I’ve written 20 books in 3 years and have been a No 1 bestseller on lesbian charts around the world and I can tell you, writing a book is freaking hard! I’ve always thought there must be something to make my job as an author easier, a piece of book writing software that would allow me to reach my writing goals faster and easier. Well, I’ve googled ” Best book writing software” on the Internet and found that there is no one piece of writing software that is going to write my book for me, however, for those who know me, I am easily distracted. So before I became a full-time author, I knew I had to find the best book writing tools to make writing my books easier and faster. I also found and currently use free book writing software to write a book, which makes my writing process more organized, efficient, and focused, ultimately allowing me to write faster and publish more books for you to read.
Writing is hard enough, writing a full-length book, whatever genre, is a daunting task. So the thought of going through your book again and again for grammatical mistakes, page designs, layout, etc takes the joy out of life. To deal with this, some wonderful people with amazing minds, thankfully, have devised automated ways and brilliant software for writers.
So without further ado, here are my best book writing tools and software that will hopefully help you become a successful author too.
Let me just start by saying, there is no such thing as the perfect book writing software. No amount of key features, book writing templates, editing features or layout features will write a book for you. Book writing software doesn’t know the thoughts, ideas and creativity that are going on in your head. Still, these book writing software and tools can help with your writing process. I have also listed some free book writing software because in this day and age we all love to save money where we can.
1. Google Docs (FREE)
For those in need of a free flexible option, then Google Docs is pretty wonderful if you’re looking to share your work with beta readers and your ARC teams. All you need is a Gmail account and you are good to go. If you need any extra guidance on using Google Docs then check out the resources below.
As a word processor, it can offer you spell and grammar checks (however I use Grammarly, which I will get on to later in this blog), different formatting options, word count, etc. Google Docs also auto-saves as you type those words from your head into your next book. As a writer, you can open your documents anywhere and can easily share them with anyone with no problems at all. I really like Google Docs because it’s simple to use and makes real-time collaboration very easy. You can easily invite your ARC team, editors, etc to read your book and in real time you can watch as they make changes to your document, which appear in the suggestion mode and they can leave comments on your book. Files are stored in your Google Drive and require an internet connection to access if you’re not using Google Drive’s offline storage option and install the Chrome Extension Google Docs Offline.
|Lets you collaborate with almost anyone in real time.||The offline mode also requires an extension.|
|It’s free.||No formatting functions|
|Auto save.||Not a professional book writing software.|
|Google Docs supports various document formats such as .doc, .docx, .ppt, and .pdf.||Requires an internet connection.|
Price: Free book writing software
Scrivener is one of the best pieces of writing software you can buy. If you are an author that enjoys writing drafts, then Scrivener is definitely for you! It won’t tell you what or how to write- Scrivener provides all the tools you need to write and continue doing so. It allows you to make notes and drag them wherever you want very easily. Scrivener features a Corkboard planner where you can manage all of your projects and with virtual index cards, templates, an integrated outlining system, a customizable interface with split screen functions, import and export functions, drag and drop features you can do as much or as little planning as you want. It has so many sections that you can arrange or rearrange to your heart’s desire, this brilliant writing software lets you write what works best for you.
Scrivener boasts some great tools to help with your writing, such as the outliner tool, which allows you to work on your book while giving you an overview of what your chapter, page, or what your whole book would look like. The snapshot tool is another great feature that allows you to quickly take snapshots that you want to review and reference later, without losing the thoughts and ideas in your head. To boost your productivity as a book writer you can use the target setting tool and then organize your manuscripts in files, sub-files, etc with the binder tool.
One of the potential downsides to Scrivener is that there is a lot of learning to be done in using the software, so if you are considering trying out Scrivener I would suggest watching some tutorials on YouTube before buying it or checking out these resources here.
|Available on ipad and iphone.||No Android app available.|
|Can easily manage large projects with the binder view.||Formatting is complicated.|
|easily set writing targets and goals.||Collaborating with others isn’t easy.|
|Get a high-level view of your book’s structure using corkboard and outliner views.||Syncing with Dropbox isn’t easy.|
|Export directly to Kindle and ePub file types.|
You can also download a 30 day free trial of Scrivener here.
3. Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word is one of the most common, and widely used word processors out there, and it remains the go-to book writing software choice for many authors. Even well-known best-selling authors like Stephen King still use Microsoft Word today. It is a bit like marmite, you either love it or hate it, but regardless of your inclination MS Word will be here for a very long time and will always be your back up book-writing software choice when things go wrong. We have all experienced MS Word in one way or another, we have probably all used Microsoft Word when learning how to use a computer at school. At the end of the day, Word gets the job done. For aspiring authors who just want to get the first words on the page, it’s often the first book writing software to try out, since most people already have Word on their computer. I tried Microsoft Word when I first started writing but found as I wrote more chapters things started to get a little unwieldy and found it became more and more difficult to work on but it didn’t stop me from finishing my first book. Plus you will need some professional book formatting software to format your ebook and paperbacks.
If you need any extra guidance on using Microsoft Word then check out the resources below.
- Microsoft Word 2023: The most updated crash course from beginner to advanced
- Microsoft office 365 (10 in 1): The definite and detailed guide to quick learning
- Microsoft personal 365 software
- Microsoft Word Guide to success
Microsoft Word has a ton of features if you are going to use it as your book writing software, allowing you to choose how best to build your book writing experience, but don’t get too embroiled in them as it can distract you from writing. Just stick with the basics and you’ll be fine. One good tip is to use the headers to create chapters of your book.
|Often included with your computer.||Not ideal for book formatting.|
|Plenty of options for a custom writing experience.||Not designed for large documents.|
|Provides an auto-save function you can use.||Can be slow to load as your book grows.|
|Track Changes is used by most editors.||No real-time collaboration.|
|Universal file types.||Expensive if you have to buy it.|
|Grammar and spell check included.|
I love ProWritingAid! It’s my writing mentor flagging up grammar and spelling mistakes as I write the words in my next book. It is like having your English teacher sit with you as you write. I bought the premium version but the free version goes beyond most other grammar-checking software as it checks for readability which shows you an alternate and better version of what you have written. If you are a self-published or indie author and don’t have the money just yet for an editor, then software such as ProWritingAid is an affordable alternative. I really like the fact that ProWritingAid helps you see the patterns in your style of writing, and it has certainly helped me grow as a writer. I couldn’t live without it. It is very easy to use and you can write and edit in real-time too.
It will highlight any grammar or suggestions to improve the readability of your writing in different colours.
Red – Spelling
Yellow- Possible improvements to the style of writing
Purple – passive writing (active writing is preferred)
If you need any extra guidance on using ProWritingAid then check out the resources below.
|Quickly edit your book.||Sometimes gives you suggestions that are incorrect.|
|Free spell and grammar check up to a certain word limit.||Free version has limitations.|
|Better suggestions for creative writers.||No mobile app.|
|Less expensive thanother grammar checking software.||Only English language offered.|
|Teaches and educates you as you write.||Plagiarism checker is only available with the paid version.|
|Numerous integration options.|
The premium version is $20 a month, $79 per year (a 67% saving over the monthly subscription fee, or $399 for a lifetime subscription.
Grammarly is a piece of book writing software that keeps your writing in check. It integrates well with Google Docs and Microsoft Word and has a great user experience on both the free and paid versions. The free version in my opinion is adequate for writing a book and many writers love it and swear by it. Grammarly is basically a free writing buddy that will flag your spelling and grammar mistakes but will also highlight editing suggestions with its special features like mood checker, style checker, and tone checker. The words you choose can champion your voice and turn your book into a bestseller, so install Grammarly on your device or browser and get real-time feedback on your writing. It is up to you whether you accept or dismiss the suggestions of the AI software, but the more you interact with the book writing software, the smarter the assistance becomes. Grammarly doesn’t just correct your writing, it tells you why it’s making the edits too. Grammarly makes a great set of second eyes to avoid those embarrassing mistakes before your book goes off to be proofread buy your editor.
|Real-time grammar correcting.||Grammarly only works in English.|
|Very simple to use with easy to understand explanations.||Huge lags when editing large bits of text.|
|Editing features can revise your writing tone, mood, and style.||Having it correct your writing on your device 24/7 can become annoying.|
|Comes with a plagiarism checker tool.||Suggestions are sometimes wrong.|
|Excellent editing layout with the premium version.|
Price: £10 a month
Vellum is a professional book writing software. It creates beautifully formatted eBooks and Print editions. As an indie author, I’m a huge fan of Vellum and its user-friendly capabilities. One thing to point out though with this book writing software is that it only works on Mac computers, however, all is not lost if you don’t own a Mac as you can use MacinCloud, a paid cloud service that allows you to access a Mac and use the Vellum software through it to format your books.
One good thing about Vellum is that it can quickly export your book into the required format e.g Epub,Mobi, PDF, etc, and it’s a great tool for sending out digital copies to your Arc team, Beta readers and editors. You can use Vellum’s Preview to see how your book will appear on different devices – Kindle, iPad, iPhone, Nook, Kobo, Android and to see the print version too. With every edit you make the Preview updates instantly. Once you have imported your manuscript to Vellum, allow it to do its magic. Vellum will format your book, including the Title, Table of Contents, and Chapters and if you need to add a Copyright page and your back catalogue of books then Vellum can easily do that for you.
One of Vellum’s key benefits is its ready-made professional book styles, whether in print or digital format. With one click you can choose the most appropriate style suited to your book’s content, tone, and genre. Vellum is also great at producing box sets if you want to increase your sales.
I do love this book writing software, however, it comes with a hefty price tag but in my opinion, you’ll likely recoup this cost in terms of the money saved on a professional formatting service or the hours you’d spend doing it yourself. As an independent author, I don’t think there should be separate price points for eBooks and print books. Why charge us more when the software simultaneously formats your Ebook and print book?
|Easy and intuitive.||Expensive.|
|Format your manuscript into an Ebook or Print in less than 60 minutes.||Only available on a Mac.|
|Beautiful styles to choose from.||Limited styles.|
|Automatic hyperlinks.||Limited choice of fonts.|
|Book contents are completely customisable. Front and back matter can be personalised according to the author’s preferences.||Images created with Word may not upload with the software.|
Vellum press: £209.99 – creates Ebooks and print books.
Velllum Ebook: £169.99 – create unlimited Ebooks.
Atticus is not only for book formatting, it’s a solid piece of book writing software as well, developed by authors for authors, its goal is to be the all-in-one solution for writers. This tremendous book writing software gives you the organization features of Scrivener, the cloud collaboration features of Google Docs, and the book formatting abilities of Vellum. And as an author, that is pretty awesome! One of the best features of this book writing software is that it is available on all platforms, so it can be used on a Mac, Windows, Chromebook or Linus machine. Atticus uses a progressive web app (PWA) that allows you to access the program online and also offline, the only time you need to be online is when you first log in or when you export your book.
Atticus has a great set of features as a writing program:
- Word processor
- Word Count
- Reusable elements – create reusable elements such as author bio page and set it to update all books when you make a change to that element. This is a huge time saver for authors.
- Goal setting – track goals and writing habits.
- ProWritingAid integration – Atticus has its own spell check built into the software, but if you own ProWritingAid you can integrate it.
Atticus excels as a formatting tool, and its features allow you to:
- Create unique chapter design themes
- Adjust your book size, font size, line spacing, and font styles
- Quickly add back and front matter like copyright pages,etc.
- Generate e-books and print books with the click of a button.
- Preview how it all looks on different reading devices like Kindle, iPhone, and print.
I have used Atticus many times and found that it is very easy to use and fairly advanced. You can choose a template for formatting and away you go with a click of a button, but if you want to adjust font size or style for every element on the page, then Atticus will do that for you. The word processor in Atticus works way better than Google Docs too.
Atticus costs $147. That’s it. No subscription fees, and no paid upgrades in the future. You pay it once and get lifetime access to it. Any future upgrades are completely free if you buy the book-writing software. There is no free trial however, but you get a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are not happy with it, so if you can afford the price temporarily to give it a whirl, then I would recommend doing so.
|Works on every platform.||Uploading images into your manuscript can be awkward.|
|Goal setting and tracking tools for establishing writing flow and focus.||As a new software there are some bugs.|
|An amazing theme builder that lets you create the look you want.||Hard for editors to collaborate on your work.|
|All in one solution to write, edit and format books.|
|Speediness of formatting.|
|Contains all the major features of Vellum, many of Scrivener’s features, as well as Google Docs.|
|Easy to use.|
Once you have done writing your book with the book writing software mentioned above. How do you actually SELL your books? Anyone who has published a book knows that selling a book isn’t simple. That’s why you need to get Publisher Rocket. One of the best pieces of book marketing software on the market. It is specifically created for authors who wish to sell more Ebooks and printed books.
Your book title, subtitle and book description are the key things to selling your book and that’s the main reason I use Publisher Rocket for. With Publisher Rocket you can reverse engineer book titles, subtitles and descriptions and be confident that your book will do well in the Amazon charts.
Publisher Rocket helps me in four key areas:
With this tool, I stopped guessing what keywords I should be using for my books, and instead was able to find keywords that were actually typed into Amazon’s search bar by real shoppers.
One of Publisher Rocket’s most powerful features is its Competition Analyzer which lists the books that rank on the first page of Amazon for a particular keyword. This feature also allows you to see how well any of your competitors’ books are performing and in what categories their books are currently enrolled in.
Publisher Rocket also lists all of Amazon’s 11,200+ categories and subcategories, along with how many books you would need to sell in order to be the #1 bestseller. So instead of sifting through all those categories ourselves, this tool does all this for us.
And if you run sponsored ads on Amazon for your books, then this tool is absolutely indispensable, because its ads feature helps us effectively and efficiently create a large list of profitable keywords for any of your campaigns.
I always like how Publisher Rocket will show you how much money specific books are making per month, a good way to see how your competition is doing!
I have found Publisher Rocket to be a tool I cannot live without, it gives me all the data I need to position my books so readers can find them and therefore maximize my sales. It is the most powerful tool to transform your book marketing with a few searches.
One of the reasons I’m such a fan of Publisher Rocket is that it is currently a one-time investment of $116.40 meaning unlike so many other softwares out there, it doesn’t require a recurring, monthly subscription fee.
It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, which makes the testing of the software absolutely risk-free.
What pieces of book writing software do you use? Let us know in the comments below.
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