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Report: #104646

Complaint Review: Publish America - House Of Publishing - Frederick Maryland

  • Submitted: Fri, August 20, 2004
  • Updated: Tue, January 17, 2012
  • Reported By: Higlands Ranch Colorado
  • Publish America - House Of Publishing
    230 East Patrick Street
    Frederick, Maryland
    U.S.A.

Publish America - House Of Publishing Rip-Off Misleading and Deceptive Trade Practices Frederick Maryland

*Author of original report: Read the warning about Publish America (PA)

*General Comment: PA is not that different from any other POD

*General Comment: Publish America

*General Comment: Publish America - House of Publishing

*General Comment: 8%?

*Consumer Comment: Rebuttal

*Consumer Comment: A fact not often thought of

*Consumer Comment: Stepanie, you are on the mark, except...

*Consumer Comment: Stepanie, you are on the mark, except...

*Consumer Comment: Everything...

*Consumer Suggestion: I went with somebody else

*Consumer Suggestion: I went with somebody else

*Consumer Suggestion: I went with somebody else

*Consumer Suggestion: I went with somebody else

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Even Endorsed Book Ignored by B&N and other book stores

*Consumer Comment: Ar you a flamer?

*Consumer Suggestion: Nonsense!

*Consumer Comment: Oops

*Consumer Comment: That was not my intent

*Consumer Comment: That was not my intent

*Consumer Comment: That was not my intent

*Consumer Comment: That was not my intent

*Consumer Suggestion: Fantasy Figures

*Consumer Suggestion: Talk about embarrassed...

*Consumer Comment: I am aware of that farce and have been for a while

*Consumer Comment: By the way, Rebecca...

*Consumer Comment: Where's your focus?

*Consumer Comment: Sorry, but I don't see it

*Consumer Suggestion: percent of royalties

*Consumer Comment: A short note of clarification...

*Consumer Suggestion: biggest complaint they target friends and family members of the authors.

*Consumer Comment: I 'm still thinking about it but...

*Consumer Suggestion: share with others

*Consumer Comment: Regarding Writers Market and traditional publishing houses

*Consumer Suggestion: Writer's Market

*Consumer Comment: Question thinking about publishing my book

*Consumer Comment: Question thinking about publishing my book

*Consumer Comment: Question thinking about publishing my book

*Consumer Comment: Question thinking about publishing my book

*Consumer Suggestion: PA Makes fools of people

*Consumer Comment: positively agree with both sides

*Consumer Comment: Tonya, I'm Sorry. I was out of line to direct my frustrations towards you. I'm sorry.

*UPDATE Employee: You're right about one thing!

*UPDATE Employee: You're right about one thing!

*UPDATE Employee: You're right about one thing!

*Consumer Comment: Hot Air

*UPDATE Employee: Publish America has good Authors--read the books!

*Consumer Comment: Give us a break. We're fed up with your books.

*UPDATE Employee: Publish America helps the 'nobodys'.

*Consumer Comment: I'm Going To Try Them They make big promises

*Consumer Comment: Aurthors...?

*UPDATE Employee: POD Stigma Hits Home!

*Consumer Comment: rip off fanisty presses

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Publish America Quotes: Each day, an average 12 times a PublishAmerica author is invited to do a book signing or another in - store event at a bookstore or a library. An average 250 times each day, a bookstore calls or logs on to order a Publish America title. Of all the brick-and-mortar bookstores, Barnes and Noble is our largest customer. Borders/Waldenbooks and Books-A-Million are second and third. I spoke to Marcella Smith who is the Director of Operations at the Barnes and Noble New York Small Press Department. (All purchases through B&N must go threw her office.) She informed me that no Publish America book has ever been allowed purchase through her department and because of the lack of editing, poor cover design, lack of industry standard binding and pricing, PA books will never be allowed for shelf placement. They are only available online. Readers need to know that 80% (According to Writers Digest) or more of books purchased are by viewing them on the shelves.

Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim: Publish America Standard New Author Contract Paragraph 17: Sales promotion, advertising and publicity shall be at the Publisher's election and discretions to the extent, scope and character thereof and in all matters pertaining thereto. The author agrees to actively participate in promoting the sales o the said literary work in his home town area and elsewhere, by making himself available to media interviews, book readings and/or signings, and other public sales promotional appearances.

Publish America's marketing consists of sending 100 form letters to your family and friends. It's marketing department is structured to provide necessary information to other authors so that they can have their MSS and sell to their families. PA never sends out a press release about your book, never advertises. Author's pay to advertise their products. Authors pay for all marketing, mail-outs, radio promotion, etc. Authors pay - not the publishing company.

Publish America Quotes: PublishAmerica is NOT in any way a POD, vanity press, or subsidy publisher, and has nothing in common with them. Obviously, our authors are also not being self-published. In the most commonly used context, POD indicates "Publish On Demand", or vanity publishing. Vanity publishers charge for their "services". Some charge a few hundred dollars, others a thousand or more. We are not in that league, in any way, shape or fashion.

Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim: Authors Believe that there is no evidence of what is considered a Traditional Publishing company or what is considered a Print on Demand or POD company. I strongly disagree. There are many sources for information on this issue. One for example is found through the hyperlink below.
http://www.sfwa.org/beware/printondemand.html

Furthermore, I received an email from Publish America where they claimed to be a POD company. A Vice President at Barnes and Noble wrote us a letter recently, saying, "We very much believe in print-on-demand (POD) technology as a cost-effective tool available for publishers to extend the range of their title offerings to Barnes & Noble... We believe that POD represents an opportunity to increase the range of titles we offer... We will continue to stock every title that you publish, which enables us to rapidly replenish our stores..." Again, these titles are available only online.

Publish America Quotes: The only area where the acronym POD comes in sight, is the printing stage of a book. Among printers, POD means print-on-demand, a digital technology that enables the printer to manufacture a book one at a time. This is in contrast with the offset technology that, by definition, must produce at least hundreds of copies of a book at a time at a minimum, but preferably thousands, to justify the expense of running the press.

Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim: Publish America uses Lightning Source as the sole printer for their product. They do not use offset technology. You can confirm this by contacting http://www.lightningsource.com/. Publish America is listed as one of their customers. Publish America also has a company called http://www.authorsmarket.net/, which is labeled itself a POD company and sends new authors to its only publishing POD company on record: Publish America. By their own admission, they are in fact a POD Company.
Dear Author,
We have much good news to share.

Publish America Quotes: PublishAmerica continues to grow faster than any other traditional publisher, and today we are apparently the most popular publisher among new authors. More than 50 new authors contact us every day, hoping to join you as a PublishAmerica author. That's more than 12,000 hopefuls per year. At least 80 percent of them never make it to the "published author" status, because they don't pass our acquisitions process, but that does not seem to discourage anyone from submitting their work to us in ever growing, and frankly astonishing, numbers. We read every single submission before we accept or refuse.

Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim: With a staff of less than one dozen how does PA read each and every manuscript? How many books would each of them have to read on a daily basis? How many acquisition editors are there? (2 or 3?) So let's put this into perspective. 2 or 3 editors at a reading rate of 50 novels a day or 12,000 per year. This means that the aquisition editors read an average of 16 novels per day. I don't know about you, but I am a graduate of Evelyn Woods and even I cannot read that fast.

Publish America Quotes: PublishAmerica is a traditional, royalty paying publisher. We are strongly opposed to charging fees, ever. There's no catch, no hidden surprises. We even pay small advances to indicate our principle. The author is never, ever, under any obligation to pull their wallet to make any purchase whatsoever. We don't want their money. We want their book. All expenses involved with acquiring, producing, manufacturing, and publishing a book, and marketing it to the industry's wholesale and distribution channels for full availability through all bookstores at home and abroad are underwritten by PublishAmerica solely. This is one of our main claims to fame, and one that we are very proud of.

Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim: Publish America pays authors a principal amount of $1.00 advance for signing a non standard 7-year contract. 8% of the first 2,000 copies sold. 10% of 8,000 copies sold and 12.5% of 10,000 copies or more sold. (It's been rumored that the average author sales per product is generally 100 books sold.) I have heard a story of one gal who had a contract with KROGER opening and potential sales errupting. She'd sold over 1,000 copies and PA dropped her immediately, before the negotiations could be finalized. You can read her posts at: Mindsight!

Author's pay no up front fees, but are encouraged through emails to purchase two products called Publicize your Book and Guerilla Marketing. They are asked to follow the instructions of those products, which specify much needed cash to promote a POD book. Furthermore, in an email sent by PA, they urge you to purchase their book. They do not charge you upfront fees but make it understood that unless you invest your own money into marketing, your book would fail. From the PA e-mail:

Dear Author,
There are books about marketing, about guerrilla marketing, about how to promote yourself, and about how to promote books, but there is no book about how to promote a published author. Those of you who regularly visit our Author Message Board may have noticed that over the course of the years many hundreds of authors have shared probably thousands of very useful tips, experiences, suggestions, and innovative ideas.

Publish America Quotes: No publisher guarantees book sales to bookstores. Major chain bookstores have no policy against stocking non-returnable books. Actually, Barnes and Noble has quadrupled the number of books they order from Publish America during the past year and we sell to them directly each and every day. Thousands, each and every month, of PublishAmerica books are sold in bookstores. Hundreds of bookstores across the nation stock our books. Bookstores will generally stock a book that they think will sell, regardless of whether it is returnable or not, and regardless of whether it is printed on digital or offset presses.

Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim: I challenge any person to go into any Barnes and Noble bookseller across the country and find an in-stock copy of a Publish America book.

Dear Ms Easton,
Thank you for your interest in having a signing at the Tattered Cover. I have looked at your web site and see that your novel is published by PUBLISH AMERICA a print-on-demand company. Unfortunately we do not do signings for print-on-demand books because of the problems inherent in
that format. I will add your book to our system so that customers will be able to order it. Thank you again for your interest. Margaret Maupin Purchasing Manager Tattered Cover.

Dear Rebecca,
Thank you for the information about your new book, Trophy Abyss. I have looked your book up in our computer system and although the ISBN does come up, it is not defined in our database and is therefore deemed non-returnable. Do you know if the book has been submitted to our Small Press Department in New York? If not, it will need to be sent in for their review and they will determine if it is something we will place in our stores. It is at that point in time that we can discuss a possible signing.
Jessie Aschbrenner, Author Relations Manager Barnes & Noble

Rebecca -- I received your letter this morning inquiring into book signing events at the Borders stores in Colorado. Unfortunately, we do not host author events with print-on-demand titles where the product is non-returnable to the publisher (Publish America). Thank you for your interest in Borders, and good luck with your books.Best regards, Greg Near Area Marketing Manager, Borders Group Inc.

Publish America Quotes: All authors are treated equally here.

Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim: Authors who complain about editing or any part of the PA process are banned, slandered in e-mails and released. This is common business practice. Just check writer's forums to gather all kinds of posts that are directly from PA executives.

According to Dave Kuzminski, d.l.kuzminski@att.net there are two sets of releases for Publish America and there is no basis for judgment on who gets which release, signifying that not all authors are treated equally. Some are released because they sell too much and some because of various reasons. One only need to read writer's forum boards to understand that at best, PA deals with its authors very volotile and abusive.

Publish America Quotes: Each day, an average 65 new authors who are looking to find a book publishing company ask us to publish their book. We review not only the quality but also the genre of their work. PublishAmerica specializes in books about, for, or by people who confront a challenge in life, and who are determined to overcome it, real or imagined, fiction or nonfiction. Like all serious book-publishing companies we have to be picky as we can only accept the works that meet our requirements in both areas.

Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim: Kevin sent a mss to PA but what I did was take 30 pages and cut and paste it over and over and over till it was about a three hundred page book. And now I just wanted to say....they sent me a contract for it. Source: Kevin Yarbrough at ayky@charter.net

"Dear Mr. Andrews:
As this is an important piece of email regarding your book, please read it completely from start to finish.

I am happy to inform you that PublishAmerica has decided to give "Eli Smith and The Purple Pony" the chance it deserves. An email will follow this one with the sample contract attached for your review. If you do not receive the email with the attached sample contract in twenty-four hours, please contact me, so I can resend the document via another method.

I will be happy to answer any questions you may have concerning the contract and to guide you through the contract negotiations phase. Please note that once you have requested that we send the official contract, we cannot further amend the contract.

Upon receiving your e-mail in acceptance with the terms, we will forward the final contract documents to you via regular mail for your signature. Along with your e-mail acceptance please include your legal name, current address, telephone number and title of work as you would like it to appear on the final contract.

The main terms of the contract are that we will pay you climbing royalties starting at 8%, you retain the copyright, and we will begin production on the book within 365 days of the date we receive the signed contract. A symbolic $1 advance underlines that all financial risk is carried by the Publisher, as we firmly believe it should be.

Once the signed contract has been processed in our offices, you will be contacted by our Production department regarding "the next step" for your book in the publishing process.

After both parties have signed the contract, you will be contacted by our production department with a list of questions and suggestions. Please feel free to e-mail any concerns or questions dealing with the terms of the contract to meg@publishamerica.com. Also, please visit our web site at www.PublishAmerica.com.

Welcome to PublishAmerica, and congratulations on what promises to be an exciting time ahead.

Sincerely,
Meg Phillips
Acquisitions Editor
PublishAmerica"

Publish America Quotes: Unique among all traditional book-publishing companies, PublishAmerica counts more than 8000 happy authors. Each day, an average 5 of them ask us to also accept their next work, 25 second-book authors per week, 100 per month. By any standard, this is an amazingly high number of return authors, unseen in the rest of the book publishing company industry.

Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim: Check out These Sites to be Aware of that false fact.
http://www.mindsightseries.com/cgi-bin/discus/discus.cgi
http://p197.ezboard.com/fabsolutewritefrm11
http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pebp.htm
http://www.writers.net

Publish America Quotes: We assign an editor who goes through the text line by line. Let's put this in perspective. We don't touch style issues, we don't edit the author's voice, tone, or delivery. We edit for spelling, mechanics, grammar, typos, and trust us, that's a vital and time consuming job. Together, our editing staff makes more than 35,000 (!) corrections, each day, to the books they work on that day. We then send a book back to the author, up to three times, to ensure that it looks exactly as the author wants it to look. We assign a graphic designer who comes up with a unique cover design. They communicate with the authors, to hear their suggestions and ideas, so that they can be incorporated into the design. All of that takes time, and we believe that the authors WANT it to take time. After all, this is their life's work. They want it to be treated accordingly. They want time control, they want quality over hurry. We assure them both.

Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim: Publish America Standard New Author Contract Paragraph 13: The publisher shall furnish the Author with an electronic page proof of the work which conforms to the completed manuscript as submitted by the author. The author agrees to return such proof to the publisher with his (grammar and/or spelling and/or typo and/or non-substantial editing) corrections within (15) days of the receipt thereof by him. The cost of alterations in the page proof required by the author other than corrections of the Publisher's errors, in excess of 15% of the original cost of composition shall be charged against the earnings of the Author under this agreement

Publish America Quotes: PublishAmerica is only interested in a book's publishing rights. We don't want any other rights, unless an author insists that we carry them on his/her behalf. Movie rights, audio rights, TV rights, merchandising rights, the copyright, they all remain the author's. We are a BOOK publisher, the only way we earn our money is by selling books, and we're very good at that. Everything else can be done better by others. Our contracts expire after seven years, unlike the life term that most other traditional publishers require. Maybe that's one of the reasons why our contracts seem to be particularly liked by lawyers: we count a few hundred attorneys among our authors.

Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim: Publish America Standard New Author Contract Paragraph 20: Author hereby agrees that the Publisher shall have the exclusive right for the duration of this agreement to negotiate for the sale, lease, license, or other disposition of the said literary work in the motion picture, dramatic, radio, television, and/or all other fields Publish America's profit from the sale to any of above listed entities50%.

Publish America Released my novel (via Paragraph 24 of the contract which states: 24. When in the judgement of the Publisher, the public demand for the work is no longer sufficient to warrant its continued manufacture, the Publisher may discontinue further manufacture and destroy any or all plates, books, sheets and electronic files without any liability in connection therewith to the Author. However, the Publisher agrees to notify the Author of such decision in writing, and will offer to transfer to the Author the work and its rights in the copyrights thereon, the plates (if any), the bound copies and sheet stock (if any) on the following terms F.O.B. point of shipment: the plates, at their value for old metal, the engravings (to be used only in the work) at one-half (1/2) their original cost, the bound stock at one-half (1/2) the list price, and the sheet stock at the cost of gathering, folding, sewing and preparing for shipment, all without royalties. In the latter event, unless the Author shall, within 30 days, accept said offer and pay the amount set forth in said writing, the Publisher may dispose of the work, copyrights, plates, books, sheets and other property without further liability for royalties or otherwise.) Then I received a letter specifying "Publishing Relationship has been Terminated."

Then for two months PA continued to sell several copies of my product on their web site and obtain profits. I have not to date seen royalties or profit from those sales. In a letter I sent via certified mail to the Support Team about this issue, they sent the response: (After writing your office initally PA eliminated the novel from their site, but continue to place it in their catalog for sale through online booksellers.)

Ms. Easton,

Please address future correspondence to support@publishamerica.com. Future
letters addressed to individuals within the company will not be considered. We ignore all of your demands and deadlines. We will consider your request at our next review meeting, to be held at our pleasure, probably within the next month or so.


Rebecca
Higlands Ranch, Colorado
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/20/2004 01:49 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/publish-america-house-of-publishing/frederick-maryland-21701/publish-america-house-of-publishing-rip-off-misleading-and-deceptive-trade-practices-fre-104646. 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author
51Consumer
1Employee/Owner

#1 Author of original report

Read the warning about Publish America (PA)

AUTHOR: Rebecca - (U.S.A.)

I read these rebuttals to my warnings for authors and I cannot believe the lack of education among the responders.  Writers; if youre happy with Publish America great for you. If youre uneducated, which clearly most of you are, and you know you are NEVER going to be traditionally published; this venue is for you. Absolutely!  But please before you get your dander up, read my warning! Its not about you poor people who are so arrogant as to want your work printed because I promise you its not published.

Its about real writers who want a real shot at being traditionally published and having their product on shelves in a real bookstore or online for purchase. Its about being paid to produce that product. I know it may seem like most of the people are just being mean to you for wanting your scribblings in a cover, but I am absolutely certain that if you could write you would understand the difference.  Your responses although I am sure heartfelt lack spelling correctness and further, substance or proof so please refrain from posting needless banter about the subject when its so evident you have no clue what youre talking about.  I hate getting notification about a rebuttal when it's from the perspective of a child. If you really have not done your homework please refrain. It just makes me tired to have to give you a real education.







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#2 General Comment

PA is not that different from any other POD

AUTHOR: Art - (United States of America)

I have authored 34 novels to date. I have 23 with IUniverse, 4 with Trafford, 2 with PA. IUniverse went from charging authors $99 per book to anywhere from $499-$2000. They used to include a self-promotion kit that contained press release forms, cards, etc. They don't include this now.

Trafford included 1.5 million email ads and a two for one deal and I went with them. All PODs list you with Books in Print, and get you into the databases of all the major booksellers. Trafford used stock photos for cover art. IUniverse has a staff of artists who do the covers, most of which are pretty good and they will change it if the author doesn't like it.

All PODs expect the authors to foot the bill for publicizing their work and they always try to sell authors packages. Most of these packages sound too good to be true (and are, so beware). There are other sites that allow you to add your your book to the POD database for free. I've gone with WordClay and IProclaim. WordClay will add your book to databases for the major booksellers for $99, but the rest is up to the author. There are also publishing packages you can purchase to spruce up your book's production like Trafford.

PA does a very good (so far with mine anyway) production job overall, but they do not allow the author to suggest changes to the covers (bad!). Also, getting a complimentary copy from them is like pulling teeth. I've gotten only one for each of my books and I had to argue with them for the last one! They also listed my books with the major booksellers. But here's the catch--I don't know of anyone who has ever received a royalty check from PA. I'm not sure they even pay royalties. But I know every promo they have (they bombard me with at least ten per day) has something to do with me buying massive quantities of my own books from them. No one else does this.

I am hoping that my sales are so low with PA that they drop me. They are already bad enough where PA has actually refused two of my MS submissions. Either that, or my first one is selling so well, they're looking for an excuse not to pay me.
We shall see.

My next book will be with IUniverse. They have converted all my books to format Kindle can use (free) as well as place them into standarde-book formats. People can also order my books in hard cover if they so desire (no charge to me). IUniverse appears to be the most professional of the lot so far. Trafford (their sister company) is also quite good.

I doubt that I will ever do business with PA again.

And you can tell by the numerous spelling and grammatical errors in their responses and on their author's blogs who is actually writing them. Rebecca needs to return to school so she can learn how to spell! 
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#3 General Comment

Publish America

AUTHOR: Fortunata - (U.S.A.)

Hello there I was just reading the post about the big scam of publish America!!
Dear God what a horrible thing!!  I am an other author that got scammed by them.
I would like also to get all the authors together and present this to the proper authority!

So can you up there get in touch with me>? Here is my e mail address (((Redacted)))

Somebody got to stop them it's a total disaster for authors to be taking this way...please write to me to talk about some kind of action so we can get our wrights back and send them to hell!


CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#4 General Comment

Publish America - House of Publishing

AUTHOR: LaRaine - (USA)

I am a Publish America author and I wish to refute the claim that they are misleading, deceptive and will publish anything no matter how poorly written. They published my first book in 2006 and I have nothing but praise for their editorial department, cover design department and quick friendly responses to all my questions.

When I submitted my query for possible publishing consideration, they responded in good time and asked that I submit the full manuscript. I did so as per their qualifications and within a few days I received an e-mail stating that there was some editing I needed to do before it could be published (thereby refuting the claim that they will publish anything no matter how poorly it is written).

After making the necessary editing corrections, I returned my manuscript and it was accepted for publication. Its true the authors do their own promotional work for their book, but PA does send letters to the authors friends and family and an article to their local newspaper. Unlike vanity presses, I was charged nothing to have my book published and although I have to pay for the books I order to keep on hand, they send me e-mails on a regular basis offering many, many discounts.

I may never become a renowned author because I wasnt published through the likes of Harlequin, Avon, etc., but because of Publish America my dream of becoming a published author became a reality and I can never thank them enough for making it possible.

I would recommend Publish American to any wannabe writers who long to see their books in print and keep getting rejected by the big name publishers!

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#5 General Comment

8%?

AUTHOR: PA Author - (USA)

Cass,

HA, HAAA!! Talk about nonsense!! "There are so many lies about publishing floating around", yes, indeed; and your rebuttal is only ONE of them! :D ROTFL!

BARELY 8% of book sales are made online? Are you sh*tting me?!! More like 40% AT LEAST!! OMG; Granted this post is so old, I probably shouldn't be wasting my time with it, but surely in 2006 books were still selling on online stores?? Barely 8%? I cannot wrap my mind around this alleged number!!

"Because I am a published author myself (with Simon and Schuster) with an agent". WHOOPIE!! Now that we all know that your sh*t doesn't stink, good for you, Cass!!!

BTW: for your info, yes my book IS published through Publish  America; and I am literally SICK TO DEATH OF THOSE JUST LIKE YOU (published AND unpublished) who their you-know-what doesn't stink because they're so much above everybody else!! Just because you got LUCKY and your book is published through 'mainstream' doesn't mean you are so much above me, you ARE NOT. Thank you very much! My books are JUST as awesome as yours (probably better; yes, BETTER)! Thank you for the MOST amusing and entertaining post. Rant finished; and NO MISSPELLINGS!! :D



 

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#6 Consumer Comment

Rebuttal

AUTHOR: Cass - (U.S.A.)


"I know my book will not appear in book stores; however, I must also bring up the fact that when I go to the Barnes and Noble or Waldenbooks store in my area, I only see books from authors who have been around a very long time - such as Judy Blume, Roald Dahl, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Danielle Steele, etc.

I daresay that a brand new author, if he/she is fortunate enough to obtain a publishing contract through a traditional publisher, would still probably not make it into book stores until several hundred, if not thousands, of copies are sold elsewhere (such as online) first. "

Marie,

It is very upsetting to see people spouting this kind of nonsense - first, because it is a reminder that there are so many lies about publishing floating around that people believe, and second because people come to this thread to get information about PublishAmerica and the manner in which it is a ripoff, and these sorts of untruths only confuse the matter.

It is not true that bookstores only stock books by known authors. Are you actually saying that if you walk into a three-story Barnes and Noble, their entire stock is represented by six people? Big bookstores always, ALWAYS, stock books by new authors if they are published by legitimate publishing houses. How do I know this? Because I am a published author myself [with Simon and Schuster] with an agent, with many published author friends. Many of them were brand new authors recently. Not a single one of them wasn't stocked in Barnes and Noble, Borders, Waldenbooks, and independent bookstores across the country. There is absolutely no difficulty whatsoever getting your book into bookstores as a new author with Random House. None. Zero. Zip. And you don't have to 'get your books into bookstores' yourself. Your publisher does that. And they don't expect you to "sell a thousand copies" first, because that would be deeply stupid business. You sell your books through bookstores. Not online. Barely eight percent of booksales are made online. Publishing companies WANT to sell your book. That's how they make their money. So they get your book in bookstores. End of story.

Yes, celebrity books are a different issue, and they are often badly written, because in that case people aren't buying the book because they think it'll be a great read, but because they love the celebrity. Celebrity books are a different industry and irrelevant.

And there is no question of choosing "between a vanity press and PublishAmerica." PublishAmerica is a vanity press. If they choose to take your manuscript, you are not a published author, you are the victim of an unpleasant scam. No bookstore will stock your book, your sales will be pitiful, and your "book" will be an embarassing punchline to everyone who is actually in the publishing community. Is that really what you want for yourself?
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#7 Consumer Comment

A fact not often thought of

AUTHOR: Marie - (U.S.A.)

I have also thought about using PA for publishing my book.

I know my book will not appear in book stores; however, I must also bring up the fact that when I go to the Barnes and Noble or Waldenbooks store in my area, I only see books from authors who have been around a very long time - such as Judy Blume, Roald Dahl, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Danielle Steele, etc.

I daresay that a brand new author, if he/she is fortunate enough to obtain a publishing contract through a traditional publisher, would still probably not make it into book stores until several hundred, if not thousands, of copies are sold elsewhere (such as online) first.

The only "new" authors I see lately in the book stores are people who are already famous and can market a book based solely on their already recognizable name, likeness, or news story.

I have read the stories from the Pro-Wrestlers turned Christian, and the "Unlikely Angel."
I have also read a fiction novel by Ehtan Hawke, which was critically acclaimed to be an excellent read. It was a horrible fiction story, quite boring, had no real plot, and was no better than anything I could have purchased at PA.

I have tried my hand at the tradtional publishing houses. I am still patiently waiting and trying more and more avenues. I do have to admit that PA is tempting.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Stepanie, you are on the mark, except...

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

(And remember, as I wrote above, I decided against Publish America, and if they continue their current business model, I will likely NEVER publish though them. The reasons are given in my most recent post above.)

But, I do have to disagree about a couple things. "Everything" Rebecca wrote is NOT true, and even a casual examination of it proves that. And then, if one actually compares it with the Publish America "model contract," the inaccuracies become even more evident. (I quoted others above, and now give you the one about rights.) It is shown here:

***Publish America Quotes: PublishAmerica is only interested in a book's publishing rights. We don't want any other rights, unless an author insists that we carry them on his/her behalf. Movie rights, audio rights, TV rights, merchandising rights, the copyright, they all remain the author's. We are a BOOK publisher, the only way we earn our money is by selling books, and we're very good at that. Everything else can be done better by others. Our contracts expire after seven years, unlike the life term that most other traditional publishers require. Maybe that's one of the reasons why our contracts seem to be particularly liked by lawyers: we count a few hundred attorneys among our authors.

Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim: Publish America Standard New Author Contract Paragraph 20: Author hereby agrees that the Publisher shall have the exclusive right for the duration of this agreement to negotiate for the sale, lease, license, or other disposition of the said literary work in the motion picture, dramatic, radio, television, and/or all other fields Publish America's profit from the sale to any of above listed entities50%.***

(She LEFT OUT the part about IF THE AUTHOR REQUESTS, then they will then negotiate the other, non-print rights. Taking that into consideration, the part she quotes relates to assistance and the company's rights if the AUTHOR wants representation regarding the other rights. She either didn't understand or instead chose to obfuscate the facts.

Basically, her complaints have some merit, but her over-reaching (and terribly selective) "Evidentiary information" comments deal a serious blow to her overall arguments when read by an impartial reader. (Especially someone who has ACTUALLY seen PA's "model contract" - and then subsequently negotiated a better deal as I did - before finally turning them down.

And finally, I still can see no way that, when PA authors typically sell their works in the dozens to a hundred or so, an author who sold 1000 would suffer cancellation "for lack of sales."

By the way, this book store stocking thing is a bit diversionary. Have you been IN a book store lately? There are tens of thousands of books and other pieces of literature. I frankly don't see how stocking ANY book in such a morass would be of much benefit, unless you are Michael Crichton or Clive Cussler (or Paris Hilton's dog) who would get prime space up front. It comes down, for us unknowns, to our own marketing efforts. If we can create demand, then books can be ordered for us THROUGH book stores. But any of us great unwashed who think we will get prime space, or even placement in one of the hundreds of rows of shelves are just dreaming.

Remember, I have demonstrated that I went another route. I self-published through Lulu.com. I am NOT a PA author and frankly don't intend to be. But I do like to see information presented as fact being actual fact, and hopefully objective at the same time. What Rebecca wrote is so full of obvious falsehoods and half-truths that she eliminates any agreement from an objective reader.
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#9 Consumer Comment

Stepanie, you are on the mark, except...

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

(And remember, as I wrote above, I decided against Publish America, and if they continue their current business model, I will likely NEVER publish though them. The reasons are given in my most recent post above.)

But, I do have to disagree about a couple things. "Everything" Rebecca wrote is NOT true, and even a casual examination of it proves that. And then, if one actually compares it with the Publish America "model contract," the inaccuracies become even more evident. (I quoted others above, and now give you the one about rights.) It is shown here:

***Publish America Quotes: PublishAmerica is only interested in a book's publishing rights. We don't want any other rights, unless an author insists that we carry them on his/her behalf. Movie rights, audio rights, TV rights, merchandising rights, the copyright, they all remain the author's. We are a BOOK publisher, the only way we earn our money is by selling books, and we're very good at that. Everything else can be done better by others. Our contracts expire after seven years, unlike the life term that most other traditional publishers require. Maybe that's one of the reasons why our contracts seem to be particularly liked by lawyers: we count a few hundred attorneys among our authors.

Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim: Publish America Standard New Author Contract Paragraph 20: Author hereby agrees that the Publisher shall have the exclusive right for the duration of this agreement to negotiate for the sale, lease, license, or other disposition of the said literary work in the motion picture, dramatic, radio, television, and/or all other fields Publish America's profit from the sale to any of above listed entities50%.***

(She LEFT OUT the part about IF THE AUTHOR REQUESTS, then they will then negotiate the other, non-print rights. Taking that into consideration, the part she quotes relates to assistance and the company's rights if the AUTHOR wants representation regarding the other rights. She either didn't understand or instead chose to obfuscate the facts.

Basically, her complaints have some merit, but her over-reaching (and terribly selective) "Evidentiary information" comments deal a serious blow to her overall arguments when read by an impartial reader. (Especially someone who has ACTUALLY seen PA's "model contract" - and then subsequently negotiated a better deal as I did - before finally turning them down.

And finally, I still can see no way that, when PA authors typically sell their works in the dozens to a hundred or so, an author who sold 1000 would suffer cancellation "for lack of sales."

By the way, this book store stocking thing is a bit diversionary. Have you been IN a book store lately? There are tens of thousands of books and other pieces of literature. I frankly don't see how stocking ANY book in such a morass would be of much benefit, unless you are Michael Crichton or Clive Cussler (or Paris Hilton's dog) who would get prime space up front. It comes down, for us unknowns, to our own marketing efforts. If we can create demand, then books can be ordered for us THROUGH book stores. But any of us great unwashed who think we will get prime space, or even placement in one of the hundreds of rows of shelves are just dreaming.

Remember, I have demonstrated that I went another route. I self-published through Lulu.com. I am NOT a PA author and frankly don't intend to be. But I do like to see information presented as fact being actual fact, and hopefully objective at the same time. What Rebecca wrote is so full of obvious falsehoods and half-truths that she eliminates any agreement from an objective reader.
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#10 Consumer Comment

Everything...

AUTHOR: Stephanie - (U.S.A.)

that Rebecca said in the initial post is true. I know the lady who sold the 1000 books. I believe she was also the last person who made it into the now defunct Independence program... at which point she beefed up her own marketing strategies. Her contract was indeed canceled for lack of sales.

To Joe the basher: Not every mistake in every PA book is due to the author. I've read countless manuscripts of before and after PA got their hands on it. Truly the worst one was a .pdf wherein there was a blank page inserted for every printed page. What that did for the book to PA's advantage is beef up the page count. Otherwise, it would not have qualified as book length. It has been admitted by principals of the company that manuscripts are not fully read by the 'editors'. The manuscripts are run through a spell checker before being converted to .pdf. That is the extent of PA's editing. Now, any writer worth his pay knows that a spell checker can often wreak havoc on names and is not a complete dictionary but deals only with the most commonly used words and often inserts errors when there is too much reliance upon that mechanism.

In addition, please refrain from picking posts apart due to spelling and grammar. I've found mistakes in your posts as well but will not point them out. No one is infallible. You'll quite likely find mistakes in mine as well.

You are absolutely correct in that Publish America will publish anything. They claim they accept only 10% of the manuscripts submitted to them. One must wonder how many manuscripts they get through snail mail if that is the case, given the infamous story of Travis Tea and Atlanta Nights. Publish America does not accept manuscripts submitted through regular mail. They accept only email submissions. It would take too many hours of the day and much more staff than they have to convert those manuscripts into electronic form.

No, I'm not a Publish America author. However, i have followed the travisty of this scam for some time.
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#11 Consumer Suggestion

I went with somebody else

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

I finally decided to go with a self-publishing service at Lulu.com

While they also have the onus of self-publishing, they offer their services for free and I can tell you that publishing through their automated service is an education in book publishing!

They charge the author nothing. Their profits are though their percentage fee. (Once an author decided how much of a royalty he/she wants, they add on 25% for their fee. (So, of the total royalty, Lulu gets 20% and the author gets 80%. Of course, the cost of printing and binding is figured into the sale price of the book (the price that the AUTHOR sets. (PA would have charged around $24.95 for my 335-page book. The cost on Lulu is $15.95 printed and $4.69 downloaded.

Once into the regular retail stream, being able to be ordered through major chains (NOT stocked but ordered) I think the retail price will be $19.95. Author copies are not free, but author purchases do noy include a royalty OR the Lulu fee. They don't make a profit on copies sold to authors. (I believe they probably get something from the printing/binding cost, but I don't know that for sure. (They use an outside print-on-demand printer similar to other POD publishers. But actually, the author is the publisher, not Lulu.com; although you can refer to them on your title page and book spine if you wish.

I'm really quite happy I finally checked them out, after all the PA defending stuff I did in here. (I answered questions and complaints to the best of my ability and tried to show light on what I thought were inaccuracies and inconsistencies in what others had written, but I never made the final deciion to go with PA, even though they substantially improved their contract offer during negotiations. The bottom lines were excessive book price and rights. They would have retained my printing rights for 7 years; under Lulu's program I retain all rights.

If anybody cares, my novel "Holes in the Hills" can be found at:

http://www.lulu.com/content/158174

(This is the only place it can be ordered until it hits the retail stream in 1-2 months. Of course, it has an ISBN number._
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#12 Consumer Suggestion

I went with somebody else

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

I finally decided to go with a self-publishing service at Lulu.com

While they also have the onus of self-publishing, they offer their services for free and I can tell you that publishing through their automated service is an education in book publishing!

They charge the author nothing. Their profits are though their percentage fee. (Once an author decided how much of a royalty he/she wants, they add on 25% for their fee. (So, of the total royalty, Lulu gets 20% and the author gets 80%. Of course, the cost of printing and binding is figured into the sale price of the book (the price that the AUTHOR sets. (PA would have charged around $24.95 for my 335-page book. The cost on Lulu is $15.95 printed and $4.69 downloaded.

Once into the regular retail stream, being able to be ordered through major chains (NOT stocked but ordered) I think the retail price will be $19.95. Author copies are not free, but author purchases do noy include a royalty OR the Lulu fee. They don't make a profit on copies sold to authors. (I believe they probably get something from the printing/binding cost, but I don't know that for sure. (They use an outside print-on-demand printer similar to other POD publishers. But actually, the author is the publisher, not Lulu.com; although you can refer to them on your title page and book spine if you wish.

I'm really quite happy I finally checked them out, after all the PA defending stuff I did in here. (I answered questions and complaints to the best of my ability and tried to show light on what I thought were inaccuracies and inconsistencies in what others had written, but I never made the final deciion to go with PA, even though they substantially improved their contract offer during negotiations. The bottom lines were excessive book price and rights. They would have retained my printing rights for 7 years; under Lulu's program I retain all rights.

If anybody cares, my novel "Holes in the Hills" can be found at:

http://www.lulu.com/content/158174

(This is the only place it can be ordered until it hits the retail stream in 1-2 months. Of course, it has an ISBN number._
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#13 Consumer Suggestion

I went with somebody else

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

I finally decided to go with a self-publishing service at Lulu.com

While they also have the onus of self-publishing, they offer their services for free and I can tell you that publishing through their automated service is an education in book publishing!

They charge the author nothing. Their profits are though their percentage fee. (Once an author decided how much of a royalty he/she wants, they add on 25% for their fee. (So, of the total royalty, Lulu gets 20% and the author gets 80%. Of course, the cost of printing and binding is figured into the sale price of the book (the price that the AUTHOR sets. (PA would have charged around $24.95 for my 335-page book. The cost on Lulu is $15.95 printed and $4.69 downloaded.

Once into the regular retail stream, being able to be ordered through major chains (NOT stocked but ordered) I think the retail price will be $19.95. Author copies are not free, but author purchases do noy include a royalty OR the Lulu fee. They don't make a profit on copies sold to authors. (I believe they probably get something from the printing/binding cost, but I don't know that for sure. (They use an outside print-on-demand printer similar to other POD publishers. But actually, the author is the publisher, not Lulu.com; although you can refer to them on your title page and book spine if you wish.

I'm really quite happy I finally checked them out, after all the PA defending stuff I did in here. (I answered questions and complaints to the best of my ability and tried to show light on what I thought were inaccuracies and inconsistencies in what others had written, but I never made the final deciion to go with PA, even though they substantially improved their contract offer during negotiations. The bottom lines were excessive book price and rights. They would have retained my printing rights for 7 years; under Lulu's program I retain all rights.

If anybody cares, my novel "Holes in the Hills" can be found at:

http://www.lulu.com/content/158174

(This is the only place it can be ordered until it hits the retail stream in 1-2 months. Of course, it has an ISBN number._
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#14 Consumer Suggestion

I went with somebody else

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

I finally decided to go with a self-publishing service at Lulu.com

While they also have the onus of self-publishing, they offer their services for free and I can tell you that publishing through their automated service is an education in book publishing!

They charge the author nothing. Their profits are though their percentage fee. (Once an author decided how much of a royalty he/she wants, they add on 25% for their fee. (So, of the total royalty, Lulu gets 20% and the author gets 80%. Of course, the cost of printing and binding is figured into the sale price of the book (the price that the AUTHOR sets. (PA would have charged around $24.95 for my 335-page book. The cost on Lulu is $15.95 printed and $4.69 downloaded.

Once into the regular retail stream, being able to be ordered through major chains (NOT stocked but ordered) I think the retail price will be $19.95. Author copies are not free, but author purchases do noy include a royalty OR the Lulu fee. They don't make a profit on copies sold to authors. (I believe they probably get something from the printing/binding cost, but I don't know that for sure. (They use an outside print-on-demand printer similar to other POD publishers. But actually, the author is the publisher, not Lulu.com; although you can refer to them on your title page and book spine if you wish.

I'm really quite happy I finally checked them out, after all the PA defending stuff I did in here. (I answered questions and complaints to the best of my ability and tried to show light on what I thought were inaccuracies and inconsistencies in what others had written, but I never made the final deciion to go with PA, even though they substantially improved their contract offer during negotiations. The bottom lines were excessive book price and rights. They would have retained my printing rights for 7 years; under Lulu's program I retain all rights.

If anybody cares, my novel "Holes in the Hills" can be found at:

http://www.lulu.com/content/158174

(This is the only place it can be ordered until it hits the retail stream in 1-2 months. Of course, it has an ISBN number._
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#15 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Even Endorsed Book Ignored by B&N and other book stores

AUTHOR: Bruce - (U.S.A.)

I didn't worry about all the negative things that had been written about Publish America because I felt it was just resentful authors that didn't know how to market their book complaining. My book had been endorsed by two best selling authors and I felt that this would open doors to book stores no matter what.

I was wrong!

Even though my book has been endorsed by two best selling authors I have run into the same brick wall that other authors have. I went through Barnes & Noble trying to find any book published by Publish America. I couldn't find one. They told me I could not do a book signing because they won't order non-refundable books. I have been given every excuse possible by the book stores on why they will not stock my book.

Though Publish America insured me that their books are purchased on a daily basis by major book buyer this has proven not to be the case. I even convinced PA to change the book return policy for 30 days so stores would order the book. That didn't work either.

My suggestion to someone wanting to publish a book is to first start with the book stores and ask them who they order from. Find out what publishers that do stock and go to those publishers to get your book published. Avoid Publish America at every cost.

If a person who has endorsements from two best selling authors can't get their book purchased by book stores, what chance does someone who is trying to get their first book noticed without any endorsements?

The title of my first book is "The Door to Super Acheivement". My author name is Bruce Goldwell. All anyone has to do is visit my web site under my writers name dot com and see the endorsements I have and wonder, how would anyone have a chance of getting into book stores if this book can't make it?

It appears that Publish America will continue to scam people and they will find that they will only get their copy of the book and that is about as far as it goes. DO they edit books? NO. My book came back with more errors then when I sent it to PA. I had to fix all the errors then they still created more errors fixing the ones I asked to be fixed.

Publish America is as un-professional as a publisher can get. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Bruce Goldwell, Author of "The Door to Super Achievement" "The Power of Choice" and "Dragon Keepers". Thank goodness I decided to get a different publisher for "Dragon Keepers". That book will be published by Saga Books in Canada. I expect that one I will actually be able to get into book stores.
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#16 Consumer Comment

Ar you a flamer?

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

Joe, this back-and-forth must be getting tiresome for other readers of this thread. (If there are, in fact, other readers! You and I seem to be the only ones posting.) But in regard to the thread...

Basically I see you an angry person who is very close-minded on this particular subject- so much so that you will not consider other views, and who discounts input- no matter how well reasoned and presented- that is counter to your views.

I believe it mainly stems from one recurrent theme that you presented over and over. Here is the latest manifestation): "I couldn't care less how many books an individual publishes through PA. It's the aftermath that I find offensive. I resent being treated like a cash cow."

Sooooo, don't buy their book! Any friend who holds your purchase of their book as a measure of your friendship may not be much of a friend.

But back to your most recent confusing post. You wrote:
"Joe, that's utter Liberal-minded nonsense. Intelligent people do not confuse was and were. It's basic stuff that's supposed to be learned in grade school."

First of all, I can HARDLY be called a Liberal- an unwarranted assumption on your part. But as for intelligent (read: educated) people, yes they should have learned "was and were" in grade school. But my reasoning above still stands. My original point was that your friend may have been right all along, and you (I didn't say this but...) just weren't "getting" the fact that he was using the subjunctive. So far you have not dealt with this issue directly by quotes from HIS writings, only by complaining about his (alleged because that's all I see in your posts) misuse.

You also wrote: "You call it acceptable, hence your support of Publish America, who also doesn't care about the lack of basic skills." When and what did I call acceptable? Butchering the usage of was and were? When did I do that? Did I write that "it's okay to toss out punctuation and capitol letters at the beginning of every sentence" (see your post above)? When and where?

And, where did I "call it acceptable" hence (my) "support of Publish America, who also doesn't care about the lack of basic skills"? I NEVER indicated that poor usage of the language is acceptable (but of course it should be preferable- necessary actually- when using a particular "voice" in writing, such as a 5-year old child or Mr. Ewell in "To Kill a Mockingbird" or a ghetto or bayou dweller.) Would you then demand the King's English?

And, in regard to Publish America (I still have not signed a contract with them and may never do so- or I may someday) I was only pointing out a few ideas how their contract may be preferable to the alternatives. And what are the major alternatives?
1) To self-publish (vanity press) wherein you purchase a print run of your own books, just to see them in print and try to sell some (mainly to family and acquaintances.)
2) Subsidy press, wherein you help pay for publication and then generally have the burden of promotion (to all the same people, usually, although a few might be bought on-line or through direct order)
3) Literary agencies and major publishers like Random House, wherein you will try for months or years to "hit the lottery" in seeking an agent and ultimately a publisher, before finally throwing up your hands and shelving your work or finally going the subsidy or self-publishing route.
4) Small, independent publisher. You might get lucky here but the odds are still waaaay against you.
5) Publish America or one of the other similar (mainly regional) publishing houses that will do the same as PA, basically to publish your work at THEIR expense and then trust that you have the gumption and creativeness to sell enough of your books to make it worth your and their while.

Believe me, I have tried numbers 3 and 4 numerous times, but it remains an outrageous numbers game, especially for the unknown writer- no matter how good. Did you write a good novel? Maybe. Is it what is "selling" as of the day the agent and
publisher looked at it? Likely not. Was your synopsis and query letter enough to capture their imagination on the day they scanned it along with perhaps a hundred or so others, while they are trying to identify one new client/author? In almost every case, probably not.

Soooo is it in a writer's best interests to keep banging his/her head against the wall, scrutinizing every issue of Writers Market books that come out and every "help column or help book" that comes down the pike from people with their hands deep into your pockets? Say YOU wrote what you think is a d**n good book and you would like other people to read? What if you DO have enough local interest to sell a few dozen or hundred copies and at the same time try to raise enough interest for a higher level of success? Is it preferable to stick your work back on the shelf to gather dust as a "nice manuscript I wrote when I was younger"?

Of course, the first choice of every author is to have Michael Crichton's agent and publisher. But for the vast najority of those of us NOT named Michael Crichton or Madonna or even Paris Hilton's dog, that "jus' ain't gonna happen" (Notice my use of voice there?) Generally, our VALID choices are numbers 1, 2, and 5 above. And a few thousand authors have chosen number 5. I frankly don't blame them. But they then have to understand that the work will be 99% theirs.

But back on-track, Joe. I believe you are a flamer and I don't care to try to deal with it anymore. You continually deflect valid comments and you then throw in red herrings. I believe to this point I have answered all your questions and complaints. But the one I can never answer adequately is how you should deal with your friends who have apparently been trained to see you as either a rapt reader of their wonderful volumes or as an easy mark. If they present you with a book that you don't care to buy, just say "no, sorry."

But also, unless you post something that makes sense for me to react to- something valid- this will likely be my last response. Take care.
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#17 Consumer Suggestion

Nonsense!

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

Joe, that's utter Liberal-minded nonsense. Intelligent people do not confuse was and were. It's basic stuff that's supposed to be learned in grade school.

Lazy people slaughter the English language. We was in the store..." or "He were home for the day" is wrong. Presently we fight to keep Ebonics from being taught as a second language in the classroom.

Many people think it's okay to toss out punctuation and capitol letters at the beginning of every sentence.

I call it lazy typing.

You call it acceptable, hence your support of Publish America, who also doesn't care about the lack of basic skills.
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#18 Consumer Comment

Oops

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

I obviously didn't intend to "refute my conclusion"; rather to support it. I really do have to allow myself a little more time when posting.

But in regard to your friend, "was and were" are often mistaken. They usually refer to number of people coupled with the past tense. "They were, or he was, or she was, or we were" at the movies. But when something is "theoretical" (usually marked by an "if" or "I wish", then it is should be "were" (although "was" is fast invading the common usage. I believe it is called the "subjunctive." You should say "I wish I were going" or "If I were only going" for example.

So, not seeing your friend's writings, we can't tell for sure. But since your only example was questionable usage of was and were, it is possible that your friend is getting it right. (Or not.)
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#19 Consumer Comment

That was not my intent

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

Joe, I didn't mean to imply that any author just starting out (and certainly not a PA author) could expect to get those kinds of numbers. The ONLY intent of my post was merely to refute - logically - the argument that an author would be canned for "selling too many books." ...And I gave arithmetic arguments to refute my conclusion. It would be counter to any publisher's best interests to cut loose an author for being too successful. If the success were measured in the hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands, any publisher would stand to make more money.

That was all.
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#20 Consumer Comment

That was not my intent

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

Joe, I didn't mean to imply that any author just starting out (and certainly not a PA author) could expect to get those kinds of numbers. The ONLY intent of my post was merely to refute - logically - the argument that an author would be canned for "selling too many books." ...And I gave arithmetic arguments to refute my conclusion. It would be counter to any publisher's best interests to cut loose an author for being too successful. If the success were measured in the hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands, any publisher would stand to make more money.

That was all.
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#21 Consumer Comment

That was not my intent

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

Joe, I didn't mean to imply that any author just starting out (and certainly not a PA author) could expect to get those kinds of numbers. The ONLY intent of my post was merely to refute - logically - the argument that an author would be canned for "selling too many books." ...And I gave arithmetic arguments to refute my conclusion. It would be counter to any publisher's best interests to cut loose an author for being too successful. If the success were measured in the hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands, any publisher would stand to make more money.

That was all.
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#22 Consumer Comment

That was not my intent

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

Joe, I didn't mean to imply that any author just starting out (and certainly not a PA author) could expect to get those kinds of numbers. The ONLY intent of my post was merely to refute - logically - the argument that an author would be canned for "selling too many books." ...And I gave arithmetic arguments to refute my conclusion. It would be counter to any publisher's best interests to cut loose an author for being too successful. If the success were measured in the hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands, any publisher would stand to make more money.

That was all.
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#23 Consumer Suggestion

Fantasy Figures

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

The number of books sold will not exceed the number of friends the author has. Any exceptions are exactly that. Exceptions. Unfortunately, every author thinks he is the exception, not the norm.

Your calculations are based on fantasies and wishes, which is why Publish America has become so prosperous while its authors complain about low sales and shady business practices.

If you wish to blind yourself to the truth, feel free.

Have you ever considered that those "authors" who brag about high sales and national success are actually PA employees, hired to spin the numbers?

I have two more friends who just became "published authors" through PA. One of them doesn't know the difference between "was" and "were". Seriously!

I couldn't care less how many books an individual publishes through PA. It's the aftermath that I find offensive. I resent being treated like a cash cow.
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#24 Consumer Suggestion

Talk about embarrassed...

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

Above, when I detailed Publish America's cut, I treated all books as though they were assessed at the next level. (Here is a paste: That "just doesn't cut it. The cutoffs I have seen are: They keep 92% of sale price of all books sold up to 2000; then 90%; then after 10,000, 87.5%. Let's say somebody sells 100 books at $15. (PA gets $1380.) Somebody else sells 2,001 books at $15. (PA Gets $27,013.50.) Somebody else yet sells 10,001. (PA gets $131,263 rounded.) Say somebody REALLY becomes a success and sells 100,000 - again at $15. (PA gets $1,312,500.)

Now, my clarifiction: In regard to the 2001 copies, the FIRST 2000 would still be at 92%, and then all following (in my example, the next one copy) would be at 90%. Therefore, for the first 2000, PA would get $27,600 (NOT $27,013) and the next copy would start the trail of 8,000 books at $13.50 for PA. (Therefore, $27,613.50 for 2001 books.)

(In my next example, at 10,001, the first 2,000 copies would continue to be at 92% ($27,600) and the next 8,000 would now be at 90% ($108,000) add the two figures and PA would get $135,600, NOT $131,000. Add the first book of the next schedule, and 10,001 copies would bring the publisher $135,600 or so.)

My example of 100,000 books would just increase the trend, making the number in the realm of $1,356,620 or so, NOT my previous $1,312,500.) I bet an appreciative publisher would definitely sweeten the pot, just to try to keep such an author happy and in their own stable!

Such a day's pay might cause a publisher to re-think canning an author who "sells too many books." (Anyhoo, I'm a bit embarrassed about my math faux pas up there! I try to be more careful than that.)
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#25 Consumer Comment

I am aware of that farce and have been for a while

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

(This is in response to the post regarding Atlanta Nights. I am aware that a prior post I did will likely intervene between this one and Joe's post regarding that "book.")

Yep, I am aware of that farce and have been for a while. I hope that if I do publish through Publish America, such problems will be in the past. I presume that they have cleaned up that act. But be aware that I would not publish through them without some discussion about certain contract clauses and also how they have changed their program since that incident.

However, that would not change the bottom line as I have related it in past posts in this thread. If my choice comes down to vanity, subsidy, or a firm such as Publish America (and the obvious- not publishing at all- then it very well could be Publish America. Once again, it seems to me by reading the numerous threads and posts on a number of sites that people are obsessing, and in many cases over old issues. Are the old problems still occurring? Are people still looking through rose-colored galsses when they sign on the line?

One more thing: I have been a bit distressed by some partial citations by posters at other sites, such as the one where a poster conveniently cut off what Piers Anthony had to say about PA before it turned positive. Also, somebody cited a poor record with the Better Business Bureau of Maryland, so I went to their site. They had this to say:

(Beginning of citation):

"Program Participation

The company participates in the Bureau's Membership Identification Program. This company has agreed to use special complaint handling procedures including mediation and arbitration if necessary to resolve disputes.

"Nature of Business

This company offers book publishing services. Books are published (printed) as ordered. Books are not typically available on the shelves of bookstores but may be ordered from Publish America through the bookstore.

"Customer Experience

Based on BBB files, this company has a satisfactory record with the Bureau. Any complaints processed by the Bureau in its three-year reporting period have been resolved. The number and type of complaints are not unusual for a company in this industry.

"To have a Satisfactory Record with the Bureau, a company must be in business for at least 12 months, properly and promptly address matters referred to it by the Bureau, and be free from an unusual volume or pattern of complaints and law enforcement action involving its marketplace conduct. In addition, the Bureau must have a clear understanding of the company's business and no concerns about its industry." (End of citation.)

I don't mind reading and considering the bad and the good about any company, including PA. I just wish that people would be a bit more honest and forthright. Sometimes it can look like a feeding frenzy. But my question remains, how many of these issues that are rehashed so often are vaild and CURRENT? And how many allegations, once stated, are actually mere allegations pointed to as fact? ("If you see it in print, it must be so, right?")

Sometimes when you see a swarm of bees, Joe, you may get some honey.
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#26 Consumer Comment

By the way, Rebecca...

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

Just an afterthought. I had another look at Becca's complaints and "Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim"s. I find lots of fault with her reasoning, mixed in with a few likely valid criticisms. (See the two examples I cited above, that had jumped out at me.) Perhaps this is at least in part because her problems surfaced at an earlier time in Publish America's business life. I don't know.

I had another run through the Mindsight site- lots of the threads- and found lots of complaints, many showing her as the leader of some sort of movement against this firm. (But I also noted that much of what was cited was allegations moreso than fact. Kinda like putting up a straw man and then attacking it.) The following posters then cite those allegations as fact. I even read a linked story from a paper in India. It, too, cited allegations as fact, and in some cases got it all wrong.

Once again, I am only an author who has shelved his first work for future revision and is trying to have his second novel published. In my first post, I stated that I was likely to go with Publish America. In a later post I stated that I have backed off on that and have sent out a few more queries, while realizing that the Agent-to-Publisher-to-success numbers game is truly stacked against me as it is almost all other new and unpublished authors- tens of thousands of them. I read in one of my wanderings that approximately 90% of all books published by mainstream houses are by established authors and 5% are by celebrities. (Not to mention that most of the celebrity books are probably ghost-written or written "as told to" or "with"- but that's another story.)

So, where does that leave us huddled masses with a story to tell? trying to crack that last 5% or so? As I said before, I am trying again to interest an agent and a mainstream, established publisher in my work. But failing that, it's subsidized publishing, vanity press where you buy a print run, or somebody like Publish America. If I fail at the preferred route, I likely will go with PA, because I want to see my novel in print and being read, if only on a local level. Their contract does not require me to buy any books, nor does it require my friends and family to buy any.

And I'm beginning to ramble, so here is my close:
My close.
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#27 Consumer Comment

Where's your focus?

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

Joe, you are focusing on one bee, and ignoring the swarm coming your way.

The bottom line is that PA has a very questionable reputation. Our inability to explain one of its aspects doesn't change the others.

Have you researched Atlanta Nights by Travis Tea?
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#28 Consumer Comment

Sorry, but I don't see it

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

Joe, you say that:

"It would stand to reason that PA would cut an author off once they hit the high end of the selling scale. The more books sold, the less money Publish America makes per book.

It is cheaper for PA to retain authors who sell less than 2000 books. Authors reaching the 2000 limit might very well be cast aside by PA in lieu of those raking in smaller royalties on less than one hundred book sales, which appears to be the norm."

That just doesn't cut it. The cutoffs I have seen are: They keep 92% of sale price of all books sold up to 2000; then 90%; then after 10,000, 87.5%. Let's say somebody sells 100 books at $15. (PA gets $1380.) Somebody else sells 2,001 books at $15. (PA Gets $27,013.50.) Somebody else yet sells 10,001. (PA gets $131,263 rounded.) Say somebody REALLY becomes a success and sells 100,000 - again at $15. (PA gets $1,312,500.)

The examples above ignore any other factors and costs that change their net and concentrate on the stated commission cutoffs of 8% to author up to 2,000 copies, 10% for next 8,000, 12.5% after 10,000. Other factors should remain equal, EXCEPT that economy of scale would weigh in on even greater net profits for PA at higher sales volumes! (More efficient press runs of hundreds or thousands, using offset presses, for example.)

Now, tell me. Would you rather make $1380 or $131,263? Are you really saying that a publisher would rather have authors making 8% on low sales rather than 12.5% on many? Would YOU "kick an author out of bed for bringing in crackers" that added that kind of money to your gross profits- and to your bottom line? (Not to mention that such a successful author would bring apparent legitimacy to your firm?)

Now, come on, Joe. That's what capitalism is all about. If you sell more product- cars, refrigerators, books- for me, I will pay you more on each one (and usually throw in other incentives too.) The successful dealers and salesmen always get more incentives, including larger splits. (I am in real estate, as an example. Some low-producing agents get 50% of each commission, but better performing agents can get 60, 70, or even 80% of each commission. Now, why is that? The better producers bring in more money to the firm, and the firm can pay them higher amounts on each sale. Do you REALLY think that a company would discard high-producers who get more per sale but bring in mega-bucks, or instead keep low achievers who only get 50% on each sale?) They have to keep the low-achievers, because they keep the money coming in at an acceptable level, if not glamorous. And some of them develop into high-achievers who bring in big bucks.

I still can't see why ANY publisher would discard an author who is on the path to success and brings in lots of money. In fact, the more successful the author becomes, the more publishers will line up to publish their works. Certainly, their current publisher- PA or Random House or anybody in between- would fight to keep them!

I would still like to see the details on the author who was reportedly canned because her books were on the verge of selling well. I can't find it in Mindsight. Maybe it's there, but I can't find it in all that static.
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#29 Consumer Suggestion

percent of royalties

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

Joe,

Check Publish America's website (Publishamerica.com).

The more books sold by the author, the higher the royalties paid by PA.

It would stand to reason that PA would cut an author off once they hit the high end of the selling scale. The more books sold, the less money Publish America makes per book.

It is cheaper for PA to retain authors who sell less than 2000 books. Authors reaching the 2000 limit might very well be cast aside by PA in lieu of those raking in smaller royalties on less than one hundred book sales, which appears to be the norm.

No matter how you look at this company, they come up short and a bit stinky.
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#30 Consumer Comment

A short note of clarification...

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

Just to follow-up. I noticed that the board I mentioned above had 106 pages of comments by authors, most of them relative to success in placement (or at least exposure) in book stores and libraries. Each page has about 10 posts. These were apparently posted by happy authors, because the names and book titles were appended to each note. A quick check on some names reveals actual (not phony) authors/titles.

By the way, I did check out the Mindsight site and some others and found lots of complaints (many of which were merely rehashed) but I could not find out about the woman who was dumped because she was beginning to sell too many books. Rebecca said she had a contract in the works with Kroger and had already sold 1000 books. I still find that hard to believe! If somebody could post a link to that particular thread, I would appreciate it!
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#31 Consumer Suggestion

biggest complaint they target friends and family members of the authors.

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

Joe,

You've raised some good points, but in my opinion PA still comes up short.

My biggest complaint is that We are hounded, in person and by email, to purchase their books, which are overpriced and full of errors.

I simply want to be left out of that equation. I don't like my friends treating me like a potential customer and cash cow.

There's enough information out there concerning Publish America. If someone can't take the time to investigate them beforehand, that's their problem.

If an author weights the evidence and still decides to go with PA, I simply want them to leave me alone. The sad part is that friends and loved ones are the major source of income for these authors. How do we say no? We buy them to be nice.

The next thing we know, the same author comes back with book #2.

It's a never-ending cycle.
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#32 Consumer Comment

I 'm still thinking about it but...

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

I have decided to continue to explore other avenues prior to signing with Publish America. This includes several more queries. However, I have also been researching both PA and non-PA boards.

One criticism I read repeatedly is that PA has no credibility as to book quality, and that book stores won't stock their books. (Another reason cited is that PA has a "no returns" policy.) I found this board with comments by PA authors. It sure seems to have a lot of happy campers. (I realize that an individual store doesn't constitute a whole chain though...) The board:

http://www.publishamerica.com/testimonials/

The question remains though: if an author believes in his/her book but has had no luck cracking the numbers game of attracting an agent and a publisher, just what should they do? Go self-publishing? Just give up? Authors write because they have a dream. The first layer of the dream is to hit it big and have their name on Oprah and the top ten lists. But other layers exist too, including seeing your book being read by others. Not necessarily millions, but maybe dozens, hundreds, or even thousands.

...And then hitting it big! I agree that the ideal is to interest an agent and then a major publisher. But the cards are really stacked against the author with a story to tell. Maybe Publish America is a way to go for many.

Writers Market books are great, but they in large part cater to the thousands of hopeful novelists, non-fiction writers and free-lance magazine writers. And the vast majority of them are going nowhere in their search for Super Agent and Random House. Perhaps Publish America is a reasonable alternative.
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#33 Consumer Suggestion

share with others

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

Joe,

Maybe you could share with others how you plan to market your own book. Other than promoting them on personal websites and selling to friends, most authors are clueless. Bookstores will not accept them. Surely you can't mean to advertise over TV, newspaper and radio. Think of the cost involved.

Stephen King's first novel was rejected 12 times. Rejections are a way of life. No one's saying that it's easy to get published. There is a mountain of competition out there...and yes, it does take forever to get established.

If you've written a book you should get an agent, Joe. They, more than you, know which publisher will be interested. It's a time saver. If your book is any good it will get published eventually.

The chances that a PA book will become a success are very slim to none. Even a fantastic writer will get lost in the galaxy of PA books floating around.

A new author must start small. Publish in the Zines for no pay and only a few contributors' copies. Each sold story, whether it generated money or not, is a publishing credit. Use those credits to entice the bigger markets to read your material.

When I think of all the books that end up on the racks of the dollar store, I get sick. Imagine spending a year or more to write a novel...and have it end up on a bargain basement bookshelf?

It's depressing really. PA cashes in on that depression.

They make their money on each author who sells less than 100 books to friends. PA isn't in it for the big winner. The little guys are quite profitable.

If all someone wants to do is pawn a few books off on friends, and go nowhere else with them, than PA is for them. A writer who wants more should avoid them like the plague...or at least know what they're getting into in advance.

I wish you luck with your book, Joe. I think you've got more going for you than the average "Joe". Try springing for an agent first and see what happens.

Please be sure you know what you're getting into before going with Publish America.
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#34 Consumer Comment

Regarding Writers Market and traditional publishing houses

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

Joe, you mention Writers Market and that it lists numerous publishers and their requirements for publication (my paraphrase.) Firstly, many are publications such as magazines, and others are non-fiction-oriented. I own the 2004 and 2005 Writers Markets and the Short Story and Novel Writers Market. I also subscribe to their web site. But you overlook (or gloss over) one glaring problem here.

The vast majority of such publishers accept only agented works (at least the fiction publishers for authors such as myself.) The problem, now, is to try to interest an agent (and the Writers Markets do list agents and their genres of interest, including whether they are currently seeking new, unpublished authors.) This is way beyond a numbers game!

"Basically, an author jumps through hoops, generating query letters tailored to each, with some blend of synopsis, chapter outline, sample chapters, or none of the above according to their requirements. You send these letters out one after the other, trying your best to write an enticing query letter, using the best (and often conflicting) information available. (By the way, if you want to spend a little extra cash, buy a book or two on writing successful queries and/or enroll in a query mentoring program. Most cost major bucks.)"

Many of us feel that we have something worth writing and also worth reading, and we do get discouraged in this numbers game. It can take years of trying to interest an author in your work; how many of us have that kind of time available? (An agent gets a few hundred queries each year, scans them, and rejects the preponderance of them (how much of an author load can an agent reasonably carry and promote? 20? 30? 100?

And then, even an agent can't guarantee that your work will be published, only that they "promise" to promote it. So, the traditional major publishing houses, while the doors may be barred, they are crowded by the literally thousands of hopeful authors. They do have layers of gatekeepers, including agents and then editors. How does the average author force his way through that crowd? The occasional one does, especially if he has a name like Doctor Phil, or she has a name like Madonna. I am not disparaging their work, but they do have an advantage when they write their first book.

So, where does the hopeful author go next? To a vanity house where you can have a nice run of books printed off for a fee, to be given away or stacked in the garage, pending the dumpster? Of course, one can go with a "self-publishing POD" house, where they take a handy chunk of change for one of their "packages." Or, finally, one can go to Publish America, have them publish your work, if they choose to accept it, at their cost.

I've written a d**n good novel, and am ready to ahve it published, especially after doing the "query letter dance" for a few months. I researched the various houses available, including Publish America, and read comments such as these. They accepted my work, and I will let them publish it. And then I will throw myself into promoting my own work, because that's what authors do.

By the way, the posting that started this thread, by Rebecca, had some valid criticisms, but it was also in error in a number of places. (I have already scrutinized their "model contract" and have a really good grasp of it. Frankly, it smacks a bit of sour grapes. I will show one example, only:

(She says: "Publish America Quotes: PublishAmerica continues to grow faster than any other traditional publisher, and today we are apparently the most popular publisher among new authors. More than 50 new authors contact us every day, hoping to join you as a PublishAmerica author. That's more than 12,000 hopefuls per year. At least 80 percent of them never make it to the "published author" status, because they don't pass our acquisitions process, but that does not seem to discourage anyone from submitting their work to us in ever growing, and frankly astonishing, numbers. We read every single submission before we accept or refuse."

"Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim: With a staff of less than one dozen how does PA read each and every manuscript? How many books would each of them have to read on a daily basis? How many acquisition editors are there? (2 or 3?) So let's put this into perspective. 2 or 3 editors at a reading rate of 50 novels a day or 12,000 per year. This means that the aquisition editors read an average of 16 novels per day. I don't know about you, but I am a graduate of Evelyn Woods and even I cannot read that fast." (End of her excerpt.)

I, also am a graduate of Evelyn Woods, but that's beside the point. Let's take my case as an example. I sent them a query via email, and they reviewed the query. It told them what they needed to know to ask for a manuscript. They undoubtedly scanned key parts of the manuscript - mainly the beginning a chapter or two in the body, and especially the ending (I would, of course, hope that they hung on every precious word of my 118,000, but somehow I doubt it!)

In any case, as one of the "50 authors a day", my query could have been dispatched rather quickly if they didn't see merit in it. Also, my manuscript could have been junked quickly enough as well. My point is that it's a bit extreme to think that because an avrerage of 50 prospective authors query Publish America, that the acquisitions editors therefore would "read 16 novels per day."

As I wrote above, I do have some questions regarding the contract and will address them. But I just don't see much of the "Evidentiary information rebutting PA claims" as she does. Again, it sounds like sour grapes, from somebody who assumed that they were getting more. What I see is that my work will be published and that I will then bear much of the responsibility of its promotion.

(By the way, another example she cites is the following: "Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim: Publish America pays authors a principal amount of $1.00 advance for signing a non standard 7-year contract. 8% of the first 2,000 copies sold. 10% of 8,000 copies sold and 12.5% of 10,000 copies or more sold. (It's been rumored that the average author sales per product is generally 100 books sold.) I have heard a story of one gal who had a contract with KROGER opening and potential sales errupting. She'd sold over 1,000 copies and PA dropped her immediately, before the negotiations could be finalized. You can read her posts at: Mindsight!"

Let me see here. A publisher is in the business to publish and sell books, right? I mean, that's their principal income stream, because the work is not author-subsidized through "silver, gold, and platinum packages" from $500 to $5000, paid by the author, right? So, we are led to believe that when a book starts to become successful - when the books really begin to sell - the publisher drops the author like a hot potato? I think I'll check with my local Ford dealer and see if the company tries to pull his franchise whenever he sells too many cars; and my supermarket too, if General Mills threatens to cut off their supply if they sell too much cereal.
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#35 Consumer Suggestion

Writer's Market

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

Stephani,

There is an excellent book entitled The Writer's Market 2005. It contains thousands of legit magazine and book publishers who will pay you for your material. Each section has guidelines for submissions, editors name and addresses and tips for getting published with them. They tell you what type of material they are looking for.

No serious writer should be without this book. It has more helpful information then I could possibly list.

You will find The Writer's Market 2005 in bookstores, or you can order it from Amazon.com ($19.00). The prices vary, so shop around. Some copies come with a computer CD, but they're more expensive.

Be sure you get the newest copy, which is 2005. Old ones will not be up to date.

You can also check with your local library to see if they carry it.

Good luck, Stephani.
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#36 Consumer Comment

Question thinking about publishing my book

AUTHOR: Stephanie - (U.S.A.)

I am thinking about publishing my book with Publish America. However, I am a little scared of doing so after reading some of the posting. My question is who are we (writers) to go to? I am a single mother and my son has medical problems. Paying someone to publish my book does not fit my budget because of my son's medical problems. Again what company am I to go to with my book?
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#37 Consumer Comment

Question thinking about publishing my book

AUTHOR: Stephanie - (U.S.A.)

I am thinking about publishing my book with Publish America. However, I am a little scared of doing so after reading some of the posting. My question is who are we (writers) to go to? I am a single mother and my son has medical problems. Paying someone to publish my book does not fit my budget because of my son's medical problems. Again what company am I to go to with my book?
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#38 Consumer Comment

Question thinking about publishing my book

AUTHOR: Stephanie - (U.S.A.)

I am thinking about publishing my book with Publish America. However, I am a little scared of doing so after reading some of the posting. My question is who are we (writers) to go to? I am a single mother and my son has medical problems. Paying someone to publish my book does not fit my budget because of my son's medical problems. Again what company am I to go to with my book?
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#39 Consumer Comment

Question thinking about publishing my book

AUTHOR: Stephanie - (U.S.A.)

I am thinking about publishing my book with Publish America. However, I am a little scared of doing so after reading some of the posting. My question is who are we (writers) to go to? I am a single mother and my son has medical problems. Paying someone to publish my book does not fit my budget because of my son's medical problems. Again what company am I to go to with my book?
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#40 Consumer Suggestion

PA Makes fools of people

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

Yvonna,

I agree that PA is a great opportunity...for making fools out of authors who think they've hit the big time.

Atlanta Nights, written by "Travis Tea" tells us all we need to know about Publish America. Only after PA published it did they bother to read it. But it was too late. "Travis Tea" proved "his" point, which is that PA will publish any garbage sent their way.

If you feel that reputable publishers are on the same level as PA simply because they make mistakes, then more power to you.
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#41 Consumer Comment

positively agree with both sides

AUTHOR: Yvonna - (U.S.A.)

Hi Joe,

I have to say, depending on one's positioning, I have to positively agree with both sides. If you are an old-school publishing advocate, I understand your disgust with the "new method" of publish-on-demand. But I also agree with those you clashed horns with. I have read quite a few books written by major authors using major publishing labels, which had numerous typographical errors; even the paper scoring was off. I've literally had to get out my scissors and cut off the "dog-ears" that the binders missed during production. I even have a Bible printed by a reputable religious publisher (The Lederer Foundation), which contained many typos, and the hardcover binding broke in a matter of weeks.

I was quite appalled at first, but I also took into account the pressure that the translator was under to produce his version of the Bible, in a matter of months, which normally should have taken 5 years to complete. He (David Stern) had such a high market demand for his new transliteration, "The Complete Jewish Bible" after his previous work "The Jewish New Testament", that his publishers did not have enough time to edit properly.

I thought it was terrible, that the Bible would actually have errors, but I know that's not the first time it's been done. The King James Version actually twists a few verse syntaxes on purpose to create an anti-Semetic bias.....unheard of, considering the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation was originally scribed by Jews. Anyways, I'm rambling, and need to get to my point. Point is, there are just as many inconsistent "reputable" publishers as there are "disreputable". We are all "inconsistent", and are all in need of an inflated ego-check. When you have a book to write, and you hope to God it sells, I hope to not find you being the complainer that you are now. All authors should continue to be grateful that anybody even considered publishing them in the first place.

So what, every publishing outlet has it's share of lousy, inexperienced writers. The same goes for commercial radio and television. The stuff that sells as "music" today is appalling. And, they are getting paid for it! And daytime television is becoming a cheap production machine, where the actors have little if any talent, and to make up for poor talent, the producers throw in alot of pornography and sound effects to dull our senses.

So next time, you, mr., have something of value to offer this blighted world, let me see it in the bookstore, let me hear it on the radio, let me watch you on television. Stop being such a negative boor to those who are at least willing to sacrifice their time, energy, and talent to share themselves with the public, thru whomever will give them a chance. We are a capitalist society, and our American economy thrives on machines such as publish-on-demand.

Publish America is a great opportunity for new authors. Stop picking on the publisher, and start focusing more on the individual author's who you find so terrible. It's a free market, it's your own fault if you bought a lousy book.
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#42 Consumer Comment

Tonya, I'm Sorry. I was out of line to direct my frustrations towards you. I'm sorry.

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

Tonya, please forgive me. I was out of line to direct my frustrations towards you. I'm sorry.

My intent was to warn others who do not understand what Publish America is all about. Many have been deceived by this company. PA is not upfront with the important details.

Anyone, whether they can write or not, will get published by PA. There is no victory in that.

Again, please forgive me for getting too personal. Good luck with your book.
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#43 UPDATE Employee

You're right about one thing!

AUTHOR: Tonya - (U.S.A.)

Dear Joe,

I think you're right about one thing,

You are a p***k!

You are also a fool, if you don't like 6th grade books, and you can't stand PA books, than quit reading them. Is it that they are the only things you can find to critize, or is your reading and writing comprehensives only at that level? Just look in the mirror, you seem pretty foolish to me.

If your work is so good--go get published, or maybe you're afraid it will take a long time, for you to find someone who will even give you the time of day! Why? Because people have a right to pick and choose. So go choose another selection of books to read fool. PA is just as good as anyone else for now, so thank you anyway. I don't need a hotair pump, or a bandage--you didn't cause much damage anyway.

When you are sure your books are worthy of others pointing out their flaws, let me know, I'll be the first one standing in line.

Thank you, Mr. p***k, excuse me, thats with a captial 'P'. Go ahead, inflat your own chest some more by insulting people with more guts then you have.
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#44 UPDATE Employee

You're right about one thing!

AUTHOR: Tonya - (U.S.A.)

Dear Joe,

I think you're right about one thing,

You are a p***k!

You are also a fool, if you don't like 6th grade books, and you can't stand PA books, than quit reading them. Is it that they are the only things you can find to critize, or is your reading and writing comprehensives only at that level? Just look in the mirror, you seem pretty foolish to me.

If your work is so good--go get published, or maybe you're afraid it will take a long time, for you to find someone who will even give you the time of day! Why? Because people have a right to pick and choose. So go choose another selection of books to read fool. PA is just as good as anyone else for now, so thank you anyway. I don't need a hotair pump, or a bandage--you didn't cause much damage anyway.

When you are sure your books are worthy of others pointing out their flaws, let me know, I'll be the first one standing in line.

Thank you, Mr. p***k, excuse me, thats with a captial 'P'. Go ahead, inflat your own chest some more by insulting people with more guts then you have.
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#45 UPDATE Employee

You're right about one thing!

AUTHOR: Tonya - (U.S.A.)

Dear Joe,

I think you're right about one thing,

You are a p***k!

You are also a fool, if you don't like 6th grade books, and you can't stand PA books, than quit reading them. Is it that they are the only things you can find to critize, or is your reading and writing comprehensives only at that level? Just look in the mirror, you seem pretty foolish to me.

If your work is so good--go get published, or maybe you're afraid it will take a long time, for you to find someone who will even give you the time of day! Why? Because people have a right to pick and choose. So go choose another selection of books to read fool. PA is just as good as anyone else for now, so thank you anyway. I don't need a hotair pump, or a bandage--you didn't cause much damage anyway.

When you are sure your books are worthy of others pointing out their flaws, let me know, I'll be the first one standing in line.

Thank you, Mr. p***k, excuse me, thats with a captial 'P'. Go ahead, inflat your own chest some more by insulting people with more guts then you have.
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#46 Consumer Comment

Hot Air

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

Tonya, your reading comprehension skills match your aptitude for writing.

Did I not state that I've bought and read the published works of friends? I've also had the unfortunate experience of buying bagfuls of PA discards at various garage sales. Even at a buck a bag I felt cheated. If you find the works of these authors engaging and satisfying, then you might try advancing to the d**k, Jane and Sally first-grader reader series.

The only reason I haven't published through PA is simple. I'm not a fool. I refuse to sell my dignity for a dollar advance and the privilege of marketing the books as well.

Since PA publishes anything that comes to them, there is no satisfaction in getting published. At least there shouldn't be. You know that as well as I.

The chest you thrust so proudly forward is full of hot air.

And I am the p***k that popped you.
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#47 UPDATE Employee

Publish America has good Authors--read the books!

AUTHOR: Tonya - (U.S.A.)

You know, I'm just about tired of reading all these insults about PA. Have any of you tried reading the books that you're insulting? I have. The authors are great, and I'm not just saying that, because I don't know the authors personally. Then again, I have also read books by famous authors that I've hated, but then you guys would love those books, because those authors are accepted by the rest of the narrow minded world.

If you haven't read PA books, maybe you shouldn't critcize them. Have any of you, that are not authors, published a book? HA, I guess not since you're not authors right? Well, what are you waiting for, since you know the struggles and woos of being a writer you should try 'Berkley Book Publishing' and 'Pocket Books' first and lets see how far you get! Don't burst other people's dreams, just because you have a fowl heart. You mean to say that every BIG publisher that you all know of, started out with 10 million great authors right off the back? So they were all successful from day one? PA started small, and they have grown considerably. Its possible that one day soon, when they can, they too will have a big enough reputation to get our books onto the store shelves. PA said that they were a small company, and they never tried to hide that fact. At least they don't tell individuals that their writing sucks, and then take it off to Asia and sell it!

Everyone has to start some where. PA has over 11,000 authors now, thats 11,000 people with the courage to show their work, unlike others of you, who feel free to critcize us, and lie to us. If you care about your friends and family who have been recognized as individuals with a gift, you will tell the truth about their books, because when they write, they are inspired and feel the books they turn out are GREAT. So if you think they stink, tell them the truth, its the only way they will know if they are doing something good.

Oh and by the way, I have seen grammatical errors in well known author's books, who I shall not name for fear of being sued, who have BIG publishers. So that means they were also capable of having made even more errors, that the editor luckily found. No bodys perfect, everyone has to start somewhere. PA has authors who have appeared on the NEWYORK TIMES Best Sellers List. READ the books before you insult PA's authors, or keep your opinions to yourself.
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#48 Consumer Comment

Give us a break. We're fed up with your books.

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

Publishing a book through PA is like climbing a step ladder and then telling people you climbed Mt. Everest.

I have friends who have published books through PA. I have no peace. Every time we get together they're trying to pawn their books off on me. They can't write any better than a sixth grader.

What can I tell them? That their books stink? Of course not. I don't want to hurt there feeelings. I tell them their books are a great read and then I go home and dump them in the trash, after I've shelled out $14 to $17 each.

You "authors" need a reality check, man. I'm so serious about this. Stop pawning this garbage off on family and friends. We're fed up! Some of you keep going back to PA with 2nd and 3rd books. Then you come running back to loved ones waving your new novel in our faces, expecting us to buy more.

We try to be nice, but holy zippity, you're worse than kids selling school candy. Give us a break already! We got bills to pay. We can't keep buying your junk books just to make you feel good.

If your manuscripts were worthy of publication, a reputable publisher would buy them. But you refuse to acknowledge the truth. You think you're better than the other PA authors. You're NOT any better. You stink!

Get a grip, people. Your loved ones are tired of being asked to buy this trash. Give it up already and leave us alone!
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#49 UPDATE Employee

Publish America helps the 'nobodys'.

AUTHOR: Tonya - (U.S.A.)

I am an author of Publish America. I'm glad to be one, because no one else would even give me a chance, why? Because they weren't interested in what I wrote, or because it wasn't sent to their company the way thier company wanted it sent.

I believe in my book, and I appreciate Publish America because they gave it a chance. Yes, I love having my book, with my words, with my dream, in my hands! I know people who have submitted thier manuscripts to PA and been rejected--it scared me to death to send them mine, and when I did, and they wanted it, my heart almost stopped.

I've sold at least 75 copies in my home town alone, and other people liked reading, it as much as I liked writing it. There are 2 stores in my hometown that carry my PA book, and those stores have sold out twice now. Yes, I did have to ask them to carry it, and one of the stores buys it directly from the warehouse, while the other store has my book on consignment, but hey, it's getting exposure!

I wish PA could put our books into stores, and I wish I could find out more about internet book sells, but as long as I know my book is out there, I have a chance. I agree with everything David, from Portage Michigan said, 'Ah the Vanity!' One day soon I will be done with my second book, and I hope to find a bigger publisher, but if not, I will try PA again, because I believe in my writing, and they believe in it enough to give it a chance.
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#50 Consumer Comment

I'm Going To Try Them They make big promises

AUTHOR: David - (U.S.A.)

My thanks to Rip-off Report for your service, just discovered. As a new author under contract to Publish America, I am ready to believe some of the negative comments from others who have reported. However, I am going to continue with them anyway; here's why. At age 72, I have just written a book of humorous verse, completed in 2004. I have looked at many of the websites offering to print my book.

They want money up front and don't give me a free copy. They make big promises (but I don't believe them any more than I believe P.A.) Besides P.A. will send me 2 free copies of the book and will contact 100 of my friends to try to sell some.

Furthermore, P.A. convinced me to copyright my manuscript at only $30(paid to the government). If P.A. drops me for low sales I will be free to try to publish else-where if some "magic" should happen from the slight exposure of the book.

If it all falls through I still have Office Depot. Under no circumstances will I pay any money to Publish America. If they drop me on that basis, I'll get back and let you know. Otherwise, here's my chance to "test the waters"... ah, vanity.
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#51 Consumer Comment

Aurthors...?

AUTHOR: Amy - (U.S.A.)

To Lonnie of Bucyrus, Missouri:

It's really scary for me, as an educated, tax-paying, book-buying American, to see a self-proclaimed published writer who cannot spell the word "author" correctly.

Not just once, or twice, but all of the references attempting to use the word are misspelled in your rebuttal.

Writers, especially those who take pride in their work; take the time to express themselves, not only eloquently but correctly no matter the genre or environment in which they write; even in a place and setting such as this.

Your rebuttal was meant to sway people or at least level the playing field. But it's hard for readers, like myself, to grasp those intentions when we're constantly tripping over your spelling errors. For the discriminating readers, those of us who take this situation rather seriously, your inability to be self-critical and be correct says much about your credibility as a published writer defending Publish America.

My sister worked for several years on her book of poetry only to be given the run-around by this company. When she found out that hundreds of other authors were treated the same or worse, she was appauled and scared, and has had every right to be.

Case in point: It's hard for me to believe that someone with her talent, vast vocabulary, ethics and tenacity would have to stand by and listen/read while someone like you who seems to lack at least one of these qualities belittles the very motivation for complaints like hers. It is rather insulting.
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#52 UPDATE Employee

POD Stigma Hits Home!

AUTHOR: Rebecca - (U.S.A.)

There are authors who have published with Publish America who are in fact happy that they do not sell books. They are happy that they get to see their work in print. Happy that a company charges nothing to print a book. In fact, this company gives the author a whole one-dollar in up front payment for their manuscript that they tie up for non-standard seven years.

Some authors are happy with the fact that even though booksellers do not stock their product, and even though the industry recognizes their book as low quality, overpriced and poorly edited, these authors are ecstatic about their book being in their hands.

I say hooray for them! Good to see that PA has yet another happy author! If that is all you want from a publisher than PA is for you. Good luck, congratulations and may your ego be fulfilled with your hard work in your hands!

The truth is that even the number one distributor of Print On Demand titles is now shutting it's doors on housing books from publishers such as Publish America. There are articles all over the web now about the distinct difference between what Publish America provides for its authors, verses what major publishers offer. You may get your product in print as this author suggests, but the increasing volumes of disgruntled authors appearing on many writer forums need only calculate the percentages of happy authors. Not to mention the Rip Off web site. Do your homework to make absolutely certain that PA is the right choice for you, and your publishing goals.
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#53 Consumer Comment

rip off fanisty presses

AUTHOR: Lonnie - (U.S.A.)

To begin with, I am an aurthor and I have a book with Publish America. I write Sci-Fi and the book is called the Mo-Tar. This company has been very good to me and the Fasnisty presses are now loosing money because (FINALLY), a company has come along and gave the aurthor a chance to get his book pubished without some little press in someones basement charging an arm and a leg and getting rich from some poor aurthors work. All this negetive reporting must be coming from these little presses because now they are loseing money left and right because now the aurthor doesn't have to spend their life saving getting their book printed. and if people would stop and think, these fanisty presses only print the book but they charge an arm and a leg to print it. they don't put it on the market, their printing is of very poor quilty and they cut corners left and right. So before an aurthor gets frightened from these neg. reports, just think, this company is giving him or her a chance to get published; isn't that what the aurthor wanted in the first place. like I said, they have been very good to me.
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