I tell this story often but new information has come in for CHEAP CABERNET so for those who have heard it, put your ear plugs in. One of my clients worked with me on a memoir for ages and then got a great agent. The agent attempted to sell the book, shopping it for a year. No luck.
The client decided to take matters into her own hands and published the book herself. One month later three conventional publishers cherry picked the book from the net, bid on it. Hyperion published it.
I learned today that it has been picked as one of the top 15 Books For a Better Life award sponsored by the National MS Society.
You can't keep a good book down. I truly believe cream will always rise to the top and that is why book publishing will go on and on no matter how many generations of doomsday cynics think it is doomed.