Thursday, November 19, 2015


Thursday brings us answers to another question submitted by you! This week’s winner is Michelle Prince Morgan. She asks: “About how long does it take to write a book?”

For submitting her question, Michelle’s won a $10.00 gift certificate from Amazon!    

If you have a question for us, leave it below. You might be our next winner! You could win a book by one of today’s top suspense/mystery writers – or a gift certificate to Amazon! (Questions submitted without contact information won’t be considered.)

 Let me qualify my answer. That first book often takes a long time, because we want to revise, hone, shape it to catch the attention of an editor. But after that, negotiations and contracts have a lot of influence on how long it takes an author to finish a book.

I took well over a year to write my first published book. After that, the publishers wanted (on the average) delivery of a book every six
months, which really stressed me. On the other hand, when I am between contracts, I might dawdle a bit and take up to a year to write one. Some writers can do six books a year (whew!), others take one or two years or more between books. It varies a lot.

Richard Mabry

That's not really a fair question in regards to me. I write a 50,000
word book a month, every month. Not everyone can be as prolific.  My readers are greedy and I've spoiled them.

 Cynthia Hickey (Melton)

  It depends on the book, Michelle. Of course novellas won't take nearly as long as full-out novels, but some stories come out easier than others. The last story I wrote poured out. My fingers could hardly keep up. But the one I'm working on now has so many secrets. I've rewritten a scene three times as I'm learning more about the characters. 

(Maybe different characters are more talkative than others?) For me, I can write the story in 4-6 weeks. Revising and editing take several months, but the sheer planning and "penning" the work is fairly quick.

Marji Laine

The first book can take such a long time....endless revising, tweaking... but once an author sells, the publisher will want enough productivity to keep readers coming back to read more. How soon they forget, if an author drops from sight for too long!

I started writing two books a year, then became more efficient when extra opportunities were offered.  I wrote three and a half or four books a year for quite a while but now think three would be perfect.  But every writer is different, as you will see in the comments by the other authors here!

Roxanne Rustand

Every book is different, but I like to have at least three months for each book. Four months is better! I can write cozy mysteries faster than I can suspense. Not sure why, but cozies are much easier for me.

Nancy Mehl


  1. Who determines a hardbound book or paperback first hits the sellers shelves?

  2. why is it harder to write different type books?