Question for you self-pubbers - what is the average turnaround from submitting the MS to getting a final product? I'm going over time lines with my illustrator in order to get my book out in time for Christmas. I don't want to rush her and I don't want to rush with the final product. Advice would be greatly appreciated.
Answer from Ice Queen Lisa ( http://www.lisawiedmeier.com/ ) :
I'm assuming when you say submitting a manuscript, that's it's ready from your standpoint to head to the copy editor. So if this is the case then a timeline would go something like this:
3 months prior to submitting with copy editor, you contact and schedule dates. As the time gets closer you adjust based on their schedule.
3 months before you should also be working on your final cover for both ebook and print.
From the time you submit to your copy editor - 1 month before you'll see it again at a minimum. They should first read the story to get the storyline, plot and details in order. Second, they should then start the editing process, correcting grammar issues and leaving comments for you as to where they might have issues and where more or less details are needed. They should also suggested changes for anything major, anything else they should fix. They review it a third time and then they write up a review of the overall story.
Once you get it back from your copy editor - anywhere from 1-2 weeks to a month to make the changes and depending on the arrangement you have with your copy editor, you may need to submit changes to have them re-edited again. Or, you make changes and then re-edit changes yourself. DON'T ASSUME WHEN YOU GET YOUR MANUSCRIPT BACK FROM THE COPY EDITOR IT WILL BE READY FOR PRINT. I made that mistake...they're human, it's not gonna be perfect.
Formatting - 1-2 weeks. You'll have to format for ebook differently than print.
Final Edit - 1-2 weeks. I'd highly suggested that you have your computer read your manuscript back to you. You'll catch more errors because you listen with a different part of your brain. Believe me, I didn't listen when Sam suggested it with Cheyenne and when I finally did...there were a ton of mistakes that were missed.
Upload to Amazon - 1-3 days. You'll probably need to tweak things until you get it right with their previewer and then you've got about 24-48 hours after upload till it will show up on Amazon.
Print Version - 1-3 weeks. You'll upload to your printing source (Lightning Source or Createspace), wait for their approval and order a print proof. I'd highly suggest this since it would be your first go around. You'll catch the mistakes before you go to print and avoid the re-do (which is about $40 per each upload-cover/interior)
Once you've approved your proof you've got 1-2 weeks before it will show up on Amazon US (1 week) even longer for Amazon UK (2 weeks). From there you'll need to contact help through the Author Central and request that the ebook and print version are linked.
I hope this answered your question, however, if you're working with an illustrator, it might have to be tweaked slightly. I don't know how much time they require to complete the work, but I'd guess at least a month.