Writing Books/Time



Could you tell me the lenght of time for when a book is accepted by an agent to when an author recives an advance? Just wondered on the length of time certain processes take.
I realize that there may not be certain time period for all books, but thought that you may be able to give me some rough ideas from your knowlege and personal experiences.


Dear Demetrius:

You're right.  There is no time period.  It could be as much as two years or more depending on how long it takes your agent to sell the book to a publisher.  If it sells right away it could be only a matter of a couple of weeks or months depending on how anxious the publisher is to get the book out on the shelves.  

Now add in to all of that how long it takes you to interest an agent enough to take you on as a client and it could be very long before you see any money.  That's why we always advise that you should be working on your second book while the first one makes the rounds.

Good luck!

Liz Alesire

Writing Books

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Liz Aleshire


What is a book proposal and why do I need one? Do I need a book proposal for both nonfiction and fiction books? How do I write a book proposal? What are the required components of a book proposal? What is an overview? What is a synopsis? How do I find out what other books are available on my topic so I can make my book different? How do I pitch to an agent/publisher? What's a query letter? What's a 30-second commercial?


I am the author of four nonfiction books: Private Lives of Ministers' Wives (with Rev. Sherry Taylor,New Horizon Press, New Jersey, 1991)and currently working on a second edition; Bugs: Stingers, Suckers, Sweeties, Swingers (a FRanklin Watts Frist Book, Chicago, 1993); The Confident Collector Identification and Price Guid to Quilts (with Kathleen Barach, Avon Books, NY, 1992); and, Official Price Guide to Quilts 2nd edition(with Kathleen Barach, Random House, NY, 2003.) I've taught How to Write the Book Proposal for the past ten years at the week long International Women's Writing Guild annual summer conference, and, at the Manchester Community College Continuing Education program. I've taught in many local continuing education programs in central Connecticut. Five authors have sold books using my methods for writing the book proposal. I have spoken at the Big Apple Conference, an IWWG event held in NYC; both Connecticut chapters of the Romance Writer's of America other writing conferences

Internation Women's Writing Guild, past associate member American Society of Journalists and Authors

Books for New Horizon Press. NJ; Franklin Watts (Now Scolastic)Danbury, CT; Avon Books, NYC; and, Random House, NYC

B.A in Economics from the University of Connecticut

Past/Present clients
Carren Strock, author Married Women Who Love Women; Doris Larson, travel writer, Ohio; MaryLou Streznewsi author Gifted Grownups.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.