11 Best Book Design Software

11 Best Book Design Software in 2021

If you want to create a book and save it in a digital format or print out, then you need to find the best book design software.

I have described top 11 software for such a purpose and the list includes programs that can satisfy experienced designers and beginners alike. Besides, there you can find both paid and free book design software which is good news for people with a limited budget.

Top 11 Book Design Software

  1. Adobe InDesign - Handles print and e-books
  2. QuarkXPress - Flexible layouts
  3. Affinity Publisher - Low-cost single purchase
  4. Adobe FrameMaker - For long & complex books
  5. FlipHTML5 - For creating flipbooks
  6. Blurb BookWright - For beginners
  7. Shutterstock Editor - For eBook cover designers
  8. Lulu - Allows distributing and retailing books
  9. Adobe Spark - For creating book covers
  10. Scribus - For Linux users
  11. Canva - Sharing and collaboration tools

This overview is bound to give you a deep understanding of the best programs currently available, describing their strong and weak points. Either you need professional software or entry-level one, you can find a good variant here. Besides, the book creator examples presented below were selected to cater to the needs of users with different financial capabilities.

1. Adobe InDesign – Our Choice

Handles print and e-books
  • Top-tier interface and instruments
  • Integration with other Adobe products
  • Lots of downloadable fonts
  • Customizable layouts
  • Agile even on weak PC’s
  • Not found

Verdict: Adobe InDesign is a go-to tool for many designers and printing experts, who are interested in producing page layouts. It is equipped with all sorts of purpose-built tools that can satisfy both average and professional users.

The program is helpful when you need to create print or interactive documents, which significantly expands the scope of its application. Adobe InDesign can function as book cover software and it offers the necessary features for handling the inside pages. Choosing this program, you can precisely control the size of pages, typography aspects, and enjoy numerous export options.

  • adobe indesign book design software interface

    2. QuarkXPress

    Flexible layouts
    • Intuitive palette and styles
    • Amazing typography features
    • Platform-optimized page layouts
    • Handy extensions
    • Remarkable customer support
    • High price
    • It is impossible to open multiple projects simultaneously

    Verdict: Though QuarkXPress doesn’t top this list, it is still a worthy InDesign alternative, which you can rely on if you want to design a book.

    It can assist you whether you need to work on the filling or external side of a book. The most notable feature of this software is “Flex Layouts”, which provide a graphical “WYSIWYG” interface that you can use in an efficient manner without learning HTML and CSS coding.

    You can easily change the size or shape of the Flex Layouts, thus automatically affect the text and graphics on the page. This is a really helpful option, making it possible to see how the page will look on different devices with varied screen sizes.

    • quarkxpress book design software interface

      3. Affinity Publisher

      Low-cost single purchase
      • Powerful program for publishing needs
      • Can work in conjunction with other Affinity programs
      • Subscription-free
      • Handles large-scale documents
      • User-friendly interface
      • Paid fonts
      • No INDD support

      Verdict: What is the best software for book layout? Many people engaged in designing books, newspapers, magazines and other printed media believe that it is Affinity Publisher. The program has a straightforward UI and diverse features for performing even complicated tasks.

      Here you can work with master pages, text wrapping, image frames, link text frames, tables, grids, and use numerous graphic and editing instruments. The StudioLink technology ensures smooth integration with other components of the Affinity suite. Thus, you can edit images, publication pages, and vector art without resorting to third-party apps.


        4. Adobe FrameMaker

        For long & complex books
        • Quick content transfer from Word
        • Smooth work with long documents
        • Creating engaging content using rich media
        • Creates TOC and indexes across the whole book
        • Effortless formatting of multiple paragraphs
        • Not in the budgetary group

        Verdict: This is the best book design software if you plan to work with long and complex files. The program is regularly used for creating non-fiction books and all types of technical documents.

        Thanks to a broad range of publishing options, you can easily optimize and output your creations to different devices – generate PDF, Responsive HTML5 or export in extensions meant for Kindle. Anyway, this book layout software is ideal for work with long documents. You can use automatic settings for headers and footers, easily shift content from chapters and paragraphs, etc.

        • adobe framemaker book design software interface

          5. FlipHTML5

          For creating flipbooks
          • Over 10 adjustable book design templates
          • You can add multimedia to digital publications
          • Custom domain for the book
          • Free online hosting service
          • For all platforms & devices
          • No way to edit a flipbook once it is made
          • Only for flipbooks

          Verdict: Coming with more than 10 book layout templates and handy tools, this program can satisfy both beginner and seasoned designers. The online editing instrument is helpful if you need to add links, videos, text, hot spots, audio, sliders and other multimedia elements to your book.

          Thanks to the possibility to own a custom domain for the book, you can use your own brand for HTML5 books instead of an embedded one. The free online hosting service allows you to share your books on the net even if you don’t have your personal website. The statistics section delivers timely info on the popularity of your book.

          • fliphtml5 book design software interface

            6. Blurb BookWright

            For beginners
            • Templates can be edited
            • Plug-in support
            • Unique ISBNs for every book version at no cost
            • Super easy alignment process
            • Inconsistent color management feature

            Verdict: This convenient free book layout software can tackle any printouts from photo albums to novels, including the creation of e-book versions. Many users are especially grateful for the free ISBN number they can obtain.

            From the same file, you can simultaneously create a printed and an electronic version without the need for tedious separation processing. Among the free options, you won’t find such quality and flexibility supported by convenience of use that this software offers.

            Especially since the program can recognize the plug-ins of the most popular Adobe programs and even work on portable devices through a designated app. Apart from being a popular text formatting instrument, it is also featured among the best photo book makers.

            • blurb bookwright book design software interface

              7. Shutterstock Editor

              For eBook cover designers
              • Extensive library of templates and images
              • Simple to use
              • Online access
              • Adaptive workflow
              • Just the basic toolkit
              • Requires a Shutterstock account

              Verdict: This multi-purpose layout software from Shutterstock is a great program for assembling the book and its cover for print single-handedly.

              Though you’ll be using templates, the library you’re getting access to, in combination with the instruments for customizing, will result in a perfectly unique design. For more elaborate work, you will find better options on this list.

              If you’re in a rush to have everything done, this is just what you need for doing a decent design in little time. Since this free book design software is powered by the huge stock photography platform, you need an account to have access to the editor.

              • shutterstock editor book design software interface

                8. Lulu

                Allows to distribute and retail books
                • User-friendly interface
                • Easy distribution
                • Impressive customization
                • Themes provided in abundance
                • Restricted ability to design
                • Shaves too much off author royalties

                Verdict: This is not only the best book cover design maker but also a great program for independent authors. It allows assembling and putting out for sale a book quickly and with little investment.

                You can take care of the style and layout of the text and when the result is satisfactory, there are two options. You can either put it out for sale on the platform as an eBook, or print the physical volumes. In the first case, the service is free, in the second, you pay a flexible price that reduces for larger volumes.

                • lulu book design software interface

                  9. Adobe Spark

                  For creating book covers
                  • Wonderful designs and layouts
                  • Lovely typography
                  • Available on iOS, Android, or online
                  • Helpful tutorials for newbies
                  • A watermark added to your projects
                  • Icon and text inserting is too basic

                  Verdict: Adobe Spark is popular free graphic design software. It has a multitude of templates that can further be enhanced in any way that your creativity suggests. Thus, the results can be truly unique each time.

                  Many claim this is the best book cover design software because of the incredible fonts that were professionally designed and set out for free use. Between the available images, fonts, colors, layouts, and instruments for adjusting them, you will feel unrestricted possibility to create.

                  • adobe spark book design software interface

                    10. Scribus

                    For Linux users
                    • Advanced color management
                    • Convenient for print documents and interactive PDFs
                    • Thought-out interface
                    • Takes little space
                    • Pro-level typesetting
                    • No recognition of native DTP file formats

                    Verdict: This program is featured as the best InDesign for Linux alternative and can be added to this list as the best book design software with an open-source code. This is not a new unreliable program, the first version appeared 13 years ago. You can assemble and refine books, magazines, posters, and any typographical item.

                    It is friendly to unexperienced users and yet allows achieving quite professional-looking results. It even supports working with scripts and has several pre-made ones. For example, you can set items to be automatically expanded to the page’s full size in a click.

                    Even introducing your own things, like fonts, is possible. Unfortunately, it doesn’t yet recognize the proprietary file types, but otherwise, the program is outstanding.

                    • scribus book design software interface

                      11. Canva

                      Sharing and collaboration tools
                      • Operating on a range of OS
                      • Simple cover maker
                      • Access to endless stock photos
                      • Striking default layouts
                      • 30-page limit
                      • No Kindle support

                      Verdict: This book cover creator software can set you off with a perfectly balanced default layout. If you are following particular branding, however, all the components can be tweaked to match it. The same goes for special creative visions that you will be able to bring to life.

                      If there is a particular palette you’re going for, enter the hex codes to get the precise colors. With the immense library of stock photos created by professionals, you can represent any idea on the cover.

                      This program is particularly helpful for several specialists working on the same project because everything is stored in the cloud and users can access the content with different permissions. This can also be convenient for those, who switch devices often.

                      • canva book design software interface
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