Your completed book will be a thing of beauty. Words that make sense while sharing a message that is important to you. Quality built in so that you are proud of your work, not just glad that it is done.
Yet there are so many pieces to be considered along the way that there are times it feels like you will never be done with the writing, much less all the other pieces involved.
Here are some questions whose answers will help determine how long it will take.
Do you have a clear vision of the book and its contents?
What is the purpose of the book?
Will it be a survey book that just touches on the surface of several topics?
Will it be the first of a series of related books?
Will it be an in depth discussion of a topic you have already written about?
Do you need to do any additional research, either before you start writing or along the way?
Each book is unique.
Each author is unique.
I like to use the following example to help sort out how long it will take. Keep your answers to the previous questions in mind as you read the following.
How much time does it take you to clean your house?
At the end of a usual day, if not too tired, you may walk through the rooms and straighten up the clutter.
On your regular cleaning day you will get out the broom and dustpan, the vacuum cleaner, the 409 spray and a cleaning rag. You go from room to room removing surface dirt so if a neighbor or close friend drops by you feel okay inviting them in.
Your in-laws let you know they are coming to visit for several days. Out comes the dust cloth and perhaps the carpet cleaner if there are some bad spots on the rug, along with your regular cleaning equipment.
If a friend were to ask you how long it takes to clean your house, how would you answer them? “It depends,” is an appropriate answer.
For most of your cleaning jobs getting out the equipment and putting it away will take about the same amount of time. Whether you spend a few minutes, a few hours, or even a couple of days cleaning will depend on who you are preparing for.
The total length of time depends on the purpose of the cleaning.
The same is true of your writing.
The prep time – pulling together your notes and creating a preliminary outline – will be similar.
The purpose of your book will influence the length and complexity of the book. The longer it is, the more complex it is, and the more research it needs will all impact on the time it takes to do the writing and editing.
The time required to do the additional tasks – working on the cover, preparing for the launch, making decisions regarding where and how to publish the book, and so on – will take about the same amount of time, regardless of the length or complexity of the book.
So, the answer to when you will be done will vary with each book you write.
As you write your second book and your third, you will develop a feel for how much time you need for each part of the process and it will get easier to project a calendar for your next book, including some benchmarks along the way.
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Want some help? Let me partner with you as your Book Enchantress and we can quickly get you on your way.