If you've just given someone your business card then you failed. If you have a business card you might be about to fail. Nobody cares what's on it. I throw out all business cards.
I've written before about self-publishing but more than the "why" and "how" (although I add more info about this below than I previously have) this post is why YOU NEED to self-publish if you are in business, a blogger, a writer, or in any profession (essentially all professions) where you want to stand out versus the competition. There is one window, right now, where you have the right combination of "easy to do", "cheap", and "nobody is doing it". The key is the Era of Validation is over. Nobody needs to pick you. You pick yourself.
I've published eight books in the past seven years, five with traditional publishers (Wiley, Penguin, HarperCollins), one comic book, and the last two I've self-published. In this post I give the specific details of all of my sales numbers and advances with the traditional publishers. Although the jury is still out on my self-published books, How to be the Luckiest Man Alive and I Was Blind But Now I See I can tell you these two have already sold more than my five books with traditional publishers, combined.
If you, the entrepreneur, self-publish a book you will stand out, you will make more money, you will kick your competitors right in the XX, and you will look amazingly cool at cocktail parties. I know this because I am seldom cool but at cocktail parties, with my very own comic book, I can basically have sex with anyone in the room. But don't believe me – it costs you nothing and almost no time to try it yourself.
The rest of this article is really three discussions: Why self-publish rather than use a traditional publisher, why entrepreneurs and others who seek to stand out for career or creatuve purposes should self-publish, and finally, HOW does one go about self-publishing.
A) Advances are going to zero. Book publishers are getting more and more squeezed by declining booksellers so they, in turn, have to squeeze the writers. Because of so much free content on the Internet, the value per unit of content is going to zero unless you are already an established name-brand author.
B) Lag time. When you self-publish, you can have your book up and running on Amazon, paperback and kindle, within days. When you publish with a traditional publisher its a grueling process: book proposal, agents, lawyers, meetings, edits, packaging, catalogs, etc that ensures that your book doesn't actually get published until a year later. Literally, as I write this a friend of mine just IMed me the details of his book deal he just got with a mainstream publisher. Publication date: 2014.