David Gaughgran writes an excellent response to Jodi Picault's advice not to self-publish.
I won’t rehash all that, only to note that, by contrast, Ms. Picoult thinks it’s a fine idea to sign with an agent who has no clients and zero experience.
David explains in detail that there is no problem with the sea of crap that Jodi discusses when she defends her statement:
Jodi Picoult is urging writers not to self-publish as it’s “still too hard for people to separate the wheat from the chaff” because there is “a lot of crap out there.”
Newsflash: there is no segregated marketplace. All those e-books from publishers and self-publishers jostle for attention in the same retailers, side-by-side on the virtual bookshelves. Self-published titles aren’t ghettoized, and they don’t carry a warning label.
He tackles the myth of the segregated marketplace, the reality of 'the amount of crap', and uses a case study of his own recently released (and self-published) historical novel to highlight what the actual problem is with being discovered in this sea: the good fiction with which we compete.
[...] this is the key point, the crap is invisible. Nobody sees a book that’s #700,000 in the Amazon rankings. They don’t appear on any bestseller lists. They aren’t recommended in Also Boughts. Readers don’t see them.
I think his closing point is particularly apt:
I don’t know how you found [this blog] among the sea of crap – the one trillion web pages that swamp the internet – but you did it! Somehow!