You're about to finish your first book, and it's time to look at publication. Do you seek publication with traditional publishers? If you choose to self publish, what does that involve? There are a lot of questions, and I can help with them.
In 2008 I published the memoir "Freedom's Just Another Word," which received 18 Five Star reviews on Amazon, and was positively reviewed by the New York Journal of Books: http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-review/freedom’s-just-another-word
I am about to publish my second memoir, to be entitled "Healing The Writer."
To pursue publication, I conducted intensive research to learn about the industry, including evaluations of traditional publishing and self publishing. I attended writer's conferences, met with literary agents from New York City, talked with publishing executives, publicity experts, and attended numerous lectures on various aspects of the publishing process.
I attended a seminar with a New York literary agent called "Pitching Your Manuscript," and got to practice my pitch with the agent. Based on feedback she provided, I completely reworked my pitch presentation, which led to 2 expressions of interest in my manuscript from literary agents in pitch meetings the next day.
In one pitch meeting, I described my manuscript to a literary agent from a prestigious firm in New York City, who was very interested, and asked to read my manuscript. He later passed on representing me, though he spoke very favorably about the book, saying "there is much to admire here."
I attended a panel discussion about the business side of publication - I found out there are really 2 contracts in traditional publishing. The first between an author and the agent, and the second between the author and the publisher. It lends itself to divided loyalty for the literary agents, and in my opinion, is a weakness in that system.
I studied the Print on Demand self publication model extensively, and saw some of the positives - a quicker publication cycle and more control over the book. I saw some negatives - the "vanity publishing" label still associated with self publishing, and the inability to get reviewed by Publisher's Weekly and other resources.
I also saw a number of self publishing companies which were more interested in selling a writer services than in selling books. I found a Print on Demand publisher which fit my needs, and will use that same publisher for my second memoir.