+44-203-885-5296    |

[email protected]    |

   Talk to an expert

How Long Does It Take to Self-Publish a Book


Is Self-publishing a book something that has been on your mind for a while? You’ve probably been thinking about what to write, how to write it, and when you’ll be ready.

But have you wondered how long it takes to self-publish a book?

Many factors go into your Book Writing Journey and book publishing, so the length of time depends on the person and their needs.

However, some general guidelines can help you set expectations for yourself and know what to expect when self-publishing a book.

Book Writing Founders UK gives you a simple guide with step-by-step details of the duration it takes to self-publish a book.

Editing – 4 to 10 weeks

Editing a book properly is essential before publishing. The time it takes to edit a book manuscript depends on a few important factors:

It’s simple math—the longer the book, the more time it takes to edit. Editing a shorter book of 10,000 words will take less time than a longer one of 50,000 words.

Fiction books generally take longer to edit than non-fiction. Also, non-fiction books with many cross-references, copyrighted material, or technical content need more editing time than straightforward guides or biographies.

Level of Editing Required

There are three levels of editing—proofreading, line editing, and developmental editing. Each level demands more time to complete, with developmental editing requiring the most due to its depth.

Editor’s Workload

Editors are busy, too. They might have other clients and commitments, so they might not start editing your book right away. Also, since editing needs a lot of focus and skill, many editors work on one book at a time.

These factors can influence the time taken to edit a book, usually 4 to 10 weeks. It’s crucial to understand these aspects and plan accordingly to ensure your book gets the editing attention it deserves before reaching readers.

Formatting and Cover Art: A Week’s Effort

Initially, about a week is dedicated to formatting the manuscript and uploading the book and cover art files onto self-publishing platforms. This stage involves technical tasks to ensure your book looks professional and is ready for distribution.

The journey of self-publishing starts with the crucial step of formatting and uploading your manuscript. This phase typically spans about a week, ensuring that your book meets the technical requirements of various self-publishing platforms.

Formatting Precision

Formatting involves aligning your manuscript to specific guidelines, such as margin sizes, font styles, and paragraph spacing, ensuring it meets the platform’s specifications. This meticulous alignment guarantees a professional and visually appealing layout for your readers.

For formatting purposes, most of the time, the writers hire professional book editing services providers.

Cover Art Creation

Alongside formatting, crafting an eye-catching cover is paramount. Designing an attention-grabbing cover that visually represents your book’s essence is crucial to attracting potential readers.

This artistic process might involve graphic design software or collaborating with a professional book cover design services provider to create a compelling visual representation of your story.

Design & Typesetting – 2 to 8 weeks

They say not to judge a book by its cover, but let’s face it, people do! So, paying attention to your book’s cover is crucial for making a positive impression. Similarly, how the inside of your book is set up affects how easily readers enjoy it. The time needed for setting up the inside mostly depends on whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring pros.

Professional Designer’s Schedule

If you are hiring a professional to do your design and typesetting, then the period will be as follows:

Interior Design & Typesetting

  • Starting interior ideas – 1 week
  • Perfecting interior and setting up text – 3 to 10 days
  • Final checks – 2 to 3 weeks *cover and interior design usually happen simultaneously.

DIY Design

If you do it yourself, you save time on back-and-forth reviews, but consider your skills and learning time. It might take longer if you’re learning as you go.

Our experts advise that you should start working on your cover and interior concepts while your editor is doing the first round of edits. This can save you about 4 weeks on your overall schedule.

Publishing – 3 to 6 weeks

The publishing process involves several essential steps; often more than new authors expect. While each step might seem quick, they must be done in order, which adds time. Here’s a breakdown:

  1. Registering Your Publishing Imprint & ISBN Purchase: – 1 day
  2. Drafting Book Metadata: – 1-2 days
  3. Setting Up Accounts: – 1 day
  4. Submitting to Ingram Spark: – 3 days
  5. Reviewing Printed Test Copy: – 5-7 days
  6. Converting Print Book to eBook: – 3-5 days
  7. Submitting to Amazon KDP: – 1 day

Submitting eBooks: – 1 day

Once all of this is done, self-publishing promotion can continue up to however long you want it to go. However, it’s preferable to do it for at least a month.

Customizing the Timeline Through Collaboration

The duration of self-publishing largely hinges on the level of collaboration authors choose. The more hands involved in refining and perfecting the manuscript, the longer the timeline extends.

Emphasizing quality and visual appeal in the early stages expedites the process, setting a strong foundation for subsequent phases. This emphasis on precision during formatting and cover creation contributes to a seamless and professional book presentation.

Balancing Quality and Timeline: Is it better to self-publish a book?

Choosing between self-editing and professional assistance is a balancing act. While self-editing allows for personal control over the manuscript and potentially reduces costs, it demands more time and effort. Conversely, finding book publishers and getting their professional assistance can enhance the book’s quality but substantially extend the timeline.

Ultimately, authors must weigh their preferences, the manuscript’s needs, and their desired level of perfection against the time investment required. Finding the right balance ensures a polished final product without excessively elongating the self-publishing timeline.


Self-publishing doesn’t necessarily require an extensive timeframe if authors undertake all the work independently. The process can be expedited significantly if writers independently handle formatting, editing, and design.

In essence, while formatting and uploading might require a mere week, the subsequent timeline is versatile and largely contingent on the author’s preferences, professional involvement, and the preparedness of the manuscript.

Ready to Become a Published Author?

Let us guide you through the book writing and publishing process. Your story deserves to be heard!

Publish My Book!

Get In-depth Consultation Today!
Connect Now for Comprehensive Book Publishing Support!

Get Started +44-203-885-5296 Live Chat
Google books icon
amazon books image
alibris books image
ingram image
barnes and noble image