*I'd like to start the following semi-rant with the clarification that it's from Melissa the reader, not Missy the writer. That one will come later.*
Self-publishing is all the rave right now and for some this is a really good thing. However, as a reader I'm still on the fence. I love that I can download a plethora of books for free, legally from authors who just want to get their name out there. I love that I can buy just as many books for as little as $ .99. That is, I love it until I actually try to read the books.
Now don't get me wrong. There are plenty of authors out there who actually take the time to edit their books, or have them professionally edited. There are authors who take enough pride in their work to be certain they are putting a quality product on the market. Unfortunately, there are just as many who either don't or just don't seem to. To be honest, it's gotten to the point where when I open a book file and see the publisher as Smashwords I cringe, and consider not even reading it. It's rare for me to read a Smashwords book with few to no errors in it. Correction, I don't think I've ever read one with no errors in it. And I don't just mean typos. There are grammatical errors and writing fundamentals mistakes that make me roll my eyes and think, why didn't this author catch that?
In most products I'm a firm believer of you get what you pay for. It's a shame that I'm beginning to wonder if that's not the case with literature as well. I've never added a review to Goodreads that says I'm glad I got the book for free, but it's been very tempting. There are just too many where that applies.
So, self-publishing, is it a good thing? Is it helping the industry? Honestly I just don't know. Again, as a reader, I have my doubts because of the quality of product that I'm getting when I look. However, I've only really looked in the romance genre and it's sub-genres. If this is going to be the trend with the types of books I love to read, my heart is truly broken.