If you want to go down the self-publishing route there are a few things you should consider.
Do you want your book to be available as an eBook online or do you want to have a hard copy print as well? EBooks are free to produce as opposed to hard copies for which you would pay for a print run or, depending on where you go to get your books printed, as a percentage of each sale.
Before you commit to anything, are you sure that your book is in its final version? Do you need to get it proofread professionally? What about your cover design? Do you need to purchase an ISBN or not? An ISBN is an International Standard Book Number that will identify that edition of your book throughout the world. It’s not needed for eBooks but it will link your title in to the Book Data database and can make it easier for retailers to find you.
Decide on which company you’re going to use to put your book out there. EBooks tend to be put up via Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon’s electronic publishing arm) or Smashwords.
Smashwords is the world’s largest distributor of indie eBooks, with over 60,000 Smashwords’ authors and publishers distributing over 200,000 original eBooks (as of September 2013). They make it fast, free and easy for any author or publisher, anywhere in the world, to publish and distribute eBooks to the major retailers.
You can also use an online low-cost self-publishing service such as CompletelyNovel.com. You will have to format your manuscript in Word or a similar programme before you upload it, but you won’t need to buy any new software. Many of the self-publishing services are generally linked to print-on-demand printers with the option to produce hard copies as well.
Whichever route you take, make sure you read the small print. How do the company pay you for sales? Are you entering into an exclusive deal with them that prohibits you selling the book elsewhere? What do they require you to do in terms of formatting?
Once you have uploaded your book, the hard work of marketing begins!
You could also get some advice from fellow authors at a local writing group or an online source such as Sotogrande Writers