Resources for Writers (referenced in my workshop at Romancing the Capital 2019)
I. Writers’ Organizations
These are websites for the parent organizations. There may be local smaller groups that meet near you. They may have different tiers of membership for published and unpublished authors, or only accept published authors as members. Many offer workshops, contests for unpublished authors, opportunities to find critique partners, as well as networking and promotional opportunities for members.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Search for writers’ groups in your genre of choice to find more. Also remember to check with your local library, which may host writers’ groups that welcome new members.
• Alliance of Independent Authors
• Canadian Authors Association
• International Thriller Writers
• Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA)
• Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
Most of the organizations above host annual conferences, and may host some regional ones. RWA, for example, has a national conference in July each year, but various chapters host regional smaller conferences each year. Regional conferences can be great places to make connections and are often a cheaper option. Again, search for conferences in your genre of choice, or look for conference listings from your writers’ organization of choice. There may be reader conferences in your niche that include workshops on writing, too (like RTC). Some booksigning events are also adding networking and workshop tracks.
Finally, there are conferences which are entities onto themselves. Here are a few big ones:
• Surrey International Writers’ Conference
III. Traditional Publishers
If you intend to seek a traditional publishing deal, you’ll need to find places to submit your book. Look at the books published in your genre of choice to find publishing houses that publish in that niche – and check the dedications to find agents and editors. In the romance genre, these will mostly be New York houses, because they are the ones that actively publish romance. Some require agents for submissions while others will look at unagented books. Check their websites for submission details and also lists of what they’re seeking. Many have digital-first imprints as well as lines that publish in both print and digital.
• Romance Writers of America List of Recognized Publishers
IV. Indie Author Resources
Again, this isn’t an exhaustive list but a place to start. I’ve worked with all of these companies. There are a lot of smaller and more specialized portals in addition to these bigger ones.
• ACX (produce audiobooks and distribute them)
• Apple (publish directly to Apple Books – this is an information page with links to create an account)
• Babelcube (portal for hiring translators)
• BookFunnel (delivery service for ebooks)
• Draft2Digital (an aggregator)
• Ecwid (e-commerce)
• Findaway Voices (produce audiobooks and distribute them)
• GooglePlay Books (publish directly to GooglePlay)
• IngramSpark (a print and POD distributor)
• Inkitt (portal for serialized fiction)
• ISBN Canada (for free ISBN #’s)
• Kindle Direct Publishing (publish directly to Amazon)
• KOBO Writing Life (publish directly to KOBO)
• Lulu (print on demand books)
• Nook Press (publish directly to Barnes & Noble)
• Patreon (crowdfunding for creatives)
• Payhip (e-commerce)
• Playster (subscription service for readers)
• Prolific Works (delivery for ebooks)
• Radish (serialized fiction app)
• Scribd (subscription service for readers)
• Selz (e-commerce)
• Shopify (e-commerce)
• Smashwords (an aggregator)
• Tapas (serialized fiction portal)
• Tolino (German ebook portal)
• Upwork (portal for hiring freelancers)
• Wattpad (serialized fiction platform)
• WooCommerce (e-commerce)
• Vellum – software for formatting ebooks and print book interiors
• 24Symbols (subscription service for readers)
V. Other Resources for Writers
• the American Association of Authors’ Representatives
While membership in this organization isn’t necessary for agents in America, you’ll find that most reputable agents are listed here. They offer a search utility to help identify agents who specialize in specific genres of fiction. A genre-specific writers’ organization will often also list agents and may offer opportunities to meet agents (or pitch to them) at conferences or online.
• Author Central – create your Amazon author page when your first book is available for sale on Amazon
• the Authors Guild– This organization advocates for authors and is a watchdog for legal rights. They offer contract reviews for members among other services.
• BISAC codes – find them all here
• BookBub – create an author account when your first book is available for sale
• Books2Read – Draft2Digital’s free universal link generator
• Canva – free online graphics software
• Goodreads – create an author account when your first book is available for sale
• Jane Friedman’s post on publishing paths. It provides a good overview, but in my circle, “hybrid” refers to an author who is working with a publisher and also indie-publishing.
• Predators & Editors – an author-driven industry watchdog originally begun at SFWA.
• the Public Lending Right of Canada. Register your books here to receive compensation for your books that are found in Canadian libraries.
• Reedsy – look for publishing services from freelancers here