11 Helpful Writing and Publishing Tools

This year has turned out to be a very productive year, thanks in part to the tools and resources I’ve listed below. This is, of course, not an exhaustive list, and I'll continue to share resources in further posts (so check back often!), but I hope you find this list useful in your own writing journey as well! 


The Successful Author Mindset: A Handbook for Surviving the Writer’s Journey, by Joanna Penn -

This book is full of helpful information for writers. Joanna clearly states the struggles we endure as writers, and provides solutions, resources, and examples from her own writing journey. Joanna writes with transparency and authenticity, making you feel as if you’re having a conversation with a good friend. It’s an encouraging read and one I highly recommend. 



Productivity for Creatives: How to Get Creative Work Done in an “Always On” World, by Mark McGuinness -

We all struggle with productivity from time to time, especially in this busy and digital world we live in. Mark gives insightful tips and techniques from his own experiences, most of which I have applied to my own writing life. One of the biggest takeaways for me was understanding when your most creative time of day is and working it into your schedule to make the most of it. If you haven’t already read Productivity for Creative People, I highly recommend adding it to your reading list for 2017. 


The Creative Penn Podcast, by Joanna Penn -

This is by and far my favorite podcast. After a brief introduction that is full of interesting and useful information, Joanna spends the second half of each episode interviewing interesting and informative guests. I learn something new in every episode I listen to.  


Problogger Podcast, by Darren Rowse -

I’ve learned most everything I know about blogging and websites from Darren Rowse and the Problogger podcast. The episodes are short, but full of information and resources. If you have a blog or plan on starting one in 2017, I recommend you check it out. 

Publishing Tools: 

Vellum -

This year we published Choices, book 1 of The Catalyst Series, on KDP using Vellum. The program is easy to use and creates a beautiful ebook. I actually like formatting using Vellum (something I usually dread)!


Book Design Templates -

I could not have done the print formatting of our book myself (at least not without a ton of headaches) without the use of Book Design Templates. It's easy to use. Has great customer service. Really a no-brainer when it comes to formatting for print. 

Writing Software: 

Scrivener -

I mostly use Scrivener for research and blogging, believe it or not. It’s a great way to organize information and keep all my research together. 

Blogging and Email: 

Aweber -

I have used other automated email services in the past, but love how easy it is to use Aweber. If you’re building an email list, or looking to switch services, consider trying Aweber. 


Canva -

Canva is an easy-to-use software program for creating images for your blog posts and social media. There are some components that require payment if you wish to use them, but you can use most of the features at no cost. 



Pixlr -

I use Pixlr to create 3D book covers, which I write about here. It’s a free alternative to Photoshop and easy to use. There are also plenty of tutorials on the Internet to walk you through different projects. 




Pexels -

I get most of my images for blog posts and social media from Pexels. The images are high quality and there is a good selection to choose from. 

What were some of your favorite tools and resources in 2016? Let me know in the comments below.