About once a week, I hear of another author who was "helped" through the publishing process by an acquaintance who said they could help them publish. Not surprisingly, they ended up being disappointed in the process. Many times, it's not a publishing novice either, but a former literary agent or publishing professional from New York exploiting their former employer's name to get the work. It can sure sound impressive, but do they have the know-how to go through the whole process and have they actually ever done it?
There is a simple test you can administer if someone tells you they can help you publish your baby (That book you have been dreaming about for five years. You know, the one.). Ask the person to show you the books they have done and what processes they performed to publish those books, start to finish. While you are interviewing them, ask how long they have been helping authors through the entire publishing process. Things are very different now than they were three, five, ten, twenty years ago, and they are changing literally every month! Historical perspective can be valuable when paired with up-to-date savvy.
Make sure you taste the grapes. Ask to see samples. The proof will be right in front of your eyes.