Anyone here ever written a book?

and how much time/energy/sweat/blood/toil/tears/dirt did it take?
I’m writing my doctoral thesis at the minute and it kinda feels like writing a book. Except you might in the end sell a book! :slight_smile:

Several of us have. I’ve written two published novels and about six unpublished ones.

It generally takes me six months to write the first draft, with 2-3 months of editing.

It’s taken me 3 years to hammer out even a semblance of my work but that’s partly because of bereavement, full-time job (at one stage), and various other commitments. I’m giving myself another year. I feel like quitting now but I know I should persevere. I would like to at some stage in the future write a novel (who doesn’t?!) but this task I’ve found so daunting that the idea of another large scale writing project fills me with horror.

I’ve written five novels, two of which I completed as a teenager and are not even worth trying to sell, two of which I tried to sell and one I finished recently and won’t bother trying to sell. None published (despite having a professional agent and wasting a few years of my life with her). The two I wrote to try to sell took about two years each. Sending them off to my agent was like sending a child off to college. Having them fail miserably was like seeing that kid get arrested for selling crack. :frowning:

See if you can’t arrange for your advisor to go on sabbatical. That will give you a drop-dead deadline for finishing, before s/he disappears for a year.

Worked for me.

Wrote two technology how-to books for the legal profession. One of them went through 7 drafts, the other around four. Based on my royalties compared to the writing/editing time, I’m sure my hourly rate was less than a dime. For a couple of years though they got me invited to speak at some conferences, so I got a few all expense paid trips to NY and SF, and even exciting Birmingham, AL.

Won’t do it again though unless I get an advance!

I have written three erotic novels and self-published them:

Haven’t marketed them at all, sold about a hundred copies to date over the last year or so. I shouldn’t quit my day job, but it’s a nice ego boost.

I have written three erotic novels and self-published them:

Wrote a book the summer I was 15. My father burned it, which was probably not much of a loss to the world, but hit me hard. I don’t know how comparable writing a novel is to doing a doctoral thesis; what field are you in?

I’ve written two novels and am part way through the third. The first took about four and a half months for the first draft, and probably another month for the second. The second book took about six months for the first draft, and I haven’t done the second draft yet. The third book is definitely taking the longest.

Isn’t it supposed to get easier as you go?

I’ve written eight complete novels, and three uncompleted ones. None published yet, but I’ve had some talks with a decent publisher.

I’d completed the first before I was 14, so you can imagine the maturity and imagination in that one… It was, however, more than 500 pages of teen drivel. I was quite determined, and am now quite embarrassed to read my manuscript again.

It has become easier for me; on the last one, I whipped out the first 85,000 words in five weeks. On that one, I had a dream that told me what happened, and it just flowed. I’m occasionally working on the rewrite of that one now, but not very frequently. Sometimes, life gets in the way.

I’ve written two complete novels, but never tried to get either of them published. I don’t even think I have a copy of the first one anymore. The second one I still find kind of funny at times, but its faults glare so obviously at me now that I’m just going to keep it to read for its comedy/nostalgia value sometime in the future.

How do you guys develop the stamina and willpower to finish a book? I’ve dreamed of writing a book on occasion, and I’ve even started writing a few, but I always get discouraged and lose interest after a few thousand words. How do you force yourself to keep writing knowing that 1) the finished product may not be good enough to publish, and 2) even if it’s a masterpiece, it may still be impossible to find a publisher?

Where’s Eve? She’s successfully authored several books:
Eve Golden

Haven’t seen her around in a while and I miss her.

Written, yes. Submitted for publication, no, as I’m continually rewriting it.

Co-wrote a history book for the sesquicentennial of our county three years ago. It was a project of the newspaper where I work. (Among other things, I run a weekly history feature). The book had a limited print run of 2,000, nicely designed hardcover with slick pages, hundreds of historic photos, complex timeline, etc. We jobbed it out to a regular book publisher. Sold at $29.95; there are maybe 100 copies left. The two of us got a modest flat fee, a few copies, and a lot of egoboost. There is something magical about being asked to autograph a real book you’ve written, with a Library of Congress number and everything.

Took us about a year. Four months to write, four months to recheck every bit through a committee of local historians, and proof, proof and more proof. Four months to wait for it to come back from the publisher.

Certainly not your typical author experience, but a wonderful experience nonetheless.

I’ve written and self-published two books with a co-author. They each took a little under a year to complete.

I’ve written one YA novel with that same co-author that is complete but unpublished. We’re currently about halfway through another one that has a decent shot at being published. (My editor has shown interest and has given us direction on it after we gave her a treatment, outline, etc.) We hope to be finished by the end of the year. We’ve technically been working on it for about 4 years. (!)

I also have 8 published graphic novels, with more on the way and another series on the way. But, luckily, my sister did most of the writing on those. I just had to draw until my arm fell off.

I wasn’t considering them, but I’ve co-written a couple of textbooks on Information Sources. Those are much different: you receive a contract and in my case a set assignment of what to write, and it’s more of a creative challenge than you might think, but in my case I was paid a flat-fee and the book’s not really something that I think of as one of my “writings” (a bastard child by a camp follower I suppose).

What subject is your dissertation in? (And here’s something a bit excremental: many doctoral dissertations are sold and the author never gets a penny- not for a lot, mind, but various departments/libraries will make them available for companies to sell to interested researchers for anywhere from a few dollars on up.)


I’ve written four. After the first one I had contracts and deadlines. Contracts and deadlines are quite helpful. Actually, I had a contract for the first one, but I had to write the whole book in order to get the contract, as most people (but not all people) do with first novels.

Write one? Yes, I have. Get it published? Well, no… :frowning: