But more and more established authors are dabbling in self pub. I think it's smart and have dabbled myself.
Plenty of us were in the game when you had to go down the yellow brick road (being rejected and tested along the way). I first pubbed in 2007 and self pub was crazy! We all had to be approved by the wizard (publishers) and follow their rules. But now that we know the power is in us...we can try out those ruby slippers (doesn't mean we don't like the wizard or want to spend time in Oz).
Why did I self pub? Knowledge is power...better to learn now than wait until I need to know.
Maybe a publisher closes?
Maybe you have a chance to get back list titles that aren't selling great returned to you?
Maybe you have a quirky project that you're not sure will fit anywhere?
Your main publishing efforts may still be through a publisher but being hybrid and doing self pub as well isn't a crime!
For me it was pure curiosity. Just like Dorothy wants to the see the man behind the curtain, we deserve to know the truth about what it takes to get an ebook released.
The truth is...it's not that damn hard!
LOL...really. There's no magic. There are no flying monkeys after you (except maybe some nasty reviewers)! We only think it's hard because pubs have been doing it for us.
Keys to self pub? You need a good cover artist, editor, and proofer! Beta readers help as well...Think of them as your scarecrow, your tin man and your lion. They each have a role to play...
Tell your team to be totally honest! If something confuses them, bugs them, or feels off...you want to hear it! Since you're paying your team (maybe rewarding beta readers somehow)...tell them you want it all. Good and bad. That's what you're paying for! Quality matters...
You can format the file! You have the power! Format and convert it to the right types and load it...not rocket science. Amazon, Nook, Smashwords etc...they all have instructions. With reasonable computer skills, you don't need to pay anyone to do this unless you really want to.
Seriously...once edits/proofing and final checks are done (take your time doing this, please. Spell check. check for double spaces and double periods etc...)...once that is done...it goes really fast!
Formatting/Converting takes about half an hour max. Your first time, yeah...you'll be paranoid and checking things a lot. Once you know what you're looking for and where to click...half an hour if you're goofing off :)
Once I have the file formatted...I can load it to Amazon, Nook and All Romance ebooks in under an hour. That's assuming the websites are sluggish. First time, you'll obsess about every button you hit. Once you get the hang, it's so easy...
It doesn't take that long to go live!!!!!!! 12 hours at Amazon. All Romance Ebooks, it is instant! Nook...I've had publishers say B&N are behind and it's taken weeks. With my self pubs (granted only two) it's been under 12 hours. Maybe I was just lucky or had good timing? Take that for what it's worth...but face it, Amazon is the biggest seller for most of us.
Promotion is all on you...this impact varies but promotion is usually on the author anyway. Epubs have some loyal readers and their blogs/social media/ newsletters make it easier for readers to find you. BUT that's all free promo you can do with other authors and by yourself. You won't know how your self pub will sell until you try.
Release date CONTROL!
Extra bonus: More $$$$$ for you per book sold...
With a little brains, courage and heart...you can self pub quality stuff and, like Dorothy, you don't need the wizard to get your where you want to go! You might still want him along...but you've got the ruby slippers!
PS: I LOVE the cover control :) You can plan them, invest and get them done early. You can get what you want! Like on this cover. Geek in the Woods. I write MM, MF and menage under the same pen name. So having 2 men on a MM cover is critical (IMO). Publishers have routinely ignored my request and given me solo men...confusing my readers and costing us both sales.