Page last updated: September 8th, 2023
Having published dozens of books and hundreds of websites over the last 18 years – you can say we’ve battle-tested a fair few products and services. The ones we use in our business today (in 2023) and fully endorse are below.
This site is powered by WordPress using the incredibly stunning, lightweight & ultra fast GeneratePress Premium theme (for our Blog and homepage), the incredibly simple Optimize Press Landing Page builder (for our members area), Wishlist Member to secure our paying members – and hosted on the blazing fast, quality-crafted, SiteGround cloud hosting service.
- Ulysses – My main writing app. Switched back to Ulysses—from Bear (“again”)—in 2022. Simple, powerful, distraction-free writing. It Beats Scrivener for its simplicity and cloud syncing across all devices.
- Obsidian – An extremely powerful ‘knowledge management system.’ Simple to use, unlike Roam, and makes life so much easier as an author. Especially if you consume a lot of books, trainings and podcasts as I do.
- Jasper AI – The premier AI writing tool. Great for writer’s block. So much fun, too, to watch what he writes when you’re stuck on how to start or finish a sentence. I’m often left speechless by his creativity. If you use ghostwriters, fire them; save money.
- ProWritingAid – Grammar checker, style editor, and writing mentor in one package. It Beats Grammarly if you want to improve your writing long-term. Good for long texts. A Chrome extension is available, too.
- Grammarly – Unlike ProWritingAid, I don’t like the interface. I use Grammarly for their Chrome extension, which will highlight errors in my writing on all sites. Useful for social media posting, support messages and emails I write.
- Hemingway Editor – Improve readability and complex sentence structures quickly and easily. Free app, too.
Productivity & Organisation
- ChatGPT (AI) – A true “game changer” for productivity as a creative of any kind. I use it as a brainstorming partner, gaining deep insights (empathy) into my target readers, predictive modelling, analyzing competitors, writing comprehensive outlines, creative writing ideas, inspiration, stories, and so much more. Learn more about AI & ChatGPT in my free course here.
- Evernote – Keeps my business organised. Great for business receipts and web clippings.
- Sync – File storage you can sync to all devices. Beats Dropbox and Google drive for its security, privacy and end-to-end encryption. It just plain works better, and you get 5GB free.
- Brain.fm – Functional music to maintain writing focus. Works for me. I can’t stand silence, though.
- Workflowy – Great for simple text-based mind mapping and visualising projects, books and content structures.
- Moleskine Notebook – Love ’em for simple note-taking and to-do lists I can take anywhere.
Book Cover Designers
- 100 Covers – The pros at book cover design for just $100. Use coupon code: KDSPY10 to save 10%.
- 99designs – Expensive. But you can get designers to compete for your job. You pay for the best design.
Book Formatting & Editing
- eBook Launch – Professional ebook formatting service.
- Amazon Guide – Do it yourself Kindle formatting step by step.
- Kindle Previewer – Preview how your Kindle books will look.
Publishing & Writing Education
- 30 Day Book Writing Challenge — Joshua Sprague’s results for new authors speaks for itself. His 30-day walkthrough emails are great if you have the “focus” but lack the “roadmap.“
- Ship 30 for 30 – Nicolas Cole has had over 100m views on 3000+ articles across Quora & Medium, with a follower audience of over 98k readers. He teaches ‘attention-grabbing’ digital writing in his course Ship 30 for 30. I participated in Oct 2022. It’s in my top three best course investments.
- Hooks for Books – Writing compelling titles & hooks.
- Audiobooks Made Easy– Turn your books into audiobooks.
- LastPass – The best there is to store passwords for use on “all” devices – ultra secure, too. Multiple lockdown options.
- WP Security – Great WordPress security plugin to protect from hackers. Don’t get caught out. It’s 100% free, too.
- Convertkit – Tried all the email providers. Convertkit wins hands down for its simplicity and powerful automations.
- Instant Author Emails – My email templates and swipe files to grow your book sales. Never be lost for words again.
- ThriveCart – Incredible cart system. So easy to use & ultra-powerful integrations. One time payment, too.
- Stripe – Merchant account – quick, painless acceptance.
- PayPal – Gold standard to pay and get paid.
Analytics & Tracking
- Clickmagick – Tracking to monitor ROI on advertising spend, complete with a/b testing and so much more.
- Hotjar – Visitor feedback, insights & surveys.
- Google Analytics – It’s free.
Website Builders & Hosting
- GeneratePress Premium – This is the theme for this blog. It’s ultra-lightweight, blazing fast, and stunning.
- Optimize Press – The first and best landing page builder for WP there is, in my opinion. OP3 – their latest Sept 2019 release – is powerful and simple to use. I’d be lost without it.
- Siteground – Incredible hosting. Tried a bunch. Let down by most. Siteground outperforms them all.
- WP Rocket – Awesome WordPress plugin to speed up sites. I use this on KDSPY and KDROI web pages. Every 1-second delay results in a 12% reduction in conversion (sales). If you sell anything online, this will put money back in your pocket.