What if I want to exchange one cryptocurrency (not a Bitcoin) to another (not a Bitcoin). How can I do that? Do I need to exchange it first for a Bitcoin and then exchange a Bitcoin for the target currency?
Exchanging means you are swapping one currency for another. That means you need to find someone who has the currency you want, who also is willing to swap for the currency you have. The purpose of exchanges is to make that 'finding' process easy, because lots of users meet on an exchange to swap their currencies around. There is no way to 'manually' convert one currency into another without swapping with someone, because each currency is different.
While you are starting to look a person on different IRC channels to exchange, let me tell you a poor story of me.
When everything just started to begin, I've tried to exchange 8 BTC just for cash... It was dark-dark ages of Internet and cryptocurrencies market at all. Mtgox just like now loudly told everyone how much tens of dollar currently bitcoin costs..
I got to one of popular exchange IRC channel. Found a person who wanted to exchange. Have sent him first 2 Bitcoins. Quarter of all my balance... Just for test. And...
He disappeared. Exited from channel.
I've tried to ask everyone around on this channel and different other channels, what it was? Where is my cash or my 2 Bitcoins?
Nobody helped me that day...
On the next day, I just pushed my 6 Bitcoin to verified exchange, with domain registered not 2 days before... Exchanged its to 100-150 $ and were happy...
Why I'm telling you this story?
Better than developing here a bicycle. Go to verified exchange, where you are able to buy and sell both coins you are interested for BTC.
Push "half" of your coins as market_ask for BTC. Thereafter push "half" of this BTC to the market with another coin as market_bid.
This is my advice to you my friend.. See?