Create Space is one of many print-on-demand services that has very little initial outlay of money to publish your book. They have paid services as well such as cover and interior design options, editing (from copy editing to full-blown editorial editing) and even marketing tools. There are also several e-publishers including Barnes and Noble's new Pubit! (their exclamation point, not mine) where you can create an account, upload your book and have your book available to Nook owners around the world.Yesterday I reviewed a book that was self-published. I currently have on my Nook several self-published authors. I have nothing against self-publishing and there are a few of my books that I have toyed with self-publishing. In today's world there are some great resources for self-publishing that make it truly affordable.
I have wishy-washy feelings about self-publishing. On one hand self-publishing allows the average person the ability to put their toils and tribulations into a book format. I actually have a paperback copy of my last NaNoWriMo book (courtesy of being a winner and getting a "free" ARC of my book - It wasn't truly free as I did pay for the expedited shipping.) It's really cool to hold your own book in your hand. To see your name printed on the title. To flip through the pages and smell your words. It's really really cool. As a former librarian and current bookseller I get such a giggle out of seeing "my" ISBN on the back. (Although if I decide to have this traditionally published I know that the number will change, but I have an ISBN!) I have pet my book, stroked its lovely cover and carried it around with me. It's my first book baby and it makes me feel like one of the Big Kids in the writing world.
On the other hand though, even though I have done copy-editing in the past, I still find my work littered with errors. I find grammar blunders, misused words and spelling blunders. You know what those are. Those are the words that are spelled correctly but aren't the ones you mean. In one of my books I have a character whose name constantly comes up as Any rather than Andy. Spell-check doesn't catch those worse because Any is a real word spelled correctly. It's just not Andy's name. It won't catch the stupid mistakes like "They're" and "Their" or "moot" and "mute" or "could have cared less" instead of the correct "couldn't have cared less."
On the other hand (now do you see why I chose Kali for the picture today?), self-publishing can boost your self-esteem, especially if you have been toiling for years trying to get your work published. You know it is a good story. You know people will love it. You are confidant that your work is solid. You can't find someone who will take a chance on it though. So you do it yourself. Market it yourself. And you love what you have created. You have a tangible (or digital) book that belongs to you. It is your book forever. And people can (and probably do) read it. You are an Author now because you have a book to prove it. Ha! Take that publishing world!