Every month or so, I take on this question again, because it is one of the most pressing issues in self publishing.
It can be very simple in some cases… do you have the skill and time to do it yourself?
If not, question answered. Set a budget and timeline and start to find a reputable self publishing company that will help you get your book out in the way you want it done. Check the “Writers Beware” site for scams, and make sure you get both a print and eBook .
If you do have the skill, and the time, I strongly encourage you to do it yourself. Software, if you don’t already have it, can be found on the Internet for free or very little money… you don’t have to have InDesign or Word. They make it easier but are not required.
My self publishing advice is slanted toward a specific way of Do It Your Self Publishing. Create your own publishing company, own your own ISBN, and create all the files (except for the cover) yourself. Hire out the editing and the cover, but forge ahead with your own hands otherwise.
And my advice is also skewed to eventually getting into traditional publishing by self publishing great books, building an audience, and continuing to submit to traditional publishers as your book sales grow.
Because doing the self publishing ourselves is a big job, and takes us away from the actual writing. But it gets our books out there, in readers hands, and I believe in that, with all my skill and all my time.