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Best eBook creators 2021

Best eBook Creators 2021
(Image credit: CC)

The best eBook creators can speed up the publishing process for you. Whether you are a seasoned author looking to get an eBook published quickly, or an aspiring writer looking for ways to make money with your writing, working with the best eBook creators can be an effective solution.

The best part of working with eBook creators is that they give you plenty of freedom in how you approach your craft. These programs often come with in-depth formatting options, which let you visually keep track of things like characters, motifs and storylines. But if that's too complicated, you can also write your content in a document like MS Word or Google Docs, convert the file to a compatible format, preferably EPUB, and upload it. Simple.

Moreover, eBook creators can be particularly useful for writers who are good at their craft but not the most proficient in marketing. Many programs like Canva and Lucidpress let you create something visually appealing – ergo easier to market – while other platforms like Atavist link you up directly with Kindle. 

The best eBook creators also let you make your content more interactive by giving you an option to add hyperlinks, and even audio files. Sounds exciting? Let’s help you find the best eBook creator for you,

But before that, you might want to take a look at the best screenwriting software to improve your process and use the best online grammar checkers to make sure your work is in top shape. 


1. Scrivener: Best eBook creator overall

Scrivener: Best eBook creator overall

(Image credit: Scrivener)

Scrivener

Easy to use, and with great format support, Scrivener is our top pick

Reasons to buy
+Compose words in any order+Easy to use project outline+Lots of format support
Reasons to avoid
-Separate license needed for different platforms

Scrivener, from Literature and Latte, is a writing platform created by writers, for writers with eBook publication as the main goal. As such this is built perfectly when it comes to creating a written work, uniquely allowing you to write any section that you feel the urge to, with the ability to reorganize later, which is made very simple indeed. Overlay research right there in the tool, write in one font and publish in another, and output to lots of formats including EPUB and PDF, with different features in each if needed.

The ability to pull in work from other places, including Word and even websites, is a great feature. This is affordable to buy, with a one time fee, but does require you to pay for two licences if you want it on both mobile and desktop, which seems a little outdated. With a free trial, this is well worth giving a go.


2. Canva: Best free eBook creator

Canva: Best free eBook creator

(Image credit: Canva)

Canva

If you'd rather not spend money on your eBook, this is the one to pick

Reasons to buy
+Free to use+Marketing tools built-in+Library of templates
Reasons to avoid
-Mainly focused on social media

Canva is the best free eBook creator tool as it offers lots of premium features, only without the cost. While this is free to use, you'll struggle to find the eBook maker from the homepage as this focuses primarily on social media and design based content. That's also a good thing for those looking to create an eBook with lots of imagery and visual focus. Plus you can use those tools to better market your book.

Canva is cloud based, meaning you can jump between your laptop and your smartphone to seamlessly continue your work on the book. It also means you can work with a team, all editing the same book, easily from different locations. This is a great option for anyone looking to design a visually engaging eBook for distribution online, best serving devices like tablets where rich content can be appreciated.


3. Apple Pages: Best for Apple users

Apple Pages: Best for Apple users

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple Pages

Writing on Mac? This will be very easy to use

Reasons to buy
+Easy to keep your projects synced+Lots of format and template types+Combine file types to create unique projects
Reasons to avoid
-Strict copyright guidelines

Apple Pages, formerly iBooks Author, lets you create all kinds of digital content on your Apple devices, including presentations and photobooks but - crucially - eBooks. 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. 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 many others out there.

Pages 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. Pages has all the support and tools you need get started with web and eBook publishing on your Mac device.


4. Atavist: Best for retaining royalties

Atavist: Best for retaining royalties

(Image credit: Atavist)

Atavist

Want to keep more of what you sell? This is the platform for you

Reasons to buy
+Wide selection of online publishing tools+Tutorials make learning to use features easy+Mobile-friendly building tools
Reasons to avoid
-Subscription required to access all the features-Can be a bit overwhelming for first-time eBook publishers

Atavist is an online publishing tool that can help you put your work online. Using this service, you can publish online magazines or photobooks, and it can help you publish eBooks.

Crucially, this 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.

Atavist comes 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 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.


5. Ultimate eBook Creator: Best for multiple languages

Ultimate eBook Creator: Best for multiple languages

(Image credit: Ultimate eBook Creator)

Ultimate eBook Creator

A great app, if you think your eBook has worldwide appeal

Reasons to buy
+Over 80 languages+Wide format support+Visually rich options
Reasons to avoid
-Missing several formatting options

Ultimate eBook Creator uniquely features support for a number of languages you can publish your work in – the software supports more than 80 at time of publishing.

Navigation of the software could be easier but what it lacks there is made up for in wide format support and apps for both Windows and Mac. 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. You can also add in links, tablets, bookmarks, images and more to make a rich media eBook.

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.


6. Lucidpress: Best for flexibility

Lucidpress: Best for flexibility

(Image credit: Lucidpress)

Lucidpress

If the presentation of your eBook is important, this is a great pick

Reasons to buy
+Lots of formatting and project options+Visually striking end results+Varied pricing plans
Reasons to avoid
-You need a reliable internet connection

Lucidpress gives you access to a lot of formatting and project options, making it one of the most versatile eBook creators out there. Ideal if you want to go beyond the standard book format and perhaps even market the end result further. 

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. 

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.


How we tested eBook creators

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

Here are the most important features to keep an eye out for when buying the best eBook creator. 

Ease of use
You are using an eBook creator to make your job easier, so it makes sense to look for ease of use as one of your most desired features. Look for options that offer a user-friendly interface, and a distraction-free page to work on (no ads and pop-ups).

Multi-language capabilities
If you write in more than one language, you might want to opt for an eBook creator with multi-language capabilities. This way you can write content in another language, translate your work while you are still writing it, and share it with readers from different countries to receive feedback. 

Cloud vs Desktop
We all have different ways of working so make sure your eBook creator supports your creative process. For instance, if you tend to work offline with minimal distractions, choose a desktop-based eBook creator. On the other hand, if you like saving everything externally on a cloud, pick eBook creators with online storage and sync features. 

Supported formats
If you write in more than one format, you would need a versatile eBook creator. Today many eBook creators will let you work with a variety of file types across different formats so you can write content for a wide selection of readers. Just make sure you're aware of which file types and formats the eBook creator supports before making a decision. 

Support
eBook creators offer independence and creative freedom, but as a beginner, you are bound to run into problems more often than you think. When this happens, it helps to have a great support team behind you. On some platforms, this looks like a dedicated support agent, while on others you will be provided with instruction manuals and guide videos. Find what best suits your needs and pick your eBook creator accordingly.

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.

Luke Edwards

Luke is a veteran tech journalist with decades of experience covering everything from TVs, power tools, science and health tech to VPNs, space, gaming and cars. You may recognize him from appearances on plenty of news channels or have read his words which have been published in most tech titles over the years. In his spare time (of which he has little as a father of two) Luke likes yoga, surfing, meditation, DIY and consuming all the books, comics and movies he can find.