I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted. Please forgive me. My life has been complete chaos this year having had two deaths in the family. I went from no deaths in sixteen years to two within one year. And one of those in December. Needless to say, it’s been a little hectic and holidays were um…interesting to say the least. But this is a new year, and I’m bound and determined for it to be a good one. And one of my goals this year is to try and blog more. So here goes…

As a writer, there are several questions I get asked on a regular basis. Where do you get your ideas from? Do you use people you know as characters? How did you get into writing gay romance? How long does it take to publish a book? What are you working on now? Just to name a few. Like most authors, I love talking about writing, so I thought I’d give you a little insight on some of the ins and outs of publishing. Today’s topic? How long does it take to publish a book?

Unfortunately, there are no set time tables in this day and age of publishing. The length of time it takes to get a book out varies from publisher to publisher. Used to be it took approximately 1-2 years from start to finish and in some cases it still does. There are many variables, size of the publisher, length of the book, etc.. But for myself the time table looks like this:

Writing process(from idea to complete MS)= approx. 4-6 months.
*This varies from author to author depending on length of book, plot complexity, etc. I know some writers who can whip out a book in a matter of weeks and others that take a full year or more. I write novel length around 90-95k and it tends to take me 5 months.

Acceptance/Contracting= 1week- 1 month+
*This will depend on how many books the editor has in his/her queue. The longest I’ve had to wait for acceptance is about a month and a half. The soonest I’ve gotten an offer on a manuscript is within a couple of hours. Release dates are set at this time and can vary as well. The date can be set anywhere from a month or two to a year in advance. Some presses have a mandatory amount of time that manuscripts have to be in before release. My main publisher requires the author to turn in their manuscript 6 month before the release date to allow for edits. Also, the amount of books already on the schedule must be taken into account. All publishers that I know of have a set amount of books the release every week. Some presses only release books every month, some release books every two weeks, etc.

Edits=1-2 months
*Again this can vary depending on the size of the press and how many authors an editor has on his/her roster. It may take a month or two to even start edits after a manuscript is turned in, or it could be within a few days.

Final Line edits to book release= 1 week-1 month+
*Small and ebook only presses may take less time. Large presses will take longer around 1-2 years. As I stated before some presses have a set amount of time they want between the turn in of the manuscript to the release date and it doesn’t matter if the edits are done before that amount of time is up the book will not be released earlier. However, sometimes a slot opens up because another author missed a deadline, or an editor had a family emergency or any variety of reasons, and a book can be pushed up in the schedule.

There are things that speed the process up as well. Some authors contract books before they write them by doing a partial. A partial is the first 3 chapters and a synopsis of the book. Unfortunately, this only works for established authors. New authors will have to have a full manuscript to submit before getting contracted. Other ways to slow the process down? If an author is working with an agent, there are some time constraints there as well. The agent will go through an editing process with the author before trying to sell the work to a publisher.

I hope you enjoyed the look into the publishing world. Join me next time when I try to tackle the editing process.

Written by JL Langley


JL is a full-time writer, with over ten novels to her credit. Among her hobbies she includes reading, practicing her marksmanship (she happens to be a great shot), gardening, working out (although she despises cardio), searching for the perfect chocolate dessert (so far as she can tell ALL chocolate is perfect, but it requires more research)
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"Publishing: How long does it take?" by J.L. Langley was published on January 25th, 2013 and is listed in J.L. Langley.

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Comments on "Publishing: How long does it take?": 1 Comment

  1. andreams wrote,

    Thanks so much for this information. I read a lot and always wondered why it took so long after an author indicated she had finished a book to finally see it. Now I know.

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