Years ago, my great-uncle, artist Edwin Fulwider, gave me the first self-published book I'd ever read. His friend and neighbor had written a book about life in Northern Idaho during his boyhood and young manhood in the early 20th century. Mark the Wind's Power was an interesting look for me at the land I loved to visit on vacation up above Coer d'lene. Today, used copies DO show up on Amazon and I have seen them priced up to about $90.00.
Self-Publishing, or "Vanity Publishing" as it used to be called, is often seen as "less than" publishing. But, people may be changing their minds. After all, personal finance mega-star Dave Ramsey started out selling his own self-published book and later saw the updated version, Total Money Makeover, of it on the New York Times Bestsellers list.
Recently, I've enjoyed a few other self-published or micro-press published books. One excellent example is Quivering Daughters by Hillary McFarland--a story that needed to be told but hadn't yet made it to the radar of big-time publishers. With all the attention the Quiverfull lifestyles is getting from TLC's "19 Kids and Counting," I'm hoping Hillary's book will go much farther up the bestseller list in the future. (Meanwhile, buy a copy!!)
Right now I happen to be reading a self-published novel based on the experiences of the author's in-laws during World War II. In This Hospitalable Land by Lynmar Brock, Jr., came to my attention in and advertisement on one of my favorite websites--Good Reads. I had a little trouble tracking down a copy thru interlibrary loan, but it finally arrived a few days ago and I have been enjoying it.
Eventually, the author's self-published work was recognized for it's merit and "republished" by Amazon Encore--a new "service" of Amazon to help recognize overlooked talent based on ratings and reviews written about the book on Amazon. The books they publish are also available in KINDLE format.
Finally, several years ago, I enjoyed a pleasant memoir by a military wife from Indianapolis on the joys and struggles of a posting to Japan in the 1960s. I have not been able to trace that book--even thru the Indianapolis-Marion County Library catalog. It was a nice view of "expat" life, the little idiotic things that drive you crazy. I remember one thing this wife missed was Lowry's Seasoned Salt! She had her mother mail her a jar--I guess even the base PX didn't carry it! I read it not long after my on "expat" days in the Peace Corps so I really could relate to that little memory!
So, struggling authors out there--don't give up! Get Amazon to sell your book and generate some reviews. Who knows? You could join Dave Ramsey on the bestseller list!