novel revision

How Much Time Would an Editor Give Me to Revise?


Dear Editor…

How much time would an author be given to revise a novel manuscript after receiving editing instructions from her editor? Let’s say the manuscript’s about 75,000 or 80,000 words. I want to make sure I’m mentally ready when I do get a contract!


Dear Mac…

Every revision is unique, of course. A rushed book isn’t in anyone’s best interest, so your editor will plot a schedule that lets you be successful. They’ll take your writing style into consideration. (Easier to do after your first book with your editor.) They’ll adjust for the depth and complexity of the revision. (The editorial notes require rethinking characterization or major plot points? You’ll get elbow room.) Other factors aren’t transparent to you at home awaiting your notes and deadline. Like the time needs of your whole book team (designer, copyeditor, production manager) and the production needs of the books sharing your pub list. And like outside factors that impact your marketing campaign. (Got a royal wedding in your story? Your publication may be timed for a real-life royal wedding!) For the sake of numbers, I’ll assume the most generic scenario: I’d expect a novelist to get a month for a straightforward revision, and up to two months for a more complicated one. Let’s flesh this out by getting real: Readers, how much time did you get to revise your pubbed novel(s)?

Happy writing revising!
The Editor

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