I agree with what the original poster said on most counts. As an indie, I assure you, fair reader, that you will be doing a lot of hustling if you wish to be successful. To paraphrase a certain superhero, “With great independence comes great responsibility.” Being independent means much of your life is like being a shark, i.e., if you’re not swimming, you’re drowning. It also makes you subject to the vagaries of your given outlet, with Amazon’s algorithm shifts being the most well-known (and complained about) example.
Having just completed a certain trilogy ( with the conclusion hopefully more Wookies than Ewoks), I can now say that there are advantages and disadvantages to the small press route as well. As with any joint endeavor, there were vehement disagreements with regards to direction, participation, and marketing. However, I can say with 100% certainty, that “James Young, Slinger of Tales” does not land all the names you see on that last cover. To hint at my “year in review,” I’ll merely say that this was a fun exercise, but it came at the cost of me being behind in my own projects. Ergo, while I’m not saying I won’t be in or run another alternate anthology ever again, I am confident in saying it’s coming on the back side of my next two books.
Ultimately, no matter what your choices are, remember no one will manage your career as well as you do. Keep your head on a swivel, and make choices that look out for your interests.