A couple years ago, when I first started the submission process, I never dreamed that one day I would consider self publishing one of my works. Yes, in the beginning, I looked down upon self-publishing. It wasn’t until late last year that I started to pay attention to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and realized self publishing didn’t necessarily mean ‘vanity press’.
Vanity presses publish books at the author’s expense. Whereas, mainstream publishers, be they major companies or small presses, make profits from selling the author’s work, not charging the author for the ‘privilege’ of being published.
And Self-Publishing….it’s an entirely different beast. (And not for everyone) In theory, self publishing doesn’t have to cost an author anything. However, a good cover and professional editing are two things I STRONGLY recommend. Okay, maybe if you’re good with Photoshop, you could make your own cover. More power to you. But a professional editor will catch errors even the best beta reader will not see. (I recommend authors take their time to find a good editor. Look around and don’t be afraid to ask for sample edits—>many freelance editors with have this as an option. Sometimes it’s a free sample, sometimes not, but it’s safer to paid a very small fee and find out the quality of the edits, rather than getting burned later on down the road.)
I don’t see spending money on my writing as a bad thing—there are lots of other vices I could waste money on; really, writing isn’t that bad of vice to have, honest. You just have to be smart on what you spend your money on.
Still, I debated for a long time before deciding to self pub Stone’s Kiss. The turning point was when I heard Lindsay Buroker a fellow OWW member (Online Workshop for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror) had self published a couple of her works. I’d read some of her works while on the OWW and respected her talent. It was her helpful tips at EBook Endeavours which finally inspired me to brave self publishing. As the saying goes, YMMV. And everyone hopes they get good mileage. LOL.