My 5 Essential Tools for Print on Demand

5 Essential Print on Demand Tools

New to Print on Demand? A Few of My Essential Tools

Updated April 2024 – This post does contain affiliate links. A new updated version of this post is in the making!
Have you got a passion for POD? On the look out for some cool tools? Then read on and I’ll tell you about my 5 essential  tools to rock your Print on Demand business here. Some of the following are FREE and some are FEE.

I am only recommending the following tools because I believe in them and use them all week long (if not all day long).

Sign up for Canva

Tool 1) Canva

To start off with total transparency, I am one of 50 or so Canva Verified Experts in the world….That’s is just a fancy name for an unpaid ambassador. Both basically I am biased as both my “day job” and my “sidehustle” are all about Canva! Yep, I use it that much. I deliver workshops across Scotland (hopefully even further afield next year!) and one-to-one training in it too.

Canva allows me to make designs for tshirts, mugs, stickers, (dozens of products, in fact), as well as book interiors and covers for KDP (Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing). So if I could only use one tool, it would probably have to be Canva.

COST: Canva is FREE to use – but if you’re looking to do transparent backgrounds for tshirts etc – you will need a Canva Pro account to do that. (You could make designs with solid background designs for FREE) AND you can use Canva 100% FREE for your books, planners, diaries, etc.

**Definitely worth joining Canva today. If you already have an account and want a FREE Canva Pro Trial go here. (affiliate link*)

Tool 2) Merch Informer

I started using Merch Informer for several years ago (pre Pandemic). I can’t remember where exactly I discovered this one. It could have been at the Seattle Merch Conference in Sept 2018 or it might be in the Merch Across the Pond FB group that I co-run with my London chum James.

In any case, I loved being able to make tshirts and merch in a matter of seconds with MI. I also loved the fact I could do curved text designs – which is something that is not easily doable in Canva…

Merch Informer has a ton of features (that I seldom, if ever, use) that are very popular in the POD community. You can learn, research, design scale and protect your works with MI: Find good niches for your designs, get the right keywords for your listings, scale the designs through their listing automation and check for copyright infringement.

merch informer membership levels and pricing

COST: Their are different tier levels. I am on the “newbie” which is the lowest one but depending on which level best suits you, there are more advanced options. I personally just switched from paying monthly to the yearly – to save a wee bit of money – because I value it that much.

See the Merch Informer pricing plans here

Join Merch Informer here (and use code ‘podinscot’ at check out to enjoy 20% off)

Next up, on my essential tools list, is their sister product for books…

Join BookBolt and create books for KDP

Tool 3) Book Bolt

Like Merch Informer, I used its sister company for a number of years. One thing I liked about it straight away was that having been using Merch Informer for a while, it had a very similar dashboard that I was already familiar with. So no real time needed to learn a new piece of software. It was pretty intuitive after watching a few short tutorials to get me started.

The BB website, too, offers a plethora of features – like it allows you to do keyword research, discover profitable niches, and helps with listing books too. Book Bolt is designed to help you through every step of the no content or no content book process.

Though there are a lot of features inside BookBolt, again most of which I don’t really use, they really can help you rock your business. I personally just use it to make super fast covers.

You may want to use BookBolt to create book covers and general interiors too. They’re constantly adding features, templates and so forth. So between BB and Canva – I’ve created nearly 100 books which are live on Amazon’s KDP.

COST: For $9.99 a month. It’s definitely worth joining  It’s a good one, and hey, you can use code ‘podinscot’ at check out to enjoy 20% off too! Result! (Note not sure if these two links and discounts still work!)

Tangent Templates for books, interiors and more

Tool 4) Tangent Templates

Tangent Rocks! Seriously, even their domain says it all

This definitely is a tool I heard about even before the Merch Conference in Seattle. But on night one when my newfound friend Patty started raving about it, I knew it was one I wanted to look into – to start my KDP business. She said she made her money back almost immediately – so I was intrigued.

What I love love love about Tangent Templates – is that I can make books in a matter of seconds…Blank pages, dotted lines, sketch pages, day planners, weekly planners (now even monthly and yearly too)….and the other winning feature is being able to use their Chrome Extension to list your books super fast. I had TT for months before I even tried it. Once I did, I never looked back!

This one does have a $59 price tag but like Patty I too made my money back on it within a month or so.

Cost: The software is a one-off fee of $59.00 but you can usually get a $10 off code if you ask nicely in their FB group. (I do highly recommend this software and no, it’s not an affiliate link!)

Placeit - Create Tshirts Mocks and More
Click the pic to try Placeit

Tool 5) PlaceIt

The newest kid on my block is a site I actually learned about it while watching Youtube one day. The video showed how you can make t-shirts from their templates in seconds. It also showed how you could make lovely mockups for products to be used on your website and social media marketing. In the description of the video I watched, there was an affiliate link to join with a discount, so I figured I’d give it a whirl – even if only for a month. I’ve been a paid member of Placeit for many years now. I love it best for the mockups – photos and videos!


Sign up for placeit

My Essential Tools

Hopefully you found some of these print on demand tool snippets useful. If you have any questions about any of these essential tools, then feel free to leave a comment or message me via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

My 5 Essential Tools for Print on Demand

Also if you have any other tools you use that you highly recommend for POD, then I’d love to hear from  you. I know there are dozens of amazing tools out there.

Check out my list of Recommend Links here. And I really need to update some of my top links to include A Book Creator and Kittl.

3 thoughts on “My 5 Essential Tools for Print on Demand

  1. In curious what the difference is between Bolt books basic 9.99 a month vs pro. It can’t just be a puzzle maker…can it?
    Can you create your own interiors? If not, do you know where you can?
    I would ask Bolt but their help desk has been a challenge.

    1. Hello let me come back to you about this…As for interiors, I make most of mine in Canva. Unless it’s a planner. Working on a new post about some of these tools but in the meantime I’ve asked the folks at BookBolt for clarification but you can make interiors with it yes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *