When is it time to give up on traditional publishing and self-publish?

Recently, a prospective client told us she had received a rejection letter from an agent in which the agent said she had been on the fence about the book and after much debate within herself, had decided to pass on it. Well, we were impressed. That kind of “good” rejection is hard to come by.

But the writer saw it differently. After sending out about 20 queries to agents, she has decided to self-publish.

This is not a crazy decision anymore. All you have to do is go to http: indiereader.com to see that lots of writers are making it is independent writers. Among them is Jessica Park who decided to publish her book FLAT-OUT LOVE independently after traditionally publishing other books. As an independent, she is making enough money to keep on writing and she feels more like a “real author.”

I spent months thinking that I needed a big publisher in order to be a writer, to legitimately carry that “author” title. To validate me, and to validate Flat-Out Love. I needed a publisher to print my books and stick a silly publishing house emblem on the side of a hard copy… I also, apparently, thought that I needed to be taken advantage of, paid inexcusably poorly, and chained to idiotic pricing and covers that I had no control over.
I was, it seems, deluded.

Other writers go to extreme lengths to get traditionally published. Jacob M. Appel writes on the blogspot Literary Rejections on Display:

My collection, Scouting for the Reaper, has won this year's Hudson Prize and will be published by Black Lawrence Press. Your readers will be amused to know that my total rejection count for creative work now includes slightly more 25,000 rejection letters. I have published slightly more than 200 stories.

How much rejection can you stand?