Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Electric Speed Newsletter [Indispensible Software] via @janefriedman

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New design, same great content

Even though I've changed newsletter formats, I'm still focusing on 3 things each issue that I love and want to share. As some of you know, I've been silent since summertime—mainly because I've been focused on the start of a new academic year—but I've been stockpiling ideas for future issues.

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 Three Indispensable and High-Quality Software Programs (2 are free!) 
This month, I'd like to introduce you to 3 pieces of software that can quickly become indispensable in your new media & publishing life.

1. Calibre (free)
Calibre is a free and open source software that converts e-book files from one format into another. It has multiple uses, but it's a popular tool with avid e-book readers and e-book authors/publishers. Calibre can convert to and from a huge number of formats, and it supports all the major e-book formats. Its conversion engine can rescale font sizes and help ensure the output file is readable. It can automatically detect/create book structure, and insert the book metadata at the start of the book. To download and find out more, click here.

2. Sigil (free)
Sigil is a "what you see is what you get" free EPUB format editor. Simply put: Sigil makes creating e-books easy for anyone who knows how to use word-processing software. Sigil runs on both Mac and Windows. Tip: You can use Sigil to create your e-book in the most standard format in the publishing industry—EPUB—then use Calibre to convert from EPUB to MOBI (the format that Kindle uses). To download and find out more, click here.

3. Scrivener  ($45)
This software will cost you, but it's well worth the investment if you're a serious and productive writer. For $45, you get a piece of software that: (1) offers advanced organizational and outlining tools (2) gives you complete control over document formatting (3) includes tools for writing nonfiction (APA, MLA, LaTeX supported) and (4) includes tools for writing scripts. Also, you can print or export your documents in many different formats, including Microsoft Word, Final Draft, EPUB, and Kindle. It's an award-winning software, and if you're not sure it's for you, then go for the 30-day free trial, no obligation. Right now, it's only for Mac users, though they do have a Windows beta version.

As a side note: I receive nothing for recommending these fine resources. I only recommend things I love, trust, and use myself.

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