With a title like this, I bet you think I'm going to talk about the mechanics or economics of writing. Maybe about how much work goes into creating a self-published novel, or how if you can you should hire professional editors, how to market your books, yadda, yadda, yadda....
The single most important thing I've learned from self-publishing my novels and short stories both on-line and in print?
Self-confidence and self-reliance.
No, I'm not joking. Yes, I feel this is important enough to write about it on the internet.
Because as an author you are going to get a lot of crap thrown at you. A lot of feedback from critique groups and fellow writers, some good and some bad. A lot of rejection slips after you've slaved away on that manuscript and sent hours upon hours crafting the perfect query letter to send to hundreds of agents and editors. A lot of your own inner voice telling you "well, you must just suck then. You should give up." Even family and friends won't get it. (I had a family member tell me my book was crap, my main character was annoying, and I shouldn't write novels at all--some support there peach!)
But at the end of the day NONE of that crap matters. All that matters is you. Do you want to write? Are you writing something? Then you are a writer. Many great, famous authors were told they were crap and should just give up. But they persevered. For that matter many crappy authors are now famous and making millions of dollars on their "crap." So there world.
If there is anything I've learned from this journey, it is that I can quite literally do just about anything I set my mind to. Don't know how to make an e-book? Learn. Don't know how to format for print? Learn. Can't afford to pay someone to make your book covers? Get Photoshop, open up google, and learn.
It's really that easy. And that applies to every damned thing in your life.
Never say you can't do something because of external factors. In this day and age there are so many things available to you. Throw your shoulders back, pick your head up and DO them!