When I submitted my first book for publishing, publishing houses were still viable. I was brave and submitted a manuscript. The returned message was discouraging as it is for most. I was told I would do better with a platform.
But that doesn't mean the person without a platform doesn't have something meaningful to communicate.
The response I got that day also urged me to try article publishing first. I made queries to several magazines, mostly to no avail.
I sold my first print article to the Evangelical Church Library Association for $50. It was a fabulous win for me at the time.
Then, in 2010, I got a gig with a web content company. To date, I have over 500 purchased articles published in a 10-year period. This is my anniversary of getting my paid writing career off the ground!
Over time, publishing houses went belly-up. CEOs were let go. Self-publishing began to take the stage.
I don't believe in writers pursuing self-publishing with companies that make you pay to have their book published. Too many friends of mine have ended up with stacks of books in their garages. They have no idea how to sell them.
I do believe in Kindle Direct Publishing by Amazon (KDP), though. I have had good success with it.