People are always surprised when I announce I have a book coming out but that not for 9-12 months. "Really?!" They say. "Haven't you finished writing it yet?"
I have to laugh and other authors will get the humor. What a non-writer, authorly type doesn't understand is that finishing the actual writing of the book is just the beginning.
Let's go back 5-6 years ago when I "finished" writing R.A.G.E. Yes, really, that far in the past the book was finished, complete. I'd written THE END and was excited to let people read it. Way back then I didn't even yet understand the massive venture I was setting myself on.
So, okay, I finished writing my book. Then what took another 5-6 years to get it to this nearly-published point? Editing. Yes, that pesky little word that seems like a side note to the exciting world of writing. And yet without it these shiny books we pick up in the store would barely make sense. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who writes crappy first drafts that need lots of editing.
Not that editing should take half a decade to accomplish, but since R.A.G.E. was my first novel and thereby my training novel, I also had to go through a massive education about everything from commas and adverbs to query letters and submissions.
Well, fine, having to learn the industry is one thing, but what about now? I have a publisher, I have a nice edited manuscript, why then is it still about 9-12 months before this "completed" book can be held in your excited, little hands?
Editing......again.......and again......until it's freakin' perfect.........
........well, that and the cover design, formatting, requests for blurbs, printing, and lots and lots of marketing. Suddenly that small 9-12 month window to get all my ducks in a row to give my book baby the best chance of success seems almost miniscule. I only have 9-12 months?!?!
For those of you having to anxiously wait your way through my months of hard work, let me tell you what's happening with R.A.G.E. right now.
Nothing. At least not in my house. R.A.G.E. is in the hands of my very capable editor who is picking through it as we speak with a bloody-red pen. Eeeek!
Not to worry, I know she only wants to best for my precious book baby. The good news is, she contacted me the other day and said that my book was, "too good. LOL," meaning that since it's been edited to the brink of death so many times before, she was struggling to find any developmental errors and she just wanted to go straight to line editing. Love!
And yet, while R.A.G.E. sits in edits, I still sit at home on my computer, sometimes working on marketing, budgeting and all those other non-creative, soul-sucking activities that an author needs to do these days to make a go of it, and sometimes pulling out book 2 and 3 in my 12th Dimension series. That is much more fun. See, even 2-3 years before these books will ever see print, they are already well under way. Book 2 is "finished" and book 3 is under heavy construction.
Take a look at that wonderful book you're plowing delightfully through right now, yes the one on your bedside table that you can't put down and will have finished within a day or two. That world and those characters that you've grown to love are a result of the toil and love an author put YEARS into, not for the money but because they wanted to tell you a story that you will think about for years to come.
That is the magic of a book.