RESOURCES & TOOLS
The Tools We Use
This is a page for resources that we know, like, and trust. I'm comfortable listing them here because I've used them myself and can speak to their value.
Some of these links are affiliate links. That means when you buy something, I earn a commission. This doesn't cost you anything or change the nature of the purchase.
It's a simple way to support us, while getting the right tools to grow your publishing business.
Over the years, I've used almost every landing page builder and professional theme on the market. Shane and the team at ThriveThemes have the best product I've found. Rather than trying to cobble together several different solutions, you get everything you need in one place. It's simple, powerful, and effective. I now use ThriveThemes for every site I build. Including this one.
No hosting company gives you peace of mind like the team at WP Engine. Hosting is a utility. It needs to be constantly available and work on demand. The last thing you want to worry about when you are running a business, is whether or not the foundation you're on is stable. Give your website the security, reliability, performance... and above all, phenomenal customer service it deserves.
After more than a decade working with digital marketing technology, I choose the best tools for the job. For small business marketing automation, Infusionsoft is that tool. Hands down. Two things to keep in mind before you pull the trigger: 1) This is a premium product. Which means it will be an investment if you're just getting started. 2) There is a learning curve. It's not as steep as you may have been led to believe, and there are a ton of free resources (or paid consultants) you can rely on if you get stuck.
Choosing an email service provider to recommend is always a difficult proposition. At a basic level, they all do exactly the same thing. Send emails. Where they differ is in subjective areas like how friendly their interface is or whether they require confirmed opt-in's. ActiveCampaign is different. They chose to focus on the thing that email does best. Followup. Much of their functionality is very similar to Infusionsoft at a fraction of the cost. If you're not ready for a fully-automated solution, AC is a perfect stepping stone.
Microsoft Word & Google Docs are great for collaboration. I use Scrivener to organize my early drafts into something manageable. The ability to move snippets of text so they appear in any order is vital to my process. Before finding this application, I was using a spreadsheet with overloaded cells to try to accomplish the same task. Scrivener is far better. Combine this with a Dropbox backup and you've got the best writing software available. I even use it for blog posts.
I'm not an agent or an editor. When it comes to storytelling, I struggle with the same self-doubt and creative resistance as any writer. That hasn't stopped people from asking me what I look for in books that I want to publish. Film Crit Hulk is my universal answer. If you could only read one "craft" book as an author, this should be it. The intended audience is screenwriters, but the principles can easily be applied to novels. There's even a Bruce Banner version for those that can't handle the ALL CAPS.