I edit a great number of books every year, and many of my clients are first-time publishers. Most of them are not very familiar with book production, which can create some problems. The most common problem that I have found is with the manuscript.
The author/publisher will give their opus to an editor to proofread. Sometimes while this is being done, the author will be thinking about his masterpiece and then continue to rewrite the manuscript. The author then receives the edited work back. As a result, this edited piece is no longer a “master” manuscript for there are now two current documents in existence.
If that should happen, the author must take the rewritten material and meld it with the edited manuscript. In other words, The author should convert the edits into the rewrite. One more step is then necessary. To bring this manuscript back to industry standards, the author should then have the new “master” re-edited.
As you can see, there is unnecessary duplication of time and money spent. Most people simply do not realize the consequences of continuing to work on the manuscript while an editor has it. Believe it or not, this is a very common problem among new authors and publishers.
If you wish to avoid this problem, I recommend that when you hand your manuscript over to an editor to proofread, you forget about it until you receive the edited manuscript back. During that time, work on your marketing plan, write your press releases, explore sales avenues for your opus, or just simply sit back and enjoy being an author. Not everyone can write a book!