Book Writing Software: Which Is Best?

Let’s face facts – if you are going to write a book, you will need book writing software.

But no two authors write or think in the same way. Which is a good thing - and the very reason why we have such a vast range of literature to enjoy.

Some writers thrive on mastering the advanced options of feature rich software whereas others prefer to get their entire first draft nailed with a fuss free minimal word processor. Whatever your preference – there is a writing software tool out there for you.  In fact, there are hundreds - which is why choosing the right one for you can be a daunting prospect and yet another thing to take your mind off the key task in hand – writing your book!

In our opinion, there are currently three champions of the writing software market and each one is suited to a different kind of writer – from the no frills “let’s write” type of scribe to the more digitally savvy lover of advanced  features and the middle folk who fall in between these  two categories!

Here’s our run down of the top three book writing software packages out there:

Microsoft Word

Surprised?  Perhaps because it has been available for so long one may be forgiven for thinking it has lagged behind when it comes to advanced features and usability. But no, Microsoft word remains as one of the most popular free writing tools out there and is used by millions of users for good reason. Quite simply, because it works!

You can create your own book writing template in word and if you encounter any issues, the remedy can swiftly be found with a quick Google search. It is hardy and reliable and offers writers the chance to just get their words down with no annoying formatting alerts. Once your first draft has been completed you can easily return to format your work and create a “book ready” document.  In fact, most agents expect to receive submissions in a .doc or .docx format so proving that Word is still the most widely used writing software out there.

Loved predominantly by pc users, Microsoft word may however be potentially frustrating for Mac users who have been known to curse the screen for crashes and formatting issues. 


But fear not all you lovers of the Mac, for our next writing tool has been dubbed “the biggest software advance for writers since the word processor” and works like a dream on a Mac – for which it was first invented – and more recently, the pc.  The beauty of Scrivener is that it boasts a huge range of organisational features. Perfect for those writers who are forever jotting down plot ideas on the fly and need somewhere to centralise their research.  One of the most popular functions of Scrivener is a corkboard view that allows authors to organise ideas with a “drop and drag” tool.  It is possible to create word count goals for each chapter as well as files to store non-manuscript information such as character ideas and any other inspiration that you have gathered for the book. 

But all this and much, much more does come at a price. Expect to pay around £40 for a pc download of Scrivener and £43 for Mac.  Is it worth it? The answer to that is a personal one. If you have the time to familiarise yourself with all the bells and whistles of this incredible software then yes – absolutely! With a huge amount of training material out there, including 10 minute overviews of all the most important features, you can happily be writing within a few hours of downloading it.  However, if you are more of a traditionalist and prefer to stick to a good solid word processor without whizzy features (fantastic as they may be) – we would suggest you stick to Microsoft Word.

Download a free trial of Scrivener here for 30 days.


And so we come to the third of our book writing software champions. 
WriteItNow has recently been voted the best writing software of 2017 by – one of the largest and most comprehensive produce review sites on the internet.

It ranked WriteItNow against:
Power Structure
The Novel Factory
Writer’s Blocks
Dramatica Pro
Master Writer

Of all these excellent pieces of writing software, it came out on top. So could this be the perfect writing software for those folk we mentioned before who fall between the need for something simple and something infinitely more advanced? We think so.  With an overall user rating of 9.85 out of 10, it would appear that WriteItNow manages to provide a huge range of extra features to writers but in an easy to use, simple fashion. Its elegant user interface allows users to outline and monitor chapters, characters, notable events, maps, ideas and reference points all in one location.  Perfect for those wanting a little more organisation assistance than Microsoft Word but less of the daunting features found within Scrivener.
At the end of the day, the important thing is to find a tool that allows suits your own personal approach to writing. However your ideas leave your head and enter the page, your story is the central player and things such as consistency, motivation and sheer determination to get to the end of your literary journey will see you through. 

It is at this point that we at CMP can talk you though your printing options as a self publisher and assist you in a variety of ways including formatting, finishing options and cover design. 

We hope that you have found our summary of writing software useful and look forward to helping you get published. If you require a book print quote simply use our online form or call us on 01202 739993.


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