I feel very thankful as well as an intense sense of creative freedom from the fact that self-publishing affords writers the ability to reach readers without having to conform to traditional publishing standards. The main consequence of this is that writing can exist which is completely free in form and content. No need to artificially inject fluff into or remove vital parts from a work just so it will have an "acceptable word count". No need to tailor the subject matter so as to give it trendiness or mass appeal.
I believe that the writing will always be better if the author genuinely cares about the content and is able to express it in as few or as many words as is necessary. This is not to say that the preexisting literary forms are completely arbitrary and meaningless. In fact they can be useful to a writer insofar as they can provide an idea of what a finished work might be like, functioning as a kind of goal-setting mechanism: e.g. "I am writing an essay" or "I am writing a novel". And obviously the predefined literary forms are useful for readers as well, since it is nice to know what you're getting into before you start reading. Nevertheless, the freedom to determine the degree of conformity to known content and forms is a major advantage of the self-published author. I can publish a work of any length about whatever I want, or I can publish a science fiction novel. The choice is mine.
Oh and I almost forgot the other major advantage of self-publishing, the nonexistence of deadlines! The whole idea of a creative work having a deadline seems completely arbitrary and silly to me. I mean, what if the thoughts and experiences needed to make a work truly great happen to fall after its deadline? Too bad for the work I guess. Not to mention I am not one who can feel much creative freedom while under the gun of a deadline. But the great thing is, if I felt so inclined I could impose a deadline on myself (as I am sure some self-published authors do). Again, the choice is mine.
Now some might offer a rebuttal to all of the above by saying that a refusal to write about mainstream topics in traditionally acceptable formats is the same as knowingly banishing one's writing into obscurity. But I feel that the enjoyment writing brings comes precisely from the freedom to decide on topics and format without external pressures; and also that the levels of obscurity and creative freedom experienced might very well exist in direct proportion.
Bottom line is I just want to say thank you to all of the innovators, technologists, and programmers out there whose hard work made this age of self-publishing possible. Without you it is likely us authors would still be without an alternative to the creative-energy-sucking cycle of submission and rejection.