The problem: Too many writers are trying to reach too few readers. So, somewhere along the publishing pipeline, there must be an elimination round.
Right now, agents and editors are responsible for much of that elimination, which gets people upset. If we self-publish, the elimination process transfers to self-promoters. The people who can get their own name out there will do better than those who can't. This can also be discouraging. I suppose we writers could start to discourage each other. Lines like, "Scott G. F. Bailey, really? Eels?" might do the job of eliminating some writers. But, again, we don't want to upset each other. (And, Scott has a ferocious temper.)
So, I'm curious to know: As fellow writers, where are you most willing to have the elimination round to take place? And, who do you want to do that job?
Is there an alternative? Would we be happier, for example, if more writers reached fewer readers?