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Best Book Writing Software

Writing a book is one of the most difficult things that you can do in the world. It takes weeks, months, and years of effort, dedication, and perseverance.

Best Book Writing Software

Sadly, the title of this article is quite misleading, we aren’t going to give you information on software that will write a book for you.

But there is plenty of software that will help you write your book. A novel is a large and hefty thing and it will be impossible to hold a mental picture of the whole thing.

This is why having software that will help you organize your chapters and notes will be crucial.

So, what is the best book-writing software on the market? What features does each one have to offer you? Which one will you have to pay for, and which ones are free?

Well, we have compiled a list of some impressive pieces of software that will help you get your literary masterwork off the ground.

Best Book Writing Software

It is worth bearing in mind that this is not software that will write your book for you. That’s all up to your imagination and hard work. Also, where’s the fun in letting a computer write your book for you?

So, look at this software that will help you put your novel together.


This is one of the most popular pieces of writing software that is written by writers for writers.

This is laid out much like a binder, helping you to sort out your chapters and scenes with handy tabs that will let you flick through them quickly and easily.

But that’s not all. One of the trickiest things about your novel is finding that section that you want to edit.

You know that it might be somewhere around scene 3, but you’ll still have to trawl through paragraphs and paragraphs and still not be able to find it where you thought it was.

This is why Scrivener is extremely invaluable. It organizes your scenes into handy index cards, summarizing what happens in each.

This helps reduce potential hours of aimless searching, helping you to concentrate on the more important task of editing.

You can also set your word count goals with Scrivener. This goes for the whole novel as well as individual scenes.

So, if you are setting your goal for 90,000 words (the average novel is anywhere between 80,000 and 100,000 words), then you’ll be able to track how far away you are from your target.

This will also help you to publish your novel in various formats, including pdf. and .doc Word documents. There are also templates for novels, screenplays, and nonfiction books, which is great for newbie novelists.


  • Allows you to actively organize your novel into chapters and scenes, which makes editing much easier.
  • You can stay productive using word count targets and setting your own deadlines.
  • Comes with an iPhone app that allows you to transfer your work across numerous devices.
  • Exports your novel to popular formats that make it ready for publishing.


  • You have to sync with Dropbox, which can be a complicated process.

Google Docs

Novel writing has a few very important stages, one of which is editing and getting feedback from other editors and publishers.

With the ability to easily share your novel from one device to another, Google Docs are perfect for providing instant notes from people.

Best Book Writing Software (1)

Google Docs are completely free to use, which is why it will appeal to the more casual writer who might not have to money to spend on an expensive piece of writing software.

It is also very easy to get started, you just need to install the extension on your Google browser (and sign up for a Google account, which is also free).

You also won’t have to worry about backing up your files, as Google Docs do that automatically for you by syncing every change that you make with the cloud.

This means that if you have a sudden malfunction and your computer crashes, then the very last change you made will still be saved.

The best feature of all is the collaboration tools. In the top right-hand corner is the option to make your document available to editors, either in view-only mode or in editor mode.

Editor mode allows them to make in-document notes that you can view from your end.

Even if you do not use Google Docs to write the bulk of your novel, you can always copy and paste large sections of your novel if you are planning on sending them over to an editor.

Novel writing is all about collaboration and this is an invaluable tool to facilitate that.


  • You can collaborate with editors in real-time, ideal for editing in the latter stages of your novel.
  • This is completely free, so you won’t have to worry about hefty subscription fees or one-off payments.
  • A great option for beginner writers. It even comes with grammar and spelling suggestions.
  • Notes in the sidebar allow you to make your revisions much easier, ticking them off once they have been completed.


  • This does not feature some of the productivity and organization options that some of the other book writing programs have.


This is another powerful organizational tool that will help you to manage your writing goals. Whether it is an easy-to-find page layout or tabs that will help you quickly flip from one scene to another, there are some great productivity functions.

The best thing about Dabble is the fact that you can visually lay out your novel. This has a gallery-like view with labeled scenes that you can drag and reorder.

You can organize these tiles into categories such as ‘main plot’, ‘subplot’, and ‘character plots.’

You can also set your word count goals and it even has a calendar on which you can set deadlines.

This is ideal if you are working with a publisher, and you have specific deadlines that you have to meet. You can also set your own personal deadlines.

It is also a great tool for collaboration. Just send an invite to someone else (who must be subscribed to Dabble to edit the document) and they will be able to read and edit your novel.

It also saves all your changes to the cloud, leaving you free to type away and get lost in your own story.

You can make as many notes and comments on your own work as you write, which is great for when you go back and edit later.

You can also dictate your novel, which certainly takes the stress out of typing and is a great boon for anyone with visual impairments.


  • This has great collaboration features, such as the ability to share your novel with other writers and editors.
  • This saves automatically to the cloud, which means you won’t have to keep an eye on your save button or worry about losing work.
  • You can export your work to Word or Adobe formats, which is ideal for self-publishing or submitting to websites like Amazon.
  • You can create deadlines with Dabble’s own built-in calendar. This will help you stay productive and driven through your writing process.


  • You will have to subscribe to access all Dabble’s features, which might not appeal to those on a limited budget.

Google Sheets Or Microsoft Excel

You might not think that spreadsheets are what you need when you are plotting out your novel, but it is a little-known fact that a lot of writers find them invaluable.

Google Sheets allows you to plot out the basics of your novel, so you can skim through them quickly and easily.

Novels are often very long and can run into 300+ pages, so it is very important that you boil them down into something far more accessible.

You can track the development of your characters as well as the flow of your narrative.

Excel is very easy to use, and you can easily craft hundreds of tables for whatever you need. You can also plan future scenes, so why not structure the whole of the novel before you put pen to paper?

Some people find this process much easier than just plunging in headfirst.


  • Helps you to structure your novel, breaking it down into scenes, chapters, and narrative arcs.
  • You can create summaries of your chapters in chronological order, which will help you to keep track of your novel’s flow, especially useful during the editing stages.
  • This software is also free, so those on a limited budget can avoid paying subscriptions or a hefty one-off fee.
  • You can also share your Google Sheets document with other people, which is great for when you are bringing other editors, writers, and publishers on board.


  • You will need an internet connection to use Google Sheets, especially if you want to share your documents with editors and writers.


If you are thinking of diving into the complex and often frustrating world of self-publishing, then a program like Vellum might be a good place to start.

This will allow you to format your book in the right way for publication.

Whether it is picking out the right font or designing the layout for each chapter, Vellum has some great features to ensure that you have an amazing book that will surely catch plenty of readers’ eyes.

Vellum allows you to preview your book, so you’ll know how it is going to look on a Kindle and then make the appropriate changes.

If you have a manuscript that is ready to go, then you can have all the formatting and design layout done in less than 30 minutes. Now that’s impressive!

The only drawback of this software is that it should only really be used at the end of the process.

It doesn’t really deal with much of the editing side of things, and you won’t be able to organize any part of your manuscript using Vellum.


  • This is very easy to use and will help even the newbie writer to get their book looking as good as some of the professionals.
  • If you have finished your book and are ready for self-publishing, then Vellum is a great tool for formatting it correctly for an eBook.
  • Vellum will help you format your book ready for printing, which is perfect if you are going to hand in a physical copy to an editor or publisher.
  • There are plenty of fonts to choose from in their program, so whether you prefer the brutalist style or something more elegant, you’ll find a font for you.


  • This is quite an expensive piece of software, so make sure that you have the spare cash to spend on a lengthy subscription.


Grammar and spelling are an often-overlooked part of the book writing process. Very often manuscripts will get turned down because the punctuation is completely off or relatively simple words have been misspelled.

If you don’t have a properly spellchecked manuscript, then this shows that you don’t have an eye for detail.

This is where programs like ProWritingAid really come in handy. This can help you improve your overall grammar without tarnishing your unique writing style.

You can isolate the common mistakes that you keep making and eradicate them, which will help you to grow as a writer.

This comes with grammar suggestions that you can choose to accept or not. It has a vaster collection of suggestions that you can draw on, more so than a lot of other book-writing software.

This is also relatively cheap, which is great for new writers who might not have that much money to spend on expensive software.


  • Ideal for spelling and grammar checks, which are essential for budding writers who want to get published.
  • This will help you to identify common errors that you are making with your spelling and grammar, helping you to dramatically improve as a writer.
  • This is relatively inexpensive, only costing you roughly $60 per year, which is a lot cheaper than some of the other writing programs that you will find out there.
  • Has a broad dictionary that will give you suggestions that you will not have in other book-writing apps and software.


  • Some of the suggestions that ProWritingaid suggest do not make sense in the context of some sentences and you will have to rely on your own understanding of grammar to avoid them.

Buyer’s Guide

Book writing is a hard discipline, and you really want the right book writing software that will help you with your working style.

You’ll also want to make sure that it has all the right features to help you with organization, productivity, spelling, grammar, and sentence structure.

Here are some features that you should be looking out for before committing to buying a book writing program:

Does It Help With Organization?

Your novel will usually be broken down into scenes or chapters (although each novel is different), but it can be hard to sift through these as one block.

Having a writing program with virtual index cards and summaries of sections in your novel will be crucial to keep you on point with your story.

Does It Help With Spelling And Grammar?

If you are going to present your novel to a publisher, then spelling and grammar are extremely important.

But you can’t always rely upon your own intuition when it comes to grammar, so having a machine automatically check your sentences for spelling, grammar and syntactic errors will transform a sloppy story into one that flows and engages.

Does It Help With Formatting?

Once you have your novel written, edited, checked, and rechecked, then you might feel that it is ready to publish. However, you might have decided that self-publishing is the route for you.

If this is the case, then you’ll want software that can make your book readable for the public, with an elegant font and decent spacing.


We hope that our list of book writing software has outlined some of the basic features and helped you decide which one is the most compatible with your working style.

Make sure that you know what features you want, as some of these programs only come with a subscription service and they can be very expensive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Should I Use Book Writing Software?

Book writing software is great for new authors that are struggling to get started with the layout of the novel. It is also good for professional writers who want to keep track of all their notes and make sure their story does not deviate too wildly.

How Much Does Book Writing Software Cost?

This will all vary depending on which software you are using. There are lots of great free writing programs out there, whereas some offer the basic features for free but charge for advanced options.

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