I am not against indie-publishing. In fact, I have indie-published some books for both writers and for educators. And I read lots of mystery books by authors who indie publish in a highly professional manner.
In many years of writing for kids and of critiquing and coaching children’s writers, I have worked with loads of folks who want to self-publish (or who do self-publish) their books. Most end up disappointed due to unrealistic expectations.
Here’s what I think, in a nutshell:
Also, from my indie-published (ironically) book, Making a Living Writing Books for Kids:
“The cons to self-publishing are many. First, it’s almost impossible to self-publish picture books well. Novels are easier to produce well, because of the lack of art, but they still rarely reach many readers. You have to be a monster marketer to self-publish successfully, and you should accept that you will likely lose, not earn, money off it.
Self-publishing can work well for sharing memoirs, novels, or poetry with family and friends, though. And you can use [Kindle Print] or another print-on-demand service (still very complex for picture books, and with limited trim sizes).
Another form of self-publishing might be to create a lesson/unit featuring your manuscript to sell on Teachers Pay Teachers or another teacher resource marketplace. This would still require art, great design, and educator materials to accompany your manuscript.
There are rare exceptions, but self-published children’s books generally do not reach an audience beyond the author’s immediate family and friends. If you are working on a personal project that you want to share with immediate family and friends, indie-publishing might be a good fit for you.”