Life as a Novelist
In the article "Novelist" Jan and Fred Yager explain that being a novelist is a mostly a self-supporting career. Author have sometime write multiple novels before earning enough pay from writing alone. Novelist need to have a secondary job when starting out to pay bills.
For debut authors, the main decision is whether to traditionally or self-publish. Traditional publishing is easier when a novelist wants a mass distribution with their novel. Self-publishing is for the novelist who want be in charge of everything; writing, formatting, cover design, or higher people who specialize to do certain thing for them. Most bestseller are from six major publishing companies; Simon & Schuster, Hachette, HarperCollins, Holtzbrinck, Random House, and Penguin USA. Although anyone can self-publish a novel, a novelist getting a contract for novel with a traditional publisher can come with better royalties.
After many drafts of a novel only the author can decide what publishing route is better for their novel.