If you’re a first-time author, then getting to the publishing part of the process is really exciting.

Even if you’re a semi pro at this, there is always that feeling of nervous anticipation when it comes to the final stages of your book production.

So, how long does this process take?

Let’s break each section down into its component parts, and you can then get a rough idea of timescales.

  • Editing – this is a really important part of your books journey, and can take anywhere from two to four weeks, depending on the service. Two weeks for the copy edit, and a further two weeks for the proof read. Then an additional few days to go through it once it’s been laid out.
  • Typesetting – if you’re using a professional, this should take anywhere from 5 – 7 working days.
  • Cover – this can’t be done until the layout has been finished as you need a final page count in order to get the spine width. However, you could work on the front cover design during this period.
  • Printing – this can take about 12 working days if you go with a traditional printer.

The editing period may seem to take AGES but it’s really important that your book is checked and re-checked (preferably by another proofreader). If you publish your book through Compass-Publishing then you get this 3-step-edit.

Remember, you get what you pay for.

When the book is at the editors, you can work on your front cover design. Again, if you can get a professional cover designer to do it for you, then that is best option. Make sure you look at their previous work and get them to do some initial designs. If you can get your cover nailed while your book is at the editors, then you can use this to start marketing your book (or do a pre-release offer). Just take note that you won’t be able to get the whole cover finished until you’ve had your book laid out, as you need a page count to work out spine width.

Once your book is back from the editors, it’s then time for typesetting. This can take up to a week. Make sure your typesetter has given you test pages so that you’re happy with the design.

There may well be some back and forth from yourself and the designer, so keep that in mind if you’re up against a deadline. Once the book is finished, it should go back to the editor for a final proofread – this could take a further week or so.

Then it should come to you for your final check.

Once that’s finished, it’s now ready for the printers.

Depending on how you’re getting it printed, this can take anything from three to four days for a proof (always get a proof copy) to then ten working days for the main print run. If you’re using Amazon’s CreateSpace, then it can take up to 2 weeks for a proof (unless you get the express service at an extra charge) and then your books are print on demand; as a customer orders your book, Amazon will then fulfil.

Choosing which print option is right for you is really important and it can have a real knock on effect for your cost per book. If you’re unsure what is best, then please do get in touch. I can talk you through the whole process and explain the options.

So, from your finished word doc, the publishing process takes about 12 weeks depending on how long you take to answer questions from your editor and which print option you go for.

It might be a surprise how long this process takes, but if someone offers something that is much quicker, then they are skimping on something and I would take a closer look at what.

If it’s taken you four or more months to write your book, don’t skimp on the editing process. Seriously, you want your book reading as best as you can.

Interested in getting your book published? Get in touch. Email me at info@compass-publishing.com and I can talk you through the process.

Timescales for publishing your book