Self Publishers! Awesome Tools & Resources for Producing & Creating YOUR Book

*This is part 3 in the series Awesome Tools & Resources for Writers (Mostly Free) and is cross posted from my site Ladies Who Critique.com. Find part 1, Writing a Book here. Part 2, Querying a Book here.*

3. Producing a Book (for independent & self-published wannabes)

The independence that self-publishing has created is wonderful. Many companies and services have jumped on the bandwagon trying to sell their services and help converting and producing printed books and eBooks. While there is some merit (and certainly convenience) in these services it is possible for those on a tight budget to produce both paperback and digital formats. Here are some great links to get you started:

1. Print on Demand Companies: (e.g. Createspace, Lulu, Lightning Source) Print on Demand (POD) services allow you to print as many or as few copies of your book as you like, have it dropshipped and therefore eliminate the need for a publisher or physical stock. The most common and well regarded companies are:

– Createspace (My preferred POD company)

– Lulu

Lightning Source

Great How-ToHow to Publish a Book Using Createspace, by Karen McQuestion

2. eBook Conversion:

Sigil: “Sigil is a multi-platform WYSIWYG ebook editor. It is designed to edit books in ePub format” For Kindle, and it’s FREE!

eBookburn: “eBookBurn.com is a full-featured eBook creation tool that’s also simple to use. Sign Up Now! It’s Free! No Programming Required”

Kindleprocessor: Kindle formatting conversion for 99 cents.

3. Book Cover Design: I strongly suggest hiring a fantastic book cover designer to produce a cover that looks as professional and pleasing as possible. For great tips on what this involves, get familiar with Joel Friedlanders site, The Book Designer. For those who have some graphic designer skills and/or really cannot afford a professional’s help, royalty -free/ low cost images are available from:

Graphic River.net

istockphoto.com

Dreamstime.com

Bigstock.com

The Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog

4. Publishing Digitally

– Publishing on the Amazon Kindle: https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin

– How to Publish on Kindle (by Amazon) You Tube Video

– Publishing on Barnes & Noble Nook: www.pubit.com

– Smashwords: For publishing on other eBook retailers and platforms (Kobo, iStore, Sony and more) I suggest converting your manuscript for Smashwords (the infamous meatgrinder is notoriously difficult to format for, but please see below for “easier” guidelines) http://www.smashwords.com

– The Official Smashwords Style Guidehttp://www.smashwords.com/books/download/52/1/latest/0/0/smashwords-style-guide.pdf

– The Shorter, Easier, Non-Migraine Inducing Version of Smashwords Style Guide (by Catherine Ryan Howard) http://catherineryanhoward.com/2010/09/06/how-to-format-your-e-book-the-non-migraine-inducing-way/

– Catherine Ryan Howard An eBook Checklist – amazing!  – http://catherineryanhoward.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/ebook-checklist.pdf

As always, let me know if I missed anything!



Laura Pepper Wu is the co-founder of 30 Day Books: a book studio. She has worked with a variety of authors to successfully promote their books, including many Amazon best-sellers. Laura is the author of wedding non-fiction guides and book marketing guides 77 Ways to Find New Readers for Your Self-Published Book and Fire Up Amazon!

Laura also runs Ladies Who Critique, a critique-partner finding site. When she's not working at the studio, you can find her walking her dog, "yoga-ing" or at a coffee shop in Seattle.