Start a website:
Wordpress - A widely used choice for authors as its a blogging site mostly. Pretty easy to use for novices on just setting up a post for a blog. It can and does get more complex the more you want to do with it.
Squarespace - It’s what I chose for my website. I wanted something I could control that is still professional looking, and it fits the bill. It has a lot of easy to use solutions for everything below without paying for a bunch of extra things.
Start a mailing list:
Mailchimp - Is the free solution and the reason it is on the list. You get to send emails out to your list for free and even has a way to deliver the first email with the free thing in it you are giving away to get people on the list. Mailchimp is the reason you have no excuse to get a mailing list. Simple to use and has expanded features for when you are ready for it.
Convertkit - Slightly more expensive than Mailchimp but way more powerful. Once you get into automation (the best way to ‘onboard’ new readers) they have tags that will work per subscriber and not have to make a thousand lists to stay organized.
Ontraport.com - Here is a business minded persons email marketing choice. It is highly recommended for those looking to create a non-fiction empire and manage LOTS of subscribers. Super power tool, and with power comes price. I don’t recommend this for beginners, unless you are starting with funds and a list.
Creating a Squeeze page:
Bookfunnel.com (to deliver free books/shorts to your email subscribers)(costs but not a lot) - Bookfunnel not only can provide the squeeze page but also deliver the book to your reader. So even if you don’t use it for the landing page, get it. They are awesome and cheap and dependable.
Leadpages - Makes pages that will have a higher conversion on leads, but it’s pricey. BUT it works. So use what you have until you can afford this, but as soon as you can, do it.
Tvtropes.org - Use at your own peril. It is a time sink beyond belief but a valuable resource
any author in the list above's would agree with. On both points.
Amazon.com - I know this might seem obvious, but Amazon is an amazing place to research anything and everything you want to do with being an author.
Microsoft Word - (office.com) - You probably use this at work or school and have been using it forever. It’s comfortable to you because you know it and are ok with it. Awesome. If you use it, there is nothing wrong with that, but you do have better options out there no matter what you write.
Scrivener - (https://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php) - I will say I was hesitant to buy Scrivener and it had nothing to do with the price. It was uncharted software territory and I knew that meant I had to spent time to get to know it and be comfortable with it. Best Writing Investment EVA!! Seriously. You don’t want to miss out on it, even if it might be hard at first, there are great mentors out there that can help you with it.
Google Docs -(drive.google.com) - It is basically a free online version of word made by Google. So yea, thats useful if you don’t want to pay for anything and still want to write. Can have hiccups when getting your manuscript ready for publishing.
Apple Pages - (iCloud.com) - Same as Google Docs and Word but its the Apple variety and proprietary. I would avoid it unless you are writing everything on a mac and are somewhat tech savvy. The reason I say that is everything works great, until you need to publish. Then you start finding gremlins in everything. Word might actually be better than this for publishing.
Author Central - (authorcentral.amazon.com) - The website to setup your Amazon author page. You can connect Twitter, your blog, and add your picture. All of these things I suggest. It makes you look more professional.
Amazon Associates - (https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/) - You are going to want to sign up for this. As you are making emails and telling people about not only your books but other peoples that you are interested in and reading, you give them links to it. With Amazon Associates you get an affiliate link, and with every sale for about the next week they make on Amazon you get a percentage of it. Up to 6% if I am not mistaken. This is a great way to make some side money past just your book sales. Plus you can get up to 76% of you books sales instead of just 70% by adding in that 6% for the affiliate link.
Audio Books (acx.com) - There are other ways to get an audio book going, but if you don’t know where to start ACX is a great place to begin the search.
Paperback (CreateSpace) - Again there are other places you can go, but this one is the best right now. You can also do this under KDP, its in a beta right now, but works the same. The only downfall as of right now is you can’t get cheap copies of your book. You have to pay full price. On Createspace you can get at cost + shipping, which is nice if you want to have a paperback copy or you want to gather some up for a promotion.
Custom Covers (99designs) - If you want a professional cover that also will be eye catching for your genre, its worth the money to get it here.
Fivver (Fivver.com) - There are some quality people here you can find to do a lot of things for you. Granted the quality is surrounded by people just trying to make a buck. Well a fiver… get it. Ok bad joke aside, you have to sift through a lot of crap to find good people. When you find the good people, they are worth the time, but was it worth the time to find them? That is up to you.
Bitly.com - Do some of the links you have look like a run on sentence from hell? Enter bitly. It’s free and will shorten the link down to a manageable size while offering tracking on who and where they are coming from.
Dropbox.com (or any other cloud service like Google Drive, Microsoft’s OneDrive, or Apple’s iCloud) - You need a place to backup and/or store your data, like your scrivener files, covers, ads, and such. Dropbox hooks up with scrivener nicely for the mac and iphone/ipad app, so its what I use. But I also use all of the big ones for various reasons.
Editing Software (Editor | AutoCrit) - If you haven’t heard this yet, you need to get it done by someone, but I know there are a few of you out there that won’t or can’t. If nothing else, use editing software like AutoCrit here. I have used it and still do here and there to check things out.
Vellum - (https://vellum.pub/) - Great software for formatting your book to look boss/dope/awesome/whatever analogy you want to use for looks great. It is Mac only right now and looks to be that way for the foreseeable future. If you got a Mac got for it.
Reedsy - (https://reedsy.com/) - Are you in need of that editor I just told you to find? What about a formatter if you aren’t going to use Scrivener or Vellum. Then look no farther than Reedsy. A website that brings you together with professionals in the genre you write in to help you with your book.