This non-traditional route is ideal for people who just want to see their name in print, wish to publish a book for their family and friends. It can be an expensive and the quality of the finished article may not be as good as a book that has been published in the traditional manner. Bookshops are very reluctant to sell self-published books. Promotion and marketing is at the expense of the author. Yes, there are success stories where authors have gone down the self-publishing route only to have their novel picked up by a large publishing house, but they are very rare.
Authors who submit their work to an agent and subsequently sign a contract with a traditional publishing house do not have to worry about distribution or marketing. Their agent and publisher will deal with this on their behalf. They will also arrange book-signings, newspaper interviews, as well as arranging for their books to be reviewed.
It’s entirely your decision as to which route to publication you follow. But beware. There are companies who will offer to publish your book free of charge, but who offer no editing or marketing, so do your research.
Next week, I will be joined by Daphne McCoy, who has very kindly shared with me her marketing tool outline.