I self published my first children's book, "The Singing Stone" in 2006. I used Authorhouse which eventually became createspace. I currently publish straight to Kindle, but there are reasons why people are more comfortable with a self publishing company.
It is very difficult to knock out the Self Publishing because of its main duty-the POD (Print On Demand).
If you are worried how people will recognize your books, don't ever use your full name or even a surname as name of the publisher. As the others are saying that self publishing is almost the same with the vanity press. But the difference between them, vanity press will print your manuscripts but you will pay everything even before the start of the printing, even if there is no order yet from the readers. Compare to the self publishing especially the online such as Lulu, they will charge you for a cost if there are already orders in the internet such as the Amazon.
On the other hand, you must be honest about the challenges in starting a publishing business.
You should be real about your possible outcome. Be encouraged and keep an open mind, however. It can be very rewarding.
There are already plenty of books published in the "how to publish a book" niche.
There are plenty of stories of the rejected author who became richer than an author who published his work with prominent publishers. Although, this article is not telling you to follow their footsteps. It is still the best way to improve your book writing to avoid rejection from prominent publishers like Scholastic, Bantam Books, Dell Publishing, Paperbacks Publishing, Simon & Schuster, and many more to list.
Believe it or not, an approved book manuscript can hit the market with less than 2,000 copies for the whole life of the book except for the best sellers who had extra jobs in promoting and marketing. Compare to them, self published books can sell as low as 200 copies only. The success of whatever types of publishing (self publishing or just a traditional publisher) depends upon the job of marketing. It means, after printing of your published book, if you are not helping the marketing of the product, you might not see your book as best seller.
You have to work it out.
You are not just a writer, you will also be the marketer. Either you market your own book via phone, email, website, door to door, seminar and a lot more, you have to help. If you are have little patience for the process into best seller, you won't be a good fit for self-publishing. They say that a self published book is easy to sell compared to a traditional publisher. What do you think?
Here are some facts about successful self publishing.
The regular 288 to 290 pages with a margin of 5.5" x 8.5" in paperback (an estimation of 100,000 words) and only a single color text:
If you want to print 100 copies your suggested retail price (SRP) per book is $10 while if you want to print it for 300 copies, you can lower the SRP into $9 then lowered again into $8 per book if you print 500 copies.
Then, if you double the copies to print, the SRP can be $6 per book but if you multiply your number of copies to print by 5, your SRP could be $2.50.
As you can see, as with any retail project, The larger the number of printed copies you have to invest, the lesser amount in SRP and your readers will be happy, that's why there are many Self Publishing authors making more sales than the authors who published their book with a traditional publisher.
In a later post I will talk more about Amazon publishing. Some people are making "bank" doing just that.
Do you have a book that you would like to publish? Why would it be good to get that out to the world?