1) I understand that publishing to Android requires going through third-parties, and a few reviews I've seen suggest that this is not always the smoothest process. Is publishing to Android generally okay? Do these third-parties charge for their services? Is there anything I'd need to bear in mind?
2) I presume that like GameSalad, working on Windows means I can't publish to the Apple Store?
3) In my very, very long-term idea (and I'm under no illusions that this is get-rich-quick), I'd like to atleast add adverts to my game on Android, and possibly in-game purchases. Is this easy to implement, especially with the need to go through third-parties?
1) yes to publish to ios/android or other platforms sometimes you need to use third parties as intelxdk which is free and makes ur game compatible with all devices out there, there are a lot more others, like phonegap platform, and cordova all third parties are free to use, but since intelxdk has all of them inside and it is easier to use then all id suggest u start look into it, its a very simple interface, and u just export ur game from construct 2 for intelxdk then import it into the intexdk software, then u have to tweak the settings, which are very simple, gives u steps, then just compile and ur ready to upload to any ios/android store. (however it does not include a ios license, since that u have to purchase from Apple.inc ), however some options in the compiling software's , are gonna drop ur performances, depends how clean are your events in construct 2, and what kind of plugins u use, since some of plugins are migrated from python , c++,c# and even ruby to c2, and the compiling software's are sometimes using same language sometimes are not. but you could develop your games just with the plugins that comes initially with c2 there is no need for other plugins, unless u want some advance features.
2) unlike GameSalad, with c2 you actually can publish to ios, as long u have a license, u just export for intexdk, then inside intelxdk choose compile for ios platform, it will ask u for an apple developer license which u can purchase from apple for 99USD /year. then u will have to open that project in a mac, to tweak some info settings (as logo, com.companyname.com code, and other requirements asked by ios platforms.) but the last part is not always necessary.
3) As for the idea of getting rich quick, its more then simple ads or iap's, to it, you have to do a market research and a good advertising of your products before u publish it.Imagine if it was that simple, all the users that scirra has using c2(over 120k registered users), will be rich by now, if it was just a matter of creating random games, and adding ads and Iap's anyone can do it this days, either using c2 either using some native language, either some other thirdpartie software's. However iap's i know is possible, with c2 initial behaviors, and plugins, or u could find some useful commercial plugins over the forum, that allows u to implement, paypal merchant purchases into ur games.
As for what notnsane says, partially is true, but all those 1-2% apps that got successful, either got lucky(like hitting that viral spot of dark corners of internet-a good example flappy bird- not even the guy that made the game not knows why got so much success, it got viral by chance), in some other cases, making a good marketing before u even publish will be the success story, like 1-2 months, it all depends on how u want to sell it, if u will publish ur games on any mobile store, regardless if its original or not, (originality its not always a +), does not mean ur game will get 1 mil downloads overnight just because u have ur game on the stores, because the stores only gives u the market, but not the advertising, and also u have to know where u sell ur game and where u advertise it, you know that old saying, don't sell vegetables to the farmer, cause u aint gonna sell none.
as a short notice most of the successful apps or games, those who made the million downloads, they are either made by known people, like co-founders of old companies, or they are good at marketing or they have some sort of renown to their business or name, or as the flappy bird guy that got lucky, however they not got the success over night, as for example again, flappy bird got viral after 3 or 4 months after being publish and the guy did no done any big advertising, just posted it on twitter, and someone in his list, had a major impact over the success, other games, u can check date of publishing, sometimes takes years, to make it become viral, in all my development experience, i came to 1 conclusion, it does not matter what u sell, or how good ur game is or bad, its all about marketing, if u don't do marketing, there is no point of selling anything on internet, it will be just a waste of time.
but don't target ur games to become the viral ones, id suggest look for stores where u can share-sell ur games, and make a living out of them, if u want that, and if u have a actually job, don't quit it thinking "f" my boss i will work for myself , unless u have some stable or stashed cash. i learned it the hard way, so its your choice.