It was a real thrill to get a small third party publisher interested in my manuscript. They definitely gave the book a polish that I could never have achieved on my own. To be fair they also pointed out some plot inconsistencies and timing issues that I couldn't see any more. I'd just got too close to the story.
The only downside was that they only wanted to do an e-book launch until we could prove that the book had a market. It took four months before we finally agreed that the e-book had sold enough to demonstrate that a print run would be worth the effort.
It was amazing to see my first book on Amazon when it was only available as a download. When you finally get a professionally printed book in your hands you start to believe that you are in the foothills, at least, of being an author.
Some friends were kind enough to buy the first few copies, then a bookshop in Thailand agreed to stock it. We are miles away from seeing it in high street bookshops but its still a great feeling to see your work on a bookshelf instead of just a screen.
If you've self published an e-book and are trying to make up your mind, you really have to go for it. There are plenty of small printing firms that specialise in short run prints - we used a company called Russell Press in the UK. I am now seeing copies of the paperback notching up sales through Amazon and it feels a little more real than all the e-book sales that preceded it.
If you are thinking of doing a print run, do it.
Mine is here - Thai Lottery - paperback version