A Guide to AI Book Formatting & Other AI Tools: Streamline Your Publishing Process

The future of book formatting is here!

A Guide to AI Book Formatting & Other AI Tools: Streamline Your Publishing Process
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Let's get one thing straight right off the bat: Good formatting can't save a poorly written book, and bad formatting can absolutely destroy a well-written one. When it's done right, the readers shouldn't even notice it because they're too busy focusing on the content.

In the past, book formatting was just another thing that traditional publishers tried to gatekeep, but luckily, that's no longer the case. Now, you have the choice to work with thousands of freelance designers and formatters or even take things into your own hands with the help of AI-powered tools for pretty much every step of the publishing process.

We reveal our top 9 picks for AI formatting tools below, so keep reading!

See how an Internet Connection + Amazon Account = Recurring Income for thousands of first-time publishers @ our free beginner-friendly publishing training!

How to Use Book Formatting Software AI

We're not going to lie; formatting can be one of the more frustrating parts of the publishing process, especially when you're first starting out. Many folks search or eBook formatting services and AI tools to help with the headache.

But if you get to that step, you're already farther than the thousands and thousands of people who never even put their ideas to paper before they gave up. You're. So. Close! 

Take a breather if you have to, then keep going!

Here’s how you can polish your manuscript with minimal fuss:

  1. Decide What Type of AI Tool You're Looking For: Some AI book tools are definitely more inclusive than others and can do everything from conducting market research to crawling your competitors' Amazon reviews, optimizing your book title, and even writing first drafts of whole chapters.
  2. Basic Manuscript Setup: Start by setting the right font and line spacing. Times New Roman and Arial are pretty standard, but it doesn't hurt to see what's more popular in your niche. The same goes for 1.5-line spacing and page size (usually 5.5" x 8.5" with margins of about 0.75").
  3. Structure Your Book: Use headers to organize chapters and subheaders for sections, but try not to overdo it. A lot of AI book tools can automatically generate your Table of Contents and other front and back matter (like an acknowledgment or copyright notice), which makes your book look even more professional.
  4. Adjust the Details: Fine-tune your typography and paragraph settings. Set indents for new paragraphs at about 0.5" and use consistent styles for italics or bold text (again, don't overdo it). (Pro Tip: Some book formatting tools will offer you a "drop cap" setting, which means they'll make the first letter of every new chapter bigger than the rest of the word. It's definitely not a requirement, but it can be a fun way to spruce up your formatting)
  5. Review and Tweak: Quality checks are everything! You'll want to set aside time for a final readthrough after you finish formatting because chances are, you probably missed something small. The secret here, though, is to resist the temptation to keep scrutinizing your own work and looking for errors. At some point, you just need to publish the dang thing! A lot of people don't talk about the mental blocks that come up with publishing enough, but our AIA community always keeps it real.

Listen to Stephanie talk about how she overcame her imposter syndrome here:

Things That AI Book Formatters & Other AI Models Are Capable Of

You might get tired of hearing this, but it's true—AI tools are still in their early stages, which means they can only get better. That still doesn't make them any less impressive with what they can already accomplish.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Automatically adjust fonts, spacing, and margins
  • Suggest proper kerning and leading (how letters are spaced vertically and horizontally)
  • Suggest layout changes for better flow
  • Create relevant images and designs
  • Maintain uniform formatting throughout
  • Offer grammar and style suggestions or fix spelling mistakes
  • Adapt content for eBooks and print
  • Make sure your book meets industry standards
  • Speed up the formatting process by at least 10x

Psssst...Rasmus Mikkelsen put together this free AI training to catch you up to speed!

The Impact of Good Formatting on Reader Experience

These are some ways that formatting can impact the reader's experience. Most are pretty obvious, but the last point is sometimes easy to overlook as a newbie publisher!

  • Readability: Proper formatting just makes your book easier to read, period. AI tools can automatically adjust font sizes, line spacing, and margins to help your readers stay focused on the story without getting distracted (and these days, attention is the main currency that every business is vying for).
  • Aesthetic: First impressions matter. A well-formatted book looks more professional and inviting, which is going to have a massive impact on your royalties.
  • Consistency: AI tools are already solid at maintaining uniform headings, subheadings, and text across all chapters, which is like having a personal assistant and editor available 24/7.
  • Accessibility: Good formatting means making your book accessible to everyone, including readers with visual impairments or those who use different devices.

Think of formatting like a puzzle. The readers are going to notice if a big piece is missing!

Benefits Of AI-Powered Book Formatting & Writing Assistance

So, what's the point of using these AI-powered tools?

Save Time on Tedious Tasks

AI tools like Publishing.ai can take over the most time-consuming tasks to cut down your research time from months to weeks or even days. Then, even if you decide to outsource the writing to a ghostwriter, you can share the customer research doc and pre-optimized book outline to make their job easier and keep your project on track.

Personalize Your Book’s Look

Just because you're using tech doesn't mean your book has to look like everyone else's. Many AI models give you the flexibility to include unique front and back matter (or none at all) and customize things like your author bio, dedication page, etc.

Make Your Book Look Great on Any Device

AI formatting tools make sure that whether your readers are using a smartphone, tablet, or e-reader, your work appears clean and professional, without any awkward page breaks or spaces. This can be extremely difficult to get right manually.

But How Do Readers Really Feel About AI?

Tons of marketing and advertising studies show that humans don't always know what they want (surprised?)

At the end of 2023, Forbes published an MIT study that found that customers unknowingly tended to prefer AI-generated content to human-written content. This included 100% AI-generated content as well as AI content that had been edited by humans. Let that sink in!

Now, don't get it twisted. We are NOT advocating that any author or publisher just click a button, use artificial intelligence to produce a result, and then publish that de facto. We've never once suggested that despite some rumors you might have heard floating around the Internet.

We advocate for using a combination of AI and critical thinking to make the best book possible. That is the only publishing strategy that has ever worked, and it's guaranteed to work forever.

Top 9 eBook and Print Book Formatting Editor Tools

And without further ado, here's our list of the top AI book formatting and writing tools on the market:

#1: Publishing.ai - The Best AI Writing Software for Self-Publishing Books

  • Pros: You can get started generating ideas, and book outlines with very minimal training. It's incredibly user-friendly and allows unlimited edits. The AI software even works for you while you're logged out or focused on other tasks.
  • Cons: We have BIG plans for publishing.ai to become a complete one-stop-shop for self-publishers and handle every single aspect of the publishing journey, but these features and building software just take time...stay tuned :-)
  • Cost: Beta access has been complimentary for the AIA student community.

Publishing.ai Student Testimonials

I was pleasantly surprised to find how comprehensive the Publishing.ai program is. It really does a great job pulling data and analyzing it for you.

It's a phenomenal platform and service. The Twins and the team have really developed a superior offering. Thank you for everything, and keep up the great work.

I have been so impressed with all the steps this tool combines into one. It's very easy to use and steps you through the process from conception to finished manuscript.

The ease at which I was able to go from a topic idea to a well-thought-out and targeted manuscript was mindblowing. I have every confidence in being able to spruce up this first draft and QUICKLY be on to publishing. This tool is a game changer.

Get First Access as an AIA Student

As of writing this post, first access to the Publishing.ai tool is still limited to current AIA students.

Pairing the course with the tool together is like the greatest charcuterie board of all time (in our humble opinion) because it lets you learn and publish 100% at your own pace.

Access the Free Webinar

Balling on a budget? This free publishing training is a great place to start.

#2: OpenAI Playground - A Beginner-Friendly Option

  • Pros: Cost-effective; versatile for brainstorming and refining book ideas. Straightforward interface suitable for those new to the world of AI.
  • Cons: Lacks advanced publishing-specific features.
  • Cost: Free access available with optional paid subscriptions for $20/month.

#3: Copy AI - The Best User Interface

  • Pros: Clean interface perfect for those who aren't tech-savvy. Quick setup lets you start creating content ASAP.
  • Cons: Can produce repetitive copy; might require manual tweaking and editing.
  • Cost: Starts with a free trial. Premium plans from $35/month provide full access to all features.

#4: WriteSonic - The Best for Marketing Copy

  • Pros: Ideal for crafting marketing blurbs and promotional content.
  • Cons: Content may need adjustments to fit specific market niches and audiences.
  • Cost: Includes a basic free version or paid plans starting at $15/month.

#5: Kindle Create - The Best Amazon Freebie

  • Pros: Designed specifically for Kindle, simplifies the formatting process with templates for eBooks and print. Automatically ensures compatibility with Amazon's standards.
  • Cons: Limited to Amazon and does not support highly complex layouts.
  • Cost: Totally free to use!

#6: MS Word - The Most Familiar Tool

  • Pros: Most people are familiar with Microsoft tools, which reduces the learning curve. Versatile enough to handle basic book formatting tasks like margins, spacing, and font adjustments.
  • Cons: Not specifically designed for book publishing, which means the software can be especially finicky with more complex formats and longer manuscripts.
  • Cost: Available as part of Microsoft Office Suite; subscription costs vary but typically start around $70/year for personal use. Pro tip: Many colleges and organizations offer free access!

#7: Scrivener - The Best for Organizing Complex Projects

  • Pros: Great for managing large projects with its special organizational features, including the corkboard and outliner tools. Also supports a wide range of export formats.
  • Cons: Has a steeper learning curve which may require more time to master, potentially overwhelming for first-time users.
  • Cost: One-time purchase of $59.

#8: Atticus - The Popular Option

  • Pros: Combines writing and formatting in one platform. User-friendly for those who appreciate a straightforward, intuitive setup.
  • Cons: As a newer tool, it might have fewer resources and less community support compared to more established software.
  • Cost: Offers a one-time purchase of $147, which includes all future updates.

#9: Reedsy - The Best Free Option

  • Pros: The editor is simple to use and includes all the basic formatting features sufficient for most standard publishing needs.
  • Cons: While it’s great for basic formatting, it might lack some advanced features found in paid software, which could be limiting for more complex projects. For example, you can't resize images, which can be frustrating.
  • Cost: Free, providing an accessible entry point for those new to publishing who want to produce professional-looking books on a budget.

Can You Legally Write a Book with AI Writing Tools?

Yep, you can legally publish or write a book with the help of an AI writing tool as long as you follow the guidelines for the place where you decide to share your work.

For example, Amazon asks every self-publishing author to disclose whether AI was used to generate any content and whether or not you made substantial edits.

To clarify:

  • Ideas: AI-generated ideas or brainstorming do not require disclosure.
  • Text: If the text is created or edited by AI, it requires disclosure.
  • Images: AI-generated images also require disclosure.

What Are the Top-Rated AI Programs for Writing Non-fiction Books?

Most AI tools can handle non-fiction pretty well for the most part, but they'll still occasionally struggle with providing not so valuable insights or "hallucinations." ChatGPT has been the most popular AI tool worldwide since its release back in 2022, but other tools like Sudowrite and Publishing.ai are quickly catching up.

Which AI Book Writing Software Offers the Best Features for Free?

ChatGPT and Copy.ai can simplify the writing process and act as AI-powered writing assistants without breaking the bank. They're definitely not perfect, but neither is a human ghostwriter. You'll still need to put in the work to make sure the final product is fun to read and actually helpful for your audience.

Publish On Your Terms with Support Every Step of the Way

Last year, Publishing.com became one of the only publishing companies to earn the honor of being one of Inc 5000's fastest-growing companies in America for helping thousands of students collectively earn millions of dollars in book royalties all over the world. And we're just getting started!

With so much disinformation out there these days, here's what we're not:

  • We're not a Get-Rich-Quick-Scheme. We teach you how to make GREAT books because that's what your readers deserve. We can teach you how to outsource 90% of the work, but that 10% is still going to fall on your shoulders.
  • We're not a scam. Take a look at our Trustpilot account and Student Success Portal to hear directly from current and former students.
  • We're definitely not another run-of-the-mill publishing course that overloads you with highly technical guides and videos that are more overwhelming than helpful.

Stop by our free webinar and see how you can start making money online, even if you don't currently have a book idea or any publishing or writing experience!

(Most of our students started out in those same exact shoes!)

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