We're including a listing of vendors, services, and helpful links that you might find useful.




  • Kuler by Adobe is designed to allow folks to build and share robust color schemes within the Adobe suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc.)
  • Color Scheme Designer 4 (aka Paletton) allows you to build a palette based on color interaction, while allowing for color variants.
  • Colourlovers has a dynamic color scheme creation software as well as an active community of creative folks who love to discuss color.
  • Pictaculous will pull an entire palette from any uploaded image, which is especially useful if you find a single image that nails your brand.
  • Colors On The Web  creates a color palette specifically for online use.
  • Colorotate uses a 3D render to help you see the interaction of hues and shades.

Font Sites

Freelance Sites

All of these sites allow you to outsource and crowdsource jobs to freelancers at a range of abilities and prices. Your mileage will vary. Naturally, for best results you want to go in with your eyes open to red flags and a specific measure of success. These range from design specific freelancers to folks who will write your name in the sand in Turkey and tweet the photo. Know what you want and do your homework. Remember: Cheap is expensive.

Graphic Design services

All offer flat-rate logo, website, and branding packages with varying degrees of flexibility and responsiveness:


  • Adobe Illustrator: high-end, high-expertise, high-cost layout software for creating vector based layouts (e.g. logos and layouts). Illustrator is an industry standard. Its native file type and its nickname are both A.I.  
  • Adobe Photoshop : high-end, high-expertise, high- cost software for creating raster-based images (e.g. paintings and drawings). Its native file type is .PSD.
  • GIMP: a free, open-source package that mimics Photoshop's functions and versatility at image creation for Mac, WIndows, and Linux. It offers a range of tools including painting, colour correction, cloning, selection, and enhancement.
  • Irfanview: free, simple image editing software for PCs suitable for cropping, resizing, reformatting, and other simple tasks.
  • Seashore: a free, open-source package for Mac builts around GIMP's graphic engine.
  • SumoPaint: A lightweight web-based image editing that offers a few snappy options.

Stock Photography Sources:

When it comes to producing covers, artwork, and swag, stock image sites are your friend but you have to shop around so you don’t reuse the same image 50 other folks in your genre have already.


Display Resources:

Online Printers:

  • Gotprint.com: high quality, low cost, wide variety of items and customized options. Allow time for shipping.
  • PSPrint: Random sales can make them competitive against other vendors.
  • Vistaprint cranks out fast, slick products in low volumes. The quality is good, and with their inevitable sales you can save money… but there are much better options in terms of cost, variety, and quality. N.b. their generic swag options have become so ubiquitous in genre fiction they verge on invisibility.
  • Uprinting: Several uncommon products offered and especially good prices for stickers.


Advice & Fraud Protection

SEO & Webpage rankings

Each of these sites will give you an overview of the web traffic and connections to a website. Useful for determining the relative reach of a given page.

  • Alexa provides analytical insights to benchmark, compare and optimize businesses on the web. 
  • Compete: For over fifteen years, Compete has documented the behavior of millions of online consumers and made that data directly available to marketers, salespeople, agencies, analysts, and researchers, empowering them to compare and analyze the performance of virtually any website.
  • Quantcast is a digital marketing company that provides free audience demographics measurement and delivers real-time advertising.
  • MCJ Online : Building an overall valuation of a site by combining the information from other SEO engines, MCJO is a website analysis and valuation service that helps webmasters, website owners and general internet users to analyze websites and domains. Service allows to analyze your site, your competitors’ or any other website traffic data, as well as social media visibility and other domain and hosting related information.


A number of these productivity assets operate invisibly, yet these types of support systems prove invaluable for helping you stay organized, focused, and on top of your A-game.


  • Scrivener : for Mac and Windows, this powerful drafting software will help you write your novel, store your research notes, format ebooks, and export into a variety of document formats. So versatile we wrote this book using Scrivener—one of us on a Mac, the other on Windows, shared via Dropbox. Scrivener comes with phenomenal customer service and technical support.
    • Investigate templates for Scrivener that can save you time and trouble. Many popular writing guides have been adapted for Scrivener including Hollywood’s three-acts, Save the Cat, Vogler’s mythic journey, Snowflake method, and more.
  • Liquid Story Binder XE : Another writing package which allows you to create a structure that works for you and assemble different types of document in one space for easy access.
  • Pomodoro Technique : a productivity system which breaks large tasks down into manageable stretches with scheduled breaks to keep you focused and efficient. Several popular (free) apps exist for computer and mobile devices. Damon uses TeamViz pretty religiously.
  • Rescue Time : Tracks your daily work habits to allow you a snapshot of how much time you spend working vs. surfing Facebook, etc.
  • Write or Die : a simple whip-cracking app focused on forcing you to type without editing, deleting, or second-guessing yourself. This software began as a website for rough drafting ("putting the prod in productivity") that screeched and whined if you stopped typing and hosted head-to-head wordcount-wars, but its popularity inspired a desktop app that does that and more. The (hilarious, gifted) creator has also built the WordWar, EditMinion and BoredMuse apps for writers.
  • yWriter: a free software package that allows flexible structuring and tracks daily wordcounts written and distributed by the writer who created it.

Surveys & Quizzes

  • Google Forms : Amazing! How does Google do it? Completely free and surprisingly robust survey environment that allows skip logic.
  • Interact : Generate snazzy quizzes for your online presence. Nice flexibility as far as graphic options.
  • Qzzr : Create, embed, and share custom quizzes. Extremely reasonable and easy to implement.
  • Survey Monkey : The biggest player in online surveys and the most well-known.
  • Typeform : When more stylish designs and elegant implementation of surveys are paramount.

Tasks & Management

While it’s not an essential, project management software can be a real blessing for busy authors. From tools to help you write, keep you writing, calendars to organize your projects, forms to help you collect information—here are some of our productivity faves.

  • Google Apps : Need a second mail account? Want to funnel your author@authorname.com email to the Gmail interface? This service allows you to do that for a nominal monthly fee.
  • Google Drive : Documents, Spreadsheets, and Forms…a web-based document platform useful for blog tour signups, expense tracking, surveys, and unrivaled document collaboration in real time.
  • Book Planner: "A book project manager with expert guidance made for self-published authors, covering every step in the self-publishing process from editing to design to production, right up to your book launch"
  • Join.me : free screensharing and online meeting space suitable for project collaboration and organizing group discussions.
  • Gleam : app-based marketing platform which allows you to host contests, galleries, and other social marketing campaigns.
  • Hootsuite : a social media dashboard designed to manage up to 35 popular platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc) for efficient coordination and response under one App umbrella.
  • Irfanview : free, simple image editing software for PCs suitable for cropping, resizing, reformatting, and other simple tasks.
  • Rafflecopter : If you enjoy doing regular contests, Rafflecopter streamlines the giveaway process while also drawing the focus to your social media accounts. Paid service, multi-level.
  • Teamwork : online productivity software with a variety of subscription options, including a limited service option for free. Organize your works in progress, keep track of tours, release dates, even time spent working during the day. Add team members—your agent, your assistant, your spouse—and control who sees what project. Includes messages, task lists, and reminders.
  • Gusto (formerly ZenPayroll): online payroll service that handles compliance, taxes, and benefits.
  • Hubspot Topic Generator : Article and blog inspiration. Just enter a list of nouns and it will spit out potential titles/subjects
  • Twitter Audit : A great tool to see the actual strength of your Twitter account. Twitter Audit grades followers, using “number of tweets, date of the last tweet, and ratio of followers to friends.” They acknowledge it’s an imperfect filter, but it’s exposed countless charlatans.
  • Open SEO Stats : An extension for Google Chrome which accesses the Google PageRank (PR), Alexa Rank, Compete Rank and Quantcast Rank of the current web page, in addition to getting information on backlinks, indexed pages, cached pages, socials, Whois, Geo IP location and more.
  • Pixlr: a feature-rich image editing software for Windows, Mac, and more…available as a free download, online studio, or mobile app.
  • WordKeeperAlpha: With WordKeeper you can set daily, weekly, monthly or yearly writing goals and see your progress. You can get an idea for how much you write and encourage yourself to write more. Connect with your friends on WordKeeper and let them encourage you.
  • Evernote makes modern life more manageable by letting you easily collect and find everything that matters. From work notes and to-do lists to recipe collections and travel plans, add everything to Evernote to help you get organized without the effort.
Share this content:


Your A Game is a career changer. Damon and Heidi’s branding approach helps you learn what sets you apart in a very crowded fiction landscape and, more importantly, how to use that information to your advantage. Regardless the level of your career, every author should take advantage of these fabulous resources. I promise, you’ll never think of your public image and your marketing the same way again!

Joanna Shupe
Joanna Shupe bestselling, award-winning author of the Knickerbock Club series and the Wicked Deceptions series

Smart, fast-paced and comprehensive, this is the ONE book you need to develop your own brand and a personalized marketing plan that works for you. Run, don't walk, to get started on YOUR A GAME!

Cindy Dees
Cindy Dees bestselling, award-winning author of the Dragon Crest series and the The Medusa Project series

Your A Game is a playful, succinct and accurate guide to marketing in today's changing world. Whether you're a new writer or a seasoned pro, you will find the text and the format fun, informative, personal and useful. And brilliant-- don't forget brilliant, from conception to delivery.

Amy Lane
Amy Lane RITA nominee & bestselling author of the Johnnies series and the Green's Hill series.

Your A Game is relevant for everyone - whether you're just starting out or have been doing your own marketing thing forever. It isn't just the same five tips repackaged - this one is literally a game changer.

Tere Michaels
Tere Michaels bestselling author of the Vigilante series and the Faith, Love, Devotion series

The only truly useful marketing guide I've ever found...Your A Game doesn't rely on what worked for someone else, but effectively helps you find your own marketing platform.

Anne Tenino
Anne Tenino bestselling author of the Romancelandia series

Heidi and Damon have broken the "code" with Your A Game, a vital tool for any author serious about promotion and branding. The customizable, easy-to-follow program gives the author common sense suggestions to accommodate individual needs. The antithesis of the cookie cutter approach, Your A Game guides you down the path that best suits your ultimate goal.

Brita Addams
Brita Addams bestselling author of the Tarnished series