Writer's Tools

Publishing Resources

United States Copyright Office, Library of Congress
Valuable information and pricing guidelines for copyrighting material.

U.S. ISBN Agency
The ISBN Agency in the United States is responsible for assigning ISBNs and providing information and advice on the uses of the ISBN system. This site lists fees and answers frequently asked questions regarding the purchase of ISBNs and barcodes.

ISBN (Bowker)
Direct link to where you can purchase your ISBN.

Bowker Bar Code Service
Provides information on how to obtain a bar code that includes your ISBN. (You don’t always need to purchase an ISBN! Check with your cover designer first to see whether they will supply this at no charge. We do.)

Information on how to obtain your Preassigned Control Number or Library of Congress Control Number.

United States Patent and Trademark Office
Search trademarks and patents, or find information on how you can get a patent for an invention or a trademark registration.

IngramSpark is an award-winning online service for indie authors that provides the same quality print and distribution services enjoyed by big-time publishers. Once you finish and format your book, IngramSpark makes it possible to share it with the world or readers, booksellers and librarians. Focus on what you do best — creating innovative content — and let IngramSpark do the rest: print, ship, and distribute your wonderful book.

Amazon Digital Marketplace
Amazon’s Digital Text Platform, which allows you to publish your books in Amazon’s Kindle Store. It’s free, and it’s relatively easy to submit your Kindle book.

Kindle Publishing Program
Contains links to resources and apps useful to the Kindle and publishing to the device (such as an app that allows you to preview your Kindle file if you don’t have a Kindle).

If you don’t have a web presence, you should. It’s best to have a custom domain and email address along with a website. There are ample sites that will charge you a relatively small fee for the do-it-yourself approach, but if you want professional service customized to your needs, we recommend Aosoft.


Stock photography site. Great place for acquiring quality images for your book.

Secondary stock photography site.

Free community encyclopedia – excellent resource for open source definitions, text, and images. While it may not always be one hundred percent accurate, it remains a wonderful resource for researching those tiny details that make a story more believable.

The Chicago Manual of Style (15th and 16th Edition Online)
The resource is a must-have for any serious writer or editor, but the new online option allows subscribers to search the CMS, saving valuable time. Bonus features include adding notes, bookmarking favorite paragraphs, and creating personalized style sheets.

Provides unlimited access to books and information on the web, free of charge. (Includes links to encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri, and English usage listings.)

The Elements of Style, William Strunk, Jr.
“Concentrates attention on the rules of usage and principles of composition most commonly violated.”

Online dictionary and thesaurus. (Common source: The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

An online Dictionary Database Query.

Writer’s Market
News and access to agents. (Must subscribe to receive some content.)

Project Gutenberg
Search a database of over 25,000 free books in the PG online book catalog, which are available for immediate download. (There are over 100,000 titles available via their partners and affiliates.)

Watchdog & Legal

Critters Workshop
General guidelines and tips on avoiding scams.

The Publishing Law Center
Devoted to providing quality information for the publishing community. Includes legal and publishing articles, information on copyright registration, publishing links, and a free newsletter.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Writer Beware
“Warnings about literary fraud and other schemes, scams, and pitfalls that target writers.”

Featured Writing Sites

Duotrope Digest
An award-winning, membership-based writers’ resource listing Fiction and Poetry publications. Provides an extensive search function for finding just the right market for your work. They also have a submission tracker, make regular updates, and have some of the best information we’ve seen for a market research site. We highly recommend this resource, and it’s relatively inexpensive for a membership.

Writer’s Digest.com
Features daily market updates, a database of writer’s guidelines, a ranking of places to get published, and other products, books, and magazines for writers.

Poets & Writers
A nonprofit source of information, support, and guidance for poets, fiction, and non-fiction creative writers. Includes tools, job listings, contests, forums, and features.