Calculate how much you need to write daily to create a book

Here’s how to calculate how much you need to write daily in order to generate a book.

Determining the size of the book you want

Do this by taking a book you own or have seen and then count the words.


Actually there’s a faster way. Find the first paragraph line and count the words. Then multiply by the number of lines on the page. Then multiply by the number of pages.


This works if it’s a physical book or e-book as well. I’ve got an e-book copy of Business Made Simple by Donald Miller. On one page, there’s about 15 words across, going down about 30 lines, and 180 pages. This will vary depending on the size of your e-book reader.

15 words x 30 lines x 180 pages = 81,000 words. I like round numbers so let’s make it 80,000.

Okay, so I need to write 80,000 words to get a book with content similar in size to another book I like.

Calculating how much to write every day

So if I’ve got in mind to write a book totaling 80,000 in one year, I need to divide the words by 365.

80,000 words / 365 days = 219 words per day.

That’s not bad. I’ve written that much since the beginning of this post, and it took me no more than 10 minutes.

Now if you only want to write on weekdays, you could calculate this:

80,000 words / ((365/7) x 5 ) = 307 words each weekday. That’s still manageable.

What about if only writing on weekends? Then it’s:

80,000 words / ((365/7) x 2 ) = 767 words each weekend day. That’s doable, but more intense than I would prefer.

So what would you write if you could write a 80,000 word book in a year? 

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