About a month ago, I finished the first draft of my novel, Diary of Bedlam. It was definitely a milestone–I have about 65k words, a beginning, a middle, and an end, and most importantly, I know "whodunnit."
But although I refer to this draft as a "book," does it really qualify? No. There's too many disconnects, too many errors, and too much bad writing for me to justify calling it a book.
For me the answer to the question "when does a book become a book?" will probably be around the time I'm ready to start querying agents, or slightly before. It will then be a complete story with most of the kinks worked out, and it will be ready for the "general public" to read, at least in my estimation.
When do you think a book becomes a book?