Today I’m exploring whether it’s possible to write a non-fiction book in one month and what other steps you will do in following months. So, can you write a book in a month?
The answer is: well, I think that depends on what you classify as writing. Yes, you can outline, arrange your sticky notes (manual chapter structuring), and type like the clappers to get a draft of about 30,000 words for example.
You will also need to write a full target audience description, check the blurbs of successful competing titles, and draft a book summary. Getting tired yet?
Actually, you might want a writing coach before you complete the first draft, particularly if your background is academic or corporate and you can’t quite get the voice right.
An Editorial Process
Then, to finish your book and reference it, you will need an editorial process. The first stage is having someone with a trained eye (an editor) look at the draft and ensure your structure is good, your message is appropriate for the audience, and your voice is ‘talking’ at the right level.
This will give you a much-needed rest. In month 2 (or so), when you look at it again, you will spot all kinds of things that you want to change! You might also enlist some kind beta readers as well.
While others are posting photos, you are working on the message… streamlining your book… and capturing some book marketing ideas you can use. You might also be finding a book designer and copy editor.
In month 3, rest assured you will be tired, but still going. This month you are hearing back from beta readers, integrating editor/reader comments, deciding on book covers and interior layout. You might also be creating an opt-in freebie for interesting others, setting up your website book page, and getting pre-sales orders.
Finishing off the book’s small changes, updating the contents page, writing the author bio and final blurb (two versions), and ensuring it looks great will be the next steps.
Not Finished Yet: Pre-Sales
Never neglect the pre-sales process, which is where you will be scrambling to do your marketing efforts (but not haranguing strangers) so that your book will become successful. Meanwhile, if your assistant has loaded your files and metadata right, your title will be updating at various online retailers.
So, setting an ‘available to order’ date eight weeks in advance is wise. As well, real world book distributors need an even longer lead-in time before public release. Always allow time for doing a revision and second proof (e.g. another 10 days).
If you get traffic to Amazon during this period, then they will order it to be in stock immediately. If the book page does not receive traffic or purchases, then it will show your book on launch as “available in 7 to 10 days”.
So, writing your book in 1 month is possible if you’re disciplined, but finishing your book (if you want it to be great) needs about three or four months. In fact, I (Jennifer) have a non-fiction book writing program with coaching and editor suggestions, paced over six months, if you’d like to take a look.