If you have written a book, then congratulations. Many people want to write novels, they even start writing novels and go to the extent of telling all their friends that they are writing novels, but few ever complete them. The next step, of course, is publication.
This usually means finding an agent who will shop it around for various publishers. However, if you've been trying for a while and still haven't had any luck, you might consider going with a self-publisher. If this is the case then this is the right place for you. You'll learn the basics of self-publishing at selfpublishingmadeeasynow.com. This article will also explain some basics of the self-publishing process.
There are many differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing. In general, you are in charge of almost anything with self-publishing. More traditional publishers take care of most of the heavy lifting.
One thing to pay attention to is marketing. Without solid marketing, no one will ever find out about your book. Traditional publishers take care of all that. With self-publishing, you have to do everything yourself. That means selling them online or calling each bookstore yourself to see if your book stocks.
Another marketing opportunity that many self-publishing companies offer is taking your book to book fairs. This is where booksellers look for recently published books. If they see yours and like it, they can take it to their shop. These are usually quite expensive because you pay for everything upfront.