Publishers versus DIY Publishing
Which route you choose depends entirely on you and your purpose.
For me, there were two things
1. Completion Time.
I wanted my book published, regardless of market and commercial interest. It's a fun experiment where it's more important to be completed, than to make money.
I wanted to tell a story with solid characters and a fun plot. I wanted to create a book that kids and adults genuinely wanted to read and reread, and I wanted it to look as professional as possible.
Actually, I wanted the best of both worlds.
So why did I go the DIY publishing route without even trying the publisher route?
A few reasons:
1. Book publishing is incredibly competitive. I've never published a book before and it's unlikely my book would be accepted by a publisher. It could literally be years before (or if) it's accepted. By which stage my nieces will be reading William Gibson, not Who Ate The Cake?
2. Assuming my story is accepted by a publisher, it takes another 18 months - 2 years the book to get to the shelves. Coming from a digital background where things move fast, I was shocked. What in the process could possibly take that long?
2 years later and errm...my own book has just been published so perhaps 2 years is how long it takes. However this project was a side project between other, full time projects and I've been through the learning curve so the next book shouldn't take as long.
3. Once I've written the story, formatted the manuscript according to industry standards, sent it to a publisher, and the publisher has accepted it. As a writer, it's thank you very much and goodbye. My job is done. I'll get 5% of the royalties (10% if I was an illustrator and writer) if and when the book sells.
At this point, my producer instincts kick in. What? What about the storyboards? The visual style? The characters? The illustrations? The cover? The book design, dimensions, paper weight? All those creative decisions.
That's all part of the fun.