While I appreciate that the question was asked years ago, It is worth pointing out that many authors have had good to significant success with self-publishing in recent years. It does take a lot of work and personal financial commitment to deal with things like copy editing, cover design, internal layout, manufacture and distribution.
If you want to both write and sell your book you will need to get an army of volunteers and hire some professional help too. Finding volunteers isn't as difficult or painful as you may suspect if you put the work and effort into building a community around yourself.
Several services and tools have arisen in recent years to support the self-pub route for authors.
These include the more obvious ones like:
and others to provide a marketplace for you to promote your offering.
Community and communications tools are crucial when creating a home for your supporters and fans, a couple of the more popular options are:
Plus building the community out requires investing time to hangout where your natural audience is, engage with them, share your vision and dreams for your own book, get them excited about it and wanting to be involved in making it a reality. Facebook, Reddit, etc., and in person events like conferences and conventions provide you the space and opportunity to seek and develop your community.
All of that should tell you that there is a lot of work required to publish your book following the self-pub route.
If you are prepared to put the work in, if you can build your support network, if you are prepared to have fun and make new friends you can become a highly respected and commercially successfully author.
A few examples of authors who have made this work include:
- Brandon Sanderson
- Michael J Sullivan
- Matthew Wolf
- David Estes
In each case the authors have either had to build a community of supporters to help them design, develop and run the campaign to promote and sell their books, they have also needed significant support to deal with manufacturing and distribution.