As an author, I've tried nearly every book publishing option there is. I've published both nonfiction and fiction with big traditional publishers (e.g. Random House, Kensington) and nonfiction with smaller, niche publishers (e.g. Cumberland House, Marion Street Press). (Here's an explanation of how advances and royalties work when you sell your book to a traditional publisher.) I've worked with POD companies like CreateSpace, book packagers like Jenkins Group, and published e-books as well, and have ghostwritten/coauthored books with clients who have used all of those options. So I have a pretty good working knowledge of the pros and cons of each.
If you plan to add "book author" to your writing resume in 2012, check out my Writer's Digest Webinar on book publishing options tomorrow, January 5, 2012. You'll come away with a clear understanding of the pros and cons of each option, and be better able to evaluate which choice is right for you. Hope to "see" many of you there!