The mere concept of writing a novel can be overwhelming, let alone actually getting it done. After having written and published thirteen books, (and having worked for many authors) I have a simple 10-step formula that works every time. However, every writer is unique, but I believe this will help remarkably in helping you find your own special way to putting pen to paper and clicking that 'publish' button!
So, here it goes.
1) First and foremost, the idea. You have an idea. It's great. You think it's perfect for a book and plenty of readers will love it. But, before you start typing or scribbling, you've got to get that research done. Regardless of genre, fiction or non-fiction, there has to be a level of realism in your story. What themes and issues does your tale deal with? Are you an expert on those subject matters? If not, crack that textbook asap. Search the net. Speak to knowledgeable individuals. Researching, if done right, dependent on your book's length, should last anywhere from 2 weeks to a month. Don't skip research. You'll regret it.
2) Now then, let's work on that first draft. Forget punctuation. Forget grammar. Forget writing tips and tricks. Forget any webinars or seminars you may have taken on the craft of writing. Forget everything you've learned and just get it done. Write the story. Write the characters. Get that first draft done. However, I personally write a rough chapter outline beforehand so I have an idea of where the story is headed. But many authors choose to let their story run wild and see where it takes itself. Try out both ways and see which works for you. I am a self-confessed control freak, so I need that chapter outline to guide me and give each scene and chapter a purpose.
3) Edit, edit, edit. Here comes the part many writers hate, but I've grown to love. First, tear the story apart. Look for run-on sentences, telling instead of showing, lack of character development, overused words, and so on. Look at unessential content that wouldn't be missed. Extend scenes that seem rushed. Add senses to dull scenes.
4) Proof and off to an editor. Once you're completely done with the judicious editing, now comes the time to proof and weed out those typos and grammatical mistakes, along with punctuation errors. An editor or proofreader is crucial as you (the author) won't notice mistakes due to a familiarity with the manuscript. Every author needs an editor. You think Stephen King and J.K.Rowling use an editor? Actually, they have several! You can help them out by proofing as best you can, but you have to find an editor if you want your work to be taken seriously and not be left vulnerable to a torrent of bad customer reviews online.
8 signs it's time to hire a book editor: http://thomasauthorservices.weebly.com/author-blogs--book-reviews/8-signs-its-time-to-hire-a-book-editor
5) Go over corrections. Once you've received the manuscript back from your editor, take time to go over the corrections. You won't always agree with the corrections when it comes to the story, characters or other creative decisions, but take what they are suggesting seriously. They know what they are talking about. Obviously if you just hired a proofreader, mistakes are mistakes, they need correcting before you publish.
6) Review copies. Almost there. Books in great condition. What does that mean? Send out review copies! That's right. Send to bloggers, readers, fellow authors, friends or family for some customer reviews when the book goes live. Goodreads will allow reviews to be left as soon as the book has been listed on their site. But Amazon doesn't allow reviews until it has been published.
TIP: Make a list of everyone you sent a review copy too, and remind them when it's time to leave that review. Be aware, only ten percent of people you send review copies to, will actually leave reviews. So, send to many people.
Here's a helpful blog: http://thomasauthorservices.weebly.com/author-blogs--book-reviews/how-do-i-get-the-attention-of-book-review-bloggers
7) Cover. Now it's time for the arty part. What's a book without a cover? You can get a cover either by a professional designer or buying a stock image and designing it yourself. There are sites such as Shutterstock, CanStock and so on for images. You can get fonts from fontsquirrel.com, 1001fonts.com etc. Be sure to check font licenses, and publish a credit for the downloaded images if you decide to do it yourself. Obviously working with a designer is more expensive, but it depends on your artistic ability and budget. Not all authors can make create covers. So, sit down and think about this.
8) Marketing Campaign. Yep, you heard me. I know, I can hear your sighs. But marketing is hugely important. Decide on services you are going to use, design banners, spread the word, publish teasers, arrange blog tours and so on. If you need help with a marketing campaign, check out these blogs:
5-STEP MARKETING CAMPAIGN: http://thomasauthorservices.weebly.com/author-blogs--book-reviews/effective-5-step-book-marketing-campaign
6 SECRET WAYS TO PROMOTE YOUR BOOK: http://thomasauthorservices.weebly.com/author-blogs--book-reviews/6-secret-ways-to-promote-your-book
18 STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL MARKETING CAMPAIGN: http://thomasauthorservices.weebly.com/author-blogs--book-reviews/18-steps-to-a-successful-book-marketing-campaign
10 SIMPLE WAYS TO GET BOOK SALES: http://thomasauthorservices.weebly.com/author-blogs--book-reviews/10-simple-ways-to-get-book-sales
9) Final Check. You're ready. Everything is done. But, that's no excuse to be lazy. Check everything. Check the blurb, keywords, price, review quotes, cover, manuscript, front and back matter. Be confident in your release.
10) Publish. And here it is. Time to publish. You can either set up a pre-order for it to be released in a couple of weeks, allowing you time to drum up some pre-order sales. (http://blogpostsforwriters.blogspot.com/2016/03/9-reasons-you-should-put-your-book-up.html)
Or, you can get the book out there asap. There are pros and cons to both. Think on it. Oh, and good luck!