This article outlines some of the opportunities for authors who want to forgo traditional publishers and e-publish on their own. In the 21st Century, we post our own blogs, record and share our own videos and photos, and generally have opinions on everything. It's a natural extension of the internet for authors to think that e-publishing is a cheaper, faster, better way to reach readers and make money.
There are, however, downsides. People still buy books, so publishers are still dominant. Bypassing traditional channels also avoids any marketing assistance or digital rights management ("DRM"). DRM "locks" each copy of your content so that it can't be shared without paying a new license fee. The decision to protect your content from new readers is not one to be made lightly, and depending on the stage in your career and the capital investment you are able to make before you "hit it big," self-publishing may be the best short-term solution.
Consider carefully with whom you share any material to which you wish to later sell rights. Most reputable publishers have standard non-disclosure agreements and waivers, but if you are looking for a bargain, don't forget to ask from where the costs are being cut!