I want to write a book.
I have not yet written a book.
I need all the help I can get writing a book because I simply do not know what I am doing. I have, over a number of years, researched how I should proceed. I am sharing with you my current proclivities toward this project that has risen out of my research. You are encouraged to examine this approach but be skeptical of it because I am not an authority in any way, just a casual participant who dips into this hobby when he can.
You should first understand some economic basics of book publishing, that being the publishing industry does have some behind the scenes factors and methods that you should be aware. No sane publisher will put in print a large page number book. The publisher will be going to a lot of expense so try to keep your page count reasonable for both your sake and theirs. Typically you need to be tested in the market and achieve name recognition before you can write larger books. There are exceptions. This advice is for you to better achieve your first success.
The following is guidelines and not rules. Bend them at your will anytime but realize there may be a down side for doing so.
Your first book should not be that long. It should have a target value of about 100,000 words give or take around 20,000. This depends upon the subject matter. Different types of books typically achieve different word counts.
Trick: go to any library or book store and select titles of books that fall within your book category. Go to the last page and find the page number. Go to a page in the book full of text and count the words. That number is the average words per page. Multiply the number for one page by the total number of pages in the book to get a rough estimate of how many words are in THAT book. You can do the same with any number of more books to improve your view of how many words you just might consider writing for the book category you are thinking of writing.
Next, and this is very important, you will need to pace yourself to complete the book. Only you know your schedule, your free time, and your writing ability so the following numbers are only rough guidelines that you are encouraged to slide and shift to your life circumstances.
I will next show you how to pace your writing. Remember the total words that your book might have to reach before it is completed? You are going to try to write one page of your book in one day, two days, three days, or in a week. I recommend that you write a page each day! This really does depend upon how much free time you have. Let us assume that you calculated 300 words will fill one page of your book. Just divide that number into your book total word count.
Example: 300 words per page / 100,000 total book words = just over 333 days. A year has 365 days so within a year you should have the book completely written. Add time for the book jacket to be created.
When I discovered that writing a book might take roughly one year, I was amazed and ecstatic. Up to that point in time I had no idea how long it would take.
I have another tip to help motivate you. My favorite writing software is Scrivener. It is especially designed for creative writing and large long projects. It is excellent for people, like me that have a lot of ideas but have some difficulty linking them together. My main point is none of that. My main point is this software offers a writing odometer. Scrivener calls this feature “Project Targets”. You set where you want the writing trip to end, lets say 100,000 words. You then enter how many words you think you want to write each session, lets day 300. A window pops up if you activate it and you can see your progress in real time as colored bar graphs. For me this was simply fantastic. That window was my motivation. I realized the first time using this odometer that writing one page really did not take me that long.
If you buy Scrivener, I recommend that you consider buying a book to help you figure out how to use it. Scrivener is very mechanical looking. It has a lot of cut up screens and different views and features that will take you some time to master. I am currently using Scrivener For Dummies by Gwen Hernandez.
I can not here cover your next step, how to get the book published? You typically have two routes, print publishing and e-books. Each has its positive and negative points and those points are very, very important so choose wisely.