I get questions all the time about how the writing process works. That's why I've decided to give you an "inside peek" at the process I'll be going through on the next book I'm writing. It's a true story (as-told-to me!) and will hit stores Spring 2010!
As you read this remember that this is just how this project will work. Every project is different. Also remember this is my 20th book, and with every book I write a little bit faster. So don't expect this pace for your first book. My first one took me two years to write:
1. Sign the contract!
2. After the contract is signed ½ of the advance will be sent to my agent and she will send me (ghostwriter) and the author (it's her story) our %. (Sometimes this takes a while!) My name will be on the cover. It will say: "with Tricia Goyer."
3. We will be assigned an editor. Or in our case we will be working with an editorial team. Editor #1 is the acquiring editor. Editor #2 will be the one who will do the major editing.
4. I will write the book, author will share her story/heart. She will answer my questions via phone. We might meet up! I will write the first draft, and we’ll hold off on editing until the whole book is complete.
5. First draft will be complete by April 1. I will send author a finished copy. Once the big edits are fixed, we’ll go through the whole manuscript page by page.
6. I will send the complete manuscript to publisher on May 1.
7. Once publisher has the manuscript 2+ people will read it and give their input. This input will be sent to Editor #2. Editor #2 will then work with me on the weak areas. After we work through these areas we’ll send it to author to read through and comment.
8. During this process I’ll edit with feedback from author (perhaps even daily) on specifics. Editor #2 and the other editors will do a great job in spotting areas that need work—areas we completely missed.
9. We’ll work 1-2 months with on the editing with editorial staff. (May/June/maybe July)
10. Editor #2 will send an edited manuscript to publishing house.
11. The publishing house team will read the manuscript and look for any problem areas. By this point there should be no problem areas and they’ll give it two thumbs up! This is considered an “accepted” manuscript.
12. We will be sent the second ½ of the advance. It will again be divided by %.
13. Around this time the publishing house will ask for a dedication and acknowledgements.
14. We might also be asked to give input on a cover and on the back-cover-copy (which are the words on the back).
15. The book then goes to copy editing. 3-4 copy editors will check the manuscript, looking for grammar problems, typos, etc.
16. Publishing house will send me a galley to read, with their questions included. Questions should be minor here. Most of the questions will point out areas the copy editors have changed to make the sentence grammatically correct. (They just want to make sure that we okay the change.) We need to catch all errors here because it’s really hard to change them later.
17. Author might be asked to do a pre-interview for the sales people, so they can be prepared for the launch.
18. The book will show up in the publishers Spring 2010 catalog!
19. We will also read through the galleys to make sure everything reads as it should.
20. Around this time the publishing house will also ask me and author for a list of people who would endorse the book. It will be up to us to contact these people and ask if they’d be interested. We will compile a list of names, addresses, and email addresses and send them to the marketing director.
21. Once we finish reading the galleys and answering the copy editors' questions, the publishing team will typeset the book. This means they put it into the actual book format. It will have the copyright page, the page numbers, and the acknowledgements.
22. We will have one last time to read through it and check for errors. There should be no errors by this point, and we should be completely happy with the book.
23. After this, we will start working on media materials. We might answer questions about the book or write interview questions for the marketing director to use.
24. We will also start talking about other marketing ideas, such as a book launch party or blog tours—to help spread the word. By this time the author will have her website in place so that when the book launches it will be ready to go.
25. The author will also clear her calendar for two months around the time of the book release because there will be a TON of media interviews.
26. Spring 2010 the book will launch, the media will be talking about it, the author will be doing tons of interviews, and many people will buy the book and have their lives blessed!
27. And I will be awed that God did it again!