We can produce a book very quickly. Some projects take up to 3 years.
If that financial report is ready to print and is desperately urgent, it can be done overnight or within a week. Broadly, urgency means spending more. Many of our publications are produced in the Far East because this offers savings up to 35%. But it also adds 4-5 weeks shipping time onto your schedule and has to be built in at the beginning of the project. If the project goes late, it is not always possible to simply drop the title into a busy machining schedule.
So much depends on what is required. If a client wants us to supply an author, carry out research into archives, interview principles and organise picture research, then the minimum schedule will be about 18 months. Obviously this depends on whether we are to produce a book of over 500 pages, or a paperback or hardback of 112 pages which may consist of illustrations with extended captions.
Generally we are required to copy-edit and proof read, and many publications will require an index.
Here's an example:
For a project of around 50,000 words and 80 pictures, around 160/176 pages, colour or b/w, paperback or hardback (paperback reduces time by about a week) timescales would be:
Research/writing: varies from a few weeks but can be several months, depending on what is involved and how complex the project is
Editing: 3 to 4 weeks depending on how many sets of proofs have gone out, and how many come back with additions and corrections!
Page proofs: 2 to 3 weeks and may require an additional stage of proofing if there are many changes
Index: 3 weeks: can only be completed when the book is in final page form
Design: 6 to 8 weeks. No design is approved on the first day. It takes some time to get consensus, especially for the cover of jacket. The positioning of the illustrations has to be approved and the illustrations will then need proofing out to check colour and size
Colour proofing: 3 weeks, but can be done while editing and design is taking place. Colour must be approved, as these proofs will dictate the final quality of printing
Print and bind: 4 to 6 weeks for around 5000 copies, an additional 5 weeks if produced in the Far East. This schedule would apply if the client provided finished files (PDFs) and only required manufacture, materials and delivery.