Well, it's time to confess what I've done: Something mostly frowned upon by "serious writers of seriousness", who will slave and starve over their craft so that some publisher might shine their money-eye down on them one day. But, let's be honest here: counting on the God-like, money-wielding all-mighty Publishers to grant you an audience(and publishing advances) to most novels, nowadays, is more of a hassle than anything else.
That's why I just self-published my first novel, Stigmata Blues, and am glad I did.
I started my novel one day in Pre-Calculus class, Miami Senior High; I finished the first draft in July of 2011, revised it completely by September 2012, and had sent it off to ten publishers. I waited for months on end for some response, ANY response: I got none, until just a few hours ago, in fact.
Honestly, what is so "sacrilegious" about self-publishing? When no one wants to take a chance on you or your work, why not just push it yourself?
In this day and age, self-publishing makes the most sense out of any writing career, especially if it's a newcomer's turn at the table: Why not take it for all you can, give it your best, promote it yourself, and reap all of the possible rewards?
The past ways are still going strong, don't get me wrong; it's just that no one counted on the power of new technology, like the Kindle or the iPhone or the Internet, as any viable tool for would-be or right-now/right-here writers. I, for one, recommend this type of action for any rookie writer: What's the worst thing that could happen?