Not to start my Publishing Career on a sour note, but...
At last... My Career has arrived... No longer penniless days...
Traditional Publishing has always been "The Right Way" to become a "Published Author." One needed to create a Book Proposal (Once upon a Time...), have A Meeting (if they find your Proposal 'worthy of their attention'), and then Pitch Again.
If you give a Good Pitch, then they would take on the Publishing of your Book, give you the (precious, and very sought after) Advance (hopefully hefty, instead of meager)... And You were on your way.
That didn't always happen though.
One Author pitched his book to 62 different Agents and was turned down. He kept on plugging, and eventually on #63, he reached Someone who would "take a chance" on this 'Unknown Author.'
That "Unknown" Author? Was Stephen King. His first Book? "Cujo." The rest, as they say, is history.
"Self Publishing" was formerly known as "Vanity Press Publishing." It had the taint of being something that an 'author' would do, because Their Work did not make the threshold of what was considered a "salable" Book.
You had to cover All of the Costs associated with the (usually very limited) Press Run (plus the hefty profit of the Vanity Publisher which you used). Usually, these books sold... Twenty, maybe Thirty Copies (mostly to Relatives and Friends). Hence, the Writer would have to rely on getting their book out the hard way.
But then (as with Mr. King), there were the 'Vanity Press' Publishings that 'took off.' Scoffed at by Mainstream Publishers as being 'too out there,' One Author self Published his first Book, and Word of Mouth sold 100,000 copies. THEN the Mainstream Press took notice. And He got that (highly coveted) Book Contract.
His Name is Neal Donald Walsch. His Book was "Conversations with God." Needless to say, "and the rest was history."
Progress to the 21st Century. Self Publishing has gained a tad more respect.
During the Pandemic Lockdown, apparently everyone and their sister/brother/ cousin knocked out a Pandemic 'Novel.' There was even a Teenager who wrote their 'autobiography.' At 17. He must've had a helluva life, to write that.
But Amazon and Other Book Publishers, have mainstreamed and made a lot easier, this Act of Self Publishing. Although I'm sure that these Books have about the same results as the former "Vanity" Press 'offerings.' Books sold to Friends and Family, and...
You see, even if. you manage to knock a book out, that's only the Beginning in the Publishing Journey. Then comes the PR. And the cobbling together of the "Book Release Team" of your Friends and Family (and Associates).
Unless you want your Book to die an untimely dearth [sic]. And that is where the Uphill Climb begins.
If you have Money to Spend, you can hire these PR People to do all of the heavy lifting. If you don't... Then You have to Do It (All) Yourself. It can be done, but it's easier said than done.
This is where I am in the Process. Doing the 'dirty work' working on getting my Book Recognition. And following in the footsteps of Walsch.
I am realistic though. I know that I am not going to sell 100k copies of my Book, the first time out. If I sell 1,000 copies, I'll be wildly ecstatic. But even that number is off in the future.
Now is Press Release Time. Which should have started January 1st -- but, you know that last year and January were not good times for steady concentration and fertile work habits. I wrote, I drew. I was not up to the tasks that consume me now.
And then there's other form of Promotion. Podcasts. Which hopefully lead to Interviews with Big Names. Being covered by NPR is one of my dreams for this Book.
Publishing is a Journey. Whether it be by the 'Acceptable' Publishing Houses or by doing it on Amazon/BookBaby/IngramSpark/etc. And even with the Big Publishing Houses, unless your name is Stephen King or Joyce Carol Oates... You still have to do the legwork. They don't do Publicity for your Book. They don't create the "Book Tours." You have to do that yourself.
You've Written a Book. Congratulations. Now comes the Hard Part.