"How do you feel/think about self-publishing? I mean, many poets out there are doing that, and I was wondering about that versus small presses--in terms of pros and cons!"Admittedly, this is not my area of expertise, so I'm hoping others will chime in with their opinions.
The pros: Self publishing makes it easier to control your own "literary destiny." In other words, you control the cost of the books, the inventory, and the marketing. Lots of sites such as lulu.com make it easy to print and purchase books. And if you have a strong local network, or a good online presence, you can probably sell all of your initial print run.
The cons: you do everything yourself. I'm not that detailed oriented, so I don't want to worry about how my books get distributed. I don't care about tracking book sales or lugging a trunkload of titles to sell at my next reading.
Even the smallest of publishers can use their contacts and market insights to help your book find its readership. In theory, the publisher takes the risks and absorbs the costs. All you have to worry about is helping your title find its audience. Maybe there are more similarities between a self-published title and one distributed by a press. But for me, I've never wanted to self publish. Too much work, which takes me away from the creative process.
Does that help? I'd love to hear what others think about self publishing.