WELCOME TO THE RESOURCE AND FREEBIE GUIDE!
I wanted to create this page because there are so many things that I use that might be helpful to other writers. I've separated them into categories, some of which are free which means they cost you nothing and paid which may cost you something to buy.
Disclaimer: Please note that if you purchase a paid item with the * next to it I receive a referral commission at no extra cost to you. This support helps me keep my little blog up and running, and me writing. Thank you so much for your support, and I hope every resource provided genuinely helps you in your journey from novice to novel.
Some prices will be in dollars and some are in great british pounds because that's just what I pay them as. Prices may differ when using your own countries currency.
The Novelista Library: Naturally, I'll be including my resource library as the top free resource. It's full to the brim with useful worksheets and workbooks which can help you tackle your novel. Cost: your e-mail address, if you're not already signed up!
The Writember Workshop: a 30-day course designed to help you create a writing habit that’s simple, effective and incredibly powerful. Cost: $29
Little Novelist: Naturally I would include my own website as the blog is full of writerly information, interviews and book reviews. Just hit the Blog button at the top if you want to read through some articles.
Well-Storied: THE TIPS, TOOLS, AND COMMUNITIES YOU NEED TO BUILD YOUR VERY BEST WRITING LIFE - thats the very first thing you see on Kristen Kieffer's website and it's not wrong. This was one of the first websites I found when I started writing my first fantasy book (that will never see the light of day) and it's wonderful to see how it has grown.
Writerology: To write a good story, you need to understand people, get inside their heads, know what makes them tick. And that’s where Writerology comes in. I love Faye's website and honestly it's so interesting reading all her different posts about psychology in writing.
Jenny Bravo Books: Jenny has some amazing blog posts about the writing craft as well as her own journey. Be sure to check them out!
Ink & Quills: I love the way Kaitlin writes her blog posts. Definitely one that I keep returning to whenever I need a little information. It's like having a chat with a friend in a coffee shop.
Mandy Wallace: Her new website design is beautiful and makes navigating it easy to use. Plus her articles are easy to understand too!
Better Novel Project: Christine's website has been a huge tool for me for many years and one that I always come back to if I am stuck on something difficult.
Cookie Break: Sarina's blend of writing resources and book updates are brilliant and you can follow along on her journey as a self published author too!
Susan Dennard: Her writing resource page is full to the brim with helpful, informational and easy to understand posts that will help you in your writing journey. There are so many sections it can seem daunting but with the headers and ease of use this website will quickly become your favourite.
Kristen Martin: This lady is incredible and I have found so much more about myself, my writing, and processes thanks to her videos. And her AuthorTube retreat, along with my friends video about how important video is becoming, are the reasons I'm considering starting my own channel.
Kim Chance: I watch her videos and stories. She's so real and shows not only the good but also the bad things about writing and editing (and everything in between). Kim is an awesome role model.
Mandi Lynn: Mandi's style of advice giving and teaching is amazing. Her videos are so informative and easy to follow.
Jessi Elliot: Jessi is an author of both young adult and new adult romantic fiction. Her love of writing was born after many years of reading and reviewing books on her blog. She will have you in good hands with all of her informative videos.
Bethany Atazedeh: Definitely a YouTuber who I come back to time and time again. I love everything about Bethany and her videos are very motivational and inspiring.
Jenna Moreci: I can't remember how I found Jenna on YouTube but it was around the time she released The Saviors Champion and honestly, I've devoured every video I could since.
Alexa Donne: I love the way she explains things in her videos. They're so concise and easy to understand. Definitely a good place to start if you're a newbie.
Little Novelist: This will be a channel if I ever get around to kicking the nerves to the curb and making videos. At the moment I am doing an IGTV Series to ease me into the videoing process so stay tuned - IT IS COMING.
Evernote*: If you are out and about and suddenly an idea pops into your head or you're on holiday and want to do some writing this app is a must. I pay the £2.99 per month fee (purely so I can have the app on more than two devices) and I have the app on my phone, laptop and iPad. Before getting my iPad I used only the free plan and it worked for me. I organise all my notes and keep notebooks of things that are related together.
Plans - Basic: Free, Plus: £29.99 a year, Premium: £44.99 a year (they do have monthly payment options).
Microsoft Word/Excel: I use word for editing when I send things between my alpha & beta readers as well as my critique partners as this allows for easier track changes. I use excel for budgets, and keeping track of submissions with my submission spreadsheet. I pay £5.99 a month for Microsoft.
Pages: This comes free with any MacBook. I use this to write my novels in as I find it's easier and has less distractions for me.
Scrivener: This is a tool that a lot of writers use, not one I have used personally. I know a lot of my friends do use it and they love it. I am still toying with the idea of getting it and if I do I'll be purchasing it from the app store which will cost me £43.99. The link will take you to a site where it is $45, and you can get a 30-day free trail.
The Novel Portfolio: Is a tool I created for myself to help me when planning/plotting my novels. I do not use all of these pages all the time. It totally depends on the story as I am a little bit of an in-between writer. Sometimes I plot bits and sometimes I pants bits. Cost: $15
The Pre-Write Project: This tool from Kristen at Well-Storied is brilliant and has helped me through some tough times. This is on a pay what you want scheme with the recommended price being $12. It's totally worth that and more.
Self Editing Software:
Hemingway App (Online): The Hemingway Editor cuts the dead weight from your writing. It highlights wordy sentences in yellow and more egregious ones in red. Cost: Free
Hemingway App (Download): Use Hemingway Editor wherever you write—on the train, at the beach, or in a coffee shop with spotty Wi-Fi. As long as you have your computer, you'll have Hemingway. Cost: $19.99
Grammarly: I love grammarly for their basic free plan and honestly, I do not solely use this. I like it for correcting things like misplaced words and commas, as well as it teaching you why it was wrong to put it there.
They also have advanced plans which show you much more and the prices are as follows:
Disclaimer: Please do your research before booking, while I admire and have found these editors to be amazing, you may not. I can make no guarantees concerning their reliability or veracity going forward.
Ashley R Carlson: Phoenix-based manuscript proofreading. Copyediting. Editorial reviews. Developmental edits and critiques. Ghostwriting. Blog post and advertising copy creation. Social media marketing. Self-publishing consultation. Ashley has 5 packages to choose from!
Sarina Langer: Edits a variety of genres (Science Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Contemporary) and their sub genres. Her friendly attitude makes working with her like chatting with a friend - my testimonial for her!
Briana Morgan: Briana offers a variety of editing services for various categories (young adult, new adult, and adult) and genres (contemporary, science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller).
Coryl Reef: Offers several services primarily aimed at writers. They range from editorial projects to book design to transcription. She gives thorough feedback and has a quick turnaround rate
Whitney McGruder: Whitney has over 5 years of professional editing experience and providing detailed feedback to writers. She provides proofreading, copy editing, substantive editing, developmental editing, and beta reading services for fiction and nonfiction alike.
Sarah Fox: Sarah is an experienced freelance developmental and copy editor.
Instagram Hashtag Database*: This is a huge resource of 3100 hashtags for over 35 categories including books and writing. Plus you may find a use for some of the other hashtag when you do cross over posts like reading on holiday etc. Cost: $49
Instagrowth Workbook*: More affordable option to the course which has every lesson in Instagrowth for a step-by-step strategy to authentically grow your Instagram account in 30 days. Cost: $47
Buffer: Schedule you tweets with this handy tool! Cost: Free Plan / Paid Plan $15 per month
99Designs: A Premium website where you write a brief and then depending on the package a number of designers will work on that brief and submit covers for you to choose.
SelfPubBookCovers: Pre-made book covers in multiple genres.
The Book Cover Designer: I love this website for pre-mades and sometimes if you contact the designers they'll do custom work as well.
Eight Little Pages: This website creates absolutely GORGEOUS covers! They even do interiors too. Definitely check out their portfolio. They do get booked up pretty fast so e-mail them without delay if you want a slot.
Book Design Templates*: Need an affordable interior template? Easily create beautiful books right in Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, or Adobe InDesign with these! They also have a few genres and they're so pretty!
Vellum: If you have a MacBook then this software is great for self publishing authors. With different templates and headers to choose from, Vellum instantly creates a smooth interior easily upload-able for any platform.
DIYBookFormats: This is run by Creativindie Derek Murphy and I have to say these saved my life before I got myself Vellum. So if you're a word user and want easy to follow instructions and free templates then this is the way to go! There's also the Master Package where you can get a TON of bonuses plus extra templates and even help with cover design for just $67
There are many channels in which you can publish your novel. Here are my suggestions for places on self publishing;
Createspace; This is Amazon's paperback printing publishing website. It's the easiest platform to use and keeps costs as low as you can for your readers.
Kindle Direct Publishing; Amazon's e-book distribution. Free and easy - just the way we like things.
The two above can link up together on the books Amazon's page.
Smashwords. Another free e-book only platform which distributes to Amazon, Kobo, Apple, B&N, etc. This means your book can be bought in multiple markets other than just Amazon.
Lulu; does both e-book and print, two paperback options and a hardback option. This website offers free and paid services and post to Amazon, Apple and B&N.
Book Baby; Book baby offers ebook services as well as design, editing and formatting. This does have costs.
Ingram Spark; Offers both e-book and print services. However, you'll need your own ISBN's, a set-up fee and a publishing name (this can be a publishing company you've set up or your author name).
On Writing by Stephen King*: This is probably the most well known book for learning about the craft and getting insights from the king of writing.
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Brown and Dave King*: This book has taught me so much about revising and editing my novel and I am so grateful that I found this in the maze that is amazon. If you're a novice and want to make your book as good as possible before betas and editors then you need to have this handbook as a guide.
Bird by Bird: Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott*: This book could completely change your outlook on writing and life. Filled with compassion and jokes that will make you smile this resource won't feel like you're studying the craft but having advice from a friend.
How to Make a Living with Your Writing: Books, Blogging and More by Joanne Penn*: This book is brilliant for anyone looking for a place to start making money from writing. It's been on my shelf for a while now and honestly it's easy to read, understand and implement. Plus it even has a companion worksheet for you to fill out and get started.
Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story by K. M. Weiland*: I've actually purchased all of K. M. Weiland's books and honestly this one is the one I find myself coming back to when I want to fix anything in my manuscript to do with structure. Plus, there is a companion workbook to go through! It's insightful information definitely gives you something to think about!
Paper Hearts Series by Beth Revis, Volume 1*, Volume 2* Volume 3*: I absolutely love the informal tone of these books. It's like you're sitting down with a friend and they're offering you their advice on different aspects of the writing journey. Defintiely worth picking up a copy and seeing if you can learn from them.
MORE COMING SOON
Reedsy: A marketplace for authors looking to hire freelancers offering editing, marketing, design, publicity, and website services. Free to browse, though users must first create an account before gaining access to the marketplace.