Actual Timeline to Traditional Publication

My journey was… fast

Paul A. DeStefano
5 min readApr 19, 2022

I decided to become a novelist.

I wanted to go the traditional route, understanding I would probably end up with a small, indie press. As a debut author, I was fine with that. I saw all the warnings, with everyone saying it would take forever and you couldn’t do it without connections or a massive social media following. I promptly ignored the warnings and set about getting a novel written and published. I think I had 18 Twitter followers, but just really didn’t want to get involved with things like buying ISBNs and formatting.

What follows is a log of the journey, cobbled together as well as I could from file dates and emails.

Please note. I did not pop out of nowhere. I’ve ghostwritten manuscripts and I’ve written professionally in the gaming industry for decades. There’s experience in procedure and editing behind me. Just not in traditional publishing.

April, 2020: Idea

I decide I want to make a serious go at being a novelist. I have a handful of ideas I could develop, but knowing I’m entering the world as an unknown, I figure I should go with what sounds most probable as a marketable property. I settle on a horror/romance idea. Traditionally, romance has fairly short word count and this seemed…



Paul A. DeStefano

Author, Board Gamer/Designer. Paul D’s Tainted Dragon Inn on FB for geeky stuff. Represented by B Swanson The Purcell Agency. Riftsiders.