Is there any program for writing a book? I tried to find it on some forums and sites, but I really couldn't find any.
For smaller projects, you should be fine with Libreoffice Writer.
If you are looking for a professional typesetting tool, the most well known and most widely used open source program is called LaTeX. On Ubuntu, the texlive LaTeX distribution is available in the software repository.
Beware, that LaTeX is not a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, but a WYGIWYW (What You Get Is What You Want) typesetting language, and can in some respects be compared to HTML.
LaTeX files are plain text, which are compiled by the LaTeX program into DVI or PDF files. There exist numerous style templates, and with some knowledge of the LaTeX language one can write them oneself.
Using a style template and only writing plain text spares the user the tedious work with layout, and lets the writer concentrate on what is being written instead on how it might look in the end.
Try Scribus. Scribus is an Open Source program that brings professional page layout to Linux, it supports professional publishing features, such as color separations, CMYK and spot colors, ICC color management, and versatile PDF creation.
For other ways to install, and Instructions for Debian/Ubuntu
Since no one else has mentioned it: If you want something as predictable as LaTeX, but don't need all of the power (and the complexity that comes with that power), Markdown is a great language. It's what's this website uses for markup.
You write plain text and it gets converted to formatted text:
This is a paragraph with italics and bold.
Ubuntu has a program called Pandoc, which can convert Markdown to basically any format you could want (including LaTeX, if you decide you want fancier formatting than Markdown can do).
If you're writing a Fiction novel, this is an answer nobody thought about: Plume Creator.
Find it here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/plume-creator/
It's currently the BEST free alternative Scrivener. I've been using it for many short stories, and currently for writing a novel, and it hasn't failed me yet. Plus, the developer of this software is always open to suggestions to make the tool better. :)
That said, Plume Creator only focuses on only writing, so you aren't bothered by formatting and organizing. It also has an Outliner to plan your plot, as well as Notes for note-taking and Attendance for keeping character / items / settings data. This structure helps you finish your book in no time.
Of course, after finishing your draft, you'll need to "format" the manuscript in LibreOffice or LaTeX. So that said, Plume Creator (like Scrivener) is recommended for writing first drafts, while LibreOffice for the actual formatting, editing and processing.
Scrivener is an option. There is well-polished beta available for free on the Literature and Latte site . Because it is commercially available, links for download (and support) come from the dedicated forum there.
Sigil, an ebook editor, is available via ppa : http://code.google.com/p/sigil/wiki/LinuxDistroPackages
You might also consider a wiki editor. One of the Writing Excuses people recommended wikidpad. I actually prefer Zim, a "graphical text editor based on wiki technologies", which is available from the repositories.
The Caligra Suite, which is associated with KDE (and Kubuntu) and is available in repositories, has a tool which for authoring books and ebooks.
Here's part of the announcement for it:
Note that if you install Calligra Author, you will be pulling in a lot of other KDE and Calligra Suite packages.
Although LaTeX was already mentioned, I think I have to add an answer.
I am currently employed at university for improving a book that was written with LaTeX.
What is LaTeX?
Packages and editors
What I use:
Why LaTeX is the best choice
While LaTeX certainly is a major player here, I really like
It's mainly used for writing documentation for open source projects to be published as static HTML. However, it's also possible to write a book with it.
It's not WYSIWYG, but works much like LaTeX. The markup it uses is Restructured Text (commonly used) or Markdown if you want. It is a bit easier and has less features. I also think it's a lot more flexible with the use of extensions, custom generators, etc.
A book is a huge writing project. The chief problem is with the organization of potentially hundreds of pages of manuscript during the initial drafting stage. That can be tackled by creating numerous documents for each project, for example one per chapter. LIBRE OFFICE would handle that approach well.
Some writers have issues with creating numerous files for each project because it makes it far more difficult to move text around among the various chapters as they draft the book. For instance, if they are looking for something specific that they drafted a while back and try to search by keyword, then they may have to resort to search through many chapters individually until they score.
With a single file project, Libre Office is very difficult to draft a book. You have to scroll what might seem like forever before finally reaching the desired portion. There isn't an easy to use Table of Contents for the file that organizes one file into units available at a click. With Libre Office you will inevitable end up scrolling much more of your writing time away compared to other tools that automatically navigate around a file to specific sections, like a table of contents.
ZIM WIKI DESKTOP is an excellent way to draft a book length manuscript, quickly organizing the raw text into sections. The output can be exported into numerous formats including HTML, and of course WIKI format, its primary design purpose.
Prior to the drafting stage, TOMBOY NOTES makes an excellent way of sketching the book and writing preliminary chapters in text format. The user creates notes, i.e. chapters, ideas, or anything that typed up. The advantage with it is that it excels above other applications in it's ability to search and retrieve keywords from among all its notes, or a selected portion of notes that fall under a user created notebook. Tomboy Notes can be imported into ZIM WIKI DESKTOP or exported to HTML, or TEXT.
Both ZIM WIKI and TOMBOY NOTES are fairly distraction free compared to heavy weight applications like Libre Office.
FocusWriter is designed specifically to eliminate distractions. The application can takes up the entire screen and has a foreground (page) and background (frame around the page). A menu pops up at the top of the screen when moused over. When mousing over the bottom of the screen the writing goals pop up, such as the percentage of words per day completed. A timer can be set also. When mousing over the left edge of the screen a table of scenes list pops up, to easily navigate from among those defined, making navigation around a lengthy document possible. There is also spell check, as is the case with all the other programs I've mentioned in this post.
Another handy tool is ARTHA It's a powerful thesaurus and dictionary that automatically pops up on any word highlighted on any of the programs mentioned. The user simply presses ctrl-alt-W or the tool gives definitions, alternatives, relatives, and antonyms to the highlighted word. The user can also redefine the ctrl-key activator to anything that suits their taste.
After the manuscript for the book is drafted, it has to be formatted for printing.
Publishers frequently require submittal in RTF or DOC format, then they use this to generate their own proprietary format that they print to paper on. The specified DOC or RTF formats have to be rigorously adhered to else the publishers will reject them outright. Still, It's worth reiterating that this is just a preliminary format, not the format the book itself will be printed to paper directly from.
If you are self publishing, then ebook formats are a frequent focus. HTML is the best format to export to because it can easily be converted to popular ebook formats such as epub and mobi, by a third party vendor who offers the service of ebook publication. Also, the CALLIBRE application can easily convert html formats to epub and mobi since all three are essentially markup language formats, designed for indefinite viewing dimensions. (Various ebook reader sizes, or monitors)
If you are printing your own books to paper, then LyX (using LaTeX and TeX) is a method that's popular, at least in the academic world, and for thesis papers. An alternative to LyX (LaTeX) final formatting and printout directly to paper includes SCRIBUS which offers a true What You See is What You Get approach. All of those final formatting methods will require a significant learning curve to master, but they can offer special advantages. For example, a master of LaTeX can craft a book in simple text, than automatically have LyX mark it up for Fancy Book output, and do this all with minimal fuss, letting the program handle all the formatting specifics and keeping it out of sight, out of mind to the author. The author essentially hits the export to pdf button and the markup is converted to a book with perfect proportions, fonts and layout. That is a markup approach.
Another approach, especially for graphics intensive books, is SCRIBUS A master of Scribus can craft unique books with lots of graphics, and do this artistically as she sees fit, seeing the exact final output on screen as they edit, and do this more effectively than with a traditional word processor like Libre Office, or a non traditional markup "document" processor like LyX.
The key is taking the time, LOTS of time, to learn those tools. Libre Office can also format a final draft of a book for final print to paper. Its easy to start, but still takes quite some time to discover all its capibilites. Prepare to also have learning time with this application. Hopefully you've got a first draft done else the learning phase could be a major distraction from the creative writing process. Still, the hurdle of success is stepped much lower with Libre Office than with LyX or Scribus. Prepare time for any of these, though, to vent from software frustrations as you learn.
Lastly, Calligra Suit and Calligra Author is in fast paced development (not to be confused with Callibre, which easily manages ebook collects and can convert html into ebooks). Calliagra Suit aims to be the KDE destop alternative to the ever popular Libre Office. In addition to Calligra Words, it offers an additional tool called Calligra Author that focuses on distraction free writing, organizing and easy ebook creation directly into the ebook champion formats of epub and mobi. After 2014, its expected that development will reach fruition. Perhaps then Kubuntu Linux will offer Calligra Suit as the default installation for word processing and spreadsheets. I've just started using Kubuntu 13.10 and can tout that their KDE Desktop pleases me very well. And, Calligra Suit is starting to shape up as a contender to Libre Office in Word Processing. Calligra Author might soon become valuable after their planned features are implemented.
If you wish the latest version then you can just add the launchpad repository of the project and install from there:
Everything you need to write fiction - Writer's Café is a set of power tools for all fiction writers, whether experienced or just starting out. The heart of Writer's Café is StoryLines, a powerful but simple to use story development tool that dramatically accelerates the creation and structuring of your novel or screenplay.
Find it here: http://www.writerscafe.co.uk/
*.deb packages available.
It is highly recommended and really powerful.
I have a friend who makes her living as an author. She tells me that there is only one program for writing a book: namely, "the program your publisher requires you to use." If you're using a publisher, which my friend tells me is the best way to go even though self-publishing is so easy anymore, find out the format in which they want their submissions, and use that program that creates that format.
That may involve using Microsoft Word, at least at the very end (to make sure that the formatting from Libreoffice or Abiword or whatever Word-compatible program you used to write your book has formatted and saved your book accurately.)
If you're self-publishing, I'd recommend using MarkDown in a text editor, only because it'll give you the most options for publishing formats. MarkDown will save to darned near anything.
Org mode of Emacs can be a very simple and practical alternative for document (book) authoring. It can be converted to html, LaTeX, PDF, etc. Here is a short article about how to use org-mode of Emacs for writing short articles: http://www.academia.edu/4005672/Easy_Blogging_With_Emacs
Books Writing for Linux
Folks wanting to write a Book using Linux have a good many choices to make.
1st> Is the book literary, like a novel, or is it more visual, like a textbook, or is it extremely visual, like a picture book?
2nd> Who is publishing the book and do they accept a final format version or a pre format version. Createspace and Lulu for instance require a final format version. A publishing house usually requires a pre format version.
The answers to those two questions help to decide which Linux software you'd want to use for your book project.
Scribus: The more visual it is, the more likely you'd want to use a program like Scribus. With it you tediously layout everything page by page exactly the way you want it printed out.
LibreOffice: This option if for mostly text based books, but can still handle plenty of pictures. It's the option most Linux folks will use since it handles a broad range of book types and writing styles well.
Calligra is an alternative suite that might be catching up with LibreOffice in development. Keep an eye on it for now. There is an application within the suite called Author that's under development designed especially for book projects. It might be another year or two before its robust enough to benefit from.
The above programs are great in the sense that you can use them to complete your entire book project, both Content Creations and Format Creation. Those are the TWO primary steps in creating a book. If you consciously make an effort to break them down into steps, you might have better productivity, AND better content and format at the very end.
So consider using two Linux programs, one designed for each step, for a superior outcome and performance.
A> Content Creation:
Literary text-- FOCUSWRITER -- The best Linux choice for Content creation of literary text, for a book, is Focuswriter. With FocusWriter you create text files, one for each Chapter for instance. It's a LOT better than a text editor because you can layout the dimensions of a writing box, and a fullscreen wallpaper that goes behind it. You decide the font to suit your eyes for Content Creation, not the published print. It features spellcheck, wordcounts, wordcount goals per day, hour goals per day, popout menus from the botttom (text files for each chapter, for instance), popout menus from the left side (this breaks a single text file into sections or scenes for instance) and popout menu from the top (settings, file options, etc). and popout scrolling from the right.
graphics-- GiMP, InkScape. For book covers and graphics.
B> FORMAT for publication.
Once you have the text files created (front matter, the main matter or chapters, the back matter) you need to format them for publishing. To do that, you can use LibreOffice. A a publishing house is accepting your project, it may require a doc file, so you'd it, or an alternative program like Calligra. There are other's as well including AbiWord.
LaTeX, LyX: But there's another alternative for folks who self-publish or are have a publisher that accepts Fully Formatted pdf files. This option is especially good for Linux folks who like to script. is to use LaTeX with LyX. But, before you do, you need to know who is publishing the book, and the format they require. A publishing company will typically require a preformatted version rather than the final formatted version, in a doc file. Again, LibreOffice will be what you need. Scribus might be a solution for others. If you decide to self publish on Createspace or Lulu then a pdf option exists and you need a final format version. In that case, LyX with LaTeX is a good choice, but requires a heavy learning curve that most aren't going to tolerate struggling through.
The benefit of LaTeX, LyX is that, if you have a book series, and it's primarily text based, but can include pictures that are of secondary importance to the look and feel of your book, then you can script templates that will automatically format the text files of you chapters into a book literally a click of the button, with page numbering, hyphenation, justification, headers, tables of contents, all generated nicely to your templates specs.
LaTeX is especially well known in the academic world for handling mathematical formula and equations with spectacular results. So, if your book is a novel, or something academic with a lot of equations and text and bibliography, that's the way to go, if you can script a template, and if your publisher accepts a final format version pdf such as Createspace and Lulu accept.
You might want to try
In my opinion it is far easier to master than
It comes pre-installed on any Linux or BSD based OS (to the best of my knowledge anyway).
You can also use AbiWord. It has only basic features, but it's a very lightweight application.
protected by Community♦ Jan 22 '14 at 14:28
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