The Indie 50 – The 50 Best Sites for Indie and Self-Published Authors

by August Wainwright on June 23, 2013

This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now and kept putting it off. Having now finished the list, I completely understand why I’ve been procrastinating for so long.

Trying to compile a list of relevant sites was hard enough. But attempting to get that list down to the final 50 sites turned out to be a massive endeavor; and I wasn’t even The Indie 50 – The 50 Best Sites for Indie and Self-Published Authorsdone yet – I still felt the need to try to rank the sites. How, or using what scale? Hell, I have absolutely no idea.

In the end, I decided the Indie 50 should be the 50 sites that, in my opinion, represent the best the Internet has to offer for indie and self-published authors.

That might mean something different for you (I’m sure it does), but for me, this list is made up of the sites that I visit on a daily or weekly basis. These are the sites that have helped me get to where I’m at. And, should I find a higher success in this industry, it will more than likely be due to something I picked up from one of these sites. I’ve learned so much in such a short amount of time and I owe most, if not all, of that to the sites on this list.

The Indie 50 – The 50 Best Sites for Indie and Self-Published Authors (help promote the Indie 50 by clicking here to tweet)

The list is both searchable and fully sortable. You can sort by rank, alphabetically, or by category. There’s quite a bit of overlap for some sites as far as categories go, but I’ve attempted to put each site into 1 of 5 categories :

Self-Publishing, Writing Process, Resource, Social, and Industry/News.

The Indie 50 represents my personal journey, and to those who have created the sites and resources on this list, I can’t thank you enough.

So with out any further ado, I present for your viewing, and clicking, pleasure:

The Indie 50 – The 50 Best Sites for Indie and Self-Published Authors

 

#
URL
Category
1KBoards - Writers' CafeALL
2The Newbie's Guide to PublishingSelf-Publishing
3Amazon KDP & Author CentralResource
4The Passive VoiceIndustry/News
5Dean Wesley SmithSelf-Publishing
6TerribleMindsWriting Process
7The Creative PennSelf-Publishing
8No Rules Just WriteSelf-Publishing
9Self Publishing PodcastSelf-Publishing
10David GaughranSelf-Publishing
11The Book DesignerSelf-Publishing
12BookBubResource
13Nook Press / PubItResource
14GoodreadsSocial
15CopybloggerMarketing
16Jane FriedmanSelf-Publishing
17Seth GodinMarketing
18ScrivenerResource
19TED TalksAWESOMENESS
20Hugh HoweySelf-Publishing
21Lindsay BurokerSelf-Publishing
22Writer's DigestWriting Process
23The Self Publishing TeamSelf-Publishing
24Kristine Kathryn RuschSelf-Publishing
25KOBOResource
26Digital Book WorldIndustry/News
27Storyfix.comWriting Process
28Karen WoodwardWriting Process
29Publisher's WeeklyIndustry/News
30Mystery Writing is MurderWriting Process
31Catherine, CaffeinatedSelf-Publishing
32Write on the RiverSelf-Publishing
33EBookBoosterResource
34Goins, WriterBlogging/Platform
35Draft2DigitalResource
36LibraryThingsSocial
37ProBloggerBlogging/Platform
38Wise, Ink.Self-Publishing
39Rachelle GardnerSelf-Publishing
40IndieReaderIndustry/News
41ScribophileResource/Writing Process
42The Kill ZoneBlogging/Platform
43Kristen LambBlogging/Platform
44Write to DoneWriting Process
45GetMeWriting.comWriting Process
46Live Write ThriveWriting Process
47HAROResource
48Author Marketing ClubResource
49SmashwordsResource
50The Writer's Guide to E-PublishingSelf-Publishing

 

A little more about the list:

Some amazing sites got left off. It just works that way when you’re trying to pare down a list like this – not everyone can make it. I’m a personal fan of Barry Eisler, both as a writer and for his strong opinions (well… most of the time). His blog, The Heart of the Matter, is one I visit often, but it landed just outside the top 50 for me.  I’ve also enjoyed quite a few articles from Jen Falls at Falls into Writing lately; she’s written some great in-depth posts that are worth a read.

I purposely left off the major social sites – Facebook, Twitter, G+ – because they aren’t specific to indie and self-pub authors. Should you be using them? Absolutely. Do they have anywhere near the effect on an overall career as the other sites on this list? In my experience, that answer is a resounding NO.

After much deliberation, I also decided to leave off sites specifically targeting UK audiences. Mostly because I don’t personally frequent any (yet), but also because the list would have needed to become the Indie 100 with so many great sites to choose from.

But there are definitely some great UK based sites; The Kindle Users Forum is more-or-less the equivalent of KBoards in the UK, and Indie Book Bargains seems to be a great promotion resource. I’m planning on doing a separate UK specific list of sites in a future post.

Last, I originally had a few cover design sites I wanted to include on the list under the Resource category, but eventually decided to remove them. Cover design is a bit of a “hot-topic” for me, mostly because I feel it is the one obvious area where indie and self-pub authors fall short of traditionally published authors. This is not ALWAYS the case, but more often than not, you will find self-pub writers who spend months, maybe years, writing a great book that deserves to be published, and then they slap on a cover they “designed” themselves in 2 hours on GIMP.

I’ve written about how a cover can KILL your book before anyone has the chance to read it, and after thinking about using valuable spots on the Indie 50 list for cover designers (as much as it is warranted), I decided it would be much more beneficial to do another separate post on the best cover designers for self-published authors. There’s just too much information to cover and it warrants more than a simple outgoing link.

So if you’re interested in getting either the post on the UK specific list or the in-depth cover design post/list, sign up for the newsletter by CLICKING HERE and I’ll be sure to let you know when those are finished.

 

Please take a few seconds to spread the Indie 50 list.

I believe the Indie 50 deserves to be shared – writers that are just starting out have a tremendous amount to gain from having access to this list and from the information on the sites listed here. So please share it with your followers and friends, or post a link to it on your site.

The Indie 50 – The 50 Best Sites for Indie and Self-Published Authors (help promote the Indie 50 by clicking here to tweet)

And, again, Thank You to all those who have put in a tremendous amount of time and energy building the amazing sites on this list.

 

If I missed any great sites, please drop a link in the comments below. The plan is to revisit the list whenever needed… hopefully that will only be once a year. Thoughts?

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49 comments

Great list.
Not sure if I saw JAKonrath’s blog or Jason Matthew’s “How to Make, Market, and Sell Ebooks all for Free” blog.
I, personally, would switch out Rachelle Gardner’s for one of those as agents aren’t really known for helping the self publishing side of things.
Also, for those who want the basics in a video format, Indie Author Chat has 15 minute Youtube videos available on a variety of topics like branding, formatting, etc.
It’s a new venture (yes, I’m involved) but we’re filling a need with the basics, including check lists and resources for self published authors.

by Lisa Grace on June 23, 2013 at 8:08 pm. Reply #

Thanks Lisa.

Konrath’s blog is #2, The Newbie’s Guide to Publishing – that’s the name of his actual blog site. I had Jason Matthew’s site on the shortlist, but he fell just outside of the top 50 for me. I’ll be sure to check out your Indie Author Chat… and feel free to add a link if you’d like.

by August Wainwright on June 24, 2013 at 6:13 am. Reply #

Awesome post, didn’t know some of them! More information about book covers is definitely helpful too, there is a need for more info and education about them.

by Adrijus G. on June 24, 2013 at 6:14 am. Reply #

Thanks Adrijus.

The book cover specific article will be coming soon. And I agree with you that education is the most important part of that discussion – it will be a big part of that post.

by August Wainwright on June 24, 2013 at 9:52 am. Reply #

[...] resources available to indie and self-published authors. Thankfully, August Wainwright has compiled The Indie 50, a list of 50 sites that, in his opinion, represent the best the Web has to offer for indie and [...]

by The Indie 50 – The 50 Best Sites for Indie and Self-Published Authors « Artisan Bookworks on June 24, 2013 at 9:12 am. Reply #

This is wonderful… THANKS SO MUCH!

by Bette A. Stevens on June 24, 2013 at 12:31 pm. Reply #

Thanks for taking the time to put this resource together! I tweeted it out and I’m adding it to my links on my blog.

by Stephen del Mar on June 24, 2013 at 2:16 pm. Reply #

[...] And here is an awesome list of 50 sites for Indie and Self-Published Authors http://augustwainwright.com/the-indie-50-the-50-best-sites-for-indie-and-self-published-authors/ [...]

by Monday Night Roundup! | The Mind of DCS on June 24, 2013 at 2:45 pm. Reply #

This is lovely! I’ve been floundering around a bit and becoming overwhelmed at the amount of information (and disinformation) out there. Thank you for taking the time and effort to compile this list!

by Michelle Mogil on June 25, 2013 at 6:21 pm. Reply #

Thanks bunches for choosing my site, The WG2E (The Writer’s Guide to Epublishing), in your Top 50 List!

Nothin’ beats Writers Helping Writers Reach Readers!!!

Cheers…and again…thank u!!! :-)

P.S. Y’all are welcome at The WG2E anytime!!!

by D. D. Scott on June 26, 2013 at 5:33 pm. Reply #

Thanks for stopping by D.D.

That “Writers Helping Writers Reach Readers” thing is pretty spot on. I’ve found that it’s fairly easy to find information on “Writers Helping Writers find other Writers” – but it’s that “Readers” part that is so important… and valuable.

Thanks for knowing the valuable part.

by August Wainwright on June 27, 2013 at 8:18 am. Reply #

It bothers me that Authors Marketing Club claims that their sign up is free, but when you click it, the only option is to pay $105. Why say free if it’s not?

by Dotti on June 27, 2013 at 2:16 am. Reply #

Hi Dotti,

If you’re on the Author Marketing Club’s “Splash” page, they are absolutely attempting to up-sell their premium membership that costs $105/yr.

But if you scroll to the bottom of that page, there’s a button that says “No thanks, I’ll stick with AMC free”. Sign up there and you’ll get access to their free tools – like the free book submission tool and the possibility of getting reviews for your book.

Hope that helps.

by August Wainwright on June 27, 2013 at 8:59 am. Reply #

Author Marketing Club is still free. Just scroll to the bottom of the sales page and click on “no thanks, I’ll stick with free”. :)

by Jim F. Kukral on July 3, 2013 at 1:41 pm. Reply #

Thanks!

by Dotti on June 27, 2013 at 9:01 am. Reply #

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by The WG2E is in The 2013 Indie 50 (The 50 Best Sites for Indie and Self-Published Authors)! on July 2, 2013 at 11:31 pm. Reply #

What a wonderful resource – and my favourite site, WG2E is there. THANKYOU!!

by Rena George on July 3, 2013 at 4:08 am. Reply #

Thanks for including my blog and in such great company!

by Catherine on July 3, 2013 at 4:36 am. Reply #

You’re very welcome Catherine. Keep the great articles coming.

by August Wainwright on July 3, 2013 at 3:03 pm. Reply #

Thanks for including us on the list!

Jim at Author Marketing Club

by Jim F. Kukral on July 3, 2013 at 1:42 pm. Reply #

Thanks for stopping by Jim. Author Marketing Club is a great resource.

by August Wainwright on July 3, 2013 at 3:04 pm. Reply #

Great way to support Indie Press and Indie Authors! Love it! Way to go? Indie…. #IAN!

by Jeanette Vaughan on July 4, 2013 at 7:58 am. Reply #

thanks for putting this together .. very helpful!

by mary gottschalk on July 5, 2013 at 7:15 am. Reply #

You forgot Indies Unlimited (www.indiesunlimited.com). Otherwise, it’s a great list!

(Also, count me as another author who couldn’t find the link to the free Author Marketing Club membership.)

by Lynne Cantwell on July 6, 2013 at 7:16 am. Reply #

Wow, that list must have taken a lot of work. Like Lynne said above, Indies Unlimited should definitely be on the list. With tutorials, “consumer reports” type posts, author interviews, book excerpts, social networking tips, and more, it’s a must for any Indie author. http://www.IndiesUnlimited.com

by K. S. Brooks on July 6, 2013 at 10:19 am. Reply #

Great list, thank you! I will absolutely bookmark this one. I think Indies Unlimited (http://www.indiesunlimited.com) should have been included. They have terrific information for indie authors, from writing tips to how to build your social media empire.

by Laurie Boris on July 7, 2013 at 11:06 am. Reply #

Thank you for mentioning Indie Book Bargains.

by Rosen Trevithick on July 7, 2013 at 12:01 pm. Reply #

[...] The Indie 50 – The 50 Best Sites for Indie and Self-Published Authors | August Wainwright. [...]

by The Indie 50 – The 50 Best Sites for Indie and Self-Published Authors | August Wainwright | Thomas Rydder on July 8, 2013 at 4:59 am. Reply #

I’m just a little concerned that you include Goodreads in your list August, given that it is now no longer writer/author, or even reader friendly.
Its former good reputation has disappeared since Amazon took it over. It has become the main operating base for some of the most unfriendly trolls to be found anywhere, who specialise in personal attacks.
Whenever a writer or reader stands up to the ‘bullies’, the administration now sides with the trolls and bans the writer or reader.
You should apply a caveat when recommending Goodreads such as, use at your peril.
For up to date news about what’s going on over there, I recommend you go to the following site, specifically set up to fight and report the Goodreads cyber bullies.

http://www.stopthegrbullies.com/2013/05/23/something-rotten-at-the-core-of-gr/

by Jack Eason on July 8, 2013 at 5:21 am. Reply #

I wouldn’t encourage authors to put their books on Goodreads. Some are taking legal action to have theirs removed as the site is a viper’s nest of trolling.

The owners exercise no control of the lowest forms of Internet stalking, impersonating or goading arguments.

I’m told it doesn’t affect sales but it affects the author’s life and takes them away from writing when they try to appeal to the owners for help, always to no avail.

by Thomas Ayers on July 8, 2013 at 5:35 am. Reply #

That hasn’t been my experience so far. I’ve met quite a few enthusiastic indie authors and supporters on Goodreads. One should always remember: Never Feed The Trolls!

by Michelle Mogil on July 8, 2013 at 6:50 am. Reply #

@Jack Eason, @Thomas Ayers -

Thanks for the comments. But like Michelle said, this has not been my experience with Goodreads AT ALL. I’ve found multiple beta-readers on Goodreads that have went above and beyond to read and discuss my work with me. Quite frankly, I’ve been blown away by most of the amazing readers I’ve found there.

Not that I haven’t experienced some trolling, but I simply ignore it and move on. I’m not privy to the exact situations you guys are referring to, but if I was to remove every site on this list that has been trolled, either in forums or in comment section, I believe my list of 50 would probably be down to about 5-10. Every major site experiences trolling/bullying, and the bigger the site, the more it happens. It’s just something that comes when people of all ages, races, sizes, opinions, and amount of free time all share equal opportunities to say whatever they want.

by August Wainwright on July 8, 2013 at 7:07 am. Reply #

Thomas, as far as Goodreads’ trolls are concerned an author becomes guilty by association if they are friends with any author on their hate lists. What happens is that your books get placed on so-called DO NO READ UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES shelves!

by Jack Eason on July 8, 2013 at 7:47 am. Reply #

Splendid article! I personally subscribe to 12 of these sites, and am both a better writer and marketer for it. I re-blogged your article in as many different venues as I could…

Best,

Thomas Rydder

by Thomas Rydder on July 8, 2013 at 8:08 am. Reply #

Great list! Thanks for the mention. What wonderful company to be in. :)

by Karen Woodward on July 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm. Reply #

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by A Hodgepodge of Useful Bits & Pieces – Mid-July 2013 | KD DID IT Takes on Books on July 15, 2013 at 4:05 pm. Reply #

Thanks for the mention! I appreciate even making it on the same page as your blog as well as the other fantastic resources. I’m old school in thinking knowledge is power, and I appreciate you spreading the sources of the knowledge for indie writers and publishing around!

by Jenn Falls on July 27, 2013 at 9:05 pm. Reply #

[...] like to thank August Wainwright and his post that you should bookmark for its resources “The Indie 50 – The 50 Best Sites for Indie and Self-Published Authors“. I didn’t make the Top 50, but I did get a nice mention that I truly appreciate. [...]

by Writers’ Roundup – Some Indie Writer News and a Little Austen | Falls Into Writing on July 27, 2013 at 10:26 pm. Reply #

Thanks for the list of sites, there are many on there that I have never seen before.

I have found that a lot of websites and forums dedicated to writing and new authors get over zealous when it comes to banning self promotion. This is probably doing them more harm than good, self-published authors need every bit of help they can get in promoting their work. If authors can’t even talk about their own work on a site they are not going to stick around for long.

Shameless self promotion time.

In frustration this lead me to create my own site where authors can post whatever they want about their novels. The website is WorsWithAuthors.com and it allows any author to promote their novels for free.

by Chris on August 10, 2013 at 4:47 am. Reply #

[...] The Indie 50 – The 50 Best Sites for Indie and Self-Published Authors [...]

by Great Sites For Self Published Authors | The Neophyte Writer on August 11, 2013 at 6:49 am. Reply #

August, thanks for the list. I am going to share this. Loved reading the comments as well. Please add my site to your list.

The YP Publishing
Author Assistant
http://theyppublishing.com/author-assistant/
Assistance with the amazing number of tasks that surround the successful completion, publishing and marketing of a book.

by Yvonne Wu on August 11, 2013 at 10:46 am. Reply #

Thank you for a great list, and so happy that you included The Kill Zone!

by Kathryn Lilley on September 17, 2013 at 7:16 am. Reply #

I hope you will check out Writer.ly, an online marketplace where writers can find the people they need (editors, book designers and marketers) to help them publish successfully.

by Abigail on September 24, 2013 at 3:40 pm. Reply #

[…] Wainwright on AugustWainright.com The Indie 50 – The 50 Best Sites for Indie and Self-Published Authors “In the end, I decided the Indie 50 should be the 50 sites that, in my opinion, represent the […]

by Blogs for self-publishers June 30 – July 6, 2013 — The Book Designer on December 20, 2013 at 11:18 pm. Reply #

If you’re an author looking to publish interactive ibooks for iPad and Mac desktop, you should check out the free iBooks Author Application from Apple. Drag-and drop interface makes it a snap to create your book. It also comes with a variety of free templates to get you started. Of course, if you’re looking for more templates, that’s what we do over at http://www.ibooksauthortemplates.com
Choose from a variety of styles, like Classic textbooks, Cookbooks, Photo books, Children’s books, Novels, and much more. Thought that might be useful!

by Jess on February 13, 2014 at 2:27 pm. Reply #

As a Publishing Coach and teacher of self publishing courses, this list is in incredible resource that I will make available to all my students and clients! I always tell my authors in the making that there are THREE PHASES to bringing their book (baby) into the world.

1. Write the Book
2. Publish the Book
3. Market the Book

These resources are going to be helpful to all my authors-in-the-making in all of these areas. Thank you ever so much. You may add my site you your list; or even provide the free resources to your readers here. We have an “Intent to Self-Publish Agreement,” Dictionary of Self-Publishing Terms,” and some other free “how to publish a book” tools to help writers get started on the right foot.

by Deborah S. Nelson on February 16, 2014 at 12:18 pm. Reply #

Great list. I have compiled the ‘Top 100 Websites for Book Promotion and Author Promotion’. You can find these at http://www.winchad.com/blog.html
I have spent hours and hours trying to find different websites on which to promote my book and thought I would share these to give other authors more time to write. I hope you find this of use and it saves you hours.

by A.D.Winch on March 10, 2014 at 1:50 am. Reply #

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