Writer’s Toolbox



A writer needs a toolbox as much as any other occupation. When building a house, for example, the right tool speeds up the progress and can shave time off your goal. Listed below are my top picks for a writer’s toolbox.

Feel free to bookmark this page and come back as needed. Instead of fishing through the internet on your own, it’s all compiled here for you. The list ranges from free research websites to handy services. Make sure to keep checking back for more links! I’ll be adding periodically.




  • BookBaby makes self-publishing easy: From book printing, eBooks, editing, distribution, cover design and more. Since 2011, they’ve helped thousands realize their publishing goals, backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. BookBaby creates and distributes your printed and eBooks to the largest distribution network, including Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other popular retailers worldwide. You’ll keep 100% of your book’s net sales, and retain all rights and creative control. Best of all – you can call them at 1-877-961-6878 and talk through the process with a real human being – a fellow writer who’s invested in the success of your book.
  • Andrea Lundren’s Book Coaching can improve your book’s marketability through discussions about the book’s goals, focus, characterization, description, world-building, and plot. Click here to receive 10% off your first order.
  • Sarah Macklin Editing offers a range of services at competitive prices. These include proofreading and full editing of books, first chapter reviews, and proofreading of essays. Click here to get your coupon code for 10% off your first order.
  • Have a book trailer created with Corr Commercials. They work with their clients to personalize their book’s message and help the title stand out.
  • Jeff Brown Graphics is a professional freelance artist operation. Jeff has worked with over 90 authors on more than 250 covers. He has created covers for best-selling books and works continually with their authors. Click here to get your coupon code for $75 off your first order.
  • Unplag is a plagiarism detection tool that finds similarities in texts. Thanks to its multiple checking options, you can scan texts across online sources in real time or compare them to each other. What’s more, it has a free version too.
  • Prose is a library where writers of all skills steadily improve their craft while people of all walks authentically express and connect.
  • Self-formatting tips on Youtube.
  • A “hot or not” website on rating book covers.
  • A website where you can submit your book cover to be critiqued.
  • How to make your own free book trailer.
  • The Audiobook Creation Exchange is a way to get your book converted into an audiobook. It’s an Amazon-backed service open to indie authors in the US and UK currently.
  • KBoards is great forum for authors and readers. Check out the writer’s cafe for tips and insights into the self-publishing world.


editing bookbaby


Traditional Publishing

  • Literary Rejection’s take on word count.
  • Audiohoop offers free audio downloads of literary works by emerging writers or public-domain classics. The site is also a networking resource for writers to connect with producers, actors, voice artists, directors, sound engineers, musicians, and other media artists to create audio versions of their written works.
  • Catch the eye of a literary agent on Twitter via the #PitMad event.
  • Get query tips from Query Shark.
  • Examples of successful queries.



  • If you’re looking for someone to review your book (and share it with their audience), check out my new project, The Book Review Directory. It’s a growing list of book review bloggers who are open to indie and traditional books
  • Mail Chimp is a free service to create a newletter list to spread the word about your newly published books.


Thinking Up Ideas

  • A random inn generator (fantasy/medieval setting)
  • A random plot/setting/theme/story hook/climax generator. I found it great for getting the wheels turning on story ideas.
  • A periodic table for storytelling. It includes a description (with examples) of quite a few types of plot, character, structure, and tropes. The site also has a story idea generator.
  • This website helps you decide what to write next by integrating social media to “vote” on your next novel, book, or blog idea.



  • If you’re curious how popular turn-of-phrases were created (especially helpful for historical writing), this may shed some light.
  • 178 ways to describe clothing for your female characters.
  • NovelRank is a free service that tracks your books sales rank in different Amazon stores around the world.
  • eBook Rank Tracker tracks your own books and others to see which promotional tools are working.


General Tools/Resources

  • Thesaurus for variety of words
  • Name generator for coming up with just the right name
  • Google images could be helpful to picture a person, building, or setting before describing it.
  • The music I often listen to while writing: the LoTR soundtrack and Celtic music.
  • A great video about Dan Wells’s 7-point story structure.
  • If you’re looking for a visual of facial expressions, this may help. Move the sliders around to change the expression.
  • 100 words for facial expressions.
  • 41 flavors of body language.
  • Find out what words you’re over-using by creating a neat visual word cloud of all the words you use. Enter in a short story or a full novel to find out.
  • Receive daily email reminders to write 750 words via this website, as well as track analytics of your writing speed, length, consistency, and even number of distractions.
  • Omm Writer is a distraction-free writing environment tool.
  • Evernote is a free tool to keep track of your writing notes. You can sync with all your devices so if you come up with an idea while out, you can type it in your phone and then access it on your computer later on.
  • WriteOrDie is a writing platform that puts the “prod” in productivity.
  • National Novel Writers Month is a great way to get motivated to write your next book.



The Idea FactoryThe Idea Factory: 1,000 Story Ideas and Writing Prompts to Find Your Next Bestseller

One idea can create a book. One idea can spark a career.

Do you have a hard time coming up with ideas on what to write?

Countless writers love to write fiction. Exploring a plot and fleshing out characters is part of what makes the project fun. However, few things are worse than staring at a blank screen with no clue what to write next.

These 1,000 prompts are designed to give you the combination of the idea itself, as well as concepts to help you create your own. In the introduction, we discuss the different methods for creating story ideas to continue long after you read the last prompt.

You’ll find multiple genres represented, such as:
• Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Horror, Thriller/Suspense, Mystery, Children’s, Middle Grade, Young Adult, Paranormal, Humor, and Historical.

If you need help with inspiration, this is the book for you. Out of 1,000 story ideas and writing prompts, the beginnings of your next book is likely in these pages. Let’s find your next bestseller.

Genre: Non-fiction (Writing Self-Help)

Length: 138 pages

Find it here:

“I found myself wanting to write something based on the prompts most of the time I was reading it!” -Amazon review











205 thoughts on “Writer’s Toolbox”

  1. What about a regular, good-old dictionary?

    When editing certain pieces, I can tell if the author turned to his/her thesaurus one too many times…because the words they use don’t QUITE make sense in context. I’m all for a thesaurus, but I say also have a dictionary nearby for those instances when you don’t know the definition of a word you found in a thesaurus.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As a professional who reviews books on spirituality, christianity, personal development, and professional development as well as romance and even erotica I can confidently say that this is a great list of resources for writers.

    Finding a great editor is hard at an affordable price but, so is finding individuals to review books. This list is terrific.

    Great job!


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