Best Book Writing Software for 2019: 11 Writing Tools for Authors
One of the most important decisions you are going to make before writing your book will be to narrow down the best book writing software.
But that’s not easy, considering the fact that you are spoilt for choice. There are numerous platforms and software options made available to you. Picking the best among them can be a daunting task.
Consider this: in 2017, the number of self-published books rose by 38 percent to nearly 1 million books! That is a staggering number. It reveals something important; more and more people are looking to publish their books.
The part where writers face a challenge is having software that can assist them with their writing.
Of course, if you simply perform a Google search, you are bound to get a huge list of available software. However, we decided to do the legwork for you by creating a list detailing 11 of the most convenient, fast, and popular writing software you can find.
Before we get down to listing these software options, you need to ask yourself a few questions. These questions will help you find out which tool is ideal for your work.
- Would you like to go for FREE software, or do you think it’s best to invest in a premium tool?
- If you are planning to pay, then how much will it cost you?
- Are the features available to you sufficient for the work you are doing?
- Does the software offer any additional features?
- Are you going to write from a single location, or are you likely to travel during your writing project? If you are indeed going to travel, then will you be able to access your files from anywhere?
- Are you the only author of the book, or do you have a team of writers working for you? If you are working with a team, then does the software provide you with collaborative tools?
The above questions help you decide which of the below tools is ideal for you. Some of the software that we are going to look at will be fairly recognizable. We included them because they have a long-standing reputation among users (and for reasons which we will discuss).
Other software might not be as easily recognizable. But worry not, fellow writer! We are going to pick through their features so you can make your choice easily.
Remember this: it is not about discovering what writing software is the best. The term “best” is relative.
It is about choosing software that is perfect for your work.
For that reason, we are going to start with our top picks. Then, we are going to look at some writing software that has slowly been gaining popularity.
Top 3 Picks for Book Writing Software in 2019
Based on user feedback and reviews, here are our top 3 picks for book writing software.
1. Microsoft Word
If you dive into your memory to figure out which is the oldest writing software that you know about, there really is only one option: Microsoft Word. The first version of MS Word was named Word 1.0 and was launched in the year 1983.
Surprised? So were we! You see, many people are of the opinion that the writing software was created sometime in the 90s.
Because Microsoft Word has such a long history, it has had a long time to make numerous adjustments and additions. In fact, it is quite safe to say that newer writing software takes heavy inspiration from MS Word.
At this point, you might be thinking that putting MS Word on this list is not fair to the other software. Of course it is going to take one of the top three spots on the list!
However, just think of the amazing features you get from the software.
You can write without too many distractions. The entire interface is simple to use. You have tons of organization features built into the software by default.
In fact, if you simply want to plug in and start writing your book, you can do so! You don’t even have to connect to the internet. All the essential features for kickstarting your writing are available to you right after you boot up your computer.
Are you writing multiple chapters? Then you have tools to help you manage your text, titles, headings, sub-headings, sub-sub-headings, and even sub-sub-sub-headings. Pro tip: keep the levels of subject headings you are planning to use limited. It helps with clarity.
Need some templates to use? MS Word has you covered on that front, as well. Looking for some unique fonts and formatting options? You have it all with MS Word.
- Plenty of options for formatting, editing, and writing
- Easy to use
- You won’t have trouble using MS Word on other Windows computers
- Requires special software in order to use Word files on Mac
- Might require additional tools for eBook formats
- Slightly complicated to format text in the middle of the document
2. Google Docs
Need free writing software that is not specific to a particular operating system? You got it.
Google Docs is gaining popularity as an online writing tool that boasts some incredible features while maintaining simplicity.
Think of Google Docs as MS Word on a diet. Google has taken all the complex features of MS Word and chucked them away. You now have a tool that you can use to simply work on your next international bestseller.
One of the incredible features of Google Docs is how easily you can share a document with your team or your friends. By simply adding a comments section, you can communicate with anyone using the software.
You also have a complete history of your changes. If you would like to go back to an earlier version of the doc, you can do so with a few simple clicks.
As Google Docs does not require installation, you can access it from any computer. You can also conveniently add or edit content from your mobile device.
Because Google Docs is available online, you can access it from any device. This means that you do not necessarily have to carry your hardware with you.
For free software, Google Docs carries some incredible features and provides convenient accessibility.
- Can be accessed from anywhere
- Simple, speedy, and efficient
- Lack of complex and confusing features
- Can be accessed from any device
- Does not include advanced features found with MS Word
- Problems with formatting when you download documents on your device
- No available templates to choose from
Here’s the thing about MS Word and Google Docs: they are designed to cater to a multitude of users, from writers to business people to teachers.
At this point, you might ask the question: is there a writing software for writers only?
Turns out, there is.
One such program that has gained popularity in recent years is Scrivener.
Many writers enjoy using this program not just because of its features, but because it provides a comfortable writing experience. This means that there are no distractions. There are no unnecessary buttons vying for your attention or clogging the screen.
It is just you and your work.
Additionally, you can use Scrivener to export your work to popular eBook libraries and stores such as iBooks, Kobo, and more. This is ideal for writers who want to finish their books and upload their finished work quickly.
Scrivener also provides you with drag-and-drop features, allowing you to easily move sections around. You can also use a collection of cool writing templates for your work.
- A writing program for writers!
- Drag-and-drop feature allows you to work with sections easily
- Comes with stylish writing templates
- Includes advanced writing features as well
- Can use multiple eBook formats such as .epub, .mobi, and .pdf
- Takes time to get used to all the features of the program
- Cannot be used online like Google Docs
8 More of the Best Writing Software Picks for 2019
One of the incredible features of FastPencil is that it is available online.
All of your work is saved on the FastPencil servers. This means that you can access your files from any device and from anywhere in the world.
The interface comes with some great tools for you to use. The presentation of the app is made to be simple. It is aimed at writers who do not want to experience distractions while they are working.
FastPencil also comes with features to distribute your eBook.
Should you like, you can start off with a limited-time free service. This feature allows you to check out the program before purchasing its paid services.
- An excellent tool to prevent distractions
- Provides writers with publishing tools
- Customer support is usually prompt and helpful
- Connects with all your devices
- Paid version can be a bit pricey
- Does not have advanced writing tools
- Cannot import documents of other file formats such as .doc or .docx
Microsoft has Word. Mac has Pages.
Designed especially for Mac users, you can find many of the features of MS Word on Pages.
It provides you with numerous templates to choose from. The design is simple and does not distract you from your work. The best part? You can use Pages to sync with all your devices connected to iCloud. This allows you to carry your work with you anywhere and access it on any device.
You can conveniently create eBooks with some of the templates available on the software. Should you need advanced features, you have them as well.
You are also provided with a number of writing tools such as fonts, page breaks, titles, and more.
- Comfortable aesthetics
- Can import MS Word documents
- The interface is spacious and does not distract the eye
- Can switch between your template and original document format with one click
- Some of the advanced features of MS Word such as footnotes are not available
- Does not provide you with draft view
- Lack of advanced font features and styles
Looking for a simple novel writing software that just allows you to write and removes clutter? Then you need FocusWriter.
Essentially, FocusWriter is a word processor. It is designed to be lightweight so that you can (as the name implies) completely focus on your writing.
In fact, once you enter fullscreen mode, the program is devoid of any toolbars. There are no extra windows popping up and trying to grab your attention. You receive a simple background that only shows the text you are working on.
You can also choose how your screen looks. Think of this feature as a template. The difference is that you not only change your document style, but add a background for your doc as well.
You can even customize the background with your own designs and images to fit your mood. All in all, it’s a simple tool to optimize your writing process.
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Simplistic design to keep you focused on your work
- Fullscreen mode prevents distractions from buttons, toolbars, and windows
- Does not have advanced features
- Cannot format your writing with many fonts and styles
- Cannot import Microsoft Word documents
Hemingway is an online tool that has one important purpose; to check your writing style and prose.
You use it by writing or pasting a block of text in the program. Hemingway then analyzes your text and provides you with suggestions for improvement. You can understand which sentences are hard to read. You will discover if you have extremely long sentences that affect clarity. It helps you with word choice. You will also find out how often you use passive voice in your text.
The entire software is easy to use and provides a simple interface. There are no complex buttons and options to work with. You simply copy and paste your text, and the program does the rest.
- Easy-to-use interface
- Provides useful tips to improve your writing
- Available online and offers desktop software as well
- Is not always accurate
- Online version does not save your work
5. Open Office
When you do not have Microsoft Word on your computer already, getting a new version is not free.
But don’t worry! There’s a solution for you. You can use the free writing software Open Office.
With many of the features available taken from MS Word, you can use Open Office for many of your writing projects. In fact, the entire interface is similar to MS Word to aid those familiar with Microsoft’s software.
You can use templates for your work, there are advanced styling and formatting features, and you can even install additional fonts into the software if you like.
Open Office also allows you to export your document into a .docx format.
- A free-to-download version of MS Word
- Features templates and numerous features of MS Word
- Can import .doc and .docx file formats
- Does not have advanced MS Word features
- Saving into .doc or .docx formats may cause certain errors in the file
For Mac users, one of the best book writing software options out there is Ulysses.
What makes this software unique?
It provides you with incredible features to avoid distractions. Need the document to remove any buttons and windows? No problem. Need to enter a comfortable fullscreen mode? Absolutely.
One of the best features of the software is its exporting abilities. You can choose to export the document in all the major formats available today. This makes it easier for you to share your documents with your team or other people.
Additionally, you can also make notes within the software. This cool feature lets you jot down ideas or make changes with relative ease.
- Distraction-free interface
- Able to export your doc into major writing templates
- Adding notes to your doc creates a whole new level of convenience
- Cannot import MS Word files
- Requires some learning to use the platform
- Available as a paid subscription model
Are you looking for more options for novel-specific writing software?
We’ve got you covered.
yWriter was mainly created for novelists. Its interface is clean, it does not add many distractions, and it allows you to focus 100% on your writing.
You also get some impressive features like adding notes, the ability to split your work into chapters, and more. An interesting feature of this software is the chapter breakdown. You can not only create your work in chapters, but also check word count for each chapter separately. All of the information is available in a convenient table format.
You can even choose to make edits to a particular chapter. Another interesting feature is the “scenes” feature. This allows you to break down your chapter into many blocks of text labeled as scenes. You can choose to rearrange scenes within chapters to form a compelling narrative. You can easily edit certain scenes and organize your scenes as well.
- Made specifically for authors and novelists
- Distraction-free interface
- Lightweight and easy-to-use
- Is not compatible with other word document formats
- Does not have advanced editing features
- Process to export to eBook format requires another app
If you have been on YouTube any time during the past six months, chances are that you had come across a Grammarly ad.
This writing and editing tool has seen a massive increase in users. And for good reason!
Whether you are a blogger or a professional writer, Grammarly can help you resolve your grammar woes. The app provides you with grammar and spelling checks. It provides recommendations for sentence structure and context. You get tips on how to enhance your vocabulary.
It even comes with options to pick a particular genre style. Picking a style lets Grammarly correct your sentences based on the style.
Need to check if you have accidentally copied someone’s work? No problem! With the plagiarism checker, you can keep your work original.
- Tons of features for all kinds of writers
- Easy-to-use and an aesthetically pleasing interface
- More accurate than many other software editors in the market
- For access to all features, you must use the premium version
- Premium version might be expensive to many
- The software uses computer algorithms that are consistently refined, so even though it’s accurate, it can’t be relied on 100% of the time.
Every writer needs great software to help them take their work to the next level. Try out one or two (or all) of the options listed here, and get writing!