Business leaders and entrepreneurs have amazing stories that deserve to be shared. What better way to reach a wide audience than writing a best-selling book on your professional journey? The first question first-time authors ask is: how long does it take to write a book? The answer is: it depends. What’s your target word count? How committed are you to writing? Some can finish a manuscript in as short a time as 2 months. Others can take two years…or even longer.
You can pursue different ways of writing the book, too. You can self-publish online or you can outsource your book to professionals and get it published in print as well as e-book.
Self-Publishing vs. Outsourcing
Before delving further into how long it takes to write a book, let’s explore your two best options: Self-Publishing and Outsourcing.
Yes, you can publish your own book online without an established publisher. There are many self-publishing platforms out there. You can even do this on Amazon, building landing pages or running ads to market your book.
Why self-publish? First of all, it’s cheaper. Secondly, you have complete control over the writing process. Finally, if you have the luxury of time, it’s fun to learn to how to write a book yourself.
When self-publishing, you can be flexible with your timeline and make changes even after your book is published. If your cover is not as appealing as you hoped it would be, you can replace it because you have full creative control.
The biggest drawback to self-publishing is that, at the end of the day, you still need professional assistance in getting your book read. It will help to have a graphic designer for your cover, an editor for the text, and even a marketing expert to help your book find an audience. Chances are, these are skills you do not possess.
This is the advantage you get by outsourcing your book. You can even outsource the laborious task of writing itself. With the help of professional publishers, you can transform your ideas into a book.
Not only will outsourcing your book take care of the manuscript, it will also give you access to a team of editors to make the content more professional, graphic designers for your book’s cover, a marketing team to sell your book, and a project manager to make sure it all gets done on time and to your satisfaction. All you have to do is share your ideas through a series of interviews!
How do you get the creative control of self-publishing with the professional assistance of outsourcing your book? By working with a trusted company that will be your partner in success. A company that can guarantee you best-seller status. A company called LEADERS PRESS.
Before we keep exploring the process of outsourcing, let’s see how long it takes to write a book if you were to self-publish.
Generally speaking, the timeframe largely depends on how much time the author dedicates to the actual writing process.
Here is a quick guide to the timing based on word count:
30,000 – 60,000 words: 1000 words/day = 30 – 60 days or 1 – 2 months
60,000 – 120,000 words: 1000 words/day = 60 – 120 days or 2 – 4 months
120,000 – 180,000 words: 1000 words/day = 120 – 180 days or 4 – 6 months
Looking at the numbers, if you write at least 1000 usable words per day, you can finish your manuscript in 2 to 6 months. However, there are other factors that you need to consider such as rewriting drafts, possible changes in your outline, and editing.
Of course, not everyone has the time to write 1000 words per day or the luxury to write on a daily basis.
How Much Time Should I Spend on Writing a Book?
Let us look at a more feasible breakdown for writing a book on a busy schedule.
30,000 – 60,000 words: 500 words/day, 3 times a week = 20 – 40 weeks or 5 to 10 months
60,000 – 120,000 words: 500 words/day, 3 times a week = 40 – 80 weeks or 10 to 20 months
120,000 – 180,000 words: 500 words/day, 3 times a week = 80 – 120 weeks or 20 to 30 months
If you commit to writing 1500 words per week, it could take you around 20 months to almost 2 years to finish your manuscript, depending on your target word count.
If you are unfamiliar with book length and ideal word count, let’s look at different types of books with varying numbers of pages.
How long does it take to write a 100-page book?
A 100-page book typically has 30,000 words. Following the guide above, you can finish a manuscript in about 5 months.
How long does it take to write a 200-page book?
You may assume the answer is just twice the length it takes to write a 100-page book since a 200-page book has around 50,000 to 60,000 words.
However, as your number of target words increases, you need more content, which means more ideas, and more hours spent, which can be exhausting. After writing for a couple of months, you may encounter roadblocks such as writer’s block or other scheduling constraints.
So instead of just taking 10 months to complete your book, it may take 12 or more due to unforeseeable delays.
How long does it take to write a book with 300 pages or more?
With 300 or more pages, if you can write at least 500 words per session 3 times a week, you can finish a manuscript in 15 months. This means in 15 months, you will have written 90,000 words.
Usually, memoirs and autobiographies tend to have this kind of word count, similar to that of novels. For a first time author, this will be quite a commitment.
You can look at the numbers all you want, but at the end of the day, your top priority should be quality. How long it takes to write a book should depend on more than your target schedule. Take the time to get the best possible quality, regardless of timeline. It is your name and reputation at stake, after all!
Strategies on How to Write a Book and Hit your Target
If you want to write a book in a more manageable timeframe, here are some tips from Leaders Press:
#1 – Ask Yourself Why you Want to Write a Book
The hardest part of writing is looking at a blank page. Before even writing an outline and scheduling your first session, reflect on why you want to write a book. If you are not clear on your goals, it will be difficult to prioritize tasks later on.
#2 – Say No to Arbitrary Due Dates
Create realistic targets and deadlines for yourself. How much time can you allot per writing session? How many days per week and which days can you commit?
Do not pressure yourself and make sure your targets do not clash with your other commitments and tasks.
Deadlines are meant to help you get closer to your goal of finishing your manuscript. Be honest with your expectations and do not make writing a book a tedious job for yourself. It should be an enjoyable time for you!
We are most creative when we are relaxed. Ideas from high pressure situations may do wonders in the office, but not in your writing process.
#3 – Look at Possible Competing Titles
Look at current best-sellers in the same target niche or audience. Spend some time reading their books to get more insight. Align those ideas with your own and visualize how you want your story to be told.
This may seem counterintuitive but reading the works of other authors can help you get a fresh perspective and assist you with writing more robust content. Plus, research is one good way of overcoming writer’s block.
#4 – Organize Details into Tasks
In order to write a book in a seamless fashion, establish clear priorities before starting the writing process. How long it takes to write your book highly depends on how you prioritize the details of your overall writing process.
Turn these details into tasks. You can use a simple spreadsheet or even a project management tool that will help you prioritize. Other than setting your writing schedule, you need to consider writing your outline, determine how often you need to review drafts, spend time for research, and many other factors that affect the overall writing process.
#5 – Find a Support Group
You do not need to do this alone! At the very least, find an accountability partner—someone who can check up with you every now and then to see if you are hitting your goals.
Sometimes, you may also need some fresh eyes to help review your drafts. Or maybe you just need a change in perspective in case you hit a wall.
There are groups and forums you can join that allow you to stay anonymous if you are not comfortable letting everyone know you are currently writing a book.
So how long does it take to write a book? The answer is not as simple as entering numbers into a spreadsheet or setting up a schedule in a project management tool. There is a creative process involved and numerous factors to consider.
What if I Don’t Have the Luxury of Time?
Most business leaders and entrepreneurs have jam-packed schedules; dedicating even one hour daily for writing is next to impossible.
If you want to write a book and get published, you should also aim for best-seller status. Your book is your business card.
But what if you do not have the luxury of time? How long will it take to write your book? How long will it take to write a book that can hit best-seller status?
There is another option for you. As we mentioned earlier, you can outsource.
Leaders Press can help you write your book!
Outsourcing will get your book written without compromising the quality while also hitting your target date for publishing.
Indeed, self-publishing is quite an achievement but to what end? Are there guarantees that your book will achieve best-seller status when your book goes live?
Imagine spending a year or 2 doing everything by yourself and, at the end of it all, you write a book that no one reads.
Or you can become a best-selling author, charge very high speaking fees (if you’re on the speaking circuit), and have a book you can be proud of. We guarantee that at Leaders Press.
Become a Best-Selling Author
Get published in a win-win-win fashion. Our team will work with you, write your book under your supervision, and deliver that book to you in 6 to 12 months. After all that, Leaders Press will get you to best-seller status.
This is where you can be next year.
So how long does it take to write a book? Leaders Press can help you write a best-selling book in a year or less.
Want to make this happen? Click here to start your journey toward being a best-selling author!
You have finally decided to share that idea you’ve had for ages with the world! Congratulations!
Everyone has a story to tell. Most business leaders and entrepreneurs have valuable stories the world deserves to hear.
Deciding to write a book, however, can be intimidating, especially if it is your first time.
How do you begin?
This question can be paralyzing. You have this great inspirational message, and there is no one better to bring your vision to an audience than you. The truth is, the weight of the idea itself can be your primary hindrance in beginning the writing process.
That’s okay! What you are feeling is normal.
Perhaps you’re thinking, what if nobody gets to read that book? What if the book ends up terrible? What if, after months of hard work, no one wants to read your story?
What you are feeling is natural. Even published authors feel anxiety when working on a new project. We all dwell in that uncertainty. To begin the process of writing a book, publishing it, and presenting it to a global audience can be intimidating even for executives who are fearless in the boardroom.
Rather than thinking about what could go wrong, think of the value that your book will bring the world (or your industry). Think of the opportunities for success your audience will discover. Focus on that and you can never go wrong.
Of course, it’s easier said than done. Aside from the right attitude, strategy is imperative.
We can help you with that!
Yes, beginning a book is daunting. A blank page intimidates—many authors have struggled with penning the first paragraph, let alone the first chapter.
“Where do I begin?”
“What if my first line is boring?”
“Is there a foolproof method for writing the first paragraph?”
These are questions first-time authors ask themselves.
But you know what? You don’t have to feel that way.
Wondering how to begin a book when you’ve never written one before? Leaders Press can give you expert help on that!
It takes five steps to begin writing your masterpiece. So are you ready to be an author?
1. A Safe Workspace
What does a safe space mean? We are not talking about physical safety so much as a place where you can be confident and free of distractions. A place where you can be comfortable.
It is a designated place where you can be yourself, reflect, pour out your thoughts and let words flow out like endless rain into a paper cup. You can tell my safe workspace includes the Beatles on Spotify.
Sitting too much can be detrimental to your health, but you can’t stand the whole time you are writing. Standing and taking breaks from sitting can be good for your physical health and your overall concentration. It wouldn’t hurt to stretch those legs while you are in the zone, right?
Whether you use a standing desk, a movable desk, or a motorized adjustable desk, this health-boosting mobile option can help increase your productivity.
How about chairs? Gaming chair with high-density foam, ergonomic chair with mesh for lumbar support, or perhaps an old-fashioned folding chair? The bottom line is, whichever seat makes you feel at ease will be the best for your writing
We highly recommend making sure your desk area is always decluttered. Clutter can be incredibly distracting. The chaos creates discomfort. Dedicate some time to maintaining a workspace that puts your mind at ease.
Lighting affects productivity. Bright lights
Find out which lighting works best for your creativity.
Sound can stimulate as well as distract. Find a serene spot where you can focus. If your options are limited, wear noise-canceling headphones to block out the noise. Maybe play some relaxing tunes while you’re at it. Just not the Beatles, though. I called dibs.
Scent also influences productivity. Certain fragrances uplift mood and enhance performance. Aromatherapy has existed for thousands of years. Diffusing essential oils can help you relax and write. Certain scents can alleviate stress and even trigger creativity.
The final, most crucial part of your writing workspace is what you will actually write on. Do you write on a laptop or a desktop? Do you go lo-fi with a typewriter or old school with a journal and pen? It is up to you. Once you start writing your book, we highly suggest that you stick to one medium.
2. Find Similar Titles
Now that you have a comfy spot to write your book, it is time for research. You may have an idea of what you want to write about, but not how you want to structure it. It can help to purchase several titles that you think are in a similar niche or are targeting the same audience as your future book. Before you write your book, study how other authors wrote theirs. Revisit some of your favorite books, or check out the best sellers on Amazon or USA Today.
When reading these materials, note the style of writing, the structure, the font, the book cover—anything that can help you visualize your book once it’s published.
Do not get intimidated when you read content from other authors. You may ask yourself: “Can I write as well as these people did?”
Keep in mind the distinct possibility that these authors hired a publishing company to help them write their book. Either way, they started right where you are now.
3. Create an Outline
Have you ever wondered how your favorite TV show lasted more than three seasons? Do you think the writers created the story arc over a single cup of coffee at Starbucks? Do you think the showrunners simply tried to wing the plot every episode?
No. For most shows, the ending is determined before the pilot is even filmed.
Did you know that the same applies to business books? The secret is to begin with what your high school teacher taught you about how to write term papers. Start with an outline.
You don’t start a book by simply putting pen to paper. You start with a framework and a target word count. Your word count will determine how many pages your book will be and your outline is the backbone of your story.
In your outline, you have to headline each chapter, each point, and idea. You may be thinking: “That sounds like the whole book?” It’s vital, but your outline is not the same as your book.
Think of your outline as a roadmap. That roadmap will determine how your readers will experience each chapter.
How does this help you write a book? For starters, outlining organizes your thoughts so you can figure out where to start.
Without an outline, it will be extremely difficult to pen those first lines. Why? Because you have a ton of ideas occupying your mind and you won’t know which idea to share first.
With an outline, you can design the chronology of these ideas and make sure you remember the important ones.
The best way to begin your outline is by listing your ideas. They don’t have to make sense yet. Just brainstorm all the topics you can think of without regard to how the outline will come out. Once you have all of these topics, try grouping similar ones and think of a central topic tying those ideas together.
Next, try arranging these central topics chronologically, based on how you want your readers to take their journey. Do not second guess yourself. Once you finish the outline, you can sleep on it.
Then, when you are fully rested, take a look at your outline again.
Your outline doesn’t have to be absolute. You can make changes along the way. What’s important is that you have developed a working outline and, most importantly, a starting point.
4. Plot your Schedule
Don’t get too excited yet. Before you begin to write your book, create a writing plan. You need a schedule. Based on your target word count, think of how many words you can write per session. From there, you can determine how many writing sessions you need.
Let’s say you are writing a hundred-page book. One hundred pages roughly amounts to 30,000 words. If your target is 500 words per session, that means you should have around sixty writing sessions.
Then determine how frequently you can write each week. Be realistic. As a business leader, time is a luxury. So ask yourself, is it realistic to schedule at least one writing session every week?
Once you have committed to your number of writing sessions per week, estimate how many months it will take you to finish your book.
Continuing with our example, if you need sixty sessions to finish your book, and you can write three times a week, then it will take you twenty weeks to reach your goal.
This means you need to plot your schedule on a five-month calendar.
Do not make arbitrary goals. If you can only write once a week, so be it. What’s important is for you to develop a writing plan you can stick to.
5. Begin to Write
Finally, here we are. D-day. You have set up your safe writing environment, done your due diligence in researching similar titles, crafted a detailed outline, and plotted your schedule.
Now focus on that first chapter. You will be surprised how useful your outline is. Look at the first item of chapter one, and write your first sentence.
This is how to begin a book. Make this positive—your overall journey will be quicker because you took these steps first.
Finishing your Manuscript
After months, you are finally done writing. With your manuscript in hand, the next step is to edit it yourself or hire a professional book editor.
For your book cover, you can use drag and drop graphic design tools like Canva or you can hire a graphic artist.
Finally, you are all set! You can publish your book on platforms like Kindle Direct Publishing or Barnes & Noble Press. If you do not want to self-publish, you can pitch your book directly to publishers or hire a literary agent to represent your book.
You’ve poured your heart and soul into this book and your dream is to make it a best-seller. If you need a little help, turn to experts like Leaders Press and consult on how your book can become a best-seller on Amazon or according to USA Today.
And even if your book idea is still in the idea stage, we can help.
Your future is at hand. Can you picture yourself one year from now having a best-seller as your calling card? Let’s talk.
For a business owner, scaling the business will always be a top priority.
One of the best ways to facilitate this growth is through lead generation, which can be done in several ways. You can capture leads through ads, SEO, Webinars — or you can publish a book.
While publishing a book is no easy task, the benefits it promises can make a huge difference. By establishing and increasing your authority and visibility, you’re not only going to increase your following but you should also see an increase in revenue.
There’s no better way to introduce yourself and your business to the market than by publishing a book. The question now is: How do you go about creating your future best-seller?
As an entrepreneur, you are capable of many things. Writing, however, is not a skill a lot of people possess. If we were living in the 70s or the 80s, the answer to this question would be a resounding “YES.”
The good news is, times have changed. You no longer have to be a writer to come out with a book of your own. While writing skills would definitely be an advantage, they are not at all necessary.
Doing a cookie-cutter publication will always be on the table, given the fast and easy way it can help you meet your goals. It’s important to understand, however, that there are now alternatives that can help you produce higher-quality books. That is, books that provide much better value and capture much more attention than cookie-cutter publications can.
The best part for a busy business owner like yourself is that you don’t even have to write a single word for the whole thing to happen.
Are you still thinking of creating a cookie-cutter publication because you just can’t take on a book right now?
Below are several reasons why you shouldn’t go this route, and how you can get a book published despite your circumstances.
The quality of any cookie-cutter publication is never going to be good. In fact, you can expect the final outcome to be sorely lacking. Templates just don’t cut it anymore.
You need to keep in mind that these types of publishers service hundreds of authors per year. This means your book is just one of a hundred other titles waiting for its turn to run through the assembly line. It’s not going to get any special attention — or be noticed at all — which often results in a book that is mediocre at best.
If you’re aiming for a bestseller, a cookie-cutter publication isn’t the answer. You’ll need a publisher who’ll be on top of everything from the cover design down to the marketing and book launch. You’ll need a publisher that employs experts who can make the book stand out given the amount of competition you’re looking at.
Unfortunately, these are things you can’t hope for with a cookie-cutter publication.
It’s fair to say that opting to go with a cookie-cutter publisher isn’t practical considering what you get in return.
Developing a book is a huge investment. Not only will you be spending money on it, but you’ll also be investing time. From writing the draft, getting it edited and proofed, designing a cover, and marketing the book, the whole process takes a lot of work.
As someone who runs a business, you know very well how important ROI is. Why would you invest in something that doesn’t guarantee a good return on investment?
It takes a lot to develop a high-quality, top-caliber book. If you want to create a book that will give your company the visibility and exposure it needs, you need to invest effort into it. You have to remember that book publishing is a huge endeavor. You can’t settle for something that’s just “good enough” especially if you consider the book as your life’s work.
If you’re willing to shell out money for a great book, you might as well invest it in something that guarantees quality and good results, don’t you think?
Another reason why you don’t want to publish the cookie-cutter way is because of expertise. With cookie-cutter publishing, what you submit is pretty much what ends up in the book.
Save for a few edits and a couple of suggestions that will fit their “template,” everything is pretty much standard. The problem with this approach is that developing a book is something you may not be familiar with. Yes, you may have done your research on what usually sells, but that won’t be enough.
You’ll need the help of qualified professionals who know what makes up a best-seller. You’ll need a graphic designer who has experience designing attractive book covers; competent editors who have great attention to detail; and marketers who know how to sell books to the right audience.
You’re not going to get any of this type of assistance if you go with cookie-cutter publishing. This is crucial especially for first-time authors who don’t know a lot about the industry. You need the guidance and expertise of professionals so you can plan and make the necessary improvements before the book even makes it to print.
If your intention is to just get a book out without necessarily making the bestseller list, then the answer is probably a big “YES.” Some may even consider it a better alternative when money is the main concern.
The only problem with this type of publication is that you are totally on your own. No editors, no graphic designers, no marketers. Just you. And maybe a few of your smarter friends who are willing to read the book on their own time and give you honest feedback.
You may have total freedom if you go the self-publishing route, but without experts by your side, expecting tons of sales may be a bit of a reach.
There definitely are better choices than a cookie-cutter publication if you want to sell more books and become an authority in your niche. Experts will help you modify your ideas to make your book more marketable and still keep it in line with your voice and goals.
Outsourcing is an excellent way to do it because of the deep talent pool you have access to. What’s great about this approach is that you’ll have a great deal of control without spending hundreds of hours on your book.
With dozens of freelance marketplaces to tap into, the possibilities are endless. It’s also a very affordable route to take. Alternatively, you can outsource to an experienced publisher who is passionate about producing a book you’ll be proud to own. Hybrid publishing allows you to enjoy the benefits of both traditional and self-publishing.
Creating a best-selling book doesn’t have to take a year or more. The whole process can be as short as five months if your target is online retailers and nine months for physical books. And the result will be the same quality look and feel as traditionally-published books. These experts can even help you organize a book launch online and/or in your local area.
To be fair, we’re not dismissing a cookie-cutter publication outright. It does fit a certain demographic and purpose. They just aren’t usually the right solution for business leaders.
As an entrepreneur, your expertise is that of growing a business. While writers can become entrepreneurs, not all entrepreneurs are born writers or marketers. We can all agree that for a book to sell like hotcakes, it has to be well-written and marketed correctly. Your reputation and your profits are at stake. Outsourcing and hybrid publishing are your best alternatives for making this happen. Establishing authority and increasing visibility and trust can all be accomplished by outsourcing the entire process of developing a book.
Matt Harrison is the VP of Strategy of FreeeUp, the preeminent freelance marketplace for hiring high quality, vetted talent. He has hired freelancers from around the world and built teams to service multinational brands resulting in over $100 million in web hosting company acquisitions. He currently lives in St. Petersburg, FL.