I wonder if writers who scream the loudest against self-publishing are actually afraid of their own power?
Over the long haul, the hard worker gets a bigger audience. Talent is plentiful, cheap, and nearly worthless. Ideas are worthless. Sure, there will be the lucky strikes here and there, but in this new entrepreneurial era, those who work will win.
There's a reason traditional publishers take 85 percent of the money. There's a lot of work involved in selling a book. With the self-published writer closer to the revenue stream, the writer should be working way harder than they do when earning 8 percent or whatever. Trad publishers scare all the writers into hustling because there's the threat of being dropped if your sales tank. And, it's obvious but truer than ever, writers who don't check their email, don't get on the forums, don't build a mailing list, and are disconnected are layers and layers away from their audience. It's almost a direct feed these days--you can't just sit in your little cottage by the sea and post out masterpieces. J.D. Salinger wouldn't have a chance today.
Call it "vanity," "self-publishing," "independent author," "cooperative imprint," whatever. I've come to view as more of a libertarian action, taking responsibility and directly benefiting from my own labors or enduring the disappointments of my own failures. It's still a hard road, and I want to earn a few hundred more rejection slips before I go to the Great Word Processor in the Sky. But right now I love that direct connection with the audience.
Besides, I'm a writer. Being vain is one of the job requirements.