If you are planning to write and publish an ebook, you will need some ebook creator tools.
Luckily, you have a lot of choices when it comes to apps and tools to write, format, and prepare your new ebook.
Better still, all the tools in this article are free for you to use.
Self-publishing an ebook is free, fun and for some authors, it can be profitable. Let’s look at what you will need to prepare and publish your ebook.
What you need to know about ebooks
An ebook is an electronic file. When you prepare an ebook for publishing, you may need to convert your manuscript. There are many ebook file types, but the main ones are:
1. Epub is the most common ebook format. Almost all ebook retailers apart from Amazon use it. It is compatible with most smartphones, tablets, and computers.
2. Mobi is one of the original ebook formats. Several different reading devices adopted the Mobipocket Reader format. But Amazon bought Mobipocket in 2005. It is not a current Amazon format now, but it still works on Kindle devices. This makes it useful for sharing ebooks with Kindle readers.
3. AZW is the broad file type Amazon uses for ebooks. When you self-publish an ebook with Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon automatically converts your manuscript.
4. PDF is a well-known file extension. While it is not a dedicated ebook file type, it is useful for sharing an ebook so that anyone can read it on any device.
When you write your book, you don’t need to worry about file types. But later on, you will need some ebook creator tools to help you format and convert your ebook.
Choose the best free tools
You will need to write your book, create a book cover and check your ebook formatting before you publish.
It’s a straightforward process, but the tools below will make it easier for you each step of the way.
So let’s take a look at the choices you have so you can decide which ones will be the best for you.
1. Microsoft Word
While it’s not free, if you have MS Word already installed on your computer, you are ready to write your ebook.
The docx file format in Word is compatible with most self-publishing services, so you can upload your file without any need to convert.
2. Apple Pages
If you use a Mac, Apple Pages is the best option for you.
It a great word processor and has a lot of benefits. You can export in docx and epub and also publish directly to Apple Books.
All new Macs have it installed by default. But if you don’t have it, you can download it for free from the App Store.
3. Google Docs
Google Docs is an ideal alternative for both PC and Mac users.
It’s an online word processor, but you can set it up to work offline.
If you are familiar with Word, you will have no problems writing your ebook with Google Docs.
Every ebook needs a book cover. But hiring a graphic designer or buying pre-made covers can be expensive.
The best free solution is to use Canva to create your ebook cover.
It’s super easy to use and comes with a range of free templates for book covers.
You can read our tutorial on creating a free ebook cover with Canva.
5. Kindle Create
Before you publish your ebook, you will need to format it perfectly.
The easiest way to do it is to use Kindle Create. You can style your manuscript to make it a pleasure to read on Kindle devices.
It is free software from Amazon KDP, and it available for PC and Mac.
6. Kindle Previewer
Kindle Previewer is a free program from Amazon and is available for Windows and Mac.
It is a helpful tool for authors who want to check the quality of a Kindle ebook before publishing on Amazon KDP.
If you have images in your ebook, it is the most reliable way to check that you have formatted them correctly.
It also has an import and export function that can help you convert your ebook to an epub file.
Calibre is often referred to as the Swiss Army Knife of ebook creator tools.
There is so much you can do with it. But for most new authors, you will use it to convert your ebook manuscript to mobi, epub, and pdf.
If you are technically minded, you can also edit your ebook in epub or HTML.
It is available for PC, Mac, and Linux.
Before you self-publish on Amazon, you have to select two categories and seven search keywords.
A lot of new authors make the mistake of not doing any research and then guessing at filling in the boxes.
You need to research your keyword selections well before you publish your ebook.
The most popular tool for finding keyword data for books on Amazon is Publisher Rocket. But it is not free.
If you want a free alternative to Publisher Rocket, then Sonar will help you find relevant search keywords for your ebook.
I did a lot of searches with Sonar, and I didn’t notice any restrictions. Another good point is that it doesn’t ask for your email address.
9. Book Description Generator
When you publish your book, you need to include your book description.
However, after you publish, it will appear as plain text on your Amazon book sales page.
A great way to improve the chances of selling your ebook is to format your book description creatively. However, unless you are familiar with editing HTML, it is not easy.
The quickest and simplest way to format your description is to use the free Book Description Generator from Kindlepreneur.
As a bonus, you can also format your description and editorial reviews for Amazon, as well as Barnes & Noble and Kobo.
10. Free 3D book covers
You always need to promote your book to find readers and book buyers.
Most authors use social media and a blog to help get the word out about a new book.
But using a flat version of your cover is not as appealing as creating a 3D version of your cover.
There are many cover tools available, but I found one that is free and doesn’t require you to register or give your email address.
DIY Book Covers is so easy to use, and you can create your eye-catching covers in only a minute or two.
You don’t need to spend a penny on ebook creator tools.
The tools in my list have you covered for all aspects of writing, formatting, publishing and promoting your new ebook.
All you need to do now is get to work on writing your book.