I submitted a book manuscript to Springer. They accepted the project, I signed the contract and they told me over 14 MONTHS ago that they'd send it for peer review and be in contact with me in due time. 3 months ago they told me that there was a review done, since then they promised to send it over to me three times already and -apparently because miscommunication between the Springer editor and the academic editor-, I still haven't seen the review. In my experience with publishing journal articles, this is not even the middle of the journey to publication. I have been nothing but polite so far, but it's getting hard. How long should I wait before sending a firm email telling them that it's been over 14 months and that I would expect the process to move along or be aborted?

  • When you communicate are you cc’ing the academic and springer editors? Do you know others who have worked with those editors? What was their experience?
    – Dawn
    Commented Apr 10 at 19:23
  • This question was mentioned on meta: academia.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/5438/…
    – Allure
    Commented Apr 11 at 2:33
  • 1
    @Allure Really? Unbelievable? Can I show this to the editors so they’ll know that they are taking an unbelievable amount of time? 😂😂 If my question is unbelievable, consider that the contract (I haven’t read it in 15 months) obviously most probably says that they can reject it if the reviewer rejects it.
    – user354948
    Commented Apr 11 at 20:03
  • @Dawn Yes, I am. No I don’t.
    – user354948
    Commented Apr 11 at 20:09
  • You need to be having conversations with folks who write books. I don't think many on this site are in "book fields" ... can you just get on a call with the academic editor and figure out what is up?
    – Dawn
    Commented Apr 12 at 18:53

1 Answer 1


Complaining "firmly" isn't going to speed the process. You can ask them for an update and whether there is anything you can do to speed the process. If you have a need for speed, say why.

Yes, things take time and your book may be a lower priority for them than for you. But I suggest you be polite.

The editor's boss can be "firm" with effect, but you have no such power. Read your contract and see what options you have. If you can withdraw, consider that option, but it won't speed things.

Note that books usually have copy editors assigned to them to improve readability. They may have someone looking at it. They may have a backlog. You can ask, about status but I suggest not so frequently as to be a bother. That won't speed it up.

  • The need for speed is that life passes by and changes over a period of years. I would have never thought that over 14 months was any speed. You told me before that at 7 months I should have been able to ask for explanations. This is 14. So there's never an end to politeness and you simply depend on people never doing it? I'm starting to think that I should dedicate myself to something that depends only on me. People can't wait years for an academic book... No copyeditor, it's at the review stage and in any case I've changed the manuscript in 14 months, so would have to reject much copyediting.
    – user354948
    Commented Apr 10 at 13:00
  • Yes, you can self publish but it is only really effective if everyone who would find the work valuable know already how to find you. Otherwise it disappears into the void. I have experience both with successful and unsuccessful self publishing. I gave up on textbook publishers for other reasons; they only really support a textbook for a couple of years unless it is wildly successful and then they want updates every year or two. Note also that their reputation is on the line as well as yours.
    – Buffy
    Commented Apr 10 at 13:05
  • What do you mean by "support"? Publicity? See? The review takes longer than the support. I meant leaving academia or growing vegetables, haha, not self-publishing, haha.
    – user354948
    Commented Apr 10 at 13:05
  • Some academics also grow vegetables. There are few professions that don't depend on others, actually. And there are many paths to success for academics, not only book publishing.
    – Buffy
    Commented Apr 10 at 13:07
  • 2
    Teaching, collaboration in the field, journal and conference publishing, public scholar are some. Not every academic publishes books.
    – Buffy
    Commented Apr 10 at 13:10

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