If you are thinking of publishing an eBook on Amazon or other online platforms, you are probably wondering what the best program to create and edit ebooks might be or also if you want to start writing your book from scratch. We have found 5 options that are perfect. Publishing your e-book on Amazon or Apple is easier than ever.
The best free programs to write books and create ebooks:
1. Sigil: free software to write electronic books
Luckily we have a free option that will provide us with all the necessary features to create our first digital ebook: Sigil.
This is a freeware that will serve us for two things: writing the book and creating the necessary structure to for the digital version – the ebook in ePub format.
You can start from scratch by writing directly into the program, or convert HTML files into ebooks – you can even add audio and video.
It is compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac. It has multiple views and you can directly edit EPUB files and create tables of contents easily.
2. Calibre: ebook manager to format your ebook
Calibre is another very interesting option that also helps you to manage the library of ebooks. This is also free software.
This program is more oriented to convert some formats into others (EPUB, AZW, PDF, DOC etc.) and add the necessary structure that every ebook requires.
We do not recommend it to write the book directly, but to manage its conversion from standard to digital format or to edit an ebook you already have.
3. Scrivener: the best program to write a novel
The best free software to write books and create ebooks: Scrivener!
This program, Scrivener, only has one problem, is free for 30 days and then costs about $40. It is available for Windows and Mac (it has an iOS app).
If you have purchased this app in version 2, they offer you a price sale or a discount coupon in the app store if you buy version 3. They have renewed their interface to make it more modern while maintaining all the power that characterizes this program.
Scrivener is an advanced writing software for authors who write novels and scripts. You can create an electronic book at the end of the process, but the important thing – it is the best option to write a book from scratch due to all the features it offers to manage characters, create scripts, etc.
When you’re done, you just have to use the Compile function to export the book to digital formats such as MOBI, EPUB or for Kindle.
This is your program, especially now that you have updated to version 3. Its interface was improved and the export of the final work is finally easy to do. You will be able to organize chapters, references, characters, and other things in a very professional way (nothing to do with Word), and especially in a very simple way. You can organize your ideas and see your progress or create a workflow so you don’t get lost in a sea of characters.
4. Ulysses for Mac and iOS – It’s not free but it’s worth it
Ulysses is a complete environment for writing on Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
One of the best apps from the Mac App Store has been passed to the subscription model. Essential if you dedicate yourself to writing. Its minimalist interface and the possibility of using apps on iOS make it one of the best options for writing books or articles. You can use Markdown, it is configured with iCloud, and you can publish entries in WordPress and Medium
This is an excellent app, but you have to ask yourself if it is worth subscribing monthly or annually. It is a real pain to have to pay every year for it.
That said, it is a joy to use it to write, especially if you know Markdown: it will take very little time to format books, articles or any document you write. The structure is very intuitive and you can organize book chapters, references, and others very easily. Its strong point is the easy export to book formats such as epub or to generate PDF documents.
You have free templates to format your books (they can be downloaded). It also has apps for iOS included in the subscription price.
Note: Scrivener vs Ulysses
The truth is that comparing the two software is complicated! It depends on your situation and for you to use the program.
Ulysses is perfect for writing articles, posts, or simple books. It allows you to use Markdown in an intuitive and fast way and you can export everything with ease.
Scrivener is the perfect program to write a book with many characters, plots, etc. and since version 3 they have a very simple export to ePub or formats for Kindle.
Ulysses works with a monthly or annual payment subscription (€4.99 monthly or €39.99 annual fee). In the end, it can be much more expensive, especially if you don’t use it much. The purchase of apps is unitary for iOS and Mac.
With Scrivener, you make a single payment and forget it. The purchase of iOS apps goes separately.
5. Kindle Create: The perfect option to write a book and publish it for Kindle (Amazon)
A program created directly by Amazon that allows you to transform your book into a format that a Kindle eReader can read: You can use Kindle Create (for PC or Mac) to transform the final manuscript into a Kindle eBook.
This tool makes it easy to create an active index by automatically detecting and applying styles to chapter titles. It works with word processing applications (such as Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, and Google Docs) that can be exported to .doc(x) format. It allows you to change the look of the book using predefined themes (classic, modern, love and cosmos).
In addition, you can preview the look of the emulated book on tablets, phones, and Kindle devices.
Kindle Create has limited compatibility with tables, lists, and links, and does not allow editing. What we can do with the images is also limited.
Kindle Create is available in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Dutch. To change the Kindle Create language, go to Help>Change language.