This is obviously a huge question with relevance for readers and authors alike.
In some ways it lies at the very heart of the debate between those who self-publish and those who publish traditionally. You've heard from some literary agents recently describing what they're looking for, and how they judge what is coming across their desks, but a self-published author can bypass the gatekeeper and put their work straight out there, asking the public to judge.
And the public is more than willing to judge, giving their support to a number of self-published authors who had been turned down by the professionals.
The trouble is there isn't really a cast-iron means of weighing up a book and declaring it 'good' or 'bad'. People in the publishing industry have got used to seeing books in a wider context of all the books they've read up until now, but there isn't a qualification that suddenly pronounces you able to assess a book.
We're all just left with the concept of whether we enjoyed …