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Article No.: 12-2a

Article Title: How Long Does it Take to Write a Book?

Author: Terri Bonar-Stewart

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The simple answer is about a year, if you write two hours per day.   The average writing time for a non-fiction book is 725 hours, for a fiction book 475 hours.  At 2 hours per day, six days a week, you could write a book of fiction in forty weeks.  For a book of non-fiction, if you can write 2 hours per day, six days a week, then your manuscript will be written in sixty weeks. 

Writing a Book - The Rest of the Story – our experience suggests that writing time is simply that – writing time.  It is unlikely that everything you want to write about is literally in your head.   You may have to do some research.  For Just A Couple of Women Talkin’…The Real Story of Being a Woman Entrepreneur, it took Linda Gravett and I about the same amount of time to do the research as to write.  Using us as an example, you can double the numbers above for a total of research and writing.  Then, there is the agent and publisher search, the re-editing (after you thought it was perfect- the editor won’t think so and that is a good thing) and then the actual publishing process.

A simple formula is one year of research + one year of writing + one year of searching for an agent and publisher + one year editing and production time.

Of course, full-time writers can devote more time each day to writing, and authors like Nora Roberts can write several books a year.  Vince Flynn writes one book each year from start to publication.  So each author and each book are different, but this is an average.

By the way, the New York Times research indicates that 81% of the total adult population say they are interested in writing a book, and should.  We agree.  We think everyone has at least one book in them.

While Just a Couple of Women Talkin’… took about a year to write, it was nearly four years before we could hold the finished book in our hands. Linda has written and published five books (all non-fiction) and says that a total of three and one half to four years is about normal from start to finish.  She does this in addition to consulting full-time, teaching and speaking.

How old will you be if you write your book?  How old will you be if you don’t write it? If you get a different answer, let us know right away!


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