Originally Posted by Turtle91
You are right. There will always be companies that are willing to publish whatever gets put on their desk - regardless of the quality of the work - especially if they can make the author do all the work for them.
"You must provide us a document that will pass through our automated process so we don't have to edit (or even look at) the material. Then we will go through all of the REALLY HARD work of automatically transmitting said document to others electronically. For said really hard work, we will charge you X% of any sales..."
But those companies get known for publishing trash...and people avoid purchasing from them. I personally don't have the time or inclination to wade through all the pigswill looking for a potential pearl. I prefer to let "reviewers" do that and provide recommendations. Unfortunately, as this thread shows, we can't rely on reviews to separate the wheat from the chaff...so that means we either need a new system of review, or we just stick with purchasing our books from publishers that have a history of producing "better" books.
I think it's very important to differentiate "reviews" from "reviewers."
A book can have a ton of five-star reviews, but none of those ratings mean anything in and of themselves.
However, known reviewers can give you a lot of useful information.
Personally, I don't go searching out (wading through) indie books that often, but I'm happy to read one with good reviews from reputable reviewers.