As a full-time freelance writer, I spend a lot of time trying new publishing ideas and learning how to market my services. Most of my work is web-centered, so I love challenge of innovation in content creation. I also love fact that when you're a writer on web, you are more in control of your marketing efforts than you will ever be offline.
When I made decision to write an eBook, it really didn't occur to me to NOT self-publish. I already had a website and a newsletter, I've taught classes online, and I am completely comfortable with online environment. I also was naive enough to look at a self-published eBook as a less-than-daunting task.
I self-published for reason most people do; I can retain full control over production, marketing, and distribution of my eBook. I can make updates and changes without a publisher's permission. I can also keep control of costs of promotion and marketing.
What I've Learned as a Self-Published eBook Author
1. Networking is essential. There are a lot of people, in same boat, willing to help you in your journey.
2. Self-promotion can take a lot of time and effort -- but satisfaction of a polished, professional product and prospect of profit (rather than a percentage of royalties) can be worth it.
3. You're never done! The web is an infinite space -- if you sell your own book, you will never be "finished", there is always work to do! New eBook websites and distribution centers launch every day. New websites accept eBook submissions for review every day.
4. Ebooks are still a relatively new medium -- which, of course, leaves many people skeptical. They have a lot of unrecognized potential, and, for most part, have been quite underrated. I believe that this is partially attributed to fact that there are literally thousands of people out there that buy "resale packages" of "reports" that have been converted to Adobe Acrobat format. These "reports" are usually short, poorly written, and out-of-date -- exact opposite of what an eBook should aspire to. These "eBooks" are not written by people who market them (A few I have seen don't even carry a byline) and tend to be promoted heavily by MLM and "Get Rich Quick" people.
5. That being said - ebooks are more difficult to sell -- it's difficult to establish credibility as a self-published eBook writer. You'll have to have tremendous faith -- and gusto -- in your writing and your finished product. I've had several people discuss my eBook on writing lists with primary question: "Is it worth money?" (And this is at a promotional price of four dollars and after several 'gloat-worthy" reviews! I've never seen anybody walk into Starbucks and ask coffee makers if their Grande Mocha Latte was worth money -- oh, well!) Be prepared for skepticism and craft your responses carefully.