I spent the last week doing final copyedits on Everyday Witch Book of Rituals, my next book from Llewellyn, coming in October.
Here's what happens: you write a book, send it off to your acquisitions editor, who okays it, sends it off to your production editor, and then...well...nothing, for a long time. That editor, in my case the fabulous Becky Zins, has a bunch of authors, after all.
But eventually, the editor edits, and sends the next-to-final manuscript back to the author, covered with scribbled notes in red pen. [Some editors are doing it electronically these days, but we're not there yet.] Some of those notes are questions, like "Did you really mean this?" or "Could we do X here instead?" Some are comments or explanations, like "I'd like to remove this bit because you said the exact same thing three pages ago. You ninny."
Becky and I have been working together since my second book (this one is #6, is case you haven't been keeping track) and we work really well together. I think she's amazing. She thinks I'm a great author. It's a publishing marriage made in heaven. Of course, that means that she knows I can be depended on to plow through final edits quickly, and so she only sent me the ms about a month before it was due at the printer... But that's okay, since when these things show up on my desk, I just want to get them done and back out anyway.
Here's the interesting thing about rereading your manuscript after a long time has passed: you never know if you are going to be pleased or disappointed. Most authors positively dread this moment of truth, me among them. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. Some of the rituals actually moved me to tears, or made me laugh out loud (that's the Croning/Eldering ritual). Hopefully they will have the same effect on my readers.
Now the book is back in Becky's capable hands, where she will make the last few changes, then send it off to the printer. Raise your hands, anyone who is going to run out and buy it! (It's available for pre-order right now, she mentions casually, fooling no one.)