12 of the Best Book Writing Software to Try in 2024 (Free and Paid)

Let’s imagine that you’re finally ready to sit down and write that book you’ve been dreaming about. The first question that you’ll ask yourself is, which writing software should you use? Sometimes consulting other authors might not help much. Some of them will tell you to use Microsoft Word, others will recommend notebooks and a pen. And every once in a while, a fellow author might mention book-writing software you have never heard of before.

Writing a book, like any other craft, requires some form of dedicated tool, but you don’t have to search far and beyond to find the best one for your needs. This article contains a list of the best options out there for authors of any genre, each with its pros and cons.

best book writing software

In this article:

How to Choose the Best Book Writing Software

If you’re reading this article, then you have probably been hunting for the best tool for writing your book. Each writing program has its strengths and weaknesses, so your choice will depend on your needs and the genre you’re writing your book in.

Generally speaking, most writers expect to find at least two or three of the following features when searching for a book-writing tool:

  1. Text editing and processing: Any book writing software must include some word processing features, which allow you to write, edit, and format text.
  2. Spelling and grammar checker: Spelling and grammar checkers are best used for detecting common typos and correcting basic grammar. They come in especially handy during the proofreading process.
  3. Export options: It’s important to have several manuscript exporting options, like PDF, DOCX, and EPUB. This way, you can upload your book to your preferred publishing platforms as well as open it on any device.
  4. Document formatting: Document formatting features don’t have to be fancy or complicated. Nevertheless, the program must offer some formatting features, like paragraph spacing, headers and footers, etc.
  5. Note-taking widgets: Some programs allow you to add notes or comments to your manuscript without modifying the main text. This can be useful in many cases; for example, you can add notes to remind yourself to look up certain information later.
  6. Multimedia content support: If you want to add images, videos, graphs, or charts to your book, you must choose a program that supports the necessary file formats. For example, the software must support JPG or PNG files if you want to add images.
  7. Novel planning tools: For fiction authors, book writing software may offer novel planning utilities like mind maps, timeline tools, and character profiles.
  8. Interactive content: Some programs, like Kotobee Author, allow you to add interactive content in ebooks, like quizzes and games. These features are the key to turning your ebook into a rich, immersive reading experience.

The 12 Best Book Writing Software in 2024

Each author has different writing goals and routines; one author’s secret sauce could be another author’s pet peeve. So, to help you find a good match for your goals, we have a range of programs that contain all the features you could need.

1. Kotobee Author

Kotobee Author logo

Kotobee Author is a great option for creating interactive ebooks. From novels and storybooks to textbooks and even instruction manuals, Kotobee Author will help you create an engaging, multi-dimensional experience for your readers to enjoy.

In addition to supporting mini-apps and other interactive features it offers, Kotobee Author allows you to export your manuscript in several formats. You can even turn your ebook into web and mobile ebook apps if you wish.


As a book-writing tool, Kotobee Author offers writers the following features:

  • A full suite of word processing tools.
  • Over 19 interface languages to choose from.
  • Ebook apps, including quizzes, and games to enrich the reading experience.
  • Plenty of ebook templates for all genres.
  • Easily adjustable HTML/CSS code for further ebook customization.
  • More than 12 export options (standard ebook formats, online ebook hosting, and the ability to create web/mobile ebook apps).
  • AI content creation tools that can generate text, images, and questions.
  • The option to preview your ebook on 20 different devices.


Despite all the aforementioned advantages, you should be aware that the following features are not available yet:

  • Kotobee Author doesn’t offer writing tips for beginners.
  • There aren’t any dedicated worldbuilding or note-taking tools.


You can get started with the free Kotobee license to test the waters. Alternatively, you can buy the basic license at $150/user or the premium license at $300/user. Both licenses come with free program updates for one year. To learn more about how Kotobee Author can help you write your book, you can request a free live demo.

Kotobee author prices

Verdict: Kotobee Author is fantastic for writers of all levels who want as much creative freedom as possible. It’s also the best (and only) option on this list for creating interactive ebooks.

download Kotobee Author

2. Google Docs (Free)

Google docs logo

When it comes to cloud-based word processing tools, the most popular option is Google Docs. With a clean, clutter-free interface and the option to collaborate with other users, Google Docs is a good fit for teams and multiple authors.

Google Docs’ powerful word processing suite makes it easy to write your manuscript all the way to the end. Plus, your documents are automatically saved to your Google Drive and synced across devices, so you are unlikely to lose them by accident.


Google Docs offers the features below, all of which can be very useful for writing a book:

  • Standard word processing options, such as text editing and word formatting.
  • Cloud integration with Google Drive which allows for easy access to your files across different devices.
  • Simple document design options and several templates to choose from.
  • The option to install add-ons created by the community for various uses.
  • Real-time collaboration with other users for writing, editing, or simply commenting on the text.
  • Around 100 interface languages to choose from.
  • Spelling & grammar checker.


While Google Docs can be great for writing, you should keep these cons in mind:

  • There are no dedicated book-writing features; you are limited to simple document formatting and a few templates to choose from.
  • Google Docs tends to lag if your document is longer than 100 pages or contains many images.
  • There is no default offline mode, but you can install a free Chrome extension if you want to use it offline.


It’s 100% free!

Verdict: Google Docs is best suited for the last few drafts of your manuscript and for live collaboration with your editor. However, you will want to use it for manuscripts that are either text-only or under 100 pages.

3. Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is the tool of choice for most writers when they start writing their books. Ask any writer what software they mostly use in writing their books, and the answer will likely be Microsoft Word.

But why is Word so popular in the writing community? For starters, it has defined the standard of modern word processing. Word also offers a variety of styles, templates, and a lot of features specific to editing and reviewing. Plus, you can use the free online version and save your work to OneDrive or use the paid desktop program and save your files locally as well.


Microsoft Word comes with a range of features, including:

  • Standard word processing tools, like text alignment and language-specific formatting.
  • The option to save files locally or on the cloud via OneDrive.
  • Several templates to choose from.
  • Plenty of design options.
  • The option to track changes made by anyone with access to the document.
  • A built-in spelling & grammar checker.
  • Document accessibility checker.


As some writers will tell you, MS Word does come with a few downsides that you should be aware of. For example:

  • You cannot purchase MS Word on its own; you must pay for a Microsoft 365 subscription, which can get quite expensive.
  • MS Word becomes laggy past the 100-page mark or if the document contains lots of images.


You can use the web version with limited features for free. To access the full version, you have to subscribe to a Microsoft 365 package at $69.99/year for one person (or $99.99/year for up to six users). If you want to learn more about each plan, you can check out their website.

MS Word prices


If you already have MS Word on your computer and use it regularly, then it can be a good fit for the first few drafts of your manuscript. Just keep in mind that MS Word caters better to shorter books and documents that contain lots of images, like pamphlets.

4. Reedsy Book Editor

At an alluring price tag of zero dollars, Reedsy Book Editor aims to give you all the essentials you need to plan and write your book. The app also comes with convenient formatting tools, as well as the ability to collaborate with editors from the Reedsy marketplace.

While the app is geared towards novelists in particular, you can still use Reedsy Book Editor to write in any genre. Its intuitive interface allows you to get started right away.


If you choose to write your book using Reedsy Book Editor, you’ll have access to the following features:

  • Ready-made copyright and table of contents forms with prompts and instructions.
  • An integrated spell-checker in addition to editing and formatting options.
  • Collaboration with editors from the Reedsy marketplace.
  • Writing goals and word count tracker.
  • Easy-to-use chapter/scene splitting.
  • A planning board that utilizes the Hero’s Journey plot structure, with a ready example to use for inspiration.
  • Document adjustments for print when exporting, and numerous export formats to choose from (such as EPUB and MOBI).


Just remember that there are a couple of downsides to using this software that you need to think about, including the following:

  • There is no offline mode, so you need an internet connection to use it.
  • The dashboard is cluttered, which makes it difficult to find the text editor.
  • The planning board is split into three acts, which may not work for every genre.


It’s 100% free!


Reedsy Book Editor is a solid choice for authors writing plot-heavy books. However, non-fiction writers might not benefit from the planning board because it’s aimed at novel writers.

5. Scrivener

Scrivener book writing software logo

Rarely will you find a writer who hasn’t at least heard of Scrivener or recommended it to others. Given its large user base, Scrivener stands among the most popular book-writing software on the market today.

In addition to its powerful planning tools, Scrivener also has lots of room for customization. This robust program allows you to tweak your chapter arrangement, notes, and more.


Many writers use Scrivener because of these features:

  • Support for importing files in a variety of formats such as PDF and DOCX.
  • A range of customization options.
  • Many planning and organization tools for research, book outlining, and notes.
  • An outliner tool to build your outline from the ground up.
  • Cross-platform sync using Dropbox.
  • Composition mode, which hides other tabs and helps you focus on writing.
  • Many export options, including DOCX, RTF, TXT, and FDX.
  • Word counter and goal tracker.


While most writers love this tool, they find these flaws quite significant:

  • The MacOS version tends to receive updates more often than the Windows and IOS versions.
  • The interface isn’t user-friendly; it’s quite difficult to navigate without watching tutorials.
  • Integration with other apps like Google Drive isn’t readily available.


For a MacOS or Windows license, you can pay a one-time fee of $59.99 for the personal copy, or $50.99 for the educational license. If you need both versions, you can pay $95.98 for both the Windows and MacOS licenses in one bundle. For more information on the pricing options, you can visit their website.

scrivener prices


Scrivener is great for all genres and types of writing, but its complex features may need some time to get used to.

6. Dabble

dabble book writing software logo

Dabble presents itself as a clean, intuitive writing program without distracting or complicated tools. All you have to do is log in, open your manuscript, and just start writing.

An advantage that Dabble has over many other writing tools is that it is cloud-based. This means you can work from any device as long as you have an internet connection. In other words, you won’t risk losing hours of hard work.


Here are some of the many features that Dabble offers:

  • Clean, user-friendly interface.
  • Cloud-based storage and autosave function, which means uninterrupted writing across all your devices.
  • The ability to rearrange chapters and scenes as well as separate them by acts or parts.
  • Notes folders to accompany your chapters.
  • A plot planner tool.
  • Focus mode, which hides the menu and sidebars as soon as you start writing.
  • Flexible writing goal tracker, where you can add deadlines or days off from writing.
  • The ability to synchronize your NaNoWriMo project with the app so your word count gets updated as you write.


If you want to try out Dabble, you should be aware of the cons below:

  • The app has very limited formatting options.
  • Dark mode is not available in the Basic plan.
  • The note-taking feature might not be enough for long novels or research-heavy books.


There are three plans to choose from: the Basic plan (priced at $7/month), the Standard plan ($15/month), and the Premium plan ($23/month). You can learn more about Dabble’s pricing on their website.

Dabble prices


Dabble works great for authors who want intuitive book drafting software without too many complicated features. On that note, keep in mind that it doesn’t have enough formatting options to work well as an editing tool.

7. Atticus

Atticus logo

Created by Dave Chesson, founder of Kindlepreneur and Publisher Rocket, Atticus is a great formatting and writing tool designed to turn your manuscript into a finished book.

This powerful book-writing tool allows you to design your book the way you want using its many features. Plus, you can work on your manuscript offline and on any operating system, Chromebook included.


Below is a list of some of Atticus’s best features:

  • Very intuitive interface.
  • The option to import existing manuscript files directly into the program.
  • Plenty of text formatting and design options.
  • Editable front and back matter sections.
  • 17 book templates to choose from and a custom theme builder.
  • The ability to preview your ebook on several devices, including iPhone and Kindle.
  • Cloud-based backups, an autosave function, and the ability to work offline.
  • Standard export options, including large print.


There are some cons to consider before buying this program, though, such as the following:

  • There is no free trial; you have to pay the full price upfront.
  • You cannot export your book unless you have an internet connection.


You get lifetime access to Atticus by purchasing the program for $147. After that, you can download the program on your desktop or on your phone through the website. If you would like to know more about this software, you can find all the details you want on their website.

Atticus prices


Atticus works best if your main goal is formatting your book for publication. Since it focuses on polishing the final draft, it may not be the best choice for beginners or writing the first draft of your book.

8. yWriter

yWriter logo

Designed by published author Simon Haynes, yWriter is one of the classic writing tools that many authors swear by. You can write your book scene by scene and then insert characters, locations, and important items as you please.

As a free program, yWriter offers an incredible wealth of writing tools to help you finish and export your book. Moreover, in addition to the Windows version, there are also mobile apps and a MacOS version in beta.


With yWriter, you get the following perks:

  • Worldbuilding tools like character biographies, locations, and items (such as important objects, languages, or magic systems).
  • The ability to write chapters by scene and add notes or descriptions to scenes, chapters, etc.
  • Essential word processing and editing tools, with the option to install language dictionaries of your choice.
  • The ability to sort scenes or chapters by the characters, locations, or items that appear in them.
  • Additional tools to set writing goals, create backup files, and generate reports on your writing habits.
  • The ability to edit scenes in the program’s text editor and external word processors like MS Word.
  • Multiple export options, including HTML and LaTeX.


Here are a few cons to yWriter to watch out for:

  • The interface is not very user-friendly; most of the features above are difficult to find without experimenting or watching tutorials.
  • Files are only stored locally on your computer; to sync across devices, you have to purchase the mobile apps.
  • Design-wise, the program looks a bit dated.


The Windows program is available for free, but you can show support for the author of yWriter by registering your copy for a one-time fee. There are two tiers available: Silver for $11.49 and Gold for $24.95.


Although yWriter is suitable for beginning writers, it is an ideal tool for experienced authors and book outliners who prefer to plot their novels before or during the writing process

9. FocusWriter

Some may consider FocusWriter a hidden gem in the world of book writing software. Simply put, this program is a simple yet powerful text editor for those who struggle to focus during their writing sessions.

If you just want a program that stops you from procrastinating, then it doesn’t get much better than FocusWriter. Its primary purpose is to encourage you to write, write, and keep writing until you reach your goals.


While using FocusWriter for your projects, you can enjoy the following features:

  • Accessible offline.
  • 20 interface languages available.
  • Daily goals and writing statistics to keep you on track.
  • Built-in timers and alarms so you don’t have to use any external tools.
  • Highly customizable interface that allows you to change anything from the background theme to the typing sound.
  • Optional spell-checker.
  • The ability to move your manually to a different device via storage devices.


As great as it is, FocusWriter does have a couple of flaws, as you will see below:

  • Since there is no cloud storage component, you are limited to using one device unless you use a USB stick to move your files.
  • FocusWriter keeps only the newest version of your document, so you cannot restore older versions.
  • The program does not natively support MacOS.


It’s 100% free!


FocusWriter is primarily a text typing tool, so it is best suited for writing your drafts without getting distracted by other features.

10. LivingWriter

livingwriter logo

While this program is newer than others on this list, LivingWriter is no less powerful. It offers a great number of features for authors who find book planning stressful. It also allows you to refer to your notes as you write your manuscript.

In addition to that, LivingWriter has most of the planning tools you need to finish your book. You can make use of those tools whether you are starting your first draft or going through the final version sentence by sentence.


If you get stuck on book planning from time to time, you might find a lot of benefits in LivingWriter’s features, which include: 

  • The ability to import existing files and manuscripts.
  • Numerous planning boards for different kinds of planning, like worldbuilding, research, etc.
  • NaNoWriMo integration so your word count is continually updated as you write.
  • Cloud-based storage and autosave so you can pick up where you left off from any device.
  • Integration with several apps like Dropbox, Grammarly, Google Drive, and Canva.
  • The ability to share not only your manuscript but also the notes you add to chapters.
  • Chapters and subchapters are self-contained, so the app runs smoothly no matter the length of your manuscript.
  • Many export options with the ability to create files formatted specially for Amazon.


As with other apps, there are a few downsides to using LivingWriter. Here are a few of the points you should be aware of:

  • Some users have reported bugs with certain features, like exporting to Microsoft Word.
  • LivingWriter doesn’t come with any built-in spell-checking features, so you must rely on manual editing or external tools such as Grammarly.


LivingWriter offers a free trial and two paid plans to pick from: the annual payment plan and the monthly plan ($144/year and $14.99/month respectively). To choose a plan or activate your free trial, you can visit their website.

livingwriter prices


LivingWriter is a great planning and writing tool, but it may not work well as a standalone program for some writers as it lacks proofreading features.

11. Bibisco

bibisco book writing software logo

If you need novel writing software that has world-building tools, then Bibisco can work great for you. After creating a file, you can get started on designing characters or plot events right away. Alternatively, you can just start writing and outline your book as you go. Either way, when it comes to novel planning, Bibisco has a lot to offer.

In addition to its amazing outlining tools, Bibisco also gives you small tutorials on tackling different areas of writing, like conflict. So if you’re new to the world of fiction, you can learn as you practice!


Bibisco offers you lots of rich features, including:

  • Worldbuilding tools (characters, locations, timelines, mind maps, etc.).
  • Writing tips and tutorials to help you when you are stuck or have writer’s block.
  • Outlining tools to write down your ideas and create your plot from the ground up.
  • Narrative strands, which connect events to one another in order to develop conflict.
  • A detailed analysis report of your writing habits and the distribution of characters, locations, etc.
  • Various export options, with the ability to archive your files.


Unfortunately, you might encounter the following flaws while using Bibisco:

  • Most of the worldbuilding tools are only available in the paid Supporter’s Edition.
  • The scene text editor is very small and hidden among the program’s features.


The Community Edition is free but has limited features. If you want access to all of Bibisco’s tools, you can make a one-time payment of $47 for the Supporter’s Edition. You may be eligible for Parity Purchasing Power, so make sure to visit the website to check for yourself.

Bibisco book writing software prices


Bibisco works phenomenally as a world-building and novel planning tool, especially for beginners. However, if you aren’t writing a work of fiction or don’t need all the features above, you might want to try other word-processing software with better text editors.

12. The Novel Factory

As its name suggests, The Novel Factory allows you to craft your novel from scratch. It has a multitude of world-building and plotting features that will make your writing process that much smoother.

With The Novel Factory, the writing process becomes much easier. Inside the program, you will find tutorials for each of its features as well as a detailed guide on writing novels. When it comes to the sheer quantity of options, no other tool can compare.


Here is just a small portion of the features available in Novel Factory:

  • Very intuitive interface.
  • A huge set of worldbuilding tools that cover characters, locations, and everything in between.
  • All the plotting/worldbuilding tools are highly detailed, which allows you to plan as much or as little as you want.
  • Each tool has examples and prompts to help with inspiration.
  • A Plot Planner that comes with several templates for different types of fiction, like screenplays.
  • Cross-platform availability as long as you’re connected to the internet.
  • Detailed writing statistics to help you achieve your goals.
  • Available offline if you use the desktop versions.


Unfortunately, The Novel Factory has a few downsides:

  • The program can get quite expensive for the amount of cloud storage it offers.
  • Some of the writing tips may be too specific, which can confuse beginners.
  • The editing and formatting tools are fairly limited.
  • You don’t get much cloud storage space even on the Premium plan, which maxes out at 5GB.


You can choose one of three subscription tiers: Basic ($7.5/month or $75/year), Standard ($20/month or $198/year), or Premium ($60/month or $600/year). If you’re having a tough time choosing a plan, you can try out the app for 30 days, or get more information by visiting their website.

the novel factory prices


Novel Factory contains everything you will need to write your novel from start to finish. The catch is that many authors might not be able to afford it, especially those with limited budgets.

Final Thoughts

When you write a book, it might help to have a tool that works well not only for writing but also for organizing your thoughts. Picking a tool to commit to might not be simple, so we suggest that you test some of the writing software on this list and see what works for you!


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