To put it simply, self-publishing is the act of publishing something through independent means, often by bypassing traditional publishers and methods. Usually, this involves an out of pocket expense for the author, as opposed to publishers paying for works to be advertised, edited and printed and then taking a large percentage of the profits from book sales as a result.
Self-publishing usually means that most, and in some cases all, of the profits from book sales go to the author, and that the author is in control of the whole publishing process; from designing a cover, to content layout, to editing, production, pricing, marketing, distribution, and also accounting.
In order to understand why the publishing industry is the way it is, I have provided a brief history of publishing and self-publishing, as well as a thorough guide on the how to publish your own work in the modern digital climate, what this involves, the pro's and con's of publishing your own work, the current statistics of the publishing self-publishing industry, and a list of helpful and important resources that should get you started.
A Beginners Guide to the World of Self Publishing - Full Sale University