Let me give you the C Liu take on self-publishing. Self-publishing carries a certain stigma in the children’s writing world. However, that is not to say it’s not the right way to get your book published. It depends. The general rule of thumb is NOT to do this on your own. Why? It can be an expensive proposition. The final product often looks unprofessional. And your book won’t be carried by retail stores unless you sell a jillion copies on your own. Forget the libraries, too. Don’t be fooled by having a listing on amazon.com or B&N, either. This is is often not enough to sell your product. Finally getting a decent book review by all the fancy journals and newspapers will be extremely difficult.
However, if your title is very niche (targeted for a certain type of audience or covers very specific subject matter), and you plan to hand-sell these books by yourself, then by all means, go to town. If you’re a marketing whiz and you feel like you have no options because all the editors in New York are numbskulls, then do it, too. There are always people who find a way to breakout through self-publishing, and you could be one of them. Like this guy Michael Hoeye. But I’ll put it plainly. Plan for a tough road ahead. Don’t think for one second that putting a book out there on Amazon will make it an instant hit.
If you want to hear another opinion on self-publishing, complete with interesting facts and figures, definitely check out author Joni Sensel’s article The Perks and Perils of POD and Self-Publishing (this link opens a PDF file).
If you still want to self-publish, here are the big names in the business that offer relatively affordable solutions.
And that is all I have to say about self-publishing.