Best eBook Creators of 2018

Jessica Richards ·
Updated
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After researching and signing up for eBook creator services, we think the Atavist platform is the best option, and it is versatile enough to help you with most of your web-publishing needs. Since it isn’t exclusively an eBook creator, it can also help you publish photobooks and magazines. The application’s free version gives you access to online publishing tools, though we think it’s worth it to pay for a subscription if you’re serious about publishing online content. Its easy-to-use tools are accessible from the homepage, and there’s tons of support to help you navigate through all the options and settings. 

Best Overall

Atavist

The best by far, Atavist lets you publish different types of online content using popular media file types so that you can insert video and photos directly into your text.
View on Creatavist
Best Value for Mac Users

iBooks Author

Free with an apple account, iBooks has tons of tools and lets you manage all your projects from a central location. It includes easy-to-use tools and lots of different template formats.
View on iTunes
Best for Fiction Writers

Pressbooks

Pressbooks doesn’t support a lot of writing template types, including those for magazines and photobooks, but it can make creative fiction look professional and polished with its easy-to-use features.
View on Pressbooks

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Overall Rating
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9.4
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7.5
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4.3
Features
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9.6
8.1
7.5
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6.3
Format Capabilities
10
10
10
10
6.3
3.1
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2.5
Supported Files
10
8.1
10
10
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8.1
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3.8
2.5
Help & Support
10
10
10
5
10
7.5
10
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10
7.5
eBook Selling Abilities
File Transitions
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Multi-Language Capabilities
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Branding
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eBook Trial Period
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Photo Rendering
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Content Protection
Ease of Use
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95
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80
50
90
70
Customizable Page Transitions
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Tutorials
Instruction Manual
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Downloadable
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Online Support
Sound
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Graphic
MOBI
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LIT
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HTML
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Video
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PDF
PDB
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EPUB
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Educational Materials
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Tests
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Comic Books
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Magazines
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Albums
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Professional Training Manuals
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Guides
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Picture Books
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eBooks
Best Overall

Atavist

Atavist is an online publishing tool that can help you put your work online, even if you aren’t familiar with coding. Using this service, you can publish online magazines or photobooks, and it can help you publish eBooks.
The service connects with the major eBook publishers, Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as with their respective Kindle and Nook formats. It also lets you format content for mobile devices, which is useful if you publish online. The service comes equipped with all the formats and features you need to make online content look good. You can embed videos and photos in articles and combine template types, though you might find this a bit challenging if you’ve never done it before. Atavist also does a decent check of your work to prevent errors in the uploading process. What sets Atavist apart are the customization options it has that other online publication services, like Facebook’s Instant Articles, don’t. For example, you can select a tailored transition for the pages in your eBook. Atavist also walks you through how to protect your work, allowing you to select whether the book is for profit or free to the public. There’s tons of in-program support to help you figure out how to use all the features, which is another reason it’s the overall best eBook software we tested.
Pros
  • Wide selection of online publishing tools
  • Tutorials make learning to use features easy
  • Mobile-friendly building tools
Cons
  • Subscription required to access all the features
  • Difficult to combine file types
  • Can be a bit overwhelming for first-time eBook publishers
Visit SiteCreatavist
Best Value for Mac Users

iBooks Author

With its many template types, you can use iBooks Author to create all kinds of digital content on your Apple devices, including presentations and photobooks. You can also combine file types to insert photos or videos into text or mix and match templates to create unique projects. The program has an intuitive design and is easy to use.
If you’re an Apple user, you have the benefit of keeping all your creative projects in one place and don’t need to maintain separate accounts on different sites around the web. iBooks lets you use your AppleID and password to access the application for free. Even though it’s a standard application released with Apple products, we found this eBook publisher’s templates to be better looking and of a higher quality than those in other programs we tested. iBooks Author has many of the same features as other e-publishing software, including translation and branding tools, and you can use MOBI, PDF and HTML files in the application. One of the only problems we had with software during testing was that it had a slow loading rate – you have to wait around a bit while the app processes your input. Besides that, iBooks Author has all the support and tools you need get started with web and eBook publishing on your Mac device.
Pros
  • Easy to keep your projects synced with your Mac user account
  • An abundance of format and template types
  • Can combine file types to create unique projects
Cons
  • Software loads slowly
  • Only works on Mac devices
  • Strict copyright guidelines
Visit SiteiTunes
Best for Fiction Writers

Pressbooks

Pressbooks is a solid choice if you want to monetize your works of fiction. It’s missing some of the templates and online publishing options other programs have, but you can create professional-looking eBooks, and the software isn’t overwhelming to use.
This software can’t format online magazines or picture books, unlike other services. It’s also not the best place to try to design memorable family scrapbooks or personal mementos. This is because Pressbooks focuses on just two types of publications: novels and training manuals. As such, it has features and tools that let you create a truly unique eBook. There are tons of branding options you can use to put your stamp on your work, and you can customize font, photos and transitions to add to your readers’ experience. You have to be a little patient when you use this software. In our testing, it took longer to load and process our input than any other online publishing service or downloadable application. Pressbooks makes it easy to share your work in formats like Amazon’s Kindle or CreateSpace. Overall, it’s a great publication tool for first-time eBook publishers.
Pros
  • Offers great support and tutorials
  • Tons of branding options
  • Customizable features for novel writing
Cons
  • Missing many template types
  • Slow to load input
  • Geared toward professional publication rather than personal use
$19.99Pressbooks

Why Trust Us? 

Platforms for online publishing are constantly evolving, and we’ve seen many come and go in the nine years we’ve researched the best eBook creator software and services. We update this site frequently to account for this ever-changing landscape. Since we know a bit about publishing content online, we have good insight into what features are useful for content creation. We research these sites extensively – reading reviews and reports about the software, checking their support options and reading their service agreements – before downloading or subscribing to each one to perform hands-on tests.

How We Tested 

We researched to find downloadable programs and online services for eBook publication, looking for options that have a variety of publishing templates. We counted the number of file types each software processes and how many template types each service has, taking note of those that include professional tools or support educators. We also looked for services that connect with the most popular eBook stores, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

We used the support options, like email, FAQ, tutorials and manuals to see if they were easy to understand and offered enough information so that you could manage your projects effectively.

After researching, we downloaded or subscribed to all the services so we could try out each one’s features. We created profiles in each system and tried out all of the programs’ tools to get a sense of how they well they work for common tasks. We loaded content into each software and timed how long it took to process the data. We also noted if the program malfunctioned or performed slower than other eBook creators.

When you publish online, you also want to protect your content. As such, we looked for services that offer support and clearly state what types of release agreements are available – whether for profit or the public – and articulate the differences between them so you can make an informed decision about how and where to share your work.

Key Features to Look For 

Ease of Use
As you look for eBook publishing software, consider the program’s interface and support options. When we researched the best applications and services, we gave each one a grade based on how intuitive its interface is, paying attention to the layout and design. We also considered how much support each offers – eBook creators that have tutorials, instruction manuals, and contact information are much easier to use overall.

Breadth vs. Depth
When it comes to online publishing, we think that the more options you have the better. Applications and services that let you publish personal journals, photobooks and other types of work in addition to eBooks and professional texts are a better value.

Some of the services with more publishing options can feel overwhelming at times, especially if you’ve never loaded content into a publisher. However, the best ones come with enough guidance that their extra features are beneficial and not a hindrance.

Connectivity
Some online publishing services make it easy to share your work on the web. Look for one that supports the big names in eBook publishing, such as Kindle and Nook.

A few of the platforms we reviewed mimic social media accounts – almost liked a LinkedIn account for self-publishers. These can be a great resource for finding opportunities to host your work or connect with other authors. We liked services that let you customize your profile and make professional connections so you can publish your work to as many places on the web as possible.

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