I keep thinking the debates on “self vs. traditional publishing” are over, but I still see a lot of new writers making horrible mistakes.
Instead of realizing that:
--It’s not really a “versus”: you can do both, do neither, do the whole thing smart or stupid. The important thing is to get out there and get readers, hopefully without losing your pants doing so.
--Money up front is a dangerous gamble. This is one of the obvious problems with “vanity publishing”—paying somebody money you hope to get back on sales (unlikely) instead of a press that invests in your work and takes profit from your later sales. But the same thinking goes for laying out thousands of dollars for editing or artwork or formatting, having been convinced that it will “sell your book” and you’ll get the money back in sales. (Slim chance.)
--You have to follow up. You have to promote your book. Nobody else is going to do it for you unless they charge you money up front for the least worthwhile author “service”.
--Buying into all the “rules” left over from traditional publishing and not applicable to what you will be doing—selling ebooks off amazon and other eTailers. There are no back cover blurbs (or back covers), no advance copies, no store browsers, no interior design.
If you are still new to what lies past finishing your manuscript, let me suggest that you take a look at this fun, possibly helpful, “revolutionary” free ebook.
If you have figured out that you want to go commando indie, this guide to bridging the gap between MS and reader base might be a big help.
Read Linton's interesting bio on his website: http://linrobinson.com/