"My work may be garbage but it's good garbage." Mickey Spillane
Back when I first considered starting my own company and self-publishing, I was told that I should not do this because of the bad rep that self publishing had. Even reprints, which mine would have been, would suffer from the general opinion that all self published works were dreadful. At the time, this was true. It’s only less true now.
Self-published works were (and are to a lesser extent now) overwhelmingly bad, poorly edited (when they were edited at all), poorly written and with terrible covers. The majority came out from places like Lulu.
Change started when older authors, who found themselves or just their backlists dropped from the Majors, began to release their backlists independently and eventually original works also.
The more professional among the self-published found their ways to good editors. But their quests also brought out the scammers who claimed to be pros at editing and took them for all they could squeeze out.
But another kind of attitude also arrived. This was a banding together of writers whose work could not even make it into the small presses. The first example that comes to mind is Nickolaus Pacione and the incident occurred on Spinetinglers back in 07. Pacione had one of his more incomprehensible stories up there and a bunch of writers called him on it. Pacione had been a long time member of a site called Temple of Dagon, which is devoted to HP Lovecraft. Their membership circled the wagons around Pacione, repeatedly making the claim that it was not the quality of the writing that mattered, it was the story itself.
Pacione created his own publishing company (term used loosely) to bring out his own work and eventually anthologies. His editing skills are non-existent, but he still believes he is Stephen King. And that brings us around to Tabetha Jones/Zoey Sweete.
The frustrated no talents soon caught on to not just self-publishing, but creating a “company” as a shelter to lend themselves an illusion of legitimacy. Tabetha’s fiction is totally no talent as is the fiction of her crony, Carlie Rose. But, including Lindsay, they have circled the wagons as the Temple of Dagon did with Pacione. It becomes a circle jerk.
This then casts suspicions upon new small presses.
Amazon’s Look-inside feature and Smashwords’ preview feature are your friends. If those first few pages are a dreadful read, don’t keep reading and certainly don’t buy the book. When the little guys circle the wagons don’t be impressed. Don’t let others pressure you into buying a bad book or giving a glowing review to a bad book.