When you write, you don’t always write books. There are many forms of content available, including blogs, research papers, white papers, short stories, articles, poems, flash fiction, and more. Recently I wrote a post about “New Ways to Read,” but now I’d like to focus on all the tools and sites out there that make it possible to write and produce new content.
WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr are well-known, but about a year ago, a new platform launched: Medium. Medium was made by the creators of Blogger and Twitter. Nieman Journalism Lab breaks down how the site works, but basically it is a collaborative site that focuses on the words, not on who wrote the words. And the words are curated, so articles can find the right audience. Quality is key, and authors can add images if they want. Medium also tells readers approximately how long it will take to read an article.
Storymash is a creative writing community that encourages collaborative fiction. Readers can vote for their favorites and authors can earn money from chapters from advertising.
Widbook is the “YouTube of books” and it’s a network that encourages collaborative crowd-writing. (I met them at BookExpo America 2013.) Users can read and follow books, and even write stories in the app. It’s free to use and writers can also choose to upload works in progress to get feedback.
Book Country is another site that encourages feedback. Users can sign up and upload multiple drafts, comment on other works, and even self-publish. Read more in my posts, “BEA Day 2: Book Country” and “Book Country’s Public Launch.”
Wattpad allows writers to write in the site and readers to consume content for free. The site also has clubs to find other users and connect, and a new fan funding feature to help raise money for books.
Bookrix is like a combination of Wattpad and Book Country. The site is free to use, and they have groups and encourage feedback. But writers can choose to sell their work, either on the site or distributed as an e-book to other retailers.
Clipsi is a site meant for enterprises, but it allows users to create collections of web pages and files. These collections can be clipped to boards where people can collaborate.
One easy way to produce an e-book is to turn a blog into an e-book. Make Use Of offers three suggestions for tools to use, which includes WordPress’ Anthologize plugin, Zinepal, and ePubBud. You can also read more on my post, “Turning Your Blog into an E-Book.”
Yarny is a cloud-based platform that makes it easy to write novels, and other kinds of work. You can edit, delete, and keep notes. It’s similar to Scrivener, but completely online. Read my post, “Using Scrivener to Write a Novel.”
BookType is an open source platform that helps users write and publish both print and digital books. There’s a free and premium version, features include live chat, collaborative editing, and exporting to multiple formats.
Kwik is a Photoshop plugin that makes it easy to add sound, animation, and interactivity to PSD files. It’s meant more for comic book artists.
Book on Publish is a site that allows publishers to make multimedia e-books. It is meant more for textbooks.
Vizify is an interesting site that creates interactive infographics based on data it pulls from social media. The site is free to use.
EasyBib is a free bibliography and citation generator. You can easily copy and paste a website link, book ISBN, newspaper article title, keywords, and more, and then choose the citation format you want. The options are MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian.
Moglue is a tool that helps users create interactive e-books as apps. It’s a desktop publishing platform with a 30 day free trial.
Snapplify allows publishers to sell books, newspapers, magazines, and journals via a branded mobile and web store. It’s meant for enterprises, and the site lists a number of case studies.
Pandoc is a document converter that can convert files into multiple formats. This can be handy if you want to take one document and revamp it for another format. An example could be turning a slideshow into an e-book.
Slicebooks is a site that allows users to mix and match content from other sources to create new books. Features include slicing, mixing, and editing online and in apps. They offer a free trial.
Online-Convert offers tools that allow users to upload content and convert to different e-book formats.
dotEPUB allows users to convert any web page into an e-book format suitable for all e-readers and tablets. Readers and writers can use the tool, and they offer a WordPress plugin with widgets.
Six Minute Story is a free site that limits writers to only submitting stories they write in six minutes. Readers can access the site for free, and writers have the option to use prompts, though they must write on the site.
One Forty Fiction is a site that limits fiction to 140 characters, the same as Twitter.
Six Word Memoirs is a project by SMITH MAGAZINE where anyone can submit and have their story available online. They have different topics, and winners may be published in anthologies.