The internet and technology have helped regular people side-step the traditional publishing process and become world renowned authors. Of course this is a very small fraction but the barriers are coming down. If you’re thinking of trying your hand at promoting your own work or maybe you’re a seasoned veteran, these 5 apps can help you along the way.
This is a desktop publishing application that resembles the features of Adobe InDesign (but not the price). The app is heavily marketed as being great for producing documents to be displayed on mobile devices and other screens. While it is effective for those tasks, that is not all that it is.
Users can also make stunning layouts that can be translated to print. Just like in a lot of Adobe products there are layers, templates, text controls and other tools. The sky (and threshold of your creativity) are the only limits.
Pages , which can be found in the Apple App store, is a word processing application for Mac platforms. The app allows publishers to arrange the layout of their text, images and other components of their book very easily.
The real value of Pages however is the ability for authors to seamlessly create documents that are constructed for the ePub format. Pages combines the ease of use of a word processing program (with features like track changes, comments, and footnotes) with the ability to arrange manuscripts in HTML and CSS format for conversion to ePub. At the time of this writing the app costs about 19 dollars.
Write or Die
Sometimes half the battle with getting a book self-published is the struggle to finish it. It has been said that procrastination is the thief of time. Write or Die helps keep you on track if you’re having trouble finding the words, moving to the next step or if you’re just too busy to focus on finishing your book.
The app has three modes (gentle, normal, and kamikaze). As you might imagine, each setting has its own methods for keeping you motivated. At one end of the spectrum you will just get some “gentle” reminders about finishing your work. At the other end the app will actually un-write your writing if you don’t get a move on.
Many self-publishers have two things in common. They market their titles themselves and they typically need it done in the cheapest way possible. That leaves authors doing their own promotions online (one of the most effective ways to get a lot of exposure for cheap or nothing).
Hootsuite is simply a social media management tool. One of the key benefits is that you can enter a post and then distribute it to all of your social media networks at once instead of manually going into each network to configure a new post. Any time-saver for promoting your book online can be great to have in your tool box. The basic program is also free.
Notes Plus for iPad
Writers often have thoughts come to them at strange moments. It helps to have something close by where you can scribble out what you’re thinking. Notes Plus is good for that. The cool part is that publishers can then turn the scribbles they want to keep into text for their manuscript.
The app works best of you have a stylus for iPad as opposed to using your finger. Even the best writers can’t make very good notes with their index finger.
Technology has made self-publishing much easier for the average Joe. There are also tons of free or inexpensive applications to make the process of writing and marketing your work easier.
What applications have you found that make self-publishing a snap? Join in the conversation by commenting below.