One of the misconceptions I often see among readers is the off-the-wall idea about how much time it takes to have a book published. I've talked to multiple people who believe that once a manuscript has been submitted to the publisher it should be hitting shelves in a couple of months. Hmmm . . . that would be nice—like someone sending me Lindt Chocolate Truffles every week nice, but let's face it—it ain't gonna happen (darn). Granted all publishers are different and smaller ones tend to have shorter process. There are also other factors that determine how long it takes for example:
· The publisher may request a rewrite, so it takes longer to get it published.
· Genre—some genres just sell better and can turn out more books in a shorter amount of time due to demand.
· Author's contract with the publisher (Some authors are contracted to turn out 2 books every year and the publisher clears a spot for them in their lineup—it’s like a Get Out Of Jail Free card.
So you see, there are many factors, but still, a few months between submission to publication is definitely not the norm.
To give you an idea of what my publication timeline looks like,
here is the process THE KNIGHT OF REDMOND went through:
THE KNIGHT OF REDMOND (Originally titled UNBREAKABLE CHAIN) was written in 2010 and was submitted to my publisher the 5th of January in 2011.
It took 10 1/2 months before the publisher accepted it for publication. I admit it took longer than average to be accepted, but during that time 2 evaluators from the publisher read it, and then I was asked to do a rewrite on it. The plot was mainly adventure and the publisher wanted to see more romance. So I turned up the heat between the two main characters. I then resubmitted the new manuscript and it went through the evaluators again, and after their favorable reviews it made it to committee. (This is starting to sound like a bill trying to get through congress.) And finally, on November 18th of 2011 I received an email saying it was accepted. Happy dance.
After that it just waited in line behind all of the other manuscripts that were getting ready for publication. My sister and I took that time to coauthor another book together.
(Waiting, waiting, waiting. . . )
Nearly a year later, in October of 2012, I heard from my editor that we were ready to start doing the first edits on THE KNIGHT OF REDMOND. The editing process took several months and then in April the copy edits were finalized and it was sent off to press. And then TADA! The first week of May, I had the book in hand! Woohooo!
So if you do your math right you'll see that it took a total of 2 years and 4 months from the time I first submitted it to when it was released.
SIDE NOTE: There are some authors with significantly shorter turnaround times. (Pause here while I turn green with envy).
So in short: Yes, in some cases, it is easier to get a bill passed through congress than it is to publish a book. But it's so worth the wait!