Writing Unto The Deathbed
Consider this analogy:
In the 1910s and early 20s, radio technology was new. There were few commercial operators, but a lot of amateurs were using the new equipment, some of which they built themselves. Soon, however, big money moved into the technology and it became professionalized, with a high degree of standards. But small, amateur operators continued to broadcast--they still do, and we call them hams. They have little if any commercial impact. It is a hobby for them.
Today, POD and e-book technology is new. There are few commercial operators, but a lot of amateurs using the new technology. Soon, however, big money will move into the technology and professionalize it, utilizing a high degree of standards. But small, amateur operators will continue to "publish," as they always have, either through self-publishing or vanity-publishing. These kinds of "authors" have always existed. They have had little if any commercial impact, and this will never change. For 99% of them, self-publication, either with a hand-press in the basement in 1920 or through POD in 2020, will remain a hobby. These are not real, legitimate, professional writers, and neither I nor anyone else in the profession will ever consider them such. Why? Because their impact is negligible.
I believe that in the future the real writers like me will be offered POD and e-book advances in our contracts, the same way we get distinct clauses for paperback and audio-book. More money in our pockets. Meanwhile, amateur vanity people will continue to have to shell out to scammers for these "services."