America Star Books Publish America Numerous bad-faith dealings, refusal to respond to requests to cancel contract Baltimore Nationwide
Publish America (now DBA America Star Books) accepted my book for publication about 6 years ago. They used my PDF to publish my book as is, making no changes to the typography or layout, and added a cover. They promised to market my book, citing Ingram and Barnes & Noble, among others, as their marketing and publishing distributors. They sent multiple emails to me asking me to pay to have my book sent to various entities, such as Oprah. They did not ever get my book listed anywhere. They have never actually marketed my book. I've sent multiple complaint emails, receiving nothing in reply other than vague denials, accusations, demands for apology, and vague threats. Recently, they have sent emails requesting $99 to cancel my contract before the 7 year term was up. I asked them to cancel my contract as they have not actually fulfilled their promises. I received emails mentioning lawsuits. I was told I could have a publishable PDF for $500. I told them that their PDF was generated from my original PDF and that I would not pay for something I had originated. The tone of their emails is crude, frightening, offputting, childish and very unprofessional, as well as libelous and demeaning. They continue to email me with requests for money to cancel a contract that should already be null and void based on their own violation of the terms of the contract, and have ignored my repeated requests for confirmation of the contract being cancelled. They have mentioned bringing suit against another party and winning $53,000 in damages against this party. I can only interpret this as an attempt to intimidate me against publicly disparaging them, an attempt at prior restraint and a bullying tactic. Here are, verbatim, the last three emails I have received from America Star Books:
The way, the long chain of emails that you mention contain some of the most bizarre and wacky false accusations that we have encountered. All of it was reputed, and if impolitely, and rightly so. We never received an apology from you for the weird, wacky, false nonsense that you casually through our way.So, you accuse us of wacky nonsense.It is all refuted.Then, you make no apology, like a child would do.Then you're asking us for a favor, for advice, for legal reasons.No, the world does not work that way.Please pay your lawyer to answer your questions.Thank you,America Star Books Support Team
>>when you accepted my book, you>>printed it with my own layout designYes, it was your design.But, it was our files, that were professionally created by our staff.>>I turned down your offer to re-typeset the bookNo, you did not.All material presented must be re-typeset by our team of professionals due to proprietary formatting required by our printers.>>The typesetting and layout of the book are mine,>>and have existed in this form since long before I>>sent you my manuscript.Yes, that is correct. You have the right to do as you please with your own work. You have rights to your own art, of course, in the form that it was in when you supplied it to us.The file that we created, however, may not be used by you. You do not have the right to use the cover file that we created, even though it contains your art.For various legal reasons, we must retain the rights to the formatted file that we created. We have no right, of course, to publish your material. What that clause means is that you do not have the right to use the file that we created. That file was created by a team of professionals, using proprietary formatting, codes, and techniques that are required by our printers, and distribution centers. Your attorney would tell you that for you to use it would be a very clear case of copyright infringement.You are, of course, free to use your art, in whatever way you choose, just so you do not use our files. You may take your art, as it was when you submitted it to us, and create your own cover design.If you would like further clarification, you may ask us politely, and with courtesy.
As you can see below, we deleted most of your message without reading it. Would you please answer our simple question just below? Then, we will be happy to help you.>>Your promises to promote, market and>>sell my book have not been kept.What promises did we not keep?>>Being offered, for pay, to send books for review...>>have landed you in court for these attempts.No, they have not.No, that is simply false.But here's a case that did land us in court. Your research caused you to fall for his nonsense. The leader of the site that posts that nonsense lost credibility long ago, and was sued by PublishAmerica's attorney. He was served a summons to attend trial and testify, and a judgement was entered by a jury. What he said was found to be simply, plainly, false. He was ordered to pay $53,000 in damages. His paychecks were garnished, and he has paid thousands of dollars.Got that?Here's some more information for you:No other publishers wanted your book.No other publishers would give you anything at all.No other publishers would publish your book free of charge.We GAVE you $1500 worth of publishing services, FREE.We gave you what no other publisher would give you.Thank you,America Star Books Support Team
I would be very interested in knowing if there was a legal remedy to this situation that will allow me to recoup the last 6 years of wasted effort, damage to my reputation as an author by this publisher, and losses of sales from this publisher's neglect of their contracted obligation to properly promote my work as promised. Any serious inquiries from a law professional will be responded to promptly. I have full documentation of all my dealings with PA/ASB and believe that they have violated the law in regards to the contract they made with me.