Top 10 Book Design Software

What is Book Design? 

Please read the WriteZero post on Book Design to get a better understanding of what Book Design is

Book Design encompasses

  1. The Layout of the Book
  2. The Structure of the Book
  3. Typesetting and formatting and page layout
  4. The Book Cover, the Back Cover, and the Spine of the Book
  5. The Binding
  6. Other elements of the Book Design

It’s basically every aspect of how your book looks and feels

What is Book Design Software?

Book Design Software is software that helps you create a Book Design for your book

Book Design Software will usually let you do the following things

  1. Set up the Structure of the Book, including
    1. Front Matter, such as Table of Contents
    2. Body Matter i.e. the main book (chapters, etc)
    3. Back Matter, such as Epilogue and Index
  2. Set up the Page Layout of your Book, including paragraph spacing and margins
  3. Do formatting such as Font selection and Font Size
  4. Add illustrations, quotes, and other elements to your book
  5. Add a Book Cover
    1. Most Book Design Software will also let you create your own book cover
    2. However, we very strongly recommend hiring a professional book cover designer
  6.  Create and use Templates
  7.  Print Out Your Book

Some Book Design software also have a Book Creation aspect i.e. they will also let you actually write the book. However, it is better to use a separate Book Creation Software to actually write the book

When doing Book Design, choose something like Adobe InDesign that is focused on, and specializes in, Book Design

When writing your book, choose something that is focused on, and specializes in, writing books

Should Authors Design their Book themselves?

Let’s look at three broad cases

  1. If money is no object, you should focus on writing the book, and hire a top book designer to design the book for you
    1. You definitely should not try and design your book yourself
    2. It’s a hard skill to master
    3. It takes years to learn how to make beautiful book designs
  2. If you have a small to medium budget, then you should do part of the book design yourself
    1. Then hand it over to a professional book designer to complete the design
    2. If you can’t find a good book designer within your budget, then hire a good book formatter and typesetter
  3. If you have no money, then you would have to use one of the recommended Book Design Software listed below, to make your own Book Design
    1. Please be very careful when making a Book Design yourself
    2. Go for the simplest and most straightforward Design
    3. Keep in mind that you are not an expert and you should go with ‘best practices’ instead of trying to create some complex design
      1. Definitely a bad idea to try and reinvent the wheel
      2. If possible, use a template

In general, you should only design your book yourself, if you have no money. In all other cases, look to get some professional help

What are the Top 10 Book Design Software Available?

Here are our top picks for Book Design

  1. Adobe InDesign – arguably the best choice for Book Design
    1. Adobe InDesign is the leading layout and page design software
    2. For many authors, it will be the best choice for Book Design
    3. Adobe InDesign brings together a lot of really good features and tools
      1. The software itself is one of the bet page design and layout software
      2. They have excellent typography
      3. They have high quality images
      4. Very good features
      5. Excellent layout and typesetting tools
    4. Adobe InDesign is an excellent choice
    5. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time researching options, then you can just go with Adobe InDesign, comfortable in the knowledge that it is
      1. Arguably, the best option
      2. Definitely, one of the Top 3 options
  2. LaTex – While LaTex is designed for producing technical documents, it is an excellent choice for general Book Design. You do have to be somewhat tech savvy to use it
    1.  An Excellent Beginners Guide for LaTex. It’s in PDF format
    2. There is also an Introduction to LaTex on the official site
  3. LyX – LyX is a very interesting document processor built on LaTex. Here also, you have to be somewhat tech savvy to use it
    1. Think of it as a combination of the underlying LaTex for your Book Design, and the LyX layer on top of that for your book writing
    2. LyX is very powerful and allows you to control almost every aspect of your book’s design
    3. It comes with some templates included, including for books
  4. Microsoft Publisher – a good, solid solution to design books
    1. Microsoft Publisher has a very strong feature set
    2. It comes with templates included for books
    3. Everything comes out looking exactly as you designed it in Publisher
    4. One nice benefit is that it is included with Office 365. If you already have an Office subscription, you get it for free
    5. One downside is that it is PC only. If you’re on Mac or Linux then you’re out of luck
  5. QuarkXpress – very powerful and flexible software that is a good choice for eBook and Print Book Design
    1.  Excellent and powerful tool for page layout and book design
    2.  Very good support for Fonts
    3.  Frequently updated and has lots of features
    4. One downside is that it’s very expensive, and doesn’t offer a monthly subscription option
  6. Adobe FrameMaker – a good choice for technical documents and technical books
    1. Allows you to publish as PDF or HTML5 or Mobile App or ePub
  7. Scribus – Scribus is a good open source desktop publishing software.  You definitely need to be tech savvy to use this
    1. It has a good complement of features
    2. It is free and it is Open Source
    3. To be frank, this is more suited for more technical work. However, it’s worth a look if you are technically savvy and looking for a free solution
  8. Book Design Wizard for Microsoft Word – A plugin you can use with Microsoft Word to design your book
    1. Please Note: We strongly recommend using an actual Book Design software. This is more of a band aid to try and make Microsoft Word a better book design software, and not a real solution
    2. This is a plug in for Microsoft Word. It allows you to Design Books within Microsoft Word
    3. This is a good choice if you make the bad choice of doing your Book Design in Microsoft Word
    4. It is quite rudimentary
    5. At the same time it’s something anyone can easily use, and does not require any technical chops
  9. BookWright from – a good, solid choice
    1. BookWright is a Book Design and Book Publishing Software from
    2. It’s free and still has a very good set of features
    3. You can build one file and get both print and ebooks from that file
    4. It comes with a lot of customizable, high quality book design templates. If you prefer you can create your own template
    5. It’s used quite a lot. 320,000+ books, ebooks, and magazines have been made with BookWright

Coming Soon: More Good Book Design Software

We will update this section later

For now, we would strongly recommend going with one of the following choices

  1. Adobe InDesign
  2. Microsoft Publisher
  3. BookWright
  4. Latex or LyX


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