I've mentioned Amanda Hocking before as a successful self-published author, who has used the electronic publishing programs from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Smashwords to her advantage. She has sold a lot of books this way, and less than two months ago was quoted as saying,"This is working really well as me."
Working or not, it seems she has decided to try things out with a traditional publisher:
A Successful Self-Publishing Author Decides to Try the Traditional Route
On her blog, she vaguely discusses her decision:
What I Can Say Right Now
In her post, she talks about how she wants more time to write, instead of marketing her books. Well, as gets pointed out on this thread, lots of traditional authors have to spend a lot of time marketing, too. She also quotes another author and blogger who pointed out traditional authors who are making so much more than self-published ones. Sure, but would Amanda Hocking have gotten picked up by a publisher if she'd taken the traditional route? Or would she be still be sitting in the slush pile, rather than having sold millions of copies of her books?
I think it's still an awesome success story, but I also think it's interesting that she is continuing to self-publish. The books she has already published will remain self-published, and her next book will follow suit. The rights she sold to St. Martin's were to a new 4-book YA series. If she likes traditional publishing, she may bring over her other books, but for now it seems she is using her self-publishing success as leverage to allow her to straddle the fence and check out the scenery on both sides.