It's a fascinating world out there in Publishing Land. If you're not a writer or even interested in the industry then all that matters is the stories keep coming but the question of where those stories are coming from is on everybody's minds.
Traditional publishing (writer gets agent, agent shops book, publishing house buys book, gives advance, publishes book, author is traditionally published) versus epub (author writes book, sends book to epub who accepts publishes book, author gets 30 - 40% of cover price on books sold) to self pub (author writes book, formats book, puts book on amazon, b&n and others, gets 75% of cover price for each book sold)...
Okay, starting again. So with ebooks taking a large share of the market thanks to the Kindle and the Nook and all the other ereaders out there traditional publishing houses lost their way. Ebooks are a huge seller and money isn't being made by traditionally publishing. But prestige and names are still made by trad. publishing not to mention it's every writer's dream to have that paper copy in their hands and to know they made it.
The epubs offer little chance of print books but they give you the editing process (Carolyn and I both have gone through editing with Lyrical and if they aren't as good or better than anyone out there I'll eat Carolyn's shorts). Epubs are great except that erotic sells best and if you don't have lots of tab a in slot b then you might not see great sales.
Self publishing is the exciting new landscape. The only problem is that a lot of people seem to be looking at it like a get rich quick scheme. Write a book, slap a cover on and price it to sell. The only problem is that the writing sucks the editing is non-existant and the covers are sub-par. How do I know this? I did it too.
I put 2 short stories out on amazon that were badly formatted and had lousy covers. And then I thought that wasn't how I wanted to represent myself. So the stories were taken down and are being offered for free on smashwords. (If you want just go to smashwords.com and search Lori Green. There are 3 free shorts. Feliz Navidad is the best of them.)
The fun thing is that with each arm of publishing there's cheerleaders and scoffers. JA Konrath, who has been the loudest cheerleader for self-pub just signed a contract with the new Amazon publishing arm. Courtney Milan self-pubbed a short and she's delighted with it but she had a readership in place and it looks and reads professional.
So what to do? That's like asking if you want a cone with chocolate or vanilla ice cream and do you want sprinkles? I say get a cup not a cone try all the flavors and sprinkles say it's a party.
In other words they're all good. Why does one have to be better than another? They all have benefits and drawbacks. For me, I want the elusive New York publication. I want to see my book on a bookstore shelf. I also want to have many ebooks with many epubs because I love my publishers and what they teach me about writing and promo. And I plan to self-pub but I'm doing that with an editor already signed up and a cover artists raring to go.
It's a world with no boundaries. Can you imagine what a great ride that's going to be for anyone willing to drive with the top down?