We have two guides to help clients understand book publishing timelines when working with AuthorImprints, as well as information about Amazon's publishing timelines.
- Our six-track at a glance timeline illustrates 21 key publishing steps.
- Our matrix of major publishing tasks includes corresponding completion times in number of business days.
- Amazon publishing timelines include information for Kindle eBooks, paperbacks, audiobooks, and more.
At a glance timeline
- The publishing process can be as short as 30-days.
- The steps noted here may not apply to all books, and the length of time associated with completing them is approximate.
- Marketing and editing are managed separately and are included in a separate timeline.
Note: Author requirements influence the pace and timing of each step. Some tasks are completed concurrently with others.
(Click image to enlarge.)
Matrix of major publishing tasks
The following timelines are intended to be illustrative. Your book agreement may specify other arrangements. This chart also does not reflect two important time factors:
- How long it will take you to review the materials we send you.
- Processing times required by key vendors, specifically Amazon and IngramSpark.
|Service or Task||Approximate time in # of business days|
|Editing||Timing provided with free quote|
|Publishing imprint name selection and setup||1-3 days|
|Cover design||7 days for concepts; 3-5 days for successive rounds|
|Interior book design||7-10 days|
|Interior book design proofing (PDF)||5-7 days|
|Printed proofs order and mailing||5-10 days depending on shipping speed|
|Metadata research and optimization||2-3 days|
|eBook programming||7-10 days|
|Final review and remaining file changes||3-5 days|
|ISBN final assignment||1-3 days|
|Distribution setup||1-3 days|
|On sale in online stores||1-7 days following submission of files|
Amazon publishing timelines
Amazon needs time to process your book files—a multi-step, automated process—before your book appears in one of the Amazon stores. For example:
- Will any of the text on the cover be cutoff when it is printed?
- Is anything blocking or overlapping on the barcode?
- Is any of the content in the book freely available on other websites?
- Do you have the rights to publish this book?
There are other automated checks if you want to make changes after the book is published. For example, changes to metadata such as price, categories, keywords, and descriptions, have their own timelines.
At last count, Amazon publishes 57 different processes with processing times.
Click here to see the full list. Amazon's processing time is in addition to AuthorImprint timelines.
(All service providers have similar timeframes.)