. . . I'll try to contribute my two cents to what happens once a book has been turned in to the publisher!
The only thing I can think to add is on the subject of BLURBS. I'd never even heard the word used in the context of author's comments before I'd written Dixie. The publisher, in my case Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, starts sending the bound manuscript out in hopes of getting back positive, and hopefully rave reviews from other authors. I remember cringing at the thought of this because I'd not yet been through any part of the editing process. "OMG. What will they think of my first-ditch effort?" I remember thinking.
People are incredibly busy and have so much going on that I think the first part of the blurb gathering process is actually finding an author who is not under a deadline. Or, on the other hand, might be busy but is extremely organized and a great manager of their time. Someone who is NOT ANYTHING LIKE MOI!!!!!!
Of course, there is always the possibility that even if the author agrees to submit a wonderful blurb, it might not make it. As was the case with Maureen. By the time I finally was at a place where I could dive into her wonderful manuscript for Not Ready For Mom Jeans, it was too late. There was no room for my blurb on her back cover. And that, dear readers, is a missed opportunity for me.
Using your contacts - any contacts - is paramount. We, as writers, have to think of "anyone who's anyone" in the book world. Or, in my case, anyone who is in the least bit famous . . . and go for it. It's hard for me to ask anyone to do anything for me but I mustered up all my courage and asked anyway. In typical Lisa fashion, I decide to try for - of all things - a HUGE movie star. I had had the good fortune of working with Jeff Bridges on a big music project a few years earlier. As difficult as it was to actually ask him to read my book and then hope like heck that he might find it a wee bit entertaining, I knew that I had nothing to lose but many night's sleep, heart failure and a crashing blow to my self-esteem. BUT, due to my willingness to make a dumb fool out of myself, much to my shock and surprise "The Dude" said yes!
That's why I ALWAYS live by the rule: Might as well try.
In the beginning of my writing process, I used to say to myself, "I'm going to at least TRY for a New York publisher." And low and behold it happened. But it never would have happened had I not dipped my toe into the frigid, dark, uncharted waters of the big, bad New York publishing world. That's why I say to everyone - whether they are a writer, a chef, a banker or a housekeeper - might as well shoot for the stars. I shot and look what happened. I actually landed this year's Oscar winner. But it never would have happened had I not pointed my arrow, drew back my bow and aimed for the bull's eye.