I'm often asked how I published my book. There are essentially two ways. The first way is to get a publisher. The second is to do it yourself. Most publishers don't work directly with authors, so you'll have to get an agent first. Then your agent will find the right publisher for you. Getting an agent isn't easy, so learn how to appropriately query an agent. There are tips and articles out there to help you write that great letter to an agent that will get you noticed.
I chose to publish my book myself. From the beginning, I knew I wanted total creative control. I choose who I work with, and I get final say on the decisions. Yes, a traditional publisher has the expertise, but there are so many resources out there that provide excellent information. And yes, doing it myself is hard work, but it can be rewarding. It took me months to figure out how to become an independent publisher, and two websites I have been following since I started are www.thecreativepenn.com and www.thebookdesigner.com. There are many other great sites, but these two places are a good place to start if you are thinking about publishing your book yourself.
Once I wrote my first draft of my manuscript, I hired an editor and an artist for the cover. Then I used CreateSpace to format the printed book and ebook. CreateSpace is an on-demand printing company, so when a customer on Amazon or other retailer purchases a book, they print the copy and send it to the buyer. I don't have to worry about keeping inventory or shipping. There are self-publishing companies as well that will do the work for you after you write your book, but make sure you read their contracts and fine print carefully.
The information above is really the tip of the iceberg. There are pros and cons to both traditional and independent publishing, and must be weighed thoughtfully. Good luck!