Have you ever wondered how a great idea becomes a book? Or even how a really crummy one does? Did your mother try to make you stop asking by telling you a story that starts, "Well, when an author loves an editor very, very much . . ." or just blushing and handing you a copy of Our Chicago Manuals, Ourselves?
We're not so shy. Here's the heartwarming, only slightly messy, and roughly 74 percent accurate story of how an idea churns through the publishing process just like—as a publisher we once knew put it—a rat travels through an anaconda. Don't think too much about that analogy. Just enjoy this flowchart that takes you from a brilliant idea to a best-selling trade book. And stop asking your mother embarrassing questions.