How To Write A Book With The Very Best Writing Software Tools

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the best writing software and tools

Writing and publishing a book today means you need the best tools

A lot of people have a great book idea.

Writing and publishing a book with today’s technology is easy. All you need is the time to write and finish your book.

However, for many who started to write books, there was an unrealistic dream of becoming an author of bestselling books.

The reality of writing fiction books or a nonfiction book is that only outstanding books stand a chance of selling.

If you are new to writing and electronic publishing, it is a good idea to work on practising writing before you start your book project.

It is not that successful authors today need to be professional writers, but writing good books does require competent grammar and writing skills.

But don’t worry. There are plenty of resources and tools available now for a new book writer to help you learn and improve your writing skills.

It might seem odd today to recommend that you read a book. But On Writing by Stephen King is still a great place to start for all new writers.

Writing your book

It starts with a few chapter titles. Then, once you’ve written between forty and eighty thousand words, you can say, “I wrote a book!”

Then the process of carefully preparing your manuscript for publishing begins. For most writers, it means finding an editor and a competent proofreader. It might also require the services of a book formatter as well.

All that is for later though. Because first, you have to write your book.

No one writes a book on the kitchen table with a pen and paper anymore. And the days of sitting down at a typewriter are long gone.

The tools that an author needs today are electronic and digital.

The two essentials for a serious book writer are a multi-layered word processor and editor designed specifically for writing a book or novel and a first-class spelling, grammar and writing checker.


Book writing software

Word processing software such as Microsoft Word and Google Docs are not suited to the writing process of a book.

For a book writing project, you will need to work with many threads and elements. Characters, places, event timelines, notes and plotlines have to be drawn together into a versatile text editor.

Here are some dedicated book writing software suggestions for you.




Scrivener is one of the most popular premium creative writing software programs.

It is feature rich with all the writing tools an author needs. It is tailor-made for very long writing projects.

Scrivener has everything. An outliner, cork board, side by side viewing, word count targets and a full-screen editor along with print, export and publishing tools.

It has all the tools that a writer could ever need. About all that is missing are writing prompts and instant cures for writer’s block.

Binder page view
Binder page View
Corkboard inspector
Corkboard Inspector
Research view
Research View

You can learn a lot more about Scrivener in this short video.

Scrivener offers a 30 day free trial period. But only days that you use the software are counted. If you use the software every second day, your free trial period will run for 60 days.

Scrivener is available for download for both Windows and Mac. There are also iOS apps for iPhone and iPad.To find the free version, scroll down to the footer of the product page. You will see the Download link on the left-hand side.



yWriter is a free alternative book writer editor.

One feature is that it breaks book writing into chapters. When writing a book, this is a must-have feature.

It also comes with the ability to build characters and locations.




Manuskript is a free open source book writing program.

It has an outliner, word count, distraction-free mode and a novel assistant to help you develop characters using the snowflake method.

Not too bad for a free piece of software.



Writing checkers

When you start writing a book, you are going to need editing tools that will help you improve your writing.

While intense editing and proofreading will start after you finish, you still want to make sure that what you write is as perfect as possible.

The best way to do this is to use a premium writing checker that will help you find ways to polish your writing, grammar, consistency and style.

There are many free online grammar checkers, but most are not suitable at all for working on a long document.

The only two I use and would recommend for working on a manuscript are ProWritingAid and Grammarly.



ProWritingAid logo

ProWritingAid calls itself a personal writing coach, grammar guru, style editor, and writing mentor.

From my experience with using it, I can certainly say that it is not an exaggeration.

While most grammar checkers can find the passive voice, incorrect prepositions and plurals, ProWritingAid goes so much deeper into analysing long-form writing.

There are twenty-five different in-depth reports that will give you so many suggestions as to how you can improve your text.

prowritingaid reports menu

You can read about all the features in our review of ProWritingAid.

It also has a very big advantage of being compatible with Scrivener.

There are many free and premium grammar checkers, but only ProWritingAid has all the tools that are essential for authors.

There is a free version available. But if you are serious about learning how to write a book, you will probably choose the reasonably priced premium version with all the tools.




Grammarly is by far the most popular online grammar checker.

As a second choice for authors, you won’t go wrong. But it is better at helping correct online writing such as for a blog post or social media entries.

I use it a lot, but only for short-form writing such as short stories and checking that what I write and post online is as accurate as possible. You can read my full review of Grammarly.

It works exceptionally well with the WordPress editor, so for bloggers, it is almost always the best choice.

Again there are free and premium versions available.


Wrap up

Yes, there are a lot of free tools for writers available online now.

But if you are serious about writing your book and writing it well, a small investment in the best software you can find is a small price to pay.

If you decide to use Scrivener and ProWritingAid together, you will have the best two tools available for the long task ahead of you.

All you need now is your brilliant book idea, and the passion and energy to turn it into a fantastic story.


Related reading: What Is Point Of View In Story Writing And How You Choose


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Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

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