My apologies for not having posted any reviews for a while. I took a step back to get the proofs in for a long term project, a non-fiction book that should be out with one of the largest non-fiction science publishers by the end of this year. It was an exercise in contemplating the best and the worst of conventional publishing. I won't give you they title because it is writing I do under another name--but I will take advantage of my pseudonnymity to say a few things.
I don't play the game of saying 'industry is broken' or 'any book written deserves to be published'. The industry is what it is, imperfect but basically functional. As things stand conventional publishing is generally going to reach a larger audience and make more money. So yes, as authors we have a range of options available for any given book--sometimes a wide range and sometimes.... not so much. But self-publishing is absolutely not a quick and easy route to fame and fortune.
So... I am not a cheerleader for self-publishing, but I am not a cheerleader for conventional publishing either. After two years of writing and six month of post-submission editing this is more true than ever. As an academic text, this book won't sell much over a thousand copies, and no matter how many copies sell I will be paid nothing. Oh, and I had to completely remove the final chapter which contained most of the important points I wanted to make. Let's just say: I could be more thrilled.
That said, when I mention this publisher's name people are impressed. It will help my career, and all that. It shows I know how this is done, and I can do it. Does that make it a good deal? I don't know. People will read this book due to its publisher, imprint and brand who wouldn't read it if it was anywhere else, and being an academic book it will stay in print a lot longer than conventional published books often do. But I still need to write a book that really says what I wanted to say--so the next one is going to a smaller press and every chapter is damn well staying in there or I will walk away from the deal.