...to publish a book doesn't exist.
Sorry to burst the bubble of whoever thinks that. Despite what some writers out there think, there is no "one true way" to publish a book. What works for one person doesn't work for another. What works for a group of people won't always work for another group. Basically, the bottom line is that you have to take the route that works for you. No one else.
There are a lot of options out there now, different paths available to writers and that's a wonderful thing. That hasn't always been the case. Some people like the fact there's choices and others don't. Having a choice means you can have more flexibility. Having a choice also means you need to look at all the angles before you make a choice. A choice that works for you. No one else.
In 2008, when I first starting mulling over the idea of publishing my first novel, I did some research. For those that don't know me, this means I spent months seeking out avenues that were available to me. *g* I made a list of my choices and decided to set out on a path. I sent my manuscript out and bit my nails for a the four weeks it took to receive rejection. So then I sat down and took a look at the path I had set out. I'd been rejected, did I want to maybe reset my goals because I'd set them too high? I even considered self-publishing the book, believe it or not. But, ultimately, I decided my goals weren't too high and I'd simply press on. I was on the path, nothing said I couldn't create a fork later and veer off.
Those decisions brings me to now, a path I still consider myself on. A path I actually consider myself still paving and have only moved a few feet from where I started when that first book published with a small press in January 2010. Most people are surprised to hear that. With 12 books to my credit, most people think I consider myself pretty well into my path, but I don't. But it's a path working for me. No one else.
See a pattern? ;^)
Bottom line? Do your research. Make informed decisions about what you want in the long term instead of going with what everyone else is telling you to do. This is your writing career, not theirs.
One of my favorite sayings about this business is: publishing is a marathon, not a sprint.
Slow down and enjoy the scenery.