I think traditional publishing is going to end up mostly down the toilet, eventually. I read that, in the sci-fi genre, most of the readers are reading ebooks. A traditional publisher prices those at $10 a book, while when we self-publish, it’s $5 or less…which is what most readers buy books at. So if you’re new in this genre, your publisher is going to price you too high. Nobody will see you and you won’t find readership. Add to that the three years it took to find your agent, the two years it took him to find you a publisher and the year it took after that for the book to drop, and sheesh. You could have three books out on KDP already, more reasonably priced, without that 75% the publisher is taking and the threat of your career ending with one book if it doesn’t earn out. Traditional publishers, it seems are making all their money on a tiny handful of authors who command the top bestseller slots, lose money on everybody else, and they don’t really care because every time they publish a Stephen King or a Patricia Cornwell, that’s several mil and they’ve just made their profit for the year.
Are they really developing the NEXT King or Cornwell for the next decade and the decade after that, though? Because it seems like they wait for us to do all the work ourselves, and then whoever is selling a pile self-published, now they want to cherry-pick. You’ve already developed the readership so they don’t have to.
Mmmkay, whatever…no thanks. I can fail all by myself.
I find this article VERY interesting. https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/killing-the-top-ten-sacred-cows-of-publishing-4-you-need-an-agent-to-sell-a-book/
" You should also know that I no longer sell my novels into traditional publishing in the United States. The contracts are too awful, which we will get into here. I do sell them overseas, where the contracts are better, although crappy contract creep is happening there as well (especially in firms that are part of those conglomerates). I do sell the occasional anthology into traditional publishing, and a lot of short fiction. I still have many novels in print through traditional publishers. This makes me a hybrid writer, with feet planted in both camps. I have not had an agent representing my work for years now."
–Kristine Kathryn Rusch.