Okay, hello out there, all you people reading this! Welcome.
My name is Michael Edward Walston, and I'm a science fiction writer who is about to embark on a voyage into the realm of indie publishing.
I've been writing for years, and I've seen the number of markets where new writers without agents can submit their work shrink steadily. Like many others, I have found this to be discouraging.
Then I discovered http://www.smashwords.com/. This is a website that allows you to publish a book in electronic form--for free--and then charge people for downloading it. You can set the price yourself, or even give it away for nothing. If you do charge for it, Smashwords keeps 15% of the take--and they also provide a free distribution channel that allows you to get into other online stores. The ones available change from time to time but they currently include the Apple iBookstore, Sony, Kobo, Borders, Diesel and others--and word is that Amazon will soon be included too.
Offhand, I can't remember the last time my thinking about something changed so drastically in such a short time. It took maybe five minutes to decide I wanted to go this route instead of continuing to bash my head against the brick wall of "Big Publishing".
I'll have much more to say on this topic in future posts.