So here's a hypothetical for you folks. (We lawyers love our hypotheticals.)
Let's say you have a day job that you like and pays you enough money that you are surviving happily.
Let's also say you have a secret shameful goal -- like, say publishing a book someday.
Let's say you've written a few books to date, and one of them seems pretty good, in that it's readable and amusing. But alas, you haven't really got any agenty-takers.
So you've shelved that project and are happily working away on a new one, all the while working at your day job, attempting to exercise daily, form positive social relationships with other humans, maintain shiny volumized hair, and contribute to the good of society.
One more detail -- you have this weird character trait. Let's call it "obsessive-compulsive disorder." Or maybe it's just a character flaw -- impatience. Or maybe it's more philosophical -- "carpe diem, quam minime credula postero," my homies.
Whatever it is, there is a voice in your head that insists today is better than tomorrow, and too much of your life has already been spent on regretting not taking immediate action.
Do you just decide, "What the hell, I'm going to buy an ISBN, format my Word .doc into a PDF, and just e-publish this thing myself. Charge people $3.99 or give it away for free, I don't care. I just need it to be out in the universe already. If it's not as good as I thought it was, so be it."
Or do you keep plugging away, assuming that someday this effort will be rewarded in more traditional avenues?
Want some more details for the hypothetical? Sure you do, you've gotten this far.
Let's say you know a few graphic designers. A copy editor or two. Hell, maybe you yourself even had some copy editor training back in the day. You know how to set up an LLC, just so everything can look classy and on the up-and-up. At the very least, you can be sure it won't look like crap.
It gets more awesome -- you know people in marketing who at the very least can suggest ideas to keep it from taking up the very last spot on Amazon.com's sale list. Your embarrassing dream will at least be able to make a respectable showing ("respectable" is in the eye of the beholder).
And, perhaps most importantly -- at the end of the day, you do not mind one teeny, tiny bit if no one ever buys the damn thing. It is enough for you to know that people can.
But ... and here's the big but.
You don't want it to come back and haunt you someday--or worse, jinx you--should the "more traditional avenues" ever pan out.
Given that getting published via traditional means is unlikely ... is the "big but" actually even a concern?
Thoughts, feelings, jokes you would all like to share?