We are entering a new era for the publishing world. An era where it can be a respectable option to self publish your book. Can because there is still a bias against people who self publish and the author who chooses to take this route must clear many hurdles to wear the tag of a respectable author.
Historically, self publishing was dismissed with little thought as a sub-standard method of getting your book in print by anyone even remotely related to the publishing world . And, in part, rightly so. Many self published titles that appeared were characterized by poor writing, little, if any, editing, and amateurish layouts. All it took was money to buy your way as a "published" author.
Then self-publishing companies came along to cater to these authors. These companies had one primary purpose: sustain their existence from authors who could pay for their services. They would "publish" anything of any quality. If they made money from selling their client's books, great. But their sales and "marketing" departments were charged with parting the author with their money through author book sales, sales aids, and promotional services. They were definitely not the organizations to count on for creating a quality, commercially viable book. That responsibility landed squarely on the author's shoulders.
It's no wonder a bias developed against self published authors that still exists today. That bias, however, is starting to change. Based on the due diligence and a commitment to excellence, a new class of authors is using the self published route to effectively print and market their books. They are committed to creating books which meet the exacting standards that the marketplace expects. They have their books professionally edited and they create professional covers. They write books that are commercially viable and they know how to market them to Internet savvy readers.
At the same time this is happening, there are authors who still self publish sub-standard books. They use friends to edit their manuscripts. Their grammar is inconsistent and riddled with errors. They have no marketing plan and enter the market with an unrealistic expectation of what will happen with their book. They are aided in their efforts by self publishing companies whose main goal is to make money off of authors rather than help them achieve success in the marketplace.