Friday, October 14, 2011

What does it take to write a book? (Part 2)

So what does it take to write a book, besides letting the housework go to hell? Here's what I did for my book over the last nine months:
  • Read 40 books cover to cover
  • Read portions of another 23 books
  • Read over 100 articles or encyclopedia entries (from databases or web sites)
  • Compiled almost 1100 pages of single-spaced notes
  • About 575 of those pages were written by me on books I read
  • The other 525 were copied/pasted from online articles
  • That breaks down to about 646,000 words of notes (338K original/308K copied)
  • Chose 45 images to be included in the book
  • Chose and excerpted 16 primary sources to be included in the book
And what did I end up with?
  • A prologue and seven chapters totaling just over 38,000 words
  • 12 primary sources totaling 18,720 words
  • 10 biographies totaling 11,180 words
  • An overwhelming sense of relief and accomplishment!
There still might be a few tweaks here and there (maybe a primary source or image cut here and there), and I won't know the final page count until the book is typeset, but I think I can feel confident that I was pretty thorough in doing my research and writing. We'll see when the book comes out and the reviews come in next spring.

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