Michelle Sagara West brings up an interesting point on Self-Published Books versus large format trade paperbacks. What she is seeing is that some of her customers are equating "standard glossy stock" cover with "self-published" which is then regarded as "lower quality." It's an fascinating glimpse into some of the issues my day job deals with and also just how high-tech printed books are (IMHO, they're much higher-tech than the new e-readers, no, seriously, get me talking about it sometime if you want to be bored beyond belief). (I have MSW's blog in my RSS feeds, but I did see this one linked in Scalzi's Whateverettes first)
In case you missed it, the whole scuffle over Black Matrix Publishing at John Scalzi's Whatever (and the follow-up post). There's plenty of argument and counter argument over this in the blogosphere, however I tend toward this response (warning, blog with ads). Jim Hines also chimes in with some personal experiences. Boiled down to it's essence the argument is this, just being published for published sake (or credits) 1) isn't hard and 2) doesn't get you anywhere. Credits or "exposure" isn't worth it if those credits aren't worth it (think about getting a Canadian penny in your change, okay, bad example at the Canadian Dollar is almost equal to the US buck again) and, as said elsewhere, people die of "exposure." This is why I rarely submit stories to semi-pro or 4theluv markets. That's not saying there aren't semi-pro and 4theluv markets that aren't worth the time (I've submitted and will still submit to Andromeda Spaceways, LCWR, Weird Tales, and a few others). But at those markets I know they have 1) the readership (including those who read for "Year's Best" anthos) and 2) the editorial chops to make my story look good (or 3-I know the editor/reader on a more personal level). I may not get rich in those markets (and who really gets rich publishing short genre fiction these days), but I do get plenty of brand building from them. This is unlike BMP, which as far as I can tell the editor only shows up once before, when he published one issue (out of the 4 mags he is flogging now) back in 1989. At that point the fractions of cents per word rate is just insulting (IMHO).
Dan sends a /. story on "hackers" stealing hard working "phisher's" data. "There is no honor among thieves." And if you don't think that isn't a story bone, you aren't working hard enough.