I’ll cap off this series of posts on making your own with a little practical, if perhaps boringly technical, advice about tools you can use to make your experience as creator go well.

On things everyone ought to get a little familiar with is WordPress, exceptional blogging software, some version of which powers both ErosBlog and EroticMadScience. Most hosting companies make WordPress installation available directly from your control panel, so if you set up your own domain it will be sitting there waiting for you as soon as you’re up and running. In thirty years of working with computers I’ve had few technology experiences as agreeable as being a WordPress user: it installs in seconds and if you want, you can be up and publishing to the world in minutes. You can customize it and make a really good-looking site in hours, so if you follow Bacchus’s First Rule of the Internet and start making your own on your own site, I’d say this is definitely the way to go.

An option now available in WordPress that makes it an especially good tool for creators is that not only can you use it to publish to the universe, you can also create private, password-protected multi-site blogs by using a few simple plugins. These make splendid collaboration tools: you can, if you want, create a blog that is just for you and a single artist, which might sound silly but actually allows you to see a commission develop over a series of posts from initial script and visual references through pencil sketches and other drafts (which can be accepted or critiqued in comments) to delivery of finished product: the whole thing laid out right in historical order on a page, which is both useful as a means for both you and your collaborators to learn and creates something that can be quite gratifying to look back upon as well.

For writing tools that go beyond the capabilities included in WordPress or ordinary word processors you might want to look into a product called Celtx, which I’ve been using for a few years now. Celtx is media production software which you can use to create beautifully and correctly formatted and organized screenplays, stage plays, storyboards, and comic book scripts. You can download the basic version and use it by yourself — this version is available for free. It can also be used as a collaboration tool if you subscribe to something called Celtx Studio. The studio is subscription-only, but it does allow you (and people you’re working with) to work on common projects anywhere there’s an Internet connection.

Just think what she could have accomplished if she had had Celtx!

Just think what she could have accomplished if she had had Celtx!

If you want to make your own e-books, look into a tool called Calibre. This is powerful and free e-book software which not only allows you to keep track of your e-books on your own computer, but it has a conversion utility which enables you to take, say, the beautiful archive of comic books pages you’ve created and turn them into a compact file useful for other people, like a .mobi file for people to read on their Amazon Kindles (or other e-book readers — it handles many), or a single neat PDF for them to read on their desktops.

For managing images, whether re-sizing, cropping, watermarking, etc., I strongly recommend an image tool called GIMP. This usually comes pre-installed in most Linux distributions I’ve seen, and there’s also at the very least a version available for Windows as well. It is very much the publisher’s friend, and like so many good things in life, it is also available for free.

Finally, while we’re talking about free, those of you who have ever been over to EroticMadScience might have noticed that it is liberally bespangled with little icons that look like this:

creative commons

These are Creative Commons Licenses. You might or might not be interested in them, but if you see your work as being a form of hedonic philanthropy especially, please consider using them. They in effect give you a way of allowing other people to share and enjoy your work, with requirements for attribution and permission for commercial use or the creation of derivative works (or not) at your option. If you want your work to spread far and wide, and want people to feel comfortable that they are in the right in doing so, the Creative Commons license gives you an excellent tool for doing that.

So now you have tools: go forth and make something!

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