You hear the excuse often.
“Man, if I only knew this tool existed I’d have my book published by now.”
“I want to start a blog, but I don’t know where to start. There’s so much information.”
“If only I knew how to create an eBook, my book will not stay silent inside me.”
Here’s the good news. We live in vastly different world from the one our parents knew, and there are online tools for virtually everything you want to do. The difference between success and ‘not doing it’ could be the tool you don’t know about.
After publishing my first book and a free eBook on the art of using stories in your writing, here are a few tools that I know, use, or have heard of that could be useful to you, if you’d like to write a book.
To actually write the book
1. Pressbooks ( www.pressbooks.com)
I used this tool a little during the lead up to the launc to the launch of my first book. It works well, and has the feel of a WordPress website back office. It’s also free if you allow their watermarks on your book. But if you don’t want the watermarks then you have to pay to have it taken off.
2. Scrivener ( www.scrivener.com)
I don’t have any experience with scrivener, but some people that I respect online — Tim Ferris and others — have said good things about it, and so they are worth checking out. Let me know what you think of it, if you end up trying it out.
To Practice Your Writing/Share Your Thoughts
3.. Medium (www.medium.com) You’ve probably noticed me use it a few times. Yes, medium is my favorite writing site online. I love their font, the white background, the professional look, and the ability to share your writing with other writers and get feedback.
4. Linkedin Pulse: This is LinkedIn’s official publishing tool, and everyone with a LinkedIn account has the ability to share their thoughts on this platform. Take advantage of it — it could lead to your thoughts getting shared far and wide. Give it a try.
To Make E-book Covers
5. xheader ( www.xheader.com)
This is the tool I used to make the cover of my book. It works well, allowing you to take a photo and write what you want on it — -book title, subtitle, and author name. Plus, you can use it to create website headers, banners, and a lot more.
This is where the magic happens. Go here, upload your photo, and watch your book come alive. Why I love this tool? It works well with the mind. I love to see the end product of what I am working on ahead of time, and a 3D book cover helps me begin with the end in mind. Anytime I see the book cover, I tell myself this book must live, and I keep writing, simply filling it with content.
PS: Go to 3Dpack.com and check under ‘tools and extras.”
To create your book’s launch page and start selling
7. Booklaunch ( www.booklaunch.io)
I heard of Booklaunch in the lead up to the launch of my book. Before I had never heard of it— until I saw it on Gumroad’s blog. Upon checking it out, I signed up and began using it to create my book’s landing page. It worked out well. The interface is simple and gives you the ability to add many book link integrations — Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Gumroad, and a lot more. Here’s what my page looks like. And did I mention that it’s free — for basic uses — and paid if you want premium features.
Gumroad is my favorite web app online. Hands down. I literally knew nothing about coding until I tried to embed their payment cart on my blog, and realized through the process how learnable coding could be, at least to embed stuff. But Gumroad also gives you a way to upload your eBook — in PDF format, mobi, or epub — to their servers and adds a simple book page that your buyers can simply download your book from after paying it.
You can also take the page link and put it on your website, but if you want the fancy overlay, read their instructions here on how to embed that in your website’s HTML header and give your buyers the beautiful experience of buying directly from your site without being redirected to an external page.
These guys offer everything you need to get your book out. They help you with eBooks, printed books, print on demand books, as well as design and creative services — the whole works.
Like they say: Create your account, upload your book, share with the world, and earn cash on every sale. Like Bookbaby, they also have it all.
And yes, there are more — more than I can list here. If you’d like to learn more, I will be writing a follow (a part 2 ) to share more tools for the writing life. You will discover tools to collect emails leading up to launch, tools to share sample chapters, tools to find free photos to use for your book cover, and more.
And if you know of tools I’m not aware of, please share them in the comments below. Thanks.
Kingston Temanu, author of Get To Know Your Backyard Opportunity and the free eBook Start With A Story