The Best Publishing Tools and Services for an Author, Self Publisher, or Writer

The following is the collection of software, services, marketing strategies, and author tools I've used over the years as a self-publisher and author on Amazon. The list of author tools below are were carefully chosen, and only the ones that truly brought value to my Kindle business got a spot on this list.

Keyword Research and Category Analysis Tools

As an engineer by training, I always enjoyed approaching self-publishing books on Amazon from an analytical and search engine perspective. Processes like keyword research and category analysis are essential if you want to beat your competitors in the Amazon search results. Optimizing your book(s) for your target keywords and categories can result in hundreds of more visitors. The two following tools have allowed me to gain an edge over the competitors.

Publisher Rocket Review

I remember getting Publisher Rocket (formerly known as KDP Rocket) and regretting not getting it sooner (and this was when it only did Kindle book data). Publisher Rocket is a desktop software for PC or Mac users. It's critical winning features are the Amazon searches per month data it provides and it's category feature that lists the categories hidden from the KDP dashboard. I go into more detail in my Publisher Rocket review article


KDSpy (aka Kindle Spy) is a  browser extension software that allows you to do quick overall keyword and category analysis within seconds of analyzing Amazon's search results and category pages. Kindle Spy can be used to check keyword profitability and to choose the best categories for your Kindle books. In version 5, KDSpy can now analysis physical book data along with Kindle data. I use KDSpy to select the best categories for my books.


The tools and services below are not for everyone, but they have their place for improving writing quality and momentum.

Scrivener: Rewrite, reorder, rejoice.

I've used Microsoft Word and Google Docs to write manuscript drafts, but there's something to say about a tool built for authors by authors. Scrivener is used by every kind of writer you can think of and is fit for any writing project. Learn more about this tool here.

I use Grammarly to edit and proofread not only my Kindle books, but other documents, and emails as well. There's a free and paid version. You can view a demo here


This section is a bit on the shorter side while I'm testing out further services.

Fiverr is a freelancing site I use very often for a variety of services in my online marketing and self publishing business. Fiverr does not have the top-tier cover creators in the world, but they're budget-friendly and you can score some great covers if you choose gigs wisely and give detailed instructions.

website Product & services for creating author platforms

Building an author platform is one of the most productive ways an author or self publisher can start taking control of book marketing traffic beyond Amazon. To do this, I've compiled some a few of the major components you'll need to get started.


I recently moved from Bluehost to SiteGround and am happy with their web hosting service. For any type of website, you're going to need website hosting. SiteGround is a solid choice for beginners or intermediates.

Astra Theme Logo

Astra has been gaining popularity in recent months because it's such a robust theme. And best of all its free and works with one of the best page builders on the market.

Elementor Logo

I become more of an Elementor fan each day. It's a powerful page builder that allows you to make your blog posts stand out. The free version of this plugin is all you need to get started, but Elementor Pro unlocks it's the theme builder which is a game changer. 


Email is still one of the best online marketing tools you can have for any business. In the author/self-publishing world, it's crucial to start building your list and using email marketing to promote your book, upcoming book(s), related affiliate products, or your own product and services. 

ConvertKit is beginner-friendly, yet powerful email marketing software. Their standard and advanced features such as tagging, segmenting, and automation will give you advanced control over your email book funnel. If you want to get started with email marketing and aren't tech savvy, I recommend checking out  ConvertKit and get started with their 14-day free trial.

Email marketing platforms require a "sender-friendly" email address to send emails. With GSuite, you'll be able to easily create an email with your author site domain (i.e., [email protected]) all within the familiar Gmail dashboard.

For only $5 a month, you can get a professional author account and avoid emails ending with "Gmail," "Hotmail" etc. Use code D36QCXQ6GE6JV9R (for the Basic Plan) and N9QRHFKKGA66VA4 (for the Business Plan). Each code provides you with 20% off your first year!

Thrive Leads is a WordPress plugin that allows you to set up different types of email opt-in forms throughout your website. For instance, if you want a certain pop-up to show on blog posts related to x category only, then Thrive Leads helps you do that. Learn more with the button below.