The world has a complicated relationship with self publishing. On the one hand, it levels the playing field, letting those who might never have written a story before finally succeed at what they thought was impossible. On the other, some claim it's destroying the livelihoods of professional authors and making it impossible for them to make a living.
Maybe one or both of those things is true. Maybe neither are. I'm certainly not finding it hard to make a living writing erotica while I explore other book genres. But aside from money, there are a few things I truly love about self publishing:
Other self publishers are fucking awesome. There are always one or two rotten apples, but in general everyone I've met has been helpful, kind, and just trying to figure out how to write their books and sell the most copies of them.
The erotic author communities, especially, are very fulfilling. Heaving_Breasts and Smutwriters are two of the best private groups around, and without them my business would be much smaller and extremely lonely.
I make my ebook covers with my fiance. I decide what to write. I decide how to write it. I decide where, how, and how much to advertise. I get to decide how I interact with fans, how I advertise to them, how many I'll send free copies of my books.
I can decide how this website will look, when to write new blog posts, how often to post on Twitter. I get to decide how to price my books and when to put them on sale! I don't have anyone butting in and telling me to do things their way because I have some horrible contract with them.
That freedom is wonderful. I get to be my own boss!
Researching the best keywords, how to run a website, what the best kinks to write are? That stuff is fun. It's one of the best parts of this job.
When a book succeeds, it REALLY succeeds. You can make millions writing romance and erotica, so long as you self publish it. And when a book makes it high in the ranks, that success is completely and utterly on me. Not on my team of editors and cover designers. I don't have to share that glory with anyone else.
It reminds me of how strong I am. Even my failures build me up, little by little.
So yes, I love self publishing, and I think I will for many years to come. I hope we never have to return to the traditional publishing model. Nothing I have ever done has been this satisfying.