So you have the book edited, it’s in gorgeous shape; the cover art has come down and it’s beautiful. You’re done, right? Nope. Now you get the e-ARC, the electronic Advanced Review Copy. You get to review that, make corrections, and send the corrections back. That's gotta be it, you think.
NOW you’re done? No. Now you get the galley prints. These are unbound first run prints of your book. Again, review for errors and send back the corrections. These will sometimes be things that were missed in all of the previous edits (yes, it IS possible!), but mostly it will be problems in converting the electronic version of the manuscript into print. This usually comes in the form of dropped formatting - a missed tab, lost italics, a strange carriage return, a blank line where it shouldn't be, or an odd symbol substituted for punctuation.
Meanwhile, you and your publisher are working on the public relations and publicity campaign. Start making appearances before the book is released if you want to build buzz. Build a website. Blog. Tweet. Face. Space. If you can get your name out there, and your book’s name out there, do it.
After the book comes out come the interviews, talks, and book signings.
Somewhere in there, you start writing your next book.
Thing Seven: You NEVER really get done.
And finally, Installment #8:
Wait - the book is OUT, right? What more can there BE?!
Thing Eight: Congratulations. Once you’ve realized Things One through Seven, you are now an experienced, professional author.