For the past few weeks I’ve been posting things about the publishing industry, things I found interesting. And since the internet is vast (maybe not as vast as the universe) and things tend to be quite hard to find sometimes, I figured I might help another fellow writer by reblogging some of the little treasures I have found.

So a few years back, when I started writing, and decided I didn’t want to write just for myself, I found an infographic called Book’s Life Cycle. I don’t mean how long a book stays a book before it’s turned into pulp, but what are the steps between an idea sparked in our brains and the end result; a published story (traditionally or electronically), comfortably resting in a reader’s hands.

At the time, wet behind the ears as I was, I googled “How to write a book.” After sieving through the hundreds of results there, I found this infographic


You can find the original source from

You see, back then all I knew was that if I wanted to get traditionally published, all I had to do was get an agent, and then voilà! The magic wand would do its magic and I’d have a book on a bookstore’s shelf. Yay me! I draw your attention to where the step with the agent is on that image. That’s right; way up there. Right after the step where the writer actually writes and edits. And where’s publication? Waaaay down, with several other steps in between.

I’m not going to lie to you; there was a moment where I thought to myself, “what have I gotten myself into?!”

So, for all of you new writers like me, take a good look at this image. Don’t ever assume your story is ready, or wonder why your favourite authors takes so long to publish the next book (I can think of at least once I’ve foolishly complained about it. Hint: It’s a he, wears glasses, currently writes Dark Fantasy, allegedly indulged in pizza crawl at least once, and likes to kill almost all his characters… Yeah, him!). Look at all the steps between the writer writing up the book, and it actually hitting the shelves. Granted, for big-shot writers like the one I vaguely outlined, the time the process takes is sped up, BUT the fact remains: LOOK AT ALL THE STEPS!


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6 thoughts on “How long does it take to publish a book?

    1. It’s not, but that doesn’t mean it should deter you. If anything, it should be a driving mechanism for improving your craft. Besides, the reward is always proportional to the degree of difficulty, right?

    1. First of all, cudos for being in that “elit” group!! 🙂
      The thing that became obvious to me from this infographic was that it’s a long and hard road, not only for us, but for the agents as well. We, the writers, feel it as being harder for us because of the emotional attachment we have with our work. It’s “our baby” the agent is handling and pitching, and it’s out of our hands at that point. We should not forget that agents get nothing for all the steps between them pitching an MS and it actually getting published. So it’s hard for them too.

      I hope your book finds a house soon and that it gets published faster than the infographic shows 🙂

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