Perhaps you have worked with a different pool of professional publishing houses than I have (I have only worked with 10 or 12, including a couple of very, very large Trade Publishers) - and have never encountered what you describe. My friends in STM publishing, however, do encounter something similar to this (as they should) - at worst, an error in a historical account of the colors used in a P-39 wheelwell, while wrong, is an inconvenience, whereas an error in an airframe repair manual, or medical textbook, can have much more severe consequences. This no doubt also plays a part in why medical texts, etc., are substantially more costly than a Squadron publication, gardening book or a Tom Clancy novel.
By the way, all the publishers I've worked with whether Squadron, F&W, or any of the others are mainstream publishers. Their revenues are driven by book sales.
In contrast a vanity press, which you inaccurately attempt to place these publishers as, derives its revenues by selling the author their own book - and thus print whatever the author submits, warts and all (and does not screen the authors). It is then up to the author to attempt to market the book. Mainstream publishers do endevour to screen their authors as a form of quality control - this process can be problematic, with ill-suited authors work being published, be that something in the hobby industry, or in the really big leagues (anyone remember James Frey or Herman Rosenblat?).
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