That’s a powerfully loaded question…
The simplest way to define it is: self-publishing is the act of getting your own book to print, distributing it, and then marketing it. That said — there are some authors who prefer to create their own books from the ground up. While this can be done – is it always the most feasible option available? Not usually.
Authors can also decide to hire the services of a self-publishing company, which some incorrectly label as “vanity presses”. A vanity press is an outfit that offers little to no support for the author and actually allows them very little involvement in the process of making their book. Naturally, authors should be very careful when dealing with such companies because they may not end with what they are looking for in the end.
However, a full-service self-publishing company will keep you involved in the process and offer support before, during, and after you publish your book. The biggest reason why an author would choose to go this route is if they need assistance creating their book. All authors are not cover designers, book blockers, and marketers. So, they enlist the expertise of a team who knows the book publishing industry inside and out. It’s honestly no different than paying a plumber to fix your toilet. Sure, you can research, study, and practice fixing it yourself. But, do you really want to commit all of the time required to do it?
DISCUSSION: Have you worked with a company to publish your book or did you do it all yourself?