Few editors have the TIME to spend nurturing new authors and shaping books with good bones that are nearly ready to go. That doesn’t mean they don’t WANT to do it. But publishers have trimmed their staff to the bone. They have So. Much. Business that they don’t HAVE to develop books. They leave that to agents and critique groups.
It’s a wonderful thought, but trad publishing isn’t on the decline. They have good years and bad years, but no matter how you slice it, they have more subs than they can manage, and they’re still making killer profits. (Their writers aren’t, but that’s more about contracts.)
Self publishing is definitely a viable path, and there are writers making a killing, but make no mistake: self publishing hasn’t hurt the trad publishers so far. It has simply provided a route by which more writers can enter the market.
No true. Even small books get help from publishers. They may get it only at launch, and certainly they don’t get things like the Today Show or Oprah’s Book Club, but they DO get help. It would be a complete waste for a publisher to pay to produce a book and then to kick it out the door with nothing.
Traditional publishers live and die by launch numbers, so that’s where they focus their help and their marketing money. After that, it’s up to the writer to maintain the buzz.
Don’t confuse a little help with no help. Even small trad pubbed books can sell 5000 copies, and most self pubbed are pleased with 100.