When I was younger, I equated being an author with sitting at a desk, staring melancholically out of the open window, pen poised indecisively yet gracefully over paper. As I grew older, though, I realized that that vision is far from the truth. While not even close to being obselete, the days of chasing editors and newspaper coverage and pitching to majestic publishing houses are slowly becoming a thing of the past.
That's not necessarily a bad thing.
A common misconception that I encounter quite often is that the people who self-publish, are the ones who couldn't "hack it" in the world of traditional publishing. While it is undeniable that traditional publishing houses carry on them an instrinsic seal of trustworthiness, dismissing self-published novelists as unskilled amateurs is a terrible mistake. I read one of the most fascinating and visceral cyber-crime thrillers a month ago, and it was much better than some of the stuff traditionally published. If anyone's interested, the book was What Did Tashi Do by my fellow indie author Anangsha Alammyan. I highly recommend that you check it out.
As for me, two factors - personality traits, more like - contributed to the decision to not go down the road of traditional publishing. Firstly, I am an extremely impatient person when it comes to things like this. The second, I need to have complete creative control over my work.
So you see, submitting a proposal to someone I may never hear back from and then sitting idly for months with fingers crossed was not an option. Neither was giving up the opportunity to tell my story, my way. Any deviation or modification would betray my creative integrity. I know what I want to say, and I know how I want to say it. Whether it is the right way or the right story (if such a thing exists) is immaterial. What matters is that I stayed true to myself, and win or lose, I did it on my merit alone.
Self-publishing platforms offer certain practical advantages, chief among them being the practice of print-on-demand. Only if someone orders your book does it get printed. Which means that there is no need to print in bulk anymore. You can also make changes to the content of the book whenever you want, and the modifications will be reflected from the next copy printed. So if you made a horrendous mistake somewhere, there's no need to flush yourself down the toilet. Instead, make the required changes to the book's interior, and you're all set.
Self-publishing does come with its own challenges, though, the primary one being that people will get skeptical whenever you tell them that you chose to ignore the traditional path. There's a certain stigma, a lack of credibility if you will, attached to self-publishing. Completely asinine, in my opinion, but it is prevalent nonetheless. The other problem is very practical in nature. You will have to design your own cover and your own interior. Which means all editing, typesetting, and designing activities have to be undertaken by you. If you can do it, all the power to you. If you can't, well, be prepared to spend some money.
So that's it, basically. If anyone's interested, my novels are both part of the same series of detective stories with a strong focus on mental health issues in today's age. My debut novel, Birth of a Duo, is free on Kindle Unlimited, and completely free for all Kindle users until October 21, 2019. I'd love it if you gave it a try and expressed your honest opinions on it. Criticism can only help me grow at this stage of my career.
Note - the digital versions of my books are published through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and are enrolled in KDP Select. My paperbacks are published through Notion Press. I highly recommend both platforms; so far, I have no complaints.