These are ALL products and services that I (or my pen name) actually use and would recommend.  However, please note that many of the links here are affiliate links.  That means this blog gets a commission if you click on them and end up making a purchase (and if you do, thank you).

Technical Stuff

Writing Software

I’ve been using Scrivener for at least 10 years now, and I wouldn’t use anything else to draft. The ability to move sections around, to create cards attached to documents, and how they auto-save like every 30 seconds, is WONDERFUL. And as I’m discovering you can use Scrivener for far more than just drafting a novel.

Buy Scrivener 2 for macOS (Regular Licence)

Mail provider

I’ve jumped around between 5 or 6 different mail providers for various mailing lists I’ve maintained over the years and of all of them, I really like mailerlite for their pricing and customer support. It’s completely free for your first 1,000 subscribers with all the necessary features including the ability to segment your list, schedule your newsletter, and create an automation sequence. Their integration with instafreebie in which you get a 30% mailerlite discount if you have a paid instafreebie account makes for a really good deal.

MailerLite Email Marketing for Small Business


Website hosting

This site is built with the default wordpress template you get after signing up up with bluehost for site hosting. It came with a free domain name and a one-click install. Their customer support is really great, but be aware, that though phone support is based here in the U.S., chat support is based elsewhere which means sometimes things get lost in translation. Click here for more on why I chose WordPress with Bluehost over Wix.

Domain name

Though right now I am a startup indie author, I hope one day to be just a smart indie author, so I bought that domain for under $10 and pointed it here.  Also the twitter handle for @smartindiauthor was available while I didn’t like any of the available twitter handle variations for startup indie author. Being able to “own” my chosen name as a website as well as on the various social media sites is crucial to the indie author business these days, and I talk more about that here.


This is a free wordpress plugin that is a URL customizer and link tracker. (Though there is a premium paid plan). I use it to customize links to things I want to share publically. For example it will take the link to my privacy policy, for which the original google doc url is and make it, well pretty, like so:

I am investigating the use of prettylink in the front and back matter of my books and will report back when I have more data.

Paid Research Services

K-Lytics is an Amazon book market research service that produces research reports on specific niches on the books being sold on Amazon. The research is targeted and provides a quite comprehensive introduction to the ins-and-outs of particular subgenres, such as Romance: Romantic Comedy, which is a different report than Romance: Science Fiction. You can read my review of their sub-genre reports here. They also offer paid membership plans with more analytical tools, but I’m not at the level where I can justify that expense (I AM a STARTUP indie author after all).

Paid Author Promo Services


The integration with mailerlite means this works really well. The first month is free!

Disclosure: Many of the resources on this page are affiliate links which provide a means for this site to earn a commission.