"Lady in the Water," have you seen it? It was that movie about a mermaid that lived in Paul Giamatti's pool. It was written, directed and even co-starred M. Night Shyamalan. Night based the movie on a fairytale he made up for his kids. He was hot off the success of his previous movies and presented the story to his distributor, Disney, who footed the bill for his previous hits. Disney took one look at the script and had Night escorted out of the building.
Night ignored Disney's criticisms and did what any multi-millionaire would do--he paid for it himself. The move bombed and Night had to eat Ramen for the next six months. Why am I telling you this story? Because books, just like movies, are supposed to go through a rigorous production process. For movies, dozens of people have to read the script and approve it, making improvements along the way until it is ready to be filmed. Then even after the movie is made it is edited, where entire scenes, subplots and even characters are completely removed. Next it is screened, and audiences critique the film, often sending it back for more changes until it is finally ready for mass release.
But Night did not do that. He bypassed the system because he could, and he paid the price. As a self-published author you are also bypassing the system. To save you from Night's fate, I am going to give you some steps that will guide you through the self-publishing "system" so you and your book will be more successful.