Sometimes my enthusiasm for authors considering self-publishing is interpreted to mean I am anti the idea of getting a manuscript acquired by a regular commercial publisher. Nothing could be further from the truth. I couldn't do what I do well as a Literary Agent with thAT sort of mindset..now could I?
Like all options there are good points and bad ones...and depending on what you do and what your book is all about the option makes more sense to first consider self-publishng. Example - author is a professional in some field such as money, advice, law, medicine, health, business and so on. The topic of the book fits with their profession AND the important credentials they have for what they do. Sometimes the credentials are ok....but not strong enough for a commercial publisher. In fact the book if published could help raise the profile of the author in their profession. Self-publishing would make more sense for that purpose and especially if this is the first time the author has written a book. Often if there is a second book and it does wind up going to a commercial publisher...but with the improved credentails that gives it more value. You wind up increasing the likelihood of success..at least financially....if not more.
Considering self-publishing and self-marketing is just that....considering...asking the questions and finding out the knowledge you need to be sufficiently educated. As a Consultant I get contacted for that reason..and that reason only since I have the experience and knowledge to tap into.
The other benefit to consider is to be sure you know what the investment is likely to be. There are many factors that go into determining what the investment will be.. and not simply relying on hearsay from friends or family. You would be making a big mistake if you ruled out considering self-publishing without finding out how affordable it can be.
I suggest the same step as an author whose work Is NOT for self-publishing. Exactly what is involved to propose your manuscript to a book publisher? There are a host of considerations that run the gamut of preparation by the author or the agent if one exists. You need to learn and become knowledgeable...and you can't do that from just going online or reading a book on the subject...or even paying money to take a course. Think of all of the time and effort you are going to put into writing a manuscript -whether it is 40,000 words or 100,000...should you not educate yourself about the process first? It will not only make you smarter but more confident. Too often I hear people say to me "I would just be THRILLED to be published.." without learning first and avoiding the saddness, disappointment sometimes anger when their book fails in the marketplace and the thrill disappears.
I don't mean to lecture about this important matter..and sorry if I write like I am doing just that!!. I guess I do have a passion for wanting to see people who themselves are passionate about their book project go about it in a way that will give them the most realistic satisfacton.