There is a quote that is said to have African roots, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." I’m not sure of the origin, but after my first venture into self-publishing, I'm sure of its soundness.
I started writing "The Girl Who Loved Pots" on a whim years ago. It ended up being a conglomeration of memories from me, my friends, and my family. But the final production was the result of family and friends’ comments (not all good), suggestions, and corrections. It wasn’t perfect, but the effort demonstrated to me the importance of having people who truly care enough to make those comments, suggestions and corrections.
Once it was published, since it was a solo effort, I had no idea if I could sell one book. But, my friends and family came through there too. I know perfectly well that neither my 80+ year old aunt or my friend’s 80+ year old uncle would have had any interest in reading or purchasing a book called “The Girl Who Loved Pots”; but they, and several others, did just that because they cared.
So, yes, I could have gone through one of those self-publishing companies and got my book out there sooner. I may even have paid extra for a publicist and that may have quickened the process a bit. But, what I do know for sure is that if I have any measure of success, there are a bunch or wonderful people who stood with me to make sure I got as far as I possibly could. And for that I am truly thankful.