Originally Posted by lin robinson
These discussions of self-publishing tend to ignore a major alternative to the lulu.com type outfits...which is to really, actually publish your own book. By which I mean you write it, design it, make it ready, pay a printer to print it, then market it and sell it.
That's certainly feasible, but sounds like a lot more bother. And I strongly suspect, from my actual and vicarious experiences, that it works far better with easily-definable niche markets than it would with a general SF novel, say. In other words, either with a specialised non-fiction book (I have quite a few examples of self-published NF books, nearly all of them with terrific content, even though the presentation various considerably), or with a narrow niche fiction market which you can reach via the web.
You travel the web posting links to your website and extolling your book.
This again depends on the nature of the book. For a specialist non-fiction or even (in some cases) niche fiction, discussion forums will be interested to hear about your new book and this can be a productive way of marketing it. If you try this tactic with a mainstream SF novel on a forum like this, you're liable to get hammered for spamming.