The author of the Survival of the Book blog, who is evidently an editor, raises an interesting point about the lack of the editorial process in with operations such as Smashwords. Is this a valid concern, or are editors doomed to be a thing of the past. Here is what he says and you can read more on the blog:
… What concerns me more is this kind of news, about Sony working with Smashwords and Author Solutions to adapt self-published books to their readers. I guess it’s not the news that worries me, but the idea so celebrated by many folks that anyone can upload files and make books available on readers, and then HA! They are as good as your fancy-pants published books that go through a whole, ya know, editorial process.
I like the editorial process. I make my living off of it. And I find it disrespectful when it is dismissed so casually by folks in such a rush to get their words into print, or onto screen. Eliot Van Buskirk, who wrote this article on Sony, states,
When books and shelves are digital, rules about scarcity go out the window, allowing unheralded scribes to bubble to the surface based only on the crowd’s reaction — just as many self-motivated bloggers have become old media mainstays and video entrepreneurs have become YouTube phenomenons. …
I really dislike crowd sourcing. I don’t trust crowds. I see this as just civilized, not elitism. Crowds have led to things like lynchings and putting people into camps, and a whole slew of the worst kind of reality tv programming on VH1. Why would we want to entrust crowds with our reading choices?