|5 Free Self-Publishing Tools|
My entire self-publishing process was self-taught, so let me stress that I'm not a "guru."
I've learned the self-publishing process and shared various articles over the past several years. Today's article is a brief list of a few of my favorite tools for writing books.
Handy Tools I Use for Self-Publishing - I Learn in Compartments (Like Compartmentalizing Thoughts and Tasks)
First, let me stress I'm not an expert on every aspect of the tools I use. The best way for me to work is on a need-to-know basis.
If I tried to learn a program or tool from top to bottom, I'd never have time to write or publish.
I use these tools in the limited scope for the task needed to complete. When needing to learn more about the tool, I then educate myself further. I learn in compartments, that's what I like to call it.
1. Canva - A Free Online Web Publishing Tool
Canva.com is an online web publishing tool. Over the past two years, I've come across numerous articles and videos mentioning Canva. In 2021, after reviewing and comparing, I decided to give Canva a try. I use this program to create word search books. Of course, it doesn't make the puzzles; rather, I use it as a glorified word processor. Canva does umpteen additional things, and I hope to expand my knowledge of Canva as I continue along my self-publishing journey.
Note that there is an upgrade to a paid version for Canva; however, I'm still using the free version only.
There are numerous free Canva tutorials on YouTube; here's one that's quite extensive for beginners.
2. Finding Related Words - Free Online Service
Along with using the free online service, Thesaurus.com, I recently discovered another handy free site called relatedwords.org. The broad range of word suggestions provided by relatedwords.org is excellent, especially when creating activity books. Using both Thesaurus.com and Relatedwords.org provides even more word replacement choices.
3. Adobe Spark for Creating Covers - Free Online Service
I've been using Adobe Spark to create book covers, banners, website graphics, and more for years. I'm quite familiar with it, and for that reason alone, I haven't taken the plunge to learn another program to create graphics.
Case in point, Canva.com (mentioned above) has an excellent graphic creating aspect to it, and I've yet to take the plunge and try that website for graphic creations.
There is an upgrade for a paid Adobe Spark version; however, personally, I haven't found the need to upgrade.
If you'd like to understand some of the fundamental differences and similarities between Spark versus Canva, here's a short video from YouTube that sums up some of the key features.
4. LibreOffice - A Free Online Word Processing Download
For writing my riddle books, I use Libre Office Writer. I don't own the paid version of Microsoft Word, and I needed a word processing program to write my riddle books.
As mentioned above, I use Canva to write my word search books; however, having Libreoffice for my other books is handy, and I'm more familiar with it simply because I've been using it longer.
Be aware there is a learning process with Libreoffice, and I did have to have my mouth washed out with soap a few times while educating myself.
5. GIMP - A Free Open Source Editing Software Program
I use GIMP for one specific purpose; to convert my graphics to the minimum requirement of 300dpi that Amazon Publishing requires for photos in books and/or book covers.
After researching what DPI is and how to convert photos to the correct DPI for uploads to KDP Publishing and pulling all my hair out in the process, I found GIMP to work best for my needs.
Here's a quick tutorial directly from GIMP's tutorial section on how to change the DPI using this program.
Apparently, Canva will also convert images to 300dpi, but I haven't used that feature yet.
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