Traditional Publishing: Keepers of the Quality?

Another of my least favorite arguments proffered by supporters of traditional publishing:

Have you seen all the junk that comes out of vanity press? Traditional publishing avoids that.

No, it doesn’t.

Traditional publishing has one primary driver: money. In order to achieve that end, they ensure that, no matter what’s inside the book, the cover art, layout, font, and marketing are pristine, top-quality stuff.

Oh; that’s what they mean. Not quality writing, quality printing.

That’s like ensuring the quality of the plate you serve your guests their cat food on.

Preemptive reply: I’m not comparing traditionally published books to cat food. I’m saying that focusing on money has no direct bearing on the quality of the book inside the cover we’re judging it by.

While I have your attention, let’s put another mistaken notion to rest; this time, from advocates of independent publishing:

Every time someone independently publishes a bad book, it hurts all of us.

And kills a kitten, I might add.

I’m still waiting for a cogent argument to explain how independent publishing of books is any different from independent publishing of music. Songwriters, good, bad, and atrocious, have been recording and selling their own work for years. I have never in any manner experience any person saying “I heard a poorly done independent song the other day, so I’ll never buy another independent song because they’re probably all poorly done.”

If poor quality put us off something, we’d all have stopped listening to the radio years ago. (Wait; I don’t listen to the radio. Does this invalidate my argument? Dunno. Do you still listen to the radio, despite having heard songs you don’t like? Oh, you do? Okay. Just me then.)

Folks, assumptions aren’t facts. Truth is not caused by belief. It’s the other way ’round.

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