So you are planning to write a book but don’t want to be caught up in the vagaries of editing and formatting. I feel you. The technicalities of book writing can be time and effort consuming, that is if you choose to do themselves yourself, which several authors do. But there is always the choice to hire a professional editor to do the work for you. From a personal point of view, hiring a professional editor is all worth it. 

After all these months of hard work putting together your ideas and coming up with this unique intellectual piece, your work definitely deserves a well-designed framework to host it. However, if you would rather do the work yourself, here are some viable options to consider. 

Writing a book on Google Docs

Google Docs is a good writing tool and I have used it to write some of the chapters of my doctoral thesis. I find it quite reliable and simple to use. Google Docs provides all the necessary features you need to brainstorm, outline, and write your book but for advanced features your best bet is to go with  Scrivener or Word.

Some of the Google Docs features that can help you with book writing include the ability to easily generate a table of content (using headings or titles in your document), add headers and footers, voice type the content of your chapters, spelling and grammar checker, word count, document outliner which enables you to easily access different parts of your book, a wide variety of fonts and text styles, the ability to insert multimedia materials such as images and videos, an integrated dictionary, and many more. To learn more about how to write a book in Google Docs I recommend this step by step tutorial from MakeUseOf.

Google Docs book templates

Going with a pre-made Google Docs book template is your best if you want to give your book a professional look without having to spend ridiculous amount of time on formatting and design. Unfortunately, Google Docs template gallery does not contain any book templates the only ones related to book writing are book report templates.

For professionally design Google Docs templates I would recommend GooDocs where you can find a collection of free Docs templates to use for writing your book. Alternative, you can invest a little bit of your time and create your own book template from scratch. There is a small learning curve but it is time well spent. 

Knowing how to create your own book template will allow you to have more control over the layout and design of your book and will also provide you with the know-how to leverage when working on new book projects. This step by step guide from Wordable offers all the guidance you need to get you started creating your book template in Google Docs.

Alternative to Google Docs for writing books?

If you are looking for some good alternative Google Docs book writing tools here are some of my favourite picks:

 1. Pages
If you are a Mac user, Pages is definitely a great application to use in this regard. “Pages can help you manage and develop your entire writing process: plan out your storyline on the go with Pages on your iPhone, edit on your Mac without compromising your original draft with Track Changes and Smart Annotations, and format your story to look beautiful and professional using Pages templates and text styles. Pages makes it easy to write and polish your draft into a beautiful, engaging book”.

2. Scrivener
Scrivener is another great writing software and word processor that enables you to write and edit books. Scrivener offers numerous powerful features including an integrated outliner that helps you structure your manuscript the way you want, full screen writing to help you focus while writing, the ability to “switch instantly between editing your manuscript one section at a time and together as a whole”, and many more. There are tons of video tutorials on YouTube to help you get started using Scrivener. Abbie Emmons has this good tutorial on how to use Scrivener to write a novel.

3. Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word is also another good option for writing books. I think it is way better than Google Docs and offers almost all the features you will need to bring your next book to life. Check out this handy guide from Kindlepreneur to learn how to use Microsoft Word to write your book.