This is question I posed in one of my writers groups last night.
I'm an aspiring writer. I've had numerous rejections, and on reading my work objectively I can see why. I certainly will never give up trying to improve it.
So this is a hard question for me to ask.
Is this relatively new fashion of electronic and free/subsided publishing simply another variant of vanity publishing? We've all heard of self-published writers selling huge numbers of books through the usual electronic channels. But can anybody really name more than a handful? Is this just the only route through which a lot of writers, possibly myself included, will ever be published?
I know a lot of people say that traditional publishing is now forever changed and that is a good thing. But as much as I'd like to see my books in electronic print it could never compare with the joy of seeing a novel I've written being accepted by a traditional publishing house.
Am I just being old and cynical?
The reason I ask this is because we've all seen the vast quantities of dross that is being self-published now. I'm not trying to present myself as a superb writer. My work is improving and I'm realistic enough to know there's a good chance I'll never be published. However it has to be said that a lot of the stuff out there is absolute rubbish.
Within a couple of years there will be so much that it might be almost impossible, unless one know the style of an individual writer, to find anything worth reading. And I know the publishers trample unmercifully over the writer, giving him/her almost nothing in the way of royalties, but at least the vast majority of books in shops are presented with an understandable plot, grammatically correct manner with a semblance of good punctuation.
I realise that this makes me sound pretentious but I'm worried about book publishing as a whole.