Ready to publish your first book? It’s time to research and determine what kind of author you want to be. With three publishing avenues to pursue, each one can take you in a different direction. You must decide which way works best for you depending on your aspirations.
This is the all-hands-on-deck approach. This will require YOU, the author, to do everything yourself. You must research and find a self-publishing company that wants to work with you, pay someone to do the cover art and editing, and market your book (or pay someone to market and manage your campaign). Some self-publishing companies will require you to have your cover art and editing completed before submitting to them, whereas others may offer in-house services to make your life easier. Please be mindful that some self-publishing companies will make you purchase a set amount of copies to confirm that they will turn a decent profit from your book. Be cautious with these companies and ALWAYS read the fine print!
This is one of the most difficult publishing avenues to pursue because it is a two-step process. However, this is the only way to be published with one of the BIG publishers like Harper Collins or Harlequin or Simon & Schuster, etc. You cannot submit your unsolicited manuscript to these companies directly. They will end up in recycling. You first submit your work to a Literary Agent. If a Literary Agent picks you up as a client, they can submit your book to large publishers for consideration. Unfortunately, this does not guarantee a publication with your dream publisher, but you may find another publisher that you love more.
A very popular means of being published. This approach bypasses the middle-man -- Literary Agent -- so you work directly with your publisher. Most of these publishers focus on e-book sales but also offer paperback versions. I am currently with an Indie Publisher and I’m very happy with the results. Indie Publishers like Evernight Teen will likely cover the costs of a beautifully designed book cover, and they provide an in-house editor that reviews your work at no cost to you! Since they are an independent (indie) publisher, the author must do their part to promote and market their book to the best of their ability online or otherwise to see the best results.
Good luck and may the publishing force be with you!