If the object is simply to get something they've written in print, no matter how good or bad or it is, then that's simply vanity. Vanity publishing submits itself to no test of quality. For the record, we're very strict at Comely Bank Publishing; all of our publications are judged by peers. But if you're going it alone then your book either had to be good – and an author isn't the best judge of his or her own work – or about making money.
So back to our writer. It turned out that he was spending a lot of money. He's paid for a cover (not a great one, I'd suggest), the book has been edited and proof-read at considerable expense, and there are print costs of course, too. And that's to say nothing about marketing or distribution.
This author reckons he needs to sell several hundred copies, but he hasn't a hope. Meantime he's laid himself wide open to those sharks that swim around self-publishing authors – and from which we at Comely Bank Publishing make such an effort to protect our group.
So, to all authors, a word of advice: subject yourself to the fiercest criticism. (Not from people who don't like your kind of book, though!) Let them say their worst. They will, it'll hurt, and they'll probably be on an ego trip of their own. But never mind. If you still think the book is worth publishing, try to do so in a way that doesn't expose yourself to too much financial risk. That means ebooks, or possibly CreateSpace or a similar print-on-demand system. Perhaps, if it's good enough and fits our profile, we might endorse it at Comely Bank Publishing. Otherwise: take care.
Good luck to that guy with the new book. I haven't read it, and I've no idea how any shop would ever find out about it, let alone stock it. Let me know if you find out.