Below I’ve listed my favourite resources and tools for writers. Please note that this page contains affiliate links. Also note that every single book, product, course, etc below has made writing my books and maintaining this blog easier in some way, often in more than one.
I use everything on this page myself. The moment I no longer believe in one or more of the below I’ll remove the products, so you can rest assured that everything here is a personal recommendation from me to you 🙂
Paperchase is my happy place. Around 90% of my notebooks and other stationery supplies (they have some beautiful fountain pens…) come from there. It’s the only place besides book stores I need to visit whenever I’m in town. It’s one of my top recommendations for any writer, and one I myself will never get tired off. Need a new notebook? Head to Paperchase and see why it has my heart.
My bullet journal is the reason I’m still sane. The Leuchtturm 1917 is the original bullet journal, and as such it was made specifically for bullet journalling. The pages are already numbered, the table of contents is included at the front, and–my personal selling point–the pages come in dotted, which makes every page look tidier. Lined journals are available too. You can read all about how my bullet journal has saved my sanity here.
Every writer needs a set of reliable red pens, and Stabilo are my favourite. I’ve loved them ever since I was a child, and they have yet to let me down. They last, they are thin enough to fit between the lines of your printed draft (0.4mm), and the colours are beautifully vivid. I buy the red ones as well as the black ones in packs of ten, but I can also recommend the set of 25 if you prefer variety and love colour-coding.
No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty
Whether you’re doing the main event in November or one of the two annual camps, No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty is a must-read.
Chris Baty is the father of NaNo, and his book (50k long, if you trust the cover) takes you through every week, has case studies, and will motivate you before as well as throughout the month.
It makes NaNoWriMo less daunting, and you’ll be inspired to start writing. Read my review for No Plot? No Problem! here to see if it’s for you.
Scrivener has my heart. You can read about my favourite features here, but I’m also planning a series all around how you can use it to write your book. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself, because it makes writing a book so easy.
Scrivener was created for writers, so it comes with features other programs don’t have, like index cards, a name generator, and full-screen mode. And to make a great thing even more wonderful, there’s a free 30-day trial which you can use on any 30 days you want–it doesn’t have to be in one go.
Editing and Self-Publishing Help
Self-Printed by Catherine Ryan Howard
Self-Printed by Catherine Ryan Howard was the first book on self-publishing I ever borrowed from my library, and it’s the first book I bought immediately after. Sometimes, you just need to have your own copy, and Self-Printed is so valuable I call it my bible.
The only reason I had any idea what I was doing when I published my debut novel was this book. I strongly recommend you get your own copy and treasure it. Not sure? Read my review here.
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King
One of the many things I love about Self-Editing for Fiction Writers is that every chapter starts with advice from someone in this industry. Other authors, editors, agents–there’s so much value in this beyond what Browne and King themselves deliver.
It takes you through all the basics with clear examples and a light-hearted tone, so you feel like you’re having a relaxed chat over tea rather than a stern teaching session.
No matter where you’re at in your self-publishing journey, no matter how many books you’ve written, this is an easy recommendation. If you’d like more proof, you can read my review here.
The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr.
While The Elements of Style isn’t as humorous as I normally like my theory reads to be, it’s short and to the point. I may not even be the first person to recommend this to you–it’s so well known and appreciated, Stephen King recommends it in On Writing.
It covers the basics of story telling, concise writing, and throws in some thoughts on punctuation too, and it does it with a no-nonsense approach.
Strunk gets to the point without waffling, which is why The Elements of Style would make an excellent edition to your desk. My review is on its way.
Thinking about creating bookish merchandise? You want Vistaprint. They offer a large variety of promotional products, including bookmarks (on their American site), tote bags, mugs, flyers, banners, and loads of other cool stuff.
I’ve never had a problem with a single one of their products. The few times I contacted their customer service team, they responded quickly and put my mind at ease immediately. Their quality is excellent. Have a browse through their products or read my review of how you can use it as an author.
Self-Publishing 101 by Mark Dawson is the only masterclass on self-publishing you’ll ever need. It’s not open all year round, so I recommend you sign up to their newsletter or to mine if you want to know when it opens its doors again.
It’s the most expensive of the three courses I list here, but it’s also the most valuable. Mark’s lessons cover how to get reviews, how to get the most out of your mailing list, how to set up your author site to its full potential, and generally how to rock being an indie author. The lessons are detailed because Mark doesn’t withhold information.
My full review is coming soon. In the meantime, you can check out the course here.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
If you want to make money with your blog, I strongly recommend Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, an online course by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner.
I took the course earlier this year, and while I haven’t had the time to implement every strategy (and there’s a lot of useful stuff in this course) I’m already seeing some results.
You take the course in your own time and the lessons are yours for life, including those Michelle adds after you complete the course. I finished it within two weeks back in May 2018 and I’m still getting new content!
Stupid Simple SEO
If you’re tempted by Michelle’s course, I recommend you also take this course on Search Engine Optimisation. Why? Because lots of organic page views + affiliate links = profit. You don’t need to take both together, it’s just a recommendation because they complement each other so beautifully!
I’m still taking it, but my blog has already benefited from Mike Pearson’s knowledge. In late 2018, I put CookieBreak through a massive make-over, and I applied everything I learned in this course. Page views are up a little already, and I’ve barely scratched the surface!
I’ll review it once I’ve finished it. Enrolment is closed at the moment, but if you sign up to my mailing list or Mike’s email alerts you won’t miss it the next time it opens.