Every day I see a new article on how to get published. And not just published, but best seller, quit-your-evil-day-job published. Because as everyone knows, it's totally probable that writers make a bazillion dollars out of the starting gate. Uh, no. Not really. Not at all.
Granted, self-publishing has increased the odds that a writer can now earn beyond poverty wages, but the majority of writers out there are not making six figures. Many are happy to sell enough to take a nice vacation or pay the water bill. With as much offerings as are available lately, is it any wonder how difficult it is for a writer to stand out among his/her peers?
Some writers mandate that you throw yourself into social media. Others claim that does nothing, and you just have to write a good book. Some insist you need an agent, while others will tell you agents are obsolete. While yet another group hops on one foot, writes using a green pen, and praises Thoth, the Egyptian god associated with writing, because that worked for them. Everyone has a different story or way of doing things, and every writer thinks his/her way is the right way. Who the hell knows why one book sells and another doesn't? I sure don't.
In the old days of the Big 6 publishers, agents and editors controlled what readers could read. If you weren't traditionally NY published, forget it. Then small presses, what used to be called indie presses, opened the doors. Places like Ellora's Cave and Samhain made erotic romance huge. And indie authors--small press authors--started making a lucrative living.
Fast forward a few years and self-publishing is the new "indie." Today's indie authors are doing well, sharing information, and making it possible for others who've toyed with the idea of writing to actually publish. Personally, I'm glad for the ability to stop relying on a select few to dictate who reads what. However, that said, I've also seen many, many projects that should have been vetted by someone other than the author's best friend before becoming published.
Writing is a very subjective field. But there are pros and cons to self-publishing and traditional publishing. This particular link highlights a great list of things to think about.
And this link details why you might not want to be a writer, when all's said and done. Hilarious, and very, very true.