Some wonder why it takes so long from the time the author says the book is DONE to when it appears at a book retailer. It's because of the phases, as mentioned briefly when I turned in the Vixen in Velvet manuscript.
It seems like only yesterday I was celebrating. In fact, it was less than a month ago. Within days it came back to me for Phase Two, the Revisions (tweaking, filling in missing bits, clarifying unclear bits, etc.).
Today’s good news is, that part’s done, too.
Phase Three (coming soon) is the Copy Edit, which is when yet another editor goes over the manuscript with a microscope, looking for typos, infelicitous grammar, deranged punctuation, inconsistencies, phrasing that probably isn’t English, and that sort of thing. For me this is usually the most aggravating phase of book production, because some things get “fixed” that aren’t broken while some ghastly errors get overlooked.
After seven hundred sixty-three years in the business, I can say with some confidence that both of these things will happen. And at the same time, I know the copy editor will catch errors and make corrections desperately needed, so one can’t simply scream “Incompetent!” preceded by bad word adjectives and write STET STET STET all over the manuscript with a blunt-edged red permanent marker. One especially can’t do it these days because we copy edit electronically, which is more efficient but less emotional.
Illustration :Valerie was busy," courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA