Blog Writing Apps 5 Free Self-Publishing Tools to Get Started with Your Book

5 Free Self-Publishing Tools to Get Started with Your Book

Chandler Bolt

Chandler Bolt

Founder & CEO of Self-Publishing School

Published Jan 27, 2020

Self publishing winner

The world of self-publishing can be overwhelming, especially if you’re just getting started on your author journey.

And while it’s a good thing there are plenty of digital tools to help you ease into the process, it can also be a bad thing. With so many new tools to choose from, the information overload is real.

From learning how to write a book to determining which self-publishing companies to work with, it’s easy to experience decision fatigue when it comes to navigating the self-publishing process.

To help you take action today, we’ve curated this short list of the best free tools available to jumpstart your self-publishing journey.

  1. #1: Book Royalties Calculator
  2. #2: Writing Prompt Generator
  3. #3: Word and Page Count Calculator
  4. #4: Book Outline Template Generator
  5. #5: ProWritingAid
  6. Take Action!

#1: Book Royalties Calculator

Still deciding between traditional publishing or self-publishing? This tool will help you visualize and weigh your book’s profit depending on which publishing route you take.

A book royalty is a percentage of the revenue an author receives for each book sold, and this book royalties calculator helps you determine your book’s earning potential based on the expected royalties per book sold.

Royalties are directly linked to an author’s profit. By determining what your royalty rate is, you can learn how much profit you should expect to see from your estimated book sales.

How does it work?

You simply enter the details about your book and the calculator will generate your profit amount per book sold, and include a breakdown of the earning differences between each publishing route.

Here’s an example:

Book royalties calculator

All authors should understand their book’s royalty rate, which is why we recommend this as the first digital tool to start with.

#2: Writing Prompt Generator

Get your creative juices flowing with writing prompts to help you brainstorm possible book ideas!

This Writing Prompt Generator is designed especially for writers, authors, and novelists in search of their next book idea. The generator is loaded with a variety of story starters, all based on genre type.

Choose between non-fiction and fiction prompts, then narrow it down to a specific genre. If you don’t like the prompt you receive, keep generating new ones until you find one that inspires you to write!

Do you already have your book idea? You can still use this tool!

Using a writing prompt is beneficial for creative brainstorming and finding a flow zone, especially if you’re struggling with writer’s block.

Writing prompt generator

Random prompts are especially helpful for those looking to improve their writing craft, learn a new literary technique and explore different writing styles.

#3: Word and Page Count Calculator

“How many words should my book have?”

This is a common question that many writers have, and this free Word Count Calculator delivers the answer.

If you’re writing your first book or novel, or writing a new book in a different genre, setting a goal for an overall word count is helpful as you track your writing progress.

In order to set realistic writing goals, you need to break your overall word count down into small chunks. And to do that, you need to know how many words to shoot for.

That’s where the Word and Page Count Calculator comes in. It’s a handy tool that uses your book type, genre, and audience to determine how many words and pages your book should include based on industry standards.

It also gives you a time estimate on how long it will take you to write your book. Here’s what it looks like:

word count calculator

Of course, the exact number of words and pages in your book will vary, but using this tool to set a realistic starting point will be helpful.

#4: Book Outline Template Generator

Once your book idea is generated, and your word count is calculated, it’s time to start the writing process!

Easier said than done, we know. It can be difficult to know where to start, how to outline your book, and what parts of the story are needed. This uncertainty in the process is usually what stalls many aspiring authors.

The Book Outline Template Generator takes the guesswork out of knowing where to get started. You can visualize each part of your book, and use it as a framework to craft your story.

Simply choose your book type and you’ll receive a "fill-in-the-blank" book outline to help you plan your book or novel.

#5: ProWritingAid


Don’t let writing errors slow your progress down! Just ask any seasoned writer, and they’ll likely agree with our sage advice.

Too often, we are prevented from getting any writing done by becoming distracted with errors and mistakes.

Write first, edit later

As you start writing, it’s important to focus on just writing, and let a smart digital tool like ProWritingAid catch any errors or style improvements.

By using the free browser extension, or investing in the Premium option, ProWritingAid helps to make sure your writing flow isn’t disrupted by your errors.

The tool identifies grammar mistakes and writing style improvements, so your professional editor can focus their time and attention on any developmental improvements within your work, which can cut your editing time down.

It’s like having your own writing mentor there with you as you write your book.

Take Action!

Now that you have all the beginning tools to get started on your author journey, it’s time to take action.

With these five free writing tools, you’ll be set up for success in the beginning process of writing your book or novel, and well on your way to navigating the self-publishing journey.

As you move through more advanced stages of the publishing process, there will be a whole new set of tools to aid in your success!

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Chandler Bolt

Chandler Bolt

Founder & CEO of Self-Publishing School

Chandler Bolt is the host of the Self Publishing School podcast & the author of 6 bestselling books including his most recent book titled “Published.”. He’s also the founder & CEO of Self-Publishing School, the #1 online resource for writing your first book. Self Publishing School made the INC 5000 in 2018 (#2,699) and in 2019 (#1,483) as one of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the US. Through his books, podcast, training videos, and Self-Publishing School, he’s helped thousands of people on their journey to writing their first book.

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