WELCOME TO YOUR SLINGER TOOLBOX
BEING AWESOME just got a whole lot simpler.
This page is where I put all the things I find indispensable. Software, products, books, training programs—if you need resources to make your life better, this is the place. I consider it my Wordslinger Utility Belt.
Browse around, peruse the descriptions, and pick up anything you think would be useful.
THE BEST WRITING TOOL I'VE EVER USED: SCRIVENER
Scrivener is THE go-to tool for authors. There is simply no better software available for helping you organize and craft your books. Perfect for helping you build a disciplined approach to book-writing awesomeness.
Scrivener Coach's Learn Scrivener Fast
Scrivener is miracle author software, but it can have a steep learning curve! That's why Joseph Michael, The Scrivener Coach, has created this amazing course for learning Scrivener from the pixels up. Get everything you need, from a quick start to advanced options that can make you a Wordslinging ace with a library of books to your name.
Get 70% off on merchant words FOR LIFE!
Merchant Words is my go-to tool for keyword research on Amazon. Whether you're an author looking to beef up your discoverability or you want your products to hit at the top of search results, Merchant Words is the place to start. Get 70% off for life when you sign up through the Wordslinger Podcast page!
Professional graphic design from 99 DESIGNS
Book covers, one-sheets, posters, mailers, even skins for your vehicle—whatever design needs you have, 99 Designs helps you get exactly what you want at a price that's comfy for most budgets. You pitch your idea, and hundreds of designers compete to get your business. You select what you like, work with the designer to fine-tune it just right, and pay only if you get what you want. It's perfect for logos, book covers, and even comps for websites, apps, and software.
ECAMM CALL RECORDER FOR SKYPE
Skype is my go-to tool for conducting interviews, staying in touch with my creative team, and making calls to people all over the world, right from my desktop. ECAMM's Call Recorder for Skype gives me the ability to instantly and automatically record those calls so that I can use them for podcasts, transcriptions, and even as bonus gifts for clients I'm working with. This plug-in for Skype is the simplest, easiest way to record Skype calls that I've ever used.
TIM FERRISS'S THE 4-HOUR WORK WEEK
There may actually be no other more definitive work out there for building and growing an authority business than this phenomenal bestseller by Tim Ferriss. I recommend it as a go-to resource for all of my consulting clients, and as part of my overall platform. I read this book once or twice a year just to keep the information fresh in my brain. Highly recommended, and a must-have part of your Slinger Toolkit.
CHRIS GUILLEBEAU'S THE $100 STARTUP
This book functions more as an idea primer than a how-to guide, but for inspiration and motivation I find it indispensable. It's a collection of case studies about small businesses that have created lifestyles of wealth, success, and freedom for their owners. If you're struggling to decide what kind of business you wan to be in, this is a must-read. If you're trying to think of creative ways to enter into a marketplace already overcrowded with businesses like yours, this book can help you change your perspective and take a unique approach that works for you.
MALCOLM GLADWELL'S OUTLIERS
Author and speaker Malcolm Gladwell walks us through the world of "outliers"—high achievers who work at the fringe of everything we think we know about success and innovation. This book is presented like a series of case studies, but it's an invaluable education in standing out and achieving success using your unique perspective, talents, and resources.
Stephen King's On Writing
Part personal memoir, part how-to guide, "On Writing" has served as the handbook for anyone who wants to develop the craft of being an author. Whether you are looking for a traditional publishing contract or trying to build your own indie author business, this book will give you the insight and inspiration you need to develop the writing habits that will take you far.
Chris Baty's No Plot? No Problem!
Chris Baty, founder of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) gives a step-by-step process for writing a novel in 30 days, with tips on how to survive work, family, and even the odd home crisis.
Johnny B Truant & Sean Platt's Write. Publish. Repeat.
Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt are best known for their Self Publishing Podcast—a weekly treasure trove of advice and guidance for indie authors. In this inside look into their own process and methods, they show you how to build your own author business and develop your own writing workflow. It's a must-have for anyone trying to make their living as an indie author.
Buy your copy of "Write. Publish. Repeat." now
My writing computer of choice: MacBook Air
You can write on any computer, but for stability, ease of use, and sheer cool factor, nothing beats a MacBook. And a computer that won't strain your shoulder muscles but still delivers real writing power, nothing beats the MacBook Air. It gets the highest Wordslinger recommendation.
Zoom H1 Handy Portable Digital Recorder
As an entry-level digital recorder for dictation or podcasts, or even to use as a USB microphone, this is a great, budget-friendly bit of technology.
ZOOM H2n HANDY RECORDER
Finer control, up to 4 channels, and multiple recording formats in one handy and portable format. Also works as a USB microphone. This is a durable and easily portable recorder that you can keep with you all the time.
Zoom H4n Handy Recorder
High-end, 4-channel, studio-quality recording, perfect for podcasting, interviews, music recording and even on-camera audio. This is the unit I use in my studio. It has inputs for XLR and 1/8" microphones, and acts as the perfect analog-to-digital convertor for my mixer. It may be overkill. But it's extremely cool overkill.
Dictation Software — Dragon Naturally Speaking
The leader in do-it-yourself dictation and transcription software. If you have a tight budget, this software is an inexpensive alternative to transcription services. Though the accuracy still isn't quite there for this segment, Dragon Naturally Speaking is consistently the best resource I've found for translating your words to test. Be prepared to spend time editing and refining, but for getting your ideas on the page immediately, this one's tough to beat.
Transcription service — Scribie
Scribie is one of the most reliable transcription services around for the author on a budget. Accuracy is high, and the rates are reasonable. The best rates come to those who wait, however. To keep your budget low, you'll want to give the service as much lead time as you can. Quality is top-knotch, however.
ELMER'S PROBOND WOOD FILLER
Sandable, stainable, paintable, and tough enough to hold up to extreme heat and humidity. This stuff is good indoors or outdoors, and can fill in for a variety of building materials. I've used it to repair rotting woods and damaged siding, as well as patch a few out-and-out holes here and there. If you build up slowly—fill in a bit, wait for it to dry, fill in some more—you can actually repair large gaps with this stuff. Fantastic.
Sugru Fix that thing
Ok, no kidding ... this is a miracle substance. Moldable glue that semi-hardens into a flexible silicone. It's a bit like Silly Putty when you take it out of its package. Shape it any way you like, wait 24 hours, and done. Use it to repair frayed charging cables for your iPhone, patch small leaks in a hose, create rubberized handles for small tools, or get creative and do something stupid fun or useful with it. MacGyver would have to change his shorts after discovering this stuff.