Enjoy some handy links, downloads and software for your next book

Free online content

Free library. With no less than 19,039,660 articles and books to rummage through when researching your next book. If you need up-to-date information to create authentic settings, this is a really good place to start. Since 2003, the Free Library has offered free, full-text versions of classic literary works from hundreds of celebrated authors, whose biographies, images, and famous quotations can also be found on the site.

Project Gutenberg. Looking for the classics? This is where you’ll find the complete works of the greatest literary minds to download and read at your leisure. Project Gutenberg was the first and largest single collection of free electronic books, or e-books. Michael Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg, invented e-books in 1971 and continues to inspire the creation of e-books and related technologies today. Project Gutenberg is the place where you can download over 30,000 free e-books to read on your PC, iPhone, Kindle, Sony Reader or other portable device.

Photography and illustration

Looking for an illustrator or photo library for your book cover images or interior artwork and photos? We provide a few good options here:

Royalty-free photo and artwork libraries











Useful software – and it’s free

Help for writers

Wordweb, also available from Google Play and the App Store, is a one-click English thesaurus and dictionary that can look up words in almost any program. It works off-line, but can also look up words in web references such as the Wikipedia encyclopedia. Features of the free version include: Definitions and synonyms; related words; 5000 audio pronunciations; 65,000 text pronunciations; 150,000 root words; 120,000 synonym sets; look up words in almost any program. The desktop version is available for Windows only.

Big Huge Thesaurus is an online thesaurus that quickly does the job and throws out a bunch of options. It gives verb, ‘sounds like’ and ‘rhymes with’ options. Looking for your next story idea? The Big Huge Thesaurus also features a simple story plot generator. Clean, quick and uncomplicated to use.

Storybook is a free (open-source) novel-writing tool for creative writers, novelists and authors, which will help you to keep an overview of multiple plot-lines while writing books, novels or other written works. Store all information about your characters and locations in one place. Then use Storybook features to manage chapters, scenes, characters and locations. A simple interface is provided to enable you to assign your defined characters and locations to each scene and to keep an overview of your work with user-friendly chart tools.

Storyist is writing software for Mac users. Storyist helps you track your plot, characters, and settings, and keeps all of your writing organized and accessible. It also provides a rich text editor with support for comments, images, headers, footers, and style sheets so you can create properly formatted manuscripts and screenplays. Storyist is available for download from their site or through the App store.

Help for book production

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC: Leading PDF reading software with commenting tools. Available for all operating systems.

PDF Creator by PDF Forge enables you to create PDF files from any application. With PDFCreator you can convert documents to PDF, jpg, png, tif and more; merge multiple documents into one file; password-protect your PDF file; apply digital signatures; archive using PDF/A; save different PDF settings for different situations.

Free PDF Creator: A simple-to-use utility for creating PDF documents from any Windows program, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Includes: Print to PDF; Archive using PDF/A; Set PDF Permissions; Reduce File Size; Password-Protect your PDFs. Compatible with Windows only.

7ZIP is open-source compression software used to compress large files and folders for easy emailing or file transfer.

Ebook reading software

Calibre (ePub & Kindle)

Adobe Digital Editions (ePub)

Amazon Kindle (Kindle)

Takealot eReader (download it from Google Play or the App Store)

Literary South Africa


This must be the online hub for Afrikaans literature, despite the fact that it also caters to the other languages in our country. Well worth a visit and a leisurely browse, no matter what language you dream in.

Centre for the Book

Centre for the Book supports the development of local writing and emerging writers. Their website offers resources for aspiring writers, including a list of writing teachers and courses, universities offering creative writing tuition, and possibilities for publishing your own work.

Publisher’s Association of South Africa (PASA)

This association is the official body representing more than 120 publishers in South Africa, with as many as 101 small publishers. Their site features a Publishers Directory, a Freelancers Directory, issues concerning copyright, publishing workshops and upcoming events.


Publisher’s Association of South Africa (PASA) 

This association is the official body representing more than 120 publishers in South Africa, with as many as 101 small publishers. Their site features a Publishers Directory, a Freelancers Directory, issues concerning copyright, publishing workshops and upcoming events.

Publishers Marketing Association (PMA) 

Education starts here. PMA is a trade organization with a mission to advance the professional interests of independent publishers by offering cooperative marketing, education and advocacy programs. Ideal candidates for PMA are independent publishers and authors who wish to learn more and stay informed about our dynamic industry.

SA Booksellers

The official association of South African booksellers. Keep abreast of the latest publishing and book selling news in South Africa.


Publishing grants and funds

CENTRE FOR THE BOOK – The Centre for the Book develops programmes and activities that are aimed at supporting and nurturing South African budding writers. They also offer an annual publishing grant to a deserving author.

Free writing workshops

CENTRE FOR THE BOOK – The Centre for the Book holds writing sessions one Wednesday per month from 13h00 to 14h00 either at the Centre for the Book office at the National Library in Victoria Street, Cape Town, or at the National Library Campus in Pretoria. Writers are given the opportunity to interact with each other, discuss issues of concern to them or practice their writing skills. Invited facilitators lead discussions on various aspects of creative writing.

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