Our #1 recommendation for authors is definitely Thrive Themes. Whether you purchase the full package or just pick up a copy of their Content Builder, you definitely can't go wrong. We use Thrive as the core for all our author sites, because it is easy to learn and easy to use, which means our authors feel comfortable updating their own sites whenever needed!
Looking for a fast, simple, and affordable web host? Then look no further than SiteGround! We like SiteGround, because their dashboard is easy to use, their costs are low, and you can easily host everything you need all in one place. They also have better support than the other budget host options.
Another must for the professional author is a mailing list (which is why we make such a big priority of adding newsletter integration to all our sites). MailerLite has become our top pick for its fair pricing and beautiful, easy-to-use design interface. The support team is always just a quick chat away too. You really can't go wrong with MailerLite!
While it's not technically a design resource, AutoCrit definitely deserves a spot on our top list of recommendations. I've been using it since 2011, and it's safe to say that AutoCrit played no small part in making me the writer I am today. Perfect for self editing and learning to correct your own mistakes, we just can't recommend it enough!
Ever wonder how authors get their Amazon or iTunes links to display with their name in it rather than the default jumble of letters and numbers (like theauthorsite.com/amazon for example)? Pretty Link is how. We recommend the slight upgrade to PRO for the added reporting and tracking features.
Craft super cool quizzes for your readers to promote your book while capturing leads and just having fun. Riddle's developers understand the modern marketing game and are constantly releasing innovative updates. If you want to do something different for your readers, you need this tool! Plus, save 50% with AUTHORSITERIDDLE
Want to run a viral giveaway? KingSumo is about a million times better than the competition. We're looking at you Rafflecopter! It's both easy for fans to use and easy for you to apply your custom branding--what a win!
Make beautiful sliders, carousels, and other custom widgets with Soliloquy. They provide a great way to showcase your books, blog posts, and even your social media feeds. We're huge fans!
This is a great DIY option for building out beautiful, functional book pages that are easy to shift around at your leisure. We also adore the My Book Progress widget for updating readers on your current WIPs!
The best way to grow your newsletter numbers? A lead magnet! Giving away a free eBook (or eBooks) for subscribers is great in theory, but how do you do it? BookFunnel is how you do it--at least it's the easy way. Plus their support is unmatched!
At first glance, InstaFreebie and BookFunnel may seem like either-or propositions, but while BookFunnel offers the easiest delivery system for readers, InstaFreebie is great for discoverability and finding NEW readers. We recommend getting subscriptions to both.
Why have a simple contact from when you can have so much more? Gravity Forms does it all from newsletter integration, to eCommerce, and even quizzes, polls, automation, and a million other things.
Want a kick-butt website theme, but can't afford Thrive Themes? Then your very next step should be Elegant Themes. With highly adaptive layouts and a range of aesthetic choices, the Elegant Themes suite provides an affordable and effective web design solution for those who are willing to put in the time to learn. Their Divi theme is a great place to start.
Another must for the professional author is a mailing list (which is why we make such a big priority of adding newsletter integration to all our sites). There's a reason Mailchimp continues to be a favorite among authors, plus it's free until you amass your first 2,000 subscribers.
Want a theme for your site that you don't see a million other places? If you can't afford to hire a pro to create that coveted look for you, try browsing Theme Forest for a solution, but be careful because not all themes are created equally! Our tip for finding a good fit? Check out RedExp's portfolio. You can also find fun plugins, video and audio clips, and other fun things here.
Ready to tell the world about your books? Believe us, it's vital that you present a consistent look and feel when communicating your new author brand. If you have a good eye for design, try using this free software to make your own graphics.
Okay, so you want to do it yourself, but do you even know where to start? Udemy is a fantastic resource for learning how to do pretty much anything you can imagine via bite-sized video instructional modules.
Grabbing random photos from the web to use on your site is a huge no-no. That's why you really need a stock photo plan. DepositPhotos offers the best deal. Grab some credit, and download to your heart's content, then modify in Canva or Photoshop to add your own unique brand twist!
You know what they say--money makes the world go around! If you need a bit of help funding your author business, Kabbage Loans is definitely worth checking out. They're fair, flexible, and fast. Believe us, a well-timed business loan can make a huge difference in your bottom line!
Why stick to the same fonts everyone else is using? Make your branding special by adding in some gorgeous custom fonts! We love FontBundles.net for their unbeatable prices and frequent package deals. Go find your own fave font today!
Earlier this year, I had the chance to work one-on-one with author marketing expert Larissa Reynolds. She specializes in email marketing (and you know how important my newsletters are when it comes to selling those books!). Check out her services--you won't regret it!
D2D is our favorite eBook distribution service for oh-so many reasons! They have a sleek, easy-to-use interface, excellent customer support, and a beautiful book designer with the option to prep your title for print as well as digital. Definitely check them out if you need a one-stop publishing shop!
We LOVE the new email service provider, Author Reach. It's made just for authors and their unique needs and has built in free book delivery, newsletter swaps, advertising, and more. Plus it's the best customer support I've ever received from anywhere. No, seriously!
KDP Rocket is a fantastic tool when it comes to creating a huge list of AMS ad keywords quickly and effectively. I wouldn't be able to run Amazon ads without them. The savings in time is totally worth the expense of purchase. Happy advertising!