Why Does it Take So Long to Publish Traditionally?

This is the second post in an eight-week series on publishing and editing! Check the chart at the end for a schedule.

I touched on the timeline for traditional publishing last week in Which Route Should You Take: Self-Publishing or Traditional?, but below is a more detailed version.

  • Writing

    This varies depending on your outlining & writing speed. It took me one year to write Lies that Bind.

  • Editing & Betas

    Before you start the querying process, you should edit your work. If you can afford it, check out getting a professional editor. Check out my services page for pricing if you’re interested in working with me.

    You should also get a few beta readers if you can. Facebook has lots of free beta reader groups. Beta readers can help you identify potential problems that an editor may not be looking for.

  • Querying

    This is where I am in the traditional publishing process. This can take weeks, months, or even years depending on your dedication, who you query to, and your book.

    It can take anywhere from 1-8 weeks for an agent to respond to your query, if they respond at all. I recommend querying to roughly six agents at a time and waiting for all of them to respond (or eight weeks to pass) before querying to additional agents.

    If an agent gets back to you and requests your full manuscript, hearing back from them can take up to a year.

  • Editing with Agent

    You thought you were done editing? Think again! It takes about 4 months to edit with your agent to get your book ready for publishers. This can vary a bit depending on your writing speed, though.

  • Proposal to Publishers

    This can take months to years depending on the market, your agent, and your book.

  • Contraction Negotiation

    This only takes a few weeks to a couple months, but that depends on your publisher’s and agent’s workloads.

  • Additional Editing

    You still aren’t done editing at this point. The publisher will provide you with edits, which takes about 2 months, then you send your book back within 30 days in most cases.

  • Behind the Scenes

    There’s a lot that goes into finishing the book up. There’s formatting, marketing, cover design, and printing. This can take up to a year.

  • Finish Line

    After printing, the books are finally sent to the stores. About 1-2 weeks later, they should hit the shelves!

Are you prepared to dedicate this amount of time to your novel? I am! Let me know in the comments.

March 16, 2021Which Route Should You Take: Self-Publishing or Traditional?
March 23, 2021Why Does it Take so Long to Publish Traditionally?
March 30, 2021How Long Does It Take to Self-Publish Your Novel?
April 6, 2021Is Your Book Ready for an Editor?
April 13, 2021Looking for an Editor? Ask Them These 10 Questions First
April 20, 2021The 8 Questions I Ask Perspective Clients
April 27, 2021Is Your Manuscript Agent-Ready? Use My Checklist to Make Sure
May 4, 20214 Tips to Creating a Mind-Blowing Query Letter

7 thoughts on “Why Does it Take So Long to Publish Traditionally?

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