There is a segment of the public that hears "self-published" and they get a little uneasy. They scratch their heads and shift trying to think of something polite to say. But let me talk about this for a little while.
Self-publishing means I'm 100% responsible. Nobody is between me and my goal of sharing with the general public the information or ideas. It also means I'm liable for the information I present. But I also like to look at the honest fact that it is my best work. I had to do all the extra leg work to make the book possible. Or in the last case: all of my co-authors and I had to do a lot of work to get us to our final place.
There is the risk that no one will want to buy my book. I have to do all the marketing and get people to really get into my work. But people have come. And they are picking up copies of my books.
I get to focus on what I like to do best: tell a story about the things that are already in my head. I don't have to wait for an agent or a publisher to tell me they like my work and have opened a spot for me. I never have to worry about an agent or publisher leaning back in their chair and asking me "I wonder what would happen if you took your story this way?" or "What would the market look like if we changed this focus group to this group?" Those are questions I have seen that would have diminished the focus of the issues at hand, especially when it came to ParaEducate.
Self-publishing has changed the landscape of the written word. I may not know how much longer printed books may be around, but I want my work to be one of those millions of little pebbles out there in the world. It was only a few hundred years ago that written records were lofted as important keepsakes. But it was the written record that forced evidence that change needed to happen for many civilizations. I don't claim that anything I've written is that riveting, however, I am giving my written work a chance to be valued for someone else to consider. And when that does happen: I've done my job as an author.