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        Top 10 Book Formatting Software for Authors in 2024

        • calenderJan 23, 2024
        • calender 7 min read

        In the world of publishing, the presentation of a book is just as crucial as its content. This is where book formatting software steps in, bridging the gap between raw manuscript and polished work. They provide many features, from basic text layout to intricate design elements, ensuring that a book is readable and visually appealing. 

        This article delves into the 10 best book formatting software of 2024, examining their features, usability, and how they can transform your manuscript into a publication-ready masterpiece. We have included free book formatting software as well as paid. Whether you’re a first-time author or a seasoned publisher, this guide will help you navigate the landscape of book formatting solutions!

        Elevate your book’s appeal with professional formatting!

        Here are some of the best book layout software you can use to format your book:

        1. Apache OpenOffice

        Apache OpenOffice is a versatile and free book formatting software suite, widely recognized for its word-processing component, Writer, which is particularly useful for book formatting. The software supports a variety of page layout options, enabling authors to effortlessly adjust margins, spacing, headers, and footers to meet specific publishing standards. Features like the ability to generate automatic tables of contents, indices, and bibliographies streamline the formatting process.

        Pros

        • Apache OpenOffice supports a wide range of document formats.
        • It offers a comprehensive set of features for long document management.
        • OpenOffice offers a user-friendly interface with customizable toolbars and menus, enhancing efficiency and ease of use for all levels of users.

        Cons

        • Apache OpenOffice may lack some of the advanced formatting and design features found in more specialized or newer book formatting software.
        • The user interface and tools can feel outdated compared to more modern office suites, potentially leading to a steeper learning curve for new users.
        • As an open-source project, it might not offer the same level of customer support or regular updates as commercial software.

        Pricing: Apache OpenOffice is a free typesetting software.

        Rating: Apache OpenOffice has a rating of 4.4/5 on GetApp and a rating of 8.4/10 on TrustRadius.

        2. Kindle Create

        Kindle Create is a specialized book design software tool designed for formatting books for publishing on Amazon’s Kindle platform. It allows authors to convert manuscripts into Kindle formats, ensuring compatibility across Kindle devices and applications. Kindle Create supports the customization of chapter titles, layouts, and styles, maintaining the book’s aesthetic and readability. It includes tools for formatting text and paragraphs, and for adding images and interactive elements like hyperlinks.

        Pros

        • Kindle Create offers intuitive design and typesetting tools, making it easy for authors to format and customize their eBooks without extensive technical knowledge.
        • It provides seamless integration with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform.
        • Kindle Create offers built-in features for creating interactive eBooks with features like pop-up text, drop caps, and scalable vector graphics, enhancing the reader’s experience and engagement.

        Cons

        • Kindle Create may not offer as much flexibility in formatting and design compared to professional desktop publishing software, making it challenging to achieve highly customized layouts.
        • Kindle Create is primarily designed for Amazon’s Kindle platform, limiting its compatibility with other eBook retailers and formats.
        • Users with little experience in eBook formatting may find Kindle Create’s interface and features somewhat daunting, requiring a learning curve to effectively utilize its capabilities.

        Pricing: Kindle Create is a free book design software.

        Rating: Kindle Create has a rating of 3.5/5 on Softpedia. 

        3. Scrivener

        Scrivener is a comprehensive writing and typesetting software for books that offers a range of features such as a flexible organizational system, advanced text formatting options, and a powerful research management tool. It is commonly used by authors and writers for structuring long documents and managing chapters, scenes, and research materials. Its export options allow for easy conversion to various eBook formats and even print-ready documents, making it a versatile choice for both self-publishing authors and those preparing manuscripts for traditional book publishing companies.

        Pros

        • Scrivener provides advanced organizational tools, such as a virtual corkboard and outlining features, for easy management and structuring of complex writing projects.
        • The software provides a highly customizable writing environment, enabling users to tailor the interface and features to their specific writing needs and workflow.
        • Scrivener makes it easier to rearrange chapters and sections, ensuring an ideal distribution of words per chapter.

        Cons

        • Scrivener can be complex and overwhelming for beginners due to its multitude of features and steep learning curve.
        • It is less compatible with standard industry formats, potentially requiring additional steps or software to convert files for publishing.
        • Scrivener’s focus is more on writing and organization rather than advanced formatting, which can limit its usefulness for detailed layout and design tasks.

        Pricing: Scrivener is not a free book design software. Scrivener offers a Standard license at US $59.99 and an Educational license at US $50.99

        Rating: Scrivener has a rating of 4.7/5 on GetApp.

        4. Adobe InDesign

        Adobe InDesign stands out as a robust and flexible tool for book formatting and is highly regarded among publishing industry professionals. Its notable strength lies in advanced layout options, allowing users to produce complex and aesthetically engaging designs suitable for both print and digital formats. InDesign provides an extensive array of features for typography, page setup, and preflight checks, making it perfectly suited for creating intricate and refined book layouts. Adobe InDesign is one of the best typesetting software.

        Pros

        • Adobe InDesign offers a flexible platform suitable for various design requirements, enabling easy adaptation of layouts for both print and digital media across multiple formats and devices.
        • Designers can develop and store reusable templates, styles, and libraries for future use.
        • InDesign streamlines design workflows with features like layers for organized element management, Pages/Master Pages for consistent layout replication, and Style Groups for uniform formatting across document elements.

        Cons

        • Adobe InDesign requires a subscription, making it a more expensive option compared to one-time purchases or free alternatives.
        • InDesign has a steep learning curve due to its extensive features, which can be overwhelming for beginners or those seeking simple layout tasks.
        • InDesign demands high computer performance and may not run efficiently on older or less powerful machines, limiting accessibility for some users.

        Pricing: Adobe InDesign is not a free book layout software. Adobe InDesign offers a monthly plan at US $34.49. 

        Rating: Adobe InDesign has a rating of 4.6/5 on G2 and 9.2/10 on TrustRadius.

        5. Google Docs

        Google Docs is a popular tool for book formatting, offering a range of features suitable for authors. Its intuitive interface enables easy manipulation of text and paragraphs, with customizable margins, spacing, and indentation. Google Docs supports headers, footers, and page numbering, essential for professional book layout. This free book layout software also includes a variety of templates and the ability to insert images and tables. 

        Pros

        • Google Docs provides seamless integration with other Google services and easy export options to various formats like PDF and Word.
        • Google Docs provides a user-friendly interface with customizable templates, allowing for flexible and efficient book layout and design.
        • Its cloud-based nature facilitates automated saving of your work and remote access.

        Cons

        • Google Docs lacks advanced typography and layout controls, limiting intricate design options for professional book formatting.
        • The software’s limited compatibility with industry-standard file formats like INDD can hinder seamless integration with professional publishing workflows.
        • Google Docs may experience performance issues with very large documents, potentially slowing down the editing process for lengthy books.

        Pricing: Google Docs is a free book formatting software.

        Rating: Google Docs has a rating of 4.63/5 on SiteJabber and a rating of 4.7/5 on GetApp.

        6. Microsoft Word

        Microsoft Word, widely known for its word-processing capabilities, is also a viable option as a free book design software. It provides essential tools for setting margins, spacing, headers, and footers, and inserting page numbers, which are crucial for book formatting. Additionally, Word supports various fonts and styles, making it suitable for creating simpler book layouts. Its widespread availability and familiarity make it a popular choice for authors and publishers who prefer an uncomplicated and more direct approach to book design.

        Pros

        • Microsoft Word offers a user-friendly interface, making it easy for authors to format their books without needing specialized design skills.
        • It provides a wide range of customizable templates and formatting tools, allowing for the creation of professional-looking book layouts and designs.
        • Word integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft Office tools, offering convenient features like track changes and comments, which are essential for editing and collaborating on book manuscripts.

        Cons

        • Microsoft Word is primarily a word processor, not a design tool, hence it offers limited layout and design options.
        • The formatting in Word can vary between different versions of the software or different devices, potentially leading to inconsistencies in the book’s layout.
        • Microsoft Word can become slow and less responsive when handling large documents, such as full-length books, making the editing and formatting process cumbersome and time-consuming.

        Pricing: Microsoft Word on the web can be used for free but to download the software, a subscription to Microsoft 365 Office Suite is required which costs US $6.99/month.

        Rating: Microsoft Word has a rating of 4.7/5 on G2 and GetApp.

        7. Atticus

        Atticus is one of the best book layout software designed specifically for authors and publishers. Its key features include the ability to manage chapters and sections efficiently, integrate with writing tools, and offer a wide range of formatting options. This focus on book-specific design elements makes Atticus a preferred choice of book layout design software for many self-publishing authors.

        Pros

        • Atticus offers a wide range of customizable formatting options, allowing authors to tailor the layout and design of their books to suit various genres and styles.
        • Designed with a user-friendly interface, Atticus simplifies the book formatting process.
        • Atticus seamlessly integrates with popular writing tools and platforms, facilitating a smooth transition from the writing phase to the formatting and publishing stages.

        Cons

        • Atticus may offer fewer customization options compared to more advanced software, potentially limiting the creativity and uniqueness of the book layout.
        • There may be compatibility issues with some publishing platforms or file formats, which could cause inconvenience when trying to publish or share the formatted book across different mediums.
        • New users of Atticus may experience a learning curve, as mastering its tools and features can take time and effort.

        Pricing: One cannot get the Atticus book formatting software for free. It requires a one-time payment of US $147. 

        Rating: Atticus has a rating of 4.9/5 on Trustpilot.

        8. The Reedsy Book Editor

        The Reedsy Book Editor is a free, web-based typesetting and book formatting tool. One of its key features is its ability to automatically generate clean, well-structured typeset files that are compatible with major publishing platforms like Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, and more. The Reedsy Book Editor includes useful functions such as the ability to import text, apply consistent formatting, and even manage front and back matter with ease. It is one of the best free book formatting software. 

        Pros 

        • The Reedsy Book Editor features an intuitive, user-friendly interface that simplifies the book formatting process, making it accessible even for beginners.
        • It offers a range of professional design templates, enabling authors to easily create visually appealing and industry-standard book layouts.
        • The software provides integrated options for exporting formatted books directly to EPUB and print-ready PDF formats, streamlining the publishing process.

        Cons

        • It primarily focuses on simple formats and may not support complex layouts needed for specialized books like textbooks or graphic novels.
        • It requires an internet connection to use, as it’s a cloud-based platform, which can be inconvenient for authors who prefer or need to work offline.
        • The Reedsy Book Editor offers fewer customization options compared to other software, potentially restricting the creative freedom of authors.

        Pricing: The Reedsy Book Editor is a free software for book layout.

        Rating: Reedsy has a rating of 4.6/5 on Trustpilot.

        9. Vellum

        Vellum is a popular book formatting software designed exclusively for Mac users. It allows authors and publishers to create eBooks and print books with ease. Vellum stands out for its wide range of beautiful templates and styles, which can be easily customized to suit different genres and preferences. It offers seamless integration of text and images, automatic widow and orphan control, and the ability to generate files compatible with major eBook platforms like Kindle, Apple Books, and Kobo.

        Pros 

        • Vellum offers an intuitive and straightforward interface, making it easy for both beginners and professionals to format books efficiently.
        • Vellum is known for producing high-quality, professional-looking layouts and designs that enhance the overall appearance and readability of the book.
        • With Vellum, users have the flexibility to export their formatted books in various formats suitable for different platforms.

        Cons

        • Vellum is only available for macOS, excluding users who operate on Windows or other operating systems.
        • Vellum is relatively expensive, especially for independent authors or small publishers, making it a less accessible option for those on a tight budget.
        • Vellum offers fewer customization options compared to other book formatting software, potentially restricting creative freedom for unique formatting needs.

        Pricing: Vellum is not a free book formatting software. License plans for this typesetting software begin at US $199.99. 

        Rating: Vellum has a rating of 10/10 on TrustRadius.

        10. BookWright

        BookWright is a versatile book formatting software developed by Blurb, designed to cater to both amateur and professional authors and publishers. It offers a range of layout options and templates, allowing users to create professional-quality photo books, trade books, and magazines. It supports rich text formatting and image handling, enabling detailed customization of the layout. 

        Pros

        • BookWright boasts an intuitive and easy-to-navigate interface, making it accessible for beginners and efficient for experienced users in designing and formatting books.
        • It offers a wide range of customizable templates and design tools, allowing users to create unique and professional-looking layouts for various types of books.
        • BookWright supports both print and eBook formats, enabling authors to easily create and publish their work in multiple formats for broader distribution and reader accessibility.

        Cons

        • BookWright may lack advanced customization options for more experienced users who require detailed and specific formatting controls.
        • BookWright’s file compatibility may be restricted, potentially causing issues with importing or exporting files from other popular software or formats.
        • New users may find BookWright’s interface and tools somewhat challenging to navigate, requiring a steep learning curve.

        Pricing: BookWright is a free book design software. 

        Rating: BookWright has a rating of 3.7/5 on G2.

        The landscape of book formatting software in 2024 offers a diverse range of tools. These tools cater to all needs, from intricate design to ease of use, simplifying publishing, and letting authors focus on storytelling.

        As self-publishing service experts, we have made sure that each software on our top 10 list brings unique features and capabilities, ensuring that no matter your skill level or publishing goals, there’s a solution that fits.

        Keep on reading for more publishing resources:

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        Tanvi Linkedin

        With a foundation in Life Sciences, Tanvi enjoys curating technical writing tips tailored for ESL students. When she's not translating complex concepts into bite-sized nuggets, she can be found playing with dogs or painting landscapes.

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