Finding the right software for writing and formatting your book can be a huge timesaver. Especially formatting. For years, you could either get Vellum—which only works on Mac—use Word—which we all know is a bit of a pain—or hire out. Or, you know, understand how InDesign works so you can do your formatting there.
But Atticus offers an excellent alternative not only as a formatting tool but also as book writing software. It works on all computers and allows authors to very easily format a professional-looking ebook and print book.
So, let’s have a deeper look at the tool in this Atticus software review below.
What is Atticus?
As I’ve said above, Atticus is an app for book writing and formatting. This software combines the best of both worlds!
So, they have one place within the app where you can do all your writing. It works pretty much like any other book writing software: you have a page and you can write. Similar to Scrivener, you can also set project goals and word count goals if you want to track your daily habits and progress. This is a nice incentive (who doesn’t like to see the tracker turn green?).
On the right hand, you can also pick what you’d like to add. There’s a variety of choices, either for your front matter, back matter, or book pages. For your front matter you can pick:
For the back matter you can pick:
And finally, for the book pages you can pick:
Full page image
These pages are essential for your book and this makes it easy to see which ones you have and which ones you may still need to add. One really cool feature is the ability to create your own page and make it a template. For instance, for your copyright page and bio page. That way, you don’t have to recreate it every time.
The formatting option is by far the most superior of the two, though. It makes it incredibly easy to format a book that looks professionally formatted. You can use any of their templates or you can create your own custom template. There are heaps of options, such as font size and type, chapter page images, margins, line width, and so on. And the best thing: you can view any change you make live in their previewer (where you can pick the device you’d like to preview your book on).
What can this formatting tool do?
So, I’ve already touched a little on some of the amazing features Atticus has. But let’s look at them a little bit more in-depth here.
Premade & custom templates
If you’re new to the whole formatting game, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Luckily, Atticus has a couple of premade templates that all look great. If you want to change anything in the theme, like the font or the size, you can easily adjust it.
But if you want to go even further, you can build your own theme from scratch rather than customizing a pre-existing theme. The theme builder allows you to change:
Your font and font size
Custom images for your chapter headers
Style of your chapter headers
Custom ornamental breaks
Print trim size
Header and footer styles
You can view directly in the previewer how your theme will look for any given chapter. This way, you can easily keep adjusting things until you’re happy with your theme. Then you can save the template and use it as many times for as many books as you want.
Autosave and backups
Atticus is an online app (although you can also download it for offline use), which means it saves automatically whenever you write. This way, you won’t lose your work when you’re happily writing and suddenly your computer turns off.
Everything is saved in the cloud on secure servers, which means you can access it from anywhere, wherever you are. That’s one less thing to worry about!
You can also back up all your books with one simple click. If you save your backups in another location, you definitely never have to worry about losing your work again.
Exporting and importing
If you don’t like to write within Atticus or have an old manuscript you want to use, then that’s no problem as well. You can import your manuscript with ease as a docx or RTF document. Make sure you have your headings assigned correctly (using heading styles to denote a chapter) to make the importing run smoothly.
For exporting, you can pick either epub, pdf, or docx. The latter makes collaborating a lot easier as editors often like your book in a Word file to work on it. It doesn’t support mobi, as this is no longer required by Amazon. When you upload a file to Amazon nowadays, you upload an epub for your ebook. The pdf file can be used for your print books.
Images and fonts
If you want to have some truly “wow” pages with images, Atticus has you covered. You can choose a full bleed image on a full page or on a chapter page. This is a type of image that extends all the way to the edge of a print book. This is usually a tricky feature to pull off, but Atticus makes it easy. It’s certainly part of the reason why they’re such a great book formatting tool.
You can also pick from a variety of different fonts and font sizes. A nice feature here is the option “large print” for large print books that are automatically compliant with government guidelines. So, if you want to publish large print books, Atticus gives you a considerable advantage.
In addition, you can pick a dyslexic font. This way, it’s printed specifically so that people with dyslexia can read it more easily. It’s even possible to set this up in the writing section as well if you struggle with dyslexia.
I’ve mentioned it before, but I think the previewer is easily one of the best features of Atticus. You can pick the device you want to preview, such as an iPad, Kobo, or Samsung phone; you name it. And it also has a print previewer, so you can see how your pages will look like on print.
What are the costs for Atticus software?
Of course, Atticus comes with a price tag. However, if you compare it to Vellum, it’s actually not that bad. While Vellum costs $249.99 for both eBook and print book capability, you can get Atticus for $147. This covers both ebooks and print books. It will also get you all future updates as it’s a lifetime purchase.
I think if you’ve read this far, it’s plain that I would highly recommend using Atticus. It has a ton of features, is easy to use, and the end result looks great. I doubt there will be any formatting tool that can top this.
So, should you get it? That depends.
If you don’t write that many books, it may be a bit too costly, and you’re better off hiring a formatter. However, if you write and publish regularly, getting Atticus will save you a ton of money and time in the long run.
Have you used Atticus? What did you think about it?