Many authors use beta readers to check out the story. Or they have critique partners who will tell them that it's great, but the first three chapters have to be re-written. If you're self publishing, you might hire a developmental editor at this point to flush out the flaws.
Traditionally published authors call these developmental edits and my editor does a great job of letting me know what worked, and what she felt could need some polish.
Your time's free so you start writing another book.
Then the first book comes home and you spend another block of time revising and editing what didn't work. You put book #2 aside and dive back into book #1.
You send book #1 off again, this time for copy edits, and you return to writing book #2, where you just get into the story, when book #1 comes back for page proofs.
Sighing this time, you set book #2 regretfully aside, as you're really loving the story and are connected to your characters, and read through the pages trying to catch every typo, formating issue, or just plain misused word.
After obsessing for a large block of time, you send the page proofs back. And try to get back into book #2 which you left off in the sagging middle, so your momentum is shot.
But you find the spark again, and you're just getting into the swing, when your publicist sends you a list of original blog posts she needs to promote book #1 which releases next month.
It's a wonder any book ever gets written.
But the good news, it does. And it gets releases. And after all that work, you get reader email saying how they read the book in a weekend, loved it, and when's the next one coming out?
For fans of the Tourist Trap mysteries, the answer is this month. June 23rd is release day for Dressed to Kill.
Jill Gardner—owner of Coffee, Books, and More in the tucked-away town of South Cove, California—is not particularly thrilled to be portraying a twenties flapper for the dinner theater murder mystery. Though it is for charity…
Of course everyone is expecting a “dead” body at the dress rehearsal…but this one isn’t acting! It turns out the main suspect is the late actor’s conniving girlfriend Sherry…who also happens to be the ex-wife of Jill’s main squeeze. Sherry is definitely a master manipulator…but is she a killer? Jill may discover the truth only when the curtain comes up on the final act…and by then, it may be far too late.