FREE RESOURCES FOR AUTHORS AND SELF PUBLISHERS
LibreOffice Productivity Software
If you like Microsoft Office but can't afford the price tag or would prefer a free alternative, LibreOffice is a free, but powerful productivity software suite that fits the bill. This software allows users to easily create spreadsheets, presentations, publications, databases and word processing documents. There is even a function that allows the end-user to save work to the cloud. I like that it is stand-alone software that's not bundled with other software and doesn't require anything else to run. Most of all, I love that it is a complete package. Once the user opens LibreOffice, there is an option to create a spreadsheet, presentation and so forth. In order to switch over to use a different application such as the publication or word processing software, there is no need to exit the app. The user can switch seamlessly through the apps because they are all locate on one dashboard. LibreOffice is compatible with correspondent Microsoft software.
DIY Book Design
Have you ever wondered how to make cool 3d mockups of your books or e-books? Sure you can hire someone or purchase software or a subscription to software. DIY Book Design is an easy to use online book mockup maker. Best of all, it is free. This software allows you to create beautiful single designs with just one book or tablet image or a composite design that includes a book, tablet and phone. This software is a must have. I can't believe I didn't discover this one earlier.
Tec-IT is a free online barcode and QR-code generator. The software offers a plethora of barcodes, including event barcodes, qr-coded business cards, UPC's and more, for users to generate and download in a .gif or pdf format. Honestly there are too many different barcodes to name, and I don't know what half of them are used for. However I am familiar with barcodes for books. Authors and publishers can download ISBN 13 (International Standard Book Number) barcodes and ISBN 13 + 5 Digits (including price). For publishers of magazines, newspapers, journals and periodicals, ISSN's (International Standard Serial Number). Before you spend money paying someone to generate a barcode, check out this site. It is super user-friendly, and again, it is completely free.
Calibre is a powerful eBook conversion, easy to use e-book manager that lets its users convert content to and from an extensive list of formats--making it compatible with just about any e-reader. Features include a comprehensive e-book viewer, the ability to share and backup libraries and a simple, user-friendly interface. The conversion feature automatically detects book structure, and the application has a built-in editor where users can preview changes in real time. Calibre is absolutely free and available for Windows, macOS and Linux.
Shaxpir's user platform assists users in writing and allows them to organize and store documents. The free package includes a manuscript builder, world-building notebook, margin comments, concept art and spell checking & linguistics tools. It also has tools for goal setting, progress tracking and exporting to HTML or Microsoft Word. I looked at it and have to admit that I was quite impressed. Shaxpir works on both Windows and MacOS.
This must-have tool allows authors and self publishers to create social media videos, attractive posts and eye-catching book covers. Canva offers a variety of templates and copyright free graphics that authors can use to masterfully create logos, websites, and marketing materials such as flyers, postcards and novelties.
HandBrake video encoder is a tool for converting video from almost any format to a selection of modern widely, supported codecs. With its simple interface, users can get started with HandBrake in a matter of seconds. Simple, easy, fast. I often use it to reduce the size of my videos. Authors with video trailers may find this to be a useful tool. HandBrake is absolutely free and available for Windows, MacOS and Linux.
Streetlib's one-stop shop lets users write, publish and sell their books. This free online software, packs a powerful punch, allowing users to draft and edit content, choose from a set of impressive themes, and download ready-to-go files for all major platforms. StreetLib handles publishing needs for e-books, audiobooks, podcasts, comics, magazines, Print On Demand and online reading with no upfront costs! This is definitely worth checking out.
Last on my list, but certainly not least, Kindle Create free software provides the tools to create beautiful books every time. The software features professionally designed themes with chapter titles, drop caps and image placement options. The site includes downloadable tutorials and FAQ's. In addition to the professional templates and WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) view that allows users to see their works on different devices the way their readers will, this software is both a time and money saver. For that, I give it two thumbs up. Kindle Create is available for download for PC or Mac.