The 7 Best Free Book Editing Software for Self-Published Authors in 2023

As self publishing author, the journey from idea to shelf can often be an arduous process. The drafting process is simply one step on the way to full publication- in order to get to see your book on shelves, you’ll need solid editing and feedback before submitting to publishers. Fortunately, the team here at PufferPrint has your back, especially when it comes to finding the best free editing software and options for your book. In no time at all, T’s will be crossed and I’s will be dotted! Here we go: 

First off, when it comes to budget, we understand that pennies are pinched! It can often cost $800 for a 50,000 word manuscript. By sticking closely to our tips, not only can you save money and time, but quickly prepare a first draft for a real editing set of eyes. Here are the top 7 recommendations from the PufferPrint team for free and easy editing software to use to make sure that you keep on budget while getting your book to the next step in the publication process. 

1.Prowriting Aid 

ProWriting Aid is a comprehensive manuscript editing service that offers mentoring, editing, and detailed manuscript reports. By simply installing it in your browser, you can effortlessly catch avoidable writing mistakes with just a click of a button. Gain valuable insights from in-depth reports that highlight repeated errors, and enhance your editing skills to prevent future mistakes.

Not only is ProWriting Aid a trusted alternative to Grammarly, but it also extends its assistance to various writing genres, such as business and academic writing. Benefit from clear reports and expert advice on how to enhance your writing abilities, including crafting clearer sentences, utilizing active voice, and much more. With ProWriting Aid, you can elevate your writing skills and produce exceptional content.


AutoCrit is invaluable and designed to cater to both fiction and non-fiction writers. Simply copy and paste your manuscript into the platform, and let it meticulously analyze your work to pinpoint areas that can be improved. This includes evaluating the pacing of your story, infusing your dialogue with more impact, and ensuring deliberate and effective word choice. With AutoCrit, you have the option to access their “Free Forever” plan, which grants you continuous accessibility. Additionally, depending on the plan you choose, you can even compare your writing style to that of renowned authors like Danielle Steel or James Patterson. This feature is particularly beneficial for your growth as a writer and can assist you in identifying comparable titles when marketing your book. AutoCrit serves as a practical and professional tool that offers valuable critique without the need for an entire editorial team or beta readers. It streamlines the editing process and empowers you to refine your work with precision and confidence.


For a software tool to help you stay organized while writing your book, Scrivener is an excellent choice. With their free application, you can easily format your novel and streamline the editing process. Scrivener offers a comprehensive book layout software for self-publishing authors. It allows you to export your book in a Kindle-ready format, giving you the opportunity to review your manuscript as if it were a published book, making editing a breeze. One of the standout features of Scrivener is its ability to storyboard your book, allowing you to organize chapters, ideas, and blurbs before effortlessly arranging them into a single document. It’s compatible with both PC and Mac, and you can access it on multiple devices. While Scrivener offers a free version, you also have the option to upgrade to a premium subscription. The free trial provides the same functionality as the full version but will expire after 30 days of use. So, if you use it every day, it will last for 30 days, but if you only use it twice a week, it will last for 15 weeks! If you’re in the final stages of drafting your book and looking to complete the editing and organizing process, Scrivener is the perfect tool for you. To learn more about the free trial and download it, please visit their website.

4.Hemingway App 

The Hemingway App is a writing software tool that draws inspiration from the renowned author Ernest Hemingway. It aims to enhance your writing by eliminating unnecessary words and promoting clarity and conciseness. With the Hemingway App, you can easily identify areas that require improvement as it color codes recurring issues. This allows you to develop as a writer by addressing concerns such as lengthy sentences, word choice alternatives, and passive voice. By taking a more active approach to editing your work, you can refine your writing style effectively. This app is accessible for free through your browser, providing a convenient and user-friendly experience. Additionally, there is an offline desktop option available for purchase at $19.99, allowing you to use the app even without an internet connection.


Coming in slightly pricier at $200-$250 USD, Vellum is made in particular for self publishing authors and formatting manuscripts. The versions this produces make a hit on Apple, Kobo, and Kindle as well for regular print books. This application is quite easy to use, and you can drag and drop elements to format the entire book in 1-2 hours!! You can also store copies, prepare for social media, and other media additions. As of right now, Vellum is primarily available on Mac and is great for any self publisher! Consider this a great, professional option to use for your first novel especially- we don’t want any mistakes in your debut, after all. 

6.Smart Edit 

The best use case for Smart Edit is to check grammar mistakes! This may seem like a small task, but it matters when it comes to the readability of your book. Ranging from $77 to $139, Smart Edit will come in handy when you don’t have to manually scan each part of your book for grammar mistakes. Specifically built for revising, editing, and suggesting novels and short stories, there’s no need to cut text to run it through other software. It’s all here in one!! With special features like running over twenty individual checks on content and highlighting errors from misspelled words to improperly used adverbs, repetitive words and more, this is a true one stop shop.


Coming in last but certainly not least, Grammarly can be your classic first wave of editing defense. Easily identify spelling errors, missing punctuation, and unclear sentences with the assistance of Grammarly. Grammarly is a convenient editing tool that can be installed as a browser extension or used directly within your word processor.

Upon downloading Grammarly, simply click the green arrow to have it identify easily correctable typos for you. While there is a premium option available, utilizing the free version can assist with quick edits to ensure you haven’t overlooked any basic words or written sentences that could benefit from greater clarity. Feel confident in your writing and allocate more time to developmental edits rather than getting caught up in minor line edits that may slip through to the final draft. For more comprehensive edits, consider upgrading to the premium feature and rely on Grammarly to catch those avoidable errors.

And there you have it folks, the easiest and most useful editing tools to ensure that you don’t spend too much time on the editing process. This can often get tiresome and exhausting, and you’ll need to save your energy for the next steps in the publication process, from marketing your book, to deciding how to sell and where you’d like to see it hit the shelves. A key aspect of all of these free or easy to use platforms is that they are paperless! Stay environmentally friendly by doing all of your editing work virtually, making it more efficient and shareable.

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