There are three options for publishing your manuscript. They all have pros and cons. You have to ask yourself how much work, money and time you’re willing to invest. That will help you to determine which option works best for you.
Traditional Publishing- With Traditional publishing, a manuscript can take years to become a book. After you finish writing and editing your work, you will need to complete a query letter or proposal to submit to a publishing house or literary agent. I highly recommend that you pursue the agent, as many publishing houses will not accept unsolicited manuscripts unless they are referred through a literary agency. This process could take years accompanied by many rejection letters. Once your book is accepted by a publishing house, the actual process of producing your book takes at least another year. You are also giving up some control when you sign on with a publishing house. An overzealous editor could rip your manuscript to shreds leaving it unrecognizable.
That was the negative part of traditional publishing but there are benefits as well. In traditional publishing you are paid in advance, ranging from small sums to seven-digit figures. Also the publishing house does all of the work for you. Your only responsibility is to produce a viable manuscript. They have the experience, knowledge and resources to vigorously promote your work.
Self Publishing -With self publishing you could have a book in your hands in 6 months. If you go with the e-book you could have a book out in weeks. You do have to pay for these options, which raises the issue of money. Also there is significant work involved. Besides being the author, you will have to add to your title: editor, proofreader, typesetter, graphic designer, cover artist, print manager, e-book formatter, legal service manager, distribution manager, delivery boy, salesperson, promotor and PR. I think you get the picture.
Assisted self-publishing – Assisted publishing provides you with the positives of self-publishing without all of the work but it comes with a price. You are in effect hiring a contractor to do the work for you. One of the more reputable businesses that provide this service is Westbow Press. They offer different packages depending on how much work you would like them to do. You can also go to (Author Solutions) Self-Publishing Companies to find other options.