I thought I’d list the best apps (mobile and web) that I know for self-publishing, and handling your workflow in general. I haven’t listed ultra-obvious apps and platforms like Google Drive and Dropbox and Amazon KDP. I assume everyone knows about them (or can use Google).
Draft – Web-based writing done right
Nathan Kontny is a one-man development team on this web-based app/platform, and he may be the nicest guy on the internet. This is his baby and it’s under constant development. Text creation and version control, todos, collaboration, file handling, simple website building, transcription – this is an amazing tool. Free, web.
An iOS app that went free for a while and I snapped up. I occasionally use it for jotting down short chunks of text – Draft isn’t great on the phone. I don’t use this for notes any more since I found Workflowy. $3.79, iOS
File creation / handling
Calibre – Open-source eBook creation, management and conversion
Could be prettier but is still the gold standard for open-source ebook file creation and editing. It is almost usable as a word processor too, but lacks a few features on that front. Great for easily building and testing your ebook file and converting between formats, and also great for managing your ebook library. Free, all OSs.
Sigil – ePub creation the simple way
Sigil should really be the only ePub creator you’ll ever need. It’s so simple you could write directly into it, it’s WYSIWYG but lets you delve into the code and metadata if you want to, and does it simply and for FREE. Hard to beat open-source, isn’t it. Sigil has built-in ePub validation via FlightCrew, and full ePub2 support. Sure, it’s not ePub3, but unless you are doing cutting-edge interactive content, Sigil will do the job nicely for you. Free, all OSs.
Marvin – The best ePub reader app bar none
I read almost everything on my iPhone, despite those telling me that that’s nuts. Marvin is the best ePub file reading app I’ve seen. It’s packed with features, (the notetaking and annotation functionality is amazing) but is still fast and intuitive. The best part? You can link it to a Dropbox folder, Calibre and more so you can easily read your ePubs from any ecosystem, or your own files. $3.79, iOS and Android.
Canva – The web design for idiots small design tool
A real boon for those like me who have (very) limited design skills but want to do things themselves. This is a WYSIWYG drag and drop design tool with tons of pre-prepared free layouts, fonts, icons and images. It was originally intended to be used to design blogs, but since it exports the designs to HTML and CSS code, it can be used just as well for ebooks. All those little designs you want to put in your book – a snazzy panel listing other books, your author bio page or even graphics for non-fiction books will turn out looking great with Canva.
Free, web, iOS, Android
Social / media
Free, iOS, Android