Free Tools for Stressed Indie Authors

While choosing to become a self-published author grants you unlimited creative freedom, it also adds a lot of items to your to-do list!

If you’re not careful, it’s easy to get weighed down by all the tasks and responsibilities that come with being an indie author. You might even start to lose your love for writing, which would be a crying shame.

One way to alleviate the stress that comes with successful self-publishing is to leverage the power of freely available technology and tools. 

We are fortunate to have access to a wide array of different apps and software solutions. For every self-publishing stress, there’s almost certainly a free way to alleviate it. It’s just a matter of finding it!

So you can spend more time on the writing you love, and less hunting around for apps and tools, here are some of the finest free options for self-publishers.

Free Writing and Editing Tools

Let’s face it – default word processor apps haven’t been designed to meet the needs of authors.

That’s not to say that fantastic books can’t be produced using something like Microsoft Word or Google Docs. Good writing will always win the day, no matter what it’s produced with.

But if you’ve experienced the stress of trying to draft and improve something as complex as a novel, you’ll know that your standard writing apps aren’t exactly ideal.

If you’re looking for a more specialized writing solution, you’re in luck. Some of the best are completely free.

Here are some writing software solutions worth checking out.

  • yWriter. If you’re looking for a powerful writing tool designed just for authors, look no further than yWriter. yWriter is unique as its creator is a self-published author who just so happens to be a software designer. It’s especially useful for fiction authors as it has plenty of baked-in capabilities such as the ability to keep track of character and scene information at all times. 
  • Focuswriter. Focuswriter isn’t an ideal option for writing a full book, but it’s great for helping you smash through writer’s block. If getting distracted is stopping you from making progress on your word count target, give Focuswriter a try. Its minimalist and customizable interface is designed to help you block out everything but your muse’s voice.
  • Scrivener Trial. OK, Scrivener isn’t strictly free. However, it does have arguably the best free trial out there. When it comes to powerful, fully-featured writing apps, there’s nothing that beats Scrivener. You can experience its full glory for 30 days, even if those days aren’t consecutive! 
  • Grammarly. Nothing’s more embarrassing as a self-publisher than a grammatical error that kills your credibility. If the thought of making a mistake is keeping you up at night, Grammarly is the answer to your woes. The free version is more than powerful enough to not only highlight your errors but also improve your style. 
  • Hemingway Editor. The writing of Ernest Hemingway is legendary for its pared-down power. The writing editor that bears his name will help remove any fluff from your prose, increasing its potency. Why not see if this free option can help improve your next book?

Choosing writing and editing tools might not make you a better author, but it will make you a happier author!

Your writing deserves better than default software, so check out these free options and find the ones you enjoy using the most. 

Free Solutions for Self-Publishing Productivity

If you’re like a lot of creatives, you might struggle with the planning and organizational side of self-publishing. 

The same brain that allows you to imagine new worlds and convey them through writing might find it difficult to keep track of all the moving pieces in a book project.

As an indie author, you’re responsible for a lot of the planning and marketing tasks that a traditional publisher would have handled in the past.

Fortunately, there are plenty of free apps to track and schedule even the most complicated book project, allowing you to devote all your energy to the pure joy of creativity.

  • Trello. Trello is a great option if you’re looking for a simple, intuitive, and even fun planning app. The mobile and desktop versions sync perfectly and the interface couldn’t be easier to understand. You can keep track of all your publishing tasks and set dates and reminders with Trello. 
  • Google Drive. While almost every author uses Google to some extent, not every author uses it to its full potential. Google Drive is a great way to store your creative work in the cloud. It’s easy to share and collaborate with contributors such as editors and proofreaders. For a free suite of tools that work beautifully together, look no further than Google.
  • Todoist. Do you struggle to stay on top of all the things you need to achieve on any given day? It’s easy to get lost in the flow of writing and forget about other important tasks. To keep track of everything you need to achieve as a self-publisher, give Todoist a try. It’s free and easy to use. 
  • Wunderlist. Wunderlist is similar to Todoist in that it’s a relatively simple but powerful free to-do list solution. Why not try both Wunderlist and Todoist and see which you enjoy using the most?

While you’ll always have a lot of tasks to manage as a self-published author, that doesn’t mean they need to feel unmanageable. Finding the right productivity and planning tool will free up your cognitive energy to focus on the creative writing you love.

Free Apps for Beautiful Graphics

Having low-quality visual content is one of the fastest ways to come across as an amateur author. 

While it might seem unfair that readers will overlook your work due to its visual presentation, it doesn’t stop it from being true. 

Your book cover is the most obvious example of visual content you want to get right as an indie author, but it’s far from the only one.

Everything from your social media marketing graphics to your author photo should look professional and polished. 

If you shudder at the thought of having to be visually creative, help is at hand in the form of these free tools and resources. 

  • Canva. Canva is a simple, easy to use online graphics tool. You can make almost any type of graphic you can think of quickly and easily using templates. There are also plenty of free tips and resources in case you’re not a naturally visually-minded person.
  • Book Cover Design. Nothing will get your book overlooked faster than a bad cover. Thankfully, you don’t need to break the bank to get a decent one. Check out this series of free ideas, templates, and tools from one of the best indie book cover designers out there. 
  • GIMP. If you have a complex set of graphics needs, GIMP might be the right tool for you. It’s complex and comes with the learning curve you’d expect from a powerful app. However, if you take the time to master it, it offers similar functionality to Photoshop.

This selection of free self-publishing tools is intended as a little taster to whet your appetite. 

Hopefully, you now see that you don’t have to suffer in silence!

No matter what stresses you have as an indie author, there’s a tool out there to lighten your load. 

Writing and publishing a book might be a labor of love, but it’s a difficult one. Choose the right tools to make your author life as pain-free as possible. 

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