Some writers might awake their inner romantic and bust out their great aunt’s typewriter to get their creative juices flowing, but to make sure you can’t just write in peace but also format your manuscript correctly, find your random notes again later, catch all those embarrassing typos, and get the chance to build a hassle-free working relationship with an editor, you’ll need more. You’ll need excellent book writing software. Because that particular market is currently in the middle of somewhat of an explosion, it might, however, be hard to pin your best choice down.
What should you consider when you choose your book writing software?
What features do I want and need from my book writing software?
Though all book writing software aims to help you write and polish your manuscript, these tools have incredibly diverse features. Some book writing software rocks at taking your manuscript from draft to fully-formatted, self-publishing-ready, ebooks (Reedsy Book Editor). Others, like ProWritingAid, integrate with your other software to offer you real-time style and grammar suggestions. Some book writing software makes collaboration super easy, while other options allow you to customize your interface to minimize distractions while you’re writing. Some (Frost) even play you soothing background music to get you in the mood.
Not every writer has the same needs, and we definitely don’t all share the same wants. You have so many options that you first have to decide what features are absolutely essential to you, and that’s going to depend on what kind of book you’re writing. By getting this out the way first, you’ll save yourself from being sucked into an endless vortex.
(How much) do I want to pay for my book writing software?
Many truly helpful and user-friendly book writing programs and apps are free — but some, like Hemingway or Ulysses, do cost money or have paid versions. Are you willing to splurge to help you get to the end of your manuscript more easily? Even if you’re thrilled to pay if it means you get the best book writing software, don’t discount the many free options out there. Many are every bit as good at paid book writing software choices. That’s good news if you are trying to budget; you’ll still get the book writing software you need.
Do I like the look and feel of the writing software
Book writing software that does exactly what you want is not going to help you if it has a cluttered interface, or it’s difficult to learn how to use. YouTube reviews, in which writers who’ve already tried the options you are considering, show you exactly what to expect, will give you an honest feel for the product. If, despite the fact that a book writing software otherwise possesses the features you need, you simply hate the way it looks, keep searching.
Where can I access the book writing software?
Some options will save your work to the cloud, making it possible for you (and others you’ve shared your work with) to access it anywhere, even on your phone or tablet. Cloud storage liberates you from the worry that all that writing will have been for nothing if your PC suddenly falls victim to a catastrophic failure, or a coffee cup. Book writing software that saves your manuscript to the cloud has the extra benefit of not taking up any space on your machine, allowing you to get as wordy as you want without thinking about your disk space.
If you’re good about backups, only plan to write on the one computer, and want to make absolutely sure that nobody else sees your manuscript until you’re ready, a locally-stored software might be better for you. That’s also true if you are, for instance, traveling and have spotty internet access. In that case, you will of course want to look for book writing software compatible with your operating system.
Still not sure where to get started with book writing software? That doesn’t mean that you have to be confined to your regular old word processor forever. Because a good portion of the best book writing software on offer right now is free, you could simply start experimenting. You don’t have to stick to just the one, either — many writers will be happy to choose one book writing software for the bulk of their work, but to call in the assistance of a grammar and style tool that integrates with it, and to use something like EverNote to keep track of their random but important thoughts.