This is a digital world! I wasn't going to wait any longer for a 19th century process when the 21st century is at my fingertips.
Very few publishing companies publish more than a few books a year and even fewer of those traditional books are from first-time authors. The publishing world is a near impossible world to break into. I've been trying for several years, but all I got was the standard form letter saying, "Thank you for your interest, but we are not looking for anything new at this time (or we are not the right publisher for your work). Best of luck."
A few months ago, I read an article about a woman who published her first book through Amazon's Kindle online publishing. Within a year, her book had sold over 600,000 times! A movie company was looking to buy the rights to the book. All of that and not a single traditional paper book was printed. Last month I read another article about an author who had published a couple of books the traditional way, but was completely frustrated by the process that the publishing company goes through. The author lost all rights to the publicity of her book and the publishers took a considerable chunk of the profits. This author switched to Amazon and love it. The author retains all control of the publicity and can even set the price of their book.
I knew this was the way for me to go. Two weeks ago, I took the step and published my first book through Amazon. I'm very proud of this. It is a middle school aged fiction for girls. So far, I've sold three copies! I bought one, of course, my grandmother and my aunt. Thanks family for your support! Check it out: Go Band Go!