Perhaps it is a lack of patience or trust in God, but I have decided to go ahead and self-publish my manuscripts.
I have been trying for 10 years to get various manuscripts, booklets, articles, and pamphlets published, but to no avail. As I said in my introduction, I have been rejected by 20 Catholic publishers. These manuscripts are not doing any good for anyone as they sit here and collect dust, so I figure I might as well go ahead and self-publish, even though by doing so I know very few people will probably ever read them.
I have met so many people over the years to whom I have said, "oh, I have written the perfect manuscript for what you are looking for, but I unfortunately have not published it yet." Now, I can go back to those same people (and to others I will encounter) and be able to give them what they need or are looking for.
The "pros" to self-publishing include full ownership (being able to put a work out exactly as you want it without having to make changes demanded by the publisher) and greater income per sale (anywhere from five to seven dollars per book sold as opposed to a little over one dollar per book sold). The "cons" to self-publishing, however, are that I would be responsible for my own marketing and publicity (which is hard work and will not get me into as many markets and garner as much notoriety as the publishing houses would provide) and as a consequence I will not make nearly as many sales. So the "five dollars a book" will actually result in less money as the "one dollar and change" per book.
In my spiritual journey, the Lord has continually, especially as of late, called me back to St. Therese's "Little Way". I find myself repeating the words my good friend from seminary told me years ago: "You might have been brought into this world to save a single soul." I think I have been too long dreaming about and thus shooting for publishing the next "best-seller" in theology. However, I think that my gazing up so long at the stars has distracted me from and blinded me from seeing the people who are already in my life or who I will meet at a local level that can and would benefit from my writings.
Therefore, if I can get my book to a few friends / acquaintances and various people in Saskatchewan and make even a small difference within my small circles or in my locale, I will be satisfied with my accomplishments.
There are four things I must do before I publish. (1) First, I must go back and self-edit my manuscripts. This has been a tedious process. Although my English is excellent (when Ignatius Press was considering publishing my manuscript, an editor proofread and only marked 50 errors, most of them minor), there are so many things I have discovered I need or want to "re-word" or add. (2) Second, I must obtain an "Imprimatur". I have spoken to my Chancellor here in Saskatoon, and it sounds like this will not be a problem. (3) Third, I want to get a "heavy-hitter", a "who's who", a "big name" to write a foreword for me. (4) Fourth, I want to establish a marketing plan.
Providence has worked powerfully in my life as of late to bring me to this point. I moved in with a young Catholic named "Hudson Byblow", who I would later find out had just self-published a book himself and had a marketing plan in place! He has been a true Godsend, and without Him, my manuscripts would have continued to gather dust.
I will issue an update once my "books" have been published.