At this stage in the process, I have just finished the manuscript of Heiress, the first book in the Thorn Chronicles. I did a rough proofread and immediately sent it out to readers. (BTW, still need more people to read the draft and give feedback! Go to http://www.wix.com/jnkhoury/jnkhoury to sign up).
While I wait for feedback from readers, I'm working on creating a list of agents to send queries to. That's a lot of work! There's so much out there, and so much of it is scams. So I'm trying to equip myself with the knowledge to know who is a real agent and who is trying to rip me off. This website had a lot of good info on that: http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/agents/.
Once I start getting feedback, I'll make necessary revisions to the ms and once I feel the story is perfect, I'll do the fine-comb proofreading, checking grammar, spelling, etc.
Is this the right order of steps to take to publication?
I hope so; at any rate, I'm open to learning more. I've been dreaming about being a real author since I was four, and this is the closest I've ever been.
But still so far to go!