The Best Software For Authors Writing A New Book

Software For Authors

Software for authors is essential because writing your book is a long term project.

There are many facets involved in the writing process that you will need to bring together.

But before you start writing, make sure that you have the very best writing tools for the task ahead of you.

You might have already started writing your book in Microsoft Word or Google Docs. But word processors are designed for office projects and tasks.


Essential writing software for authors

Word processors are fine for online writing and blog posts.

But they are not the best tools at all for writing a long manuscript. Working on a single document for a book is not a good solution.

The writing tools in most word processing software are basic. You need more tools and much more flexibility when you write a book.

You will always want to polish your writing as much as possible. For this aspect, you are going to need much more than a simple grammar and spell checker.

Another aspect will be how you intend to list and promote your new book.

There are many free and open-source options for book writing software and writing apps.

If you are serious about writing your book, you should consider the best software for authors available for your writing goals.


1. Your book writing software


Without a shadow of a doubt, Scrivener is by far the most popular software among authors.

It has everything you need to bring all the elements of your book project together in one place to write and craft your first draft.

Yes, it has all the basics, such as full-screen distraction-free writing mode, mind mapping, and word count goals.

But it has so much more to offer. There are so many features; it will take a short learning curve to learn how to use them all.

You can break down your manuscript into manageable chunks and work on individual chapters and scenes.

There are tools to keep notes about events and profiles of your characters. You can also store research notes and build your story from your outline.

With the outliner, you can work on small parts of your text or your whole document.

You can write and review synopses and create folders and subfolders. It is going to be your all in one organizer for your manuscript.

Scivener Outliner

There are so many features you can use. The corkboard uses index cards for every part of your book.

You can change the order by simply moving the cards, and it will automatically re-order your manuscript.


scivener corkboard

With the research view, you can work on your manuscript alongside the notes and pages you have collected.

You can add any piece of content or take notes about a pdf file or a web page.

It is a great tool for writers to have to help you move your story along.

It can help you when you feel you might have a little case of writer’s block or need fresh ideas.

Research view

In the binder view, you bring all the elements of your book together. Think of it like a big ring binder where your store every element of your work.

Binder page view

When it’s time to write, you can work on any device. You will never be without your Scrivener files.

You can use the software on a desktop or laptop, as well as a tablet or smartphone.

If you use a cloud drive like Google Drive or Apple iCloud, you can work on your book anywhere, anytime.

scrivener screens

Take a look at this short video from Literature & Latte to help you get started. You will discover how much writing power you will get when you write your book using Scrivener.

 Find out more about Scrivener 

2. Craft, style, and edit your manuscript

It is not only when you finish your first draft that you need some help.

As you write, you will be looking for better ways to express your thoughts. You will need synonyms and alternative structures to make sure that your writing is not repetitive.

Most authors know that you should avoid the passive voice. But this is only one small grammatical element.

There are many other structures that you will need to work on and improve as you write your book.

Perhaps you have too many sticky sentences, too many repeated phrases, or you have quotation mark inconsistencies.

Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you could get some quick analysis as listed below to help you as you write?

50% of sentences start with a subject (compared to 61% in published writing).
21% of sentences start with an adverb (compared to 9% in published writing).
5% of sentences start with a gerund. You might want to consider adding some.
0% of sentences start with an infinitive. You might want to consider adding some.
14% of sentences start with subordinate conjunction (compared to 17% in published writing).
14% of sentences start with a coordinating conjunction (compared to 5% in published writing).
5% of sentences start with a past participle. You might want to consider adding some.
0% of sentences start with a verb followed by a subject. You might want to consider adding some.
0% of sentences start with an introductory word. You might want to consider adding some.
Pronoun percentage good (5.1%) Target 4%-15%.
Initial pronoun percentage good (21.4%) Target 0%-30%.
12 dialogue tags found.
46.7% of your document is dialogue.

Well, you can get help like this very easily.


ProWritingAid is more than a grammar checking tool. It is a whole suite of reports and tools.


You can improve your writing quality, accuracy, consistency, and variety by digging deep into your writing. You also get helpful reminders and tips.

It is the only writing checker that comes with all the features you will need to work on a long manuscript–from first to final draft.

From the main menu, you can select the version of English you use. You can also select a writing style, such as creative, casual, or even academic.

When you click on any of the top-level menu items, you access all the analyses and reports for your manuscript.

Menu items

You can get a quick summary of your potential errors for review.

Main menu

Or you can access a quick overview of your whole manuscript.


Most importantly, ProWritingAid is Scrivener compatible. So you can use both of these excellent writing programs together as you write your book.

Check this video to find out more about what ProWritingAid can do to help you write better.

 Find out more about ProWritingAid 


3. Position your book

One of the biggest mistakes new authors make is rushing into publishing once their manuscript is completed.

You need to make sure that you do your category and keyword research. You need to do it well before you think about publishing on Amazon or any other online retailer.

Competitive research is essential if you want to sell books in today’s book market.

You want to make sure that readers can find your book. But you also want to place your book in areas that are less competitive.

However, you must also be sure that there are real sales happening for the keywords and categories you choose.

The only way you can do this is to access real-time sales data from Amazon. Then you can research, test, and validate your choices.

There are some free tools available, but they don’t give you much data to work with.

The best way is to use software that will let you delve deep into Amazon’s sales data. That’s why it is one on my list of essential writing software for authors.


publisher rocket logo

Publisher Rocket is a software tool that helps you choose the best categories and competitive keywords for your new book.

Think of it as positioning in a bookstore. You want to position your book where book buyers can find it.

When you research your categories, you can check the sales volume, today’s sales, and the number of competing titles.

You can click through to check individual titles and real sales performance.

publisher rocket category

To find the best keywords, you start with a basic seed keyword. Then you can analyze each suggestion to dig deeper.

publisher rocket keywords

There are also tools to investigate competitors in your genre, as well as tools to find keywords for Amazon Ads.

Take a quick look at how quick and easy it is to do truly competitive keyword research for your book.


 Find out more about Publisher Rocket 


You can only be as good as the writing tools you use.

Don’t take cheap shortcuts when you write and publish a book.

There is nothing more frustrating than having to continually find workarounds and alternatives to essential features that are missing from free software.

Premium software is unrestricted, and you can benefit from all the features that are available.

On top of that, you will always have the latest version because upgrades are part of the package.

If you have already started writing your book in a word processor, you can easily import your work in progress into Scrivener and ProwritingAid. You will certainly notice the difference it makes.

It won’t cost much at all to arm yourself with the very best tools and writing software for authors that you need for the job.

So happy writing and publishing your next bestseller.

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent teaching English and writing, as well as testing and taming new technology.

Avatar for Derek Haines

3 thoughts on “The Best Software For Authors Writing A New Book

  • Avatar for Rahul Palakodeti
    October 23, 2019 at 7:10 am

    Great Information and lot of insights!

  • Avatar for Suzanne Newnham
    July 24, 2019 at 3:30 am

    Great article thanks Derek. Scrivener 3 for Windows isn’t available yet (the Mac version – yes) . Scrivener is still available for Windows with a discounted upgrade (I think both equaling the same price to buy S3 outright). If you didn’t have Scrivener would you wait until the new version was available or go with the current and upgrade. My manuscript (in Word docx) is ready to publish and I’m not sure what to do. Any suggestions would be appreciated. With thanks Suzanne

    • Avatar for Derek Haines
      July 24, 2019 at 12:55 pm

      Difficult to answer. But I would probably go with the current version, which is still fantastic. Then wait for the next upgrade.


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