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15 Book Writing Software for Truly Serious Writers

Being a writer in this day and age entails you to be up to date with the latest writing tools. And this includes Book writing software. These are types of software that were created to make writing so much easier. Book writing software are all designed to make your book writing experience smoother and more effective. These types of software are word-processors that unlimited text and give you the luxury of a free-flowing writing experience. This list gives you the chance to choose which software is best for you.

1. Microsoft Word

microsoft word

Developed by: Microsoft

First released: October 25, 1983

Price: $9.99 per month on Office 365 Home and $6.99 per month on Office 365 Personal

It is one of the first and most used book writing software. It is in truth synonymous with writing because a majority of people all over the world use it, and hold true to its effectiveness. In many ways this software is a comfort zone for most writers because they grew up using it and have a certain affection and affinity with it. If you are a long term user of this software, you would have a hard time assimilating to a new software.


  • Microsoft word is quite a well-known software
  • It is very easy to use and dependable
  • Corrections are efficient and very easy to clean up
  • The bullets and numbers are done automatically
  • It is a staple for almost any computer user


  • It lacks certain features that are present in the more recent book writing software
  • You need a computer in order to edit or view the documents
  • The auto format tool can be annoyingly inflexible

2. Scrivener


Developed by: Literature and Latte

First released: January 20, 2007

Price: $40.00 for Windows and $45.00 for Mac OS

It was created with writers in mind. It is in truth not for the everyday user. Its 550 page manual is a testament to that. But if you want a book writing software that will help you grow as a writer. This is the software for you. It is extremely effective for writing story lines and book formatting. Its many features will surely give users the edge when it comes to keeping track of your writing.


  • It is a magnificent tool for storytelling and plot making
  • A great selection of templates
  • Has functions that can easily export your data to other digital platforms


  • It is not for the everyday user
  • May take a long time to learn

3. Google Docs

google docs

Developed by: Google

First released: March 9, 2006

Price: Free

Google Docs is one of the most popular book writing software around. It’s most unique features is that it is very secure because everything is saved at the server and thus you always have a back-up. This is extremely welcome for writers because it can be very distressing to lose a day’s work of writing just because of a power outage or you forgot to save your work.


  • Automatic save functions
  • Easy access no matter where you are
  • Built in comment functionality


  • Functions may seem limited for some users

4. FocusWriter


Developed by: Graeme Gott

First released: October 23, 2008

Price: Free

FocusWriter is the most minimalist form of book writing software out there. It is a simplistic take on the format. It was designed to eliminate all other forms of distractions and makes the writing feel more old school.


  • Eliminates distraction by having a very simplistic format
  • It is straightforward and easy to use
  • Can be downloaded for free


  • It’s simplicity might not please everyone
  • It lacks certain functions that other software have

5. WriteMonkey


Developed by: Studio Pomaranca

First released: May 15, 2007

Price: Free

WriteMonkey is a small package that packs quite a punch. It is a free program that enables you to format, annotate, classify and link without any unnecessary fuss.


  • It has an excellent outliner and automatic syntax highlighting
  • Good file organization


  • It takes some time getting used to

6. Celtx


Developed by: Celtx Inc.

Price: Free

Celtx is an online script writing platform designed for small creative teams and includes a solo screenwriting package. It also allows creators to integrate media into their projects and facilitates team-based project management.


  • Perfect for script writing
  • It provides a suite of tools for professionals, aspiring professionals, and media students including outlining and research capabilities, story boarding, camera blocking and production scheduling.
  • Has shared access to scripts or novels used to require a paid subscription to Celtx Studio. Now you can share a script or novel with up to 10 users — free of charge.
  • Comments can be shared.


  • Lacks features that are commonplace to other book writing software
  • It requires an internet connection

7. LibreOffice Writer


Developed by: The Document Foundation

First released: January 25, 2011

Price: Free

LibreOffice Writer is technically a free and open source alternative to Microsoft Word as a book writing software. It technically has all its features.


  • It is for free
  • The program is a cross platform and could be written in any platform
  • Saves PDF’s efficiently
  • Very easy to download
  • It has most of the features of Microsoft word


  • It lacks some of Microsoft Word’s more subtle features
  • Uses up a lot of memory
  • It does not come with technical support
  • It is a tad bit slower

8. Sigil


Developed by: Kevin Hendricks and Doug Massay

First released: 2009

Price: Free

Sigil is an Open Source WYSIWYG ebook editor that produces ebooks in the popular epub format. You can use this software on most smartphones and tablets, and even on desktop or laptop computers.


  • It has a table of contents generator with multi-level heading support
  • Contains WYSIWYG editing in book view
  • Has full UTF-16 and EPUB 2 specification support
  • It is comes with a FlightCrew validator for EPUB standard compliance validation (separate plugin)


  • Its many features are predominantly for the e-book format only
  • It has limited EPUB 3 support.

9. Trelby


Developed by: Osku Salerna

First released: September 26, 2012

Price: Free

Trelby is made for playwrights in mind. It is a powerful multi-platform screenwriting tool that is available for Linux and Windows.


  • It is easy to use
  • It offers Import and Export for Final Draft and Fountain files
  • It’s for free
  • It has various production tools


  • It is made predominantly for playwrights
  • The view page is not adjustable
  • It is not mobile friendly
  • Does not come for Mac OS

10. Scribus


Developed by: The Scribus Team

First released: June 26, 2003

Price: Free

Scribus is a desktop publishing application for Linux, OS X and Windows that’s capable of producing entire magazines.


  • Good color management support
  • It offers professional grade publishing
  • It’s great for producing magazines
  • One can easily edit objects within the different layers of a document
  • It goes well with Windows environment
  • It’s for free


  • Lacks a spell check feature
  • It runs slowly if you’re working on multiple pages on XP
  • The program may get bogged down by large files
  • The documentation and help resources are a bit disorganized.

11. Hemingway


Developed by: Adam and Ben Long

Price: Free, and $19.99 for Hemingway Editor 2

Hemingway is a highly efficient proofreading device designed to highlight complex and long sentences. It is excellent at spotting grammatical errors and highlights them through coloring the errors.


  • It is highly efficient
  • It color codes each potential error type
  • It’s efficiency makes it perfect for tight deadlines
  • It makes your writing very clear and uncluttered


  • It lacks a complete spell checker
  • Overly strict adherence to correct grammar.
  • The Live preview feature in the desktop version of Hemingway makes your text editor slow
  • In some cases for the desk stop version the colored sentences are overlaid causing double lines

12. Evernote


Developed by: Evernote Corporation

First released: June 24, 2008

Price: Free, Plus for $34.99 per year, and Premium for $69.99 per year

Evernote is first and foremost an archiving tool and also an absolutely superb research tool. One of the best things about Evernote is the efficiency with which you can categorize your work and add it to an already existing storage system. Evernote allows you to have an idea at home, work and have the luxury of storing it away in a highly organized and innovative archive.


  • Work is archived fast and efficiently
  • Provides a highly efficient archiving system
  • It allows you to keep detailed notes on your writing and store them hassle free anytime
  • Organizes all your ideas without fail


  • The format can be confusing

13. Freemind


Developed by: Jörg Müller, Daniel Polansky, Petr Novak, and Christian Foltin, Dimitri Polivaev.

Stable released: September 12, 2014

Price: Free

Freemind is all about mind mapping. It gives you the flexibility to organize your thoughts and inspirations on paper as you try to unravel the whole story. The software helps you to visualize the tone of your book.


  • It has a huge array of features that will help you organize your ideas
  • It supports hyperlink which gives you the ability to link web-sites and even documents to a map
  • You can export your work in a variety of formats
  • It hastens note taking


  • It uses an older style logical structure that could frustrate some reader

14. WriteItNow


Developed by: Ravenshead Services Ltd

Price: Registered download version for $59.95, Upgrade from version 4 to 5 for $19.95, and CD version for $65.95

WriteItNow is a truly multifaceted tool that brings both efficiency and innovation to writers. It’s most innovative new feature thus far being the character tab that allows highly detailed character building.


  • The program has a highly detailed character building function that allows you to download name sets depending on locations and time periods
  • It has a huge array of features that will help in almost every aspect of writing
  • Offers an events graph which allows you to view different strands of the plot
  • The thesaurus is extensive.


  • The software lacks genre outlines
  • It does not have phone support

15. ProWritingAid


Developed by: Chris Banks

First released: February 10, 2012

Price: Free, Premium for $40 per year, and Premium+ for $45 per year

It includes various features such as checks on sentence length, grammatical errors and redundancies. There is even a ‘Human Editor’ button in the top right, which allows you to submit your work for editing by a member of the ProWritingAid team.


  • It has a huge array of features to help you edit your work
  • Contains a human editor button that gives you the choice to ask the ProWritingAid team for help
  • Has a highly adaptable program that can be useful for a very long time
  • The format is innovative


  • It takes a bit of time to fully master
  • It is overly proactive
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5 thoughts on “15 Book Writing Software for Truly Serious Writers

  1. Diana Kathryn Plopa

    You missed Power Structure! (
    This is an excellent writing program with so many wonderful features… but the best part is that you don’t HAVE to use them all. You use the features that works for your style of writing. Complete with extensive outlining, character mapping, conflict checking, spell checking, a name bank, report printing, export features, and so much more! I’ve been using it since 2004, and I wouldn’t use anything else.
    No, I’m not a paid spokesperson… just a writer who has searched far and wide for the best writing tool available – and I believe I found it!

  2. Laura Palmer

    This is a great list. Two notes I’d add are:
    1. Open Office is another free and decent substitute for MS Word
    2. With Microsoft’s One Drive, you can now edit word docs anywhere and it will save it to the cloud, similar to Google Docs. Google Docs still has a better online interface, but OneDrive saves your work more seamlessly between computers. I used it the past two years during graduate school and it was great to close a document on my computer at home, go to school and pull out my tablet-computer and go back to work on an assignment directly from where I left off.

  3. Earl

    You left out Open Office and Grammarly. You also didn’t note or didn’t know that Word 2007 and up allows add-ins including grammarly and prowitingaid.

  4. Raymond Walker

    Firstly. Thank you for a good and informative article. I have tried out many of the programs that you mention (not all) and your analysis of those I know is straight forward and insightful, in my opinion. I settled on Microsoft word long before most of the software mentioned became available being an old buffer but I am always willing to give something new a shot. I do like Scrivener but it grows heartily annoying if you are not a meticulous planner. That said, I did find it a great piece of software.
    Secondly, I just wished to mention one that you left off of your list and that is “New Novelist” which although an inferior piece of software to many mentioned here, I suspect is the best software for the complete beginner.
    Thank you again for an informative article.

  5. William Seward

    A great list! I would add yWriter5 (now yWriter6) It’s free. Modeled somewhat after Scrivener, and has quite good features. It is mostly for Windows, but also runs well on Linux under Wine. I’ve used the yWriter5 version for years. Above all the others, it just seems to work well with my own mental processes.
    I also use Celtx for playwriting, and it can indeed be used offline, depends on where you store your work files. Another quite excellent free tool.
    I swear by Evernote. I love the portability/cross platform aspect. I’m always jotting down notes on my smartphone and accessing them later on my laptop. It works great at clipping online articles, etc. to save.
    I’m fascinated by mind-mapping tools, but for some reason my mind just doesn’t work that way.
    Someone else mentioned Power Structure. I have it, and play with it sometimes, but I like yWriter much better.
    Story Weaver is another good paid program. It is almost a whole writing course in one program. I have it, haven’t used it much.
    I still use Word 2000 for “straight” non-creative writing. At times I’ve used open-source tools (Open Office, Libre Office, etc.) My first DOS/Windows word processor was Wordperfect 5.1. I actually liked that one quite a lot until it went away. I had to switch to Word and never went back, although Wordperfect worked better for me in some respects. My first word-processor, however, was Telewriter-64, a program for the Radio Shack Color Computer (mine was pre-Tandy). I wrote several plays on that, though compared to today’s software it was pretty clunky.
    It’s all about putting words on paper. Most of the dedicated tools are all about formatting and organization and do those jobs quite well. Whatever works for the individual. Pencil and paper still work quite well when it comes to creating, and that combo is still hard to beat in terms of portability.


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