So I was thinking about doing a discussion on Friday about the programs that I use/have found for making the files for publication. Then I realized that this was actually a better topic for a Monday Money post. The reason? Because the programs are an investment. A fairly costly one.
I will start with a free program. One that I highly recommend for anyone, author or reader alike. It is Calibre. It’s a ebook library manager for windows. It has a decent conversation ability and lets you edit epub files as well. That really makes it a very useful program.
My next suggestion is another free program, however it is only really good for the author who is looking at using KDP only. Kindle Create is wonderful if you have no interest in publishing anywhere other than Amazon. It has a previewer and is user friendly.
Another open source /free option, and one I am currently exploring, is Scribus. This is a complicated program with many options.
The last free option is libreoffice. It is a full featured office program that is free. I, personally, try to pay as little as possible for my tools and still try to retain quality. This is the best office program and it is free.
Ok. Here is where I start to talk about cost. Scrivener. It is not an easy program to use. There are a huge amount of tutorial videos on YouTube. It’s cost is $40, but there is often deals that can cut the cost in half. It is a one time cost vs subscription pricing. This program saves files in epub or any other format you want.
Now, this one is a program I found when I was looking for scrivener’s link. Iiving writer seems to be similar to scrivener. It’s pricing is a subscription service. It’s $96 a year or $9 a month.
This post has already gotten bigger than I expected. Next week I think that I will cover 3 pdf programs. That way I have a topic and this post can be ended.
I finally broke down and ordered me a laptop. While, yes, I do have a computer.. It’s old and slow. It does not really have the ability to do anything more than the basics of layout… And it is stationary. That is such a deficit for me. I am not good for sitting in the same place day in and day out. I am considering the laptop as my birthday present to myself. (My birthday is March 13. Presents are so much fun!) I ordered an Acer Aspire 3. I am hoping to be able to do art, writing, gaming and a wee bit of zombie killing (7 days to die).
Complete honesty here…. I never have an easy time with doing reviews. I have read so many books that choosing one to review is a herculean task. Then I feel awkward with tech reviews because most of my writing apps are simple. I use word, evernote, and notebooks for writing (two of which I have already reviewed). I use Canva, and photo studio for cover design (I will review photo studio next week.) And artrage for digital art. Though I have many apps that I use those are the ones I use in creating. I always wonder why anyone would pay any mind to my random game addiction for the week (this week it’s a little game called Slidey and it is adorable), and talk myself out of doing reviews for them. I may try to break myself of that.
There is a story behind the book that I chose for today. I bought it at the school book fair when my daughter was in second grade. It was just barely at her reading level. It was something for us to read together. We alterated reading chapters. The characters were so good that we searched out the rest of the series. The dragon in the sock drawer by Kate Klimo. It is worth the read even for an adult. It is middle grade reading level.
I adjusted the schedule for to give myself options. Thursday reviews from now on will be books only. I have two options for each day and I may adjust further.
Today I am going to talk about the Canva app. The website is wonderful, but this is one occasion when I truly prefer the app. Available for android here. To be honest I don’t know if it is available for Apple as I don’t like the way Apple products work. (But those of you who like Apple, check the appstore and let us know)
It has the base social media image templates. It also has cover design templates. Options for adding graphics, text, or multiple pictures. There are free use pictures, subscription pictures (a monthly fee opens up the use of), and pay for use pictures. The app itself is free.
This is how I have been doing the graphics for my poems and my book cover designs. I enjoy the creative options that Canva offers. I highly recommend it for any graphic design needs. Anything from a flyer or brochure to a book or cd cover. It is loaded with options.
So… In the past I have been awful about updating this blog. I am hoping that if I do a bit of a schedule it may help. So I decided to post my plan… Please be patient with me as I may still lapse.
Monday : poems. That will be the day when I share any poetry that I feel like sharing.
Tuesday : teasers. I have a children’s chapter book that I am working on currently, and Serena has her second book in her zombie apocalypse series. This is when I will be sharing teasers and updates on the work we are doing.
Wednesday : webcomics! This is going to be where I discuss webcomics and perhaps other fandoms.
Thursday : Reviews. Both tech and books. I am a geek who reads a lot. I really need to start doing a review segment on here.
Friday : writing helpers. This is where I will be talking about the technical difficulties that come with writing.
I am not scheduling weekends. And I may end up posting random other than the schedule… Cause life. You get it, I am quite sure. Also I may be less accurate to the schedule in November. I am doing the pad challenge and Serena is doing Nanowrimo. So I don’t know how much extra time for blogging I will have. But I will be posting. Just figure it will be less than I am hoping for.
Do you use multiple devices and need to keep notes between them? Perhaps you are on the go and need to write as you do? Well, that is the reason for this app.
Evernote has three levels of service. I personally found that I need the plus level. There is a free version. Each version is just a bit better. For the plus I can have all of my devices (including phone, tablet, laptop, and computer) logged into my account and syncing. Free only allows two devices to sync at a given time.
You can create as many notebooks as are needed. I find this to be a fairly flexible and useful app. It has allowed me a freedom of movement with my writing. And the premium packages are not terribly cost prohibitive. Plus is $3 monthly or $25 if you do it for a year. (Rounded up..) It’s not a bad app. If you collaborate with others this app has options for that as well. I am really happy with this little memo app and glad that I got it.
You can get it in the Play store on Android Here. Google Evernote for other platforms.
So I have been asked for reviews on the apps I use in both my writing and in my art….I figure that it will help me with content for this blog, so here goes. I do much of my writing on Android devices. If I use either laptop or computer it would be a version of office. However, on android I often need access to notes or easier methods for organization of what I write. I have found a couple of apps that are wonderful for this. Today I am going to give a review on my favorite of them.
notebooks pro is a premium app. It’s not real expensive and there is a free version. I found it so useful that I wanted the full version.
It is extremely flexible and allows for you to create books for writing in.
You can add attachments (pictures) and each page is unlimited. I set up my poetry volume with a number of pages equal to the poems that I want in the finished volume.
You can back it up in dropbox, Google drive or locally… And restore it from any of the three.
Honestly, this is one of my better writing apps. It allows you to export as a pdf or you can copy and paste the text.
I highly recommend it for any one who writes on the go.