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From Idea to Keeper – How a Book becomes a Book

From Idea to ‘Keeper’ — How a Book Becomes a Book

If this was the plot for a book, the editor would kill it when she read the synopsis. I can hear it now: “Much too illogical. It would stretch readers’ suspension of disbelief to the breaking point. You’ve got to rethink this.” The editor would be right, but the problem with non-fiction—in this case the story of a book’s journey from bright idea to reader-friendly product—is that it has to be true, not logical. And the process that takes an idea from a gleam in a writer’s eye to a book in a reader’s hand is crazy, and getting crazier every day.

So, how does a book happen? What are the typical steps in the process? What are some of the exceptions to the rule? And why is it so amazing that books arrive every day in bookstores, ready to amuse and move us? To answer those questions, here is the typical voyage of a typical book, along with several common variations.

Next: Two or more years before publication: The Author at Work

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