellcome Images, historical images, many public domain
Wikimedia Commons, public domain

Please note: Public domain sites offer images that are freely usable by anyone. All works created prior to 1923 can be considered “public domain”, and some artists offer their work as public domain regardless of the time of creation. Royalty-free sites offer images for one-time payment with no further royalties due. Usage rights will vary by site, so check carefully that you have the rights for the kind of uses you want (i.e., distribution, cropping, image manipulation are all separate rights).

Sites like Flickr or Photobucket where people post their personal photos are not generally places to look for photos you can use in your own work. Some photos on these sites may be available for commercial use, but most are not. Always check the copyright information for any art you use.

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Random for Writers

Amazon Royalties Estimator, by Wordpreneur and Will Bontrager.
American Heritage Dictionary, online edition
BookTrakr, gathers your sales data and charts it, requires account info.
Bree Bridges Downloads, word count and project trackers, sales spreadsheets, to do list, and more
Chicago Manual of Style Online, subscription required
Collabant, find your perfect writing partner
Conlang Wikia, constructed language wiki
Copyright terms and public domain in the U.S., from Cornell University
Critique Circle, share your work and help other writers
Duotrope, fiction markets database (sub. req’d.)
eBookTracker, tracks Kindle rankings over time
E-junkie, sell your work online
Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, authors, history, themes, covers, everything about the field in one searchable database
ErrNet, proofreading software
Fantasy Novel Name Generator
Free Online Barcode Generator
Free Open Source Barcode Software, in Python
Ganxy, online book showcase
Gordian Plot, plot wiki
Got Print, business cards and other marketing materials
Hello Poetry, share your poetry
Historical Thesaurus of English, when words were first used
iTunes Book Charts, sales ranks
Kindle Spy, for-pay software, analyzes Kindle ranks and sales
Libre Office, free office suite
Listverse, top 10 lists of all sorts
MacinCloud, rent-a-Mac
Mail Chimp, email list manager
Medieval Fantasy City Generator
Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus
Metaphor Database, U of VA.
Multilingual Folk Tale Database, includes Aarne-Thompson-Uther Classifications.
Nameberry, name generator
Name Generator, character details by ethnicity and country
Natural Reader, text-to-speech software
The Next Big Writer, writing critiques, sub. req.
Non-Englilsh Markets for Speculative Short Fiction, by Douglas Smith
Novelists, Inc., organization for multi-published writers
Novel Rank, Amazon ranking auto-tracker.
Nymbler, find-a-name app
Oblique Strategies, nudges for creative dilemmas
Old Maps Online, front end to many map collections
Open Office
Oxford English Dictionary, subscription required
Payhip, sell your ebooks using Paypal
Plagiarism Detection, at Wikipedia, with list of programs
Punctuation Guide
Purdue Online Writing Lab, writing resources and instructional materials
Quotes About Writing, from Goodreads
Reddit Selfpublish
Sales Rank Express, check ranks across all Amazon outlets
Scrivener for Mac OS
Scrivener for Windows
Scribophile, writers’ group
Smashing Magazine, design and typography
The Shared Self-Publishing Experience
Time Traveler, by Merriam-Webster. By year, lists the first appearance of words.
Tracker Box, sales tracking software
TV Tropes, tricks of the trade for fiction writers
Undercover Reporting, Deception for Journalism’s Sake: A Database
Vulgar, constructed language software, for fee
Wattpad, a community of readers and writers
Women Fighters in Reasonable Armor, ladies that actually dress for dealing damage
Write It Now, creative writing software
Writer’s Knowledge Base, “the best writings about writing”
The Writer’s Resource Directory
Writer’s Resource Page
YMLP, email list software
yWriter5, free writing software

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See also: Kindleboards Yellow Pages for Authors, huge list sorted by service. The links here have all been recommended by at least one author.

Artwork and design
Editing, Copyediting, Proofreading

Artwork and design
Alan’s Art Studio, Alan Gutierrez, artist
Alexey Aparin, illustration
Around the Pages, book covers and web site design
Awesome Book Covers, Damon Za
Behance, artist portfolios
Brolken at Deviant Art, illustration and sketches
CCR Book Cover Design
Chris Rallis, illustration
Cormar Covers, premade and custom covers
Cover Bistro, pre-made designs
Covers by Laura, Laura Morrigan
Craig J. Spearing, illustration
CreativIndie Covers, Derek Murphy
CrowdSpring, logos and graphic design, crowd-sourced
Daniele Serra, Illustrator, cover design
Dara England, cover design
Deanna Dionne, cover design and illustration
Depthcore, digital art collective
Design Crowd, post your design projects
DeviantArt, original art at various price points
Dreamsprings, cover art by Marion Sipe
eBook Cover Designs, Brandi Doane
ebook indie covers, premade covers
Elsa Kroese, illustrator
Enita Meadows, cover design
Erin Lark Designs, pre-made and custom covers
Extended Imagery, cover design
Flip City Covers, cover art
Freelance Ganey, cover art and illustration
Gene Mollica, full service digital art studio
Genkis, illustrateur, webdesigner et infographiste
Go Bold Design, Cory Clubb
Go On Write, cover design, pre-made and by commission
Graphicz X Designs, cover art and designs
Heather Theurer, fine art
Hot Damn Design, graphic design and photography
Igor Kieryluk, graphic design
Indie Designz, covers and print design
Indigo Chick Design, custom and pre-made
Jason Gurley, custom and pre-made covers
Jeff Brown Graphics, illustrations and concept art
Jenn LeBlanc, illustrated romance
Jeroen Ten Berge, illustration, design, branding
Jes Richardson Design, cover art
J Simmons Illustration, cover design
JT Lindroos, cover design and illustration
Julie Dillon Art, fantasy illustration
Kanaxa Design, pre-made and custom covers, ebooks and print
Keith Draws, illustration and design
Killer Covers, covers, web site design. Mostly non-fiction.
Kit Foster Design, book covers
Lane Brown Art, illustration and concept design
Larry Rostant, illustration and original art
Laura Heeks, illustrations and photography
LFD Designs, cover design
Littera Designs, custom and pre-made covers
MaeI Design and Photography, graphic design
Mark Churms, military and historical artwork
Max M. Leon, graphic design, fine art, and illustration
Miguel Coimbra, concept artist and illustrator
MorJer’s Art, drawing by Jeremiah Morelli
Morning Light Photography, Eric Stensland, fine art photography
Novel Prevue, promotional video and cover art
Part Zero, Chris Steininger, cover art
Paul Davies, illustration
Period Images, images reminiscent of the past
Peter Ortiz, artist
PhatPuppy Art, graphic design
Predatory Ethics, covers for hire
Rae Monet, Inc. Design, book covers and web site designs
Razzle Dazzle Design, graphic design
Realistic Art, The Art Galleries of Howard David Johnson, custom illustration
Rebecca Swift Artwork, art services for authors
Red Swallow Design, design and illustration
Renu Sharma, cover art
Robin Ludwig Design, book cover design services
Sarah Marino, illustration
Scarlett Rugers, book cover design
See Janet Work, Janet Holmes, illustration and design
Self Pub Book Covers pre-made and customizable covers, various artists
Spider’s Soul art by Cris Ortega
Squared Motion, the work of Daniel Johnson, illustrator
SRB Productions, Inc., Stephen Bryant
Standalone Complex, cover art
Streetlight Graphics, graphic design
Striking Book Covers, pre-made and custom
Tara Schuler, graphic design
TERyvisions, graphic design
The Art of Tommy Arnold, art and illustrations
The Book Cover Machine, pre-made covers and custom illustration
The Red Epic, historic and fantasy illustration by Jared Blando
Through My Eyes, digital art by Karri Klawiter
Tiziano Baracchi, fantasy art. Gallery at Deviant Art.
Two Frequencies, art and illustration by Mandy Roberts
Walking Stick Books, cover art, interior design, marketing art
Wayward Sun Studio, graphic design
Wicked Cover Design
Yocla Book Covers, custom and pre-made designs by Clarissa
You’re Published, design and layout for POD

Editing, Copyediting, Proofreading
Aeroplace Media, copyediting and proofreading
Aidan Taylor, editor
Anita Bartholomew, editor
Ashley Case, light and heavy proofreading
Ashley Davis, editor
Daisycakes Creative, editing by Lauren Dee
Diana Cox, novel proofreading
e. catherine tobler, editing
Editing by Margaret, services list at link
Editorial Freelancers Association, with online directory
Elizabeth Lyon, editor
Erin Bow, editing for YA and MG writers
Felicia Sullivan, editor
Gregory Lynn, editor
Have Faith Proofreading, Faith Ann Carroll, copyediting and proofreading
Hazard Editing Services, editing and proofreading
H. Danielle Crabtree, editor
Hock’s Editing Services, Neal Hock, editor
Holloway House, editing and proofreading
Homunculus Editing Services, Derek Prior, editor
Ink Slinger Editorial Services, Cheryl Murphy, editor
Joshua Essoe, editor
Karin Cox, editor
Last Draft Editing
Lillie’s Literary Services, editorial and related
Malone Editorial Services
Purity Jones, editor
Raighne Davidson, copyediting and proofreading
Red Adept Editing, several editors, various services
Rhonda Edits, editorial services
Sasha Knight, editor
Sharon Muha, proofreading
Unbridled Editor, editing by Toni Rakestraw
Victory Editing, Anne Victory. Also the home of Arkali’s Oops Detection.
Wolfe Ross Editing
Wordsmith Editing, Peggy Ireland, editor
Word Webbing, editing by Annetta Ribken

52 Novels, ebook formatting
Awesome Book Layout
BB ebooks, print and ebook formatting
Cyber Witch Press, formatting
Guido Henkel, formatting
Late Nite Books Publishing Services, POD and ebook formatting
L.K. Campbell, ebook formatting
Polgarus Studio, ebook and print formatting
Word Pursuit, formatting by Jason Anderson

David P. Vandagriff, IP contract lawyer
Directory of Literary Lawyers, curated by Laura Resnick
F. Robert Stein, IP, entertainment and media law
Elaine English, IP contract lawyer

Amazon Product Visualizer, find your also-boughts
AuthorBuzz, M.J. Rose
AwesomeGang, connecting readers and writers
BadRedhead Media, optimizing social media and Amazon
Bewitching Book Tours, blog tours
bknights, marketing via Fiverr
BlogAds, paid advertising
Book Barbarian free and low-cost ebook newsletter
Book Basset, paid advertising for Kindle bargains
Book Blast, advertise free and bargain books
BookBub, advertise free and bargain books
Book Goodies, book listings
Booklinker, creates a link that automatically directs to any Amazon store around the globe
bookpromocoop, Indie author cross-promotions
Booksends, advertise free and bargain books
Bookish Snob Promotions, blog tours, news and tools for marketing and promotion
Book Review Broker, matches books to reviewers
Booktastic, book deals and author spotlights
Cards Made Easy, business cards and other printed material, UK-based
Ebook Bargains UK, international book listings
eBook Marketing Services, graphics, ads, web design
eBookSoda, advertising
Ecwid, e-commerce widgets, online stores
Ereader News Today, advertising and promotions
Flurries of Words, advertise your ebooks
Freebooksy, advertise your freebies
Frugal Freebies, advertise free books
FSB Book Blogger Directory
Indie Book Bargains UK
June’s Freebies and Reviews, resources for promoting free books
Kboards Book Discovery Promo
Kindle Books and Tips, paid advertising for Kindle books
Kindle Fire Department, advertising for the Kindle Fire, incl. apps
Kobo Book Hub, promote your book to Kobo readers
Ko-fi, tip jar for the equivalent of a cup of coffee
KUForums Ads, advertise to UK Kindle users, free and discounted ebooks
Moo, design and print custom cards, posters, etc.
Nicolas Erik’s curated list of promotional sites
Patreon, fans support creative work directly
Pure Buttons, custom ad merchandise
Rafflecopter, organize giveaways and sweepstakes
Read Cheaply, free and discounted ebooks
Robin Reads, best bargain books
Pixel of Ink, free and bargain Kindle books
Project Wonderful, paid advertising
SciFiFantasyFreak, free, discounted, new release publicity
Self-Publishing Formula, Mark Dawson’s marketing system, with both free and paid courses.
The Blurb Doctor, MeiLin Miranda, “Let me help you fix your blurb”
The Cheap Ebook, author advertising on the cheap
The Fussy Librarian, matching readers and books
The Grinder, submission tracker and market database for fiction and poetry
The Midlist, book recommendations
Woodall Design, web site design
xuni, author website management

Author EMS, author services, including Apple upload
Blue Valley Author Services, covers and formatting
BookBaby, flat-rate ebook service
Everything Indie, various services, also packages
Lucky Bat Books, various fee-based services
ODesk, outsource to freelancers
Reedsy, bundled publishing services, also serves as distributor

American Translators Association, foreign language translations.
Babelcube, co-op translation with royalty sharing
TranslatorsCafe, directory of translators, interpreters, and translation agencies

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Writer Beware
Absolute Write, Bewares and Recommendations Forum
Crash Override, resources for battling online abuse
Popehat Free Speech Resources
Preditors and Editors, lists services with warnings and recommendations
Writer Beware, warnings and scams, by the SFWA

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Last Update: Aug. 4, 2019