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“My Real Job is Being an Artist” 15 Stages of Publishing

15 Stages of Publishing

Estimated reading time: 1½ minutes

I was offered a job at Apple in its early days in San Francisco. The salary was double what I was earning. Easy decision, right?


A month earlier,  I had made a commitment to my family to stay put until the kids were able to take care of themselves. One of the boys was having a difficult time at school and needed extra care and attention. His father worked nights so that was my home shift after working my corporate gig.

Twenty-five years later I moved to the San Francisco area. My bank account is smaller than it might have been as a founding Apple employee, but I’ve invested the wealth of experience I’ve had in art, life and marketing into my work with artists. The return has been well worth the time, money and energy. 

My point in telling you about my deferred San Francisco experience is that you can never really know what will happen when you embark on any path, but with some informed help, you can make that path work for you.

That’s exactly why I wrote this book – so you can embark on the path of a working artist – or continue the one you are on – with confidence and clarity.

“My Real Job is Being an Artist” is now at the publishing stage.

In a previous post, I wrote about 15 stages of writing. There are just as many for each subsequent phase.

Now, here are the stages of publishing:

  1. Hired a book assistant to do the heavy technical lifting for this bit and share the ups and downs of getting this far. 
  2. Convert manuscript into formatted text and add illustrations - ready for upload to publisher’s platform.
  3. Proof read again and mark up corrections to layout and typos. 
  4. Make corrections and proof read again.
  5. Make final changes to cover design and spine size now that we have final page count.
  6. Upgrade pre-publication copyright to final copyright registration.
  7. Upload formatted book to publisher’s platform.
  8. Hold breath until the electronic file comes back. 
  9. Proof read and mark up more corrections to layout and typos.
  10. Make corrections and proof read again.
  11. Upload proofed formatted book to publisher’s platform.
  12. Order second proof copy. Hold breath until the print copy comes back. 
  13. Proof read again and mark up almost every page! (Look at all the pretty post it flags!)
  14. Gag when we find a missing section half way through the book that may require indexing again. Before turning blue, discover that we can fix this without messing up the index. Breathe out.
  15. Upload error-free formatted book to publisher’s platform.

Have you noticed that you can read something on screen, spell check and miss every auto-corrected typo until you hit send? ( Although we made corrections to the errors we caught, we know thorough readers may still find one or two … please let us know.)

I want each person who reads my book to use the practical information either to declare, “My Real Job is Being an Artist,” or to happily choose to continue making art for pleasure rather than profit.

Either choice is valid as long as you make your decision with full information. 

"My Real Job is Being an Artist" is a through common sense guide to the career path, the work and the business side of life as a working artist.

  • You’ll gain tools to create or further develop your own “signature style,” which will make your art more memorable and more marketable.
  • You’ll have a framework to build up your level of art production, so you can keep inventory levels high as demand for your work grows.
  • You’ll understand exactly what to expect as you enter and move through each of the three career stages of being a professional artist.
  • And while it’s not the sexiest part of being an artist, you’ll also learn how to set up and manage your art business — from record keeping and inventory systems, to tax and liability issues. (Oh the joy of deducting expenses!)

The contents of  "My Real Job is Being an Artist" are based on real world experiences – mine and the thousands of artists I’ve had the pleasure and good fortune to know through my role as artist advisor for Artist Career Training.

Fifteen stories by successful people of what they do when faced with hardships and life altering obstacles and how they set goals, get things done and achieve a balanced life.

Could you use some help making a decision about being a working artist? Book a free telephone conversation about how I can help you make a better living from making art - and still have a life.

The first 15 minutes is on me.

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