For five days Aidana WillowRaven and I worked frantically to put a book together. She would put the book block together and send it to me in a PDF. I would edit it and let her know what needed to be changed. We did this process over and over and over and over again.
Sometimes those changes that fixed problems would cause other problems. We'd have to fix those: a long, tedious process, but one needed for a good book. Finally the book block, the interior of the book, was finished and as close to perfect as anyone human could make it.
Then the dust jacket for the book had to be prepared. The illustrations didn't have any trim area or bleed; images would be cut off and part of the needed images removed. Aidana spent hours and hours working to find a solution. She would send me a PDF of the dust jacket, and I'd give my opinion and suggestions. She would rework areas and resend. We spent most of one day and a night doing and redoing. She deserves an award for all her work and expertise. As I told her, I wish I could pay her what she's worth.
Authors and artists wonder why 4RV needs their finished work perferably months before a release date. Finishing the book once we have the components can take weeks. Then the printing company takes a week to two weeks to get a proof back to us. After we approve it, the printing company takes up to three weeks to print copies of the book and a week or more to ship them.
Thankfully Aidana stayed with the job until it was ready. Now the waiting begins again. Hopefully the files uploaded at the printers were correct, and the proof won't show any problems.
Most people have no idea all the hard work and long hours -- after the author, and illustrator if one is used, send in their finished manuscripts and/or illustrations -- before a book is released.
Note: Cross posted on Vivian's Site.