Every book progresses on a slightly different schedule, and then there are variations from house to house, but here’s the timeline of events for an average mass-market paperback.  That year between when the book is contracted and when it’s published is one of the primary reasons not to write to trends. If you think demons are hot now and are just sitting down to start writing, think about how many books already feature them, how many books that will come out in the months it takes to complete the book, and how many will come out in the time it takes trying to sell and then eventually to publication.  Because even after you sell, it can feel like a long time until that book is actually in your hands.  

A year or more before pub – deal for publication   

10 months to pub: Preliminary work on cover begins.

9-10 months to pub: Book is presented to entire staff. Cover copy is written.  

8 months to pub: Editor begins work on the book (if not already revised to some extent from preliminary notes in acquisition)

7-8 months to pub: Promo covers printed.  Sales kits sent to reps and accounts.

4-7 months to pub: Sales reps begin calling on accounts and presenting titles.

6 months to pub: Completely edited and revised (if necessary) ms is due to Production Dept.

5 months to pub: Manuscript is copyedited. 

4 months to pub: Review copies sent.

2-3 months to pub: Typeset galleys are sent to proofreader and author for any final corrections.

3 weeks to pub: Books printed.