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Behind the Scenes: What do you need to write a book?

Many people think they need a huge investment to write a book. Heck, even a copy of Microsoft Office is a ridiculous amount  of money so what are you to do? More importantly, what do you need??
0950f1c0-47aa-4de0-917b-b9c1fff6a376For me, since I’m writing children’s picture books, I chose to invest in a graphics drawing tablet (my love, my life!) because I could’t fathom how anyone could draw on a little pad and look at the screen rather than their hand when drawing. So I did need that investment. There is one other area that needs your attention too but I’ll get into that at another time. When it comes to graphics tablets, the leader of the pack is Wacom. Without a doubt, their products are amazing but if you’re willing to forego simply one or two features (and really, it’s only one or two features), then you can try Ugee. That is who I chose and I love my little baby. It does everything I need it to do. But a tablet is only as good as the all important software.

I’m assuming you’ve already ignored the services I told you about last week who will do all the formatting work for you for the mere price of your kidney. So, I mentioned Microsoft Office. If you look online, you’ll see so many different products for you to buy. Publishing software, a text editor that’ll format better for you, PDF converter, epub converter. You seriously could spend a fortune lining yourself up with all these specialized software. For me, I needed a graphics software. Has anyone seen the price of Adobe Photoshop lately???? Here’s where your research starts paying off, literally!!! You’ll have discovered the following things:

  • Text/Word Editor – Libre Office. Cost: FREE!
  • Epub Converter – Calibre. Cost: FREE!
  • Amazon Kindle Converter – KDP Creator. Cost: Free! (OK, I’ll stop with the all caps. You know where I’m going with this.)
  • PDF Editor (and so much more but that’s what I use it for) – Inkscape. Cost: Free.
  • Illustration Software: Krita. Cost: Free.

Basically people, Open Source is your friend. That’s software that developers around the world have created and decided to make free to the general public. They are free for commercial and personal use. Be kind to them. Love them. They are your best friends.

1821667f-49b8-4e26-9286-9c017738978fI’m going to talk a little about Krita for a moment because it is an amazing program. In gratitude to the developers, I’ve bought two of their instructional DVD’s to support them. That’s how open source works. If you like the program, you can choose to either donate to the developers any amount you want, or buy something they are selling. Their revenue depends on how good a product they make and how much you love it. Then it just becomes your choice as to whether to donate or not. For Krita, simply not having to participate in Photoshop saved my sanity and my wallet, so I was very happy to support them.

Now, before you have a heart attack at all the new programs you see above, as in ‘how the hell am I going to learn all these programs?’ just stop yourself right now. You have a plethora of resources around you. Again, are you ready to do the work for it? Go to your closest Google page and simply search for whatever you are stuck on. Also, likely some kind, gentle soul has also put up tutorials on YouTube (bless their cotton socks) which was a huge life saver for me when it came to Krita because let me tell you right here and now, I’d never opened any of these programs before this year.  There was one software that I did buy and that was Serif PagePlus x8. It was $119 and I really like it. However, this was an early purchase in my venture, so I’m sure I probably would have found a comparable software if I’d looked more.

Once you have the tools you need, you can get started.

Ready, set, go!!!!

Soon, I’ll get to what happens when you’re done writing.