Here's the story: A lovely librarian from Arlington County had reviewed my book and said she loved it, but since it wasn't in hard cover she couldn't purchase it for circulation. I hadn't realized that as hard cover books endure the wear and tear on a loaner book much better than soft covers, I'd need a hard cover version in order for libraries to carry my book. My self-publishing platform didn't offer this service, so it wasn't going to be easy! I therefore began another long and painful journey into the realm of Print-on-Demand to produce the hard cover version.
When I say self-publishing is not easy, I can't emphasize this point enough. There have been days when I have simply wanted to walk away from this whole process. There have been MANY days where I have regretted this decision. I had to choose a second Print-on-Demand platform, and re-do the process of formatting and proofing. Then there were so many quality control issues with the new platform, new realms of issues I hadn't encountered with the 1st platform....And though we worked hard to eliminate the issues, I still have no guarantee that even 2 copies will come out flawlessly. This is why I emphasize exhausting the traditional publisher route, for again, have you ever bought a book that's been poorly printed?
So again, it's easy to say this but hard to do: if you believe in your work and want nothing other than to share it, grin and bear it, or laugh out loud and make the whole process funny to all including yourself. I promise you'll get through it that way.