How long does it take to publish a book?
This is a question I hear often. As with most questions having to do with “how much” in this industry, the answer is an unhelpful and disappointing, “It depends.”
With traditional publishing houses, two years after the manuscript is complete is not unusual. With self-publishing and assisted self-publishing, it’s much faster. Timeline depends mostly on how long it takes the author to write the book and how long it takes the editor to edit it. The formatting and publishing stages are fairly standard and swift. All told, a few months after the manuscript is complete, it could be published.
But with something I’ve gotten into recently, the entire process—from ideation to creation to publication—can take just days.
You read that right. Days. What can be done in just days?
Planners, log books, journals, and notebooks. For years, I’ve helped authors make workbooks and such to go with their books. Recently, I started creating my own. I will tell you the details, but first, let me tell you a story about it happening in the wild.
Total Life Freedom gets members great results.
Recently, I attended a retreat for a group I’m in called Total Life Freedom. Exactly what it sounds like, TLF is about building a life of freedom regarding business, family, health, and more. People ask me many questions as the writer/editor/publisher in residence, which I love. I’m always happy to help people, especially good people like the ones I affectionately named TLFers. During the approximately 60 hours I spent with them at the most recent retreat, several people asked me to help them with their books to my complete and continuing delight. Members of this group take action and do amazing things.
Meet Courtney Wisely.
One of the members of TLF is the not-quite-five-foot-tall powerhouse named Courtney Wisely. When she heard about the journals and such that I’ve been creating, she got excited. Courtney asked me if I could help her publish something that had been sitting on her computer for a couple of years. Succinctly, she explained that a designer had helped her put together pages that she wanted to turn into a log book for entrepreneurs to keep track of the books and courses they’d purchased in their pursuit of learning. She just needed someone to put it into book form and publish it.
I said, “Of course!” When she asked how long it would take, I told her we could do it that very evening, right there at the Total Life Freedom retreat in Souix Falls, South Dakota.
Her face lit up, and she squealed with an endearing vibrance you see in sitcoms or on stage (which is thoroughly appropriate, considering she’s a community theatre organizer and star). It made my heart swell.
Courtney Wisely is a published author.
Seconds later, her manuscript winged its way via email to one of my formatters—my husband. I was already calling him to fill him in on the impromptu weekend project. It was his day off, and he had his hands full with kids, doggos, and household (I was gone for nearly a week for the trip). Nevertheless, he hopped on his computer right away and formatted her files into a book.
After a hiccup with a few pages being out of print range (it happens, and he fixed it), he sent Courtney the Amazon-ready file.
She uploaded it. It went through Amazon’s mandatory review process (which usually takes a couple of days), and now she’s a published author! This is her product. It’s clean and functional, and designed to help you keep track of all the potential learning materials you access as you go along. You know you’ve collected a number of books, courses, YouTube video links… Organize them with this cool tool! Click it!
You can publish low-content and no-content books.
The last few months, I’ve been creating my own journals, planners, log books, and notebooks for various interests and needs. These are what people mean when they say low-content and no-content books. Not “books” in the usual sense of a collection of text on pages, they are still physical printed objects. In most cases, the e-book format won’t work for these.
Bored kids: Summer Journal for Kids
Horse-loving kids: Horse Journal for Kids
Adults who love horses: Horse Journal
For women with one of the 10 most popular names from the decade 2000–2010 (This one is for people named Ashley): Food Journal for Summer
I create in my spare time, which I don’t have much of, thanks (many thanks!) to publishers and clients sending me books to edit. That means my own publications will come slowly.
But yours doesn’t have to! Just set up a time to talk with me. We’ll discuss getting your planner, journal, log book, or similar creation onto Amazon quickly.
Courtney Wisely heard someone at the retreat saying that I’ve been creating these low-content/no-content books and that they love them and bought some. A coach piped up that I had helped him just that morning to plan his anger-management log book for his clients. At that moment, the sweet and sassy ball of energy whirled toward me and asked the question that changed the trajectory of our evening there (and my husband’s at home). I’m so glad she did!
Get your copy of The Entrepreneur’s Notebook or any of mine simply by clicking the images or links, and enjoy!
And if you’re interested in joining a group of generous action takers that will change your life for the better, check out Total Life Freedom, and tell Vincent Jennifer Harshman sent you.