In other words, the manuscript (ie, book) is officially finished. It is written. Done.
I chatted with my editor the other day, and he loved it. Thinks it’s a winner. All that.
In particular, you may recall that the only major and noteworthy change in the final draft was a new final chapter. A chapter of “lessons”. My editor likes that chapter exactly as is, without any iteration.
So we now have an interesting timeline:
- I got my book deal with Riverhead in December 2007, a bit over 2½ years ago.
- About one year later, I delivered the first draft. So that was 1½ years ago.
- Just over 2 years after the deal, I sent my final draft.
So I guess it took two years to write the book. But for much of the time between drafts, I was really just waiting for my editor to get back to me. So it actually only took about 1½ years of work. And always part time, (after the kids went to bed, on weekends etc.). No big deal. Consider that, if you’re thinking about writing a book.
The surprise, therefore, is not how long it took me (not long) or how hard it was (not hard) but how incredibly, mind-numbingly slow the publishing industry is.
The next step, I have been told, is now for the publishers of Riverhead (ie, the boss) to set a publication date. You might think, as I once thought, that they simply start printing and there we are. Oh no. Various mysterious processes now begin, and they take half a year or so.
Furthermore, the scheduling of a book release is apparently both science and art, so tactics come into it. You may not want to release in the fall, when celebrity authors come out; you may want to release just after Christmas when reviewers and connoisseurs apparently look for new talent; and so forth.
So now I am, as I have been, waiting. Just waiting.
Oh, and we haven’t chosen a title yet. They think it’s incredibly important, but are in no hurry. You’ll be the first to know.