Programs Used for Self Publishing

Discussion in 'Self publishing' started by S.J. Faerlind, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    For self publishing, an author needs some computer software: for writing/editing/formatting and possibly for graphics and file conversion as well. What programs does everybody use?
     
  2. Richard Falken

    Richard Falken The Best Epic Literature Ever Written.

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    Operating System:
    • Slackware Linux x86_64.
    Text processing, auxiliary documentation:
    • Libre Office Writer.[1]
    Ebook coding and formatting:
    • Sigil.
    • Vim.[2]
    Image manipulation:
    • The Gimp.[3]
    [1] - Also useful for formating press releases.
    [2] - Mainly for coding XHTML, HTML and Epub files by hand. Conventional editors generate dirty code.
    [3] - Also used for formating press releases of covers and backcovers.
     
  3. zmunkz

    zmunkz Member

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    Scrivener, for everything from worldbuilding to manuscript submission. Haven't gotten past that step yet :)
     
  4. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    For myself:
    MSWord: writing, formatting
    Corel Painter: graphics
    Calibre: document conversion to different formats

    Has anybody used Adobe's InDesign? It sounds powerful but I just can't justify the expense of it.
     
  5. zmunkz

    zmunkz Member

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    I've used InDesign for website design and graphic design... very powerful, but not useful without a good deal of training. However under the Adobe CC pricing it is only $20/mo.
     
  6. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    hmmmm... I looked it up the other day and it was listed as $50/month

    I imagine it would be difficult to use unless one was very familiar with it. Was it difficult to learn? Some programs just seem to be intuitively obvious to operate and others...not so much. Painter was miserable to learn but now that I know it, I vastly prefer it to Photoshop.
     
  7. zmunkz

    zmunkz Member

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    I've used photoshop for years, so I didn't find InDesign too hard to figure out from there... but it did take a long time to figure out photoshop. Depending what you want to do, your best bet is finding a bunch of tutorials and just follow along until you get a sense of what the tools are and what they do. Might be cheaper to go onto fiverr.com or similar and hire someone with experience to do cover / art work for you.
     
  8. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    While I'm sure that would undoubtedly improve the cover artwork, where would be the fun in that? lol I understand that InDesign can be used for the book formatting as well, not just the cover, or am I wrong about that?
    And you were right, there is a CC membership where you can get only one app for $20/mo and InDesign is on the list of available single apps.
     
  9. zmunkz

    zmunkz Member

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    True. I had someone on fiverr make my characters (because I lack the skillz) then I've been playing around in photoshop setting them to different backgrounds and stuff.

    InDesign is meant for print media, so it can do any kind of layout you want. You just need to do all the math for binding thickness and all that stuff, based on the number of pages you have.

    ** I'll disclaim though, I am far from an InDesign pro. I've screwed around with it. I work with Photoshop and AfterEffects generally, the other Adobe apps I've just used in one-off cases for this or that
     
  10. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    The need to do the math for binding thickness is critical to sizing the cover correctly and for positioning the text on it. That is very useful information when considering what printer you go with for printed books, so thanks for that info! Some of them will provide that information to you ahead of time so the cover can be planned appropriately. You simply tell them the number of pages in the document and they figure it out for you. If they don't do that, you have to hope you do the math correctly. Since it is also the printer that determines what file formats they will accept, they also can indirectly influence what programs you use to generate those files. Self publishing is anything but simple....

    The reason I'm asking about InDesign is that Ingramspark really likes it to be used for file creation and the cost to print books with them is much less expensive than other companies. I'm trying to determine if the cost of InDesign offsets the savings on the printing and if the hassle of jumping through Ingramspark's hoops to use their services is worth it.
     
  11. Richard Falken

    Richard Falken The Best Epic Literature Ever Written.

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    Callibre is nice for personal use, but it is not meant to be used for publishing.

    Automagic converters can generate a lot of garbage code and mess publishing metadata if you are not careful. Hell, I have seen some Adobe publishing tools generate very weird code for ebooks.
     
  12. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    It seems to me that it doesn't seem to matter what programs you use to convert ebooks...something in the darn things doesn't come out the way you intended it. :p
     
  13. Richard Falken

    Richard Falken The Best Epic Literature Ever Written.

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    That is why I recommend learning the format specifications of the books you are working with when possible, but I suppose it is nto practical for most people :)
     
  14. Julie

    Julie Well-Known Member

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    In Belgium and The Netherlands, you have companies doing that for you. They're helping authors who want to self publish their book. You pay them (I don't think it's that pricey, but I don't know, depends on the company,..) and then they take care of all the graphic design, printing, etc. You don't have these?
     
  15. Dragonsfang

    Dragonsfang New Member

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    Hello , I been looking for the software to convert my book for Itunes . I uploaded my book on Amazon , We are still new at this each book has to be formatted for each E-book store,
    I been trying to get the image just right it does not come out right at all what I expect . :(
    Any idea's ? ...
     
  16. Steven S

    Steven S New Member

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    Not sure if you're still having problems, but if you publish your ebook through Smashwords, your book will be uploaded to iBooks and other ebook retailers. The process is quite demanding (more difficult than Amazon) but there's a detailed 'how to' online to help. I hope this is some help.
     
  17. Almille

    Almille New Member

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    Yes we have those same companies in America, but the one I spoke with the other day wanted $2500.00 up front. I think some beginning authors don't have an extra two grand lying around to put into a book that may or may not be successful.