There’s no denying that the world of literature and poetry has changed drastically in recent decades.
In the past, aspiring authors had no choice but to manually write or type out their manuscripts, mail them out to publishing houses and agents, and then pray that somebody would be interested in publishing their works.
However, today, authors don’t need publishers or agents, and many modern writers can make a living through self-publishing.
Below, we’re diving into our list of the absolute best and most popular tools and resources for self-publishing authors.
Writing And Editing Software
As an author, your pen is probably your best friend.
The problem, however, is that it will take you forever to write out your next novel by hand. And even if you did manage to write it all out, you’d still need to have it published somewhere else anyway.
Therefore, most self-publishing authors do most of their writing in a word processing tool, which allows them to write, edit, modify, and create using pre-designed book templates and many other tools that make writing and self-publishing a book much more straightforward than doing it manually.
Ask any modern self-publishing author out there, and they’ll surely tell you that they’ve at least heard of the word processing tool known as Scrivener.
Scrivener is one of the most popular and most advanced word processing tools designed explicitly for authors.
Aside from pre-designed templates for books and prose, Scrivener also offers a whole host of other tools and features that make writing, exporting, and self-publishing your next book as easy as can be!
If you’re serious about becoming a self-publishing author, you’re going to need an editor.
Even authors with the keenest eyes for details will still miss some of their errors when proofreading a work.
That’s why we recommend using an editing tool, like Grammarly, to help you along the way.
You have written a book – congratulations! You are ready to start promoting your brand-new book, but you do not have hundreds of pounds in your budget to spend. We have got your back. Here are our top five free ways to promote your new book online.
1. A Pen Name
You may wish to use your real name as the author of your book. This is great if someone of the same name has not already become a well-known author. Check Amazon for book listings of authors of the same name and ensure that yours is available to use.
If you do select a pen name, make it appeal to your target audience. Be easy to spell and find online. Ensure your pen name can be pronounced by your readers and choose one that rolls off the tongue and is enjoyable to say. The phycology behind this is that the more approachable your brand, the more people will want to talk about your book with their friends and colleagues.
Similarly, another person by your name may be famous for something else. An influencer or another business. Check the handles on social media accounts for your name. It is important that it is available as this will be a driving force behind your future promotions.
2. A Logo
Business branding does not stop at companies and Ecommerce shops. Branding yourself as an author is a clever way to become easily recognisable to your fans. Creating a logo is an excellent way to get started. It defines who you are, what you do and what genre customers should expect. Design a logo for free here.
3. An Email
Welcome contact with your readers by creating a business email. Have a link to your email on your website and social media accounts. Add your email to business cards and, most importantly, put it in your book. Ask customers to contact you with their thoughts on your book.
Many authors cut this part of the process as they are not aware. But how many times have you wished you could ask a writer questions about their story or simply let them know how engaged you were with their words? Makin...
Many people say they want to write a book “one day”, or that they have a great idea for a story. Some might even have had an exciting life which would make an interesting novel or biography to read.
A lot of the time, it’s the thought that they would never get a publishing deal for their book which stops the creative process from even beginning, but in this digital age we find ourselves, publishing a book has never been easier!
Self-publishing no longer has that stigma of poorly written and badly edited books anymore, as more and more people turn to it — especially with so many online options to do so these days. Even many famous authors began with self-publishing and hit it big! So let’s get into it:
Step One: Write your book!
Sure, this might sound strange to put in this guide on publishing, but you only get to publish if you actually finish (or start!) your book. Don’t let “one day” never arrive, make “one day” today. Lock yourself away and get writing! If you’re looking for motivation, join Twitter and get involved in the #WritingCommunity, or join in with NaNoWriMo as a way to push yourself towards your goal.
Step Two: Edit your book
This one is crucial to getting your book widely read and taken seriously (and professionally). Nobody wants to read something with many typos or grammatical mistakes as it will just come across amateurish. If you are unsure on how to go about this, here are some step-by-step instructions, or you can search for an editor on Reedsy.
Step Three: Format your book
Formatting your book is about getting it set right for the size of book you want printing, assuming you are making a print version as well as an eBook. Once you have decided what size book you want, head over to Amazon’s Paperback Manuscript Templates page where you can download a ZIP file full of preset MS Word files. All you need to do it copy your text into it and then you can work on adjusting the layout of the text and chapters to su...
Luke J. Wilson | | Book Extracts, 40 Days with the Fathers
This is the companion to the first book in the series, Forty Days with the Fathers: A Daily Reading Plan. The first book originally took form on my blog as a daily post throughout the period of Lent in 2017 (hence the 40 days), and aims to give you a glimpse into the minds of that great cloud of witnesses that have come before us through short commentary of the early church texts.
This book follows the same forty day pattern and chapter breaks so you can read it alongside the first book, or as a stand-alone reading plan with no additional commentary, as it features the source texts in full as translated and edited by Philip Schaff et al. All the original footnotes are included as well as few of my own where certain things required clarification for 21st century readers. The more learned readers here may notice that I have chosen to only include the shorter Ignatian epistles in this collection—this is because I am convinced by the arguments for their genuineness over the longer letters which are thought to be interpolations.
The reading plan follows a collection of twenty-three early texts in full from the first four centuries. As an additional bit of information, at the beginning of each text I have given a preface which gives a Who, What, Why and When so you can read a short summary about the historical context, purpose for it being written, and the approximate date of each ancient text as well. At the end of each chapter, there is a notes section so you can jot down any thoughts you had during your reading, and at the very end of the book are some useful appendices containing historical data and maps to help bring more visual context the New Testament and Early Church texts.
Each daily reading will vary in length of time to read, and by day 40, you will have read the writings of ten different Church Fathers from the Ante-Nicene and Post-Nicene period:
Didache, Diognetus, Polycarp, Ignatius, Justin Martyr, Cyprian, Athanasius, Cyril of Jerusalem,...
So you’ve recently written a book. Great! Maybe you’ve published it online as a paperback already, but now you want to get it into the hands of those with eReaders and Kindle devices. Seems straightforward enough, right?
An eBook isn’t quite as simple as just handing out a PDF version of your book. I mean, you can do this, but it’s not very optimised for reading on a mobile device via the various eBook apps. It’ll require a lot of pinching-and-zooming on smaller screens!
Your eBook Options
If you’re publishing/published via Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), once known as CreateSpace, then there is an automatic option for you in your author dashboard. It’ll take your uploaded manuscript and attempt to rework it into a formatted Kindle version.
Related: 9 THINGS TO CONSIDER BETWEEN INGRAMSPARK & KDP
Personally, I’ve found this method to be rather hit-and-miss leading to various formatting issues and messy internal code (that makes up the eBook), leading it to get rejected on other eBook publishing websites (I’ll come to these later). Other online publishers offer similar automated methods, and there are even extensions you can get to plug into OpenOffice or MS Word that’ll enable you to export to ePub format.
But there is a way around this using a variety of tools and websites that can help, and using these methods you can create an eBook which will be accepted everywhere and work smoothly on all devices!
As I’ve only had experience with KDP’s automation, I’ll be explaining my methods from that perspective, and the end result will be a working Kindle (MOBI) and ePub formatted eBook.
Step One: Get your Kindle file
The first thing to do will be to upload your manuscript to KDP if you haven’t already. Once Amazon has processed it all, you’ll have the option to download your book as a Kindle preview MOBI file. Doing it this way first will take out the bulk of the work you will ...
If you are about to self-publish your book but are unsure about which platform to use, have a read through this list of things I’ve learnt over the last year or so. I initially published my book on Amazon CreateSpace (now renamed as Kindle Direct Publishing) as that’s all I was familiar with at the time back in Dec 2017, but have since found many other platforms which are also similar. For the sake of this post, I am concentrating on KDP vs IngramSpark as I was looking into, and since have, published my book through IngramSpark.
One of the best points between the two is that Ingram supplies many bookshops across the world. I’m in the UK and am trying to get my book in to the local Christian and indie bookshops. No one (or very few) bookshops will touch Amazon/CreateSpace, but through Ingram I potentially can get my foot in the door.
While KDP is completely free, there are a few things to note about using IngramSpark alongside it. Let’s have a look at a few key differences to be aware of:
1. UPFRONT COSTS
Ingramspark has an upfront cost, whereas KDP is free — but the pros of using IngramSpark outweigh the cons of any costs, in my opinion.
Prices as of 21st Oct 2019 are — eBook: $25 (£19.23), Print: $49 (£37.69)
See the full costing here: http://www.ingramspark.com/features
Along with a title set up fee (above), there is also a cost to making revisions after you have submitted your book for distribution. Any changes to cover design or manuscript will incur a $25 fee on IngramSpark, whereas KDP is totally free. So the major con is the cost of using IngramSpark over KDP, but some of the main pros to consider include:
Opportunity to get into brick-and-mortar bookshops
The ability to create hardbacks, which Amazon doesn’t have.
They also have UK distribution so you can order your own book at an Author discount with fair postage prices, this will like pass onto retailer who may buy your book on wholesale.
7 Tips for Marketing your Book on a Budget
Create a website and/or blog.
Getting an audience who is interested in other things you write is a good place to start, and then you can tag on book promos etc. to your blog posts. It also gives you a mailing list for targeted promos later on as your audience and subscribers grow (And if you're interested, you can view my main blog here).
Make promo advert graphics and share them to your Facebook/Instagram stories.
These always show at the top of people's feed and in Facebook Messenger and so get seen more often than regular posts.
Join Facebook author promo groups.
Join and share links to your sales funnel/Amazon page etc. These groups are often just a massive link-drop groups but it gets your book seen by more eyes, and they often have "follow parties" to gain a few extra likes/follows. Every bit can help!Here's some Facebook groups I am in and which I recommend for different reasons:Self Promo Groups:
Authors Promoting Their Books
Author Book Promotions
Writers and Authors Promotions
Authors, Artists, Book & Art Promotion
Authors, Writers & Bloggers
10 Minute Novelists
Indie Cover Project
Christian Authors Book Marketing Strategies
Join other Facebook discussion groups that are of a related topic to your book (if possible).
Then you may be able to share links direct to you book/blog to people actually interested in your genre. You can also share your promo graphics to the group "stories" and get more eyes on it as well. Facebook will also tell you how many people have seen these stories, and I’ve often gathered 900+ views. That doesn’t mean 900 sales, but I have seen a few sales spike after doing this, plus it means 900 people are now aware of your book which they may have saved for later or recommending to others who might be interested. You never know where it can lead. Please not...
Luke J. Wilson | | Book Extracts, 40 Days with the Fathers
Why read the Early Church Fathers?
Maybe for some of you reading this, the question might better be phrased as: who are the Church Fathers?
No doubt you will be familiar with some of their names: Augustine, Jerome, Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, Justin Martyr et al. You may have even read portions or quotes by some of these men. But that still doesn't really explain to you who they are and why you should care, much less actually read any of their works.
My new book deals with a selection of some of the most influential Early Church Fathers, sometimes also referred to as the Apostolic Fathers (if they lived between AD 70-150), or collectively as the Ante Nicene Fathers for all of those in the period of time preceding the Council of Nicea (AD 325). It is these men who wrote doctrine and defences against heresy and helped to continue and shape the Church in its most formative years.
Some of the earlier Christian leaders of the 2nd Century were discipled and taught by the Apostles themselves. Those include Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch and Polycarp of Smyrna. Still others in mid-2nd century were then taught by those who knew the men who were taught by some of the Apostles. One of the more well-known Bishops who was second generation to the Apostles was Irenaeus (best known for his extensive apologetic works, Against Heresies).
From chapter 21 onward in my book, I look at a few writers from beyond this period (around 356) up until AD 449 where we can observe some distinctive changes in thought and practice.
These people who came before us, those great men of faith, many of whom suffered persecution and martyrdom to preserve the Church and Christ's mission, bridge the gap between the Bible and the present day. They fill the void we sometimes wonder about when we get to the end of reading Acts or the Epistles and think, “what happened next?” or “what happened to the Ephesian church after Paul left?”.
So Why Read What They Wrote?
The Bible didn't just...