When commercially publishing, the timeline to print once a contract has been signed is anywhere from 18 – 24 months. A traditional contract can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months to sign. You also have to consider that once the agent has been found it could take you 1 to 12 months to find a publisher. Then of course, there is the 3 to 24 months that it can take you to find an agent.
With all that being said, once a book is complete, it can take anywhere from 2 to 5 years to get onto the bookshelves when working with mainstream publishing. This can be very beneficial to the writer because during this time, many people read and provide feedback on the book. By the time that it does come out, it is typically a much stronger piece of work as a result.
At Writers of the Round Table, we provide all of that same feedback throughout the development process. Between the writing team, the editors and proofreaders, the marketing and design team and of course the focus group participants, a couple dozen people provide comments on each book throughout the process. That is why the quality of our content can stand up to anything the commercial publishers are producing, and we can push our books out into the marketplace in anywhere from 18 to 24 months—half the time of commercial publishing. For people who bring us a substantial product that has already been developed, we can push them to market in 6 months. HOWEVER, 99% of the work I see that comes to us is under-developed, and to uphold our standards of publication, I am always candid about what I believe the author needs to do to bring the manuscript up to a level ready for publishing.