Re-posting this following a social media thread:
Warning: this is a long-suppressed rant. Speshul sensitive snowflakes are welcome to leave now, to avoid any harsh feelings.
In the trad publishing vs. indie publishing debate, I keep hearing the following argument: "But trad pub produces plenty of crap too!"
Let's say, for the sake of the argument, that you want to open a restaurant.
You might decide to open a classy gourmet place where elegant waiters in tuxedos saunter around the candlelit hall, carrying silver trays, and live piano music can be enjoyed every weekend.
Or you may say, "You know what? Not many people are willing to spend a month's rent's worth on one dinner. I'd better open a hamburger bar."
And that's OK.
Hamburgers are legit. There’s a market for hamburgers. By choosing this option, you can feed people and make an honest buck a lot easier than by charging a gazillion dollars for half a dozen fresh oysters on crushed ice (or whatever. I'm Orthodox Jewish. What do I know about oysters?).
You know what you can't do, though?
You can't poison your clients.
You can't say, "this meat fell on the floor and got trodden on, but I'll use it anyway."
You can't use the same black rancid oil for French fries, over and over, for a month.
You can't stick unwashed vegetables in salads and hope that salmonella will miss the target.
You can't serve food on half-washed dishes and unwiped tables.
You must, in short, adhere to certain Ministry of Health hygiene standards, or your business will be closed pretty fast, with a nasty biting fine thrown in.
Trad publishing is that Ministry of Health.
I am yet to encounter a single traditionally published book with consistently missing commas, or a chapter title at the bottom of a page, or periods in the middle of a sentence.
I have never seen a trad published book in which Mindy suddenly turns into Cindy on page 278, or which makes the reader want to puke and run away by phrases such as, "her eager and responsive body eagerly responded to his amorous advances".
Indie books, though? I've seen all this and more, just this week. There is nobody to put their foot down and say, "this is illegal. We are closing this restaurant".
You don't have to be the next Dostoyevsky. You can aim to be the next SciFi McHorror, or Nicholas Sparking Sparks, or whatever.
You can serve hamburgers.
But you can't serve shawarma made of a donkey with tuberculosis.
Because if people come out of your fast food joint barfing and writhing with stomach pain, you'll soon go broke.
So... I've said this. I'm quite prepared for an influx of voodoo dolls and Anthrax envelopes coming my way, but at least I got this off my chest.