Erin Green Author - blog
Before I was published I had no idea how a book was produced, the time frames or the actual process from manuscript to book launch. I am currently part-way through the process with my fifth book 'Taking A Chance On Love' so thought I'd share the timeline details.
A misconception is that you write a book and that's it, you simply hand it over and the publishers do the rest. Nope. This is how it works:
6th Jan 2019 - began plotting a new book.
7th Jan 2019 - began writing the new book.
6th May 2019 - submitted the written manuscript to my editor (111,000 words).
29th May - book cover revealed to me by my editor - I loved it!
4th June - book cover revealed on social media.
30th June 2019 - structural edits* arrive from editor (I had four weeks to complete).
6th July 2019 - structural edits completed and manuscript returned to my editor.
7th Sept 2019 - copy edits** arrive from my editor (I had three weeks to complete).
11th Sept 2019 - copy edits completed and manuscript returned to my editor.
4th Oct 2019 - proofreading the manuscript (I asked for a ten day window).
6th Oct 2019 - proofreading completed during a weekend and the manuscript returned to my editor***
23rd January 2020 - Taking A Chance On Love - book launch!
* structural edits - alterations needed or queries arising from the timeline/plot line structure of the book
** copy edits - fine tuning of the written word be it phrases, punctuation or misunderstanding which need further detail
*** professional proofreaders will now read it to ensure no errors
As you can see there are many stages over the duration of nine months. I was quite shocked when I signed a publishing contract because no one had explained to me the above timeline - I hope it helps aspiring authors.
In between the timeline gaps of delivering a written manuscript to your editor e.g. 6th May, you simply get on with plotting, planning and writing another book. Which means that when the structural edits arrive e.g. 30th June, you will cease writing your current manuscript to focus on the edits needed and return a.s.a.p. before going back to your current writing. You don't wait for the whole process to end before starting a new book - you literally juggle the project stages, as needed. At any one time, I tend to be writing a fresh manuscript, part-way through the edit process with another publication and thinking up ideas for a future project!