Before I begin, a bit of disclosure: While the following has been written in an attempt to be professionally and personally non-biased I am an Associate Publisher for Renaissance E Books.
Now, with that out of the way...
So, should you stay with the traditional model of working with a publisher or go the self-publishing route?
I'd be lying if I said I haven't been thinking – a lot -- about this. The arguments for stepping out on your own are certainly alluring, to put it mildly: being able to keep every dime you make – instead of being paid a royalty – and having total and complete control of your work being the big two.
But after putting on my thinking cap – ponder, ponder, ponder -- I've come to a few conclusions that are going to keep me and my work with publishers for quite some time.
As always, take what I'm going to say there with a hefty dose of sodium chloride: what works for me ... well, works for me and maybe not you.
Being on both sides of the publishing fence – as a writer, editor, and now publisher (even as a Associate Publisher) -- has given me a pretty unique view of the world of not just writing books, working to get them out into the world, but also a pretty good glimpse at the clockwork mechanisms than run the whole shebang.
For example, there's been a long tradition of writers if not actively hating then loudly grumbling about their publishers. You name it and writers will bitch about it: the covers, the publicity (or lack of), royalties ... ad infinitum. Okay, I have to admit more than a few grouches have been mine but with (and I really hate to say this) age has come a change in my perspective. No, I don't think publishers should be given carte blanch to do with as they please and, absolutely, I think that writers should always have the freedom to speak up if things are not to their liking, but that also doesn't mean that publisher's are hand-wringing villains cackling at taking advantage of poor, unfortunate authors.