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The pros of self-publishing are easy to figure out. The biggest one is that you retain all rights to and control over your own work. You can do with it what you want when you want without having to get permission from anyone else. Do you need to revise it? Go for it. Want to pull it from the market for some reason? You can do that, too. No permission needed from anyone. Nice, eh? And if a new format type comes out? You can go straight to publication in that format without having a hassle. (This will resonate with those who traditionally published years ago and are having trouble getting publishing rights from their publishers so they can get those books out in e-book formats.)
You're responsible for your own editing, manuscript formatting and cover design. Those can be pros or cons depending on your personality, areas of interest and skills in such matters. Personally, I consider those pros. Others may not. They don't want to deal with finding their own editors, or document formatting, or designing their cover or hiring someone else to do it. For them, I would suggest traditional publication. Traditional publishers take care of all of that for you. That's part of what you pay them for with a share of your royalties. Take advantage of that expertise.
You will make mistakes as a self-publisher. You will learn some things by trial and error, and you'll find as I have that what works for one book or one author may not work at all for you. Keep reading, learning and talking to others to see what you can glean from their experiences - both good and bad. I find this to be a fun part of the whole publication adventure - talking to other authors.
However, there are things self-publishers really should do with regards to the finished product, and I'm seeing problems in these areas. Two areas are special issues. I'll get into those over the next couple of weeks.
What about you? Have you self-published? What did you like or not like about it? Are your books available as e-books, paperback, or both?
Are you considering self-publication? What's drawing your interest in that direction? What would you like to know that might help you avoid some of the pits others have fallen into?