How Long Does It Take To Write A Book?

Writing is a tedious and often complicated process. This can be especially true when you’re writing your first book! 

The trick to writing a book or any kind of creative work really is to get the ball rolling and keep it moving forward until you’ve finished. When I’m writing a novel, for example, I like to set aside about an hour or so each day for drafting. 

If you’re crunched for time (which most writers are), then try setting aside just 10 minutes per day at first and slowly increasing that amount over time as your manuscript grows more complete in your mind.

How Long Does It Take To Write a Book? – YouTube
Key Takeaways
Writing time for a book varies significantly based on factors like content complexity, personal writing speed, and research requirements.
Strategies such as setting a writing schedule and creating an outline can help speed up the writing process.
Different genres and subject matters may lead to varied timeframes for completing a book.
Maintaining motivation, setting achievable goals, and seeking support are essential for consistent writing progress.
Various resources, including online articles and writing courses, can provide guidance on estimating writing timelines.

2. The Length Of Your Book Makes A Difference

You’re probably thinking, “I can write a long book too!” But let’s look at the data again. 

Longer books are harder to write, harder to edit and market and sell, more expensive, and take longer to make you money. It’s like trying to run a mile with a backpack full of bricks strapped to your back. 

There are benefits to selling long books: they’re more profitable if you can get them sold (which is easier said than done).

But if your goal is simply writing books as quickly as possible so that you can get started making money with them without delay that is not where we recommend putting your focus right now.

Building a strong foundation for your book’s success involves more than just writing words. Learn how to craft a book that captures attention and generates revenue by checking out our guide on writing a book that gets you paid.

3. How Will You Tackle The Project?

There are two ways to approach writing a book:

Do it all yourself (including the research) and publish your book. This is how most self-published authors do it, and if you’re planning to write a nonfiction business book then this may be the best option for you.

Outsource some of the work maybe even everything – and have an experienced ghostwriter complete your manuscript for you. 

This method works well for fiction writers, who don’t need to do all their research; or for anyone who just doesn’t want to deal with writing at all! While this is generally more expensive than doing everything yourself, no doubt having someone else do all the heavy lifting can save time (and money).

4. How Big Is Your Book Going To Be?

The length of your book will affect how long it takes to write. Longer books take longer to write, and shorter books take less time to write. That’s the basic idea, but there are plenty of other factors that can make a difference in how long it takes you to complete your novel.

If you have a full-time job or other commitments, writing time might be limited. You may need an hour in the morning before work, another hour after dinner if you get home early enough, and another hour before bedtime. 

If this is the case for you, then shorter chapters (or micro-chapters) might be best for maximizing your writing time each day/week/whatever timeframe works best for you!

Editing is also going to be affected by length—longer novels require more editing than short ones do because they contain more words and therefore more mistakes (unless they’re perfect gems).

Writing a book is a journey that requires time and dedication. If you’ve ever wondered, “How long does it take to write a book?” our article explores the factors influencing the process and offers insights to help you manage your writing timeline effectively: How Long Does It Take to Write a Book?

5. What Other Projects Are You Working On?

While you are writing, you should be thinking about the next book in the series. This will help you write faster and make sure that each book is part of a larger plot arc. Asking yourself questions like “what would happen if I took this character’s story in this direction?” or “what if we picked up here?” can give your writing some extra oomph.

When I am working on multiple projects at once, I tend to only spend a few hours per week on each project. This means that my current focus is mostly marketing and editing my previous novels and not so much heavy-lifting writing time for upcoming projects (though there are always exceptions).

6. Do You Have A Deadline?

You need to get your book written. You’re excited, and you have a lot of great ideas for how it should go.

But now that you’re ready to start writing, the only thing on your mind is how long will it take. How long does it take to write a book?

For some people, this question might make them feel overwhelmed by fear or anxiety about the process of actually putting their thoughts into words. But some ways having deadlines can help guide you through the journey of writing your first book:

7. Don’t Underestimate Editing Time

Editing is an essential part of the writing process. It’s not just about fixing typos, though; it’s also about making sure your work is clear and engaging for the reader. 

You should be editing as you go, but you’ll also need a good chunk of time to do a thorough job after you’ve finished your first draft. 

If you’re working with an editor or proofreader, they will have their suggestions for edits that could improve your book even more but make sure that you give them plenty of time before submitting it for publication!

You may want to consider hiring someone else who has never read your book before (and who doesn’t know much about what happens in it) so that they can provide fresh eyes when evaluating its content and style.*

Starting your book project on the right foot is essential for success. Discover strategies to ignite your creativity and develop a captivating book idea with our comprehensive guide on jump-starting your book idea.

8. Create A Schedule And Stick With It

Writing a book is a lot like making a movie. You need to create an outline, write the script and then shoot the scenes. But what you might not know is that writing time can’t be wasted on anything else.

No matter how many other projects you have going on in your life at any given moment, your book has to come first. 

And if it’s not getting done, then stop everything else and write! That means no social media posts or blog posts unless they’re related directly to writing your book (like sharing excerpts). Don’t answer emails and don’t take phone calls during this time it’ll only distract you from what matters most: finishing your manuscript!

9. Make Time For Writing Every Day

If you want to write a book, set aside time every day to get it done. And if you’re anything like me, the idea of “setting aside time” is easier said than done. It feels like something that only other people can do those with fewer responsibilities and more free time on their hands.

But I can promise you this: writing a book is not an excuse for never being able to find time in your life for writing. 

You will find the time if you want it badly enough! The trick is learning how not to let distractions or procrastination take over when there are things left undone at home or work; it takes practice but once you make writing a habit, everything else falls into place around it (and sometimes even because of it).

10. Can You Find More Time In Your Schedule For Writing?

If you’re having a hard time finding the time to write, consider eliminating some of the other activities that are taking up your schedule. Can you eliminate one activity? Maybe not, but do you need to do that activity every day? Try cutting back on how many times per week or month it happens.

Maybe all of your free time is already spent writing, and this is why you can’t find more hours in the day to devote to it. If so, then try shifting when and where you write.

If mornings are your most productive time for writing (which they often are), then try getting up an hour earlier than normal and using that window before work to work on your novel project. 

If evenings are better for creative work for some reason (perhaps because there’s nothing else pressing), then consider coming home from work early and giving yourself an hour or two each night before dinner to immerse yourself in story development activities.

Embarking on the journey of book writing requires careful planning and preparation. Learn valuable tips for overcoming common challenges and kickstarting your writing journey in our article: Tips for Getting Started with Book Writing.

11. How Long Does Research Take?

Another thing to consider is the research phase, which can range from being time-consuming and frustrating to fun and enlightening. 

If you’re writing nonfiction, this could be the most fun part of your book. It’s where you get to connect with experts and specialists in your field, talk about their work with them and learn more about it than they probably know themselves!

Researching also helps ensure that what you write is accurate. If someone comes across a mistake in one of your books or articles because they know something about your topic that wasn’t included whether it’s science, history, or just facts won’t that mean less credibility for you?

12. Which Voice Do You Prefer To Write In?

What’s your favorite voice to write in? First-person? Second person? Third person? (Or do you have a favorite character whose perspective you like writing from?)

Many authors find that it’s easier to get into the flow of their work when they’re writing in the first, second, or third person. Some even like experimenting with all three different voices at various times throughout their book!

13. What Are Your Strengths As A Writer?

So, you’re probably wondering how long it takes to write a book.

It depends on the type of work that you’re doing and how experienced you are as a writer.

If your strength is research, then it might take you longer than other people because the research can be overwhelming. 

You will have to spend time researching different topics such as business ideas for your book, marketing tactics for your book, or even just general information about writing books in general. The more information and knowledge that you have about these topics will make writing much easier for yourself down the road.

If instead if your strength is editing or writing dialogue/descriptions/action scenes/emotional scenes etc., then those aspects of writing won’t take as long because they’re easy skills to learn quickly (especially if someone else has already done them).

14. Are You Planning To Outsource Any Of The Work?

Outsourcing is a great way to focus on what matters most. If you have enough money, it’s worth hiring someone else to handle things like formatting and publishing your book.

The fewer distractions there are, the faster you’ll write.

When it comes time to prepare your book for publication, outsourcing is a great way not just to save time but also money. 

For example, if you’re writing non-fiction and need an editor who can help with fact-checking or proofreading (or both), then hiring someone else who specializes in those areas could save both time and money because they’ll know exactly what mistakes they should be looking for as well as how much work needs to be done for them not only catch all errors.

But also make sure everything flows smoothly from chapter 1 through chapter 10 and beyond!

Time is of the essence when it comes to writing a book. Discover the secrets to boosting your writing speed without compromising quality in our guide on writing a book 6x faster than you think. Get ready to increase your productivity and achieve your writing goals sooner.

15. How Involved Will An Editor Be In The Process?

Editing is a crucial part of the writing process, and it can make or break your book. An editor will help you improve your writing, structure, flow, and readability. 

If you don’t have an editor lined up before beginning a project, we suggest hiring one once you have completed the first draft of your manuscript. You may want someone else to look at it before diving into any kind of marketing efforts or publishing plan.

16. Will You Hire An Illustrator Or Photographer Or Use Stock Art And Photos Instead?

If you want to hire an illustrator or photographer, you’ll need to factor that into your budget. Stock art and photos are easy to find and use, though they can sometimes be expensive. You can also create your illustrations with a pen and paper, which is cheaper than hiring an artist but may not look as professional.

17. Consider Expanding Your Team After Publishing This Book!

After you’ve published your book, you may want to expand your team to include a publicist, book coach, virtual assistant, editor, ghostwriter, and designer. These people can help you get the most out of your book marketing efforts. They’ll also make sure that everything from spelling errors to grammar mistakes is corrected before publication.

As an author (and as someone who has had her fair share of errors in print!), I know how important it is for writers to have an editor on their side before publishing a book especially if they’re self-publishing or considering becoming traditionally published. Books with editors tend to be much better received than those without them!

18. What Is The Most Challenging Part Of Writing Or Publishing A Book For You?

I’m a big believer in the power of positive thinking. But sometimes you just have to be realistic about your limitations and acknowledge that, whatever your goal is, there are going to be challenges along the way.

For me, writing and publishing a book was probably not as difficult as it could have been because I didn’t have much else going on in my life at the time I had no kids or pets or houseplants depending on me for food and water. 

And so there were many times when I could shut off my phone and work on writing whenever I wanted (as long as I wasn’t at work).

But if you’re someone with other things competing for your attention a spouse or significant other; children who constantly need something from you; pets who require even more than human children then this process might seem impossible at first glance. 

And while having those things in your life will make it difficult to focus solely on writing, they also allow you to write about them! So what’s stopping you?


So, how long does it take to write a book? If you’re an experienced writer, then it may only take a few months. If this is your first book, then maybe you should allow yourself more time. 

However long it takes for you to write that first draft, remember that there will be many rounds of editing before your final product is ready for publishing. Make sure you know exactly what your goals are before starting work on your manuscript so that you can plan accordingly!

Further Reading

Explore more resources on how long it takes to write a book:

Self-Publishing School: Get insights into the time required to write a book and practical tips to speed up the process.

Kindlepreneur: Learn about factors that affect the duration of book writing and discover strategies for efficient writing.

MasterClass: Delve into the art of writing a book with expert guidance and understanding the time commitment involved.


How long does it generally take to write a book?

The time it takes to write a book varies greatly depending on factors such as the complexity of the content, your writing speed, and the research involved. Some authors complete a book in a few months, while others may take several years.

Are there strategies to speed up the book writing process?

Yes, there are various strategies to expedite the book writing process. Setting a consistent writing schedule, outlining your content in advance, and minimizing distractions can help you write more efficiently.

What factors can influence the duration of writing a book?

Factors like the genre of your book, your familiarity with the subject matter, and the amount of research required can impact how long it takes to write a book. Fiction and non-fiction projects may have different time frames.

How can I maintain writing momentum throughout the book project?

Maintaining momentum involves staying motivated and disciplined. Break down your writing into manageable goals, celebrate small victories, and find a support system to keep you accountable.

Are there resources available for guidance on book writing timelines?

Yes, many resources offer guidance on estimating the time needed to write a book. Online articles, writing courses, and expert advice can help you better understand the timeline and plan accordingly.