For a reality check, take a look at what Author Solutions charges folks to self-pub. For the low, low price of $1999, you get the "Pinnacle" package: "For those serious about selling their book in the retail marketplace, our PinnacleSM self publishing package offers all the tools an author needs to get his or her book shelved. Along with the noteworthy features of DiscoverySM, this package offers our Booksellers Return Program that makes it easier to get bookstores to carry a book and a Book Signing Kit to make your events more memorable."
Notice how they say "make it easier to get bookstores to carry"? That's one reason self-publishing is often a bad idea. Unlike a traditional publisher, there is no marketing team trying to get bookstores all over the nation to stock your book. No, it's just you. And when you approach bookstores about carrying your book, they're usually not interested in something that is often priced higher than comparable traditional books, that offers them less of a discount, and that isn't returnable.
One Colorado bookstore has found a way to turn all the self-pubbed authors into cash flow: "The store charges its consignment authors according to a tiered fee structure: $25 simply to stock a book (five copies at a time, replenished as needed by the author for no additional fee); $75 to feature a book for at least two weeks in the “Recommended” section; and $125 to, in addition to everything else, mention the book in the store’s email newsletter, feature it on the Local Favorites page of the store’s website for at least 60 days, and enable people to buy it online for the time it’s stocked in the store. And for $255 — essentially, the platinum package — the store will throw in an in-store reading and book-signing event."
Read more about the Boulder bookstore's program here.
Remember: Money flows to the author.