Free Tools to create ebooks

Is it possible to use free  tools to create ebooks? You better believe you can!

As many of you know when it comes to finding free tools, you are looking at one person who loves to go hunting for them. I liken it to people going to garage sales to find good deals and then going home very proud of the awesome things you found.
Unfortunately and the difference between a garage sale and a free online tool is  while you might be disappointed once you got home with that awesome item to find that item doesn’t work, when you find a free online tool it’s quite a different.
You have to use caution with any free tool,for the simple reason not everyone is honest and there could be a virus,malware, or spyware hidden in the file you have downloaded. Always use an antivirus before downloading any free tool to keep on the safe side.
Over the last while I have been seriously considering creating an ebook  and coming up with ideas to make it different and unique.
While there are folks who write to establish themselves an expert, grow an email list, make connections or increase traffic, my reasoning is all of the above but also I want to go through the actual process to get a better understanding of how it feels to write an ebook and learn in real  the pros and cons.
I soon realized that it was not enough to just “write a book”, it has to be done in a certain way and you have to have the right tools to make it all come together in a way that you will be proud of and people will want to read and share.
There are some very educational posts, how to’s and thoughts about writing an ebook and I have also read articles on how to write an ebook in 10 minutes ( seriously?) but I have not seen any recent articles about using free tools for creating e-books in the format that I am using.
I know that most folks are on a budget and it can be challenging to do some things. This post is for you and I truly hope it will be useful
The method I used for finding the free tools came from me doing a lot of research and learning from the many people who  are experienced on writing books/ebooks. These people have taken the time  and shared their thoughts about the steps or process people need to use to write a good ebook.
While everyone has their own particular process, there are a lot of commonalities about what you should be doing.
After reading article after article , I then started searching for the free tools that would be useful for anyone person could use to write that book.
You will also note that I have given a few links to the different free tools as some are easier to use than others and I believe that people need to have options on what to use that will be more comfortable for that individual.
Obviously you need to have an idea and concept for any ebook you want to create and you need to make it something that you know about and are really interested in.  Be clear on the purpose to your ebook and a way to do this is asking such questions as Why are you writing your book? What is the core purpose? What is the message you will be giving in your ebook?
While I may sound facetious, the best free tool at this time is your brain – when your write out your reasons, concepts and ideas for your ebook and especially if you use a simple pencil and paper, then you will find that you have a better focus  and will help in the planning.
While we all live in a digital age, it is our free tool of the brain that can make everything come together.
Lets get started shall we?
Ebook cover Free tools to create ebooks
Part One

 Expand your thoughts.
When you have written down the ideas for your book and brainstormed it with your friends or family, it is time to see if this kind of book will be useful to others.

Thoughts:
*Identify your audience by asking yourself who would be interested in your book, what industry are they in.
*Find out what ebooks have been published and how popular is the topic.
*You can create surveys to see if your subscribers would be interested in this ebook.
*Research using  use keywords and long tail keywords to see how popular this type of book will be.
*Gather your content using such free tools as search tools and read about your chosen topic and maybe to even cite an article in your ebook.

Free  tools to use
Survey Tools
Kwiksurveys
FreeOnline Surveys
Esurv
 Search Tools
Amazon search
YouTube search
Social Mention
Smashfuse 
Social Search
Free Keyword Tools
Ninja Search Combination Tool
Keyword Discovery
Übersuggest

Part Two

Write your E-book
I just read that title “Write your e-book” and I kind of laughed.
So far you have ideas, you have done surveys, you used search tools and keyword tools and at this moment all you have is a bunch of writing with no way to make an ebook work.
So – lets get to the meat and bones of the writing of an e-book

Thoughts
* Write an outline for your e-book. An outline will help save you time as you will be writing down your main points and it gives you a sense of direction. From those main points you will get a feel for the chapters you will create if that is the kind of e-book you are writing.

Free Tools to use
TiddlyWiki
A  note-taking web application you can download for free, store wherever you like and customize however you wish.
Sigil.
Sigil is a free, open source WYSIWYG ebook editor. It is designed to edit books in ePub format
Calibre
Calibre is a free and open source ebook library management application. It can convert to and from all the major ebook formats.
OpenOffice
Open-source, multilingual productivity suite, available for Windows, MacOS and Linux.
Evernote
Powerful note-taking tool working in the cloud
TextRoom
Full screen text editor developed with writers in mind.
Dark Room
Dark Room is a full screen, distraction free, writing environment.

Part Three

Edit  and Proof Read
You have spent a long time writing your content and getting everything the way you like and the temptation to say “time to publish” is very strong. Fight that urge!
Regardless of reason for creating an ebook , you want your readers to see only the best content and the best design.
Editing and proof reading is very important.

Thoughts
*convert your draft into a PDF and then read it . When reading as a finished book, you will be able to see how others will read your book and if you see errors you can correct them
*A good friend shared this with me. Read your ebook out loud, it will help you see problems such as wording being clumsy or the way you worded a sentence makes no sense.
( Talk into a microphone while reading your ebook out loud.  If you like how everything sounds,  you could create a audio version of the ebook)
*Some points to look at when proofreading
 Check for:
misspellings
punctuation errors
inactive hyperlinks
spelling words the same consistently
typos
is the formatting proper?

Free Tools to use
A little bit over a year ago, I wrote a post about free online proofreading tools. The tools that are shared are as good today as when I wrote them, so check out that post
Intelligent Editing
ProWritingAid – tells you what to improve, but also how to improve
EditMinion
  An online tool that is in Beta but after trying it out, I will say it’s a great tool for editing
ClicheFinder  Paste your draft in the space provided, click the “Find Clichés” button, and gulp every phrase that is  a cliche is highlighted in Red
1Checker is a free online checker (requires registration) which checks your spelling and grammar and enhances text readability.
VirtualWritingTutor
is a free grammar checker that finds common spelling and grammar errors. This is a bit of an unusual tool to share as this tool is for learners of English as a second language.
LanguageTool
 An Open Source proofreading software that you can download for free.

Part Four

Design Your Ebook
To be honest,I wasn’t sure if I should have started this post with Designing your ebook as  there are elements of design that should be thought about when you are planning your book.
After  you finish reading this post on free  tools creating ebooks, then you should take the time to get a perspective of how you are designing your ebook along with the content.

Thoughts
*Are you going to be using power point or word when writing your ebook?  When you were in the planning stage, how did you visualize it.
*The ebook table of contents is a great way to keep yourself organized, but more importantly when creating a long ebook your readers will thank you because they will tell at a glance where they want to read.  If you link your table of contents with the header, your readers will be smiling.
*when using images, graphics is important to the ebook and it needs to match the content and your style.
 consistency is always the important part of creating an ebook
*Many people enjoy using quotes and using quotes on an ebook adds interest.
Think about how you are going to design your quotes and be sure to add the author attribution and where you got the quote.
On the Adlandpro blogging Community I had written about different free tools that you can use to create image quotes, that will prove useful.
Regardless of how you are going to use quotes, put thought into using the form of content.
*A lot of people wonder at what to use in terms of fonts, size, colors in the  content. I am going to hand your over to Kim Bryan and her post on top 10 mistakes of ebook design as she must of read a lot of peoples minds when they were asking similar questions – a good read!
*When creating your ebook cover, keep to a theme that represents the content of your book. I know that many  professionals who may read this post will give a lot of pointers and many will say to hire a professional as this is the best way to have your ebook seen professionally .  While I may agree to a point, I will say that using free tools to create ebooks and covers can be done for free and not be seen as an amateur.

Free tools to use
SourceFabric open source book type that helps to turn your intellectual property into ebooks
Free Ebook Cover Creator
Amazon Createspace
Covercreator.net

My Cover Maker
EPUB Converter
EZ Ebook Templates ( free templates)
If you are creating an ebook using powerpoint
here are a few free alternatives to look at
Google Docs
Visme
HAIKU DECK
Office Free 2013 

Part Five

Ready to Publish
You have done everything from planning,writing, editing, proofreading etc. Everything is as you want it or have you?

Thoughts
*There  are some important pages you need to think about when creating your ebook:
1. Copyright  Usually you would put a copyright on an ebook that you are going to sell. If you are going to give the ebook away with the intention of letting others share your book, you should always put a legal notice of some kind setting out the terms of how people can share
2.Do you need to put in a disclaimer? Depending on the type of e-book you are creating adding a disclaimer is important.
3. How many people think of adding an acknowledgement? Personally I feel it is a good idea to thank those people who have been supportive, or who have been a good resource for you. I’m sure these people will appreciate you for mentioning them and adding in their business is a good way to extend your e-book being shared.
4. Creating a good preface is important as it will let people know what your ebook is all about.

Free Tools to use
6 Copyright Page Disclaimers to Copy and Paste, and Giving Credit

While it is easy to get overwhelmed when creating your first ebook as you want everything to be perfect, take your time and follow the time proven process. Dedicate yourself and when you start going cross eyed, take a break and walk away from it.
I consider  “the free tools to create ebooks” as a resource  and many of the tools can be adapted to other uses.
Take a moment and share these free tools with your friends and especially to those people who are thinking about creating a free ebook.
Did I forget anything?

 

7 comments

  • Thank you for a really great article. This is very helpful for anyone interested in writing any book, not just ebooks. When the task is broken down and good tools are at hand, what once seemed daunting and impossible enters the realm or the very possible.
    Dave Cottrell recently posted…Are You Pinging?My Profile

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  • Diane, thanks for your patience and determination to find the tools that encourage folks to write their e-books that may have gone unwritten without those tools.

    Reply
    • what a lovely thing to say BJ, as I said on this post, I love finding things, especially tools that will enhance what a person is doing .
      Some of these tools were ones that I never heard of before and I confess lol, that I had some fun in trying them out and for the most part they really are easy to use, which makes them a true benefit for anyone who is multi tasking and wanting to get things done, efficiently and quickly.
      Diane(Blogneta recently posted…Four Tips for Making Money Online FROM Home!My Profile

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  • Wow! Indeed a great article. I don’t think you missed any of the tools needed for doing an ebook. This is useful for the people who is interested doing an ebook, like me as well. Thank you Diane!

    Reply
    • Thank Alexa.

      It has been shown time and time again that by creating an e-book to sell or give away, you are branding yourself, you are adding value to your site ( blog or website) which means its a win win situation.
      Knowing the different free tools to create ebooks just makes sense to share with others as like many folks we are not affluent enough to hire others to do everything for us. I hope one day you will come back and let me know which tool or tools worked well for you
      ^DB

      Reply

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