No two book projects are the same. As a result, your book project timeline will be unique. Many factors go into how long it takes – especially the time it takes for authors to approve their book proofs.
But here’s a rough timeline you can use as a guide. Again – your timing will vary.
Day 1 – Author uploads book and all metadata (author bio, description, pricing, etc.) to BookBaby system, pays, and checks out. If you do not have formatting, design, or eBook on your order, you will be issued Now Proofs prior to checking out. These will be the only digital proofs that you receive.
Day 2 - Your files will be thoroughly reviewed by our Prepress Team. Please note that each time your files fail, extra time will be added to your project.
Day 8 – Author receives proofs to review. (If author has ordered cover design or book formatting, allow an additional 10 business days to the process at minimum. Also, if the author does have cover design or book formatting, eBook proofs won't be issued until approximately 5-8 business days after the print proofs have been approved. If there is a print book included on the order, but no design or formatting, digital proofs of the author-supplied print files will be issued along with the eBook proof.)
At this point the clock stops at BookBaby and starts with the author. It’s up to the author how quickly or slowly this process will go. Authors can approve their book proof in 1 day or 101 days. The average time for proof approval is approximately 7 days.
Day 12 – BookBaby finalizes files and sends them to online book stores.
Day 20 – Your book will begin to appear at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other stores in a presales status. Customers can purchase your book online but it will not be shipped until after the book release date. (Note: this could be on Day 14 or Day 28 based on seasonality and other factors.)
Day 50 – Your book has been ordered by Amazon and is ready to be shipped to customers. To gauge reader demand, Amazon requires a minimum of 28 days in presale status for all new titles. This allows them to calculate a 2 week inventory forecast. Amazon's goal is to maintain 2 weeks worth of inventory of your title in their warehouse so they can display a stocking message of "In Stock. Ships Today". They use demand during the presale to build this forecast and then they order the books from us towards the end of the presale. (Note – this could be on day 40 to day 60 depending on seasonality and other factors.)