You may not be sure whether you want to self-publish or go the traditional publishing route. There are some benefits and drawbacks to each.
In traditional publishing, an author retains a literary agent, who pitches the book to acquisitions editors at publishing houses. Once the book is acquired, the author is often paid an advance against royalties to be earned once the book is published. The publishing house assumes the costs of editing, design, manufacturing, ebook conversion, distribution, marketing, publicity, and special sales (into retail outlets not served by the publisher's book distributors). After sales of the book have earned back the author's advance, the author begins to receive a percentage of book sales going forward.