My good friend Megan Morrison published a wonderful article on her blog a few days ago entitled “The Editorial Process: A Guide for the Friends and Family Members of Writers“. This is highly recommended reading for anyone who has ever wondered why your friend who had sold a book is still working on the same one months or even years after the sale.
The only thing I would add to Meg’s excellent article is Stage 3.5: Waiting for the Official Announcement. This is the time after the book has been purchased and the author has signed a contract, but the publisher has not yet put out the official press release announcing the deal. This can be a pins-and-needles time for author, since she just wants to shout to the world, “I HAVE A BOOK DEAL!”, but can’t do so yet, and even if she did, no one would really believe it because there is no proof anywhere just yet.
I mean, I imagine that it’s a frustrating time. Just saying.