One of the biggest reasons I don’t intend to use a publisher – aside from their propensity to meddle – is that I don’t see any reason why I have to ask for permission to get my work out to readers. Publishers are gatekeepers, but the gates have been thrown down. Why bother with them?
Once upon a time, publishers acted as curators. They weeded through the slush to find the good stuff, and it was those that they picked to publish. Only no, that’s not right – they didn’t pick the good ones, only the ones they thought would sell. They picked the safest, most inoffensive investments that were most likely to turn a profit.
Nice for them, but a raw deal for the individual authors. Why should I allow someone else to choose whether my book sees the light of day? Why should I put someone else between me and my readers, when it’s only them and myself that really matter in this equation? When there was no other choice it made sense to go through a publisher, but now there are other ways. I’ll take the direct route, thank you very much.
As Seth Godin said, “No one is going to pick you. Pick yourself.” Don’t give others power over you, and don’t wait for permission. Just go. Choose yourself, and get to work. Now.