Here is a list of websites that you must know about when starting out as a self-publisher. Most of the sites listed are considered to be the biggest names in the industry. They are listed in a random order:
1. Google.com/AdSense: they manage the affiliate programs for many websites. These websites, including BarnesAndNoble.com, require an account with Google AdSense if you want to earn referral fees. Free.
2. LinkedIn.com: a way to list yourself and make professional connections. Free.
3. WordPress.com: the biggest, the easiest, and the best way to create a blog. Free. Also see WordPress.org
4. Scribd.com: PDF document storage and sharing; and sales of documents and eBooks. Free.
5. SmashWords.com: excellent place to get involved with publishing eBooks. Smashwords is an eBook publishing and distribution platform for eBook authors, publishers and readers. We offer multi-format, DRM-free eBooks, ready for immediate sampling and purchase, and readable on any e-reading device.
6. Amazon.com Advantage Program For Books: the largest and most important internet retail sales book site. You are going to spend a lot of time learning about Amazon.
7. BarnesAndNoble.com: the second largest retail sales book site.
8. APSS: The Association of Publishers for Special Sales: helps authors find new opportunities for sales to non-bookstore buyers.
9. iBooks.com: for sales of your eBooks.
10. BookWorks.com: the self-publishers association.
11. YouTube.com: the most important place to show your videos. Free.
12. LightningSource.com: a POD source for printed books and eBooks; will manage your POD sales worldwide, and distribute to Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Considered a back-door way to get your publications into Ingram’s database.
13. BowkerLink.com: the source for buying and managing ISBN’s.
14. FreeBarCodes.com: a great place to create Bookland barcodes for your publications. Free.
15. Linda.com: the best place for learning about publishing software. I spend a huge amount of time using this website.
16. MailChimp.com: mailing list management. Free to a certain extent.
17. EzineArticles.com: authors can post their articles in a searchable database for newsletter publishers to publish. Free.
18. PRLog.com: is an online press release distribution and release submission service. Free.
19. CreativeCommons.org: provides licenses that help the copyright owner share some rights with others. Free.
20. Gravatar.com: a website used to create your personal avatar that will appear where ever you post a comment. Free.
21. CafePress.com: an excellent website to create t-shirts, hats, etc. with graphics and images that you create. Excellent way to add a small side-income to your book sales.
22. SPAWN.org: Small Publishers, Artists, and Writers Network. Excellent way to connect with your peers. A huge amount of helpful information. Their mission is to provide education, information, resources and a supportive networking environment for creative individuals and small business owners interested in the publishing process.
23. IBPA-online.org: Independent Book Publishers Association. Excellent way to connect with your peers. A huge amount of helpful information. IBPA is a trade association of independent publishers. Founded in 1983, it serves book, audio, and video publishers located in the United States and around the world.
24. SelfPublishingReview.com: is an online magazine devoted to self-publishing: book reviews, publisher reviews, interviews, news, opinion, and how to’s.
Here are three more that you must also check out:
25. PayPal.com: a fast, easy, and very popular way to send and receive money.
26. CIPblock.com: librarian and publisher Adrienne Bashista will create the CIP block for your books. Bashista’s goal is to provide quality CIP blocks to the independent publisher at a reasonable price while maintaining a high level of service and quality.
27. Shopify: the biggest, the easiest, and the best way to sell your books through your own online store. No design skills needed, and can easily be customized.