Sunday 27 December 2015

When is a Book Finished?

As an author, it's very satisfying to sit back and think, this book is finished. And it's very gratifying to share that information with readers and other authors, but it can be difficult to decide when to say a book is finished.

For me, when I get to the chronological end of writing a book, I usually have scenes I need to go back and flesh out, or write altogether.

After I've done that, the book still isn't 'done'. It has to go through my secret blend of editing before the manuscript even gets submitted to my publisher.

If the story is accepted, I wait until the contract is signed--just a sort of superstition of mine, I guess--and then I start telling people the book has been accepted. (Except for my wife. She gets told pretty much the instant I get the acceptance email!)

After that, the story is assigned to an editor, who does more--you guessed it--editing! Usually, the editor adds the actual words 'The End' to my manuscripts, because I don't like writing it until the story is done. Which it isn't to me, at that point. (So I'm glad I don't have to physically write it!)

During that process, I'll work with the cover artist to make my book look outstanding.

When the editor has made their changes and I've approved them, the manuscript gets sent to a proofreader, for another round of changes for me to go through. Then I get the final version to make sure everything's alright. If it is, I wait for the book to be released, and promote it to readers.

Finally, after the book's release, the book is finished, right?

It is. Except for continuing to promote it, reading reviews, doing interviews…

Basically, what I'm trying to say is…a book is never done.

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