Possible timeline for publishing a novel through the experience of author Dean Erickson.
- Produce your work
You’re on your own with this one. Just make it yours and make it great.
- Protect with copyright
Half an hour
Once you have your book, screenplay, short story or what-have-you in the proper format (probably pdf), it takes very little time to upload to the Copyright site. Cost is only $35.
- Publish your work
Two weeks to two years+
The time frame for publishing can vary widely and will depend on many factors, such as whether you pursue known publishers, start your own company, or choose to self-publish through a print-on-demand process.
- Promote in many venues
Promotion of your work should never stop, but it will get easier the more copies you have out in the world. The more copies out, the higher the built-in awareness, and the more new people you can reach through your existing fan base. Using Facebook, Twitter, email, and your website are just the beginning of your marketing plan. You might even go old-school and spread postcards, business cards, and rack cards anywhere they allow you to do so. Whatever you decide, be visible! This task is something many artists don’t enjoy. Maybe your agent or publisher will do a great job for you, but, if not, you will have to spread the word of your creation yourself. You can’t skip this step! In many ways, it’s the most important. Be seen and become known–share your work, so you get a chance to create and share more.
- Profit from your work
Hopefully, you’ve created something that people will want to read and admire for many years. Work on your next project, and then publish it, and then work on the next, etc. Soon you’ll have multiple income streams, and each creation will feed the sales of your other works. You’ll still have to promote, but each new work will help enhance awareness your whole catalog. I hope this process creates a nice retirement plan for you and an enjoyable life as an artist!