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Large publishing houses take months to publish material while you can have process completed in a significantly shorter amount of time. Also, there is not always an interest from large publishing houses in special interest projects you may have written about, such as local history, how to books, or books that appeal to general public.
Some of disadvantages in publishing your own book are that you may not see results right away. You are an unknown author and you have to market and sell yourself and your product. Even if you have written an excellent book you need to find ways to get noticed.
Also, there are costs involved. Initially, you will need money to have your books printed from an independent printer. This can cost anywhere from $1-10 per book depending on how many books you have printed, number of pages, etc. You also need to learn how you would like your book set up. Is it going to be soft cover or hardcover, there are different bindings and other options that will be asked by a printer when you decide to publish a book. There are also costs involved in shipping your books to bookstores and marketing your book.
You will also learn that everyone has an opinion and not all will like what you write no matter if you have self-published your book or a large publisher has decided to add you as one of their writers.
Ellen Parlapiano one of authors of Mompreneurs Online (published by a larger publishing company) states there are advantages and disadvantages of working with a publisher. "Our books have opened many doors for us...and we always say that although you don't get a lot of money writing books, you do boost your income in other ways. We have done corporate consulting, professional speaking, and spokesperson work for companies--all based on buzz we have built for our books and ourselves. Simply writing and publishing book is not enough--you must establish yourself as an expert in your field!"
There is a lot to learn when deciding to self-publish a book. Find out all you can about publishing your own book before deciding to take plunge. While self-publishing can be rewarding it also is very challenging and you may need more time to market and sell your books which in turn leaves less time for writing. In long run self-publishing has been very rewarding and profitable for my books. From beginning point of writing book to designing cover, it's well-worth it in end when you see final result.
Annette is a self-published author and a runs a book and hobby web site. http://www.bookdrawer.com