'Why do I bother? I take the time to craft a decent story, yet this shit sells. I quit.'
Believe me, I have felt this way, too. More than once. Looking at a third party site I read the blurb of a self-pubbed book (can't remember if it was pirates or vikings) But right in the blurb, it said:
'The men tied her to the masked (sic) to have their way with her '
OMG. It MAST, not masked. Yet this had a best-selling status. Again, does the writer care? No, so why should I give a feck? The reality is: None of us should wring our hands over any of this. Its not just self-pubbed. There are a lot of excellent self-pubbed books, but on the other side of the coin, a lot of dreck as well. This also is the case at epubs.
'Her fingers went for the zipper of his jeans...'
This is a book at an epub, yet, it got past an editor, and sells. A lot. Again, you can't believe it, but again, you can't let it get to you. I am sure there are a lot of romance authors still shaking their heads wondering why they agonized and sweated blood over a book that took perhaps two years to write, but a certain fan fiction netted an author 95 million.
So, what does a romance author do? Quit? You have that option. But first you have to examine why you are writing romance (at whatever heat level) If it's to makes big bucks and reach best-seller lists, then prepared to be constantly disappointed. Or start writing what is selling, or go down the shock road and write bat porn or whatever.
If you are writing to please yourself, then keep doing what you are doing. Put out the best product you possibly can and don't look at anything else out there. If you do, you'll drive yourself nuts. Reviews are subjective, you can include best-seller lists in that as well. Just because a book is on a best-seller list does not mean it is good or even average.
It can sting when you see a sub-par book hit the big time. But there is no rational explanation, so don't beat yourself up over it. Same with a crap movie making 700 million. You shake your head and move on. I have learned to do the same with romance.