There are many ways to be published, with or without an agent, and even with or without a publisher! But if you’re talking about this particular route (agent to publisher to book) then I can answer more specifically. Once you have an agent, and once your work is in strong shape, they will submit the manuscript to multiple publishers. Publishers might turn your work down. But if you get an offer, your agent negotiates the terms of that offer for you. If you get more than one offer, your agent negotiates the best terms they can from all publishers, and then takes all of the offers to you to decide. Your agent will answer your questions, discuss the pros and cons of each offer and each publisher for your particular book. And your agent will advise you on what is the best direction for you. But ultimately, you make the final decision, and then you have a publisher!
Hello! I was just wondering how publishing itself works. You get an agent, and then what? How do you pick publishers? Like, how do you pick Penguin over Harper? (If that makes sense.) Thank you!— pcrachelwriting