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About Writing Right: The Blog

IS PUBLISHING A BOOK TIME-CONSUMING?

A curious beginning writer recently asked on a forum if it's time-consuming to publish books. I could have played along with the masses and gone off the deep end. Instead, here's what I thought was the best way to handle the question.

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No. Publishing books is neither an overtly lengthy nor an intrinsically "time-consuming" process, whatever that means. Contrary to what most other respondents have advised you, publishing books itself may eat up no more time than shopping for a new car or closing a loan on your house, and it could be lickety-split, depending upon your definition and several unknown entities missing from your question.

 

Here's what I mean.

 

For starters, you didn't ask about writing books for publication. You asked about publishing books. The time it takes for that varies with conventional versus POD or self-publishing. While conventionally published books may take from ten months to two years or more, depending upon a large number of variables, they may also take only a few weeks. That's if a particular book's subject matter is timely; if the book is time-sensitive, and if the market is chomping at the bit to read about what the book's author has to say. The first tell-all book on the life and death of Princess Diana, for example, appeared within weeks of her demise. She was killed in a car crash on August 31, 1997, and a book by Simon and Schuster hit the streets that same year. Several more publishers released books not long after.
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