Until recently, the publishing and printing process was the domain of big companies and expensive offset printers (in the sense that you had to order thousands of dollars of book inventory). With the rise of desktop publishing programs such as Adobe InDesign, more and more self-starters are publishing their own work, especially after sending out countless copies of their manuscripts only to be met by an equal number of rejection slips.
If you want to publish your work and retain the rights, then you need to look at self publishing. As recently as just five years ago, this meant purchasing and learning how to use expensive, complex software programs like Adobe InDesign or QuarkXpress that allow publishers to typeset their books. It also meant some investigative work in terms of finding the most cost effective printer.
If you've read a little bit about the publishing and printing process and have taken the time to read my article on print on demand publishers, you know that you are ill-advised to go with one of these companies or even a vanity publisher because of all the upfront costs. Although these companies will edit, layout and design the cover of your book, they will sell you copies of your book at an exorbitant price (which prevents you from making any profit) and in many cases, take the rights to your book and most of the royalties from sales.
A better alternative by far is to go with a printer that has an online platform that allows you to upload your manuscript (as a .docx file) along with the cover of your book (or even allows you to design the cover with their online tools) and then creates and ships the book for you even if you even want to only one copy at a time.
This kind of company removes the risk to first time authors because they are not stuck ordering thousands of copies of their books. The company that I recommend also allows you to list your book for sale on one of the most highly trafficked book sellers on the web. Of course, you can also sell your book in book stores or from your own site.
Best of all, this company does not take any rights which means you own the copyright for your book and can re-purpose it as you see fit.
It doesn't get much better than this, folks. Click on publishing and printing to learn more about my recommendation and for a step-by-step tutorial to set up your account.