I had someone ask me (hi Janae) what the editing to publication process was like for me. Let me just say--being an author isn't so much about writing. It's about editing. Or rewriting. Take your pick. The smallest part of publishing a book (for me at least) is the initial writing of it!
Here's sort of how things went for me.
I wrote a book in six weeks (The Birth Of SHIFTING).
I edited it for six-ish weeks. Maybe more like eight weeks (and then I re-edited/revised/cut/ rewrote/polished it a whole lot more over more than a year).
Jump ahead to the part where I get an agent. No edits. Agent shows it to Walker Books. Walker books wants it but they want more Navajo lore. So I . . .
REWRITE THE BOOK AGAIN (at least the first half)! With Emily Easton's brilliant insight/suggestions.
And after that, I get an editorial letter stating the weak parts of the plot, what needs to be changed, what sounds too contrived, what sounds too cheesy, what sounds too boring, etc. So I . . .
REWRITE MAJOR PORTIONS OF THE BOOK AGAIN. And then I send it back to my publisher.
A few weeks later, I get a hard copy of the manuscript with notes in the margins, gramatical corrections, more notes in the margins, more gramatical corrections, notes in the margins, and I . . .
REWRITE IT AGAIN. But not as much of it this time. I also go through the document and correct improper grammar, fix punctuation, spelling errors--the stuff that was noted in the hard copy. I email the revised doc. back.
(repeat the last two paragraphs twice or so)
A few weeks later, I get an email asking me to clarify a few parts of the plot and please rewrite the epilogue (which I did, and now it is an awesome epilogue where before it was mediocre). And I email it back.
A few weeks later I get another hard copy of the manuscript, a version that has been proofread by a copy editor. I go through the entire manuscript and make sure I agree with all the changes (I do). I UPS it back.
And then I get the manuscript that is printed just like the actual book will be printed, and please read and make sure everything is how I would like it to be (It is). I UPS it back.
And then I get the advanced readers copy. But there's a little problem. The new and final cover has a girl with her hair turning into a snake. There used to be a snake scene in the book, but in all the rewriting and editing, it's been removed. So I write a new scene with a snake (actually replace a fairy scene with a snake scene).
By this time I feel as if I'm so steeped in my manuscript, the words are bleeding out onto my skin.
And then, and then, the book is finally done!
So there you have it. The truth about edits. Writing isn't really writing. It is REwriting.