I wanted to be traditionally published and worked for it and courted it for years. They said they didn’t want to work with me because I didn’t have an agent. Once I got an agent, nothing changed, beyond it being two of us getting ignored. The real game seemed to be who do you know. So I self-published. I try to learn the craft as much as I can and write well. I’m still working and still learning.
In the meantime, a traditional publisher (Vintage Books, a division of Random House) put out Fifty Shades of Grey, a writer’s and certainly an editor’s nightmare, and that made me lose faith in the idea that they were the gatekeepers of quality fiction.
These days, small press and self-publish outfits are releasing a lot more quality and less bad drivel than they were over a decade ago.
The lure of traditional publishing is still there for me, but they’ve tarnished their reputation some with their own badly written drivel these days, in my view. I hope to go with a small press next time. If not, self-publish is still there, and I demand high quality writing of myself, so I know it will be the best book I can release.
Yet, learning the craft of writing well should never stop. I love finding new things to learn to improve.