Another series I've been reading stalled on book 4 and the publisher is noncommittal about book 5 even though a movie is in the works for book 1.
So at least a writer wouldn't be stuck with that hell. Or with being pressured to accept the kinds of slinky scantily clad females on book covers that are all the rage now.
But taking on everything a publisher does is a lot for most introverted writers to handle. And how much future writing can you get done when you're busy handling all of the marketing tasks for the current one(s)?
Here are a variety of perspectives on self publishing, keeping in mind that writers may choose it for different reasons.
Successful self-publisher Amanda Hocking has a few things to say about e-publishing.
An agent talks about winning the publishing lottery being the same with either self publishing or traditional publishing.
Roxane Gay, writer and professor, has still another view of self publishing, one that's ruffled a few feathers.
[One of those feathers belonging to Nick Mamatas, resulting in an exchange between the two. Nick is himself an author and teaches writing classes. (As an aside, he was one of the early reporters of the Cooks Source plagiarism scandal.)]
Roxane followed up her original post with a guest post about self publishing by Mary Maddox.
This dialog between writers Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath is being linked to in several of the posts about self-publishing.
I think that in certain contexts, e-publishing is great for novella length works if you are already publishing traditionally and building a name for yourself. In that vein, author Sarah Katherine Lewis (Indecent, Sex and Bacon) recently published her snarky and insightful rehab diary in .pdf format which can be converted for Kindle and other e-formats. I recommend it and will be reviewing it soon.
I suspect that an industry will grow up around e-publishing that caters to authors looking to farm out some of the marketing and other tasks associated with it. The more best-sellers that arise out of e-publishing, the more it will be taken seriously.
By the way, if you're thinking about e-publishing, Ms. Lewis, mentioned above, is also an editor. You can contact her via her website.
Calibre e-book management was recommended to me for converting to various e-book formats, including those used on readers like Kindle.
ETA2: http://yuki-onna.livejournal.com/636473.html about the pricing of e-books and arguing against the 99 cent iTunes model (which I think is insulting for full length books but maybe introductory short stories as a marketing tool would be fine at that price)