Wednesday 17 April 2019

How Long Does It Take to Publish a Book?

One of our writers recently asked me how long it take to publish a book.
Well we have three stages of editing for most of our works and each stage takes six hours. That probably stretches over two to three working days as we have other things to do as well. The text goes back to the writer so that they can react to our comments. That will probably take them also about six hours spread over three days or so. Then the text has to join a queue.

You can always follow our work here. I recommend this even if you’re not published by us.  

Generally for stories in our anthologies we only have two edits and a proof-read but for collections of short stories and longer texts we will do the all-important Edit 1. We’ll make a general comment about each story and some general comments about the writing. We’re looking at structure, story shape, characterisation, narrative balance, tension, pace and setting. We ask the authors to take their time on this edit. There’s also little point in doing a copy edit or line edit until this one is right.

Next comes a closer look at the details. Do the characters stay in character? Does the dialogue work? Is there repetition or cliché? We may take another look at narrative balance. Is the writer showing more than telling and if they are telling is this appropriate? What about the rhythm of the prose? Is there a good mixture of shorter and longer sentences?

Last we’re looking very closely at the actual language.

Then the book has to be designed. Some are more straight-forward than others. We’ve recently worked on a highly illustrated book and got it right on Kindle and even Kindle read on an iPhone. Not easy!  

Then the book must be proof-read three times after it is camera ready.  

There are some administrative tasks to be performed.

We’re currently allowing eighteen months. But we’re also looking at training more editors and publicists so we may be able to speed up the process.