As a publisher I have often been asked whether an author should publish or self-publish.  From what I have seen the people who benefit most from self-publishing are:

1) Prolific speakers who have a strong platform and do not want their books in bookstores

2) Authors who have a book that is ONLY their for family, i.e. have no intention to try to get into bookstores

3) Authors who know what they're doing and know what they want.

If you have a saleable book and don't have a good relationship with bookstores BEFORE you publish it is unlikely they will buy more than a handful. If you don't use a company that distributes to Amazon, you will need to sign up as an associate or through the marketplace, which also means you must be marketing and computer savvy. If you just use a local printer they will probably either need final files or charge you on average $99 per hour to get your design work typeset properly.

I recommend that authors get their manuscript looking its best and approach a traditional publisher. However, I am aware that traditional publishers are becoming few and far between, and it is harder and harder for each one to take on new authors.

If you self-publish you wear all the risk. You need to know what you're doing and the risks involved. Also, if you're planning to publish an eBook with the intention of finding a traditional publisher later for a print version, keep in mind that few publishers will take on a book that is already published, either in digital or print form, unless the book is highly successful. Publishing the book yourself may reduce your chances of being picked up by a traditional publisher.

Self-publishing also puts you on your own. Be careful when you make your decision on who to use, how to proceed and what steps to take. Make sure you have good advice before proceeding. The reason we offer our services through Book Whispers is to continue to share our expertise beyond what we can traditionally publish. Let us know if we can help you but keep in mind we might advise you against self publishing or at least help you to be 100% sure it is what you want.