Thursday, June 14, 2007

How long is the gap between the signing of a contract and the publication of manuscript?

I’m curious because I really need to let my mother know when she can anticipate seeing The Ride in it’s published format. She’s my biggest fan and when I told her I’d signed the contract, she expected them (the publishers) to drop everything and get right on it. “After all,” she says, “I’m not getting any younger.” If only they’d listen to my mother.

I check the ArcheBooks Production list daily—no make that a zillion times a day. In March, when I signed the contract, there were five books ahead of mine; soon after that, only two remained. I got excited thinking any day now it’ll be my turn. The closer I get, the slower the process. I feel like a kid waiting on Christmas.

From attending the Florida Writer’s Association luncheons, I knew that ArcheBooks tries to publish within six months. From what I understand, it’s hard to predict exact dates because each manuscript’s length of stay in the editing process varies considerably.

But, I still wondered what the average turn around time is for the publishing industry as a whole so I researched this question. I discovered it was very difficult to come up with actual statistics. Okay, I admit, my research was limited by time (an afternoon or two) and available resources (the internet). Still, I think the answer is one of those nasty secrets that most publishers don’t really want you to know. From what little I did uncover, it sounds as if turn around times are anywhere from six months to three years. It appears that the bigger the publishing house, the longer the wait.

During my research, I ran across this quote on and thought it apropos:

“A writer needs the heart of a lioness, the thick hide of a rhinoceros and the patience of a saint to deal with publishers. Still, I've been doing it for almost 20 years, and I keep doing it, so I must either love writing or be a serious and certifiable masochist.”
-Bertrice Small

Thanks for visiting. I welcome your comments and hope to see you next week.

Jane Kennedy Sutton
Author of The Ride
Web site:

Tags: The Ride, Archebooks, publishing, Beatrice Small

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Jane's Ride - Novelist Jane Kennedy Sutton's journey through the ups and downs of the writing, publishing and marketing world