A collection of our life saving resources:
Looking for ways to make proofing our book as easy as possible for friends and family, we found free software called Calibre that can create, convert, and organize ebooks in various formats. We were able to create something and send it right to a Kindle with minimal angst. Understanding a little HTML helps in the editing process.
When we wanted a printed copy of our book to give to friends and family for proofing, but weren’t quite ready to publish, we went with LuLu. While LuLu didn’t have all the features we wanted, LuLu didn’t require an ISBN when printing for “personal use”. LuLu also let us buy as many copies as we wanted, while Createspace required approval for every 5 copies. LuLu was perfect for the purpose of printing a draft for the first round of edits.
When it came to marketing, we needed help with creating graphics, website icons, book covers, etc. Canva has been a vital and free tool, and is extremely easy to use.
We’re busy people, and rereading over and over to stay fresh on details isn’t always easy. Our eyes and brains get tired! We found this amazing app called NaturalReader that allows us to paste in text or upload documents, then choose a voice to read it. It’s a little robotic, but natural enough that we’re able to drive, listen, and hear what our story sounded like. We caught many major errors this way that our tired eyes missed. It also takes .epub ebooks (but not .mobi), which we take full advantage of. A British voice is a definite bonus!
We needed a graphic made by an artist, and we needed a complicated one. We found a website called Fiverr that had hundreds of artists looking for someone like us. You can have almost anything made, and for very reasonable prices. Our artist (venom_hunt) was very quick with redesigns and good at taking our feedback into account. He also did amazing work!
We love using WordPress for designing our website. We are not web developers and we’re teaching ourselves as we go. We do work with computers for aliving, so being able to teach yourself to use the interface as well as a little bit of coding is a huge help. We love being able to switch between the visual and text editor. There are a lot of things I have to be able to do in text, so that’s a wonderful feature. There are also limitations to WordPress, but most can be fixed with a plugin.
Google Drive made co-authoring instantly a possibility. We were able to chat, edit the same document at the same time, see notes and suggestions, and keep everything organized. We can do almost everything through Google Drive and its various apps through our phones as well!
We found our way around Microsoft Publisher when creating our kit pages. After a learning curve, the features made our big idea a reality without the legal complications.
If you’re looking for more, we provide FREE PDF novel organization pages for download in our Author Kits.