Is there any legitimacy to self-publishing yet?
I'm still trying to figure out how I can support myself as a writer without publishing, seriously.
Well Nick, your last sentence feels like a contradiction in terms but, consider:
1. posting is a form of self-publishing; Google stores them all, and I am not the only one who can forget myself online and get embarrassed later. Blogging is too--and I am still struggling with opening a blog account--because I would want to monetize and don't know if I'd ever be good enough. I am not Dick Polman of American Debate, and he is one of my favorite regional political journalists who has a small national platform--not that I wanna imitate the man either, but I want to be as on top of my game, and maybe I can't. But the only way I am ever going to learn if I can is to find an account site and dive in. (sputters)
2. Traditional vanity publishing is just like anything else, you have to know what you are doing, and plan your distribution, and learn how to negotiate that. Will Amazon sell your self-written work? Borders? B&N? How much do you charge? What does your resume look like?
My cv is always up to date, should any publisher need it, and it shows I've paid my dues.
I am not ready to buy my own printer yet though. I need more bylines, and better ones. My best so far is with PNI, and it makes publishers courteous, since PNI has national street cred.
Any writer can get lucky, even me, but you cannot sustain success on the cheap.
One other thing: know what your resources are to promote your manuscript. Most writers who self-publish get an A if they break even on costs, and I only know one reputable poet who does vanity publishing, and she retired, as far as I can tell.
It takes work, either way Nick.
I would have a patron to support me in an ideal world, but it is going to take work; there's no way to get around that.