Why isn't self-publishing a highly regarded alternative for would-be authors? I think it should be, especially in these days of money over art.
Of course you can get a lot of crap published as a book, badly written or badly plotted, but mainstream publishing puts out crap, too. The DaVinci Code springs to my mind as a good example. So I say the argument of self-publishing as a haven for hacks is full of holes.
In fact I say self-publishing may be the only way some writers can get published, and that is a loss for readers who won't give self published books a try.
I think self-publishing should get some respect.