For three decades or so, I did the traditional writer thing. I sent stuff off and sometimes it was rejected and sometimes it saw print. But there were long waits and I had little control over what happened to my work. That is why I decided, eventually, to go the self-published route.
That is not to say that I didn’t continue to submit my writing. I had pretty much dropped out of the magazine article thing by the turn of the millennium, but I have had poetry and stories published over the decade and a half since. But I also put out my own first collection of poems in 2004. Printed it myself, that one, on a good laser printer. That was mostly to give to friends or perhaps sell a copy or two at readings.
Then I got serious. I went to a print-on-demand provider (Lulu, whom I still use), and eventually set up an actual publishing company, Arachis Press, purchased ISBNs, went more or less professional about it. This approach had already become common in the music industry and I could see print was going to go the same direction. The digital age assured that; not only the digital delivery of music files or ebooks, but also the ease of producing physical media as CDs or POD books.
Printing presses and vinyl stamping machines were no longer needed. Moreover, sales online could replace distribution (to some degree) to book stores and record shops. I do continue to have most of our products distributed anyway.
I’m actually to the point now where I am going to be publishing books with other people’s names on them. That had always been my intention, truly, but I was too busy writing my own stuff to get around to it. Not a lot but maybe a couple titles a year — we’ll see how it goes. I’d prefer to go with poetry right now, for the most part. So I’m keeping myself busy though I am supposedly retired.
And now I’d best get back to writing.