If you have abilities in self-marketing — if you have an interest in promoting your own work, and doing all the tasks that make up that job — you can self-publish — basically become your own publisher. People who successfully self-publish are also good salespeople.

If you self-publish, in addition to writing and polishing the work, you have to make sure the final text is edited and proofread (by yourself or a professional who you hire). You'll need to raise money to get the camera-ready artwork done, and get the book printed. If you're producing an online book or magazine, there is still work to be done to create the layout that will become the file that's distributed online — whether that's an ePub or a PDF or another format. You'll need to provide information about the book to get an ISBN, and cataloguing information created for library use. And then there's the work of marketing and getting your writing distributed to readers — you'll need to fill orders, mail out copies, and advertise your book.

All of this costs money. So you'll need to estimate the number of sales you will make, and set a price for your book that will cover the costs. Print on Demand (POD) technology means you can have just the copies that are ordered printed, which saves you from having to warehouse unsold copies.

There are low-cost options for self-publishing that involve fewer steps. You can create a print zine that's run off a photocopier and distributed to friends or sold at readings. Or you can publish digitally — make an online magazine, or go a little further and make a digital product that works on tablets and devices (sites listed on General and Videos "Publishing Resources"). You can create something with less work put into the product and its appearance, which leaves you more time to promote the work and find readers.