Top Nav Bar Categories

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!


Please share

All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, please SHARE THIS below on Twitter, Facebook or via Email. Thank you!


Subscribe

Don’t Miss a Single Tip!
Free Email Subscriptions:

Enter your email address: Delivered by FeedBurner

 

, , , ,

What do you think? Click any platform below to comment or read other comments.

Loading Facebook Comments ...

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

  1. R. E. G. May 31, 2009 at 7:50 pm #

    I sent in letters to 3 publishers telling them that I wish for my work to be published. Wish me luch anyone?

    • agentsully June 6, 2009 at 11:15 am #

      @R.E.G. -Good Luck!!!! Let us know your results!

  2. R. E. G. June 6, 2009 at 6:08 pm #

    I was actually thinking about making a book of short stories, and also one with poems as well! I have taken a writing class. My sophmore year in high school I took a class called Creative Writing. This year, I signed up for the second course of Creative Writing. I hear that the teacher assigns an assignment at the beginning and that is due on the last day of the course: to write a novel!
    About the whole adding more characters and/or adding sub-plots, I’m not quite so sure. My Creative Writing teacher read my first three books. He said I was wordy. Is being wordy bad?

    • agentsully June 7, 2009 at 6:16 pm #

      @R.E.G. – is wordy bad? If you lose the interest of your reader or if your message is confusing, then yes wordy can be bad. That’s something I always try to be cognizant in my own writing.

      A good exercise is to write a short essay and let it sit for a day or two. Then go back and see if you can eliminate 1/3 of the words and still get your point across and still sound natural. You may have moments where you feel like you are losing something from your story, but still go with it. You will be training yourself to write more succinctly. Then over time, in your regular writing try to do this as you go along or when you edit.

      Wishing you lots of progress! Sounds like you are enjoying it all and that’s the main thing anyway!
      Cheers!

  3. R. E. G June 8, 2009 at 10:35 am #

    I will try that.

  4. R.E.G. June 12, 2009 at 7:07 pm #

    I found another website that might help some people on writing. I signed up on twitter and this author followed me. She’s the one that showed me this link. It’s really helpful, and it also has a link that will help you get published!!!!!!

    http://www.romanmysteries.com/pages/82-Writing_Tips

  5. Sophie June 27, 2009 at 1:27 pm #

    Hey this site really helped me!!! :-p

    • agentsully July 8, 2009 at 2:00 pm #

      @Sophie- I’m so glad to hear that this site helped you! Thanks for commenting! Please tell your friends! 🙂

  6. garrett grahn July 12, 2009 at 1:57 am #

    THANK YOU FOR THIS WONDERFUL RESOURCE. It’s now going on three years since you originally posted this online and it is the best free resource I’ve come across to help me get my ideas launched. So I thank you for all of your efforts.

    • agentsully July 21, 2009 at 9:43 pm #

      @Garrett – Yay! I’m so glad to hear that! Thank you and let us know when you have your first book completed! Please pass it on to others!

  7. Regina July 27, 2009 at 8:45 pm #

    WOW. So many great places to visit. I appreciate all of the help that is out there for people like me that have been pounding the keys for so long yet have not writtten a book yet. I have also been “dared” to do so. I am hoping that I can find what I need to be successful. Thanks to everyone here.

    😉

    • agentsully July 29, 2009 at 2:01 pm #

      @Regina – You can do it! What will your book be about?

    • Lonnie Smalley July 12, 2017 at 12:58 pm #

      You can do it, Regina. I have successfully published a few Kindle books and it feels amazing when I see people are reading them. The hardest thing for me is forcing myself to make time to write. Best of luck!

  8. Gary August 2, 2009 at 8:37 am #

    i was just thinking about writing the other night and after reading this i really want to be a writer i can start writing some stories first then go to those other long stories like 100 pages or even more and i can get the practice from my english class when the holidays is over thanks

    • agentsully August 6, 2009 at 2:46 pm #

      @Gary – go for it! Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  9. N., H. M. October 6, 2009 at 3:22 am #

    I am very sorry, and very late why only now reading this post. Many of my books are not finished.

  10. Drew October 22, 2009 at 1:28 pm #

    Hello,

    I have finished (1) screenplay, but I dont have any idea on how to sell it.
    I have started a second screenplay, but am running into self-motivation problems…(this site is good for inner-motivation)…..
    I also want to write a short “How to” book..Does anyone know what an ideal length, or # of chapters will best suit this format?

    Thank you,
    Drew

    • agentsully October 28, 2009 at 2:14 pm #

      @Drew – congrats! That’s awesome. Writing is often the easiest part! (Even thought it takes a lot of time and it’s definitely NOT easy!:) It’s the selling, promotion, and distribution of your work that is really tough. But with that said, just like writing, chip away at it each day and you can get there!
      1. Have a vision in your mind of your end goal and remind yourself of that goal daily.
      2. Create a loose plan of how to get there.
      3. Take action on your plan daily.
      4. Research how to promote your work. Find new ways and work them into your plan.
      5. Mix it up between online promotion, offline promotion and often the most important: face to face promotion. Network like crazy!!

      An ebook I can recommend on promoting ebooks is “How to Launch the **** Out of Your Ebook.” This can give you great ideas to implement. I’ve used it myself.

      As far as how long a “how to” book should be, that depends on what you’re teaching. Don’t worry about pages. Just make sure it is complete and also concise. That would be my advice.

      Good luck and let us know WHEN you sell your screenplay!!!!!!!

    • agentsully December 8, 2009 at 12:23 pm #

      @Drew – Congrats on finishing a screenplay! That’s awesome. Do you belong to any writers groups?

      Here’s a a good book on how to sell a screenplay: How to Sell Your Screenplay: A Realistic Guide to Getting a Television or Film Deal

      For a “how-to” book, the number of chapters is only limited by the amount of info needed to teach your info. I would recommend:
      Intro chapter – what this book covers
      middle chapters – one for each of the major steps in “how to” do the thing you’re teaching
      Conclusion chapter – summary of the basics
      Appendices – any cheat sheets or such to help people get the task done more easily.

      Good luck! Let us know more about your progress!

  11. jean November 3, 2009 at 3:31 pm #

    this is not the way to write books.
    you will write a book because you will enjoy , you don’t calculate how many hours you’ll spend writing you just do it and you don’t write in your spare time because you will not have spare time, you will write because you love to write .
    if you will use the ideeas the dude presented you will write a shitty book and you can be the next sandra brown

    • agentsully December 8, 2009 at 12:14 pm #

      @Jean – interesting comment. I think both ways can work – the inspired “just do it” approach as well as the thought-out, planned approach. Wishing you well.

  12. Madhuri December 18, 2009 at 4:36 am #

    I need to write up on the theme my college life an need some help to write 2 pages of write up

  13. Drew December 24, 2009 at 6:26 pm #

    @agentscully

    Thank you for the advice/ words of wisdom.
    To answer your question, No, I dont belong to any writers groups. However,I did submit my screenplay to the writers guild because I was told that would protect it. (Like being copywrited) My current “How To” book is progressing slowly, but is making progress. If anyone out there is good at marketing, please contact me – maybe we can work something out.

    Thanks,
    Drew

    • agentsully December 31, 2009 at 5:09 pm #

      Goodluck Drew! Let us know when you sell it!

  14. Anna February 22, 2010 at 12:12 am #

    I am quite young (recently 13) and have started writing a bit. I just wondered if there are any tips to making the basic plot of the story. I’m getting desprate! None of my friends like writing so all tips are apreciated!

    • AgentSully December 19, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

      Anna – sorry for the late reply.

      For help with plot – go to the “snowflake” website. Excellent free help there on plotting guidance.

  15. Lil' Demon May 1, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    Thanks for the advice, it really helped with my book! Inspiration is a big thing for me. For example my horse, Dylan is one, he helps me get new ideas and makes the whole writing process easier and funner.

    • AgentSully August 22, 2010 at 9:00 pm #

      @Lil’Demon – congrat! Keep at it!

  16. simone June 10, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    i’ve been writing a lot of books like there all fantasy books but when i get started i dont know how to finish it like i have a lot of ideas aswell but when i get writing them i dont no wat to do!!!! please help!!! 😉

    • agentsully June 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

      I would suggest signing up for a local writing class to get some one on one tutoring. Also you could try joining a writers group to get some feedback on your work. Best wishes on your writing.

    • AgentSully August 22, 2010 at 8:16 pm #

      Hi Simone – find a local writers group and or sign up for a basic writing course that specializes in teaching the kind of writing you are doing whether it is fiction or non-fiction. Good luck!

  17. Bert August 23, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    @ Simone
    A fantasy book is different from a nonfiction book in that a conclusion is necessary. To get you in the right direction, we have to go back to the basics: Topic, detail, conclusion. What you have to do, you have to make an outline of what you want to write about, try to make every following chapter related to the previous chapter. To do that, make a list of details you want to include in chapter one, then write the draft. Do that for the following chapters, and make sure each chapter is related to the next. Happy writing!

  18. cindy September 29, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    i’ve started writing my novel about 5 months ago but now it seems like i’m stuck on the chapter prio to the last one. but this website helped me a lt, it made see how lazy i have been and how much loosing commitment to my book cost me. i’m going to finish my book now by staying commited and demoted to it….thank you guys

  19. Richmond Ofori October 1, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

    This a advice I could not even pay to get. Thank you. Actually I would need your help in getting my children’s story book started and finished. How can you help me?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Writing Pains « thirdmuse - December 19, 2009

    […] How to write a book in 60 Days or less […]

Loading Disqus Comments ...
  1. […] How to write a book in 60 Days or less […]

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes

UA-1513612-1