The resources listed below are of potential interest to all writers, whether or not they are Crenel Publishing clients. The resources are grouped into two sections, tools and platforms (sites through which you can self-publish books).
This cloud storage, backup, collaboration, and sync tool makes it easy to keep your writings safe. It also provides a convenient way to pass large files to and from Crenel Publishing for book production projects.
Considered by some indie writers to be a vital marketing tool, a mailing list can be challenging to manage. MailChimp offers a mailing list management service that is fairly easy to use and will help you keep in touch with your readers. If you have a fan page on Facebook, MailChimp offers point-and-click integration to add a sign-up form right on your Facebook Page.
Although a text editor and a basic understanding of Markdown format might suffice for many writing tasks, sometimes you need a more full-fledged office software suite. LibreOffice offers a high-quality, full-featured suite that you can download for free, which is a refreshing alternative to expensive commercial software.
Books are not just text, and the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is a free image editor that can be used for many image-related tasks when preparing a book and marketing it.
Self-Publishing - E-books
- Amazon KDP
- Not to be confused with KDP Select, Amazon KDP is the self-publishing tool you can use to directly publish your e-book on Amazon. If you publish your book through KDP, Amazon encourages you to enroll your book in their Amazon-exclusive KDP Select program, which will make your book available for reading through Kindle Unlimited.
- Barnes & Noble NOOK Press
- This is the self-publishing tool to directly publish your e-book through Barnes & Noble for the NOOK platform.
- Kobo Writing Life
- This is the site through which you can publish your e-book on the Kobo platform.
- Google Play Books Partner Program
- Adding your books to Google Play Books is not the easiest, in large part because they have mostly stopped accepting new publishers. If you have an account, though, it gives you access to an e-book platform that is integrated with the vast array of Android devices.
- Apple iBooks Store
- Also in the "challenging to add your books" category, the Apple iBooks Store is often approached through third-party book aggregators such as Smashwords (see below).
- Many indie writers use Smashwords as a one-stop-shop for distributing their work. Aside from sales and distribution on the Smashwords site itself, a key advantage is the ease of listing your work in multiple markets. An important disadvantage is that you may have less control over your listing in any given market, which is true for any aggregator and is not specific to Smashwords.
- Draft2Digital is another service like Smashwords that allows you to upload your e-book files in one place and have your book available to buyers on many other platforms. It is often referred to as D2D, leading to the incorrect assumption that their name is Direct2Digital.
Self-Publishing - Print Editions
- Books, DVDs, and CDs can be self-published through CreateSpace. As an Amazon company, this is very well integrated with the Amazon retail site and is an easy, low-cost way to have a print edition of your book. It is a "print on demand" (POD) service, which means there is no requirement to purchase a certain number of copies.
- Lightning Source and Ingram Spark
- Lightning Source and Ingram Spark are print-on-demand services offered by Ingram, a major distributor of books and many other products.
- Lulu provides POD service for books, as well as some e-book distribution. They also produce photo books and other products.
- The print-on-demand service for books through CafePress is not really competitive compared to others, in terms of price, distribution, etc. However, CafePress handles many kinds of products (buttons, bumper stickers, hats, t-shirts, calendars, greeting cards, license plate frames, mugs...) and those products can potentially be used for creative marketing of your books.