How Long Should It Take to Write a Book and Other Common Questions from Aspiring Authors

Most authors are full of questions. They’re also full of energy, doubts, enthusiasm, hesitation and a whole bunch of conflicting emotions. That’s what happens when you’re excited about an idea and invested in the outcome. So let’s try to answer some of those common questions so you can get down to writing and worry less about the questions swirling through your mind.

How Long Should It Take to Write a Book?

Well this is kind of a difficult question to ask, and the answer will undoubtedly leave you scratching your head. The time it will take you to write your book depends on how long your book is and how much you write each day.

So here’s a better answer. When do you want to publish your book? If you want to publish in three months then it’s going to take you two months to write your book because that’s how long you have. You can also work on the deadline based on how much you can write each day.

For example, if you can write 1000 words a day, about four double spaced pages, then it’ll take you 70 days to write 70,000 words. See how that works? You get to decide how long it takes to write your book.

How Do You Know If a Book Idea Is Any Good?

You never KNOW if a book idea is a good one. However, you can research your audience and make sure that the information you’re providing is top quality information that will provide value to their lives. You can then market the heck out of that book.

And here’s a secret…bad books sell just as well as good books. Of course you want your name attached to a good book but people don’t always judge “good” and “bad” the same way. If people buy your book and you reach your goals then you’re a success.

What’s the Next Step?

Once you’ve written your book and published it, the next step is to keep marketing it and to get started on your next book. Studies, and profit statements, have shown that you’ll sell more books if you publish more books.

For example, let’s say you publish book 1 and it has decent sales. You publish book 2 and book 1 suddenly increases in sales along with book 2 sales. You write and publish book 3, and then book 1 and 2 sales increase. And the same thing happens when you release your books in new formats. Release book 1 in print and your eBook sales will increase. It’s all about marketing, exposure, and creating a name and a reputation online.

Becoming an author and selling books is work. It can be a full-time, or almost full-time job. It can also be the best decision and business path you ever take. Your books help people and that’s a great way to make a living.

The Hidden Cost of Kindle Publishing

Did you know that how you format your book can have a dramatic effect on how much you earn from self publishing?

In this webinar replay, I delve into 3 formatting tools and how different the resulting file sizes are – and how much money that costs you when Amazon charge for the delivery of your book file (you did know they do that, right?)

Found this useful?

Please take the time to comment or share 🙂

When Writing Hurts More than Sticks & Stones

All progress takes place outside the comfort zone (2)


“OUCH! What a week!”

Ever hear yourself say that and wonder what happened that go-getter that furiously pumped out words at light speed the other day? Not just words, but beautifully rendered pieces of porcelain prose that lingered in the mind long afterwards – stopping just after breaking the reader’s heart but just before exposing their soul to the Universe it wouldn’t survive in.

I’d like to think we all have those days. Not because I’m some kind of sadist, but because that means I am not alone.

That’s how I felt the other day until the ePub guys gathered round, put me back in my chair and a big glass of support in front of me. Now I’m back at the bar, feeling a little better, but still painfully aware of my recent shortfalls.

[symple_box color=”blue” fade_in=”false” float=”center” text_align=”left” width=””]You can join our merry group of writing adventurers just by clicking here and requesting to join. We accept everyone – unless you are really, really weird. Then we make you admin.[/symple_box]


I’m trying to fit in some fiction writing between freelance work and doing a marketing degree that I am hating. No, loathing is a better word. And then there’s the overwhelming distraction that is Facebook. The place where everybody knows your name. Only, sometimes I feel like Norm or Cliff.

I want to be Sam.

I’m thankful that the group is a place where I have found a bunch of people who enjoy what I’ve tried to build there. It’s heart warming to doubt yourself only to find that you have been getting something right all along, even if you weren’t aware of it. Time to apply that to my writing though.

This weekend I am visiting Bournemouth in England, where I will be bringing my favourite pen and a notebook in which I will be once and for all putting into definite shape the ideas I have for my first piece of fiction. More on that when I get back.

If you’re down in the dumps about your writing – or lack of it (or just in general) here’s a round up of some posts that will help console and inspire you in turn:

How To Keep Writing Even When You Feel Like a Fraud from WritetoDone discusses what makes us feel like we are imposters when we try to write.

You procrastinate sitting down and actually doing the work.

The official name for this is Impostor Syndrome. It’s when high-achieving individuals struggle to own their accomplishments, and have a constant fear of being exposed as a fraud.

If this is you, you’re not alone.

Continue reading here

Meanwhile, Tineke Bryson ponders life when you brood more than you write over at

I don’t write; I stew.

Over my story ideas.
Over my old manuscripts.
Over my audience.
Ad nauseam.

Sound familiar?

If that’s you, continue reading here

And finally, a post from Linda Formicelli, a freelance writer who makes you just feel bad about feeling sorry for yourself when she says:

We all have our problems, but we also all have our superpowers. To throw up your hands and give up on your dreams because the universe hasn’t lined up events exactly the way you feel they must be in order for you to have a go at it — well, I call B.S. It’s an excuse.

… in a post brilliantly entitled: What to Do When You are Not Someone Else

Do you ever suffer from really crappy days or weeks where you doubt your worth? Please comment and help the rest of us feel like we’re not alone!

Research Sites for Writers


Research for writers is a pain in the ass. You can turn to the big G, or maybe you’ve been directed to by a well meaning friend or colleague, but we all know the Internet is just one big data dump and so much of it is hearsay, rumour or speculation that you can’t really be sure of what you are reading.

Wikipedia is good, but it also has its fair share of limitations.

I’m not one to let idle curiosity die, so in the interests of research, I ehm, researched the topic. Here’s the list of sites I found most helpful.

To test out these search engines, I used two different search phrases: “self employment statistics” and “cure for cancer.” All these sites performed well. Two were outstanding.


Yes, it looks like a site for young kids, but it’s actually a pretty decent search engine. Ads are mixed with the results and sometimes it’s hard to tell them apart, but the results do lead to some credible sources.


This is the White Paper area of Dogpile and it has a public records search function – pretty handy for accurate historical data.

National statistics for the UK. Need to know the retail sales for last October in the UK? They have your back.

An international library of publications and data organized by theme or country.


The “computational knowledge engine.” (I don’t understand either). But just scan down the front page to see the variety of topics you can research here. It’s strangely impressive yet limited at the same time., UK

This is Jeeves, the UK version of Less spammy and more informational than its US counterpart.


The love child of Google and Wolfram Alpha (why do I keep thinking Wolfram Hart?), this searches both.

DuckDuckGo *****

The first of the 5 star options. Results are incredible and their sources very credible. Tempted to make it your default search engine, but not sure? They have a Chrome extension that allows you search DuckDuckGo from your Chrome browser.

Factbites *****

The second 5 star option. Results are all in text format, no videos or images.

TIP: open all these sites and right click on your bookmarks bar. Choose “bookmark all tabs.” Name your bookmark whatever you want, and next time you need to look something up, just click the bookmark and choose which site you want to go to.


Attack of the Blinking Cursor

An extreme case of writer's block!

I curse you, cursor! As you sit and blink at me. How dare you! Aaaaaargh. Leave me alone!

Okay, a little over dramatic, but if you write, you’ll understand. Too often, writer’s block is not a symptom of being stuck for ideas, but one of being overwhelmed by too many.

Forget I said that. You can never have too many ideas. Notice I didn’t say “too many good ideas.” All ideas are good. It’s in the brainstorm that the best ones fall like a tow truck from the Texan whirlwind. But they wouldn’t have been scooped up at all if all the other little not-so-good ideas hadn’t been whirled about too.

Many writers wonder what they should blog about. Me too, if I am honest. I mean, I blog on other platforms than my own, like on LinkedIn where I try to show that I know my stuff in the world of freelance writing. Non-fiction guys have it pretty easy – blog about the subject they write about. Chess, swimming, mole hills, whatever.

But what if you were to use your blog as a kind of “Morning Pages” from time to time? That’s what I am doing write now as a warm up.

Julia Cameron – who I’d never heard of till I was pointed towards this video – has a great method fro overcoming the first hurdle in the morning. If you’re a Las Vegas Boulevard vampire, don’t worry; this will work for you too.

It basically involves writing without thinking. Just sit down and write for a period of time or a specific word count. There are many other proponents of this idea. Jeff Goins has a Facebook group dedicated to getting that first 500 words a day written. You don’t need to excel or impress, and you don’t need to stop at 500 words or 10 minutes, or any other self-imposed deadline. Just write.

Watch Julia’s explanation of how she uses Morning Pages here:

A Very Cool (Free) Tool to Sell More Books

asian-594582_640We could all do with some help selling our books, right?

I dunno if you are at the stage where you’ve realized that the bigwigs (the original publishing companies) used to sell books by way of throwing money at advertising. Because it worked.

Then social media and self publishing exploded.

And whilst that’s been a good thing in general, it’s brought its own issues.

Read more…

A Murder Mystery Confession

detective-156647_1280I have a confession to make. After years of discussing Kindle writing and marketing among various forums online, I admit that I only ever had a Kindle app (cos they are free). No one believed me when I said it was comfortable reading on my iPhone or iPad or laptop screen.

Recently I proved them right. I was the joyful recipient of a Kindle for my birthday. And oh, what a joy it is!

Tout Suite – off I went to the Kindle store to grab some “nom nom nom” brain chocolate in the form of a couple of nice murder mysteries. You know, “nice” as in cozy, where the murderer is often old Mrs. Williams, the vicar’s wife who poisoned the char lady for leaving a scuff mark in the servant’s quarters.

Read more…

Creating a Successful Non Fiction Kindle Book

42There are many non fiction categories found on Kindle that have lots of buyers. You can find non fiction books on business and leadership or self help topics. You can find books on health and books on crafts or cooking.

Some writers say that non fiction doesn’t bring in the same kind of money that fiction does, but there’s no doubt that this category still sees tons of revenue. If you’ve never written a non fiction book, here are some tips to make your Kindle process go smoothly:

Read more…

The Only 5 Kindle Self Publishing Tips You’ll Ever Need

pay-634910_640Kindle publishing is an awesome platform for authors to use to get their books out into the public eye. There’s no fee for you to publish and your creation is on a very popular, highly trafficked website filled with buyers whose credit card info is on file – giving the impulsive reader a chance to buy your book with a single click.

Whenever you decide to self publish on Kindle, you need to know a few tips to make the process go smoothly. They range from topic selection to maintaining sales are made over time.

Tip #1: Understand the Long Term Commitment You’ll Be Making

[bctt tweet=”Some people mistakenly believe they can make a fortune with a thoughtless, quick book on Kindle”] They think if you write a quick book and stick it up on Amazon it will make them money for years to come. If you want to do this right, you have to realize that you need to be committed to promoting this creation.

Read more…