The sequence for writing a book is like this:
- “Finish” MS.
- Realise it is far from finished.
- Repeat above two steps 20 or so times.
- Send to beta readers for comment.
- “Finish” MS all over again after taking on beta reader comments.
- Send to main editor and my agent.
- Be informed that your MS is far from finished by said editor and agent.
- “Finish” MS all over again, based on their suggestions.
- Send off to main editor…(Step taken today)
- …who might then send it to copy editor…
- …who sends it back covered in pencil marks and question marks. And questions like, ‘Did you know you’ve used the word “sigh” or “sighed” 221 times? Would you perhaps like to alter this?’
- “Finish” Ms all over again by taking on board 98% of copy edit suggestions (I have a very good copy editor).
- Send back to main editor.
- Receive phone call from editor who wants to change some more stuff. Agree with editor. (I’m very tactful.)
- Receive galley proofs and realise that you weren’t finished after all.
- Make corrections to proofs and send back.
- Receive finished book.
- Decline to read it ever again.
All this is then followed by:
- Cowering at home waiting (largely in vain) for …
- great reviews,
- favourable reader comments on internet,
- ecstatic fan mail,
- wonderful sales rankings from books stores,
- glorious sales figures from publisher,
- expensive champagne from publisher because you’ve just sold 500,000 copies…
- record-breaking new contract for next book.
And some of you think writing is glamorous???