Today e-publisher "The Write Deal" announced that it would be launching its self-publishing program entitled "Blue Leaf" later this month which is an editor selected offering of new and unpublished e-book authors. You can read about it here.
I see an immediate pro and con of this new program:
Pro: Authors who are selected to be in the "Blue Leaf" program will be passed around to a wider audience of publishers and could ensure a better chance at getting a book deal through this medium.
Con: The self-publishing industry is full of authors who were passed up by editors and were able to snag book deals anyway because said author's work was well liked by the buying public. Shall we talk about Amanda Hawking again?
Basically, this is another example of the publishing industry trying to become the glass ceiling again and keep new authors from being found because the elite want to control everything.
We can talk about standards all day until we are wheezing and our throats are hamburger, but the broken standards of one are the nouveau of the future. I'm not debating someone's right to write terrible writing, but realize that most great writers were misunderstood in their own time: (i.e. Swift, Melville, Dickinson, Charles Portis) There are hundreds of writers out there right now turning out beautiful prose that will never cross the desk of a literary agent or a publisher because they weren't "properly represented" or "don't have a platform". The self-publishing industry is opening up the floor to these people.
I hope that "Blue Leaf" books are not for the "blue bloods". I hope that the editors are willing to sit and read the works of people who submit their work and choose authors who are good writers and not the Stephanie Meyers of the world.
Here's to hoping.