Like so many stories about self-publishing, this article focuses on a specific author who used POD as a stepping stone to publication through more traditional channels. When her book about a woman with Alzheimer's went nowhere with agents and editors, she turned to iUniverse, now an AuthorHouse subsidiary. And then when the book did well, it got picked up by Simon and Schuster and is now on the NY Times bestseller list. The article also discusses the options available on LuLu and even quotes their PR director by name.
I find it interesting that these articles almost always seem to focus on the folks who find “success” in the form of a contract with a major publisher. Are there no stories about people who go with a self-publisher, sell well, and decide to stick with it?
And it never mentions ebooks, either. That's a mistake.
DIY Codicil: Agent Nathan Bransford has just announced on his blog his plans for his “Be An Agent For A Day Contest.” So, if you think being an agent is easy, you can try your hand at sorting through queries and finding those that were, in fact, actually about books accepted for publication. Sounds like an interesting idea. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like you can volunteer and then accept your own query.