Tyrannosaurus Rex is extinct, as is Neanderthal Man and the Traditional Publisher. You can look for these creatures, but all you are going to find are bones, dust and wisps of smoke.
Our passion, while we write our first novels, is right up there with sex and chocolate ice cream. We just know there is a traditional publisher out there that will snatch up our effort and make us Best Selling Authors! You start sending queries to every publisher on the planet knowing that one of them will want to read your manuscript. After many dollars in postage and months of no responses whatsoever, you hang your head in shame, wondering if you could even write in the first place.
Rest easy, my fellow Unknown Authors, and hold your heads high. You have accomplished something few people ever dream of. You have written a novel! That fact, determination, faith in your abilities, and aggressive marketing can and will allow you to publish your book without a traditional publisher. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and walk proudly into the world of P.O.D.
Welcome to the 21st century! Unless your name is Stephen King, your only real hope of being published is Publish On Demand or self-publishing. Google "publish on demand" and you will be introduced to PODs from around the world. Yes, you pay for their services and not all are equal.
PODing is not self-publishing. When you self-publish, you end up with a garage full of books that you must promote and sell. I call that tailgate marketing. You also pay for printing and shipping to get your books to the garage in the first place. This form of being published has been successful for some authors who have the time to become a roaming bookstore.
I wanted to start my second novel right away, so I researched publish on demand. In this scenario, books are not printed until someone orders one online (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.). I don't have a garage full of books starting to mold because I don't have time to sell them.
My second novel is finished and I will send it to my POD publisher next week. I have started my third novel and hope to have it published next summer. Having a POD partner has enabled me to build credibility as an author by having multiple books for sale on the Internet. This is called the Author's Platform.
Two years ago, I was in the mindset that there was no way I was going to have to pay for publishing. I have since learned that unless you are an established author, there is no other way. The trick is research, research and more research. Don't take anyone's word about publishing. Find out for yourself what is available. Establish a budget and stick to it. Most of all, don't ever give up on yourself. If you have any questions about your publishing path, e-mail me. Two years ago I couldn't even spell author and now I are one!