Here are 10 of the best free book publishing software and self-publishing apps to help with your book publishing and promotion.
We all need some help.
I use many of the following free book publishing software and writing tools almost every day, so I can vouch for how useful they are.
Take a look at the choices you have to help you write, edit, publish, and promote your new book. The best part is that most of them are free or at least have a free version for you to use.
My ten best and most useful free book publishing software tools
There are so many aspects to being a self-published author.
It is sometimes hard to count the number of hats you need to wear every day.
If you have the best online publishing tools and software, you are one step ahead.
You have to write, format, design, publish, promote, market, and write blog posts.
Then, you have to find time to connect with your readers.
You need the best publishing software you can find to help you save as much time as possible.
These free book publishing tools will help you do that.
Then you can do what you do best, which is writing books.
All the tools and software on my list are totally free or have a free version.
Take a look and see what these publishing apps can do for you.
Canva is a must-have free tool for all authors.
It’s one of the easiest ways to create stunning ebook covers or experiment with book cover mock-ups.
Images are vital in attracting attention. But you should use unique images and never copy or download images from Google Image Search.
Canva is a great graphic design tool that solves this problem with ease.
There are loads of professionally designed templates.
You can find Facebook headers, social media posts, logos, ebook covers, business cards, and Twitter posts, just to name a few.
There is a paid option. But the free version comes with plenty of free images, graphics, icons, shapes, and backgrounds for almost any image project you can imagine.
You can upload your own stock images to use with Canva.
Then you can create truly unique images for your blog or online magazine and share them on social media.
Best of all, it is user-friendly and very easy to use.
You can also merge book cover images with Canva.
For authors, you have all your bases covered for your book covers and promoting your books.
You need to write a book.
Are you looking for free book publishing software to write a book or novel?
Well, Shaxpir really packs a lot of features into its free version.
The main feature is the Manuscript Builder, where you can use drag-and-drop tools to rearrange any part of your manuscript.
You can also move and change the order of your scenes or chapters.
You can set writing goals for your book project and keep track of your progress.
Importantly, it lets you take notes about your events, characters, and places.
You can collect and save any concept art you find and add your margin comments.
There is also an in-built spellchecker.
There is a lot of free software designed for writing books.
But Shaxpir offers you the widest range of features I have seen in a free version.
You can download Shaxpir for both Mac and PC. There is also an option for cloud access.
Always triple-check your spelling and grammar.
Prowritingaid is a fantastic grammar and writing checker. You can check my full review for more details.
It includes so many checks and reports to help analyze your writing.
It is one of the best writing aids for self-publishing authors.
The tools and reports dig deep into your text and offer you a huge range of suggestions to improve your writing.
You can add extensions for Chrome, Microsoft Office, Google Docs, and Scrivener.
There is a free browser extension version of ProWritingAid available that offers you plenty of functionality to help you check your online writing.
But authors might think about the modestly priced premium version, which includes all the reports and editing tools, with no word count limits.
The ProWritingAid desktop editor is my number one go-to editing tool when I need to work intensively on book manuscripts.
4. Ahrefs Amazon Keyword Tool
You need to research your Amazon keywords.
Whenever you publish a book or ebook on Amazon, you need to add seven search keywords.
Don’t rush into this because finding the best keywords is vital to the success of your book.
There are many ways you can do Amazon keyword research for free.
But one of the best free keyword search tools for Amazon keywords is the Ahrefs Amazon Keyword tool.
All you need to do is enter your seed keyword and then check the results for the best ideas and related search phrases.
For each search, you will get a list of 100 keyword suggestions.
It shouldn’t take you long to find plenty of ideas for your Amazon search keywords.
One other useful feature is that you also get an approximate search volume for each keyword phrase.
An ebook editor, and much more.
Without a doubt, as far as book publishing software goes, Calibre is the number one ebook tool every indie author should have.
It does everything you could need to do when it comes to ebook creation.
It is also a great free tool for converting from Microsoft Word to mobi and epub ebook files.
You get an ebook reader and an ebook library, and you can sync to e-reading devices.
For those with a little technical skill, you can also edit HTML, epub, AZW3 (Kindle), or mobi files.
Crunch your images for faster site loading.
ImageOptim is a free software application for Mac and Linux users.
It reduces the size of images before using them on blogs or websites by using drag-and-drop.
Quick, easy, and very efficient.
(Windows users can try File Optimizer.)
7. DIY Book Covers
3D book mock-ups for your book promotion.
DIY Book Design offers a free tool to create single or composite 3D book covers.
It only takes three quick steps.
Choose your template, upload your book cover image and then download your 3D book cover.
The example above took me less than 30 seconds.
Best of all, it’s free to use for as many covers as you want.
You always need an image editor.
Working with images is a regular task for authors now.
But Photoshop is very expensive. GIMP is a free, open-source alternative that works exceedingly well on all platforms.
If you are new to image editing, it will be a learning curve.
But no more so than for Photoshop or any other image or DTP software.
For Mac users, there is also Seashore. I also use it from time to time for book design mock-ups for covers.
9. Kindle Create
A free tool from Amazon Kindle.
Kindle Create is one of the must-have self-publishing apps for all authors.
It is the best ebook publishing software for authors.
There are all the tools you need to easily create and format perfect ebooks for Kindle.
It will also automatically create a table of contents.
Kindle Create is very easy to learn how to use it. You will be up and running in no time at all.
It’s also possible to use this app to format your print book.
You need to download and install the web app on your computer from Kindle Direct Publishing.
It is available for both PC and Mac.
10. Reedsy Book Editor
Kindle Create is a terrific app for formatting ebooks for KDP.
But what if you want to output your manuscript in EPUB or PDF?
If you are self-publishing on services other than Amazon, then the Reedsy Book Editor might be the answer.
It’s also a free application, and you can register using your Google account or your email address.
The setup process asks you a few questions before you can begin. Nothing out of the ordinary, but it does ask for your location.
I imported one of my novels, and it loaded very quickly, and I could start editing and formatting immediately.
Reedsy offers a lot of other services, so you will probably get some email offers.
But if you only want to format your ebook before publishing and output in EPUB or PDF, this free editor might be a good option.
There is a wide range of free book writing software, free word processor applications, and online tools for self-publishing authors.
But apart from my favorites listed above, I use a few premium apps to help save me more time.
Not everything is free nowadays.
But if and when I am convinced a tool, application, or online service is worth paying for, I will.
However, most online writing tools and applications a self-publishing author needs to use each day are available for free.
Related reading: What To Include On The Copyright Page Of Your Book