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It takes as long as it takes. The approving is done by volunteers so it's done when they have the time.
They're usually pretty fast, most of the edits and covers I send thru are approved in a day or two.
Weekends seem to take a little longer for approving edits and images. They usually are approved within a few days though. They also had a back log of images because there was a glitch so I would give it several days.
Rory, I posted in the topic Want to help with Data & Images? Find help here and a couple others dealing with image uploads, that there was a major glitch and we now have to wade thru a backlog of about 2,000 images, so we may be a little slow on them. But, I do want to make sure you are not uploading images on the same page as your data edits. The link there does not seem to work. I don't know why it doesn't get removed, all I know is that it just doesn't work as far as we can tell. Upload your images only thru the blue icon or the Upload Book Covers link at the bottom of all pages.
Check the topic above for updates on image approval status, I will post when we get caught up. As for data approvals, those have been going thru within a week, and most often within 2-3 days. But, there have been a lot more people submitting edits so it will naturally sometimes take longer for them to get approved. I would say you are safe questioning an update if it takes longer than a week.
Also, you should always get a notice anymore if you have a data correction or image upload that is not approved. HTH