Alan Rinzler doesn't join the self-publishing-bashers, though he admits that the stigma does exist:
A successfully self-published book can propel you down the road to a book contract at a commercial publishing house.Alan Rinzler's not just fuelled by boyish optimism. He's recently got book deals for two authors that initally self-published their work, and he's glad to talk about it.
That’s the truth of the matter, despite the worries I hear from writers that self-publishing could doom their hopes of ever landing a real book deal. Don’t listen to those persistent rumors and urban myths that agents and editors won’t take on books the authors have published themselves.
Within the article, Alan Rinzler expands on what he sees as the top four reasons that self-published books get real book deals. Apart from the possibility of getting a book deal, there are other advantages to self-publishing:
With self-publishing you have total control over every aspect of the book. It’s an effective way to test and develop a book, since with small print-on-demand editions, the editorial content, cover design, and marketing approach can be polished up as you go along.If you're thinking of self-publishing, have a look at this article. Even if you're not, Alan Rinzler's blog contains a wealth of knowledge "for writers and book people".