Here are 10 of the best free tools and self-publishing apps to help with your book publishing and promotion.
We all need some help. The following list of ten free book publishing software and 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 you need to wear.
If you have the best online publishing tools and software, you are one step ahead.
My ten best and most useful free self-publishing tools
You have to write, format, design, publish, promote, market, blog, and then find time to connect with our readers. So you need the best publishing software you can find.
Hopefully, these free book publishing tools will save you a lot of time and give you more time for what you do best — writing a book.
You always need new and fresh images and ebook covers
Canva is a must-have free tool for all authors and bloggers.
Images are vital in attracting attention. But you should use unique images and never copy or download images from Google Image Search.
Canva is a great graphic design tool that 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.
You can upload your own stock images to use with Canva and create truly unique images for your blog or online magazine and to use on social media.
Best of all it is user-friendly and very easy to use.
You can create stunning ebook covers with Canva. Choose from hundreds of templates or create your own from scratch.
2. My Ebook Cover
You need covers for your ebooks. My Ebook Cover is a free app for creating ebook covers in minutes.
With the free version, you can create up to six new book covers to help you in selling your book. It is usually plenty if you are about to publish your first book.
Forget trying to create your book covers in Word, Microsoft Publisher, Adobe Indesign, or desktop publishing software.
This free cover app is a much better solution for you to create professional design standard ebook covers.
You have access to 1.5 million images to use for your new cover, so you are sure to find the right graphic design for your book.
Always triple check your spelling and grammar
Prowritingaid is a fantastic grammar and writing checker. It includes so many checks and reports to help improve your writing.
It is one of the best writing aids for self-publishing authors. The tools and reports dig deep into your text and offer you a huge range of suggestions to improve your writing.
You can add extensions for Chrome, Microsoft Office, Google Docs, and Scrivener.
There is a free version of ProWritingAid available that offers you plenty of functionality to help you check your writing.
Authors might think about the modestly priced premium version, which includes all the reports and editing tools.
ProWritingAid is my number one go-to editing tool when I need to work intensively on book manuscripts.
Grammarly is by far the best and most popular online grammar and spell checker.
You can use it 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.
It is ideal for quickly checking your blog posts and content marketing articles when you are writing online.
The free version works extremely 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.
Manage all your KDP books
5. KDP Wizard
KDP Wizard gives you easy access to all of your book data and files in a quick and functional format — directly in your Chrome browser.
The KDP Wizard browser app is the Amazon KDP tool for listing and editing all your book information in one place.
There is a Rich Text Editor for book descriptions, to make optimized product descriptions simple.
You can search & select categories easily, speeding up the listing process.
Easy access to keyword profiles, authors, contributors, descriptions, pricing profiles, and more through smart dropdowns.
Copy all page attributes from one listing tab to another, to save time when creating multiple new books.
Check out all the features that are available to manage all your books on Amazon.
Best of all, there is a totally free version you can use.
An ebook editor and much more
Without a doubt, Calibre is the number one ebook tool every indie author should 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.
Crunch your images for faster site loading
ImageOptim 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 users can try FileOptimizer.)
Track your book sales
BookCore provides a 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
Working with images is a regular task for authors now. But Photoshop is very expensive. 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 or DTP software.
For Mac users, there is also Seashore, which I also use from time to time for book design mock-ups for covers.
A free tool from Amazon Kindle
10. Kindle Create
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. You will be up and running in no time at all.
You need to download and install the app on your computer from Kindle Direct Publishing. It is available for both PC and Mac.
There is a wide range of free book writing software, free word processor applications, and online tools for self-publishing authors.
Apart from my favorites listed above, I use quite a few more to help save me time.
Not everything is free nowadays. But if and when I am convinced a tool, application, or online service is worth paying for, I will.
But many of the online writing tools and applications a self-publishing author needs to use each day are available for free.