In a world where we want everything ready as soon as possible, a lot can depend on average publishing time. But how long do you have to wait for your book’s publication? Are you better off if you make your book available for pre-order? Can you make any changes during the publishing process? This article is on average publishing time in the most popular stores like Amazon, Google Play and iTunes. Do you have to be afraid of increased demand and be aware of ‘peak’ publishing time?
We are also writing about the upcoming holiday season and on how different services are taking the increased demand.
Preparation and validation
I probably shouldn’t even say this, but: if you have a certain release date in mind, leave yourself enough time for preparation. There are some things you cannot prepare for: like Pronoun shutting down a few weeks before your planned release time. However, you can spare yourself the headache of running out of time on account of incorrect metadata management or invalid epubs. Please check everything on this list before submitting your book.
You can make your book available for pre-order even if your text is not yet final. Just format and upload your draft once your first chapter is error free (for previews) and you can start your marketing. The links to your book will remain unchanged even if you upload the finalized file later.
Send it to the stores!
The publishing time depends on the type of account and contract your aggregator has with the stores and the general demand. None of the stores will accept titles automatically, but a “Trusted partner” status can help to speed up the process. Our business account with Apple iTunes and Amazon lets us upload large quantities of books at once. This means that it usually takes only a few hours to two business days to get an ebook published, and the system does not slow down for increased demand. In other big stores, such as Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Google, it usually takes 5-7 business days to get a book onto shelves.
How do stores and distributors cope with increased demand?
November is always a busy period in publishing as many publishers would like to take advantage of the holiday sales and publish a new book. Stores prepare for the extra intake (and decreased support between Christmas and New Year) by shutting down for a couple of weeks. To be on the safe side, we advise everyone to send in books until the end of November.
On the other hand, this is not a regular November at all. We can’t talk about how other distributors are coping with authors fleeing Pronoun, but we know by word of mouth that KDP is not doing its best. While many people don’t mind waiting a few days, losing out on sales and readers can be frustrating.
With most background processes automated, we are happy to reassure publishers that there is no spike we wouldn’t be able to handle.
Do you need to change anything?
Noticed a mistake on the cover? You can update your book any time (including the files, metadata and the prices) and republish it with the changes. The system will automatically push to the stores any changes you make on your ‘Book’ page, within a few hours or days.
Focus on quality from a reader’s perspective
We believe in providing the best user experience with all of our operations: giving the best features to authors while supplying readers with quality content. PublishDrive is trying to trying to find the thin line between fast and quality publishing: we believe that it can be both. Instead of allowing poorly formatted books to pass validation and then removing them as a response to customer complaints, we rather reject books not adhering to standards. Our accuracy helps us keep our business accounts and trusted partner status, resulting in overall faster publishing times.
What your distributor can do for you
There are some things you just can’t speed up: it takes up to a month to get published in Chinese channels for reasons known to everyone. If we make sure that no books get rejected just at the finish line, we can speed up the process as much as possible.
While the developers are doing an exceptional job in the background perfecting the Pronoun import tool, and cooking up a secret Christmas present, the front end of the team is not sitting idly either. We have just launched live chat on the website: our Publisher Coach, Csilla is available during our regular hours to provide instant help. It has already been running on-and-off for the last week or so to check interest and it has been a great success to date:
“The ‘help’ chat on the website is super easy to use and Csilla solved all my problems. I’m very impressed with the customer service to date.”
“Thank you so much for your help—I am so impressed and am glad that we are working together:).”