I, and several members of Living Writer's Collective (the world's greatest writing group), recently attended a seminar on self-publishing and electronic publishing hosted by author Ramon Presson. He highlighted the pros and cons of various forms of publishing: POD (print on demand) self, vanity, traditional.
The fact is that traditional publishing is becoming less and less of an option for new writers as publishers just don't have the resources to take risks on new books and new writers. Of the other options, POD and self or e-publishing are much less expensive and have better rewards than vanity press.
A key thing that many writers are not aware of is that even successful writers who have traditional publishers are turning down advances from publishers and giving up their contracts in favor of publishing their work themselves. They do this because it allows the author to keep all profits and because having a publisher no longer benefits writers the way it used to. Today, even if you have a publisher, YOU have to do all the PR and marketing yourself, the same as if you were self-published.
Ramon spoke about a friend's experience with publishing on Kindle and how easy and quick his friend said it was. It amazes me that more people haven't looked into this.
I am the most tech and computer challenged person you could meet. I can now send an email with attachments, but until several months ago I had to call my husband and ask how to do it (again) each time I needed to. Even so, I have successfully e-published several stories and one novel for both Kindle and Nook. NOTE: Kindle and Nook pay you a percentage of royalties on sales of your work, but there is NO COST to you at all to publish with them. It's a win-win.
I thought I would share the details of how easy this is. The first thing I did was "attend" a FREE webinar by Daniel Hall, about how to publish a book to Kindle through Amazon's DTP (Direct To Publish) site. The webinar lasted about an hour and not only walked you through the process and explained every step in detail, but offered lots of information and advice on marketing and format and other things I don't know the actual terms for. Hall has another webinar about publishing to Nook using Barnes and Noble's Pubit! program.
Following this instruction, I was able to publish my work for both Kindle and Nook and the whole process is very quick and simple. I started out, as an experiment, publishing a short story and now have several short stories and my first novel available for my many (all four of them) fans to purchase and download to their e-readers. I highly recommend all writers try this form of publishing.
As far as I know, you can still Google Daniel Hall's webinars for self e-publishing and view them FREE. Hall has lots of webinars on many subjects regarding writing, marketing and promoting your work (not all of them free, but his clients that pay for other services is what allows him to offer some things to the rest of us at no charge).
I advise everyone to do this with some of their writing just because it's a great experience. Ramon suggested it also looks good on your writing resume. And once your work is out there, it may become wildly successful. What have you got to lose?