When is your book finished?

After working on your book for so long, it is sometimes difficult to complete the process. When is your book finished? And how do you deal with the feeling that you have so much more to say? That it can be even better? Many authors feel a kind of resistance to publishing their work. How can you overcome that? In this blog, you will find a number of things worth knowing and tips.

Wanneer is je boek klaar? De onderstaande checklist helpt je die vraag te beantwoorden.

“The end is approaching”

Am I there yet? A checklist:

  • You feel that you are nearing the end of your writing process.
  • You said what you wanted to say, you shared your message.
  • All chapters have been completed and are preferably about the same length.
  • Each chapter has a small introduction and a conclusion.
  • All the loose notes you had have been given a place.
  • The illustrations are in a separate folder and you have clearly indicated where they should be in the book.

How many words or pages do you need for a real book?

There are no rules about how many pages a good book should have. It’s not about the number of words you wrote. The most important thing is that you get your message clearly on paper. Don’t write more, don’t write less.

I know from experience that it is useful to have some kind of guideline, so here it comes: usually, the length of a (paper) book is between 40,000 and 100,000 words.

Too thick?

Having a lot more to say will make the book too thick, which may put off some readers. A thick book is also more expensive for you to edit, design, print, and send. You can slightly compress a book with many words by using a smaller font and less white space, but that can make the book less attractive. You could also break down a large topic and make it into a series of several shorter books.

Too thin?

Don’t be afraid to publish a thin book, as long as the content is valuable. Remember that everyone is busy, both you and your readers. Short stories have become increasingly popular in recent years. There is even a special category (Short-Reads) for these books on Amazon.
If you have few words/pages in a paper book, the readers may (wrongly) get the feeling that they are not getting their money’s worth. In that case, your designer could ‘blow up’ the book a bit by using a larger font, using more white space, and adding some illustrations, for example. You can never run out of words for an ebook. An (e-)book can also contain only 5000 words.

In short, don’t focus on the number of words or pages in the first place, but on conveying the knowledge you want to share…

‘Kill your inner perfectionist’: good is good enough

Have you ever heard of the Pareto analysis or the 80-20 rule? The bottom line is that you can do 80 percent of the work in just 20 percent of the time. But if you want to go from 80 percent to 100 percent, that last 20 percent is going to cost you 80 percent of your time. So aim for 80-90 percent for your book, not 100 percent. That small difference can save you a lot of time and energy. This does not only apply to writing a book, but to any project you can think of!

Done is better than perfect

Bringing out something that you feel is not yet perfect can give a contradictory feeling. However, what is a ‘concept version’ for you may already be valuable for others. What’s more important: continue to get that last 10 percent perfect (which may take forever), or make your valuable input available to others right now?
Perfection is unattainable. It is better to publish a ‘good enough’ book than to just miss the finish line with an almost perfect book. You owe it to yourself and your followers, your readers to get your idea, your book out into the world.

Are you serious about writing your book?

Don’t reinvent the wheel, like I did. As the author and co-author of more than 30 books, writing coach for hundreds of people and organizer of 20 writing retreats, I have finally found the best system for writing a good book: the ‘Reverse Writing’ method. If you begin at the end and create a good structure before you start writing, you will be able to follow your energy, instead of the page numbers.

Learn all tips & tricks in the live online workshop

Everything you need to turn your idea into a bestseller: practical advice, examples, and inspiration about writing, publishing, and promoting your book. Check out the ‘from idea to book’ workshop.

werboek back front cover - Why you should start promoting your book while you're writing it

Personal guidance

Private writing coaching is a unique opportunity to work on your book with my personal guidance and support. Book a single strategy session or plan a series of 1-on-1 calls. Do you want the best for your book?

A writing retreat in an exotic location?

During the online writing retreat@home or an all-inclusive retreat on my favorite islands or in the French Alps, you will work with like-minded people and get 1-on-1 guidance. The daily workshops help to get started, followed by focused writing time, delicious food, and personal guidance & feedback. Where will we go?

The book ‘Reverse Writing’

Learn my Reverse Writing method (start with the back cover) in my brand new, the super-comprehensive book ‘Reverse Writing’ and the companion workbook. You will find a step-by-step explanation, lots of examples, inspiration, and practical tips about writing, promotion, and publishing your book.

Original ideas and proven formats for your next bestseller

A successful book starts with a good idea. Check out the 10 best ‘formulas’ I’ve found for successful non-fiction books. Each of these ten proven formats gives you a different perspective, inspiration, and examples you can adapt for your own book. Subscribe to my ‘interested in writing’ list for book inspiration & tips and immediately receive the PDF with 10 ideas for a successful non-fiction book.