Self-publishing has been around for years. There are even a number of big name authors such as John Grisham who got themselves started that way. But when I started writing in 2004 it was still a boutique industry and severely frowned upon by the traditional publishing people. A few companies were beginning to delve into the niche, however. The biggest new one was probably iUniverse who touted themselves to be the be-all end-all for the aspiring self-publisher, for a fee. They could offer all the services an author would need from book covers, to editing to printing the books on demand. POD it was called and the introduction of it was the beginning of an avalanche of self published books. You no longer had to be willing or able to shell out thousands of dollars for a short run of a traditionally printed book. Now you could order one at a time if you wanted. When I started, my 325 page novel which would retail for 16.95 was available to me from iUniverse at a bit over ten bucks. That was after paying for them to set up the book and any other services I required to get going. I believed I shelled out well over a thousand dollars to get my first try with Dark Canvas ready to print. Still kind of costly for a neophyte author with high aspirations and no expertise. I had a lot to learn and a lot of mistakes to make before I got it right…..