You could ask if the major publishers are really looking out for their readers, or if it's all about the bottom line.
If you are the publisher, on a limited budget, Paige Crutcher suggests you keep your readers' interests in mind. It isn't about you or what you want when you decide to do it yourself. It's what your readers want, the experience that they will have. Because if they don't have a good experience, no one will talk about your book and there goes the free publicity that you so desperately need.
Ms. Crutcher had an agent but things didn't work out. Just getting representation is a big step, but agents don't sell every manuscript that lands on their desk. She wanted to get her book out there to the reading public, sure that it had a place in the market. So she is self-publishing, and writing about it for Publishers Weekly.
She offers the usual advice about lining up a core group of beta readers who won't just tell you they love what you've done but will give an honest assessment. And then the manuscript needs to be seen by a good copy editor to correct the misspellings and typos that even the best eyes miss until you're perusing the galley and the errors pop like fireworks.
Unless you have some grammatical skills, you might consider taking on an editor to examine your content before you download that manuscript.
Perhaps her best advice in this month's installment of her adventure is the one most easily overlooked. When you write, you are writing for an audience. Give the people what they want, and they will buy.
It is possible to find success, especially if the big publishing houses are not putting the reader first and the readers are looking elsewhere. Put yourself there and your book will be found...we can assume that Ms. Crutcher will deal with marketing in the coming months.
Self-publishing is a viable option these days, with the ease of creating an e-book almost too tempting for those who see a shortcut where shortcuts do not really exist. Not if success is the goal.
Writing? Write for your readers. If you and your readers are of one mind, then you can write for yourself.