Ten Things to Help You Make Books
Freeware caution: always scan free downloads of anything for bugs and other threats before dumping the programs into your hard drive.
Blurb.com offers BookSmart*, a free software program you download and use to create a book from your photo and text files before you upload it to them and order however many copies you want printed (and their prices aren't bad.) The software also allows you to print out a copy of the book yourself, but the pages are produced only one per page and watermarked in the background with "For Proofreading Only." (Registration required, OS: Windows XP/Vista, Mac OSX)
For making a simple book cover online that you can print out, head over at ReadWriteThink.org's Book Cover Creator (yes, it's for kids, but we won't tell them we're grownups.)
Gordon Reynolds' Book Format freeware "takes a file of text and reformats a version of it in such a way that the pages printed can be put together as a book after being printed out from a standard A4 printer" (OS: Windows 95/98)
If you'd like to make some chapbooks (they're not just for poets anymore) check out Stacie Naczelnik's excellent online tutorial How to Make a Chapbook ~ an Illustrated, Step-by-Step Guide.
The Printable Notebook freeware allows you to organize your data and then print it out in notebook format.
Generate your own Romance Novel Cover.
The latest version of Seaside Soft Book Manager freeware allows you to create virtual books with graphics and music.
For some tips on the reality of self-pubbing, read Morris Rosenthal's article Self Publishing and Printing Your Own Book.
Good book-making advice can be found in Daiya.Mvps.org's article So You Want to Write a Book with MS Word.
Our blogpal Simon Haynes's yBookMaker freeware allows you to publish your own e-books (to be read with yReader.)
*I tried this myself because I'm interested in self-publishing a print novel, and they'll print as few as 1 copy of whatever you upload. I'd also rather handle all the typesetting and page layouts myself, so I like having total control over the final product. BookSmart ran very slow on Vista and also shut down on me the first three times I used it -- but on the upside it did save my work automatically each time and was pretty simple to use. I'm going to check out a couple more POD printers before I make up my mind, but I'll keep you guys updated if/when I decide what I'm going to do.