There's been a bunch of articles lately about how the vast morass of terribly written self-published books on the market poison the well for all self-published authors. Readers are being tricked by untrustworthy reviews into paying good money for incompetent work. The dreckworthy quality of these books causes the reader to swear off self-published books, and Something Must Be Done.
These articles primarily come from trade published authors who claim to support self-publishing (while proclaiming the majority of it dreck), and usually produce irritated/angry responses from self-publishers (along with many reasoned arguments pointing out that bad videos haven't killed off YouTube and Snooki hasn't killed off trade publishing, etc, etc), which are then used as evidence that self-publishers are delusional, hostile and crazyballs and overreact so much when people tell them what's wrong with them.
It's not a particularly productive conversation. Self-publishers are able to impact the quality of their own work, and maybe give some helpful feedback on the work of others if and when asked. But the truly incompetent either never ask for feedback or (as I've seen) simply don't care even when a forum full of self-publishers point out that they have a dozen typos on their first page. There already is a strong culture of "make your books better" among some self-publishers, while others are more interested in the latest trick for discoverability, and others still don't talk to any other self-publishers, but do their own thing.
The Borg has not yet gotten around to assimilating self-publishers. There is no hive mind here.
Nor is this an argument anyone's going to win. Some people won't read self-publishers. Some people will. Some self-publishers will put out good work. Some self-publishers won't. Some trade published books are good. Some trade published books are used as the fall-back example of "trade publishing puts out bad books too!". Some of those books make trade publishing millions of dollars.
One person's dreck is another person's doradango.
The majority of the books I read are trade published, but I'll happily buy self-published if I'm drawn by the cover, the blurb interests me and the sample's good. I've never chosen books to read by who published them. I'm undisturbed by the idea that some readers will never touch my books because I'm self-published. They can join the readers who won't read my books because I'm a woman, or because they contain swearing, or the occasional bi-normative world.
Long story short: wow, there's been a lot of Chicken Little posts about self-publishing lately.
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