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A Step-by-Step Guide: How To Write A Book On Google Docs

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  • image July 18, 2023
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  • image 7 min read


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It can be scary to try to write a book. But with the right tools, a little drive, and a pinch of creativity, you can get your story out of your head and onto paper, or in this case, a digital document. This detailed guide will show you how to write a book using Google Docs, a famous, easy-to-use, free word processor.

1. Understanding the Basics of Google Docs

Before you delve into the world of writing your book on Google Docs, it’s vital to understand the tool itself.

2. What is Google Docs?

Google Docs is a word processor with Google Drive, a free web-based office suite that Google offers. This tool lets you make documents, edit them, and store them online. You can access your files from any computer with an internet connection, making it a great tool for writers who are always on the go.

3. Benefits of Using Google Docs for Writing a Book

There are several advantages to using Google Docs to write your book, including:

  • Accessibility

You can access your work from any device… Read about The Future of Book Publishing Embracing Digital Innovation for more insights.”

  • Collaboration

Google Docs lets more than one person work. Discover more on collaboration in How to Find a Ghostwriter Your Guide to Collaborative Storytelling. This function is very helpful if you are writing with someone else or need feedback from others.

  • Auto-save

Never lose your work due to a sudden power outage or computer crash. Google Docs, by design, saves your document as you type.

  • Revision History

You can track changes and revert to older versions of your document if necessary.

  • Formatting and Styles

Google Docs provides the essential formatting and style options for writing a book.

4. Getting Started with Google Docs

Now that you understand why Google Docs is an excellent choice for writing your book, let’s dive into the step-by-step guide on how to write a book on Google Docs.

  • Creating a New Document

The first step in your writing journey is to create a new document:

  1. Go to the Google Docs homepage (docs.google.com).
  2. Click on the “+ New” button.
  3. Select “Google Docs” from the dropdown menu.
  4. You now have a new, blank document to start your book.
  • Organizing Your Writing

The key to successfully writing a book on Google Docs is organization.

  • Using Headers and Footers

Headers and footers can hold crucial information such as chapter titles, page numbers, and your book’s title. To insert a header or footer:

  1. Click on “Insert” in the toolbar.
  2. Hover over “Header & page number.”
  3. Choose “Header” or “Footer.”

For more formatting tips, see Formatting Tips for a Children’s Book Layout.

  • Setting Up the Table of Contents

A Table of Contents (TOC) can help you navigate your book efficiently. It also gives you a clear picture of your work’s structure.

  1. Click “Insert” in the toolbar.
  2. Select “Table of contents.”
  3. Choose the format of your TOC.
  • Writing Your Book

You can start writing your book now that your Google Doc is set up. Here are a few tips to make the process smoother:

  • Write consistently: Set a daily word count goal… and for maintaining consistency, explore 6 Strategies for Writing Simply Effective Communication
  • Don’t edit while writing: Keep your creative and editing processes separate.
  • Backup your work: Regularly download a backup of your book.
  • Formatting Your Book on Google Docs

Proper formatting is crucial when writing a book. Google Docs offers all the necessary tools to format your book professionally.

  • Page Layout

Adjusting the page layout to your book’s requirements is an essential first step in formatting your book.

  • Adjusting Margins

Here is how you can adjust the margins of your document:

  1. Click “File” in the toolbar.
  2. Hover over “Page setup.”
  3. Adjust the margins as necessary.
  • Styling Text

Formatting the text can be done in a few simple steps:

  1. Highlight the text you wish to format.
  2. Use the toolbar for the font, size, line spacing, and more.
  • Inserting Page Breaks

Page breaks are important for separating chapters… and for more on chapter structuring, check out How to Start a Fictional Story To insert a page break:

  1. Click where you want the break to be.
  2. Click “Insert” in the toolbar.
  3. Select “Break,” then “Page break.”
  • Collaborating and Revising Your Book on Google Docs

Google Docs’ collaboration features can help you improve your book.

5. Inviting Others to Collaborate

  1. Click the “Share” button in the upper right corner.
  2. Enter the email addresses of your collaborators.
  3. Choose their permission level: They can edit, comment, or view.
  4. Click “Send.”

6. Tracking Changes and Revisions

By accessing your document’s version history, you can view changes made to your document over time.

  1. Click “File” in the toolbar.
  2. Select “Version history.”
  3. Click “See version history.”
  • Publishing Your Book on Google Docs

Once you’ve finished and improved your book, it’s time to share it with the world. This step is about exporting your book in a ready version for publication.

  • Exporting Your Book

  1. Click “File” in the toolbar.
  2. Hover over “Download.”
  3. Choose the format in which you want to export your book, such as DOCX or PDF.

Learn about different formats in How to Publish a Graphic Novel.

7. Collaborating with Urban Book Publishers

Once your manuscript is ready, consider collaborating with book publishers new york. They can help with the next steps, such as editing, cover design, and marketing.


  • How do I organize my book in Google Docs?

You can organize your book using headers, footers, and the Table of Contents feature. You can also use folders in Google Drive to store related documents.

  • Can I collaborate with others in Google Docs?

Yes, Google Docs allows multiple people to collaborate on a single document simultaneously.

  • How do I format my book in Google Docs?

You can format your book using the toolbar to adjust the font, size, and line spacing. You can adjust the margins and page orientation under “Page setup.”

Essential Feature and Benefits Insights

Feature Description Benefits for Writers
Accessibility Access from any device with internet. Write anywhere, anytime. Enables writers to work flexibly and conveniently.
Collaboration Tools Multiple users can edit simultaneously. Easy sharing and feedback. Facilitates seamless collaboration and efficient communication among writers.
Auto-save Function Continuous saving of work in progress. Prevents data loss. Protects writers from losing valuable content during unexpected disruptions.
Version History Track changes and access previous versions. Easy to review and revert changes. Allows writers to monitor and manage document revisions effectively.
Formatting Options Essential formatting and style tools available. Simplifies book layout and design. Aids writers in creating visually appealing and well-structured documents.
Organization Features Use of headers, footers, and Table of Contents. Efficiently manage and navigate through the book. Enhances document organization, making it easy for writers to navigate and readers to follow.
Publication Readiness Options to export in formats like DOCX, PDF. Simplifies the transition to publishing. Streamlines the process of preparing documents for publication and distribution.


Thanks to its user-friendly design and wide range of features, Google Docs makes it easy and quick to write a book. Google Docs has everything you need to write, organize, and work together. So start typing and let the writer in you come out.

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