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So, you have written your book, and now you are itching to get it out there into the eagerly awaiting hands of your readers. But, how long does publishing a book take? Take a deep breath, because it can take up to two years to get your book published through traditional publishing routes. While this may seem an incredibly long time to wait, there are alternatives for you to get your book published, and these may suit you better, and have the big advantage of being quicker. Don’t underestimate the work that goes into producing a published book, though, and it is not worth rushing through the important steps that will transform your book from a story into a feast of the eyes. The process of producing a published book doesn’t just include the actual printing of the book but encompasses many steps including the editing process, cover design, marketing, and distribution. In order to understand how long it will take before you can hold your story in your hand as a physical book, we need to look at the different types of publishing that are available to you the writer.

Traditional Publishing Timeline

If you want to go down the traditional publishing route, the first step will be to secure yourself a literary agent. This alone could take three to four months. Once you have an agent, they will most likely spend a couple of months approaching carefully chosen publishers trying to land you a book deal, and then the hard work begins! Your publisher will have you working with an editor, a process that can take a number of weeks, to get your book in tip-top shape. The waiting doesn’t end here, as many publishers work far in advance with their release dates, they will have a plan for when best to release your book, and this may be some time in the future. The average time from when your book enters the publishing process to its release is around 18 months, so patience will serve you well.

Self-Publishing Timeline

By contrast, self-publishing can happen in a few short weeks, though generally, it does take a little longer. Self-publishing gives you far more control over the timescale and the outcomes of your book. Again, we would never recommend rushing the editing and design process, as this is a crucial part of the process, but self-publishing does enable your book to hit the shelves in anywhere between a few weeks and a few months. Bear in mind that with certain types of self-publishing, you are totally in charge, so the timescale relies entirely on you.

Hybrid Publishing Timeline

A hybrid publisher, as you have probably guessed, sits between the two worlds. It takes the professionalism of working with a traditional publisher and combines it with the increased input and control of self-publishing, and enables authors to work with a publisher in a supported way, without feeling overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of planning and management needed to fully self-publish. It also ensures the quality of the book and its contents. In the case of ShieldCrest we also invest with part of the publishing cost to show our commitment to those authors we choose to work with. With us the entire process takes between 6 and 12 weeks depending on the requirements.

Why Does the Publishing Process Take So Long?

Publishing involves many moving cogs working together to create a finished book. People can underestimate the amount of work that goes into book creation, transforming a story from a series of words typed up on a laptop into a physical bound book. The process starts with editing, which can include developmental editing, copy editing, and proofreading, which are three distinctive steps. Cover design takes time, and needs thought and care. Typesetting and page design ensure that the book flows, and is easy to read. Once the book is ready to go to print, it will be physically printed, and then it is ready to be distributed. In the background during this time book distribution and book marketing channels will have been a flurry of activity, so that when the book is released, it can be readily despatched to bookshops, and there will be a growing interest of eager readers. Post-sales support is still part of the publishing process, ensuring that the book continues to sell after the initial launch, that shelves are not left empty, and that ongoing PR and marketing opportunities are acted upon. When you consider the many steps of publishing, you can understand why it takes as long as it does to produce a published book.

Is it Hard Getting a Book Published?

Historically, the only way to get a book published was through a traditional publishing house, and this was renowned for being difficult. However, today we have more opportunities and different avenues that we can take in order to get our books into print. Even with the alternative routes, you still need to put the effort in, but there are more options available to get your book published. Self-publishing and hybrid publishing have become increasingly popular, especially with first-time authors. Traditional publishing houses tend to look for guaranteed bestsellers, so it can be hard to get a look in as a first-time author. The other routes to become published, have given more unique voices a chance to get their stories out there, and have given us a greater, more diverse library of wonderful books to choose from. Whichever route you choose to get your book published, you will need to work hard to ensure that your book is the best that it can be.

Ready to Publish Your Book?

Here at ShieldCrest, we love nothing more than reading a great story. Make us laugh, make us cry, or tell us old tales of the canals of the Black County, whatever your story get writing as we are ready to read your books. We work with our authors to help them share their books with others. With our supportive self-publishing packages, you will have the support of our dedicated team throughout the process, from editing to marketing, we will work with you to bring your book to life. If you have written a book, we would love to read it. For more information about publishing a book and how to get in touch with us, simply click here.


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