Complete DIY Self-Publishing Pt. 2: The Toolbox

ToolboxI’ve done my share of minor DIY projects at home over the years. Some were larger than others but all required tools. Screwdrivers, hammers, drills and saws are common to most building projects.

Like home projects, an ebook project needs tools to be completed. You’ll need a cover, various software for development and formatting instructions. Here are some tools that can help you get started in your DIY self-publishing project though this is certainly not an exhaustive list.

1. A word-processing editor. You could use Microsoft Word to develop your text nicely. I still use it for editing and shorter projects at times as well as journaling. But I’m increasingly finding that Scrivener is infinitely more useful for developing writing projects of various lengths. I’ve written a few posts regarding this software an its value to writers but I find its organizational tool, the binder, highly effective – you can read my blog about it here as well as my first blog here.

Hammer2. A formatting guide. Once you have a manuscript ready you will need to verify that it is formatted for e-book usage. Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, has written the very helpful e-book, Smashwords Style Guide, which he offers for free. This book details how to format an e-book. I have to admit that I was apprehensive about this task but with the help of Mark’s book I was able to complete this task well.

3. You will need cover art. I will discuss this in more detail in another post but there are numerous locations to inexpensively obtain a photo worthy of a cover. I’ve written a previous post which lists several of the many sites available (be aware of licensing and copyright). Also, you should be ready to do a little cover art editing using several tools I’ll discuss in detail in another post as well. I haven’t written about these yet but I will soon but the include Gimp, PowerPoint and Online Photoshop. Gimp is free as is the use of free Online Photoshop. PowerPoint comes with Microsoft Office though. However, don’t absolutely need Powerpoint.

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So there are all the basic tools and jobs you will need to completely finish a minor DIY e-book self-publication. You don’t have to get all these yet but be aware that I will be referring to much of this in future posts in this series. Otherwise, all you need is moxie and some virtual elbow-grease to see your book in publication for little cost. As a bonus, here’s the link to my post on why I specifically chose to publish my short story, The Black Bag, as an e-book. Part one of this series appeared on Tuesday and I also have a post on my lessons learned as well as a post of my list of photo sites

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Do you have a short manuscript you would like to self-publish? Do you want to learn and know what to expect when you pay for services on longer writing projects? Have you ever self-published an e-book on your own? If so, what tips can you share. I’d love to hear from you so you are welcome to share in the comments section.I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today!

Thanks for reading!



Cover art image licensed from

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Clip art licensed via Microsoft Office

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