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        Top 10 Book Writing Apps of 2024: Free & Paid!

        • calenderJan 04, 2024
        • calender 5 min read

        If you’re looking for the best book writing apps, we’ve got you covered! Below are the best book writing apps that go above and beyond, transforming your writing experience and empowering you to create compelling and impactful content. 

        Browse through the pros and cons of every app to choose the best app for writing! We’ve included both free and paid apps in this list. 

        Polish your book to perfection with expert editing!

        Here are the best book writing apps of 2024: 

        1. Scrivener

        Scrivener is a renowned app for writers that helps them write books, stories, novels, professional articles, etc. Out of all the other book writing apps, Scrivener tops the charts as it offers enhanced features to elevate the writing experience.

        Its USP lies in its unique distraction-free Composition Mode with a customizable background. It is widely used for book writing and script writing purposes. You can now update the latest version of the app – Scrivener 3, which comes with an improved user interface, bookmarking, tracking, updated compile tool, easier formatting, metadata, and EPUB compatibility.

        Pros

        • Scrivener excels in editing, composing, and customizing. There are many customizable components in Scrivener like the editor settings. In the Editor, you can set up Full-Screen mode or make changes according to your preferences for elements such as hide/show ruler or format bar or turn on Page View. If you want to block out distractions as much as possible, choose Composition Mode, which always displays what you’re typing in the center of the screen. Most likely, you’ll want to experiment with different settings to find the ones that you prefer. 
        • The updated app comes with a user-friendly ‘Compiling’ option, which allows you to combine parts of your manuscript that are formatted differently, such as the title page, preface, table of contents, and chapters of a book.
        • Users can switch between different views, such as corkboard or outline mode, providing diverse perspectives on their writing project.

        Cons

        • The interface may seem overwhelming for new users due to the numerous features.
        • Some users might face challenges with formatting academic, educational, or research work and writing. For example, the app is not as efficient as MS Word when handling tables. So even if you use the copy/paste feature, it can result in broken formatting. 
        • Users need to purchase separate licenses for different platforms, which can be a consideration for those using multiple devices.

        Pricing: Scrivener offers a 30-day free trial, which offers almost the same features and capabilities as the paid version. The base cost is $59.99 for Windows.

        2. Plottr

        Plottr is based on the outlining needs for independently published fiction books. Positioned as one of the premier free book writing apps, it offers striking templates and a user-friendly interface. It also has a robust timeline view and layouts in various formats.

        Pros

        • One of its key features is the way it lets you easily arrange (and rearrange) your scenes, plot, and characters with no corkboard required. The app allows you to quickly outline your book with visual story cards and filter your timeline by characters, places, and tags.
        • Another striking feature of the app is that you can color-coordinate your storylines to keep them organized. You can also flip the timeline to view it vertically or horizontally.
        • It works on various device types like iPhone, iPad, and Android tablets – and online as a standalone online web app.

        Cons

        • It has limited functionality and demands extra costs for various licenses.
        • There is just an annual or lifetime payment option; a monthly model is not offered.
        • The plot text fields do not come with an undo/redo option.

        Pricing: Offering a variety of features and services for writers, this app comes with 3 lifetime subscription models – $139 for one device, $149 for three devices, and $299 for the Pro version.

        3. FocusWriter

        FocusWriter provides a clean, minimalist interface, helping writers focus solely on their writing without distractions. Its key features are:

        Pros

        • FocusWriter utilizes a hide-away interface that you access by moving your mouse to the edges of the screen. It also features fully customizable themes, live statistics, and a portable mode
        • It’s available for Linux and Windows and has been translated into 20 different languages.
        • The app includes features tracking writing progress, such as word count goals and session durations.

        Cons

        • The app lacks advanced features present in more comprehensive writing tools. For instance, writers cannot save the previous versions, as once changes are made, the older version gets automatically deleted. Another feature that is missing in this app is that writers cannot collaborate or share content with others through the app. 
        • FocusWriter has limitations when it comes to advanced formatting.
        • This app is less suitable for complex document structuring.

        Pricing: FocusWriter is a free book writing app.

        4. Ulysses

        Ulysses uses Markdown for formatting, making it easy to write in a clean and structured manner without the distraction of complex formatting options. Here are its key features:

        Pros

        • Ulysses comes with a built-in proofreader and editing assistant, offering grammar and style checks, that help you avoid mistakes and meet the right tone.
        • This app is available in more than 20 languages. It offers suggestions for capitalization, punctuation, semantics, redundancy, style, etc.
        • Writers can seamlessly sync their work across multiple devices using iCloud, making it convenient for those who switch between a Mac, iPad, and iPhone.

        Cons

        • Ulysses operates on a subscription model, which may not appeal to users who prefer one-time purchases.
        • While Ulysses is user-friendly, it may have a learning curve for users transitioning from simpler writing apps due to its feature-rich environment.
        • It’s only accessible to Apple users, while a massive number of non-Apple people cannot use Ulysses.

        Pricing: Ulysses offers monthly and yearly subscription plans. The monthly subscription costs $5.99, while the annual subscription is for $39.99. They offer special discounts for students.

        5. LivingWriter

        LivingWriter is one of the best apps for book writing with a clean and user-friendly interface. It has a professional organizational structure that comes with appropriate chapter and scene divisions.

        Pros

        • There are plenty of formatting options, just like a normal word processor, and it is easy to insert images. Some of its key formatting features include changing default fonts, first-line auto-indent, adding global notes, and installing Grammarly for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.
        • You can add characters, images, and objects, and you can add as many sections as you need to.
        • This app has a built-in Story Elements section, which helps writers keep track of story characters, locations, and general notes. 

        Cons

        • It doesn’t let writers select large chunks of text and apply new formatting.
        • Writers are unable to create their character templates.
        • Another feature that can be troublesome for writers is its bulk editing and formatting options, which can make it difficult for them to make large changes.

        Pricing: There is no free version of LivingWriter, but they do offer a 14-day free trial. It is a great value at approximately $12 a month, $144 for a year. A lifetime one-time fee is also available for $699 once you are registered for your free trial.

        6. Storyist

        Storyist provides organizational tools like project view, outlining, and index cards, making it easier for writers to manage and structure their stories. 

        Pros

        • The app includes outlining features, allowing writers to plan and organize their narrative structure seamlessly within the writing environment.
        • Storyist offers unique features for plot and character development. Using index cards, Storyist allows you to quickly draft a story and then edit it further using editable character, plot, and setting sheets. It aids authors in developing complex plots and fully realized characters.
        • Storyist provides a rich text editor, an aesthetic manuscript, and screenplay templates, so writers don’t have to worry about formatting.

        Cons

        • Like many feature-rich apps for book writing, Storyist may have a learning curve, especially for writers transitioning from simpler tools.
        • It may not promote a distraction-free writing process as it doesn’t have a “Full Screen” or “Focus Mode” to keep the users focused.
        • The importing process is not very smooth, and users also find it a little more expensive than the other book-writing apps.

        Pricing: You can access the editing features by purchasing the app. If you prefer not to start the trial immediately, you can do so anytime by returning to the Storyist home screen and selecting In-App Purchases from the More menu. The app sells for a one-time fee instead of a recurring subscription rate, and its cost is $59 on Mac. 

        7. Writer Lite

        This simple yet high-quality application is one of the best apps for writing a book and for drafting and editing text on your mobile phone. 

        Pros

        • The app allows you to track words and character counts, and monitor word trends over the last one well. It also provides full support for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean characters.
        • This app has a robust Book Shelter and File Management system which helps you personalize your book covers, streamline bulk operations, and conduct intelligent chapter number recognition and sorting.
        • Writer Lite automatically backs up your documents to the cloud storage or the internal storage of your mobile phone.

        Cons

        • Although the app can be downloaded for free, paying for customizable options like a streaming service for writing abilities will be a tough choice for many writers.
        • You need an internet connection to use its cloud-based benefits, as these services aren’t available without internet connectivity.
        • It can be a little complicated to use, especially when classifying headers and other markups.

        Pricing: Writer Lite can be downloaded for free.

        8. yWriter

        The yWriter app is one of the free apps for writing a book. It is designed to help writers organize their projects effectively. 

        Pros

        • The app includes tools for managing characters, locations, and other story elements, aiding in creating a well-developed narrative.
        • The app focuses on scene-based writing, allowing writers to work on individual scenes and easily rearrange them to experiment with the story structure.
        • Writers can track their progress using features like word count goals and project statistics, helping them stay on target and motivated.

        Cons

        • Some users may find a learning curve when getting used to yWriter’s interface and features.
        • The user interface might be considered less modern or intuitive compared to some other writing applications.
        • It is completely offline, and many users miss integrating online features like Google Docs while using this app.

        Pricing: This is a free-to-download book writing app; registering for services will cost you $24.95.

        9. iA Writer

        This app features a clean and minimalist design, providing a distraction-free writing environment focusing on the text. 

        Pros

        • The app includes a focus mode, highlighting the current sentence or paragraph to enhance concentration while writing.
        • This app utilizes Markdown for formatting, allowing writers to apply styles without using distracting buttons or menus.
        • The app is available on multiple platforms (Mac, Windows, iOS, Android), allowing for seamless syncing and accessibility across devices, and supports various file export options, including PDF and Word, making it versatile for sharing or publishing documents.

        Cons

        • This app’s minimalist approach might be a limitation for writers who require more advanced features for complex projects.
        • While it’s excellent for straightforward writing, iA Writer lacks a hierarchical organization system for managing complex projects.
        • This app has a difficult-to-access document library, especially when managing chapters if you’re writing anything long-form like a book. This is why it becomes difficult to differentiate chapters, articles, and notes from each other without using a proper tagging system.

        Pricing: IA Writer for Android offers a 14-day free trial, followed by a one-time fee of $29.99 for Windows and Android. Alternatively, there’s a subscription option at $0.99 per month or $9.99 per year. For Mac, iPad, and iPhone, the one-time fee is $49.99.

        10. Novelist

        Novelist is one of the popular free book writing apps. It’s a valuable tool for authors, novice writers, and screenwriters alike. With customizable templates, it aids in structuring your story to suit your preferences. 

        Pros

        • Novelist shows you what your book will look like before publishing it.
        • Your output is available in three different formats – EPUB, rich text format or RTF, and HTML.
        • Another great feature of this app is that it uses a board where you can plot the entire story. It has a simple interface that makes merging, reordering, deleting, and splitting items easy. 

        Cons

        • Novelist helps transform an idea into a chapter outline; however, you cannot type the whole manuscript on it.
        • It doesn’t have a copy-and-paste feature, which makes it difficult for users to add several external features to their content.
        • Transferring extensive written content to the app isn’t possible, which requires users to manually input each word.

        Pricing: This app is entirely free of charge.

        Now that you know the best apps for writing a book, you can select an app for your next masterpiece. Remember, once you complete your book, opting for professional book editing services is essential. It helps you ensure your work reaches its full potential and achieves the highest standards of quality. 

        At PaperTrue, we offer expert editing and proofreading services and would love to perfect your work. Here are some other articles you might find interesting: 

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        Manish Linkedin

        Manish is a serial entrepreneur, business coach, and the Founder of PaperTrue. His vision is to make impeccable English communication possible for everybody, so they can write effectively and gain the academic and professional success they deserve.

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