Paula's Recommendations

Writing tools

My all-time favorite writing tool. I can organize chapters and scenes in an outline or notecard format, rearrange them, add notes and colored tags, and research information all without leaving the app. It's literally my "book brain" in one spot.

A free editing tool that will highlight lengthy sentences, point out words that could be made simpler, and color-codes adverbs and other weak phrases. There is also a one-time paid desktop version available for both Mac and PC.

This tool helps keep you distraction free by blocking an unlimited number of websites, apps, email, games, even the entire internet - so you can focus on writing. It syncs across devices and supports Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, and Chrome.

Office tools for writers

Probably the most used tool in my toolbox. Sitting for long periods of time is detrimental to your health. I've had my Lifespan treadmill desk for about 7 years and it has helped with back/neck pain. Plus I get in a good amount of walking - even in the winter!

Kinesis is the leader in computer ergonomics. I love my keyboard and mouse. All of their products are designed to work with the human body to enhance comfort and boost productivity, at home and in the office.

I get headaches quite easily if I'm not wearing my blue light glasses. Not only have they helped prevent eye strain, I also find I don't have as much trouble getting to sleep if I'm on my computer or device closer to bedtime. The entire family uses them.

Writing conferences

A legendary weekend event in the beautiful Black Hills with author events, a book fair, and opportunities to visit historic Deadwood, South Dakota.

The South Dakota Festival of Books offers presentations, panel discussions, book signings, and special events with local and nationally-recognized authors.

The premier conference for veteran authors and those just learning the craft. If you write Christian fiction—or want to learn how—the ACFW conference in St. Louis, MO, is an investment worth making.

An online author conference offering webinars and presentations, panel sessions, debates, and more with self-publishing experts and advisors as speakers and sponsors.

Located in New Jersey, this conference features published authors and industry professionals along with workshops that focus on craft, business, promotion and indie-publishing.

It is the biggest show in the world focused on self-publishing (although there is something for every author, traditional or indie) with over 2500 authors, publishers, and industry professionals and over 100 guest speakers.

Located in Lebanon, TN, this conference offers a family setting where readers and authors get to know each other on a more personal note. Go home refreshed, and locked and loaded with information to help throughout the year.

Where hundreds of independent and hybrid publishers, self-published authors, and industry partners gather to exchange knowledge, resources, strategies, and solutions to advance their book publishing know-how.

Website/social media creation

I've tried multiple website platforms over the years. But for an author, hands down my choice is Mailerlite. You can also use them for landing pages and your email list. It's all in one place, easy to use, and affordable. 

Canva is the place I make images for my website and social media. I used it to create business cards. . .    I'm sure there's even more features I haven't yet used. It seems it's a constant tab open on my laptop!

I'm not tech savvy - and I had no idea how to make video clips until a friend from my writer's group told me how she made hers - with a free program called FlexClip. It didn't take long at all to learn how to use.

Buying books online (not Amazon)

Amazon sells over 60% of all books in the US. Bookshop.org began as an idea to help support bookstores and their communities - giving readers the convenience of online shopping while supporting independent bookstores at the same time.

Thriftbooks is another favorite place to shop online when looking for books. They have a special deal where you can earn a free book credit if you purchase through my link below, plus reader credits and librarian and educator (including homeschooling parent) credits.

An online book swapping club where you list books you'd like to swap with other members and get a credit when it's requested. Use your credit to choose from over 900K available books or add a book to your wish list. We've used this site for years - it's a favorite!