Dean Wesley Smith really doesn’t like traditional publishing (see link below). I’m not as dead set against it as Dean. I think it might be right for certain people – not for me, mind you – most of the time.
I have tried to find an agent for my middle grade novel series (my Agnes Kelly Mystery Adventures) to try and traditionally publish, to get greater access to the school market. But it has gotten into 3 schools anyway, through people I know who are middle grade teachers and one teacher who found me at a book sale and really liked my book. So it is still possible to get into schools, but it’s not easy.
In general, however, I find I like the creative control – of the writing, of the cover, of the interior design (which is why I help others with these tasks as well 🙂 )- and I like the control of when it gets out there and how much I am selling it for (besides a significant royalty over traditional publishing). Of course, that means me taking on the risks – paying for editing, taking the time to find out what the process is and how best to do it, keeping abreast of the book business…
Since most of the time with a traditional publisher you have to do most of the marketing anyway, why give them rights and lose the control, and wait and wait for the book to come out and make changes to it that you may or may not agree with and… Well, you get the point.
But for some who don’t have any interest in the process, can be patient, and don’t want to put any money into the game, or want to get to a difficult market – such as my example of getting into schools – it might be the way to go.
The point is to know what you’re getting into with either direction.