My Tool-set for Writing, Publishing, and Promoting My Books – All Free And Open Source

During the process of drafting, editing, preparing for print, publishing, and marketing a book, many tools are necessary. Here I list all my tools, and a brief description of them and the reason I use them.

Operating System: Ubuntu Studio

You might heard about Linux (or GNU/Linux as open source philosophers prefer) and the world of free and open source software. If you are interested you can find more information about them on GNU and Linux websites. But what is important here for us is that Ubuntu is free and open source operating system that has all software needed for a creative person out of the box. Ubuntu has many flavours for special kind of user needs, and the one that is our interest here is Ubuntu Studio. All software that is available in Ubuntu Studio is also available in other Ubuntu flavours, but in Ubuntu Studio some tweaks are done by default that saves a lot of time of end user who is an artist or a writer. The right set of application is also pre-installed and it works in a way that more resources are devoted to use by resource needy applications. All applications that I discus herein are pre-installed on Ubuntu Studio, or are available to install by running a single command or a click.

Note that all applications that I discus here are also available for Windows and Mac OSx. You can use them on your operating system of choice, but I prefer Linux because I’m using it since 2001, and during all these years I never regretted for a single moment that I left Windows and its security and efficiency problems, and I also don’t want to buy an overpriced hardware only because a bitten apple brand is on it.

Word processing and typesetting: LibreOffice and LyX

For simple word processing such as writing an article I use LibreOffice Writer. Writer is very similar to Microsoft Word in functionality and it also can produce document that is readable by it. It is free and open source and pre-installed in any recent Linux distribution and also is available for download and use for free from libreoffice.org.

Lyx is actually a front end for latex and some other typesetting tools. LyX claims to be a true WYSIWYM word processing and combining the power of latex with ease of use. For typesetting a book Latex (and LyX) are pretty good and produce professionally looking PDF files. Especially for scientific writing and textbooks LyX is a good option. Its formula editing is very powerful, and it also has good tools for cross-reference, index, and bibliography creation. LyX is available in Ubuntu repositories and it is also available for Windows and Mac OSx at lyx.org.

Image editing: Krita and Gimp

I don’t need to do many image editing, but for my simple needs Krita and Gimp are all I need. They are preinstalled on my Ubuntu and are easy to use. Both applications are also have versions for Windows and Mac OSx.

Krita is a professional FREE and open source painting program. It is made by artists that want to see affordable art tools for everyone.

  • concept art
  • texture and matte painters
  • illustrations and comics

GIMP is a cross-platform image editor available for GNU/Linux, OS X, Windows and more operating systems. It is free software, you can change its source code and distribute your changes.

Whether you are a graphic designer, photographer, illustrator, or scientist, GIMP provides you with sophisticated tools to get your job done. You can further enhance your productivity with GIMP thanks to many customization options and 3rd party plugins.

Vector Graphics Editing: Inkscape

When designing my book covers I sometimes need some vector graphics editing. I use Inkscape for this purpose. Inkscape is a free and open-source vector graphics editor. This software can be used to create or edit vector graphics such as illustrations, diagrams, line arts, charts, logos and complex paintings.

Layout Editing: Scribus

I use scribus for layout editing. Scribus is a desktop publishing application written in Qt and released under the GNU General Public License as free software. There are native versions available for Unix, Linux, BSD, macOS, Haiku, Microsoft Windows, OS/2 and eComStation operating systems. Many free programs are included in this DTP package.

3D Objects Editing: Blender

I use blender sometimes to model my characters or places in my stories that can be used as a promoting tool. I also use it to create my books’ mockup.

Blender is the free and open source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation. Advanced users employ Blender’s API for Python scripting to customize the application and write specialized tools; often these are included in Blender’s future releases. Blender is well suited to individuals and small studios who benefit from its unified pipeline and responsive development process.

Sound Recording and Editing: Ardour and Audacity

I use mainly these tools to record my guitar playing. Also I use the for simple voice recording and editing.

Audacity is an easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems.
Developed by a group of volunteers as open source.

Ardour is a hard disk recorder and digital audio workstation application that runs on Linux, macOS, FreeBSD and Microsoft Windows. Its primary author is Paul Davis, who is also responsible for the JACK Audio Connection Kit. Ardour is intended to be digital audio workstation software suitable for professional use.

Video Editing: kdenlive

I use it for simple video editing. Kdenlive is a free and open-source video editing software based on the MLT Framework, KDE and Qt. The project was started by Jason Wood in 2002, and is now maintained by a small team of developers. With the release of Kdenlive 15.04.0 it became part of the official KDE project.

2D Animation Editing: Synfig Studio and Pencil2D

for 2d animation, there are two options available in Ubuntu Studio: Synfig Studio and Pencil 2D.

Synfig Studio is a free and open-source 2D vector graphics and timeline-based computer animation program created by Robert Quattlebaum with additional contributions by Adrian Bentley.

Pencil2D is a free and open-source 2D animation software available for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. It is a fork of ‘Pencil’. The application uses a bitmap/vector drawing interface to produce simple 2D graphics and drawings as well as animation. Pencil is written in C++ and is Qt-based.

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