I get a lot of questions about how a book gets published–especially in this time of instant printing. How long does it take? What is the editorial process like? Why is there a lag between turning in a book and seeing it in stores or on an electronic reader? I’ve decided to post a series of notes to answer these questions. I’ll be following my new novel, Arcadia, as it makes its way to press this year.
So the first step in publication is delivery of a complete manuscript. In the old days, I’d print out my book and box up a couple of copies. I’d shlep these to the Fed Ex store in Harvard Square and mail them to my agent and my editor in New York. These days, I deliver my book electronically, attaching the doc to an email. Email means it’s easy to send simultaneously to my editor and agent. They can download the draft and read it electronically, or print it out and read on paper. Often their assistants will read along with them.
Delivery methods have changed, but I still get butterflies! I’ll be sending in Arcadia on Friday. After that I’ll wait for my editor’s notes. What will she say? How long will I have to revise? Watch this space . . .