It can take years to get published in the traditional way and many never get there at all. Self-publishing has therefore recently become something of a phenomenon. Increased access to technology and uptake of social media has enabled some aspiring writers to build communities of fans with enough critical mass to make publishers sit up and take notice. Authors such as Amanda Hocking, Keith Houghton, Adam Croft and, most famously, E.L. James, created their initial success through self-publishing before being signed up by major publishers. According to Publishers’ Weekly, in 2014 self-published books represented 31% of e-book sales on Amazon’s Kindle Store. And this isn’t the only source, with Kobo, CreateSpace and Smashwords all helping people publish their own work at low cost and for much higher royalties than traditional publishing. But in 2016, Amazon admitted that only 40 of its self-published authors earned significant money through publishing their work. So what are the pros and cons of this new approach to finding an audience? New York Times best-selling author Samantha Young leads our panel on making the most of self-publishing.