Best Book Writing Software


Nearly every author wonders at some point if they are really using the best book writing software in order to not only organize their novel, but also help them write more effectively and efficiently.

After all, writing a book is a monumental challenge. You don't need to make it any harder by using weak or cumbersome programs.

Thankfully, the right tools can make writing a book easier, save you time and frustration, and can even make writing a long novel or complicated nonfiction book enjoyable.

But what is the best software for writers?

This article reviews key features and limitations to consider as you choose which software you'll use to write your next book.

List of Book Writing Software Available

The table below shows a snapshot of the best word processors for writers. The key features displayed in the chart include:

  • Software name
  • Price
  • Special discounts and trial periods
  • Operating system (Mac or PC)
  • Capability to sync between multiple devices
  • Ebook formatting for ePub and MOBI

Compare Writing Software Features

List of Best Writing Software

ProgramPriceSpecial DiscountsOperating SystemSyncingeBook Formatting
Scrivener for Mac$4520% off codeMacYes.epub, .docx, PDF, AND MOBI
Scrivener for PC$4520% off codePCYes.epub, .docx, PDF, AND MOBI
Word$69.99/year1 Month Free TrialMac and PCYes.docx, PDF
Ulysses$39.99/year14 Day Free TrialMacYes.epub, .docx, PDF
Google DocsFreeNoneMac and PCYes.epub, .docx, PDF
yWriterFreeNonePC (Mac in Beta)NoPDF, .html

The above table includes word processors, the tools we use to “write” the book.

However, all authors know there is more to writing a book than just “writing,” so we’ve added book writing software that's helpful for writing novels, outlining, editing, keeping focused, and formatting below as well.

Best Software for Writing a Book

Below we've listed some of the best writing software for creating a book.  They are extensive and will surely help you.

Scrivener Review

Scrivener is an incredibly advanced word processor, project manager, and formatting tool all-in-one. It’s many authors' favorite set of book writing software because of its rich features. Both Mac and PC users can use it. Read my complete Scrivener review and watch my Scrivener vs Word video for a detailed, visual comparison.  Plus, it offers a discount, which you can find one specific to Kindlepreneur below, or you can access a list of scrivener coupon codes here.

Price: $40 for PC / $45 for Mac *Save 20% if you use this coupon code: KINDLEPRENEUR


+Helpful templates for both fiction and non-fiction
+Format for print and eBooks, including .mobi, .epub, .pdf, and .docx
+Incredibly simple drag and drop capabilities for rearranging
+Corkboard with index cards, split screen, and outliner working views make it ideal for longer or more complicated works
+Store and access research files and notes within your project “binder”
+More affordable than its closest competitors
-Takes time to learn how to use Scrivener's features


–Check out this tutorial on how to format a print book in Scrivener.
–Using Scrivener can actually be easy if you take this step-by-step course.

Check Out Scrivener Here

Ulysses Review

Ulysses is a simple yet powerful and customizable app for writing. Ulysses works on Apple products only, and your work syncs automatically between your devices or you can choose to store work locally.

Price: $39.99/year

+ Export to .pdf, .docx, or .epub easily
+ Clean interface without a lot of distractions
– Price is yearly or monthly subscription model
– Learning curve if you are not familiar with markdown
– Not for PC users


–Check out this tutorial for using Ulysses to export your books.
–Ulysses can be used to hold yourself accountable by using writing goals as shown in this tutorial.

Check Out Ulysses Here

Microsoft Word Review

book writing software word

Microsoft Word is the word processor many of us are familiar with, and both PC and Mac users can use it on their devices. The biggest problem for Word it was designed for writing anything–not for writing books. It was not created by authors nor for authors. Hence, Word can be tolerable for short writing jobs, however, if you're really looking for the best book writing software, and Word does not measure up to its competitors. I can show you exactly why I don't recommend Word in this video, which compares Word vs Scrivener.

Price: $149.99 or $69.99/year for one computer (the price is even more for multiple computers)

+ What you see is what you get formatting
+ Many book editors prefer Word documents
– Difficult to use if you don’t work in a linear fashion
– Cumbersome for writing lengthy novels and other books
– Must use a separate tool, such as Calibre, for ebook formatting


–Check out this tutorial for formatting a print book with Word.
–You can also see in this video how to use Word to format ebooks.

Check Out Word Here

The best software for authors, are you using it? #SelfPub #ScrivenerNotWordClick To Tweet

Free Writing Software

For the economical writers out there looking to step up their game beyond Word, we list the top book writing software that are free here.

Google Docs Review

Google Docs is a web-based application where documents and spreadsheets can be created, edited, and stored online. Our team uses Google Docs for writing our blog posts because it’s the easiest way we’ve found to all work on one document at the same time, add comments, see revisions, and even chat. (Google spreadsheets can also be a useful tool, especially for outlining)

Price: Free

+Access files from anywhere you have the internet
+Files save automatically
+Collaborating with others is a breeze
+Export to .epub, .pdf, or .docx
-Simple editor works fine for short writing, but not for long writing


–Check out this video to learn the basics of Google docs.
–Here's a guide to collaborating like a pro with Google docs.

Check Out Google Docs Here

yWriter Review

book writing software ywriter

yWriter is a free standalone app designed by an author who was striving to create the best fiction writing software. The yWriter software has been for PCs only, however, an Android version was recently released and there is a beta version for iOS.

Price: Free

+Breaks down novels into chapters and scenes
+Stores snapshot backups of your work automatically
-Does not work on Mac computers yet
-Does not come with templates
-Must use a separate tool, such as Calibre, to create ebooks


–Here's the Quickstart Guide to getting started with yWriter.
–Check out this video to see yWriter in action.

Check Out yWriter Here
A few other free writing software used by authors are Pages, the standard word processor for Apple products, LibreOffice, an open source office suite that works on both PCs and Macs, and WriteMonkey, a Windows word processor that writers enjoy for distraction-free writing as most of its features are well-hidden.

Best Novel Writing Software

Novel writing has its own unique joys and challenges, as I learned from top authors like James Patterson and Margaret Atwood, from outlining to character development. The book writing software below were specifically designed to help fiction authors create their next masterpiece.

Outlining Your Novel Workbook Software Review

best book writing software outlining your novel

Outlining Your Novel Workbook Software is referred to as the “pre-Scrivener program” because it guides you to think in new ways about your characters and key story beats before you write your first draft in Scrivener. I can almost guarantee your storyline will be better by using this program for in-depth outlining before you start writing. It complements the Outlining Your Novel Workbook by K.M. Weiland and works on both PC and Macs.

Price: $40

+Export your Scene List to use in Word or Scrivener.
+Create a playlist for your novel
+Easily rearrange the scene order
+Create epic characters by uploading pictures or sketches
+Visualize all your scenes chronologically listed on a calendar


–Take a tour of the Outlining Your Novel Workbook Software here.
–Check out these videos on how to use the Scene List and how to export it to use with other word processors.

Check Out Outlining Your Novel Here

Scrivener Again

Scrivener hits #1 on my list of the best novel writing software because you can organize long or complicated content in just about any way imaginable. The ability to have folders right there at your fingertips for characters, places, research notes, front matter, each chapter, and scene can save tons of hours in your novel writing process. I love it so much, that I wrote full scrivener review.

Price: $40 or $45  *Use this discount code to get 20% off: KINDLEPRENEUR

+Helpful templates for both fiction and non-fiction
+Format for print and eBooks, including .mobi, .epub, .docx, and .pdf
+Incredibly simple drag and drop capabilities for rearranging
+Corkboard with index cards, split screen, and outliner working views make it ideal for longer or more complicated works
+Store and access research files and notes within your project “binder”
+More affordable than its closest competitors
+Use professionally designed Scrivener templates
-Takes time to learn how to use Scrivener's features


–See my favorite features and watch a video comparing Scrivener vs Word.
–Check out this tutorial on how to format a print book in Scrivener.
–Using Scrivener can actually be easy if you take this step-by-step course.”
–In case the scrivener coupon code doesn't work, then use these

Check Out Scrivener Here

yWriter Again

book writing software ywriter

yWriter may be the best free novel writing software because it was created by an author and breaks your novel into scenes so it isn’t a huge disorganized mess. There is not yet a version for Macs though, which is a deal-breaker for me…a former Apple employee.

Price: Free

+Breaks down novels into chapters and scenes
+Stores snapshot backups of your work automatically
-Does not work on Mac computers yet
-Does not come with templates
-Must use a separate tool, such as Calibre, to create ebooks


–Here's the Quickstart Guide to getting started with yWriter.
–Check out this video to see yWriter in action.

Check Out yWriter Here

Writing even 30k words in Word is brutal. See which book writing software is best. #WritingTipClick To Tweet

Book Editing Software

No one knows better than me the importance of good editing. While editing software can never replace a real book editor, it can noticeably improve your writing. Editing software can fix typos, make sure you use correct grammar and improve your readability by making it clear and concise. This allows your readers to focus on your message, not your writing blunders.

That’s why, in addition to the built-in spell checkers most word processors include, you should use book editing software too. Here are two of the best free editing tools:

Grammarly Review

book writing software grammarly

Grammarly is an editing tool that finds spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes. It can be used as an online browser extension, a website, or an app to download on your computer.

Price: Free or $139.95 per year for Premium

+Underlines errors, gives explanation, and suggested correction
+Free version seems sufficient
+Your files are stored in the cloud
+browser extension checks your online writing, (but does not yet work with Google Drive apps)
-file upload has a size limit of 4 MB, 60 pages, and 100,000 characters


–Read my full Grammarly review here, including when it's worth it to pay for the Premium version.
–See Grammarly in action in this video.

Check Out Grammarly Here

Hemingway Editor Review

book writing software hemingway

Hemingway Editor is an editing tool that improves the clarity of your writing. It can be used as a website or desktop app.

Price: Free

+Highlights passive voice, adverbs, complex words, and sentences that are difficult to read.
+You can copy and paste or type directly into the Hemingway Editor
+Errors are highlighted and color-coded (e.g., green are passive voice)
+Grades your readability by reading level, such as Grade 6
-Doesn’t give suggestions for how to improve writing


–Here's my complete review of the Hemmingway editor.
–Check out how this author edits a book with Hemingway and Scrivener.

Check Out Hemingway Here

ProWritingAid Review

ProWritingAid is another online editing tool that checks grammar, spelling, overused words, readability and cliches.

Price: Free or Premium is $40 per year or $140 for lifetime access

+Gives lots of reports and data that's easy to use to quickly improve your writing
+Identifies “sticky sentences,” which often include unnecessary filler words
+Makes suggested changes you can accept or decline
+The premium version can work with Scrivener, Google Docs, and Microsoft Word
-The free version only edits up to 500 words at a time


–Here's my full ProWritingAid review including how it stacks up against Grammarly and get a 20% off coupon
–Watch this video to see how to use ProWritingAid with Microsoft Word.

Check Out Pro Writing Aid Here

Other Marketing & Productivity Software For Writers

Writing your book is only half the battle and if you'd like to learn more about the art of writing, be sure to check out the masters at MasterClass.  These courses are lead by prolific writers like James Patterson, Margaret Atwood, Malcolm Gladwell and more.  Also, we've got to market and sell the book as well as write it.  Here are a couple of tools to help with that two very important parts to not only writing…but being a successful author.

Publisher Rocket

Use Publisher Rocket for your book marketing research, including hot keywords and AMS advertising.




Use Freedom productivity app to stay focused by blocking distracting websites and apps for scheduled writing sessions.




Use Ommwriter for a calm writing environment and meditative tracks to listen to while you write.



Book Review Targeter

Use Book Review Targeter to get more targeted reviews for your book.




For my personal “butt in chair” time, I use Google docs to write my articles because it allows me to better coordinate with my team and my editor. For blog posts, easy collaboration is key.

However, that doesn’t cut it when I have a 30k or even 100k book to write. When writing a book, I need the best book writing software out there.

Basically, I need book writing software that will easily help me to research, outline, reorganize, write, collaborate, and edit. And since I love to publish to CreateSpace, and Draft2Digital, I need to export my books in both ePub and MOBI formats before hitting publish and getting to the fun part of marketing my books. Reedsy offers an in-depth guide to ebook distribution and formats if you need any pointers.

And that's why Scrivener is the only writing program I use for writing my books.

Furthermore, the price is a bargain for what the program can do, and an added bonus is there's no monthly or annual fee. It's a one-time purchase and the best tool for writers can be yours. Plus, you can use my code to save 20% and it's even more of a deal.

It's a no-brainer for me. I think Scrivener is the best writing software for authors.

If you’re ready to see how Scrivener can work for you, grab your copy of Scrivener for Mac (or for PC) here and use my special Kindlepreneur code KINDLEPRENEUR for 20% off.



  1. Kevin Danford on November 2, 2020 at 12:14 am

    I do have and use Scrivener.
    But for creating how to books, I am using Ultimate eBook Creator
    which has a very simple user interface to quickly create eBooks and print books,

    It has some really powerful tools such as quickly create fixed layout books
    but importing and auto creating the Table of contents.


    • Dave Chesson on November 4, 2020 at 6:30 am


  2. Ellington Reinless on July 3, 2020 at 8:48 pm

    Thanks, Dave. Your articles are usually useful. This one is VERY useful. I’m switching right now to a new software. Thanks again!

    • Dave Chesson on July 4, 2020 at 10:45 am

      Oh cool, and best of luck!

  3. Andrea Susan Glass on June 21, 2020 at 12:57 am

    I thought this was a brand new article since I got your email today about it; however you mention CreateSpace which has not been around for a while so I’m confused. Hmmm….

  4. Anthony W. Eichenlaub on June 4, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    Thanks, Dave. I just switched from Mac to PC and realized that I need to buy a new Scrivener license. Looking at the versions out there, it seems like PC version is backleveled, but it’s still my favorite novel-writing software. What I’m saying is your discount code dropped into my life at exactly the right time.

    • Dave Chesson on June 4, 2020 at 6:10 pm

      Haha…I know what you mean. Yeah, I’m not sure when PC will go from 2.0 – 3.0. I think they gave up since it’s been two years since they said they would. Glad you found the coupon code. Every little bit helps!

  5. Notimetoulouse on June 3, 2020 at 11:43 am

    Hi Dave, PublisherRocket owner here, just a heads up about Storyshop.
    I went to download StoryShop and find it has now morphed into ‘Plotfactory’, and this is the exact thing I dread about online apps (even though I’m a NovelFactory subscriber and love it) – I buy into it, learn to use it, throw my work inside it only for it to become morphware or abandonware somewhere along the line.
    I’ve just gone to PF and had a look and you now need to sign up with your card details in order to start a 14 day trial. After the trial ends it’s $14pcm or $140 a year.
    Which for me, is a lot of money and a lot of worry about what could happen to my work in the future.
    Sshop raised $80k from Kickstarter investors and it lasted less than 5 years. That’s a kicker, even if the original investors were given full access to Plotfactory.
    I’m happy to support small works in progress like Novelfactory and Dabble ($9pcm) or the new kid on the block, Wavemaker (free at the moment but you can aid development by becoming a patron for either $3/$5 pcm or by making a one off Paypal donation. Both Apps are minimalist compared to Scrivener, but they are totally intuitive and easy to pick up. (Wavemaker even integrates Randy Ingermansons Snowflake Method as part of the planning setup – well worth a look).
    Long time user of Publisher Rocket Dave, it has kickstarted my Amazon presence more than I could ever have expected. If anyone reading this is publishing on KDP and doesn’t have PRocket, you are leaving money on the table. Honestly.
    Thanks Dave, hope this helped.

    • Dave Chesson on June 4, 2020 at 12:20 pm

      Yeah, I just got word on the merger. I tried reaching out to the owners, who I know but they haven’t responded to me yet. I’l be updating this to reflect new information. The article coming out this week on Kindlepreneur is a side by side test of 4 Story Outline softwares specifically. As for Rocket, that’s awesome and totally made my morning to read 🙂

  6. Rick Grant on February 5, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    I use a wide variety of writing tools for my consulting and fiction work. I have many types because I work in a highly mobile environment (think war zones and humanitarian disaster areas) and depending on my circumstances I may find myself writing from one day to the next on a phone with a bluetooth keyboard, on a borrowed and 20 year old computer with some primitive version of Word, or on a Chromebook or iOS machine.I find it easy to switch tools all through the drafting and editing phases but not for the final formatting which is mostly done in Word or Vellum.I came by this flexibility decades ago when just starting out as a journalist. I early on complained to the editor (cigar + Scotch bottle + volcanic temper– stereotype) that someone else was using my typewriter and I did not like the feel of another. Short lesson learned quickly, “I do not give a f* what you use. Just get it to me before deadline — It is called that for a reason. A true journalist can write on clay tablets or in Nordic runes if that is what it takes to reach deadline.”And he was right.On a weekly basis for fiction I mainly use Scrivener, but I also like the free SmartEdit Pro from Bad Wolf Software which resembles Scrivener but was not copied from. It does not compile thoughWhen using an Android phone, or an iOS one for that matter, I will use Google Docs. I also use an iPad Mini with Scrivener sync’d through Dropbox.For pure blasting out draft writing I very much like the AlphaSmart Neo which runs for a year on two batteries, is cheap as hell used, and cannot be connected to the internet.Since I travel to a lot of sketchy places I tend to take a Chromebook and write in GDocs. Chromebooks are cheap to replace if lost or stolen. Can have its data and settings restored on line in a few minutes, and runs all day and then some on a chargeBut, for sheer pleasure in rough drafting I will fire up my iron age KayPro II running Perfect Writer in CP/M and just enjoy high speed writing with probably the best keyboard made this side of heaven apart from the IBM Selectric. It is just such a great pleasure to rattle along, saving to floppy disk every couple of minutes, and watch the green fluorescent screen fill with words.

  7. Kevin W Porter on December 21, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    Started originally with Pressbooks from a recommendation by The RV Entrepreneur. Switched to Apple Pages and found that It is just about all encompassing. The only issue I’m having is when importing to Kindle Ebook (as an ePub), images will not remain in place despite locking them before exporting. That, and header footer (titles and page numbers) are removed. Curious if Scrivener`s better in that regard.

  8. Torsten Dittmann on December 9, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    I want to introduce OmniaWrite. I am working on it for a long time now. OmniaWrite is a next-generation plain text editor engineered for creative writing. It is perfect for writing novels, lyrics, poems, essays, drafts and screenplays.Also you can use it on all devices and operating systems and sync your work between them.

  9. Harald Johnson on December 6, 2019 at 8:04 pm

    Interesting that you do not write long pieces with Google Docs, Dave. I wrote a 160,000-word novel on with it recently without issues. But then, I also have related Doc tabs running, too: scene summary, characters, etc. Basically, I use Google Docs for almost everything. Except for ebook creation, and for that I use: HTML > Sigil > .epub.BTW, anybody old enough here to have used XyWrite for writing? I’m going back to DOS days! That was right after using chisels on stone tablets ;-)))

  10. Andrea Feccomandi on October 7, 2019 at 7:48 am

    Hello! I’m Andrea Feccomandi the author of bibisco and I think you should give a try!What differentiates bibisco from other software is the focus on the characters. We think that your novel works if its characters are believable, that is when you understand human nature`s complexity. With bibisco you can KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT YOUR CHARACTERS, in an unusual and funny way: an INTERVIEW!What is exactly bibisco?* bibisco is a desktop application available for Linux, MacOS and Windows in 12 languages: czech, french, german, english, italian, polish, portuguese (Brazil), portuguese (Portugal), russian, serbian, spanish, turkish.* With bibisco you can organize chapters and scenes, manage revisions, export novel in pdf or docx. And, of course, write with a fully featured text editor, also in DISTRACTION FREE mode.* With bibisco you can create a novel structure, define premise, fabula, narrative strands and settings: geographic, temporal and social context.* With bibisco you can see how characters, locations and narrative strands are distributed chronologically and across chapters. You can keep track of the number of words and characters you’ve written and you can see your story represented on a TIMELINE.Let me know!

  11. Joan on October 1, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    Am I the only one who doesn’t like Hemingway? I do not write so that my language use can be stripped of all nuance and color, which seems to be what Hemingway does. (Possibly needless to say, I do not actually like most of Hemingway`s oevre.)I’d use Scrivener exclusively, but I cannot get the actual writing environment to look the way I need it to; I strongly prefer the way Word has the writing page ‘floating’ in the middle of blank space and I cannot make Scrivener do that. I wish I could, because I use it for everything else in the process. (Except making covers. That is in Photoshop.)

    • Dave Chesson on October 2, 2019 at 11:31 am

      I have a full Hemingway review and in the end, I do not recommend it over some of the others…so, no. You are not alone.

    • Winfred on November 11, 2020 at 2:40 am

      Hi Joan!

      I’m undecided as to which novel writer’s software to use. I shied away from Hemingway as I suspected they would heavily push minimalist writing. Is that what you found, Hemingway’s style dominates their overall editing, grammar, etc, approach? I need at least some editing besides grammar etc. Is Scrivener now a year later still a software program you like?


      • Dave Chesson on November 16, 2020 at 7:07 pm

        Yes, Hemingway is definitely a minimalist style writer. I like it for blogging, but not writing a book. As for Scrivener, it’s the bettor of the options but it requires a lot of learning. There is something coming out in February called Atticus that I’m absolutely in love with. But that’s a while from now 🙁

  12. Jesse Wood on June 7, 2019 at 9:09 am

    Novellus is also worth a try! It is a lot simpler to use than Scrivener for organizing and even contains proofreading tools. (disclaimer: I am the developer)

    • Jennifer Felton on June 24, 2019 at 12:25 am

      I wish this was available for Windows! I’d give it a try.

  13. Amanda on June 4, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    What about Fictionary? I recently saw a promo for it and was super tempted. But I am also super broke. LOL

    • Jennifer Felton on June 24, 2019 at 12:27 am

      I got the PWA and Fictionary bundle. It is an AMAZING software. If you want to try it, there is a free trial I suggest you take advantage of using. They’re going to be updating in July sometime to allow up to three MS to edit (right now It is only one).

  14. logic11 on May 14, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    I’m a linux user, so a whole lot of those options do not work for me. On the other hand, I use for my own stuff. It is been in Beta for a long time but It is under active development right now and is a really good tool. I believe it will be around $5 a month once the beta is over.

    • Jennifer Felton on June 24, 2019 at 12:28 am

      I had tried ApolloPad, and while I thought it was alright, I’m excited to see what they come up with. Right now, I definitely prefer Scrivener or StoryShop, which has gone a major overhaul and looks totally different than the picture shown.

      • Owen Ross on June 3, 2020 at 10:06 am

        One year later, I’m sat here reading these comments on one screen, whilst checking out the recommendations in another. Apollopad (which is still free to use and in Beta) looks like it’s a very intuitive app and seems to be software that I can work with. It’s export facilities are actually better than Scrivener – Markdown, LaTex, HTML, OpenDoc, Docx, RTF, Pdf, ePub and Mobi!
        I only hope it stays up in development, unlike Storyshop (see my comment above).

  15. Cliff Farris on May 12, 2019 at 12:37 am

    Agree with Hemingway and Grammarly. My copy of yWriter6 exports to HTML, Text, RTF, LaTex, and E-book. I use Calibre to export my drafts to MOBI to read on my Kindle with no problem.Word is a hostile beast. It should have been put out of its misery at least ten years ago. LibreOffice Writer is far better, as is WordPerfect 8. However, yWriter is superior to all of them. I have not used Scrivener but hear good things about it. I much enjoy the personal interaction with Simon Haynes. He is a real author and person.Since I like to swim upstream, I will say I hate using my wife`s Apple with a passion. It is like using a computer with blinders and thick gloves on. I like the flexibility and openness of my Dell as well as the ability to use a vast range of software of my choice.Bottom line is that everything is better than Word, and the better novel writing software is far better. Do yourself a real favor and get Dragon 15 Professional for dictation to text. I do all my drafting through it. The algorithms to filter out background noise are effective. I record on the treadmill in my gym, restaurants, hikes, and occasionally in my office at home. The transcribed text comes out about ninety-eight to nine-nine percent correct. My thoughts flow well with no attention the the logistics of typing. It works superbly with yWriter too.Thanks for the review.

    • Jennifer Felton on June 24, 2019 at 12:30 am

      I would love to be able to afford Dragon, as I tend to spew conversations out loud as I try to figure out dialogue. The problem is then that I do not always remember exactly how it went after LOL.

  16. Verona Grace on April 16, 2019 at 5:46 am

    I recently purchased Scrivener and could not get it to work on my PC. Virtually got no response to my inquiries for assistance, so I got a refund.

  17. elizabeth macleod on April 5, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    Are there any streamlined writing apps for multi user? I am in a collab writing project and HATE both google docs and word online.

    • Dave Chesson on April 6, 2019 at 6:13 am

      Streamlined, no. But Scrivener does have a collab feature that works for me in terms of version control….but not as streamlined as Google Docs.

      • Jennifer Felton on June 24, 2019 at 12:37 am

        If you have Windows and using the beta version for S3, there are some issues I’ve seen about using Revision mode. So unless you use a Mac it might be better to wait for multi-users until S3 is actually available.

  18. J.p. Van Gordon on March 22, 2019 at 11:07 pm

    did not even mention WordPerfect, which beats Word to pieces… Been using it for decades and would not HAVE any other!

    • Clifford Farris on August 21, 2020 at 12:16 pm

      I have moved to fully preparing my manuscript in WordPerfect X8. I export from yWriter which I do all my serious writing in. I hate all the hidden junk in Word, use LibreOffice Writer but am still mystified by some of the behavior, and have tried FreeOffice. I will never use anything from Google again because they have dropped several programs that I spent a lot of time on – specifically their facial recognition in photos.

      The reveal codes is the most useful feature and must be why the legal profession uses WP so extensively. Their grammar and style checker, Gramatik is the best of all by a wide margin.

  19. Don Edwards on March 15, 2019 at 3:16 am

    Add to the list: oStorybook and Manuskript. IMHO both are extremely comparable to Scrivener, although definitely not identical. Also, both are available for Windows, OSX, and Linux, and free.The oStorybook user interface is a bit clunky, but It is the best of these programs that I’ve seen in regard to handling chronology. And it happens to be clunky in a way that I, a retired programmer, am quite comfortable with. PLUS, I got it running on my Android tablet, with the help of some other free software (UserLAnd).

    • Dave Chesson on March 15, 2019 at 12:37 pm

      I’ll check that out. Thanks!

    • Jennifer Felton on June 24, 2019 at 12:51 am

      I just downloaded oStorybook, I knew I had it downloaded before but it did not make it to the new computer, and I was not sure why. So, I figured I’d check it out again, and it doesn’t even open. When I click on the icon, Windows asks what program I want to use to open the .jar file… *shrug* I’ve tried Manuskript, but it seems to be pretty much exactly the same as an old version of Shaxpir.

  20. elellilrah on February 21, 2019 at 2:19 am

    I use and Hemingway consistently. Prowriting aid is good but does require more effort to use.
    Scrivener BLOWS AWAY other writing software. Cut/chop your book into chapters and sections. I’ve used it for my non-fiction books. It is a life-saver.

  21. Kate Breuer on January 11, 2019 at 6:51 am

    My favorite is not even on the list. I love writing in Novlr. It is browser based, so I can access it from any computer. Triple backups to their servers, dropbox, and google drive. Distraction free writing. And STATS. I love statistics 😀

    • Dave Chesson on January 11, 2019 at 6:27 pm

      Thanks Kate! I’m actually testing it as we speak and will be writing about it once I have conclusive thoughts on it.

      • Kate Breuer on January 11, 2019 at 11:57 pm

        I’m a big fan. It will be interesting to see what you think 🙂

  22. Brooks Agnew on January 2, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    I have written and published ten books, all using Word. (7 Amazon top 10 best-sellers) I paid thousands to editors who botched every single book, resulting in half a dozen editions, because I never knew these tools existed. I cannot thank Kindlepreneur enough for his help. I would not have known he existed, except for a randomly placed Facebook ad that showed up after 8 years in that “community.”

    • Dave Chesson on January 2, 2019 at 6:27 pm

      Seriously glad to help!

    • TheCapnVideo on August 10, 2019 at 8:54 am

      If you are not on GREAT terms with your editor you will not publish the book you wanted to write. I have heard your story so many times! I’ve even heard of publishers deleting complete chapters for no apparent reason!But a detached editor is necessary.

  23. Heye Ewe on December 22, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    How can you and other reviewers forget that WordPerfect still exists and stays current with features and built in writing tools? Yous say “Basically, I need book writing software that will easily help me to research, outline, reorganize, write, collaborate, and edit. … I need to export my books in both ePub and MOBI formats before hitting publish and getting to the fun part of marketing my books”WordPerfect x6 thru current x9 (19) does all that. I still use x4, 2008, to write my stories and it does all that except for epub has built in support for writing novels: multi chapter/master line; outline tool with drag & drop; great grammar check; metrics to review and grade your writing; output to PDF and ebook forms besides WORD, WPD, RTF and 60 other formats; total backwards compatibility; TOC, footnotes, index and xrefs. When you PROOF your doc, you can choose from a few writing styles or make your own. It will even diagram sentences and will read WORD, PDF, etc files. There is more when you need it. It still is the office standard in legal offices and has a variety of trade dictionaries as needed. If you used 5.x way beck when (and you had no WYSIWYG) even THAT is supported and lets you see the char codes – that has come in handy many many times. If you’ve used WORD, you already know 95% of WP. It has come a long way from ver 5x – It is now on ver 19.It has a tool for the AUTHOR COLLABORATION with multiple reviewers. Each can mark it up, highlight, change and add comments without screwing up the original. The author can then look at each review merged into the original and act on them or not. There is a prompt box that shows alternatives for misspelled words, but also lists related/synonyms for any word. THAT has been very helpful.If price is an issue, look for the penultimate or older versions on Amazon or Ebay. The entire suite (spreadsheet, presentations, DB, note taking tools, clipart ++) is available for as little as $10.It deserves a mention, if not your spotlight.

    • Clifford Farris on August 21, 2020 at 12:19 pm

      Thank you. I agree with all of your comments. I have written three novels in Wordperfect, two of which are out on Amazon and other sellers right now.

  24. lili on November 28, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    I use Sigil and sometimes Calibre for the metadata. but some PDF editors do the trick too, and convert PDF into epub. I looked for a long time for a Kindle editor, but nothing, only epub editors do exist.

  25. Gary Townsend on November 11, 2018 at 3:02 am

    Hemingway is nice, *BUT(!)* one problem I have noticed with it is that if you separate the helper ‘to be’ verb from the past participle found in the passive voice, Hemingway will *NOT(!)* flag that sentence as using the passive voice.This just goes to show, though, that it still pays to know grammar yourself and not rely entirely on software. Software can help, but it has its problems.

    • Dave Chesson on November 11, 2018 at 5:56 am

      So true!

  26. John Maluth Abiel on November 3, 2018 at 7:39 am

    How about OpenOffice? Does anyone use it?I think CreateSpace is moving to KDP, links to the site may not work in the future.

    • TheCapnVideo on August 10, 2019 at 8:52 am

      Open Office is now LibreOffice and it works very well, I like the ability to communicate with my authors via the comments which they can respond to directly in context. It is nearly seamless with WORD but the editing tools are more intuitive. File size is manageable and their original manuscripts can dump directly into the template for book by size.

      • Ernesto on October 3, 2019 at 2:29 pm

        LibreOffice is not the same as Open Office, LO is an off shoot of the OO project.I’ve used LO to publish several books.

  27. elkurczako on August 8, 2018 at 9:54 am

    If you want to spare some bucks on Scrivener there is free windows only alternative – Quoll Writer. Works similar, looks better. All the essential features in one place and even possibility to share your texts with editor. Exports .docx and .epub for further formatting.

  28. Nick Wright on June 23, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    Try StyleWriter for a comprehensive editing tool.

  29. Ria O'Donnell on March 13, 2018 at 2:12 am

    If you want to manage your entire novel all in one place, Novel Suite is the best tool 🙂

  30. Katja L Kaine on January 30, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    You forgot the Novel Factory! ( Please check it out as we’re getting fantastic reviews from people saying its helped them become far more productive and better writers. We’d be happy to offer a discount to your readers : )

  31. Katja L Kaine on January 30, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    You forgot the Novel Factory! ( Please check it out as we’re getting fantastic reviews from people saying its helped them become far more productive and better writers. We’d be happy to offer a discount to your readers : )

  32. Annie Lynn on January 17, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    Thank you for the article. Please consider the following. 1) Scrivener for Windows does not have an American dictionary – all words are spell checked with the UK dictionary. This includes their version of the ellipsis, UK spelling (e.g.: using ‘s’ in organise instead of organize), or contractions
    (e.g.: can’t), slang and formatting. The updated Windows version isn’t out yet but I hope they include an American version since they sell a lot of copies here. 2) ProWritingAid Pro can only do 30-50 pages at a time – which isn’t helpful if your trying to use it for your novel – rendering the program useless. Twice I’ve used the program for clients and it took a very long time to get their novels through the program piece by piece. ProWritingAid is also increasing their rates this year, both yearly and lifetime rates.

  33. Harry haran on December 14, 2017 at 6:24 am

    Good knowledge shared but there are some other useful tool available in market

  34. Susan Tilghman Hawthorne on December 3, 2017 at 1:08 am

    I tried Scrivener a few years ago and didn’t like it at all. It created all kind of different files then I could never find them again, lol. Now it was quite some time ago and I’m sure its improved since then, but I love Word. I was in it from the beginning so understand it well. It works great for my novels, I have no trouble. Love the Styles feature.
    I also love ProWritingAid.
    And when you buy that program it has an add on for Word so it works right inside that program.
    I do use Google Drive so save my word docs there so if, God forbid, my computer went belly up I don’t lose my books! ?
    I also save to a flash drive.

    • Dave Chesson on December 3, 2017 at 2:22 am

      With Scrivener, you can have it export different file types – which can be great for publishing on different platforms. But I totally know what you mean. One thing I don’t like about Grammarly is that it doesn’t work inside of word. But PWA does, like you said.

      I also totally agree on hte multiple places of saving it. It only takes one book to go “poof” before we all start doing that…haha.

  35. Barbara Plum on December 1, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    Great list; now I only have to decide how many new tools I want to learn to use. Tx, Dave.

    • Dave Chesson on December 3, 2017 at 2:23 am

      Haha..I know what you mean. Software doesn’t become a tool till we know how to effectively and efficiently use it.

  36. Exclusively Niemann on December 1, 2017 at 8:10 am

    One of the best tools is not even mentioned here, namely Vellum. My wife and I are writers and without Vellum, we would be ultimately lost. Yes, it is ridiculously expensive and it works only on a mac, but it’s the best by far.

    • Dave Chesson on December 3, 2017 at 2:23 am

      Vellum is pretty good and I’ll be reviewing it more in an upcoming article on best ways to format.

      • Exclusively Niemann on December 4, 2017 at 8:01 pm

        Fantastic, please let us know when the article is available…

  37. John on December 1, 2017 at 7:30 am

    Another good one and very useful is Aeon Timeline. Geared towards writers, it allows you to build multiple time lines of where characters are, what they’re doing etc. You can have character arcs, main story arc, any number of arcs running parallel to each other and get a really good sense of the big picture of your novel.

    • Dave Chesson on December 3, 2017 at 2:23 am

      I’ll check that out. Thanks for the heads up.

  38. Lisa Nicholas on December 1, 2017 at 3:41 am

    Here are a couple you’ve missed: Bibisco (http:// and Dabble — both are designed for writing novels. Bibisco is free, very nice looking, and available on Windows, Linux, and Mac. Dabble is available by subscription (free 14-day trial) and can be used in your browser or a free desktop app (Windows and Mac). I tried Dabble for Nanowrimo (they were one of the sponsors) and fell in love with it. As a Nano winner, I’ll be able to lock in a 50% discount for life. Yay!

    • Dave Chesson on December 3, 2017 at 2:24 am

      Thanks. I’ll check those out!

    • Bree on February 6, 2018 at 5:48 am

      I downloaded the bibisco one, will try it soon, but seems interesting. Dabble I’m using now.. I really like it. Can’t wait for the planned features from the roadmap. ;D

      Also the Novel Factory, omg, loving that one so much! Like a guided way to write a novel and the interface and way it is layed out organizationally is amazing. Probably going to buy it and stick with this once but I’m trying them out. I would choose Scrivener, as I liked it a lot on my Mac OSX that I use to have.. but I use Windows PC now, and so I’m waiting for the 3.0 version to release for PC first as I want to to be able to try those cool new features. 🙂

  39. avoura on December 1, 2017 at 1:01 am

    I can’t believe you missed out LibreOffice. It’s free and a valid alternative to MS Word. I use it for all my writing.
    And for book layouts, I use Adobe InDesign, and Photoshop for covers.

    • Dave Chesson on December 3, 2017 at 2:25 am

      I tried it a while ago and wasn’t a fan but it’s good to know there are others that prefer it. If there are, I’ll give it another go.

    • Harry haran on December 14, 2017 at 6:23 am

      yes me too tried libreOffice it was good to use and its free

  40. Ritter Ames on November 30, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    Hemingway is only showing up as a $19.99 product. No free product is showing up as you mention in your article. I looked further to see if there was a free trial to try, to see if I liked it, but nothing other than the $19.99 version shows up at the link and processed through GumRoad

    • CHris on December 1, 2017 at 5:03 am

      Follow the link given… It’s that page… You paste over the colored writing

      • Ritter Ames on December 1, 2017 at 4:43 pm

        Thank you! Going to try it now to see if I want to buy.

  41. Anita Evensen on November 30, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    I would like to make another suggestion for novel writing software: Novelize ( This online writing app is great for writing a series, because all the details are kept in a notebook, which can be used for several books. It’s also very easy to use and doesn’t come with too many features to sidetrack you from actually writing. Full disclosure: my hubby built it, and I might be jaded. 😉

    • Dave Chesson on December 3, 2017 at 2:25 am

      I’ll check that out! Thanks and no worries on the jadedness…haha.

  42. Joe Green on November 30, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Dave what is the file format that SCRIVENER uses. Can I open and use my previously created .docx files with this program?

    • Dave Chesson on November 30, 2017 at 4:52 pm

      You can import your .docx with them. But as you’ll see, you’ll want to break up the information so as to organize it better – one of the features I love best about Scrivener.

      • Joe Green on November 30, 2017 at 5:08 pm

        Thanks much. Keep up the good work. You have been a great help to me.

  43. Dr. Pam Young on November 30, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    LOL! I was in the middle of writing a four-book series. Now on Book 3. Superstition does not allow me to switch tools until it’s finished. (Old tennis player.) But I did go through their introduction…

    • Dave Chesson on November 30, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      haha…fair enough. I know how that goes 🙂

  44. Dr. Pam Young on November 30, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    You are so appreciated! Thank you. I bought Scrivener when I read this article the first time.;>)

  45. Ton Bil on November 30, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Hemingway I find very useful. I am that kind of writer who thinks and writes long sentences. At least I have the tendency. Now that I write this comment, I’m aware of this, and I try to write short and crisp sentences.
    As for free: I think I paid a few dollars for it, back in 2015, and have a lifelong pro version. I don’t use it at the time, since I don’t write in English, like I did back then.

    • Dave Chesson on November 30, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      Yeah, I’ve really been digging into Hemingway. Although, I’m also learning that my grammar is worse than I thought…haha.

  46. James King on November 30, 2017 at 10:04 am

    There’s a lot of info here but one thing I’ve noticed you say about Prowritingaid ‘-The free version only edits up to 500 words at a time.,
    I am using it and although I’m not sure of the maximum words the most I’ve entered so far is 1664 and it works.

    • Dave Chesson on November 30, 2017 at 1:42 pm

      Hmm…I’ve got the pro version (immediately bought it after testing it) so I can’t check that. But anyone else experience that?

      • Exclusively Niemann on December 4, 2017 at 8:03 pm

        Only consider buying it. We have to make a decision between Hemingway and Prowritingaid. Any advice?

        • Dave Chesson on December 4, 2017 at 8:17 pm

          ProwritingAid gets my vote then. I liked it much better…but that could easily be a preference of mine.

          • Exclusively Niemann on December 5, 2017 at 6:47 pm

            Thank you Dave. I trust experience, and that is what you have…

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Hey Guys, I’m Dave and when I am not sipping tea with princesses or chasing the Boogey man out of closets, I’m a Kindlepreneur and digital marketing nut – it’s my career, hobby, and passion.


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