Writing a manuscript requires preparation and structure. Back in the day, a manuscript was handwritten on paper and then transcribed on a typewriter prior to publication. But nowadays manuscripts are more often typed on a computer.

With the world having nearly come to a standstill, now is the time to dust off all those projects you were holding off for when you had more time. It’s time to write that book!

In this article we’ll be talking about:

  • The 6 main reasons why you should be using book writing software to write your manuscript,
  • Recommended software based on your needs as a writer.

 

What is book writing software?

In its simplest form, book writing software allows you to write, correct and print written documents.

You’re probably already familiar with programs like Microsoft Word, Apple Pages and OpenOffice. These are the most common writing programs and can definitely be used to write a manuscript. They’re easy to acquire and rather intuitive. However, they offer few features geared specifically for writers’ needs. 

6 reasons to use book writing software

There are many reasons to use book writing software . The features these programs offer will help you maximize your writing efforts and reach your writing goals more efficiently. Do you want to improve your organization, your productivity and the quality of your manuscript? Get your hands on a book writing program.

1 – An appealing interface

Looking for a setting that will encourage inspiration?

To help you focus your attention on writing, some software offers a simple interface free of distractions. This way, you can immerse yourself completely in your writing without having your attention pulled away every two minutes. Such features include typewriter mode, Dark mode, and even customizable displays to suit your personal preferences. Distractions are one of the main obstacles to productive writing. We live in a world full of distractions, while writing is an activity that requires time and focus. Using the right writing software will actually help you better utilize the time you spend writing by providing a customizable, clutter-free environment where your mind can focus entirely on the task at hand.

If you prefer to write “out loud,” many book writing programs also support voice dictation. This feature can be a bit tricky to use at first, but it’s a precious asset for authors who cannot or prefer not to write on a keyboard (for medical or other reasons). If this feature interests you, there even exist programs that are specialized in voice-to-text transcription.

2 – Organize your ideas and texts

Looking for tools to help organize your ideas and texts?

Some programs make it possible to organize all your text files in a single place. This way, you can work on several projects (or divide a single project into several sections) without having to spend time switching between Word files, or scrolling up and down through one interminable document.

For instance, if your manuscript counts 15 chapters, try dividing your text into 15 different files so that you can quickly navigate from one to the other. With the proper writing software, you can do this all without ever leaving the program. You can also label each section based on its progress status, so as to easily remember which sections are in progress, which require further editing, and which are completed. No more time wasted managing folders on your computer with dozens of files. This feature helps free up your time and mind to focus on seeking inspiration.

Some programs also make it possible to manage other types of media (photos, videos, etc.) in the same place that you manage your manuscript. Once again, keeping everything you need within a single, seamless interface.

Remember that organization is key to pursuing a career as a writer. Being better organized as a writer will help you reach your writing goals more easily and quickly.

3 – Manage your backups

Looking to protect your documents?

To never lose anything you’ve written, we recommend that you use software that synchronizes your files onto the Cloud. This not only allows you to write with peace of mind that you won’t lose what you’re jotting down for the first time, but it also makes it possible to access your material anywhere, and on any device.

Software that uses the Cloud makes it easy to access your documents, whether from a website or an app on your computer, phone or tablet (given you have access to the Internet). All you need to do is log in to your account online from your device, and voilà! You’re ready to write anywhere, at any time, even when you’re on the go.

4 – Easily share your material

Looking to share your writing in different formats?

Most book writing programs make it easy to share your documents with others. These programs can export any document to PDF and Word, while some can even export directly to ePub (the universal eBook format which is used to read a book on an e-reader and tablet). Other programs can publish your writing directly to online platforms like WordPress and Medium. If you run your own blog and publish regularly, this last feature can help you save lots of time.

5 – Quickly correct mistakes

Looking to correct your text at least once before passing it on to your editor?

Programs like Word and OpenOffice have built-in correction features, but they’re quite limited and can sometimes cause more mistakes than they correct. If you want to take advantage of features that correct both spelling and grammar, there exist a number of spell-checking and grammar-checking programs to choose from.

These more advanced grammar-checking programs will correct things like spelling, typos and basic grammar mistakes, but they’ll also provide more in-depth suggestions to help improve your manuscript (for example, reducing repetitions, correcting spacing and punctuation issues).

6 – Reach your writing goals

Looking to structure your creative process?

Some more advanced writing programs make it possible for you to identify specific goals and then will encourage you to stick to them. Whether it’s a number of words to write per day or an amount of time allotted to writing, setting goals for yourself can help motivate you to keep up with your writing and to respect the schedule you’ve set for yourself. Some more advanced programs include features to make it easier for you to set and meet your writing goals by sending reminders, structuring your writing sessions, and helping you meet your daily and weekly targets.

What’s the best book writing software to use?

 

Beginner writers

If you’re a beginner writer and you’ve only written using basic software like Word, we recommend a basic writing program that uses Cloud backups. The Cloud backups will make it possible for you to work on your writing from any device and from anywhere. By setting the program to do automatic saves, you can rest easy that your material is regularly backed up so as never to lose a word. What’s more, such Cloud-based programs normally offer useful features for organizing your documents. You’ll also want to get your hands on some grammar-checking software to help improve the quality of your writing.

If you’re feeling ambitious, you can try more advanced writing software. However, the more advanced software will likely require some time to get used to its additional features. Plus, in most cases the advanced software costs more than the basic options.

OUR RECOMMENDATIONS

Writing software that uses Cloud backup
Google Drive/Google Docs, DropBox, Evernote, or OneNote: free version available for Mac, Windows, iOS and Android

Spell-checking and grammar-checking software
Antidote 10: $198.95 (129.95 + $69). Compatible with Mac, Windows and Linux. Also available for iOS for $19.99
Grammarly: free version available. Compatible with Mac, Windows, iOS and Android
Hemingway App: free version available online. Compatible with Mac and Windows

Advanced writing software
Ulysses: paid subscription $6.49/month, free trial version available. Compatible with Mac and iOS
Scrivener: compatible with Mac ($67), Windows ($62) and iOS ($20)
Bear: free version available for Mac and iOS

Useful links

Advanced writers

If you’re looking to write a book in the coming months and you want more sophisticated tools to help you reach your goals, we recommend using more advanced writing software.

Advanced features included in the more “complete” writing programs will help you stay more productive and organized in your writing process. Of course, the more advanced programs are typically not available for free, so it will be up to you to determine whether the added features are worth the investment.

OUR RECOMMENDATIONS

Advanced writing software
Ulysses: paid subscription $6.49/month, free trial version available. Compatible with Mac and iOS
Scrivener: compatible with Mac ($67), Windows ($62) and iOS ($20)
Bear: free version available for Mac and iOS
Storyist: compatible with Mac ($59) and iOS ($19.99), free trial version available
Scribook: free version available online
Write app: $34.95. Compatible with Mac, Linux and Windows
Bibisco: free version available for Mac, Linux and Windows

Spell-checking and grammar-checking software
Antidote 10: $198.95 (129.95 + $69). Compatible with Mac, Windows and Linux. Also available for iOS for $19.99
Grammarly: free version available. Compatible with Mac, Windows, iOS and Android
Hemingway App: free version available online. Compatible with Mac and Windows

Useful links

Blog writers

If your goal is to write blog articles or short texts for online publishing instead of a long manuscript, you can combine different programs to optimize your writing workspace. We recommend using a basic writing program like Microsoft Word combined with a Cloud backup program like Google Drive or Dropbox, and finally a grammar-checker that’s compatible with your selected writing program.

There are more advanced writing programs that make it easier to share and publish your work online. If you publish on WordPress, the official WordPress app makes it possible for you to easily update many aspects of your site, including blog content.

OUR RECOMMENDATIONS

Backup/Cloud software
Google Drive/Google Docs, DropBox, Evernote, or OneNote: free version available for Mac, Windows, iOS and Android
iAWriter: Compatible with Mac ($39.99), Windows (USD$19.99), iOS ($11.99) and Android (free). Free trial version available.

Spell-checking and grammar-checking software
Antidote 10: $198.95 ($129.95 + $69). Compatible with Mac, Windows and Linux. Also available for iOS for $19.99.
Grammarly: free version available. Compatible with Mac, Windows, iOS and Android
Hemingway App: free version available online. Compatible with Mac and Windows

Writing software for bloggers
Ulysses: paid subscription $6.49/month, free trial version available. Compatible with Mac and iOS
Scrivener: compatible with Mac ($67), Windows ($62) and iOS ($20)
Bear: free version available for Mac and iOS
Storyist: compatible with Mac ($59) and iOS ($19.99), free trial version available
Penflip: free version available online
WordPress app: free version available for Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android

Useful links

Conclusion: make writing software your ally

Whether it’s to write important emails, blog articles or your next novel, there exist a wide range of writing programs to choose from that will make your life easier.

If it’s a novel you’re writing, using the right software is crucial to mastering the 4 stages of writing which include: plot planning, first draft, rewriting and publishing.

Whether you’re a beginner writer or more advanced, many options are available to help bolster and improve your writing process.

You have a book project in mind and need some advice on how to get started?

Discover our Guide to Assisted Self-Publishing!

guide author guide assisted publishing

Find the book writing software that’s right for you

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