Imagine a man. This man is a writer. This man writes two to three books. Man, naturally, wants to be published so he combs through lists and looks up every literary agent and publisher he can find. The most reputable ones he starts with first.
He sends queries to them and gets the following form comments:
"Not for me" or "Too long, trim it down" or "Too short, add more" or "I can't sell this" or "Great book, but I have to pass."
Now, at this point, the man writer is kinda crushed. He worked hard, plugged in all the things they told them to and sent them back out. No one follows up.
So time goes by and he wants to try his second book and looks up the most reputable agents. What is he supposed to say?
"Hey, remember me, that guy whose book you din't like? Guess what? That's me! I have a brand new one! This one is sure to get you flipping pages, even though you said no the first time."
To me it seems like the old way of doing things boils it down to this whole thing: You become a reluctant spammer of your own books.
Exposure is key.
Let the readers decide.
Not the industry.