• Report: #724011

Complaint Review: The Publish America Scam

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  • Submitted: Sat, April 30, 2011
  • Updated: Wed, March 14, 2012

  • Reported By: margaretb — Fountain Hill Pennsylvania USA
The Publish America Scam
Frederick, Maryland United States of America

The Publish America Scam Robbed and degraded--as a writer and as a human being--by this company Frederick, Maryland

*General Comment: I am also a PA victim

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All my life I have made money by writing newspaper and magazine articles, even books. I am neither rich nor a household word, but I certainly am a professional writer. My contact with Publish America has been poisonous and degrading; reporting it is going to be my first step in moving on from it. Hopefully what I have to say will also warn people off  this scorpion of a scam. It preys on the egos of people and it is likely to leave them drained of both ego and money. People think publishing a book makes them special; but not everyone is meant to write a book. There is no shame in this. I can't build a house. Better be special doing what your natural bent is.
I had a manuscript which my friends enjoyed reading and urged me to publish. It was very much a niche book--which does not mean it is the mud Publish America has made of it. I am retired and not in good health, and did not really want to expend the time in finding an agent and/or conventional publisher. But I was convinced--and still am--that when this came out it would sell a few thousand copies. No blockbuster sales, no movie contract.
When I first saw the Publish America ads, I should have known better than to fall. I let myself believe that I could work with an outfit like this, and make a little money both for PA and myself. I had very little money at the time, and this would bridge the gap. Actually, it widened the gulf between my work and its success.
My first inkling that something was wrong was when I received the initial book copy and noticed--too late--that the pagination was wrong for the first several pages. This was entirely my fault. I work hard at proofreading--and it's very important--but it is not my best skill.
Still, it should have been relatively easy to have the error corrected. After all, this is Print On Demand. There were not thousands of books already in print, the change should only take a few minutes, and all I had to do was ask--they should want a quality product as much as I did.
So I asked. I received the reply that it was my fault, which I already knew; and that it was perfectly saleable --which I suppose would be true, if they were trying to sell it. They don't seem to want to sell anything, except to the authors. They try to induce us to buy all sorts of services, including many that are available free of charge. You just have to know, which many of those who are entrapped by PA do not. You could lose thousand of dollars, hoping that the next thing you pay for will bring you success. DON'T BUY IT!
Just recently I discovered that my book does not even have a valid ISBN number, which makes it practically impossible to market it successfully. I can't believe this was accidental on the part of PA.
I have spent months rewriting--and even improving--this book, which I happen to like very much. Before this year is up it will be out again, with a real ISBN and a well-thought-out marketing plan, which I hope will enable it to reach its own small audience--after having been dragged through the mud for several years.
That, in short, is the story. I wish the others caught up in this scam some form of success, or at least peace of mind.
For the past months I have been rewriti
I despise this organization

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/30/2011 11:50 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/The-Publish-America-Scam/Frederick-Maryland-/The-Publish-America-Scam-Robbed-and-degraded-as-a-writer-and-as-a-human-being-by-this-c-724011. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 General Comment

I am also a PA victim

AUTHOR: MrsCunningham - (United States of America)

I spent six years of my young adult life writing a 349pg book that I adored and loved.  I showed a few family members who all thought the book was just wonderful.  After a while I was so happy that many loved it and thought I should try to get it published I started looking into getting it published. 

I basically found three publishing places that I thought seemed fair.  I sent my book to all three and got a response from all three that they are VERY interested in publishing my book but one wanted 5,000 dollars (which I didn't have), one wanted me to meet with them in person (which I wasn't able to take time off work and fly out of state) and the last was PA who just wanTed my autograph.

I remember not finding anywhere in the contract with PA that they would edit the book which bothered me.  I sent them emails asking if they planned on editing the book and they told me to read "section whatever" and it states they will.  I signed the contract and was overly happy.  The next few weeks was hell as they never stopped bothering me to send them my final draft.  I would respond, "I've already done that weeks ago".  They then tell me they no longer have that copy on file.

I was so young and naive I just sent them a copy and didn't hear anything for almost four months.  I figured they were doing their job.  Finally after a few more weeks I get an email asking if I planned on sending my final draft to them.  I was so confused as I had already done that so I do it again.  This time I ask them when they think the book will be ready.  They tell me it has to go through their text department and then the cover department.

Another week goes by and I receive an email asking me to verify this is how I want my book to read.  Well it was 349 pages and it took me a few days to read it again.  I found so many errors in the book, errors that were not there previously.  I respond that there are errors every other word it seemed and silly errors like, "me" instead of "myself" or "past" instead of "passed".  These errors I know I did not do.  I get an email back stating that it's too late to do anything about the errors unless I want to send them 5pg (max) paper stating all the errors: which line, which paragraph and what the error is and what it should be.  Not to mention my book was a true story and I was suppose to keep the names changed but somehow the names remained the same.

I do this, it takes me almost three days to complete this.  I finally send them an email back with this "5pg" list of errors.  I don't check my email for a few days and when I do I see an email reply of my error list saying "We can not except these changes unless you can pay 99.00 dollars to put your book back into the text department as it will hold up the cover department's job".  I was so upset I didn't respond.  I get an email another day later saying my cover was complete and to approve it.

I look at the cover and it doesn't make any sense to me.  I write back asking what other cover options they have but they don't respond.  A few days later I get an email asking me to approve the cover.  I respond again asking if we can us a photo of myself for the cover.  They respond telling me it would be at a cost of 200.00 dollars that I would have to pay and to let them know either way.  I was so upset and pissed I just told them to forget the whole thing.

I got an email back stating they can not "forget" the whole thing as I was bound to a contact and then asked if I could approve the cover once again.  I just approve it and hold my breath.  I continue to get sale emails from them regarding my book being on sale.  I ignore everyone of them.  I figure if I make some money off this book it would be a miracle.  I get an email in Nov of 2009 stating my book is now available on Amazon and to expect my "two free author" copies soon in the mail.

It's been over two years and I have never received any free author books.  After my book was "released" my friends and family bought a copy and told me about it.  I waited in suspense to hear what they had to say about it.  My mother in law tells me there are so many errors in the book she can't even read it.  That sure makes me feel good about myself.  I send them an email asking where these "two free author" copies are and I am reassured they are in the mail. 

Finally after two years of nothing from them, not even one of these royalty statements I was suppose to get bi-yearly, I send them an email letting them know they have breached the contract and I want out.  They send me a very rude email back saying I don't get to say that to them and I need to get my facts straight before I start threatening them.  The reality is they take advantage of people, good people.  My eyes were filled with stars but now they are wide open.  Please do not go through this publishing house.  They are a POD (Print on demand) publishing agency and you will never get any money from them.

I really wish I would have googled publish America scams before signing that contract.  Now I am stuck in this contract until 2015 and I have yet to receive anything more than a dollar from them.  I have since written books under a different name so I have no connection with PA.  I currently and putting my books on the kindle website for a low price as I am only interested in getting people to read my books. 

If there is any plan for a class action lawsuit I would be highly interested.  I have all the emails saved and the contract where it states "two free author" copies in the contract that I never received.  I am willing to put time into a lawsuit and would be willing to testify, whatever it takes to get this person behind bars.  They refuse to let me out of this contract and I am really at a loss of what to do.  I can be contacted at sheachristine@ymail.com.  Again, do not sign through PA they are scam artists.







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