Originally Posted by Smashwords
Here's my two cents: You should self publish both in multi-format DRM-free ebook format, and also via one of the POD publishers such as Wordclay or Lulu or CreateSpace. It's important to provide your book in both e- and p- formats because different readers want different formats, or some readers will want to own the book in both e- and p-.
Next, if the book truly is sellable, you might want to get an agent
My 2c is that you should not even think about self-publishing unless and until you have exhausted all of the traditional avenues. What follows, worked for me and just seems like common sense:
1) Write and rewrite your book again and again until it is as good as you can possibly make it.
2) Give it to test-readers who are not afraid to be honest with you -- i.e. join an online writers' group such as www.critters.org
where none of the members are related to you
3) If many of your test readers find big problems with your work, fix them. The manuscript needs to be as perfect as you can make it. There's a LOT of competition out there. Be patient.
4) Buy a book about writing query letters. Your query letter needs to be perfect, or nobody will read your manuscript. A book that worked for me was The Sell Your Novel Tool Kit
by Elizabeth Lyon.
5) Research literary agents. There are many scam artists out there -- writers are very needy. We're dying for somebody, anybody to read our work and this makes for a target-rich environment for conmen. However, you'll find only legitimate agents here
6) Submit your manuscript to the agents most likely to find the right market for it.
7) Don't give up until you have exhausted EVERY agent.
8) Don't give up after that either. Try submitting directly to those publishers that accept unsolicited manuscripts.
9) By the time you have exhausted all of these possibilities, you will have another book ready to go out.