I'm a writer.
That's what I am not who I am mind you. The question is not who I am but rather of writing in and of itself. I often wonder about the people who judge us based on our literary merits and by us I mean those of us who are writers yet will likely go unnoticed by the 'masters' of storytelling and those who promote them.
There's no denying that the people who are published nowadays through conventional methods have their own merits yet there is a convoluted debate on who IS or is NOT considered to be a writer these days. Just because some people who publish through what is deemed by the seasoned author as 'unconventional' and 'the easy route' publish books that are raw and unrefined does not make them any less a writer than the 'masters.'
People write for their own reasons - whatever they may be - and while the 'masters' believe us to be trashy, uneducated, and uncaring to put in the effort, I say to them:
Who are you to judge those who's pens you do not write with an who's minds you cannot enter?
There are many published works I've never been able to understand how they are considered works of literary finesse. I speak of course of the 'Classics.' Those books most of us consider dull, stuffy and full of errors as I doubt many of them ever had editors or agents.
Think also on the issue that some of these people who are self-publishing are young teenagers just wanting to get their works out to the masses for people to enjoy rather than thinking of the bottom-line you accuse most of us of. And while yes, some writers out there are, most of us write because it means something to us. We do put time and effort into what we create and while maybe, yes, we do need a rating system, maybe it's time to consider that not all of us can turn to professionals for no other reason than economics.
I doubt Independent Films and Music was brought in with a smooth transition; that they're weren't movies and bands that were raw and rough but the people didn't care because all most of them wanted was to get their artistic craft out there. Once out, then the people could comment and suggest.
What's most important to writers are their readers; an editor or a publisher does not care about the people; only about profits. If that weren't true, then they'd actually put in the effort into helping the writers like they used to. If we're stuck doing everything ourselves, then we may as well publish by ourselves and get guidance from out peers instead of someone who is only there 5% of the time through the entire process and keeps most of the profits.
It shouldn't matter how we publish our works; what should matter is that the people who do are writers and they deserve the respect as such - published on a bestseller list or riddled with errors, or not.