Self publishing isn't for everyone.
Yep, I'm one of those rational self-pubbers who sees value in both trade publication and self publication. I currently have a novel or two on the backburner that I'll likely seek traditional publication for—I even have some publishers in mind to query—but for now, I'm self publishing entirely, except for some shorter work that's been picked up by small presses and such.
If you pay attention to how I'm self-publishing—releasing a novel for free on a blog and Wattpad, often making my own covers, etc.—I'm breaking a lot of the "rules" for it, too. Why on earth have I chosen to self publish my Aleyi and Darkworld series instead of seeking traditional publication?
- What I've written so far strikes me as the kind of books I want to read but only hear about after they've gone out of print. I don't think the traditional marketing methods will work well for my stories. For example, I have a series that's planned do some intense secondary-genre hopping, from drama to mystery to romance and more.
- I find it easier to find individual readers than I do individual publications interested in what I write.
- I don't like the sound of a lot of publishing contracts, right now, though I'm keeping my eyes peeled to try both. (I actually remember when e-book royalties were higher. Now e-books are more popular, and the e-book royalty rates are lower? How does that compute?)
- I'm curious how well I can do on my own.
- It gives me accountability and deadlines for what I write. Querying process? Not so much.
- I find it easier than going through the trad-publishing process.
- I already have to market myself, because I'm a freelancer, so there's nothing new there.
- I'd have to do promotion anyway, with a traditional publication deal.
- I prefer the pay cut I get as self-publisher.
- I prefer being the one who calls the shots—and the one who's responsible if something doesn't work.
- I enjoy cover design, interior layout, etc.
- I actually enjoy this entire process.
Do I expect to become the next Amanda Hocking? No. Do I think it's possible to do well as an indie author? Yes. Do I think I will do well as an indie author? Eventually, I do think so, but it's in the Lord's hands. (Call it the luck factor, if you like, but I consider it God's Providence.)
But I'm not anti–trade publishing, so there are some WiPs that I think would be well suited to trade publishing and for which I'll seek a trade publisher.
In short: I'm a businesswoman. I'll take the path that works for my goals.