Option 1: Submitting Your Manuscript to Traditional Publishers
The first and most obvious choice for any author is to submit their manuscript to several traditional publishers. This may sound like the easiest way to get their book published, until they face some stark realities. The trouble with most new authors or even some seasoned authors is that "Traditional Publishers" receive considerably more manuscripts than they will ever think about publishing. Many traditional publishers do not even accept submissions from new authors unless they solicit that submission. Even that rarely happens unless the new author is a former president, major politician, sports star, celebrity, some other famous person, or has something very unique to write about. One author we know of submitted a manuscript to a traditional author and was told, "Unless you're Lady Di, we're not interested!"
Even if an author's manuscript is accepted by a Traditional Publisher, they can expect a long wait from the time they submit it to the day when the book is in print. Traditional Publishers usually work on an 18-month production cycle. When authors go through this process, they often feel like they have lost control of their manuscript to the myriad of editors, proofreaders, and agents. The final result is frustration for all parties concerned.
The real surprise for authors working with a Traditional Publisher comes after their book has been published. They discover that they will be required to do much of the marketing for their book themselves. Most traditional publishers simply do not have the budget to hire a Madison Avenue advertising agency every time they publish someone's book. As a result, the author finds himself or herself having to do much of the marketing in a highly competitive market.
When reality sets in, most authors who get published by a Traditional Publisher realize too late that they are not going to make a million dollars and have a penthouse on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York. After dealing with the hassles of a Traditional Publisher, many authors choose to self-publish on future books.