I’m always interested in the stories of how people go from unpublished to published. Here’s a self-published success story.
The real problem I have with this process, as well as submitting to agents or editors, is that failure does not usually offer any insight into what to do better. If we can design a system where people can learn from their mistakes maybe literature as a whole will improve.
I like to imagine a publisher that offers a continuous writing contest in which anyone can sign up to be an editor or writer, and at the end of each round of competition, the winning books are published and sold.
Writers and editors each get royalties from sales, both authors and editors have a ranking. Authors gain rank by getting good scores from editors. Editors gain rank by identifying stores that are widely liked, and by giving feedback that authors consider useful. That way people can say, “I’m still not published, but I have a green belt in paranormal now.”