Why Does It Take So Long? (Part 2 of 2)

In our previous post, we discussed the first six months of the publishing schedule, including editing, design, marketing and publicity, and typesetting. In this second part, now that you, the author, have your typeset pages, you are ready to print and get into bookstores!

Third Quarter: July through September


During July, we arrange for printing. This involves getting quotes and reserving press time with a specific printer. By August, we deliver files to the printer. The process involved in offset printing takes 4–5 weeks. This includes verifying that files meet printer requirements, production value specifications are fixed (such as choices of trim size, format, binding style, paper, ink, cover), shipping destinations are locked in, etc. Digital printing takes a bit less time. Print-on-demand printing takes the least time. Shipping takes 1–2 weeks depending on how and where you ship the books. That puts us into September.  


When the book is on press, we create the e-books from the typesetter files. E-books only take 3–4 weeks to create, review, and finalize. This means we can release the e-book on the same date as the print version of the book.

Fourth Quarter: October through December

Distribution Warehouse

Finished books are delivered by September and ingested into the warehouse by October. That takes around 3–4 weeks. Distributors add titles to their inventory and physically put the new stock into their warehouse. They also receive pre-orders, and begin to pick, pack, and ship books to booksellers in October.


For booksellers to sell, they need to receive their orders from the distributor and have time to put books on their shelves. If they are an online seller, they put the books in their warehouse to fulfill retail orders. This step takes us into November.

On-sale date

Your book’s on-sale or publication date is in early November. This allows customers time to discover, browse, select, and purchase your book well in advance of the holidays.

So when you think about publishing your book and you wonder about the time frame, it is good to be aware of all the different steps involved in the production process. Knowing how long each step takes allows you to establish realistic expectations and plan accordingly. Here at Radius Book Group we try to work around some of these parameters. Saving time where we can but still publishing the top quality book for each author. With a well-planned schedule, you can make the best choices for your book to succeed.

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