Timeline for publication of Book #2

One of my colleagues asked me about the timeline for publishing my second book. It looked something like this:

2011.12.15 -> Proposal submitted (cover letter and draft ms)
2012.04.23 <- Reader Reports received from Press
2012.04.30 -> Response to Reader Reports submitted (82,500 words)
-- Proposed deadline of 2012.6.1 for final author's ms
2012.06.04 -> Final author's ms sent to Press
2012.06.04 <- Press Board approves ms
2012.06.13 <- Press approves contract
2012.10.01 <- Press copyeditor sends back copyedited ms
2012.11.05 -> Copyedit approvals changes sent by Karen to Press
2013.01.31 <- Press provides final galley/page proofs (PDF)
2013.02.28 -> Page proof changes and approvals sent by Karen to Press
2013.05.19 <- Press receives first copies of book from printing presses
2013.05.20 <- Karen receives first copy
2013.05.23 <- Official publish date of _A Disability of the Soul_

From first contact to publication was 525 days (1 year 5 months and 8 days)
I have to say this is rather fast for an academic press. In my favor:

  • I had worked with the same Press for my first book and had the same editor, so things went smoothly
  • My editor knew that I was coming up for tenure and expedited things
  • I was also highly motivated to get things going quickly

In contrast, my
first book took a bit more time. My initial letter (which included the table of contents and two draft chapters) was sent on November 14, 2003. The book was published on July 27, 2006. That is 2 years, 8 months, and 13 days from first contact to publication.

However, a good part of this was the year that I spent working on revisions.

2003.11.14 -> Proposal submitted (cover letter and two chapters of ms)
2004.02.04 -> Full copy of ms sent to Press for external review
2004.04.xx <- Reader reports received by Karen
2004.05.06 -> Karen writes back to address issues raised by external reviewers
--- [one whole year elapses as I work on the ms revisions ] ---
2005.05.07 -> Final author's ms sent to Press
2005.12.12 -> Copyedit approvals changes sent by Karen to Press
2006.08.13 <- Official publish date of _Deaf in Japan_

So basically, if I had my act together on my first book, I could have had it out a good six months earlier. One thing I should note is that the Press (and Editor) I used is very quick and responsive. They sent me back reader reports in two months from the submission of the ms. That's pretty unheard of within academic circles. Several more months is the norm. When working with your editor, be sure to ask ahead of time how soon they would expect back their reader's reports.