Recommended Resources & Tools

Resources & Tools

This is a list of resources that will help you solve the problems you face when writing, publishing and marketing your books. I will be adding to this page as I come upon new tools and resources that are really solid. Please bookmark this page for your convenience, so you can refer to it whenever you need.

Dictionaries / Thesauri
General Writing Resources
Books
Book Sources
Author’s Website / Platform
Hosting (where to put your website)
Blogging Platform
Free Images and Image Tools
Tools
Conferences
Writerly Mags & Blogs

Full Disclosure: While the bulk of these links are to information, please note that a few of the links are affiliates (books, for example). That means if you use those links and happen to buy a product, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Only buy something if you really feel you need it and it will help you.

 

Dictionaries / Thesauri

 

http://www.acronymfinder.com

If you want to see ALL of the possible meanings for any acronym, this is your resource. It’s fantastic.

 

http://onelook.com/reverse-dictionary.shtml

This is way better than any thesaurus I’ve ever found ever. A must use. This is the ultimate, the best. When you know what thing you want and can describe it, but can’t think of what it’s called, this is the place to go. You type in a description, and this reverse dictionary finds what you want. It also provides related words and defines those as well.

 

http://visual.merriam-webster.com/index.php

If you know the word you need is related to architecture but have no idea how to search for that word, this is your source. All manner of topics are covered here. If the word you need is physical, you will find it drawn and labeled, along with the other physical things that might generally be found next to it. A valuable word-finder; perfect for late-night writing binges when your brain goes on the fritz.

 

http://definr.com/

The FASTEST dictionary ever! Lightning speed - offers word suggestions as you begin to type.

 

http://www.westegg.com/cliche/

This is a Cliché Finder. It’s incredibly fun to play around with, especially if you love language. For a kid’s writer, this can make for great inspiration.

 

http://www.leo.org/index_en.html

Not pretty looking, but the best translation site I’ve found to date because it provides translations within example sentences, to provide context.

 

http://dictionary.reference.com/

The traditional writer’s resource. It’s always on my screen.

 

http://www.differencebetween.com/

If you are researching something for your story, you might come across some terms that seem synonymous, or that are confusing in some way. Go to this site to get the low-down on the differences between two things.

They also welcome article submissions.

 

http://www.verbix.com/languages/english.shtml

If you’re uncertain about how to conjugate a verb to the tense you want, this is your source. It’s simple: you type in a verb and click GO. A complete listing of every possible form of that verb is then provided for you, even the Progressive Continuous Perfect Conditional.

 

http://www.writerhymes.com/

Rhyme finder. Very fast and simple.

 

http://www.babynames.com/

A really helpful source for finding character names, it provides background, meaning, everything you might want to know. They even provide a list of tips on what to keep in mind when naming characters. (Note: it isn’t comprehensive, but it’s good information.)

 

General Writing Resources

 

http://www.writersdigest.com/

This is the writer’s resource for tips on how to get published by a traditional publisher. Very good, also offers all sorts of online seminars. Highly respected resource.

 

http://emedia.rmit.edu.au/learninglab/content/writing-skills

A series of very good, solid tutorials for learning (or remembering) writing basics. If English is your second language, or you are wobbly on writing with clear structure, this is a valuable tool.

 

Books

 

The Writer’s Legal Companion: The Complete Handbook For The Working Writer, Third Edition

The Writer’s Legal Guide: An Authors Guild Desk Reference

Negotiating a Book Contract: A Guide for Authors, Agents and Lawyers

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Inside Story: The Power of the Transformational Arc by Dara Marks

 

Book Sources

 

http://www.oldchildrensbooks.com/

If you are looking for out of print children’s books, this is the best source.

 

http://www.worldcat.org

Worldwide library network. If you love a book and want to know what other languages (and their titles) it’s been translated into, this is where you look.

 

Author’s Website / Platform


Hosting (where to put your website)

 

Namecheap

This is where I host GreatStorybook.com and several other sites. Very reliable, good support, affordable.

 

Bluehost

I heard good things about Bluehost from trusted sources, so a good alternative.

 

Blogging Platform

 

WordPress

THE blogging platform, period. There is other good stuff out there, but if you want the most used platform with the largest number of plugins (little gizmos that make your site do neat things) and easy to find developers & administrators, WordPress is for you.

Supposedly over 60 Million websites are run with WordPress. And if it good enough for The New York Times Blog, it is good enough for me! And best of all: it is completely free.

Free Images and Image Tools

 
Pixabay/
This is a website with completely free pictures (and now even videos!) that you can use as you see fit. There is no need for attribution of any kind. That means you could make book covers or ads with these pictures.

 

Tools

 

http://www.wordstopages.com/

The best and most accurate converter of words to pages. You can even calculate with different font styles and sizes, should you ever need to change it from the industry standard (Times New Roman, 12).

 

http://www.pdfforge.org/pdfcreator

A really awesome Free PDF Printer that allows you to do all sorts of fancy stuff with your PDFs.

 

http://www.spacejock.com/yWriter5.html

Free novel writing software developed by science fiction writer Simon Hayes. If you’re having trouble keeping your developing manuscript organized, this might be just what you need.

Too, if you’re interested in publishing your work as ebooks, you need to familiarize yourself with the information on Space Jock.

 

http://www.copyscape.com/

If you want to see if your work has been stolen, use this tool. It will scan the internet for unauthorized copies of your work.

 

Conferences

 

http://www.pw.org/conferences_and_residencies

A listing of over 200 conferences for writers and get-away retreats where you can shut the world out and focus on just writing. Short descriptions of each offering explain what you can expect once you get there.

 

Writerly Mags & Blogs

 

http://www.all-story.com/

Every writer needs to know about the Coppola Family’s website for writers, Zoetrope: All Story.

 

http://www.timetowrite.blogs.com/

Blog from Jurgen Wolff, a really good writer. Solid reads.

 

http://www.writermag.com/

Good stuff. Well respected.

 

https://writingclasses.com/Products/Pubs.php

An extensive listing of writer’s resource books put together by Gotham Writers. It’s a good list, but is missing some titles that I find essential reading.

 

http://www.plagiarism.org/ask-the-experts/faq

If you want to be sure you’re following copyright law and just aren’t sure about something in particular that you want to try, check this website. If the answer isn’t posted there, you can send in your specific question.

 

 

Join my Newsletter.

Resources & Tools
What Type of Writer Are You?