You have to be able to change hats. Or wear both at the same time. That's not confusing. Not a bit.
Author: My publisher is a total bitch. She's forced me to go through the stupid draft a gazillion times looking for errors. She wants me to stick to a writing schedule and meet deadlines. She's always asking me why I'm not writing more and all she cares about is selling books. What does she know about inspiration? About courting the fickle muse? I'm opening my veins and bleeding onto the page and all she wants to know is how many words I wrote today.
Publisher: That author I publish? What an artsy fartsy nut job. When she's in the groove, she writes pretty well. But getting her there? She's like spit on a griddle. She needs to check Facebook and what about her blog? Shouldn't she be writing more blog posts? And the pantry really needs to be cleaned out before she can even think about writing today. What if nobody likes her work? What if they give her bad reviews? Why don't people recognize her artistic soul? Blah, blah, blah. You want inspiration? How's this for inspiration? Two words: day job. You already quit yours. If you want to eat three meals a day and sleep indoors, shut up and keep writing.
I have seen the enemy and she is me. Or something like that. The point is I'm learning that the publishing side is just as important as the writing side. Are you a publisher or not? If you know you really aren't a publisher, that doesn't mean you're stuck with the traditional publishing model if you want to keep more control. It does mean that you need to do your homework and find good contractors to do the work for you.
One way to remodel your kitchen is to hire a general contractor. You tell them what you want, they give you a bid, and if it's acceptable you sign the contract and off you go. The contractor hires the plumber, the electrician, the cabinet maker, etc. Or you can make yourself the boss. I've remodeled two kitchens now and both times served as my own general contractor. Which meant I had to hire and supervise everybody myself. Definitely not easier, but I saved money and got a lot more control over the process. Is one approach intrinsically better than the other? No. You just have to know which type of homeowner you are. Play to your strengths.
So, which type of self-publisher are you? Before you try to put a book out there, figure it out. Hire help accordingly. The supposed number of self-published authors who never sell any books is daunting. (I say supposed because I've seen stated numbers that lie somewhere between “many” and “holy #$@%!”) Many of those unsold books may be really well written, but really badly published. Both parts matter.
Author: My psycho bitch publisher wants me to knock out another thousand words before dinner. I think I'll take a nap instead.
Publisher: You won't have a roof to nap under if you don't start making some money.
Author: Whatever. Just wake me up for cocktail hour.