I knew this was common among my friends who, like me, are still trying to make the leap from unknown writer to known writer. We're advised to build a platform, get our writing out there wherever possible, create our own press releases and promotional materials, and we convince ourselves that doing these things for ourselves is still a better deal than chipping away at royalty checks to pay someone else to do it.
But there were two things I didn't realize. Writers who've made the leap from unknown to known still write for free. And there's even evidence that strongly suggest that it matters whether you're a man or a woman.
I remember being surprised when I discovered that Carolyn Keene, author of the Nancy Drew books, was actually more than one person, and that the books weren't always written by female writers.
But why good writing alone isn't sufficient more than fifty years later is a mystery to me.