I’m doing the last bit of fiddling with Stepping Out before handing the manuscript off to the editor at Orca. This book will be released as part of their Limelights Series. There’s always a sense of accomplishment at this stage of the game. And a feeling of completion too.
But, in fact, this particular end is the beginning of a process that goes on for many months. From here, the next step is waiting for editorial feedback and tackling the revision notes. There are always revision notes, and there’s never any way to tell ahead of time how complex they’ll be. I never sweat it. I happen to love revising (I usually revise at least once and often multiple times before sending a manuscript in), and I welcome feedback, so, for the most part, editorial revisions are a guaranteed good time. At this stage, the heavy lifting (fresh writing) is done; it’s a matter of fine tuning.
Once I’m finished with the editorial revisions, there’s generally a stretch of down time until I see page proofs and then get a glimpse of the cover. It’s always exciting to see what kind of visual the art department comes up with.
Some time after page proofs and the cover comes the actual release day . . . then the official book launch . . . followed by professional reviews . . . and the most important thing of all: reader feedback.
So as I type ‘the end’, I can’t help thinking of my readers who, a year or two from now, will pick up Stepping Out and start at the beginning.
In my world, the end is the start of good things to come.