Okay, you're ready to create your book and you're looking for some free online book formatting tools to help. Because by now you've finished your manuscript, your beta readers love your book, you’ve run it through a couple of electronic editors and your copyeditor has given your manuscript the green light. Or maybe you’ve got an idea for a lead magnet to tempt website visitors to sign up for your email newsletter. Either way, it’s time to convert the manuscript to book formats: PDF for print or digital delivery and EPUB and MOBI for digital. Uhhhh... how do you do that?
You're in luck. There are free online book formatting and creation tools that are easy to use and make your book look great, and they're evolving to provide more features every day.
- Canva, a design tool that helps you create short, sexy, full-color books and email magnets.
- Draft2Digital, a digital and print book distribution service with a doc conversion tool.
- Reedsy, an online marketplace with a simple online write or paste tool for simple books.
- StreetLib, a digital and print book distribution service with an online write or paste tool for simple books, plus formatting for comics, cookbooks, and poetry.
Now here’s a sexy solution for your email magnet. The Canva online design tool offers a library of professionally-created templates that help you create stunning ebooks and print books, and it’s easy! I chose their “All About Grains” template as a starting point to create a quick mockup for a travel book, replacing their images with free stock photos and changing the theme colors. Use Canva’s free images, your own images or free stock images, or pay a buck or two to use their premium images. You can export your book in standard PDF for eBook distribution, PDF for print, or in JPG or PNG image formats.
Canva also offers eBook cover templates.
Draft2Digital (D2D) is a popular eBook and print book creation and distribution service admired for its ease-of-use and customer support. Upload your entire manuscript in Word docx, doc, or rtf format and it will figure out where the chapters begin based on the heading tags in your document. At this time, they offer six All-Purpose styles, four for Mystery and Thriller, three for Romance, six for Sci-Fi and Fantasy, and two Non-Fiction styles.
Choose a theme and preview the book in the browser. When you’re finished, download a MOBI, EPUB, or PDF to preview or distribute with them or anywhere else.
Reedsy offers two things; a free marketplace where you can find pros like editors and designers, and a free, simple online book formatting tool that exports eBook and print files so you can style and upload them to the various retailers or to sell on your own.
Start writing or paste your book chapter-by-chapter into their free cloud-based book creation tool. It’s got version control so you can always go back to a previous version. At this time, they offer only three simple but elegant themes: Reedsy, Classic, and Romance.
StreetLib is an eBook and POD book creation and distribution service. They‘re based in the New York and Italy with reach into online stores in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Turkey, and Latin America. You can write your book directly in the online book formatting tool or paste it in a chapter at a time. StreetLib is even capable of formatting comics, cookbooks, and poetry books. Export your book to EPUB, MOBI, and fixed layout format, and PDF for print, and use the files to distribute with StreetLib or anywhere else.
Once you're in, just start writing, or copy and paste your manuscript into the tool chapter by chapter. The tool keeps track of revisions so you never lose your work.
There are 16 themes to choose from at this writing. I like that you can preview your book in the browser to see how it looks in any device in any orientation. You can also email it to your Kindle at any point.
Need More Than Free Online Book Formatting Tools Offer?
Your answers will be in next month's post: Three Robust Book Creation Tools That Are Worth the Money.
Like what you just read? Get more author tips and access to exclusive indie resources when you become a BookWorks member. Join our Community now. Click HERE to sign up!