Possible? Yes. Necessary? Not at all.
Is your manuscript ready?
Whether it’s taken you several weeks, months, or even years to complete your book, hopefully, you’ve taken as much time as you’ve needed to write the best manuscript you can. A lot of writers will meticulously work on their manuscript, editing and spell-checking. They work and re-work whole sections of their book to make sure it reads just as they intend. And then, feeling like they can’t stand to read through it one more time, they rush through the publishing process to meet some arbitrary date or deadline. (“I have to have this in my hands before I turn 50!”) Their writing process appears to be a joyous and patient gestation, only to rush their final steps and receive a preemie book at the end of their labors.
The typical self publishing journey should include steps for editorial work, design, printing, and setting up books to sell. Each step will take a finite amount of time. Can you have your book in your hands by December 25? Sure, it’s possible. However, as we’re just about to land in the fourth quarter, what good will a December launch do for your book? Probably not much. If you’re not selling books right now, you’re not going to make much of a splash by year’s end. Bringing out a new book in the New Year keeps it fresh for the whole next year to come.
How many steps are there?
Let’s break this down. Anticipate three weeks for design. Expect three weeks for printing paperback books and five for hardcover books. Add a week for shipping and you could have your book in your hands in time for holiday gift-giving, but little time for selling.
But what if you want and/or need editing? Are you going to build a Web site? Do you have a marketing plan to reach your targeted audiences? Do you want your book listed in our Thor program and available to order from bookselling retailers? E-Book editions, too? If so, may I suggest that you let your book’s publishing journey take as long as necessary to deliver the best book you can to the marketplace?
How long should it take?
If you had the good fortune to have been offered a publishing contract with Random House, they’d probably need 18-24 months to get your book ready for market. After working on this manuscript for as long as it took, how does a book release in 2013 sound to you?
Think a Vanity Press Publisher can help? Some suggest that their package deals take less time and cost less money than choosing to DIY with us. We hear from authors each week who have taken that well-worn road. They describe their projects as feeling strangely hijacked, as that very nice salesperson for company X has been replaced by an off-shore customer service representative, their six-month package is taking a full year or more, and they’ve spent a lot more money on add-ons and to correct errors. How much value was there to that two-for-one deal or fire sale/special promotion?
As the publisher of your own book, you know it will be available for a long time. You know that a well-planned marketing plan and a generous investment of time and energy will be necessary to reach the desired audiences that you want to reach. You’re hopefully ready for the marathon process of marketing and selling your book, constantly expanding your reach into your audiences.
Your marketing will be cycled season after season, year after year. Your book might do well for the holidays. It could be the perfect summer escape. It could be the best graduation present. Year after year.
Do you need to have your book done and ready for some fast and furious sales during the holidays or will it be ready to thrive with a New Year’s release. You are the publisher. You get to choose. SelfPublishing.com is here to help, every step of the way.