I must thank John Scalzi for his wonderful posts and links to the current drama that is roiling Random House and it's attempts to capitalize on the self-publishing juggernaut. Except. Hmmm. Plain and simple, what Random House is proposing is, basically, that old-fashioned model for a vanity press.
Anyway, in response to Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA)'s rejection of Random House's (RH) current publishing "model," Random House has actually answered Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) rejection of this model and SFWA has answered back. I certainly hope that MWA (Mystery Writers of America) has a similar point of view regarding RH's new imprint Alibi, because really, we need to stop this nonsense in its tracks.
I think that SFWA's letter states the crux of the issue quite nicely. I have NO problem with businesses that set themselves up as a self-publishing house. In this era, they are often the only portal for an author these days who twenty years would have been snapped up by a publisher without a second thought. But what RH is promoting isn't self-publishing. It's nothing short of being a vanity press and trading on its previously quite valued name as a publisher of note.
Way to tarnish your brand, dudes.