Writing Tools for Authors

Writing Tools for Authors is a collection of Tutorials that I hope will be useful for any writer who wants to take complete control of the publishing process.

The most important thing to keep in mind as you read through these guides is that you don’t need to use any of these writing tools. With a little searching, you can find someone who will perform any of these services for you for a fee.  The most important thing for an author to do is to write. It is the only skill that you must master. The rest of this is here for those who want to do it themselves, or want to have a better understanding of what they are asking for when they do approach someone else about performing one of these tasks.



Getting Started with Writing Tools

If you are thinking about self-publishing your novel, there are a number of free tools that are available to you.

First, you’ll need a word processor.  Even if you write a novel in long hand on a sheet of parchment eventually you’ll need to move it it a digital medium. I use OpenOffice. It is free, runs on just about everything, and is easy to install.

Second, your book is going to need a cover. You may want to have a professional create a cover or you may want to try it yourself.  If you are going the do it yourself route you’ll need some sort of drawing program. I used Gimp.  Again it is free software and it runs on Windows and Linux desktops.

Using OpenOffice

It’s tempting to just grab any word processor and start to hammer away at your book, but a few simple steps at the beginning can make all the difference when it comes time to prepare your completed manuscript for publishing.

Getting Started with OpenOffice

Starting a New Page in OpenOffice

Adding a Table of Contents to your Ebook in OpenOffice

Converting OpenOffice to HTML for publishing to Kindle

Using Scrivener

Scrivener isn’t free, but it is inexpensive and it comes highly recommended in the writing communities over on Google+.  You can download a 30 day trial for a PC or MAC at http://www.literatureandlatte.com/index.php The nice thing about this trial is that it is 30 days of use, not 30 days of sitting around and only actually using it once.  After I release Shaper of Air, I am going to use Scrivener for my next book.


Creating a Cover

Your cover is the gateway to your book. It is easy to rush this part, but don’t.

Creating an eBook Cover with Gimp

Creating an eBook Cover with Inkscape

Creating a Book Cover in MSWord.  – This link will take you to the Creative Penn web site where Joanna Penn reviews how to make a book cover with word. I don’t think word is an appropriate tool for producing a cover, but there are some good points about cover design that are worth reading.

Converting your eBook cover to a Print cover for CreateSpace