I received a surprise package on my fifty-third birthday: five ARC copies of The Great American Foot Race. ARC stands for Advance Reader Copy–advance because there may still be errors that need to be fixed before the final product reaches the shelves in April 2017.
More changes. Possibly. When I look at my digital files for this book I see seven different draft folders. The first one, from 2010, has only three different drafts. The second, from 2012, contains nine numbered drafts. 2013 has six more. In 2014 I hired an editor and wrote fifteen; in 2015 Calkins Creek editor, Carolyn Yoder, spurred me to another fifteen. I still had many more times to read through my manuscript to make the sentences clearer and the information more accurate, but you get the picture. The finished book, when it arrives, will represent a lot of work–and not just mine. A whole team went into creating it.