This is the most common question I get, "How Long Does It Usually Take to Write a Book?" - and, it is one of the most difficult questions to answer! The answer likely varies depending on the author's experience, the total word count, the number of drafts, and writing consistency.
But you can take the guesswork out of it and work out a rough estimate for your own book using our book writing calculator.
To give you a rough idea, though, new authors writing a 40,000 to 70,000-word novel may spend 3 to 4 months writing their debut book.
On the other hand, authors working on a novel between 70,000 and 100,000 words may need 5 to 8 months to complete their manuscript.
And finally, writers tackling a project between 100,000 and 130,000 words can expect to spend 8 to 12 months seeing their book through to completion.
Average Time It Takes To Write A Book By Genre Or Total Words
Of course, these are merely estimates and will differ based on each individual author's process. Life always has a way of getting in the way, so it's important to be consistent when writing if you want to hit your target deadline.
Whether you're a new author or a seasoned pro, understanding how long it usually takes to write a book can help you set realistic expectations for your next project.
Calculating Your Average Writing Time To Help Set Realistic Goals
We created the book writing calculator to help authors set a goal completion date. Without these realistic goals, it's easy to get discouraged and give up on writing your book altogether.
The truth is, writing a book takes time. A lot of time. And if you're not prepared for that, you're likely to get frustrated and quit before you even finish your first draft.
To avoid this, it's important to calculate how long it will take you to write your book before you start. This way, you can set a deadline and work backward from there.
To use the calculator, simply enter:
- Your daily writing average
- The planned length of your book
- Current progress (your current word count)
- Number of drafts you plan on writing (it will work out separate dates for each draft)
- Your daily editing average
- Holiday days (realistically, you will take some days off!)
The calculator will then estimate how long it will take you to complete your book at that rate.
You can also use the calculator to set a deadline for your book. Simply enter the date you want to finish by, and it will work backward to calculate how much you need to write each day to hit that goal.
Keep in mind, that these are only estimates. Every author is different, and every book is different. But using the book writing calculator can help you set a goal and stick to it.
Formatting Your Manuscript & Book Cover Design
Of course, this timeline does not include things like formatting the actual book for publishing or printing. It also does not include cover design which can be a big task if you are not particularly art-savvy.
Not to worry, I constantly exercise my outsourcing button when it comes to these things, personally! There are so many amazing and affordable graphic designers over on Fiverr waiting to design you a professional cover. I also find the turnaround times to be pretty decent.