It turns out, a lot.
I spent countless hours writing what is, right now, a 122k word second draft of my first novel. And yet now I have six beta readers, an editor, a sensitivity reader, a cover artist, and I haven’t even considered whether or not I will ever be able to afford to have an audio-book version made, but that would presumably involve yet someone else.
I forgot that I need copy editing still (which may or may not be the same person who is working on developmental edits now? I’ll have to ask them…), and a formatter, and some people also involve a proof-reader (which I might accomplish by having a couple of “gamma” readers who are also tasked with noting the “oopsies” they find). So far it’s taking at least ten people to write a book, and it looks like we’ll hit thirteen-fifteen people before all is said and done and this thing is sailing away on Amazon.
I always wondered how authors ended up with so many people to “thank” in the acknowledgements- like, were they thanking their hairdresser for an idea they gave them while snip-sniping their bangs? Sometimes those things go on for pages and pages, and involve an absurd number of people.
I finally get it now…. it takes an absurd number of people to produce a book.
And while the book can still turn out to be “bad,” if it has any chance of being “good” at all, it will because of what all of those people did.