Developing a Timeline for Your Book

Filed in Writing Tips by on May 24, 2023 0 Comments

When you start developing a timeline for your book, it's important to consider each stage of the production process. This includes editing, cover design...

Four steps you can’t miss when publishing a book. 

Finishing your manuscript is only one piece of the process of publishing your book. When you start developing a timeline for writing and publishing your book, there are a few more steps you’ll need to factor into your timing. It’s important to consider each stage of the production process, including writing, editing, cover design, typesetting, and printing.

Let’s take a look at each stage of the process you’ll walk through when publishing your book. Then, we’ll look at an example timeline for these stages.

Writing and Revising Your Manuscript

During the writing stage, it’s important to give yourself enough time to fully develop your ideas and create a cohesive story. This may involve spending time researching and outlining your book before actually writing it. Once you have a solid first draft, it’s important to take the time to revise and edit your work to ensure that it is polished and well-written.

Manuscript Editing

There are two components to editing: self-editing and revising your work, as well as working with a professional editor. Self-editing and revising your work is an important part of drafting your manuscript. The first draft should be focused on getting the bones of your story down, revision rounds are the time for you to fill out your story with description, depth, and fill in any plot holes or confusing areas you find. Then, your self-editing period is when you run through to look at your work with a fine-toothed comb.

After you get your writing as far as you can on your own, your next step is to work with a professional editor who can take your writing to the next level and also ensure your writing follows publishing industry standards.

Cover Design and Interior Formatting

When it comes to cover design, you’ll want to work with a professional designer to create a cover that accurately represents your book and catches the eye of potential readers. This process requires some research on your part as well. Take time to wander through bookstores and take photos of covers that you like. See what other covers look like in the genre that matches your manuscript. This helps you better communicate what you like to your cover designer.

Once your book is written and edited, it’s time to think about the formatting of your manuscript. This involves a typesetter designing your manuscript into book format in a way that meets industry standards and looks great in print and on eBook devices.

Printing Your Book

Once books are fully designed inside and out, you’ll approve your digital files, and those files are then sent to a book printer. The book printer is responsible for creating physical copies of your book, including paperback and hardcopy versions. Book printers print your book, trim it to the exact trim size you selected, bind the pages together, and attach the inner pages to your cover. The end result of this process is your book!

Example Timeline for Each Stage of Self-Publishing Your Book

When you start developing a timeline for your book, it's important to consider each stage of the production process. This includes editing, cover design...


By taking the time to develop a detailed timeline for your book’s production, you can ensure that you have enough time to produce a high-quality book that will resonate with readers and stand the test of time.

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About the Author ()

Erika Bennett has been a freelance editor for nearly half a decade. Before joining the Xulon team in 2010, she worked with several first time authors who wanted to test the waters of self-publishing. Her aim is to make sure great books find their way into readers' hands.

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