Most of the discussion we had on his first meeting had to do with publication. Sure, he knew the novel wasn't quite finished, but he's anxious to get it out into the world. He found a "publisher" that would put together his book... for a fee. And now he's been getting emails from them urging him to submit his novel.
We directed him to step away from the vanity publisher...
The first thing to do is to finish the novel. And by finish, I mean it should have been read by critique partners and/or beta readers. It would be a good idea to have an editor take a look at it (this is one thing to definitely pay for).
Then, once you're sure you're ready... (Are we ever truly ready? There's always more tinkering to do. But at some point we must dive in.)
You must decide what route you want to take. You can submit to traditional publishers or do it yourself. (Last week we had a great post on the differences in publishers. Thanks, Carol. Perfect timing.)
Which is the right way to go? Well, that's a very individual decision. There are pros and cons on both sides, so I'm going to open this question up to you.
Did you (are are you planning to) publish with a publishing house (large or small), or did you go it on your own? Why? If you could go back and do it differently, would you?