A: TL/DR; my goals are different.
I’ve learned a lot in a short time exploring the world of publishing. A few months ago I didn’t know the terms vanity, hybrid, or subsidy publisher. There is also the traditional model, which is how I framed the entire industry.
I have gathered that traditional publishers are rightly focused on printing what will sell. I’m not sure what I’m writing will do that. For me, it seems catering to that would make what is an enjoyable hobby into a job with external pressures, more focused on marketability than anything else. In other words, I’m not interested in making a living doing this.
I do this because I just want to do all the things I love to do: writing, drawing, voice acting, design, and music. These books give me that opportunity, albeit at a slower pace. But that means I create on my own time, without external deadlines or too much outside influence.
Moving towards trying to make money or a career out of this would be quite different. I have other means of making a living, and I’m thankful for that. This is how I choose to use my free time.
I know many prolific writers, and I understand it takes years of effort to get noticed. You build a career over time, and frankly, there are no guarantees. All of the writers I know well support their writing careers with writing or teaching jobs.
Those that pursue a publisher are probably looking to make it a viable career. And that is wonderful — I’m not knocking it. But I am happy doing what I do, and don’t have any illusions that it’s easy to write something and achieve that kind of notoriety.
I am also interested in different methods of printing – ones I admit are not fully cost effective but are beautiful, hand made and archival.
They way I see it, I could walk away from the dream of doing this at all — because “it’s too late” or “I have too many constraints”. I cannot just leave my whole life as it is behind to relentless pursue writing.
So what to do?
I chose to find a means to make it happen.
If you pardon the comparison, I’d rather be like Andy Weir, who, in spite of his recent fame, considers writing to still be a hobby:
I always wanted to be a writer, but I also like eating regular meals. So when I went to college, I went with software engineering, and writing ultimately was my hobby. I kind of bungled into success with ‘The Martian’ so now I get to be a writer.