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A few people have asked me what tools I used to create my book. I wrote a blog post on my personal blog about this shortly before the launch and in case you missed it I thought I’d link to it from here too.

In brief:

  • I used free and open source software throughout
  • I wrote the chapters pretty much sequentially
  • I had a few decisions to make regarding tax and publishing as a paperback
  • I enjoyed the process immensely

Here are some extracts:

Creative writing probably requires only two things: an idea and something to write it with. So in the simplest terms you can do it with a pencil and paper. Writing something for publication requires a few more things, like a publisher. The choice of publisher will to some extent dictate the format of the file the writing is stored in and will certainly have an impact on how those files are arranged or formatted. As you’ll know I’m an advocate of freedom particularly with regards to software so my choice of tools was also dictated by that also.

I wrote the book a chapter at a time, in order and I wrote each chapter in a separate file. This helped me focus on each chapter by itself and also meant I was able to read each chapter as I progressed to my editing team (i.e. my wife and children – after all they are the target audience 🙂 ). All in all it took me around a year from starting with a bare idea to finishing the epilogue.

As an experience I have found Createspace pretty good. Their online tools for things like proof-reading and cover creation are well produced and easy to use. The cover creator is a wee bit simple but I had already produced my cover images and so it was handy to use a tool that highlighted where things like the barcode or bleed area (e.g. print margins) go.

Publishers of any printed works published in the UK must by law send a free copy to the British Library within one month of the publication date. There are five other libraries which are entitled to a free copy within a year but only upon request. You are however legally obliged to send one to the British Library.

To read the full post go here Self-publishing, D-day approaches.

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