Early on in college, I had a love affair with self-publishing. I loved the idea of putting everything online under the Creative Commons license, sharing what I wrote freely, and self-publishing so people could print my work out if they wanted. I loved the idea of information being free, and I figured that if my work was good, people would give me money for it out of the good of their hearts.
That’s not as foolish as it might seem. Kickstarter and GoFundMe and other crowdfunding sites have proven that people will directly support work that they think provides value. Many webcomic artists have proven that you can give your main product away for free and still make an income.
Now I realize how very much work is involved in doing all that yourself. And at this point in my life, I would absolutely seek a traditional publishing company to handle my work. If I couldn’t, I’d just post the text online through a blog and not bother with anything else. I don’t know what changed, but I don’t think it’s that I’m more greedy and want more money, nor that I’m more lazy and want to do less work. Rather, I just don’t think I want to do the setup and marketing work required with self-publishing. I’d rather be learning, writing, consulting, and spending time with my family.
Check out this great article on the subject: For me, traditional publishing means poverty. But self-publish? No way