Just because I chose to self-publish Hal Junior doesn't mean I think traditional publishing is broken. If you're writing in a genre with a big potential audience - Fantasy or Paranormal for example - then I don't see the point of going it alone when persistence and talent may eventually secure a contract with a decent trade publisher.
What I'm trying to say is this: If you've always dreamt of selling your work to a big publisher and working with their team to make your novel a success, don't give up on that dream just because some authors are finding success with ebooks and self-pub. The two are not mutually exclusive, and in fact the more published authors abandon ship for the lure of self-publishing, the more new authors those big publishing houses are going to need. But you probably realised that already.
Okay, that works for popular genres, but what happens to oddball novels? Crossovers, niche titles, anything which doesn't fit into a marketing category? If you've hunted high and low but can't find any recent titles similar to yours, there's a good chance you're writing for a smaller audience. Let's say, oh I don't know, maybe science fiction comedy. Or middle-grade science fiction, for that matter.
One suggestion, put to me more than once over the years, was that I abandon my scifi comedy series and write something people would buy ... like Fantasy or Paranormal. Nuts to that! Why on earth would I force myself to write in a genre which I don't even read? Do you want to know what happens when I try to write epic fantasy? See my short story, The Desolator (originally published in Andromeda Spaceways #6).
When switching genres is out of the question, and big publishers aren't interested in your chosen genre, what do you do? You could spend ten or fifteen years on the submission/rejection merry-go-round, or you could self-publish and prove the market exists.
In the meantime, keep writing new novels.
Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)