Motives and Focus
I believe some authors have the idea that writing a book makes them appear more legitimate or important. I believe one's motives for publishing a book should be better than that.
That leads me to write this blog and ask some important questions:
What is your reason for writing and publishing your book?
Maybe you do have a good story to tell or sage advice to offer others. Perhaps you've uncovered a niche market that is in search of a solution you can provide. Does that describe you? Then I'd say that's a worthy motive.
Is your motive for writing and self-publishing simply an attempt to earn lots of money?
When I tell an average new non-fiction author what they can expect to earn from their book, they are sometimes offended. One friend said, "I can't charge a mere $5 for my book after all the work I've put into it!"
That feeling is common, but ignorant of the truth regarding the book-buying market. People want to buy books at low prices. KDP has a price-setting tool to use and often it suggests a price point of $3.99 to $4.99 on my books.
Think about what you might be willing to pay for a similar book.
(On a side-note, I think it is awful some people will pay $5 or less and then leave critical reviews. That hasn't happened to me, but I see it all the time. For $5 it isn't very kind to give a hostile review on a piece of work someone probably spent 1,000 hours writing. But neither should you give a 5-star review for something mediocre just because a friend wrote it.)
I've seen some authors charge over $20 for their book. I'm not sure there is a market for such by unknown authors. I did purchase one and was shocked by how little there was inside the book. It was a good well-written and helpful book, but $20 plus taxes and shipping was extreme in my opinion.
When you publish with Amazon KDP, you receive a mere percentage of each sale. Big buck earnings are hard to come by.
Yes, authors put in hours upon hours to write and edit. Some work on projects over years. Some pay for critiques and editing. It adds up.
If you self-publish, any marketing that is to be done is up to you.
I don't mean to sound negative, but realistic. This comes from my place of being in the writing world interacting with writers for some time now.
If you're about to self-publish, do it. But set the right motives, and set realistic goals for your writing.