Then there are some authors who, having worked so hard just to get traditionally published, aren't prepared to let go of that triumph and refuse to see the benefits of self publishing. They seem to fall into one of the fallacies of human experience: the idea that if I had to go through hell to accomplish something then anyone who seemingly accomplishes the same thing in an easier way has negated my accomplishment. Traditionally published authors had to spend years querying agents and years on submission. They had to suffer rejection and sacrifice their stories to chopping block type editors just to get their names in print. And now these upstart self publishing authors come along and just skip by all that stuff and some of them even have to gall to be successful! How dare they take the "easy way out"? At least they'll never have the respectability of a traditionally published author!
Of course, there are people just as narrow on the other side. J. A. Konrath, despite his "conversion experience" from trad to self publishing guru, is often not willing to admit the validity of any way but his (new) way. The risk takers who have the temperament to jump full throttle into "the next big thing" also tend to look down on those who don't. Konrath has done much to spread a lot of valuable and encouraging information about the possibilities (though he treats them as certainties to an extent) of self publishing. But his attitude (which often comes across as bitter and resentful towards legacy publishers) and his "accept no excuses or substitutes" approach often has a negative impact on the image of self publishing authors.
The only thing that is certain right now is that nothing is certain. The entire publishing industry is going through so many changes right now that it's difficult to keep up and impossible to tell the future. One thing that cannot be denied is the possibilities inherent in self-publishing while the advantages to traditional publishing are quickly dwindling. I'm not an expert on the subject by any means. As an aspiring author I've read a lot about it over the past several months and tried to learn as much as I could. Honestly, I've been a bit shocked by some of the things I've learned about how traditional publishing works. In the end, I decided that without a doubt I want to go the self-publishing route when I finish my first novel.
I'd like to give some of my thoughts on the subject, amateur that I am, and my reasons for deciding that self-publishing is the future for me. That's going to take quite a few words since my head is practically brimming with thoughts and opinions. I'll probably take several posts to cover it all. In the meantime, here's my advice:
Keep an open mind.
Also, if you haven't yet, read this absolutely amazingly informative series of blog posts about the changes to the publishing industry by author Kristine Kathryn Rusch: The Business Rusch Publishing Series. You will learn so much you won't even be able to stand it.