Valerie Douglas guest posting on Emily Chand's site, Novel Publicity:

There are people out there more than willing to prey on our hopes and dreams, and many authors will pay almost anything to realize those dreams. I know one writer who put thousands of dollars of his own money into a print version of his books. I don’t know how many are still in boxes. Print books are much more difficult to sell. Getting bookstores to take a chance on giving precious shelf space to an unknown, independent writer is difficult. So many authors do that and their garages are filled with broken dreams. Many walk away, their hopes dashed.

And:

That’s not to say that the traditional way is wrong, but unless what a publisher offers you makes your life easier, what do you need a middleman for?

The thing about self-publishing is that it gives writers options. If you want your book out quickly, or if you think you'll make more money without a publisher, then you know that, with an awful lot of hard work, you might be able to make it happen.

My only advice is to really think about your book, including who it is for and what you want to happen to it. Consider all of your options.

That middleman (or woman, of course) that Valerie refers to could be the person who transforms your good novel into a great one. They could be the one who gets you on national radio instead of just some friendly blogger's podcast.

Don't believe the myth that publishers and agents do nothing. It's nonsense.

I'll say it again, consider all of your options. Then whatever you decide, do it with gusto, determination and only after carrying out some solid research. Which is what Valerie's article is really all about. Being mindful about your work and what you do with it.