Tech-tools for self-publishing

Bookshelves background with text in foreground saying Tech-Tools for Self-Publishing books and ebooks

Below is a collection of technical tools (tech-tools), information and links for hands-on self-publishing authors (as opposed to self-publishing authors who are purchasing a large package of services from a self-publishing company).

ISBNs
International Standard Book Numbers are free in Canada.
Learn more and register at Library and Archives Canada.

Barcodes
Barcode are needed if you want to sell a print book in stores with bar-scanning system. ISBNs are built into barcodes to make them scannable (stores can also type in the ISBN). Some people get their barcodes from graphic designers. However you can get a good quality barcode from this barcode generator website www.terryburton.co.uk for a donation.

QR Codes are those black and white pixelated squares that you sometimes see on posters, signs and other places. By scanning the code with an app on your mobile phone, it will take you to a particular website. Back around 2010, it seemed like QR codes might become widely used. Now, however, they are regarded as being an outdated fad (except in China, where QR codes are widely used).
So it is up to you to decide if you want to include QR codes in your book or promotional material. If you do, here is a QR Code Generators List

Domain Names

It is possible to have a blog without having your own domain name. Website tools Weebly, Wix and Tumblr will let you to set up a blog with, or without, a custom domain name (e.g. http://3penny.tumblr.com ). However, it looks much more professional and will make marketing easier if you have your own custom domain name.

However, before you buy a domain name, read this author blog full of good tips.  Also to keep in mind: do not accidentally let your domain name expire or it may be extremely costly to get back. To avoid this, when you buy a domain name, it is safer to set it to auto-renew. But be aware, some companies will auto-renew for the same number of years that you first purchased (e.g. if you buy your domain name for 5 years, it will auto-renew for another 5 and you might see a big charge on your credit card that you weren’t expecting).

A few recommended companies to buy a domain name are: DreamHost, NameCheap, Name.com, Gandi.net, and IslandHosting (a local Victoria BC company that also has very good hosting services and customer service).
Islandhosting.com logo

Ebook tools (see ebook section)

Audio Book Tech-Tools

Iambik – converts books to audio books
ACX – turn your book into an audio book
BookTrack – add a soundtrack to a book trailer or audio book

Readers’ Tech-Tools

Shelfie -keep track of your books
Wattpad (read and write)
GoodReads (read, review, author pages)

Marketing Tools

(see also the book marketing section)
Shorten and customize your book’s URL
Do a website meta-data audit
Learn google key words
What is SEO? (SearchEngineLand)
What is SEO? (SearchEngineWatch)
Free SEO Tools (Moz.com)
Free way to check who links to your website (OpenLink)

Graphics Tech-Tools

Canva – online graphics tool
PicMonkey – photo-editing, collage & more (see prices)
GIMP – free image editor
Morguefile – free stock images for commercial use

Editing Tech-Tools

Big list of editing tools and resources by SPA –
Intelligent Editing (Proof-reading software)
AutoCrit (manuscript editing tool)
Smart Edit (for novels and short-stories)
After The Deadline (proofreading software)
PlagTracker (to check for plagiarism)
CopyScape (to check for duplicate text)
Big list of 20 tools to detect plagiarism

Check under the Self-Publishing Resources tab for more information to help you publish your own book.

Did you find any of the tech-tools resources listed especially helpful? Do you have an idea for a resource that should be listed? Please send an email!

Note: Links and information are for research purposes and do not replace professional advice. Accuracy of third-party websites cannot be verified and links do not indicate endorsement.