The fact that an ebook can be priced at $2.99 and still make money does not mean that it should look cheap. My advice as an ebook reader is, if you want to self-publish, get help! Get help with the cover, and with editing, and especially with proofing. Proofing a manuscript to send to an agent or editor requires a decent level of accuracy but it's still way down from proofing a book someone is going to pay for. Once someone plunks down money, their expectation goes up. When you self-publish, you've got no one to blame but yourself if your product is full of errors.
What it boils down to is books are products as well as creative efforts. A publisher has staff to deal with the editing process, page and/or ebook layout, and quality control. With self-publishing, you have control, but you have to do the work. And it is work. If you decide to take the self-pub route, you need to know that up front.
But hey, at least it's an option! It's better than what we had before, which was spending thousands to produce a print book with no good way to sell it. Ergo, I decided to run a poll, to see how other folks feel about this issue. Feel free to weigh in in a comment, if the options listed don't match what you want to say.
Note: I've disabled anonymous commenting because of spam, so you need an LJ account to take the poll, or to leave a comment.
If you have had no success with traditional methods, would you self-publish?