As a GNU/Linux user, you’re probably fiercely independent, willing to tinker to get the best results, and, as you’ve embraced being in a digital minority, used to the annoyances that going against the grain sometimes causes. You also almost certainly keep up with many of the latest software trends. Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, you may be quite tantalized by the book writing software you’ve seen springing up everywhere — and wonder which is not just perfect for your needs, but also features that lovely little penguin checkbox to let you know that you can actually use it.
What book writing software is the best for Linux folks? Well, that entirely depends on your needs — and your reason for choosing Linux also factors in. You essentially have two options when it comes to book writing software. You could choose a downloadable piece of software, or go with a SaaS approach that’s used in-browser, thereby bypassing OS requirements. Let’s take a look at what’s available in today’s exciting world.
Yes, of course you’re already familiar with that one. Because of that, and because it’s free and open source, Linux users might consider LibreOffice Writer to be their default choice. It’ll do absolutely everything you need it to if you don’t like bells and whistles, have familiarized yourself with all of LibreOffice’s advanced settings, and want to write and edit your own books without real-time editing and grammar suggestions, thanks very much. You’ll also, of course, be aware that, if you’re working with editors who use Microsoft Word, LibreOffice can cause some friction as well as technical irritations.
Reedsy Book Editor
The Reedsy Book Editor is a crisp, intuitive proprietary software that enables easy collaborative editing as well as making typesetting and formatting effortless, no matter what your goals are. Being an online tool, all you need to to access any of the manuscripts you’re currently working on is an internet connection and a browser. Creating an account and getting started with Reedsy’s book editor is free of charge, and its convenient features will make convincing anyone you are working with to use it, too, will be a breeze.
The Zettlr Markdown editor is a wonderful choice for authors writing non-fiction and academic manuscripts, who will discover that citations no longer have to be a pain to format. Having said that, novelists may also like Zettler. This free and open source software goes the extra mile by making sure you can access it even if you haven’t jumped on the Ubuntu bandwagon and instead choose to use less widespread distros.
Because novelWriter’s setup allows writers to experiment with the structuring of their novel and makes creating outlines, changing them up, and searching your comments straightforward, novelWriter may just be great book writing software for you if you’re just starting a novel and aren’t sure where you are going with it yet, or if your creative process leans toward the chaotic and you want your software to help you get organized.
While some Linux users will shun Google docs, let’s not forget to mention it — because the simple fact is that it’s easy to use, easy to carry across different computers, and, more important than all else, easy to collaborate on. If you are at the stage where you’re hiring freelance editors to trim your manuscript, Google docs can be the simplest way to work together. Because almost everyone has a gmail account, almost everyone can access it and most are willing to do so.
So, you want to stick with your trusty old LibreOffice Writer, but you do crave all those nifty extras? ProWriting aid is a pretty spectacular, GDPR-compliant, paid tool that offers in-depth grammar and style suggestions as well as a handy thesaurus. It integrates seamlessly with many word processors and comes with a browser extension as well.
Book writing software choices for Linux users are only going to keep expanding in the current years, but even now, you already have a very decent series of choices — whether you need a collaborative editing platform, grammar and style help, formatting rescue, or easier citations, the tools you need to write your book are waiting for you to pick them!