No discussion about publishing can take place without first covering the basics. The book market place is no longer the small cottage industry it was in the old days. It is an interconnected global network with infinite possibilities and quite a few risks to consider. If that sounds a little bigger than you were thinking, consider this:
Today, a writer in Australia with a finished manuscript can query a New York based Big 5 publisher. That publisher can employ editors from England to edit the book, graphic designers from Japan to create the cover, formatters from Canada to put it all together, and then distribute into stores all over the world, with or without translations being necessary, so a reader in Norway can download it onto his/her eReader. In the digital age, all of this is simply a matter of course.
With so many options now available to writers, it is imperative to research at least a few possibilities before committing to one. Could be you’d rather just hand your manuscript over to a publisher and not worry about what comes after. Well, you’ll still want to make sure you know what comes after and that you approve of the methods. Could be you want full and total creative control over your book and how it’s presented and sold. Possibly you’re looking at self-publishing. But are you aware of everything it entails? Many writers are now going with a mixed approach, signing some books or series with a publisher (or several), and self-publishing others. That’s also very much an option, and one that might appeal to you.
No one can make a decision like this for you. But the more you know, the easier it is to see which path is the better fit for your style and personality.