wrestlervic saidI self-publish. I'll be damn if I'll wait for some publisher to put me at the top of their "slush pile." Did you know that's what they call it?
I have no disdain for female writers. I just like fiction about central male characters to be written by men. Non-fiction, I have no preference.
Even as a self-published writer you should be aware that the majority of readers interested in fiction are women. Most men seem to prefer video games. At least, that's what I've noticed. I'm actually in a fringe category, because I write gay fiction, which has a very small audience.... You have to write for yourself though and just hope that people want to go with you on the ride.
Edit: btw, how has self-publishing worked out for you? It seems to be the wave of the future.
It's very rewarding to have strangers like your book. I see it this way, it is almost impossible with the number of writers out there to get your book published by a major publisher. With Borders closing, and probably Barnes and Noble next, there may not be many brick-and-mortar book stores five years from now. Because of that, publishers are only taking their chances on books by big names.
You're right that you have to write for yourself. You have to create a niche of people who admire your work, through Facebook, etc. That's how you gain a following. You may only sell twenty books a month, or maybe you'll sell over 200, but you are in control. And if that audience makes your book go viral, publishers may contact you. They are actually looking now for books that have already "made the grade." I just feel that what anyone writes is important. For someone to spend years of their life to write something that may never be read is just tragic to me. Just think of all the wonderful masterpieces lost because some unhappy agent didn't like the topic.
By the way, the main character in my current book is named Joe. He has big calves, as all main characters should.