How Long Until Novel #2?
Written by
Sheila Grinell
October 2017
Written by
Sheila Grinell
October 2017

Every time I run into my neighbor, Dave, he asks about the novel I'm now writing. Last week I told him I'd just about finished the first draft. He said, "So will it be in the stores in a couple of months?" Not on your life, Dave. Writers know publication takes a long time, as well it should.


My next step is getting the first draft in shape. I will:

  • reread it for consistency and to punch up the themes
  • give it to my development editor, who will take a month to digest it and then suggest structural changes, which we will discuss at length before I make adjustments
  • ask three "beta readers" to read and comment on the revised draft, and then correct errors of fact
  • format the resulting revision for distribution

The above will take about six months. Then I will send the polished manuscript to agents and publishers, probably in several rounds, looking for a bite. Another six months to a year. Once I contract with a publisher, the production process will take about a year (editing, designing, proofing, branding, and printing). While the book is in production, the publisher's sales force will go to work. Distribution happens in a relative flash.

I began writing this book two years ago. I told neighbor Dave to add another two years before he could hold it in his hands. I wish I could get it out sooner, but because it's an entirely new work, not a sequel or a volume in a series, everything has to be done from scratch. I just hope my readers will be patient. Dave promised to wait.


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