Some one has asked about print-on-demand publishers. Using a POD publisher means that the author shares part of the risk in publishing her/his book by sharing the financial burden of its publication. I've had experiences with three POD publishers and a small independent press.
Of the three POD publishers,my best experience has been with Outskirts Press. They maintain a high level of contact with the author both during publication and after the book has been released. They first review the manuscript to see if it is one they want to publish and if it is ready for publication. They give the author comments on the manuscript and suggestions for improving it, if needed. I was very pleased with my experience, both during the approval process and getting the book printed and released.
My book, UNPREDICTABLE CROSSING has been out for a few weeks and I receive almost daily messages from Outskirts Press with suggestions for effective marketing. I read all of their messages and chose to pursue some of their suggestions very closely.
Some of you may be looking at Dog Ear Publishing. I have published two books with them. They are very hard to reach and have no support to guide you in selling your book post-publication. When I asked them questions, they generally responded to some, but not all. It's a difficult process.
I have worked with other POD and small independent publishers. My best advice is to research the business well before going with a small press. There is a website for Writers Beware and they will do the reasearch for you.
Similarly, all POD publishers are not equal. Order one of their books and look at the final product. Look at the publishing package they offer and compare it with others. Lastly, do as one of my readers did---he asked me about my experience. I wish all of you writers the very best and if you choose Outskirts Press, tell them I sent you.