What are some issues with self-publishing?
The biggest problem with self-publishing (and we’ve helped people do that) is the author’s inability to take an objective look at their own book.
We’ve seen self-pubs that are awful and many that are genius. Objectively, where does your book fit in? Once you go through that assessment, then determine what is “bad or inauthentic.”
It is okay for you to call yourself a published author if you self-publish. Before you do that, take a fearless inventory of the book you have published.
What is the quality level? Does it stand up against others in the same field?
How was it proofread? Proofreading a book is not the same as proofreading an internet posting or FAQ :-).
What is the layout like? Formatting is a problem for many people.
How did you create/buy/use the ISBN? Be cautious of using the ISBN that you get from POD sites.
Was the cover designed individually for the book or did you just use some random cover creator? Most self-pub covers look like a package of clip art exploded on them.
Have you had eyes not your own on the book for an evaluation?
In short, is the book that you’ve produced compatible enough to sit on the shelves of local bookstores? The publishing models of traditional, hybrid and self are all legitimate choices these days.