Better than self-published
Innova Recordings (http://www.innova.mu) will maunfacture your CD, do cover art designs, proofing, jewel cases, printing, PR, etc of 1000 CDs for about $5.24 per CD (please note that this estimate has significant digit errors. I ought to say about $5.00 a CD, but anyway...). At then end of the process, you get to have 950 CDs sitting in your basement or studio or whatever. I know a guy who self-produced 2000 CDs and he still has more than 1700 of them, despite giving copies to everyone remotely in the music buisiness. It's a good CD, but he's got no buzz. Neither do I.
So even if I create the most fxcking awesome faux audio language course ever thought up by a human being, who the hell is going to buy a copy? Which is why I should stick to "selling" my CD via Mp3.com. The quality sucks. No record stores carry it. It's never had a review. I've sold exactly one copy. and it's only cost me about 20 bucks (buying copies and giving them to family). which is a higher per-disk rate than a real record company, but I don't have 950 disks in my basement.
I'm glad that music school is going to be free, cuz there's just no way I would ever be able to make back my tuition otherwise. And there's no way that I could make back $5k on a run of my CDs, whether I printed 1000 or 10000 or 100, cuz nobody would buy it. Of course, if it were all about the money, I'd be working for a startup in Palo Alto making software for corporations to spy on their employees' email, IM conversations and websurfing habits (yes, I've had a job offer. I considered it for about one milisecond. Yes, I know I'm lucky to be able to say no). But I don't really want to schlep 950 CDs to Middletown either.