One of the first decisions you have to make when formatting your own book, is picking which program you will use. In this post, I want to outline seven programs you can use to format your own book. In today’s day and age, there are countless options available. So, please know this is not an all inclusive list.
7 Programs You Can Use To Format Your Own Book
1.) Microsoft Word
I started formatting books before book formatting software was a thing. My only option was my word processor, Microsoft Word. Thus, that’s what I still use today. Most formatting guides you’ll find online, will tell you how to format with Microsoft Word. In my opinion, this is the easiest way to go, because you can set your basic formatting while you’re working on your book, and will only need to add finishing touches when you’re preparing to publish. However, it is (as are all formatting programs) a learning curve. And learning how to set up your document takes time.
- Cost: Microsoft Word is available for either a lifetime purchase or a small monthly fee. Legally, you need a business license to use Microsoft Word for commercial purposes.
- Free Alternatives: Google Docs and Open Office
When Scrivner first came out, it was designed for organizing scenes, notes, etc. for fiction books. But today, it’s a powerhouse, complete with formatting options.
- Cost: $50
3.) Kindle Create
Kindle Create is an option for formatting eBooks. It allows you to easily choose a theme, create a table of contents, and add in your front and back matter for the book just the way Kindle likes it. It’s a good option for someone just starting out, however, it won’t help you with your paperback edition, or if you want to publish to multiple eBook platforms.
- Cost: Free
InDesign is an Adobe software that is used primarily by professionals. It has a steep learning curve and price point, however those who use it regularly say it’s worth it.
- Cost: $30-$60/month
Atticus is a new software, but it was built by authors, for authors. I haven’t read anything other than positive reviews, and it looks like a great option for writing and formatting your books.
- Cost: $150
PowerPoint can be a great option for formatting low-content or children’s books. It is praised for it’s page layout options, and the ease of mixing text, image, and design elements.
- Cost: PowerPoint is an Office prodoct and available for either a lifetime purchase or a small monthly fee. Legally, you need a business license to use PowerPoint for commercial purposes.
- Free alternatives: Canva and Google Slides
Vellum is a software designed for Apple computers. So if you’re on a PC, you can mark this one off your list of programs to look at. However, it was designed solely for the purpose of formatting books. And it creates stunning books.
- Cost: $200 -$ 250
The Most Important Point
Pick one program and stick with it.
Every program you can use to format your own book will have a learning curve. Getting frustrated and starting over with a new program with cost you a ton of time and money.
The best thing you can do when learning to format your own book is to pick one program and learn it from top to bottom.
Every book you format with the same program will get a little bit easier.
Learn How To Format Your Book with Microsoft Word
Check out my step-by-step training for formatting your book for Kindle, print, and eBook distribution for just $15.
Not interested in formatting your own book? I’ll do it for you. You can contact me here.