So, in order to be profitable, you surely need to knock out as many books as possible in the shortest time imaginable, right? So how do you learn to write quickly, quickly enough to make money, without succumbing to a dip in quality? Is it even possible, without writing a self-publishing handbook?

Book Review – Writing A Book A Week: How To Profit With Self-Publishing by Alex Foster

First published, 2013

⭐ ⭐ ⭐

“Writing, in general, can be a passion, but digging deeper and writing about what you are passionate about is magical.”
77% in, Plenty of Ideas, Writing A Book A Week by Alex Foster

So, is it a gimmick, or can it be done? As with so many things, it depends on what you mean by ‘book’.

There’s good advice on the types of software you might need to write a book at all, where to keep notes, the perils of certain writing packages when it comes to formatting, and the obvious bonuses of cloud-storage – all important things to know.

But the question is this: Can you write a book in a week? Taking a day for research, as recommended in this guide, and then writing the thing in the following six days… doesn’t really tell the whole story. If you’re planning on writing a standard novel (40,000-75,000 words total), you’re looking at writing approximately 10,000 words a day and, ultimately, not editing out very much, if anything at all. And an unedited book is often disappointing – due to too much fluff and extraneous detail, or misspellings. And heaven help the author who messes about with apostrophes.

If you’re looking at something closer to a short story or novelette (7,500-17,000 words total), it probably is possible to write a book in a week. But it’s worth bearing in mind that there will be extra time required for editing, beta-reading and proofreading. These are steps you really can’t afford to avoid.

However, whether you can, or indeed should, write a book a week, the author is correct when he says it’s about commitment and making yourself accountable (more on that later). Ultimately, the writer needs to work both sides of the street: as the creator and the manager. It might feel like it’s enough that you have a talent for making something beautiful with words, but you still need the chutzpah and the skills to sell it.

My advice is this: if the stress of finding five hours a day just for writing is choking up your creativity, look at the longer term. If you can find an hour, it might not seem like much, but in an hour of writing, you’ll have more on the page today than you did yesterday, so count it as a win.

I like that, at the very end, the author throws in that he hasn’t actually written a book a week for a whole year, for the sake of his health. For my money, quality takes time, and accountability is not the same as picking yourself apart. Be kind to yourself. The book will take as long as it takes.