How Long Does It Take to Publish an E-book?

How Long Does It Take to Publish an E-book?

time to publish an e-bookPublishing an e-book to promote your business is one of the most rewarding projects you can take on, and it doesn’t have to take a long time. It can, of course, take several months, or it can take a couple of days. It really depends on a number of factors.

These are the factors that determine how long it can take to publish your e-book.

  • Are you creating content from scratch or re-purposing old content? You can create an e-book from original content, use re-purposed content, or go hybrid, but if you create original content, then you should expect the process to take longer. That’s because with re-purposed content, all you have to do is cut and paste. There’s no new content to create. Therefore, it shouldn’t take as long.
  • How long will your e-book be? If you’re putting together a short e-book (say, 10 to 15 pages), then it won’t take as long as creating an e-book that is a couple of hundred pages.
  • Are you busy enough that you have to fit the e-book between other projects, or is it something you can focus on entirely. For most entrepreneurs and business people, time is a commodity. There’s not a lot of time to work on non-paying projects. That might mean spending an hour or so a day, or once per week, working on the e-book as you spend the rest of your time on client business. If you’re just starting out and have little client business, then you can spend more time on your e-book.
  • Are you doing it yourself or paying someone? If your time is limited and you want to get an e-book published quickly, you could hire someone to do it for you. They’ll spend much more time focused entirely on your e-book than you will. So this could be a trade off if you are extremely busy.
  • Does your e-book require extensive graphics? Many e-books don’t. In fact, some very successful e-books don’t have many graphics at all aside from the cover art. That’s okay. However, if your e-book requires a lot of graphs, charts, and images to make your content visibly appealing or easier to understand, then it may take longer due to the time it takes to create the graphics.
  • How “perfect” do you want it? I’m a perfectionist at heart. I don’t like turning in sloppy work, and you probably don’t either. But I’ve learned that there is such a thing as good enough. And with e-books, it’s easy to correct mistakes and re-publish as long as you are aware that quality matters. You shouldn’t wait until your e-book is completely without flaws, but you shouldn’t rush to get it out the door before it’s ready either. One option is to pay an editor or proofreader to look it over when you are done. If you agonize over every word, paragraph, sentence, and semicolon, then the process could take longer. Learn the trade-off between “perfect” and ready to publish.
  • Are you doing it by yourself, or do you have help? – You could write all the content yourself or go in partners with another writer. Maybe you’re taking submissions. Or maybe you have a researcher to gather the facts while you write the prose. If you work with someone, you can likely get your e-book published faster. On the other hand, if that someone is late with their material or sloppy with their work, then it could take longer.
  • Is the book full of technical details – If the content is highly technical, it could take longer to write or compile and edit the content.

One way to cut down on the time it takes to create and publish an e-book is to start with an outline. By outlining the e-book before you start working on it, you create a blueprint to follow so that you aren’t flopping around like a fish trying to get back to the water. An outline keeps you on target as you pull the information together and go through the publishing process.

With the proper planning, you can create an e-book for your website or to promote to your target audience wherever your name appears. Take your time and do it right, but time is of essence.

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Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor is a freelance writer, content strategist, and award-winning journalist. He is the author of "E-book Publishing: Create Your Own Brand of Digital Books," available in the Kindle, ePub, iBooks, and PDF formats.

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