It cracks me up how defensive people get over self publishing. Agents, some publishers, many writers, I swear it's like riffraff busting into an exclusive club. They think because someone is self publishing that their work is devalued.
Harlequin has introduced a vanity press. Given the uproar, you would think they are out in the town square burning some adorable babies.
Here is a link to a blog post about it that really got some people going -
There is a war in the publishing world. People on both sides of the self publishing argument are quite impassioned in their responses to news like this. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America went so far as to issue a statement indicating that they would feature no Harlequin titles on their website...at all. I pasted the link to the statement below. There are also comments at the bottom debating the issue.
Obviously, they are a tad peeved. But why punish writers who were published traditionally through Harlequin? They are taking money out of author's pockets, and if those authors are trying to live on royalties, that decision will hurt them more than it will hurt rich and powerful Harlequin.
I think that people in the traditional world are intimidated by self published authors. Aside from giving them some additional (and according to them, unworthy) competition, how does it really affect them? Self publishing probably won't change what they write.
On a side note, the self published author should be wary of the rip off operations. If it costs you thousands of dollars and you do not receive any services that substantially improve the quality of your novel, I would venture to guess that you are getting ripped off.