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Writing on a Budget

While I have made substantial investments in software and services to get my books published and promoted, I have been told by other authors that it is possible to do it all at no cost. With that in mind, I wanted to write on article on how you might be able to publish your books at no cost.

Step 1: Finding the right editing software.

Many fellow self-published authors swear by Microsoft Word. My personal experience with the software has been problematic though, especially when it comes to properly formatting an eBook. Regardless of my experience, I am told that there are templates available that will help you design, edit and publish your books through Word without issue.

Another currently popular editing tool is provided by Reedsy. If you already use Reedsy or decide to try it out, please let me know your experience.

Step 2: Adding art and creating a cover design.

You can find FREE (for commercial use without attribution) images at Pixabay. GIMP, a FREE image editor, can help you fine-tune your images for the content or the cover. Adobe and both offer FREE cover design applications. I have never used either, so I cannot attest to their quality. Let us know your experience if you are already using them.

Step 3: Selecting a marketing platform.

Through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) program, you can market your books at your chosen price at no cost to you. Other than getting comfortable with the formatting requirements, it is a fairly simple process.

Step 4: Running Promotions

If you do opt to publish through KDP, then you can run two types of promotions at no expense to you as the author provided that you’ve signed up for the Kindle Select program: a Kindle Countdown Deal (reduced price promotion) or Free Book Promotion. If memory serves, they allow you to run one of these promotions on each of your books every three months at no charge.

In addition, there are many websites that will allow you to promote your books for free. A quick search will reveal more than you’ll want to go through. My recommendation would be that you start with Goodreads and work your way through the others.

Step 5: Generating reviews.

Many websites allow authors to provide a free copy of their books to readers in exchange for a review. Readers’ Favorite is a great choice as they will provide a professional review at no cost (there is a cost if you are in a rush and elect for expedited service).

So, at least in theory, it is possible to write, edit, publish and promote your books at no cost aside from the time you invest.

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