What about “print on demand”?

Print-on-Demand (POD) is a new printing technology. All of us in publishing are impressed with the output of these short-run services. The books look and feel like real books, which is what they are. And they can print a few or many copies. Increasingly, this technology is being used by traditional publishers for small print runs or as a way to print a few copies or to print “Unedited Advance Reader Copies.” Taken by itself, it is just another way to print books.
Self-publishing is a cheap way to get in print, but you get what you pay for with most self-publishing entities: very little or no editing, poor cover design, and virtually zero marketing or sales.  This is not to say that all self publishers are bad or unethical. If you just want to print a few books about your family history for family members, any self publishing company will probably do. But if you have an established market (you frequently speak to groups, conduct seminars, pastor a large church, etc.), or you are wanting to establish your credentials as a credible author, it will be much more advantageous for you to team up with “hybrid” publishing partners who can make sure your book is professionally done with good editing, cover design, and other features which separate a self-published book done “on the cheap” to one that competes with books published by the big boys.