I am sure that, within the minds of traditional authors and their assemblage of groupies (agents, publishers, printers, publicists, etc), there rings a common group-thought:
The echo of the hive mind reverberates through the ranks, its subliminal message driving one collective hope that saturates the bees. “Someday, someway,” whispers the phantasmal voice, “The POD people will just go away.”
I am a POD person, but I am not to be feared. The dread overcoming traditional publishing these days is that the pod people want to take control.
In reality, those of us who live in the pods, and have a sufficient masochistic urge to continue our expensive literary hobbies, are trying to break into traditional press.
There is no profit in POD, most of the time. Print on demand publishing is good for growing lots of new stuff – strains of prose not seen before in perfect bound, printed tomes. Of course, there is good reason for this:
POD publishers provide the perfect, fertilized, composted, garden bed within which weeds may grow with abandon … and they do! Occasionally, though, the new hybrid tomato turns out to be luscious and beautiful.
Culling through the tangle is more problematic than in the days when the big six were the only gatekeepers. Yes, this is true, but it’s also true that most authors recognize when they have grown their own weeds, and they are apt to pull them. There are exceptions, of course, and those make for the storm of titles of questionable marketability, currently proliferating on ebook websites. Most authors recognize and pull their own weeds, while taking a little gratification, on a small scale, for what they tried to do. They appreciate that grandmother was impressed, and so was sis. Then, they put the pen and keyboard aside, and go back to growing hyacinths.
Others of us are unsure whether we have created weeds or flowers, and continue to grow them. Eventually, if enough people put our plants in their flowerpots – we (most likely) move to traditional publishing.