Writer Resources

The information here will be expanded as time permits. The following resources are highly recommended for writers, whether they are Crenel Publishing clients or not. These are grouped into two sections, tools and platforms (sites through which you can self-publish books).


Tools

Dropbox
This cloud storage, backup, collaboration, and sync tool makes it easy to keep your writings safe. It is also an extremely convenient way to pass large files to and from Crenel Publishing for book production projects.

MailChimp
Considered by some indie writers to be a vital marketing tool, a mailing list can be challenging to manage. MailChimp offers an easy-to-use online list management service that 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.

LibreOffice
Although a text editor and a basic understanding of Markdown format is all you need 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.

In addition to the above recommended resources, the following links are provided for your convenience. These links will not open in a new browser window or tab by default, but you can right-click on them and choose the appropriate option if you want to keep this page open while exploring these links.


Platforms

Self-Publishing - eBooks

Amazon KDP
Not to be confused with KDP Select, which is a special offer within Amazon KDP, this is the self-publishing tool you can use to directly publish your eBook on Amazon.
Barnes & Noble NOOK Press
This is the (recently-revised) self-publishing tool to directly publish your eBook through Barnes & Noble for the NOOK platform.
Kobo Writing Life
In a relatively recent move, Kobo has made it substantially easier for self-publishing authors to add their eBooks to the Kobo platform, via their Writing Life tool.
Google Books Partner Program
Adding your books to Google Books seems more challenging than other self-publishing tools, but it's probably worth your time to check it out.
Apple iBookstore
Also in the "challenging to add your books" category, the Apple iBookstore can alternatively be approached via Lulu and Smashwords (see below)
ClickBank
Before e-readers (and matching apps for other mobile devices) really took off, ClickBank had already established itself with a huge library of eBooks and similar digital content. The PDF format was, and probably still is, the most common format on ClickBank, but it would probably be easy to distribute ePUB or other eBook formats via ClickBank. Due to the rather punitive fees assessed on "dormant" accounts, you should expect to make at least several sales per month (depending on the price you set). If you don't, your earnings can be eaten up by those fees without you seeing a penny. The majority of the products on ClickBank seem to be informational in nature (e.g., Trick Photography And Special Effects), so if your book is an informational product, and you're willing to learn their system, it might be worth a look. They have a well-developed affiliate program to encourage people to promote your work.
Smashwords
Many indie writers use Smashwords as a one-stop-shop for distributing their work. We don't have experience with Smashwords, but the main advantage seems to be simplicity of getting your work in multiple markets and the main disadvantage seems to be less control over your listing in any given market. Feel free to discuss your experiences in the forums!

Self-Publishing - Print Editions

CreateSpace
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
Lightning Source is another print-on-demand service. We don't have experience with them yet but at least some of our planned future projects will probably go through Lightning Source.
Lulu
Lulu provides POD service for books, as well as some eBook distribution (for the Lulu marketplace as well as NOOK and iBookstore). They also produce photo books and calendars.
CafePress
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.