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Thanks to reading appreciation sites like Goodreads.com, print on demand publishing options like CreateSpace, and e-book publishing options like Amazon's KDP, NookPress, Kobo, GooglePlay, iBookstore and more, there is no shortage of ways for writers to publish their work to the reading public without the traditional long wait from a publisher just to receive the response "No" or "it doesn't fit our present needs" over and over again.
My first book, New Jersey 9/11 Memorials did not sell well by any measure (though it is still on sale) and all the queried traditional publishers may have gauged well the lack of market for such a book. Or maybe not. The book might well have sold much better with their marketing muscle and printing cost efficiencies which I didn't have and which made my book more expensive than I thought it should be for optimum salability. But despite the fact that no traditional publisher wanted to touch the photo book, I wanted to produce it. In fact, it was a joy to work on, to write and to be a part of. It is something I will always remember fondly. It isn't an earth-shatteringly important book, but it is a nice homage to the victims of 9/11 in New Jersey and the way towns remembered the people and events, as well as their attackers.
I wanted to publish that book because it was important to me. Twenty years ago I still would have been able to publish a book like New Jersey 9/11 Memorials independently, but it would have been infinitely more expensive and difficult to produce. Today's environment for independently publishing books, music, and even movies is so much easier than it used to be. And the pricing for the customer can be much better than what is offered through traditional publishers, especially e-book offerings.
Having been wrung through the publishing wringer three or four times, for my latest book, The Devil's Assassin, I decided to avoid the long, and somewhat depressing process and go straight to independent publishing where I have total control of what I want to publish and when. For me, I'd rather let the book reading public decide if they want to read a book rather than some recently hired, underpaid, editorial assistant in New York City. And having worked for two large New York book publishers as a production editor, I know the process and how unmeritorious it can often be.
With independent publishing you don't need to beg for a literary agent and then give them 10% of your earnings so that they can get you a contract with a publisher who will give you a dollar a book on a 30 dollar list-priced hard cover publication.
Being an independent book publisher and author is not a great way to make a living for most who do it, but it is a fulfilling way to achieve your goals without needing the imprimatur of some supposed authority. Now I just need to get me some marketing muscle. Carpe diem!