Thought it might be fun to get a glimpse of what a publishing schedule and shenanigans can occur when you’ve got a bunch of work coming out along with some thoughts.

It also (hopefully) be useful for others to plan out their own timeline.


One of the basics items is to figure out how long your work is going to take to write. Add extra time as needed, but that gives you an end date for when you’ve written and edited the work.

From there, you should – if you’re smart – start booking your editor for that expected finish date. Realise that most editors are book 2-3 months out. Sometimes, they’re booked until 6-12 months in advance. That’s a long time.

Next up is booking narrators. Add the expected time for editors to get done, add in proofing time and your own editing timeline and you now know (roughly) when you need to book a narrator. 

This can be important since some narrators are booked YEARs ahead.

Here’s an example timeline

Drafting – 3 months (we’ll call it starting at January)

Internal Editing Manuscript- 1 month

Book External Editor (Copy & Line) – in month 5 (i.e. May 1st).

Figure the external editor needs two weeks, which puts you middle of May. You need 2 weeks to go through their edits. That means…

Proofing – June 1st. Takes two weeks again, and another week to go over.

Narrator Booking – July 1st (to give you extra time for formatting, last minute changes, etc.).

What Happens When You Don’t…

So I messed up. I forgot to book my editors for some works – and worst, I have a bunch of co-author and personal work – coming due all at the same time in August & September. There are (literally) 5 different books coming due in those periods.

Cue the juggling as I contact the editor(s) involved and the narrators, while we scramble to figure out timing for narrators. 

There’s some flexibility in some of these things (narrators can be a little later because we’ve got launch dates much later); but not for all of them. It’s why we need to verify all this kind of planning beforehand.

Right now, we’re looking for a new copy/line editor because one editor retired, another is too swamped with work and the others we’ve used are only adequate and/or specialised.

It’s why we used to test editors using my shorts, seeing who we liked, who we didn’t, etc. Paid examples of work people returned… sadly many of those we tested that way just didn’t pass muster.

Covers and Art

I haven’t even discused cover and art in this, but quite often, the moment you start work on your book, you might want to talk to artists. It can (literally) take a year to get work done because the good artist are booked 6-12 months in advance. So you NEED to get the work sorted beforehand.

So yeah, a quick post about publishing schedules and why we need to plan things well ahead of time. 

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