Self-publishing is the new business card, or so I’m told. I think this works especially well for non-fiction books, which authors can use to show their authority and get speaking gigs and other jobs.
It can also be a great cocktail party conversation starter. What do you do? “I’m a novelist,” sounds pretty impressive.
Aside from the ego-boosting reasons, self-publishing is a way to experiment, and try new types of stories. It can take risks, and it can be very rewarding.
But also be careful. Although the stigma of self-publishing is going away, there are still many people who refuse to read self-published books. You can help eliminate the stigma. Kristen Lamb wrote on her blog five mistakes self-published authors often make. They include publishing before you’re ready (and before it’s thoroughly edited), self-publishing without understanding the business, giving away books for free without a strategy, and focusing all time and energy for months on marketing one book instead of writing more.
As ebooks get bigger (ebook sales recently surpassed hardcover sales in the U.S.), self-published/indie authors have a better chance of making money. Check out the Self Publishing Success Stories Blog to see a list of 185 authors who have sold more than 50,000 ebooks to date.