What tools and software do you consider absolutely essential when it comes to running your author business? Here are 10 of my favorites along with inks (some are affiliates) to check them out for yourself. I'd love to hear what you would add in the comments!

#1. BookFunnel. The best way to grow your newsletter numbers? A lead magnet! Giving away a free eBook (or eBooks) for subscribers is great in theory, but how do you do it? With Bookfunnel, duh! Their constant stream of innovations and group bundles make Bookfunnel the top service of its kind. We consider it an absolute MUST for authors.

#2. BookBrush. Create gorgeous 3D covers and marketing graphics for all your social media advertising needs. With over one-million stock photos to choose from, customizable text options, and more, you'll love this new design tool made with authors in mind!

#3. MeetEdgar. We love MeetEdgar, because it makes sure that nothing goes to waste! Whether it's your time or that great graphic you created to promote one of your back list titles, Edgar makes it easy and effective. That's why it's our fave scheduling tool!

#4. Thrive Themes. Our #1 recommendation for authors is definitely Thrive Themes. Whether you purchase the full package or just pick up a copy of their Content Builder, you definitely can't go wrong. We use Thrive as the core for all our author sites, because it is easy to learn and easy to use, which means our authors feel comfortable updating their own sites whenever needed!

#5. ActiveCampaign. If you want a newsletter that can do it all, then you need ActiveCampaign. With the most sophisticated automation, segmentations, and even direct Facebook and website analytics tracking, data nerds like us will find Active Campaign to be a dream come true! It's pricier than other options, but worth every penny.

#6. Publisher Rocket. KDP Rocket is a fantastic tool when it comes to creating a huge list of AMS ad keywords quickly and effectively. I wouldn't be able to run Amazon ads without them. The savings in time is totally worth the expense of purchase. Happy advertising!

#7. UpViral. Holy smokes, this giveaway platform is amazing! It offers custom everything, along with multiple integrations for your website, newsletter, ads pixels, and more. Grow your list fast and meaningfully. There is no better way.

#8. Gleam. Do you want to run a giveaway that commands attention? Gleam is a visually stunning platform that offers varying levels of membership (including a free version), making it one of the most author-friendly giveaway services available. If you're looking for ways to grow your network while giving back to your readers, then Gleam can help you do that.

#9. Gravity Forms. Why have a simple contact from when you can have so much more? Gravity Forms does it all from newsletter integration, to eCommerce, and even quizzes, polls, surveys, automation, and a million other things.

#10. ManyChat. If you're looking for a new way to interact with readers and stand out amongst your literary peers, then ManyChat could be the answer! I love it because it provides a highly customizable experience AND collects tons of data along the way. Readers love my 10-part serial mystery bot, and it's become one of my stand-out marketing pieces!