Greetings, everyone. I've lately been struggling with a decision on my work. I am at a crossroads between pursuing self-publishing, or going through the standard publishing route. Self-publishing seems to fit my intentions, for the most part. I don't intend to make money off of my work, I just want to get it out there. The cons of this option keep eating at me, though: 1. I get the impression self-publishing is viewed as the "easy way out". The author doesn't want to deal with the hassle and time needed to get a manuscript through the obstacle course, so to speak, so they turn to something more readily capable to get the work into print. Is this the case? 2. The title of the thread, self-publication rights. I keep reading numerous, contradictory articles on this. Sometimes they say don't self-publish, because then you will ruin your chances of ever getting signed onto a major publisher. Other ones say it's possibly a better way in the door than the standard query letter / manuscript submission process, because the book is out there getting reviews already and is less of a risk to the publisher, since they have something to go off of. A self-published novel with a lot of buzz can be picked up by a publisher and signed onto a contract, or something along those lines. I believe a similar success story in this vein was Paolini's Eragon, but I'm not too sure on the subject, and I of course realize we're not all going to be unique snowflakes like that. 3. I have a feeling it will make me "less" of a writer. Avoiding the constant rejection and rewriting that goes into the process of getting a novel published the standard way seems to me like being spoiled, a little. As if I won't be able to truly write a good novel unless I've overcome the hardships that are thrown at me during the regular publishing process. With all this in mind, is the self-publishing route really as bad as I'm letting myself make it sound?