One of the toughest decisions a writer has to make is whether to try to get a traditional publisher, or go the self-publishing route. Both have their drawbacks.
Getting a traditional publisher almost always requires getting an agent, first. Then the agent tries to find a publisher. It also usually means the author gives up all rights to the book, the cover, and the title, among other things. I’m told the author usually makes about $1 per book, which means they rarely earn out whatever meager advance they receive. That advance is probably the only money they will ever make from the book, unless it is a wild best-seller. Pretty rare. It also takes a lot longer to get the book published. One to two years is common. That’s AFTER you find an agent.
Self-publishing, on the other hand, requires an output of cash for editing, cover design, layout, printing, and other costs, depending on how much you can do yourself. But you get to retain control of everything, and keep more of the profits on every book that sells. You also get your book on the market much faster.
Either route requires that you do your own marketing and promotion. It’s not like the good, old days when publishers used to take care of the marketing and promotion. They do very little these days, unless you are a big-name author.
After weighing all of this, I have decided to go the self-publishing route. Although it will require more work to figure out this process, I don’t want to wait a couple of years or more to see my book published.