While I've self-published two books with a co-author, I have a persistent fantasy that it would be easier if I simply sent a manuscript off in the mail with a note to the publisher: "Gone to the south of France. I’ll be in touch." Alas, no such note has been necessary as the work was all done by my co-author and me.
I also had two friends review the books. After the review of the second book, which resulted in very helpful comments, it took us another several months to make changes and improve its readability. The length of time was, in fact, protracted--exacerbated by a lengthy trip to, well, the south of France. But not even counting the hiatus, it was a lot of work—not the original writing, but the editing.
It's been a satisfying process, but not without its struggles. And the result? We have two books that, it turns out, need to be marketed. Just when I thought we were finished and ready to turn our attention to book number three, I find myself scanning the ether for quick marketing fixes. The notion of writing a book, publishing a book, and then writing another book is a myth. If I want to write, I have to be satisfied with the circular nature of the total experience. Clearly I'm not in it for the fame.
Do you have similar stories to share?