The state of self-publishing is reviewed in today’s The New York Times > Books > Sunday Book Review > The Book Business: How to Be Your Own Publisher.
Indeed, someday you may be able to walk into your grocery store and convert your Christmas photos into an instant coffee-table book written in your own deathless prose, Xlibris’s Feldcamp predicts. Almost anybody will be able to say, ”I published my book last week.”
It’s a pretty fair summary: No, they’re not traditional vanity presses; they vary widely in practice and reputation; only in very rare cases will your book get in a bookstore; magazines and newspapers won’t review your book; the books are likely to be badly edited; a few people have self-published and been discovered.
One of the things I learned that I didn’t know: established authors like Piers Anthony have self-published in order to break into new genres or to bring back out of print books.
And of course professionally, I would have emphasized that, like lawyers, those who edit their own writing have fools for clients.