So, I wrote a YA novel. Revised the crap out of it (repeatedly). Started querying it, got mostly rejections. Revised query, sent it out some more, and got more rejections (or just no response). Repeat, repeat, repeat. This is nothing new for me, as I've trudged down this road with two previous novels. The difference now is that I'm still in love with this one. I just want it to be read. Now, we know how you feel about self-publishing through outlets like iUniverse and such, and truthfully, I feel the same way. No distribution, no go. But what about on a personal website (after, of course, I've run through the rest of my agent prospects and been soundly rejected)? Teens do a lot of reading at the computer, anyway, and if even ten kids read it and enjoyed it, I'd be happy. And the Internet can be its own distribution if you work hard enough to get the word out. I have a few promotional ideas, and yes, the endeavor would cost me a bit, although the fruits of that would go to the reader (and hosting service) instead of a vanity press. I'm willing to spend the money. The only drawbacks I can think of: the possible regret in ten, twenty years when I cringe at my early work, as we all do; and utter failure to get even one person to read it. I'll have other novels ready to query within the next six months, so it's not like I'm focusing all my energy on this one. And maybe I should just let it go...or maybe I should follow my instincts and put it out there for the readers to decide. Your thoughts?If you'd really be happy for just a couple people to read it, don't want any money out of it, and are willing to work to get it out there... then yes, I think the internet is perfect for you.
If you go into any form of self-publishing (from vanity presses to running a blog like this one) with the understanding that it's your time/money you're investing, it's extremely unlikely you'll ever make them back, and you're just doing it because you want to share something with people, then that's fine.
My sincere good wishes in finding your readers.