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Recommended Websites

SPF

Best-selling author Mark Dawson, and the SPF team are your go-to guys if you’re an indie author and are looking for sound advice on all things self-publishing. Their weekly podcasts offer advice on every possible aspect of self-publishing, as well as free materials, cheat sheets and ebooks. The SPF Facebook groups are the best and most helpful author communities on the web. Mark and the SPF team are often in the group, and their e-mail support is always happy to answer any questions or doubts. If you only have enough time to listen to one podcast a week, then pick the SPF guys. And if you sign up to their newsletter, you will also be able to join their Facebook groups and have access to freebies.

CreativePenn

Joanna Penn is a best-selling thriller author, as well as a very well-known non-fiction author, who’s been sharing tips and advice with the indie community for a few years now. In addition to multiple books on how to write, publish, and market your books, she has a weekly podcast and offers courses for newbies and more self-assured authors.

Recommended Reads

Recommended Resources

NajlaQamber

Need a cover, teaser, logo or promotional material? Need a beautiful formatting for your book? Najla is your girl. Affordable rates, quick turnaround and an absolute pleasure to work with. I highly recommend her services to anyone looking for an eye-catching cover for their books. Feel free to tell her I sent her – I won’t get any referral fees for this, but I’m always happy to let her know I’m sending new clients over to her.

FreeBird

As a romance author herself, Serena Clarke at Free Bird Editing knows what a romance needs in order to get readers to fall in love with the characters and the story. Accurate and thorough, she can help you polish your manuscript, fix major plot issues or simply spot any typos that you may have missed. She edited the first book in my Love In Spring series, and I’ll be going back to her for the following books, too.

Web Hosting

Self-hosted websites are always the best solution, but with so many hosting companies available, which one should you trust? After reading lots of positive reviews, I decided to sign up with SiteGround and I’ve been extremely happy with my decision. For once, cheap rates equal great hosting and top-notch customer service. You can even chat with them before signing up; a customer rep will answer all your questions, and if you decide to go ahead, they’ll migrate your website within minutes.
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Get access to 87 WordPress themes when you join the Elegant Themes community. You can choose to pay a yearly or a lifetime-access fee, and you’ll receive a notification whenever a new update is available. My website is made using Divi theme and the drag&drop Divi Builder. I’m no techie at all, but I had lots of fun creating it and, as a bonus, I can update it whenever I want, without any additional costs. That alone was worth the cost of the subscription.
(Affiliate link)

MailerLite

If you’re looking for an alternative to the expensive mailing list providers, try MailerLite. It’s the new kid on the block, but it offers great automations and integration for half the price of the bigger providers. Click on the image to take advantage of my personal referral code and get a special discount on your subscription. (Affiliate link)

Mailchimp

Mailchimp is one of the most popular e-mail marketing companies. It is free up to 2,000 subscribers but if you want automations and autoresponders, you will need a paid account.

The best writing software for authors, bloggers, and writers in general. Keep your work organized, move things around, add research folders, and use the easy formatting tools to create epubs, Mobi files, PDF and more. Take advantage of the 30-day free trial (of effective use, not calendar days) to see if it is for you. Trust me, once you’ve tried it, you won’t be able to live without it!

Already have Scrivener but going crazy trying to figure it out? Let the Scrivener Coach guide you through all the basic steps, as well as let you in on some ninja tricks to take advantage of all of Scrivener’s features, whether you’re using it to write a book or to organize your blog posts.
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Need critique or a beta reader?

So you’ve written a book. You’ve struggled through writer’s block, sweated and maybe even cried or screamed in frustration (believe me, I know something about it). But now it’s done. Your baby is ready to go off to the editor for a final polish—or is it? As an author myself, I know how much we love our books as if they were babies. We’re completely involved in the story, have fallen in love with the heroes and become the heroine’s best friend. And just like a mother can’t always see her children’s faults, chances are we won’t be able to see the faults in our characters or in our story. That’s what critique partners and beta readers are for.

I’d be happy to help. As an author and an avid reader, I know how to provide constructive feedback and criticism, without breaking your heart. Sure, we never want to hear our characters come off as dull and annoying, or that the story is missing conflict and isn’t engaging. But a constructive critique is what makes a book better before it hits the virtual shelves and is picked up by readers who, let’s face it, aren’t always as understanding. They don’t know how much work, sweat, and tears went behind that book they’re reading. They only want to get a good story in exchange for the money they spent. And you don’t want them to stop reading and, heaven forbid, leave a nasty review because of issues that could’ve been spotted by a fresh set of eyes, someone who’s not involved in the story the way you are.

I’ve read quite a big amount of ARCs, as well as published books, and I’ve become quite good at spotting inconsistencies that had escaped the editor’s eyes (things like: the hero’s eyes are blue in chapter 2 and brown in chapter 10; a character is referred to with another character’s name, who actually starred in the previous scene; a name is spelled in two different ways throughout the book; timeline does not match with the events). At first, I did it only for a friend, who sent me the ARCs of her books and asked to spot typos and stuff the editor had missed. Then I found I enjoyed it so much I started doing it with every ARC and even with published books I’d purchased.

I guess it’s just because as an author I tend to be a perfection freak, but I’ve now become a very attentive reader with an eagle eye. I’ve always dreamed of working in the editorial business, but since I don’t have the right qualifications, my dream has remained such. Although I can’t call myself an editor or a proofreader, since English isn’t my first language, I thought I could be a beta reader or a critique partner for authors who don’t have one and who would like a more critical eye than a normal beta reader (who’s not an author) can provide.

So if you want to get your book critiqued and receive detailed feedback, get in touch with me. I will provide feedback on the plot (point out any plot issues, inconsistencies, etc.), characters, settings, and although I’m not an editor, I will spot typos and ‘showing vs. telling’ issues. I will also include comments and I will send you a general editorial letter with my opinion and suggestions.

Since I’m just starting out, I have a fixed rate according to the type of book: short story, novella, full-length novel. Although I prefer romance (any subgenre), women’s fiction and chick-lit, I’m happy to critique other genres as well. I don’t read erotica, BDSM, and the likes, sorry.

  • Short story (up to 7,500 words): 10 USD
  • Novelette/Novella (up to 40,000 words): 25 USD
  • Full-length novel (from 40,000 words to 90,000): 50 USD
  • Longer novel (from 90,000 up): 80 USD

Contact me if you’d like to work with me. If you want to try the service first, you can send me a chapter (up to 2,000 words) and I’ll read and critique it for free.

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