Linda Austin said… Good comments on both sides, here. I’m a member of a publishing assoc that works mostly with those wanting to self-publish and our last meeting was filled with new people! We push the importance of good editing and design to give self-publishing a better reputation. Most members end up starting their own publishing company.
Being traditionally published is nice, not a sure way to riches either as many new books end up as remainders after a few months and that’s the end of them. Trad publishing also does not ensure quality or diversity – these are big businesses that want what sells to the masses. Celebrities, the notorious, the disgraced are welcome. If Marley sells, how many other dog and cat books can we come up with quickly.
My big gripe is the fighting and snootiness between trad and self-publishers. There are pros and cons to both, there is a place for both! Writers determine what path will make them happy. Personally I chose indie publishing for my book and don’t regret it at all. I have learned so much and a whole new world has opened up. My little memoir does have a type of dist thru LSI/Ingram which has helped it sell (without much help from me lately) over the 200 needed to announce “indie success,” but the biggest success is the fun I’m having and the thrill of having strangers seek me out to say how they loved the book. We each have our own definition of success and riches. If I had spent years trying to find an agent and a big publishing house with no guarantee of “success,” I would have missed out on a lot! That said, I encourage newbies to try for small publishers who seem willing to take more risks – most newbies aren’t ready for the business end of the stick.