Best eBook Creator Software: Make and Publish Books
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Product||Price||Overall Rating||Features||Format Capabilities||Supported Files||Help & Support||eBook Selling Abilities||File Transitions||Multi-Language Capabilities||Branding||eBook Trial Period||Photo Rendering||Content Protection||Ease of Use||Customizable Page Transitions||Tutorials||Instruction Manual||Downloadable||Online Support||Sound||Graphic||MOBI||LIT||HTML||Video||PDB||EPUB||Educational Materials||Tests||Comic Books||Magazines||Albums||Professional Training Manuals||Guides||Picture Books||eBooks|
|eBook Maestro PRO||View Deal||4.5/5||9.6||10||8.1||10||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||95||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|iBooks Author||View Deal||4.5/5||8.1||10||10||10||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||85||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Ultimate eBook Creator||View Deal||3.5/5||7.5||3.1||8.1||10||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||80||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|eBooks Compiler||View Deal||2.5/5||6.9||1.3||3.8||10||✓||✓||✓||✓||90||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
Best Value for Mac Users
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.
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.
Best for Fiction Writers
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.
Ultimate eBook Creator’s best feature is the number of languages you can publish your work in – the software supports more than 80.
However, its format selection is a little bare-bones, and it wasn’t as easy to navigate as some other services we reviewed. In fact, we were overwhelmed as we sorted through the project options in the software. It doesn’t have formatting options for magazines or comic books, though you can make more traditional projects like picture books, novels and guides. Ultimate eBook Creator also includes photo rendering tools to make images look clear. The company has ties with publishers, so it’s easy to monetize your projects. Ultimate eBook Creator downloads to your computer, so you don’t need an internet connection to access it.
Lucidpress gives you access to a lot of formatting and project options, making it one of the most versatile eBook creators we reviewed.
It also looks up to date – the layout and interface are much more accessible than those of some competitors. Lucidpress is an online program, so you don’t download it, and you store your projects in the cloud. Some may see it as a downside to need internet access to work on projects, but it’s fairly common practice nowadays. You can sign up for a free trial on Lucidpress’ site, and you can even access the software for free if you’re a student or teacher. However, the program’s project variety is what really makes it a great option. It includes publishing formats for business reporting as well as those to help educators make learning material more engaging. There’s also a space to create personal projects like family photo albums and picture books. The service makes it easy to add images and sound to your work.
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 Much Does eBook Creator Software Cost?
Like much of the software we test, eBook creators are in a bit of transition. Many still download to you desktop, but newer, more up-to-date programs tend to host their operating systems on the web. You often pay per project or for a subscription for online programs, while you purchase more traditional programs outright. We wouldn’t agree to a subscription costing more than $10 a month or a one-time payment more than $50, unless you’re publishing regularly.
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
Writing a book is hard enough, and you shouldn’t have to deal with clunky, unintuitive eBook publishing software on top of it. As you browse through the programs we reviewed, consider whether each one’s interface and support options fit your needs. During our research, we paid attention to each program’s layout and design and assigned it a grade based on how intuitive its interface is.
If you want to write a story partially or wholly in a language other than English, double-check that the eBook creator you choose supports it. The best software makes it easy to choose your language or switch between languages without disrupting your workflow or inadvertently creating weird characters, typos and unexpected formatting issues.
Cloud vs. Desktop
It’s worth noting how the software you choose stores your work. Does it save it to its server via the cloud, or do you download the software onto your computer? To use cloud software, you need a solid internet connection, so it is a good option if you plan to write at home or a cafe. On the other hand, if you write during your commute on the train, it may be better to find a program you can download. There are pros and cons to both, so consider your situation before making a decision.
The more format options you have, the better. Applications and services that let you publish personal journals, magazines, professional texts, guides, manuals, comic books and other types of work in addition to eBooks provide the best value.
However, services with lots of publishing options can feel overwhelming at first, especially if you have never loaded content into a publisher before. We found that the best software comes with enough guidance and support that extra features are beneficial rather than a hindrance.
We also considered how much support each offers. eBook creators that have tutorials, instruction manuals and contact information are much easier to use overall and received higher scores.
Output File Formats
Many 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. In addition, choose a program that supports many of the most common file formats, including EPUB, PDB, PDF, video, HTML, LIT and MOBI.
A few of the platforms we reviewed mimic social media accounts – almost like LinkedIn accounts 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.
Licensing & Trademarks
Make sure you check any contracts and fine print associated with the eBook creator software you choose to ensure you aren’t signing over part or all of your rights to what you wrote. You can also look into trademarking your work first.