We all need some help. Here are 7 of the best free tools and self-publishing apps to help with your book publishing and promotion.
The following list of seven free writing tools are the ones I use almost every day. So I can vouch for how useful they are.
There are so many aspects to being a self-published author that it is sometimes hard to count the number of hats we need to wear.
We have to write, format, design, publish, promote, market, blog and then find time to connect with our readers.
Hopefully, these free tools will save you a lot of time and give you more time for what you do best. Writing a book.
My seven best and most useful free online self-publishing tools.
An ebook editor and much more
1. Calibre: Without a doubt, Calibre is the number one tool every indie author must have. It does everything you could need to do when it comes to ebook creation and converting from Microsoft Word to mobi and epub ebook files.
It is also an ebook reader, ebook library and can sync to e-reading devices. For those with a little technical skill, you can also edit HTML, epub and AZW3 (Kindle) or mobi.
Find keywords fast
2. Google Keyword Suggest Tool: Finding seven highly effective keywords to use on Amazon and other book and ebook retailers can be laborious and time-consuming.
Not only that, it can be very hit and miss unless you have access to Amazon customer searches. While this free online tool is called Google, it has a trick up its sleeve.
There is a setting for Amazon. So don’t pay for expensive software to access Amazon’s search data. You can access it for free!
Always check your spelling and grammar
3. Grammarly: (Free & Paid) I don’t know what I would do without Grammarly. It is by far the best and most popular online grammar and spell checker.
It can be used within its standalone app or with MS Office. It comes with plugins for most browsers, including Safari and Chrome. It is also available as an iOS app.
The free version works very well, and I used it quite happily for a year or more. But I upgraded to the paid version a while back, and couldn’t be happier with this must have writing app.
It has saved my bacon so many times.
You always need new and fresh images
4. Canva for beautiful and unique images
Images are vital in attracting attention. But you should use unique images and never copy or download images from Google Image Search.
Canva solves this problem with ease. There are professionally designed templates for Facebook headers, social media posts, logos, ebook covers, business cards and Twitter posts just to name a few.
There is a paid option, but the free version comes with more than enough free images, graphics, icons, shapes and backgrounds for almost any image project you can imagine.
Crunch your images for faster site loading
5. ImageOptim: This is a free software application for Mac and Linux users.
It reduces the size of images before using on blogs or websites by using drag-and-drop. Quick, easy and very efficient. (Windows user can try FileOptimizer.)
Track your book sales
6. BookCore provides powerful book sales tracking platform for self-publishers.
It’s a fully automated sales tracking and analytics service that generates reports, monitors rankings and tracks reviews on multiple marketplaces.
It’s free to use and works on mobile, tablets and laptops.
You always need an image editor
7. GIMP: Working with images is a regular task for authors now. But Photoshop is very expensive, so GIMP is a free open source alternative that works exceedingly well on all platforms.
For those new to image editing, it will be a learning curve, but no more so than for Photoshop or any other image software. For Mac users, there is also Seashore, which I also use from time to time for book design mock-ups for covers.
Bonus free tool from Amazon Kindle
8. Kindle Create is one of the must-have self-publishing apps for all authors.
It has all the tools you need to format perfect ebooks for Kindle. It is very easy to learn how to use, so you will be up and running in no time at all.
You need to download and install the app on your computer. It is available for both PC and Mac.
There are many more free applications and online tools for self-publishing authors, and apart from my favourites listed above, I use quite a few more to help save me time.
Sure, not everything is free nowadays, and if and when I am convinced a tool, application or online service is worth paying for, I will.
However, most of the online writing tools and applications a self-publishing author needs to use each day are available for free.
Are you writing a book? Check our article about free novel writing software.