Edit Your Book for Free: The Best Editing Software for Self-Published Authors

You’ve finished drafting your self-published book — congrats! 

We know how refreshing it must feel to have that story drafted, and how eager you probably are to have it published and out in the world. But first comes the business of editing and polishing your manuscript.

You’ve spent so much time on your work, you might think you’ve found and corrected every possible mistake. No typos or grammar errors can slip past you now, right? 

The truth is, as well as you know your work, you might have gone text-blind by now.

Editing is important to polish your hard work and make sure readers see the merit in it. A polished manuscript shows you’re professional and know what you’re doing, which translates to more readers, more book sales, and more success and credibility overall.

As a self-published author, we understand you may not have the resources to hire a professional editor. The cost to edit a 50,000 word book can start at around $800, which adds up quickly. 

Don’t let the cost of editing your manuscript send you running. There are tons of free writing and editing tools on the market that are designed to be easy-to-use and help you polish your work. 

Here are the best free book editing software tools we recommend for improving your self-published book manuscript and sharpening your skills as a writer.

Best Free Self-Publishing Tools for Self-Published Authors

We know as a self-published author, you may not have the budget to hire an editor, and we want to offer solutions. That’s why you need these tools.

1. Grammarly

Find any misspelled words, missing commas, and unclear sentences easily with Grammarly. Grammarly is a free editing tool that you can install as a browser extension or use directly in your word processor. 

When you download Grammarly, simply click the green arrow and let it find easy-to-correct typos for you. A premium option is available, but using the free option can help with quick edits to ensure you haven’t missed any basic words or write a sentence with more clarity.

Write with confidence and spend more time focused on developmental edits than sneaky line edits that make it through to the last draft. Upgrade to the premium feature for more in-depth edits and count on Grammarly to catch those avoidable errors. 

Install Grammarly as your writing assistant today > 

2. Scrivener

If you’re looking for book writing software that helps keep your work organized, Scrivener is a great option. Use their free application to format your novel and make for easy editing.

Scrivener is a self-publishing book layout software, so you can export your book into a Kindle-ready format. Read your manuscript like you would a published book as you edit and have it ready to publish with ease.

You can story board your book into chapters, ideas, and blurbs before clicking a button to arrange it all into one document. It’s PC and Mac compatible, and available to use on multiple devices.

Scrivener is free, and you can upgrade to a premium subscription. The free trial is the same as the full version but will stop working after 30 days of use, meaning if you use it every day, it lasts 30 days. If you use it only 2 days a week, it lasts 15 weeks! 

If you’re in the final stages of drafting your book and want to finish editing and organizing it, Scrivener is for you. Learn more about the free trial and download it here.

3. Hemingway App

Named after famed writer Ernest Hemingway, this free writing software desktop tool helps you cut the dead weight from your words to ensure clear and concise writing.

The Hemingway App highlights areas for improvement and color codes them so you can see recurring issues and grow as a writer. Cut down lengthy sentences or find word choice alternatives for readability. Dodge passive voice, and take a more active approach in how you edit your work with this app. 

This app is free to use through your browser and a new, offline desktop option is available for $19.99. 

Try the Hemingway App >

4. ProWriting Aid

ProWriting Aid works as a manuscript editing service that provides mentoring, editing, and manuscript reports. 

Install it to use in your browser, and catch easily avoidable writing mistakes with a click of a button. See in-depth reports about repeated mistakes, and develop your own editing eye to avoid errors in the future.

ProWriting Aid is a popular alternative to Grammarly, and assists with other types of writing including business and academic writing. Receive clear reports and advice on how to improve as a writer with clearer sentences, using active voice, and more.

Learn how to integrate ProWritingAid into your editing process > 

5. AutoCrit

AutoCrit is the ideal tool for fiction and non-fiction writers. 

Copy and paste your manuscript into it, and let it analyze your manuscript to identify areas for improvement such as slowing down or speeding up your pacing, giving your dialogue some bite, and being more intentional with your word choice.

AutoCrit does offer a “Free Forever” plan that is always accessible to use. Depending on which plan you choose, you can also compare your writing to that of popular authors like Danielle Steel or James Patterson. This is great for growing as a writer and even finding comparison titles when you market your book.

This is a practical and professional tool that helps critique your work without requiring an editorial team and beta readers. 

Get to know more about AutoCrit here > 

Go Paperless with Your Editing Process

With these editing applications and tools, you can confidently write, edit, and format your book with care. Find easy-to-miss typos with Grammarly, cut dead weight sentences from your work with the Hemingway App, or get your novel Kindle-format ready with Scrivener.

At PufferPrint, we’re committed to finding environmentally-friendly options for self-published writers — from editing through printing. Printing out pages and doing manual line-edits uses a lot of paper. Free editing software does more than help you save money — it’s sustainable and good for the planet, too.  

Discover more ways to be an environmentally-conscious author (and why it matters) >

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