Toolkit Basics

Evernote – keep all the stuff you want to find again at the tip of your brain. including websites, articles, notes & more. Good for students, writers, mobile entrepreneurs…just about everyone. I don’t know how I would find all my research articles and other resources without this tool. Mobile apps that sync up all your notes and web browsing. – our favorite easy & free photo editor online. – store, edit & organize your photos & images for easy additions to websites, social media or print. In the cloud, so access it from anywhere.  There are other options out there, but this one works for me.

‘Writerly’ Basics

The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition – I finally ordered my copy of the icon of writing rules.  No serious writer can be without it, so I am finally ‘legit’.  It’s a monster, but there is a great ‘cliff notes’ of style (see below) for quick reference, which I recommend adding to your order for about $6.  The reference bookshelf is now content! I know you may think it’s all online, but this is one of the few that belongs on your bookshelf.

Chicago Manual Of Style Guidelines (Quick Study) – as mentioned above; when you don’t have time to read the ‘bible’ of writing style, this will come in handy for editing questions that come up.

The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide: How to Make Revisions, Self-Edit, and Give and Receive Feedback – every writer needs a critique tribe. And most of us need to know the basics of editing and critiquing. You may not want to start a new critique group, but I found this helpful is improving the structure of our group, plus great guidelines for editing/critiquing your own work or others’.

Scrivener (from – Ever since I plunged into NaNoWriMo last November, I have been grateful I came across this program. I used it extensively to organize my scenes, ideas, character sketches and research. I know there is more I could have done with it, but those basics saved me and helped me be a winner. A reasonable cost, and a free trial, make it a no-brainer to me.


Creative Business How-To’s

The Author Training Manual: Develop Marketable Ideas, Craft Books That Sell, Become the Author Publishers Want, and Self-Publish Effectively – Are you an expert in a field that people want to know about. The ‘how-to’ book business is big, and this book can give you the guidelines to turn your hobby, blog or artistic talent into a book that will sell.  Before you get too deeply into your book or blog idea, read through this book.

Business For Authors. How To Be An Author Entrepreneur – Joanna Penn offers another approach to becoming an ‘author entrepreneur’. Great resource for fiction authors, who seem to avoid thinking like an entrepreneur. In this day of e-publishing or traditional publishing, it’s essential to participate in the process if you hope to create income with your writing. Check this one out to get you motivated to think entrepreneurially…phew, is that a word??

Mastering Evernote The 2 Hour Guide | Unlock the Power of Evernote to Never Forget Anything [3rd Edition] – This is a quick study that acquaints you with all the goodies available in Evernote. Great tool for bloggers, copywriters and anyone who researches a lot of websites and articles and wants to be able to find them on any mobile device.

The Right-Brain Business Plan – if you’re more of a creative visual personality, rather than a analytic business type, you’ll appreciate this book that makes creating a strategy fun, artsy and effective.  Free downloadable documents available from her website.

Pinteresting – Pinterest Strategies for Brands and Bloggers – a simple, to-the-point starter for those wondering “can Pinterest help my business grow?” Everything you need to know to get started without wasting time trying to figure it out on your own.

101 Video Marketing Tips and Strategies for Small Businesses – great choice as a resource to help you spread your message with video.  Tips on equipment, affordable options to get started, plus marketing and strategies for creating a video channel that’s effective and professional.

APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book – Guy Kawasaki reveals everything you will need to know enter the rapidly expanding world of e-publishing. It’s not a quick read, more of a reference manual you will refer to regularly on your path to publishing and becoming an entrepreneur.

E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality – this is a new experimental project to help you discover how powerful your thinking can be.  Downloadable worksheets provide a framework for testing your own power of thought.  Try one a week and discover your potential to create a new life in 2014.

Expert Briefs: Blogging for Profit: The Stripped-Down Naked Truth from 26 Rockin’ Online Business Owners – I like this book for us beginners, especially women.  All the ‘Rockin’ business owners are women making it happen on their terms, and that’s inspiring to me.  Resources for the next level of content are included, so this is an affordable way to see if blogging is for you and introduce the concept of creating income from your blog passion.


Fiction Writers’  Sidekicks

 The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes and Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes – There are lots of books on character archetypes. This one I love! She offers both male and female archetypal characters, but the information is enhanced by examples from familiar books and movies, as well as highlights of how each archetype my interact, complement and contrast with each other. Highly beneficial to ensure you are creating complex, realistic characters with compelling relationships that will resonate with your readers.

Write Your Novel From The Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone in Between – James Scott Bell has written some very useful books for writers. Since I started working on my first serious novel project, I’ve found this one to be particularly useful. It might sound strange at first, but he offers some compelling reasons why and how it can work for you. A bargain for the ebook version that is well worth it!


 Bloggers & Non-Fiction Writers’ Assets

How to Blog a Book: Write, Publish, and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time – Nina Amir has a whole stable of resources for the ‘blog a book’ strategy, non-fiction writing and publishing.  Whether you want to create a how-to book from your blog, or know how to promote your book and create a platform for marketing, her books and webinars are a great place to start.


Art, Photography & Crafty Creativity

One Zentangle A Day: A 6-Week Course in Creative Drawing for Relaxation, Inspiration, and Fun (One A Day) – Do you ever have days when you want to be creating, but the words just aren’t coming? I do, and I love the concept of drawing without any real talent. I love this concept and have created some impressive little pieces, using one penstroke at a time approach. Great for creative kids, too.

Drawing Pad – draw, paint, alter photos, have some fun.  Good for kids, too. I used it to sketch up ideas for a logo, then sent my idea to a graphic artist. That worked great.

SketchBook Express – free app, also for Mac & Windows 7; Pro version also available for $4.99. Lots of options, find help on YouTube or from Mr. Google.

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