Write a Nonfiction Book Fast-Speak It!

I constantly see advertisements for ways to write a book fast–in a weekend, in a week, in a month. It’s true you can write a book fast. However, remember the book you write fast may not be your best book. That manuscript represents a draft. It needs editing.

Just as fiction writers complete a whole manuscript in 30 days during National Novel Writing Month and nonfiction writers finish a manuscript in the same amount of time during Write Nonfiction in November, they have not produced polished manuscripts ready to be sent to an agent, publisher or printer.They have, however, written a book fast.

So, yes, you can write a book fast simply by giving yourself a deadline and sticking to it with a daily word count.

You also can write a book fast by not writing at all. Instead, speak your book into a tape recorder in a weekend (which is how many of the write-a-book-in-a-weekend courses work), a week, or a month. That’s one way to write your book fast.

How do you do this? Simple really. Outline your book. Figure out what will go in each chapter–possibly break the chapters down into subheadings or into questions. Prepare all the material you need, such as research, for each chapter.

Then address each chapter, subheading or question by speaking into the taperecorder. When you are done, you will have spoken your whole book.

Next, have the tapes transcribed or use a computer transcription program.

Last, edit the transcripts.

You now have a book manuscript.

This method works really well for speakers and businesspeople who like to talk but don’t like to write. Once they have a transcript, they can edit it once themselves to fill in the blanks. They hand it off to a professional editor, like myself, and before they know it they have a book in their hands without hardly having written a word.


  1. Excellent post and idea – speaking a book. It’s one thing I tell those of my students who simply hate to sit down and write stuff!

    Elena – from HowToWriteaBookFast.org

    • Yes, I often tell my coaching clients to speak their books if they aren’t writers. If they are writers, I often tell them to blog a book. Writing in short bursts — even “like” blog posts, just 250 or 500 words in 30 minutes — they can get their book written in just 3-9 months.

      Thanks for your comment.

  2. i LOVE this idea. thanks so much for sharing

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