I am writing as a previously self-published author who sold almost a 1,000 copies in the UK. I’m now working for the creative writing school of Australian publisher Allen & Unwin (Faber Writing Academy). Publishers do contribute to the quality of the finished text – their experience and skills honed over many years contribute to the quality of books available to buy. If we lose publishing houses and just have self-publishers, quality will diminish.
Publishing Houses are gatekeepers and their publishers are fallible, just like the rest of us humans, so it is good that they can be circumvented by self-publishing and Amazon. However we need to make sure that independent publishing houses survive. I for one have made a commitment to buy direct from the publisher (or independent bookshops) where at all possible and, if lots of us did that, we can have it all: Amazon and an independent publishing industry, interacting on equal terms and giving book consumers lots of options in terms of the range of content available. If we do not support publishers, then the number will reduce even more and the quality of books available will suffer…and, if you’re an aspiring author like me who wants to develop her ability to the highest level possible, then you need a publisher whose willing to take a chance on you and teach you what they know.