You have written and edited your book and are ready to send this award winning piece out into the world. You are sure that everyone will greatly enjoy the story that you have to tell, since your heart and soul have been poured into every detail. What publishing route do you want to take?
Self-Publish: This would be the fastest, easiest, and definitely the most economical method of getting published. You have a number of distributors who will gladly put this out “in the wild” for you in EBook format. A few of these are Amazon (Kindle), Barnes and Noble (Nook), and Smashwords. Notice that there is no device associated with Smashwords since they distribute to a number of devices and formats. As of this writing, Smashwords does not distribute to Amazon, so you will have to submit to them on your own. These distributors will take a commission on every sale.
On Demand Printing: This is a medium-priced option which will produce a paper copy of your book which you can sell in local bookstores and other locations. The cost per book is higher than traditional publishing but this is a good option if you want to place an order for just a few books at a time. Ordering higher quantities will lower the per-book cost.
Traditional Publishing: Taking this route may produce an advance from the publisher to guarantee the creation of the book. If you receive an advance you can also expect to receive a much lower amount per unit. I can say that my traditional publishing experience yielded a $4,000 advance and 10% revenue on the book with no additional income until the advance had been repaid.
Promotion: You have written, edited, and published. Now it is time to promote your masterpiece. There are social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to use for advertising your wares. You could also use sites such as Goodreads and Author Marketing Club to get the word out. As with so many other situations, word of mouth can be the most effective marketing tool. Get your books into the hands of loyal readers and they will spread the word to bring in more readers. Get as many positive reviews as possible.
Now that you have your book, or EBook, out there it is time to “strike while the iron is hot” and start on the next one.