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How to Write a Book in 60 Days or Less

Write a book

Commitment

Whether you choose 60 days, 30 days or 6 months as your goal, all that matters is that you commit to it and implement a schedule that will get you there. Choose a realistic time frame that you can stick to. A little bit every day is better than trying to do too much and then giving up.

How to choose your time goal? Start by determining:

  • How many hours per day can you devote to writing?
  • How many pages can you write per hour?

Example: Let’s say you commit to 2 hours per day and you’re able to write 3 pages per hour. To write an average length book of 300 pages will take 50 days. ( 300 pages per book/6 pages per day= 50 days)

My Experience: My new book, Secrets to a Healthy Life, is only 60 pages. I wrote approximately 2 pages per day and completed it in one month. I used Nick Daws method which I discuss further down in this article.

Process for Novel Writing

For writing a novel, I can recommend Randy Ingermanson’s free online manual titled: “Writing a Novel Using The Snowflake Method.” This is a concise guide that will get your novel written if you follow it. For a sneak peek, here are the 10 steps of the method. You will want to visit his site and print out the entire instructions which has detailed instructions for each of these steps. (don’t worry it’s not too long)

Snowflake Method for Writing a Novel: (summary from http://www.ingermanson.com/writing/snowflake.php)

  1. Take an hour and write a one-sentence summary of your story.
  2. Take another hour and expand that sentence to a full paragraph describing the story setup, major disasters, and ending of the book.
  3. Write a short summary sheet for each character.
  4. Take several hours and expand each sentence of your summary paragraph into a full paragraph. All but the last paragraph should end in a disaster. The final paragraph should tell how the book ends.
  5. Take a day or two and write up a one-page description of each major character and a half-page description of the other important characters.
  6. Now take a week and expand the one-page plot synopsis of the story to a four-page synopsis.
  7. Take another week and expand your character descriptions into full-fledged character charts detailing everything there is to know about each character.
  8. Prep for writing the first draft: make a list of all the scenes that you’ll need to turn the story into a novel using a spreadsheet.
  9. (Optional.)Switch back to your word processor and begin writing a narrative description of the story.
  10. At this point, just sit down and start pounding out the real first draft of the story.

Randy has other products that he sells, usually for very good prices relative to the value he is offering. If you are very motivated, his free manual is probably all you will need. If you like his technique and want to dig deeper with it, check out his advanced snowflake guides.  Please do yourself a favor and visit his site. He has 2 great free monthly ezines that I subscribe to, one on novel writing and one on marketing your work.

Process for Non-Fiction (also fiction and screenplays)

Another great process resource that I can recommend is Nick Daw’s program “Write Any Book in Under 28 days”which gives you “everything you need to know to devise, write, edit and sell a complete book in the shortest possible time, be it fiction, non-fiction or even a screenplay.”

I love this program!

It is so logical and encouraging. It helps you get your book written!

The process part always lets you know what your next step is. And the encouragement part keeps you moving forward with enthusiasm.

This program does have a cost which depends on which package you choose. It is provided in the form of a CD-ROM which will run on any computer using Windows 95 or later.

Nick Daws states that anyone can write a non-fiction book. (I agree!) We all have experiences that others would find valuable and could learn from such as:

  • Getting Married
  • Having a Baby
  • Bringing Up Children
  • Living With Teenagers
  • Dealing With Bereavement
  • Being A Student
  • Shopping for Bargains
  • Coping With Divorce
  • Buying/Selling a House
  • Making Your Own Clothes
  • Designing a Garden
  • Getting a Job
  • Starting Your Own Business
  • Managing Staff
  • Managing Your Time
  • Investing Your Money
  • Study skills for students
  • Improve your memory
  • How to work your way through college
  • Making the most of student life
  • What is YOUR Life Experience you will write about?

If you click on the link it does have one of those cheesy sales pages, but never fear, the product is excellent. I bought it, used it to write my first ebook. I give this program my highest recommendation. Free resources are good, but this one is totally worth the small cost. I found it supplemented the the free resources I was using, allowing me to stop dreaming of writing my book and actually finish writing my book!

Writing Tools

1) For me, my favorite tool is pen and paper. I’m able to think more freely when I write straight onto paper. So I certainly recommend using this method and then typing your work onto the computer, which can also be the first editing session. If you like typing directly, go for it. Use whatever method that works best for you.

2) Here is a free tool that I discovered for book writing. It is called yWriter. It is free story writing software and it is offered via free download (this link just brings you to the download page only). I have this tool and I like it very much.

Some of the Features of yWriter:

  • Organise your novel using a ‘project’.
  • Add files to the project, each containing a chapter.
  • Add a summary to each file, showing the scenes in each chapter.
  • Print out summary cards, showing the structure of your novel.
  • Display the word count for every file in the project, along with a total.
  • Saves a log file every day, showing words per file and the total. (Tracks your progress)
  • Saves automatic backups at user-specified intervals.
  • Allows multiple scenes within chapters
  • Viewpoint character, goal, conflict and outcome fields for each scene.
  • Storyboard view, a visual layout of your work.
  • Re-order scenes within chapters.
  • Move scenes from one chapter to another.
  • Automatic chapter renumbering.
  • FREE

3) Google Docs. I’ve talked about Google Docs before on my blog. I discovered it from Leo over at ZenHabits, a top notch productivity blog. Google Docs is a great online document application. It doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as MS Word, but it has everything the basic user needs!

The benefits to using Google Docs are:

  • Online storage of your documents makes them completely portable. Access them from any computer.
  • Copy/Pasting into blogging editors is smooth and clean, perfect formatting, unlike MS Word.
  • It’s in my browser which is my main computer tool. No extra applications to open and slow me down.
  • Online sharing and publishing of your document to the web.

4) Check out my previous post on writing your book via a blog.

Getting It Done

The simple answer:

  • Schedule in your writing time and do it.
  • Don’t start if you are starting other new major goals.
  • Ask a friend if they will be your Goal Buddy Turn in your draft each week to this person. They don’t even have to read them, but this can help force you to get it done. (In turn you can help keep your Goal Buddy on track for one of their goals, i.e. “What exercise did you complete today?”

The longer answer: get a copy of “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. This is the ultimate book on productivity that is customizable to the system that works best for you.

Publishing Your Book

This topic is far too extensive to give all the information that you will need in one article. But I can recommend 2 essential books that will give you everything you need to know.

The first is a world class book by a very successful self-published author. It is called The Well Fed Self Publisher: How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living” by Peter Bowerman. In this book, Peter covers self-publishing for both fiction and non-fiction writers.

How “The Well Fed Self Publisher” will help you:

  • Develop a “marketing mindset” minus the anxiety!
  • Create a book that turns heads and grabs eyeballs
  • Find tons of reviewers anxious to publicize your book
  • Get the bookstore chains to come looking for you
  • Build a cash-generating web site that works 24/7
  • Minimize your dependence on fickle mainstream media
  • Parlay one book into multiple income streams
  • Separate the “Print-on-Demand” hype from reality

Peter is a freelance commercial writer who offers a free ezine for freelance writers. He is very successful speaker, consultant for writers, and self-published author. I have been learning from him for many years. He has two books on freelance writing, but you only need this updated one: “The Well-Fed Writer: Back for Seconds.” It gives you everything you need to know to make real money as a commercial freelance writer, the ultimate no gimmic Work-At-Home business!

 

The Fine Print of Self Publishing is a must have book if you want to know the pros and cons of all the the different self-publishing options out there including how to understand their contracts. The author, Mark Levine, has done all the nitty gritty research for you and culled it into terms the layman can understand and use to make an informed decision about which company to go with for self-publishing.

Conclusion

It’s not easy to write a book, but if you are committed, have a plan, and persevere, over time you will have a book! One page a day will yield a 365 page book in one year! What are you waiting for?
Steps to take today:

  1. Commit your time
  2. Plan the book
  3. Write it day by day
  4. Celebrate!

Additional Writing Resources

Find tons of additional writing resources on my “Resources for Writers” page!


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229 Responses to How to Write a Book in 60 Days or Less

  1. esmeralda September 15, 2008 at 6:04 pm #

    i want to write my own book but i feel that is going to sound dumb what i writte..!

  2. esmeralda September 15, 2008 at 6:09 pm #

    besides i try once and my friend end up doing better than me when i saw her story..!

  3. titus September 16, 2008 at 3:56 am #

    i would like to a new book please send to me full detailed copy of information

  4. agentsully October 2, 2008 at 6:11 pm #

    @Esmeralda – Give it a shot! You can do it!!!!

  5. brook johnson October 9, 2008 at 3:15 pm #

    i would like to write a story about how i lived with a real life habitual liar and how i left her behind. Got married and have a beautiful normal life now.

  6. brook johnson October 9, 2008 at 3:17 pm #

    i wanna right a book about my life

  7. kish October 21, 2008 at 2:02 am #

    Thank you for taking the time to encourage and inspire both myself and everyone else on this site. I hope everyone writes a book someday.

    Only a fool under estimates the power of the written word. Thanks again!

  8. Rhythm October 21, 2008 at 8:34 pm #

    Wow. This was very helpful. I’ve recently decided that I wanted to write a book. It’s based on a short story I wrote that a lot of people said I should create a book out of. I have started on an outline for it and this should help me complete the novel without giving up on it.

    Thank you!

  9. Caz October 27, 2008 at 4:49 pm #

    wow, thank you so much for making this post. I have always wanted to write a book, and this just pushed me to give it a go. I have made a few attempts before but never finished. :):):)

  10. Tag November 12, 2008 at 7:29 pm #

    For the longest time i have had the notion, that i should write a book, or put my thoughts on some form of writing. I have alwasy thought that my english, writing and spelling skills weren’t up to par with the world. I believe that the hardest part to writing a book, is the first step. Much the same can be said about anything else we deal with in life. Its Just getting thru that step, the fear, the anxiaty… I hope i can over come that step and put pen to paper. I feel like my brain is rattles with information, stories and experiences that i should put to good use.

    Thank you for your bog, defenietly something worth readin.

  11. dijon December 11, 2008 at 8:20 pm #

    iam 15 year young and iam trying to write a book just about life in in highshool and i need help S.O.S

  12. dijon December 11, 2008 at 8:23 pm #

    I also would to write about mylife

  13. dijon December 11, 2008 at 8:24 pm #

    would some1 like 2 help me write a book

  14. milpiewrite December 14, 2008 at 8:56 am #

    This site was an awesome find for me! Here I sat on my 46 birthday thinking that another year has gone by and I haven’t yet fullfilled my lifelong dream to write a book. And then I just started googling and this posting popped up! What an inspiration for me! I hope to be posting on my 47th birthday that I’ve been published! Thanks so much for this info and for the inspiring words of other writers.

  15. tyas December 17, 2008 at 9:38 am #

    thanks a lot for sharing this.. I’ve been trying on writing a book about self improvement in bahasa Indonesia.. (I am Indonesian).. This is really helpful for me..

  16. butterflyqueen December 18, 2008 at 1:23 am #

    this has been helpful. i have tried many times to write a book but i can get started but i never know how to finish it. i have also sent a book off to a publisher years ago, and got rejected so i haven’t done that again.

  17. agentsully December 29, 2008 at 5:03 pm #

    @butterflyqueen – wishing you good luck with your book!

  18. Hector Lopez January 24, 2009 at 10:21 pm #

    Thank you! I’ve been wondering on what steps to take to get me book back on track, and this is it! Thanks again! _Hector_

  19. agentsully January 24, 2009 at 10:29 pm #

    @Hector – Awesome! I’m so glad to hear it! let us know how you progress!

  20. Fantasy Creator January 27, 2009 at 3:11 pm #

    I read the article it really helped me getting start with my fantasy novel which combine all the elements of famous fantasy novel such as “Lord of the Rings”, “Inheritence Cycle”, “Harry Potter” and many others.

    Wait for my big hit!!

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