I’ve been writing books for almost 35 years. My first was “Journey Through Pakistan”, published in 1982, and the latest is “Magicians of the Gods” which is published on 10 September in the UK and 10 November in the US.
I suppose I should be used to the whole process by now, but I always forget all the complexities until I face them again.
First and foremost there’s the writing itself. My preference is to clear the decks completely and do nothing else while writing, so I try to get all the travels and field research out of the way before I start. I find that if I’m really on top of the material I can write pretty fast – 2,000 words a day is a good general target. But with big, heavily researched books like “Magicians” I’ll often have to break away from the writing for 5 or 6 days at a time while I read and take notes from mountains of books and scholarly papers relevant to the chapter I’m writing
Then when the writing’s done all the other elements of the book have to be brought into play. Magicians has 73 maps, charts and diagrams integrated with the text throughout, which meant that for several months I was in daily contact with the artists and designers who were putting the diagrams together.
Photographs are an important part of the story, too. Magicians has 32 pages of colour photos. I’m lucky to work together with my wife Santha, who’s an excellent, professional photographer. But we spend weeks honing down from tens of thousands of images to the 70 or so that finally make it into the book.
Then there’s proof-reading – not my favorite task! I’ve just finished my third reading of the page-proofs of Magicians and on this last read I found 67 pages with mistakes that I either hadn’t noticed before or that were newly introduced by the typesetters. I’ll get a further set of proofs to check that all these last corrections I asked for have been made, and in addition the publishers have a proof-reader who’s making additional checks. Hopefully in about a week I’ll be able to sign off on the proofs and then Magicians will go to the printers where it will be out of my hands until I see the first copies off the press.
Finally, and most nerve-wracking of all, the book will be put before its readers. I’ve worked hard for three years to research and write the very best book I can and I hope, when you’ve read it, that you’ll agree. Meanwhile I’m grateful to all those who have already pre-ordered “Magicians”. This makes a HUGE difference to the book’s prospects in a crowded market-place. I can’t thank you enough for your support: http://www.grahamhancock.com/magicians/