My last two posts have been building up to one major question: What does it mean to get published? Back in the day, that was easy to answer. If you had an agent and they sold your book to a publisher, you were published. But now, it's not so easy. Some people argue that you still have to have an agent and sell your book to a major publisher, but some believe that if your book is readily available to an audience, whether in electronic or print form, it's published. I doubt there will ever be an majority ruling on the topic, so, right now, it's based on individual preference.
For me, being published means having my work available to an audience. Although, I'm taking it one step further. It has to be made available to the audience through a publisher, though it doesn't have to be a major publisher. I believe that there has to be some standard for writers, and that an editor has to go through your work. It needs to be formatted and a cover has to be designed. I know that some self-publishing sites offer these services, but at a cost to the author. Most publishers offer these services for free, and, for me, that makes all the difference. Don't get me wrong, I would love to get picked up by a major publishing house, but I'm not going to discount the accomplishments I've made. We have to take all the victories we can, even if they're small!
I worked a bit on the third story in my serial last night. It felt good to get something accomplished, and it opened up avenues for the last two stories. I won't be able to work tonight because I have to finish some editing, but I'm slowly getting my confidence back. I'm very happy I have the support group I have, or I would have given up a loooong time ago!