I knew how to create an eBook, but I didn’t know how to get them professionally published. I could have looked at a bunch of books, and got the addresses of as many publishers as I could. Then I could send a letter of introduction to dozens of them. This was a rather naive shotgun approach but not very well targeted.
A better approached would have been to find an Agent already in the field of publishing. Agents act as brokers between authors and publishers, helping to create deals. Agents do all the leg work, setting up meetings with publishers and helping secure and negotiate deals. If they could get me a deal, they would get a percentage of whatever revenue I received, so it was no money out of pocket for me.