Hi, I recently published my own book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XJ86PTR/ and I will probably go down this path in the next years, and publish 1/2 books every year, depending on my availability. However, I struggled to find good material on self-publishing, especially pertaining to legal issues. I ended up hosting a guest post from a renowned lawyer, but I feel that nothing is better than personal experience.
Has anyone here published a book? What was the experience? Please share!
I have both written a bunch of books for other people and self-published a bunch of books. (If you want to see the paper books I've published, go to amazon and enter the author as "Stephen L. Nelson"...) In English, those books have sold something more than 5,000,000 copies.
I have also self-published a bunch of stuff. If you want to see some of that stuff, click on the link to my blog in my sig and then scroll down the page looking at the ads along the right edge.
Here are my comments about self-publishing books:
1. Self-publishing into the traditional trade book channel (where you're hoping to get into Barnes & Noble, etc) seems really problematic. Surely, some self-publishers are making this work. But I doubt I could at this point. (I did it once and was reasonably successful. If you happen to have a subscription to the online version of the Wall Street Journal, you can probably find the little story they did about that venture by searching on "Redmond Technology Press.")
2. e-book publishing through amazon.com apparently works for some people. I've taken a couple of cracks at this--including a serious, targeted one a year or so ago. (I published and heavily promoted a book called the "Thirteen Word Retirement Plan.") Writing and publishing a book is always a bit of a lottery... but I think something like kindle direct is hard to make work. Certainly that's been my experience. (Possible exception: You're publishing a series of books, give away the first book for free, and then "hook" readers.)
3. Selling ebooks from your own blog or website--or things that look like ebooks but maybe should be called monographs or informational products--seem far more workable. You can do really well with this approach. And one giant advantage of this approach is you begin to build your customers list rather than for example building up amazon.com's customer list.
4. Blogging--so where you give away your content for free but then sell advertising to businesses who want to reach your audience--seems a more workable path these days to me. (To see someone who's really figured this out, visit Jim Dahle's blog, whitecoatinvestor.com, and search for his annual "state of the blog" post. He shares all the financial details.)