Congratulations! After weeks of waiting (two for this post, but probably many more for the readers' comments on your manuscript) a press offered to publish your book. You must be delighted. I for sure was.

And then I was frightened. Once the offer from SAGE was in, it dawned upon me that I would now increasingly loose control. Until now, it was only me who read the text, some supervisors, some friends, the publisher, and his external reviewers. But whatever they read was a draft. So far, I managed to deceive myself into believing that all could still change. This time was over now. Now was time to let go - and quickly so...

Fundamentals: Some uncomfortable questions before you write any book
Proposal: Landing a book contract with little (yet) to offer
Review: Your book's first honest readers are its reviewers
Letting go: From author to published author
Technicalities: You thought you were done? Your book post submission
Marketing: How to find and engage readers for your book

I sat down, wrote a measured response to the readers' comments, and made a final round of edits to the manuscript. More than the technicalities (covered next week), however, this phase of publishing my book was a psychological task. Which quite surprised me. This thought that this version, whatever it is, will be final. That my editors would allow some changes to the manuscript (and certainly expect me to change whatever readers reasonably suggested). But also the thought that my copy-editors in contrast will only allow stylistic changes. And that the proofreaders will not allow changes beyond the strictly necessary at all, or charge me for each word. With the contract, SAGE sent me various questionnaires, and all of them made clear that my suggestions for marketing, layout, titlepage etc. would be very valuable - but also that the final decision would be theirs, not mine.

Still: I managed somehow not to panic (being engaged in my next project helped), managed to contain my self-doubts (after all external experts had just endorsed the manuscript), and reluctantly gave up control. But I also added one important sentence to the acknowledgments, which now reads: "if I learned one thing from the various transformations of this project, it is that mediocrity in retrospect is the fate of all research."1 With this, the text was ready for production - and for being shelved somewhere in dusty libraries for decades...