I answered this question recently on Rebecca Woodhead’s blog. I said that it depends on three things: length, topic and how you feel about publishers. This is what I said:
1. If your story is short (as in short story), novella-length or basically under 50K, then you should consider publishing your work as an ebook yourself. Most publishers don’t publish that short a length of work, esp short stories. This is why I self-published my YA fantasy series because they are only short stories and novella length. I knew publishers wouldn’t accept them, I wanted people to read them as I loved the idea of teenage guardian angels, so I put them out as ebooks.
2. Topic. If your work is cross-genre eg romantic suspense or historical thriller, publishers might find it hard to slot it into categories in a store so often don’t accept these works. Also, if it is too literary or niche, again publishers might not accept them. This also goes for non-fiction, esp niche books. It might be too niche for publishers. Eg I have an idea to eventually write memoirs around my life with Asperger’s Syndrome and I know that is too niche, so will be publishing it myself.
3. Publishers. There are three things here. You might have a publisher and they only want you to write in the genre you have been doing, and not get interested in another genre you like to write. You might have a publisher who started to publish for a specific age then decided not to, so decide to carry on with that yourself. Lastly, and a main point, you might have received lots of rejections from publishers and/or agents for your work, possibly with the comments that it ‘isn’t strong enough to compete in the current market’. I know that last one personally, and this is what set me on the road to self-publishing.
So, have you self-published recently? Was it because of any of the above. Please let me know. I hope you have found this helpful.