Atticus Formatting Software Review

Atticus Formatting Software Review

Nobody stopped me. Nobody served as a voice of reason. So, I bought Atticus, Dave Chesson’s brainchild, and now, I am both happy and sad.

Your software guinea pig took Atticus formatting software for a spin this week, and this is the outcome.

My Atticus Formatting Software Review


  • Cost. If you have a Mac and don’t want to shell out $249.99 USD + tax for Vellum, then Atticus is for you. How much will Atticus cost? At $147 USD, it makes formatting a book almost painless.
  • Platform compatabilty. Atticus formatting software is a cross-platform program, so anyone can use it. Vellum will only ever be for Mac; correct me if I’m wrong.
  • Ease of use. Atticus is easier to use than Draft2Digital’s (D2D) book formatting module. That’s my opinion. And you can still upload your ebup or PDF output file to D2D and let them do what they do best, put your book in stores.
  • Pre-designed templates. Atticus offers several standard templates, so they have you covered for any genre. Plus, you can create your own custom themes and reuse your settings for Book 1 for your entire series. Sweet.
  • Ready to format your manuscript. If you have a completed, edited manuscript, by all means, seriously consider buying and using Atticus.


  • Incomplete feature set. Atticus is under development. There are loads of planned features, and Dave Chesson has a great vision for the product. I have every confidence he will lead his developers to victory; however, Atticus has a long, long way to go to be the all-in-one product he wants it to be.
  • Basic writing interface. The Writing portion of Atticus is not ready. Not at all. It has basic formatting, no spell check, no grammar check, no global find/replace, etc. This is a major problem when your novel or non-fiction book is under development. For now, Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and Scrivener are safe.
  • There are no tools for editors. There is no way to leave comments, track changes, or even highlight a passage. And the only way to download a manuscript is in epub or PDF format. There are plans to make it a place where an author could grant an editor to do all the editing things, but I think that functionality is probably a few years down the road. For now, my preferred editing tool will continue to be Microsoft Word.
  • Not a great way to collaborate: If you are currently working on a manuscript, if you have revisions left to make, or if you need to collaborate or send it to an editor, then Atticus is not ready.

Indie Authors, is Atticus software for you?

Bottom Line: Wait until you are ready to format your book before you purchase Atticus.

Atticus is going to make formatting my books as painless as the process can be. Atticus book formatting is going to surpass Vellum as a popular program because it is easy to use, makes beautiful books, and is available across platforms.

Long story short, I was hoping for a Scrivener replacement for manuscript development; Scrivener is showing its age and continues to be a lumbering application with an early 2000s user interface. That said, Scrivener is safe for now as my development tool of choice, and Microsoft Word will be my go-to for editing. When the manuscripts are ready for prime time, though, I will joyfully use Atticus to create beautiful books.

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