SelfPUbpictureTime magazine recently published an article on the explosion of self-publishing. Once considered solely the domain of the vane, self-publishing is now more popular and credible than ever.

Consider these tid-bits from journalist Andrew Rice’s Dec. 10, 2012 article:

* Self-published books made up 30 percent of Amazon’s top 100 sellers last October.

* Four were among the 25 top sellers on the New York Times bestseller list over Thanksgiving weekend.

* Since 2006, annual production of self-published titles has tripled.

* E-book publishing is currently growing at a rate nearly four times that of print publishing.

* One study estimates traditional houses lost $100 million in revenue last year because of self-publishing.

As someone who has written two books, which have yet to be published, I am often asked, “Why don’t you self publish?”

Why indeed not? Particularly when self-published authors keep most their profits?

So, when author Rachelle Gardner, an agent with Books & Such, asked for writers to review her new series of e-books on publishing, I signed right up!

Gardner’s first book, “How Do I Decide? Self-publishing vs. Traditional Publishing: A Field Guide for Authors” was co-written with Michelle DeRusha and released on Amazon last week. For $3.99, this 75-page overview gives the basics a writer should consider before making up his or her mind. Included are check-lists, charts, and resources for writers.

“There is so much “noise” out there when it comes to this topic that writers can easily be swayed by whichever voice is the loudest,” Gardner writes in chapter two, How to Approach the Decision. “Your friends may advise you to go a particular direction; others with popular blogs and strong opinions will do their best to push you one way or the other. But you need to make the choice that’s right for you.”

First, it helps to be aware of why you want to publish a book, she says.

After reading Gardner’s book and mentally completing her check-lists, I now have an answer for those urging me to self-publish: validation. I need to know that someone else values my work. A writer’s life is lonely enough. And when it comes to publishing, I want someone in my corner.

Interestingly, Gardner made the opposite choice. Which goes to show there’s more than one right answer.

A copy of Gardner’s book was provided to me for free for this review.

What about you? Got a book you want to publish? Ever considered self-publishing?