This is a question we are often asked and unfortunately, it is a question that isn’t easy to answer. Every single book that we have published and printed at selfpublishbooks.ie is unique in their own way. Even books that are the same genre, size and page count will take different times to complete.
What follows is a general rule when putting a book together as to how long you should allow for each process to take please. Just note that they are an estimate, some books take far longer and others far less.
It is why we recommend waiting until you physically have the books in your hand before organising a book launch or other event, it is much safer.
If you have a special date or event in mind, it is important to tell us at the start of the publishing process and again closer to the time.
We are always happy for authors and organisations to collect their books directly from our factory in Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork. Generally, we prefer this method as we get to meet you and receive your feedback on the books. We have had authors from all over the country drive to us to collect the books.
Alternatively, we can send the books to you via our courier company. We have a next day policy with them. Allow two working days for delivery as they are normally collected from our factory at around lunch time. We can’t give the exact time the courier will arrive, as it is when they are in the area, however, they normally ring when they are close by for directions.
Printing and binding
Please allow 15 working days for this process, this is to allow the books to enter our production schedule and go along the path needed for printing, along with all the other printing material that we produce at our purpose-built factory. Every part of each book is printed and bound inhouse by our expert team of production professionals on the latest technology. Due to our unique binding method, the books need 24 hours to dry after they are bound, this will secure them for decades to come. If the books are completed in less time, we will of course notify you for collection or delivery.
We say 15 working days to allow for holidays that occur throughout the year such as Christmas and Easter.
If you want us to design a cover, or to format the book (or both) allow at least two weeks for this and at least three weeks on more complex jobs. It won’t take that long to get print ready PDFS, but what takes time is getting into the designer’s schedule and the designer working hard until you are happy with the proofs. Some books require tweaking and images might require manipulation. A lot of this time depends on you the author and the book that we have worked on. Before we send work to print, we need you to go over the PDFs and check them, some people can come back to us on the same day, others days later, while some have been known to take much, much longer before finishing their checks. It is important not to rush this process as that is when the chances of mistakes are higher.
The time it takes the designer will also depend on the book and its complexity, number of pages, images, type of cover and how it is organised. A well organised book with the blurb written, an idea of what you would like and locations of images, saves a lot of time.
This depends on the level of edit required and the word count, but generally two to three weeks should suffice for this.
As you can see, there is no set time as to how long it will take to get a book from a Microsoft Word document, to a printed physical book. It depends on the book itself, how busy our departments are at the time and how quickly you can get edits and changes back to us. Just be aware of events such as bank holidays and Christmas when the factory is closed or during peak production times. The factory is at its busiest during the months of May, June, July, August, October and November.