Timeline for Epublishing and Ebooks

With millions of ebooks already on the market today—and more added every year—epublishing is here to stay. But cutting out the printing process of physical books doesn’t necessarily mean that epublishing is instantaneous or that you can skip other parts of the process like editing.

This epublishing timeline stretches from final manuscript to distribution. If you need editing, that process has to happen before you begin the formatting process, and it can extend your timeline. Depending on which type of editing package you choose from Mill City Press, your timeline could be extended by 20 to 30 business days.

From Final Manuscript to Distribution

Generally, it takes about six to eight weeks from the time you submit your final manuscript to the time your ebook becomes available for sale on resellers' websites. Here's what happens during those weeks:

Upload Files and Complete Questionnaires
(You, timing varies)

When you first log into your Author Center Account, several items will require your attention in order to proceed. These items include steps, or prompts, to upload your files and fill out the basic information we'll need to format your book.

Without your files and information, we can't begin formatting. Keep in mind that the time it takes you to complete these steps affects your overall timeline.

The next step is a formatting assessment, but how long it takes depends on whether you have standard formatting or whether you've purchased enhanced formatting.

Assessment (Standard Formatting)
(Us, 2 business days)

Once you've uploaded your files and shared your ebook information with us, we'll perform a formatting assessment. The assessment gives us an exact count of all words, images, and footnotes in your book. If your actual counts differ from the estimate you provided when you first placed your order, we'll either refund you or charge you the difference.

Sample Chapter (Enhanced Formatting)
(Us, 5 business days)

If you've purchased enhanced formatting, we'll perform the formatting assessment as described above and provide you with a sample chapter, which will give you a sneak peek of what your ebook will look like. After seeing the sample chapter, you'll have the opportunity to make additional formatting requests (see below).

Approval of Assessment and Sample Chapter
(You, timing varies)

Before your ebook can be moved into interior formatting, you'll have to approve our assessment and the sample chapter (if you have enhanced formatting features) and pay any outstanding invoices.

Interior Formatting
(Us, 12 business days)

After you approve your assessment and sample chapter, interior formatting can begin. Your dedicated formatter will create your ebook files within 12 business days. If you haven't purchased enhanced formatting, your ebook assessment will occur during this stage, in addition to the formatting.

Complete Distribution Questionnaire
(You, timing varies)

While your ebook is being formatted, take the time to work on any remaining tasks in your Author Center Account. Completing these pending tasks will help your epublishing timeline stay on schedule, ensuring that we have all the information necessary to move forward once your ebook formatting is complete.

Request Formatting Revisions
(You, a few days)

Once interior formatting is complete, you'll be able to view your ebook and request formatting changes through your Author Center Account. More specific instructions on how to do this will be included in the step on your dashboard. At this stage, it's a good idea to take a few days to review your ebook for formatting errors.

(Us, 5 business days)

After you submit your revisions, your formatter has five business days to make the changes and get the new version back to you. If your ebook needs further revisions after the first round, you'll have the ability to enter another round of revisions, which will take your formatter five business days to complete.

Approve Interior Formatting
(You, timing varies)

Once all formatting revisions have been made, you can approve the interior formatting through your Author Center Account. This approval signals to us that you're ready to move into distribution. As you're approving your formatting, be sure that you've filled out all the necessary distribution information, so your ebook distribution isn't held up.

Ebook Distribution
(Us, timing varies)

Once your interior formatting has been approved, your ebook will be ready for distribution. Distribution to Amazon, iBooks, and BN.com happens five to 10 business days after your approval. On the final Friday of each month, we'll submit your ebook to other resellers within our global distribution network.

Keep in mind that each reseller has its own timeline for how quickly your ebook becomes available. We expect to see your ebook for sale on the respective retailer sites five to 15 days after we submit it.

Rush Formatting ($99)

If you need your ebook faster, you can purchase rush formatting. Here is the abbreviated ebook timeline:

  • Assessment and sample chapter: two business days
  • Interior formatting: seven business days
  • Revisions: two business days
  • Ebook distribution: two business days to Amazon, iBooks, BN.com, and My Book Orders. Global distribution remains the same, with ebooks submitted on the final Friday of the month.

While purchasing rush formatting reduces the timeline on our end, you’ll still be responsible for completing the questionnaires and approving the ebook files in a timely manner.

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