I'm in the process of "going pro". I'd say I'm almost there, as most of my income comes directly or indirectly from my photography. One project I started late last year was to publish a book of my best work to date.
I designed in Adobe InDesign, and published it through Blurb's PDF-to-Book workflow. Its an 80-page book coffee table book with images, my own thoughts and ideas behind the image, and famous quotes that match up with the subject matter:
I sell it locally, and of course its available on Blurb in Softcover ($35) and Hardcover ($50). However, I've learned a lot (and I'm still learning) about the whole process.
First of all, copyright issues with using quotations is so confusing, complicated, and stressful. Laws are different in each country (the US being the worst), and there are provisions that honour one countries copyright in another. However there are laws defining that the shorter of the two copyright periods are used, and in some cases there are further revisions that negate this and use the longer term... ugh! I just ended up using quotes from people that died before 1921.
Its funny to look at it in this way, but famous authors such as Mark Twain, Henry David Thoreau, Oscar Wilde, etc were certainly outstanding authors of their time, but they continue to be extremely popular and well-known now because you can quote them freely as their work is in the public domain.
Cost is also an issue - small production runs of books is expensive. Selling the books locally I make about $5-$7 each, online a little more as I'm not absorbing extra costs in shipping etc. Still, the cost of my book, at $50, means it sees a rather limited audience. I certainly won't get rich from this.
I had contacted four local printing companies about run sizes up to 100 books, and their costs were absurdly more expensive than the one-off costs that Blurb gives me. I was a little shocked by this, the little local guys were not even in the same ballpark of pricing (sometimes even more than double).
I'd like to have it seen by a wider audience, but the commission rates of bookstores or Amazon mean that I'd be losing money on every sale. Distribution for a self-publisher is a painful journey. Getting an ISBN number was free, but I have to send a copy of the book to the national archives (this is Canadian law) at my cost.
I've heard nothing but extremely positive comments on the book, having sold roughly 30 copies. At the very least, its an impressive first impression when someone asks for your portfolio and you hand them a published book.
I'd like to heard from other people that have walked down this path. Any suggestions, ideas, or comments are extremely welcomed. Its been a fun project, and I intend to do it again in the future.