Are you publishing a book, what method is right for you? While some people like the touch and feel of a real paper book, others are immersed in the latest technological advances. The biggest dilemma for a writer, especial those without literary agents is that money is tight, and most writers don't have enough money to publish in both formats and pay for marketing as well.
Good news, depending on the subject matter of your book, you may be able to get if published for free, if you like paper backs. There is a company, Publish America, that can publish your book, print on demand. You will have to do all of the marketing yourself, or hire someone to do it for you. Choosing a method such as this frees up your valuable time and allows you to focus your energy on getting your product to the masses.
Of course, if you prefer the electronic book, you also have many choices. Amazon's Kindle Publishing Direct is a great choice, with a major drawback, your potential customers has to be able to download the Kindle software to be able to download your book. Depending on the rights you give to KPD, you may not be able to sell your ebook anywhere else.
An answer to the KPD dilemma, is Smashwords Publishing, also another online publisher, that allows any customer to download your ebook in a variety of formats, except KPD, for the time being. But they allow you to make coupons for your products, and simply give them away if you choose. So much freer.
With both electronic publishers listed above, you still have to market yourself, which can still be a challenge, even when you have extra cash to spend. What I've found useful is to post classified ads on Craig's List and Backpages.com. Posting flyers in common areas is also another great and inexpensive way to reach potential customers.
You have other choices, of course, you can use a vanity press, that is you pay to have your book or ebook published, and they have onsite marketing and other features, again, you pay for it. And you do all of this in hopes of getting your face and work out there.
If you are fortunate to have a literary agent, please, don't let them go. In my opinion, having a literary agent is the quickest way of being discovered, because they work for you. They make you into a star, if you allow them.
Or you could just publish your own books yourself. It can be expensive to get everything in place, but if you don't want to pay someone else for something you can do yourself , this may be the option for you. If you like paperbacks, you can purchase a comb binding machine or if you like ebooks, there are some great programs for translating your work into all available formats.
As you have just read, you have many choices, it all depends on what you expect? How much money you would like to make? And how much work you are willing to do, to make it big!