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A Look Inside Publishing with Publish America

Editor’s Note: The Fiction Forum does not endorse any of the publishers interviewed for the site. Please research any publisher thoroughly before signing a contract. The Fiction Forum is actively looking for feedback from PA authors in regards to their publishing experiences with PA. A follow-up article is planned. If you would like to participate, please use this contact form to let us know –you should be prepared to share contact information, name, book title, and consent to be quoted. –July 14, 2003

Interview with Publish America, www.publishamerica.com
Conducted by Dawn Seewer, December 2002

Publish America has stated pretty firmly that they are in no way a POD, vanity press, or subsidy publisher. What type of publisher is Publish America considered to be and why?

PublishAmerica is a traditional, advance and royalty-paying publisher. We follow the model of other traditional publishers, and not the POD, vanity, or subsidy press model of charging the author fees to have their book in print. We maintain this old-fashioned, time-honored belief that a publisher should sell books, and not so-called “services.” We’re not reinventing any wheel here, we’re just selling books, and by concentrating on bookselling only, we have grown very good at it: hundreds of thousands of books per year. This puts us in the top ten percent of the nation’s publishers in terms of volume of books sold.

Who are your editors, what special qualifications do they bring to Publish America?
Miranda N. Prather is the current Editorial Director at PublishAmerica. Miranda has been with PublishAmerica since January 2000. She holds a BA in English, with a minor in French. She has worked as an editor and writer for more than ten years, both in the private sector and the university system. She enjoys reading any new work that is especially engaging and well-written though Science-Fiction, Horror and Fantasy are her favorites. She has completed one novel and is at work on three more.

Jaime Long has been editing at PublishAmerica since July 2001. She graduated from Villa Julie College with a BA in English Language and Literature. Jaime also writes in her spare time and is working on many projects that she hopes to share with the world some day. Along with editing books for PublishAmerica, Jaime reads science fiction, fantasy, historical, and romance novels, and non-fiction science and history books. Jaime enjoys editing the non-fiction, romance, and science fiction books of budding authors at PublishAmerica. The new concepts that authors bring to the editing staff makes for an exciting working day. She looks forward to editing new material each day from the future writers of great American literature!

Sarah Becker graduated from Shepherd College with a Secondary English Education degree. She taught high school English for a time before pursuing a career in publishing. She is currently PublishAmerica’s Senior Editor. Sarah has a great love for the English language that spans from 19th c. English Romantic literature (her favorite) to the intricacies of grammar. At PublishAmerica, she enjoys reading fresh and original ideas from new authors and providing the final edit that will help the book arrive in readers’ hands at its very best. Her favorite genres to edit are historical fiction and poetry.

Walter Chalkley has been involved with publishing and writing for nearly a decade with most of his work being freelance material for large book publishers, very small niche publishers, and non-profit organizations. He has degrees in English, Philosophy, and History from Virginia Commonwealth University and is currently finishing an advanced degree in Modern Humanities from Frostburg University. He also teaches business communications and business English at AccuTech Career Institute. He uses this wealth of experience as an editor for PublishAmerica.

Marie Raeder is an Acquisitions Editors at PublishAmerica. She helps to review manuscript submissions, negotiate contracts and help inform authors about any questions they may have. Every day is exciting because she gets to read various materials submitted to the company for review, and it’s always so rewarding helping writers make their dreams come true. She holds a degree in BA in Communications.

In your submission guidelines Publish America asks for “an outline of why you believe your book would be marketable”, this isn’t a guideline you often see. Can you tell us a little bit about this guideline and what affect it has on the acceptance?
The market statement lets PublishAmerica know that the author believes in his or her own book and understands at least some of the book’s potential market. This statement helps convince us that the seeds of a market exist for the book. By the way, it is actually very much a standard guideline, also used by most other traditional houses. Today the author is expected to pitch their book to publishers they seek out to submit their work to. You don’t just drop your manuscript somewhere and expect that just its mere arrival will sway the acquisitions editor one way or the other. If you’re an author, you are selling your book, and we the publisher, are buying!

Actually, we find that most authors are quite good at pitching their work, mainly because they are the best expert on their subject matter. Later, and often to their own pleasant surprise, they usually also turn out to be great promotors of their book after it has been published, which is equally vital.

After searching through your website we were unable to locate guidelines on the required length, does Publish America have a set length requirement?
We require that submissions be a minimum of 7,000 words with no upper limit to word count.

When a new submission arrives what process does it go through in order to determine its potential as a publishable title?
Every submission goes through an immediate review. During the immediate review, we check to make sure the manuscript meets our submission guidelines. If the manuscript meets our submission guidelines, we place the title for review with an acquisitions editor. The acquisitions editor reads the entire manuscript and reviews the other materials. After the review a decision is made and the book is either accepted or rejected.

Where does your cover art come from and do authors have any say in the design of the cover?
We have a staff of talented cover designers who create our books’ covers. Each book is paired with a cover designer. If the author has a design or an idea, the cover designer will work with that design to create a mutually agreeable design. We do have final say on the cover design, but are always willing to work with the author.

It’s stated in your FAQ’s that “all successful marketing begins at home” how does Publish America encourage its authors to promote their work? What role (if any) does Publish America play in the marketing and promotion of each title?
We craft and mail an announcement letter for every title and send review copies to interested media. We inform the entire industry about our titles. We provide a dedicated, full-time Author Support Staff to assist authors in their marketing efforts. We have seen increased media coverage and recently, expanded our scope to Europe by partnering with Ingram and Amazon UK. We also regularly attend trade shows to promote the company and individual books. All of our combined efforts have lead to:

*each and every day, somewhere in America, there are more than five bookstores/libraries/etc., hosting a book party, signing, or reading, with a PublishAmerica author;

* each and every day, somewhere in America, more than four PublishAmerica authors or their books are the subject of media stories (newspaper, radio or TV).

Where can customers find Publish America titles for sale? Is the publisher or the author responsible for listing the book through these channels?
PublishAmerica books enjoy full distribution through all of the major distributors: Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Brodart, and Barnes & Noble. We list our books with these distributors and elsewhere. Consequently, our books can be found at numerous online vendor sites, and through each and every brick and mortar bookstore from coast to coast.

Who are you leading authors at the moment and what has been the key to their success through Publish America?

Our best selling authors wrote interesting stories with tight plots and developed characters. Readers have responded accordingly. Second, they believed in their work. Their enthusiasm infected others. We often say that the author is the best sales tool for any book, and these authors have proven that time and again.

Publish America appears to have an extensive list of titles, can you tell us about how many title you carry and of those how many are first time authors?

We publish approximately 1,100 new titles per year. Of those titles, about 800 are first time authors.

What kind of author or story would be best suited for Publish America?

Any author who believes in his or her work and who has taken the time to craft well written book would be suited to PublishAmerica. We specifically look for work that presents a character(s) overcoming obstacles in life.

Is there any other news you wish to share about Publish America?

As stated above, we have recently teamed with Ingram and Amazon UK to increase our scope to the European market. We have had foreign rights success with Yaccom Publishers in Korea.

Thank you very much to Publish America for a great interview and offering some wonderful insight into the world of publishing. We wish you much continued success.

58 Responses to “A Look Inside Publishing with Publish America”

  1. Whoever the editor is this person is not a professional. The editing of my novel was abysmal and it seemed like it was done by a program. PublishAmerica is the most deceptive and fraudulent business I’ve ever encountered. They are ABSOLUTELY NOT A TRADITIONAL PUBLISHER AND MERELY A BACK-END VANITY PRESS. THE AUTHORS ARE THEIR MAIN CUSTOMERS. They have given me my first education into publishing and it was based on fraud. YOU MUST STAY AWAY FROM THEM.

  2. Maura Szymecki says:

    Ditto!! The editing of my book was very unprofessional–errors I found and notified them about were not corrected and new errors were introduced–and it went to print. I also agree that PA is a pod. Avoid them!!!

  3. MDN says:

    I am confused. PublishAmerica states they have working relationships with large book stores. I have seen books published by them on Amazon. However, a large audience states they are a fraud. So my question is how exactly do they earn an income? If the author is not required to pay any type of fees what is the source of revenue? If money is only realized when the Author buys his own books how much can that be? A few hundred dollars?

  4. Let me put it this way; PublishAmerica is a peculiar and veiled vanity press. Because they give you two books free means nothing. They HAVE to sell their books to their authors. Authors, at PA are a varied bunch of people, some people are flies caught in their spiderweb of deception and out right fraud, using that “were traditional publishers.”
    Some of these authors are grandmother’s, with memoirs of their lives they want to leave for their children, some are aged WWII war vets with their war stories, some people are French Horn players with tasty recipes for spit valve mold and they are the vanity authors. PublishAmerica offers the service of even designing the covers and “editing” the book for them just for them to buy the books at an inflated price. They feign and deceive in the “getting the books into the stores,” but they put out such shit that they don’t have a return policy so chain stores won’t carry them. So their customers are the authors themselves. Everybody is convinced that they have a good book in them and after they have it printed they with self promote until someone buys their crappy book. This psychology PA knows well. That is their source of revenue.
    As far as anything that falls into the traditional publisher that they do, I can;t think of a damn thing. A traditional publisher edits a book like an act of love. An editor, who specializes in, let’s say, contemporary literary fiction and not Stephen King (who I also like but is not considered literary), reads a manuscript and falls in love with it. They live with it like a lover with flaws and coaxes out of this a better piece of prose. They actually change the book and make it better; PA has a word processor that puts a comma before “but,” as in my case and this word doesn’t always require it. My book was trashed and misspelled, and punctuated like in a high school essay contest. PublishAmerica cannot say “hey, we don’t do literary fiction.” That would throw suspicion on them so they troll the Internet for first time authors and so forth as predation of a particular vicious and trashy way.
    A traditional publisher puts the shoe leather to the streets and gets a book into the hands of reviewers, has a whole advertising arm, gets the author on TV: PublishAmerica sends out 100 cards to your friends and relatives. I put a bunch of review folks on mine but this is not what is done in traditional publishing. In traditional publishing they make a call, send an email to people that they already know and know what this person likes to read. PA doesn’t even send out a book for you and little did I know that PA is the kiss of death to a legitimate reviewer because they put out shit from people with pipe dreams.
    This is just a start but I think the most cogent refutations of PA’s claim to be a traditional publisher. I was defrauded into giving up my book to them because of the traditional publishing moniker. You should not do the same and I won’t rest until I get my daughter back from these pimps.
    By the way, Miranda Prather was caught defrauding the police. She claimed that she was attacked by anti lesbian people and she self inflicted a wound. I applaud her speaking out against discrimination but defrauding is just in their blood. This IS A FACT. Look it up on the Internet. These people are reptiles!

  5. James says:

    Thanks for the explanation Larry.

    And, for anybody who wants to read about the “Lesbian Hate Crime” story, go check out Wikipedia’s article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miranda_Prather):

    The following day, Prather was allegedly attacked in her home by two masked assailants, and police began their investigation. A surveillance tape from a laundromat where one of the posters first appeared seemed to solve the case: the person placing signs was Prather.
    A search warrant was executed on her home. She was arrested and charged with seven counts of harassment and one charge of tampering with evidence, which she vehemently denied.
    She claimed that a woman named “Jessica Forrester” who looked just like her and was obsessed with her was the true culprit behind the crimes. Prather claimed Forrester forced her to circulate the posters, and suggested Forrester got plastic surgery to make herself look just like her.
    Police were unable to find anyone by that name or description.

  6. I am not one to use a criminal past to hold against a person if that person redeems themselves and certain “crimes” somehow don’t seem like crimes and wouldn’t be crimes anywhere else, kike the possession of pot but the crime Prather, the crime of deception is the same crime PublishAmerica is daily committing on first time authors. I know this is the obvious but I just had to say it.
    Another affront to the traditional publisher appellation they assign themselves is how they treat their authors in communications. First of all they have this “author support” team of people who treat authors as adversaries. It is true, as in my case, that an author can be pissed when the discovery is made that they are not a traditional publisher and either thinly veil or come out with guns blazing accusations of fraud and deception, but I’ve been privy to complete email exchanges with authors making the same discovery as I that have been sedate and giving PublishAmerica the benefit of the doubt. Most of these emails have been about royalty checks that don’t add up and the author support people have been plain nasty. A traditional publisher may have an author support team but as the book has been lovingly edited and taken care of as a work of art the author is treated with great respect. There is no respect forthcoming from PublishAmerica towards an author asking a question or asking for anything besides more books because that is their really sole source of revenue. I was astonished at the disrespectful tome taken to me and around a dozen authors I’ve been communicating with!
    Getting back to their mode of operation, they prey on the first time author. It may be years before a first time author will even get an agent. A lot of actual traditional publishers will require an agent and getting an agent, these days, to even read a piece of literary fiction “correctly,” without looking for formulaic points of action from, let’s say, a Stephen King or an adventure novel, you know “by page 106 the counter terrorist is supposed to be in trouble and by page 217 the guy has to be after the terrorist,” kind of stuff is probably what will go on. You can’t really blame an agent for wanting to go with moneymakers and America is not a literature reading society. So PublishAmerica’s fishing for first time authors primarily, stating that “you can do without the agent,” trolling for frustrated authors, like me, looking for agents, and like all authors “I have the greatest novel in the world right now.” Saying that they were a traditional publisher was all I needed because my book was so good. They have you sign a contract before your MS WORD editing comes back, before they have you send them 100 names and address of people to receive “cards” announcing your publication, and before your attention is on the fact that they are a thinly veiled vanity press that uses deception to lure you in.

  7. MDN says:

    Thanks for the insight. I now plan to ignore the email they sent me inviting me to submit my book. Of course I think my book is good, but it’s definitely not a James Patterson…LOL…..I get a little frustrated with the whole industry because there are some exceptional authors in print who deserve their success. However, there are others who leave me scratching my head. Maybe agents are a small elite group? I don’t know. I am on the C’s in the agent list provided by Predators and Editors. I will try everyone that may be interested in works of fiction. I suspect I will face rejection from all…LOL….That said I will settle for having a few copies printed so I can give them to my children and friends as gifts. Anyone have a suggestion for a good self-publishing company?

    Thanks to all!

  8. Seems Lulu is good. I don’t know, the whole idea of self publishing, it is the kiss of death, is not what you should do unless, like you said, you want to have a few to give away. I’d say do that but do not do the whole self-publishing thing if you want to have a career as an author. The thin veil of self publishing that PublishAmerica employs will keep a legit reviewer from even looking at it. A reviewer knows that PublishAmerica’s chief source of income is authors buying their own books. This makes them a vanity press and a scam one at that. At least Lulu is a straight forward one, PublishAmerica is as deceitful as Prather’s police scam.
    Look up “Atlanta Nights.” One of PublishAmerica’s trailer trash gas bags was gassing it up Online about it’s contention that Science Fiction was a crappy genre. So a group of Science Fiction authors put together this novel, the most horrid thing ever written, with chapters repeated and with all of the things that would send a traditional publisher to the bathroom to barf. This was just to prove that PublishAmerica has absolutely no credibility and will sign anything. Of course they published it. This, almost more than anything else, proves the whole point that they are a vanity publisher and in the sickest and most deceptive and fraudulent way and will sign anything thus making it impossible to get a review from a real literary critic, I mean a real one and not the Hanford Evening News Sunday Art Section where the author has pestered the critic forever.
    And another thing: A traditional publisher does not have very public and trashy fights with their venders as PublishAmerica had with Amazon. Amazon does not carry PublishAmerica books anymore but do have other book sellers use their site for PublishAmerica books. This is a general breech of contract and I say to all PublishAmerica authors who want out to look at this.
    The main thing a traditional publisher does is allow a writer just to write. This is an author’s sole purpose and if a PublishAmerica author is to be successful he has to to all of the functions that a traditional publisher does. PublishAmerica does almost nothing. If told the truth they’d have little business.

  9. I am also collecting names of dissatisfied PublishAmerica authors. So far I have just over two dozen and I am looking for more. The people I want should be people that want their books back in the legal sense, leaving PublishAmerica with absolutely no legal right to anything.
    PublishAmerica has given rights to print back but somehow have been taken to court for continuing to sell the books, and I did allude to the fact that their main source of income was exactly like a vanity press, but they are just from hell as a business and do so many things that are just not right. Rebecca Easton has taken them to court for this very thing.
    So please, if you are a PublishAmerica author or know one, please contact me at coop@newmillguitar.com
    Best of luck to all of you and Gods Bless Us Tiny Tim

  10. Isaac Fenell says:

    I’ve been looking for a publisher for months now with no luck. That is, until Publish America came knocking on my door. Thankfully, I’ve taken the time to look over many reviews about PA all over the web before signing anything. I’m trying to make a career out of writing, and so far my research tells me to stay the hell away from PA. The down side is that I’m flat broke and can’t afford any other publishers such as Author House, Xilibris, and the like.
    Another Down side is that since I am a first time writer, publishers won’t even consider my book because it is considered unsolicited. Of course, that means that I’ve been looking for an agent. I had the opportunity to send my manuscripts to some of them, with no replies of course. I’ve even had agents tell me that they don’t look at unsolicited work.
    At this point, I’m trying to get any advice or pointers that will lead me on my path to success. PA seemed like a dream come true, but honestly, the reviews have me scared stiff at best. I would greatly appreciate feedback.

  11. MDN says:

    Isaac, I too have not had any luck with agents. A few did respond back telling me that the story line was good and the chapters I sent read well. However, they are either not looking for my type of book at the moment or they are holding back due to the slow economy. I do not know if they are just being polite or if they really mean what they say. Anyway, do not give up so quickly as it make take them up to eight weeks to respond to your query. I am working my way through writers.net to find agents and then searching for those agents in Preditors and Editors in order to determine if they are reputable. You probably already use the same process, but if not I hope this helps. 🙂

  12. I’m glad to hear Isaac is avoiding a horrifying situation. I’m on my second letter, from an attorney, to them using the word “fraud.” The first letter that was sent from another attorney in the firm, I didn’t preview and it pussyfooted around, this one I previewed and it is sent.
    The PA people are just plain nasty. After the first letter was reviewed by them they sent me an email that appeared from someone from a trailer park (nothing against trailer park living people but it has become a cliche), calling me a lair because I contended that they had no real editing. So we’ll see if the second letter helps, if not I will go after them for fraud.
    Agents, I had one review mine and he admitted that he had a formula of reading based on a particular format that is more in like with a thriller. My novel is literary and I am a classical music composer and used a form more akin to a composition with an arch form. So if you divided my book in a thriller or mystery kind of format, there’s nothing doing. Agents are idiots as a general rule, all people swimming the book pond looking for monetary food are.
    The whole idea of formulaic reading is preposterous when it comes to literary fiction. Like classical music it can be experimental. So if you have this kind of novel going you are in a special situation and need to find people who are educated in the way that a musicologist is.
    So what kind of novel do you, Isaac and MDN have?

  13. MDN says:

    My novel is science fiction intended for young adults. My twelve year-old daughter has been complaining to me since the fifth grade about the boring books she is forced to read at school. They all have some deep meaning and bore the children with too much detail. I have been writing for quite some time now mostly for pleasure. However, with the help of my daughter I have created a book I feel will be very entertaining for children to read. Is there a message in the book? Of course. Is it boring and bogged down with metaphors and details…No. My husband, who is strictly a political science/history reader volunteered to read the book for me. Okay – I had to twist his arm at first, but he said there are parts where he cannot put the book down. Of course there are some parts that he feels need some work too.

    As for the agents, I make every effort to only find those who deal with my type of book. I read their web pages, bios, etc…It’s very time consuming. I have spent hours working on query letters. I am hoping that an agent will eventually give me a chance and send it to a publisher.

  14. Greetings to one and all:

    Well, I was published with PA on my first book. The name of the book is Reviving the dead church by reminiscing the day of Pentecost.

    It is highly published on Google.Com for what ever that is worth. According to PA it not worth much. For I’m now starting on my third year of being published with them.

    My first year I received a check for $1.60 my next check was for $2.60 both were so small they’re still laying around the house here somewhere, as I didn’t even bother to send them to the bank.

    My first book was a paper back…I have no complaints about their workmanship, all seemed ok in that respect. I contacted them about it…the answer they gave me was…none of my books had sold.

    Looking at the different places on the internet and how highly it has been advertised on many different places, I consider that highly unlikely. Most especially on Google.Com.

    I know along that time they were having trouble with Amazon. Them saying that Amazon was threaten to pull the plug on their books, and asked all authors to write to Amazon and ask them to not pull the plug on their books.

    Also the way that they were almost pleading with the different authors to buy a lot of their books…also taking the price way down…it seemed that they were about to go under and was trying to grab up money at any place that they thought they may be able to scrounge up a little.

    In all reality though I don’t know what has or is happening with them. I just know up until now I have received nothing more than those two small checks.

    Warm Regards

    William Dunigan

  15. Hi William,

    This is such a familiar story. I’m sorry that it has happened to anyone. So, would you call them a “traditional publisher” as they contend?

    I receive the same royalties although I am not really concerned that much with their falsified royalties. What I am looking dead in the face is deception, false advertising and fraud. Traditional publishers act a hell of a lot different than they do. First of all they actually read the books they take in and do an editing that goes well beyond a Microsoft Word spell check. Most pertinent to a traditional publisher is how they treat their authors. PublishAmerica treats them like adversaries if you ask questions and from there they get downright nasty. And do traditional publishers get into nasty public fights with authors, book dealers and groups of authors collected into genre clubs? Ever heard of the sham novel “Atlanta Nights?” When PublishAmerica made public statements about science fiction being a bad genre a number of science fiction authors got together and wrote the worst novel they could with horrifying prose and chapters being repeated. PublishAmerica published it. So much for the traditional publishing moniker.

    Miranda Prather was found to have lied to the police, cut her own body and claimed that anti-lesbian forces had done it. This is who you are dealing with. I love my gay friends but they have a level of honesty and kindness that all of my friends have; Prather is a nasty and cold liar and cheat. These people are trash, all of them. Based on deception, how could they be otherwise. The WILL go down.

    Please email me at coop@newmillguitar.com if you want out. We will collect ourselves into a force they will have to deal with.

    Best of luck to all of us poor trusting people,
    Larry

  16. MDN says:

    I am so glad I came across this blog. I have received several phone calls from PA in regard to my book. I ignored them all and now they send me emails. One of the emails I responded to and I told them that my book is very important to me and unfortunately I have read many negative things about their company. I asked them to provide me some success stories. Also, I mentioned the “list” of potential buyers that was required by them. It’s been about 2 weeks and no reply. That speaks volumes!

    As for the author with the “google” book…that brings up an interesting question….How can one really track the sales of their own book? Can you purchase the info from amazon or where ever else the book is sold?

  17. There is Ingrams to do some tracking but you’re almost purely at there mercy and mercy they don’t have. A lot of people who contend that they have been stolen from by PublishAmerica do it by an actual comparison between the royalty statement and the people and relatives they know that have purchased.

    I’ve been collecting names of PublishAmerica authors that want out. I will be passing these names along to the Federal Trade Commission and the Maryland Attorney General. I do have a lawyer looking at a case against them as well. As far as a case is concerned, there is no money in going after them for royalty fraud because the average royalty from them is less than $25 a period. If a case were to be made it would have to go into that legal area of fraud and deception.

    Last poster, good we have stopped you from selling your creative work into prostitution, so to speak. I wish I had done one ounce of research. But I consider all the frustration and heartache for some reason and that reason has something to do with bringing PublishAmerica down for fraud.

    Best of Luck

  18. Marie Bynum says:

    Re:candy@publishamerica.com ; My mail as requested will not go to this dear lady. Candy requested that I submit my manuscript as ‘word doc attachment’ all servers spits it out. It returns blank. Wheelchair bounds makes it difficult to post it from the P.O.B until the Home Attendant is ready for the trip, so the wait is longer than I expected. Is it absolutely neccessary to change from Works to Word? There’s no explanation for why the attachment returns or blanks out. It’s hard to find you, Candy.

    Regards
    Marie

  19. Marie,

    Whatever you do, do not sign a contract with PublishAmerica. I suspect you will for some reason.

  20. MDN says:

    I am just curious – didn’t anyone find it suspicious when PA immediatley accepted their work based on a small paragraph sent in for review? I mean I admit I was very excited when they showed interest, but I know that it’s near impossible to get a book published. I was very hesitant and that’s when I began to reserch the company and came across this blog. I am glad I did not get involved with PA, but I also feel like a fool for feeling excited over the possibility of really being published. That’s what upsets me the most.

  21. I’d sent them the whole manuscript but was only suspicious when the edits came back. Then I know that nobody read any of it and there was not actual editing except a Microsoft Word spell check.
    The good news is that, through multiple sources I’ve heard that they are doing financially poorly.
    Listen, we all think our work is exceptional and that put me in a daze. I thought that nobody could stand in the way of my novel and it didn’t matter who got it. Well it does matter. PublishAmerica is like placing the child of your imagination in a deep and dark room with no windows, no food and it is a matter of time before your works starves to death. Well, I am in the habit of metaphors.
    They may be a service for grandmothers who want the memoirs printed for their children and WWII vets who are fixing to kick the bucket and want to relate their heroic stories. That is fine. I wish that they had said on their website “If you want a career in LITERATURE pass us by.” But that would be impossible. Got some pictures of their offices. Says reams about what they really are.

  22. Garry Lewis says:

    Look if you have a dream of seeing your book published and you don’t have the money to go with a Pod publisher, and your not expecting to be the next Stephen King, then Publish America I feel at least gives you a shot! Most of the negative comments about PA or the other publishing companies that are asking for thousands of your dollars up front and they promise no more then to place your book on the same on line book stores that Pa does, but at a cost out of pocket up front from you the author. So where are they any better then Pa. First time authors are not going to be accepted by traditional publishing companies as we’re to much of a risk, plain and simple. They want a sure thing. One day when all their sure things are dead and gone, then maybe a first time author will get his shot. Literary agents are the same. So you as a first time author have several choices to make. Either let Pa have your book, get it out there so you’ll have some exposure,and pay nothing up front to do it. Or shell out thousands of dollars to these other publishers to have them do the same thing for you that Pa does with no up front cost to you. I don’t want to have a stack of unpublished manuscripts in my den as a first time author, I’d much rather see them in print. For me Pa is the best route to go for now. If I only sale 100 copies, at least my book is out there and not setting in my desk drawer because agents and traditional publishers will not give you a chance. The decision is yours, I’ve made mine!

  23. MDN says:

    I am thankful for your positive insight on PA. I do appreciate hearing the “other side”. Traditional publishers do not even accept unsolicited manuscripts. Agents tend be a bit arrogant and quick to reject manuscripts, which I wonder if they even bother to read. I took the time to read the blog by the author of twilight. Apparently she got very lucky when an inexperienced agents assistant accepted her book. Now it’s a motion picture! I don’t necessarily think my book would be a great hit if given the chance. However, I also don’t believe a lot agents really know what the public wants to read. What I plan to do
    is try every agent or small publisher out there and if every single one rejects my work then I will finish editing my book myself and then take another look at PA and some other POD publishers. Are there any success stories from PA? Have any PA authors been big sellers? Please keep me posted on your dealing with PA.

  24. Go ahead and bury your book. A traditional publisher gives your book legs and PA makes your book non-ambulatory. So you get some books in your hot hands. That’s fine but you sign a seven year contract that you can’t get out of. Vanity presses may charge but you are the boss. Also, traditional publishers do the kind of editing that makes a book more than you imagined besides the normal types of editing that go beyond PA’s Microsoft spell check. If you don’t understand literary editing I’d suggest that you look at history’s hallmarks of literature and Stephen King is not the precedent, he is pulp fiction. And the most cogent thing about PA and vanity presses is the fact that no real organ of literary criticism has ever reviewed any of these books. NONE. PA has never had a best seller. There are no success stories. But you cannot tell anyone anything. All authors believe that they have a book that can’t be stopped regardless of the fact that PA does nothing to market your book and they are not a traditional publisher who makes a business out of selling books to stores. PA’s business is selling books back to authors. Keep this one very cogent fact in mind. They sell a few of your books Online (my royalty checks were in the neighborhood of two bucks and they have even defrauded authors out of the other two bucks due to them), there is absolutely nothing that they do that is a traditional publisher’s job like get the book advertised. You will kill your book dead as a doornail unless you want to actually become a publisher yourself. That is essentially what you do. They will contract you like a traditional publisher but you will be left to do all of the work. Read the stories on the Internet. Sour grapes you may say but they are grapes. Grapes are testimonies to frauds and criminals that play on a creative person’s psychology. The major fallacy to the above argument is CONTRACT. You may pay the other vanity presses and PODs but you are the boss. I wanted my book back after the first edit came back. I knew I was in trouble and they were not what they say but there was a CONTRACT. You guys are really missing the whole point of traditional publishing and the real fallacy of PA. My book is a masterpiece of 21 century social commentary and it is in a dark dank place of criminal fraud. But both of the commentators are absolutely right about publishing companies and agents. Try to get one and this makes PA look very good but nothing is what it seems and you will be absolutely sorry. Please take warnings all over the Internet. But good luck to you!

  25. MDN says:

    Okay – you are right. I discussed this with the hubby and he agrees it would be a big mistake to go with PA. I guess I get a little deperate to get my book out. I keep going over it, trying to make it better. The more I go over it the crazier I get..LOL.
    There are so many publishers out there. I am going to continue sending query letters and will look for small publishers who accept manuscripts. If that fails then self-publishing it is.

  26. Garry Lewis says:

    I just want to say good luck to all my fellow first time authors. No matter what route you end up taking I wish you all the best!

  27. Yes, I understand MDN that you can get a bit frustrated with waiting perpetually it seems, but imagine the frustration when you really bury your book with PublishAmerica. Now that’s frustration! I write therefore I AM. Now Gary, good luck to you too unless you sign with PA. I can wish you luck but it would be futile especially if want to be a professional author, you know, have a career and so forth. You will bury your book with them. Hands down this the general consensus and borne out by the FACT that a PA author has never been successful in money, awareness to the public nor has any PA book been reviewed by any of the basic organs of literary criticism. No NY Times, Atlantic Weekly, New Yorker, (The Washington Post did a negative review of PA but not a particular book), ect. NADA! By the legit literary press PA is nothing more than a vanity press with a scam going. If you are a guy that just wants to do one book for posterity then PA is just dandy. All those grandmothers with cookbooks and old soldiers with memoirs of bullets and blood, fine unless you have something spectacular and that’s sometimes hard to know. Imagine Saving Private Ryan as a PA book. It would have never seen the light of day, this I can promise.

  28. Garry E. Lewis says:

    I went to their web sight the other night where they have their books for sale, now I notice their softbacks are priced at $6.99 and so I clicked on cart to see and it came up $6.99 to order book I think it was $8.95 something like that for postage. Have they lowered their prices at last? If so maybe more people will be willing to purchase their books. (But it was on their sight only that i seen the price REDUCTION??) Amazon and barnes still showed books $16.00- $25.00. I told them I’d let them have my first book and see how things work out, my others I’m holding onto till I see how things go. They say pods you won’t be able to get book stores to stock you either after paying thousands of dollars to get your book made, so where is the advantage in that? You say you have control of your book, but if no stores will carry it how are you any better off? Other then out the bucks you spend up front to get it printed? Either way it sounds as though you’ve got too promote your own book, and as an author wouldn’t you want to anyway? I mean if they’re paying to publish it shouldn’t you as the author want to help promote your own work?? I would hope so!

  29. The price of a book really doesn’t matter if the book is well advertised and has critical acclaim. I’ve never looked at the price of a book I wanted to read and I have never bought a vanity press book. Don’t forget that PA is a vanity press regardless of their “traditional publisher” claim. They have twisted that vanity thing to play to your psychology.
    Their lower price indicates to me that their business if failing. DO NOT SIGN A CONTRACT WITH THEM. I am pretty sure that they will fail sooner or later because they are not a traditional publisher and there is no advertising pushing their books at all. A website does not constitute an advertising campaign. Another thing is that they have thirty thousand authors. What publisher has that many authors? This is a pure indication of what their business is about; selling back to authors. You are their main customer and no bookstore is So much for traditional publisher. The author’s job, in a traditional publishing realm is to write and be available for interviews ect. Look at the lawsuits that have been waged against them and Atlanta Nights, a scam book to prove that they will sign anything. It was the worst book ever written with repeated chapters and the worst prose ever. They signed it. With this kind of reputation do you really want your book associated with them? You will absolutely kill your book. Don’t have the money to vanity press your book? Then don’t do it and wait for a publisher and this is hard. Should an author want to promote their own book? In retrospect promotion starts with a legitimate publisher. Again, nobody will review your book from a vanity press. This means that nobody thought it was good enough to sign and you went with a vanity press. PublishAmerica is nothing more and the industry knows that. Read the postings on the Internet. Bad to good things about PA is preposterously high. The good things are placed there by them and a few fools, and of course there are fools like me who didn’t do the research until after a contract was signed. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. If you already signed with them I’ll be expecting you to want to get out of it. You’ve just killed your book. I know you want to have a book in your hands, I did too. I can tell by the quality of your posts that you will need editing. They don’t do editing; they do spell checks. I think you are young. Youth can’t wait and has all the hope in the universe. That’s good but it will blind you to reality.

  30. For the simple fact that I am writing this here states that there is something wrong with PublishAmerica. There is not any banter about other publishers like there is about PublishAmerica. After I finished my novel I said to myself, “nobody can stand in the way of this book. It is too good.” But that was wrong. I didn’t know that I killed it and for a year I was crossing my fingers but when the first royalty came in I knew that they were not a publisher. Printing doesn’t make you a publisher and when I started dealing with their “staff” I came to realize that they were trailer trash that found a printing machine in the trailer park. They misrepresent themselves totally. State that they were two frustrated authors coming up against the “system” but neither one of them have even published anything except a How To Market Your Book. Liars! You need to see all of the posts by disgruntled PA authors. Thousands! They speak of no editing, false royalty statements, nasty and ignorant communications from them, legal battles, having to pay to get out of a contract, printing the wrong version of a book, not being able to provide books, not being able to get books into stores, not providing 1099 for taxes, not answering inquiries and so forth. Isn’t that enough? PublishAmerica is a SCAM PUBLISHER which is no publisher at all. Lulu is not a traditional publisher and don’t claim this but PublishAmerica claims this and are liars! I’ve tried to get my rights to print back. Because I have been vocal about the scam that they are they won’t do it. They are hateful and vindictive. Miranda Prather, their managing “editor” is a convicted liar. Look up her police record. They are a pack of horrifying and nasty people. READ THE INTERNET POSTS. Try to find something good about them and if you do, consider the source.

  31. Garry E. Lewis says:

    Well I can sure tell from your post that your not a bit happy with them. I like you, signed so I’ll just have to chalk it up for experiance if what you say is true. I was relieved to see on both Amazon and PA’s on line book store the price has come down from $25 to $6.99 soft back so with postage it’ll be around $8.95 which is a fair price for a new authors book I think, hell any book soft back.. I can only hope for the best and promote my book through any and all channels possible which I think an Author should be willing to do any way if you believe in your work. At least knowing their prices have come down it may be possible get some of our books sold. Mine is a Mystery novel so now that I’ve signed I’ll just have to promote it over websights and other avenues, I see Dawson books allow PA book signings as well as Barnes and noble and some of the others. We still have our other works, I only signed with them for the one book so I’ll wait and see how it goes. Wishing you all the best, I agree I like to write but I’m not an editor, I leave that to my wife LOL Best wishes Larry! And best of luck to you all my fellow author’s It’s good talking to you. Sounds like I’ve got alot of promoting to do, I’m going to be signing on with alot of the free websights, I’ve come acrossed on the internet hopefully my book will get a little exposure there as well. Best wishes from Garry

  32. I’m not liking anything that constitutes fraud and total misrepresentation. I can tell you what’s going to happen before you even start with PA. If I’d seen the Internet’s take on PA before I signed it’s be a whole different story. Again I ask: Are you young? Again, authors don’t do promotion in the real publishing world, they appear when a promotion is called for by the publisher and the allied advertising group they work with. You will be sorry and I’m sorry about this for you. I challenge you to get a Barnes and Noble’s book signing. Since they will only order on request, PA books, they have no reason to have a book signing. I’ve never seen a Dawson books. Where is their home office? And wives don’t edit books although my wife, an English professor, did mine and outright said that she didn’t do literary editing which is quite different than a mystery novel so you’re probably okay. One good thing that came out of my novel is that my wife read it before we were married and she fell in love with me because of it. Now that’s literature and you’ll actually never know about my book. Thus is PublishAmerica and I am not going to be a car salesman with my book. Unbecoming of an author but pulp fiction is a different story.
    But I assure you, you’ve just garnered the lack of interest due to a PA author. Add it all up. Your wife will figure it out first. Women are smarter than men who go after things mindlessly like I did. Thanks and good luck to you. Write me back in a year after you have tried to get your rights back.

  33. Garry E. Lewis says:

    I’ve got a full time job at a hospital 24years now there and a part time grocery store job, I write as a hobby I’ve recently started just last year, I’m 57yrs old thanks for making me feel young for “a second” LOL “you had to spoil it didn’t you” with regards to my age, a college professor I’m not. HIgh school grad with a degree in bible studies, retired from ministry where the only one to see my sermon notes were me, so editing wasn’t a big concern as you can imagine. Hey you wanted honesty you got it! I’m just me, a granpa trying to publish a Mystery novel. I’ve got another novel done saved on disc and saved on my computer. Working on my third. So no, in answer to your question I’m not planning on making my career from writing fictional novels, just for enjoyment, if I sale a few along the way great if not, hey I still have my life, my wife and kids and grandkids their the ones who encouraged me and keep me young at heart. And encourage me to get my books published so I said what the hell? I think it will be an enjoyable read for the two or three that might by it, hopefully more. Best wishes Larry

  34. MDN says:

    I was suspicious of PA simply because they accepted my work right away. I know how dificult it is to get a book published.
    It was definitely too good to be true. Maybe it’s because I am a woman or maybe it’s because I live in Florida
    and I have learned to question everyone and everything. I have learned that if you love to write like I do then you must
    be willing to bend a little and write what they want to see. In my case I like to keep my writing fun and simple.
    Therefore, I have chosen to target the young adult market. I have come to realize that science fiction (my book) is not what they
    are looking for and dark fantasy is the genre in demand. Dark fantasy works for me and I already have an excellent idea
    for an exciting book. Complaining about PA aside, has anyone tried ebooks? I have read that one can make a decent income
    off ebooks. I will continue to write my next book and work on finding a reputable publisher. I am not interested in
    “making it big.” However, I don’t want to dash any possibilities by getting involved with PA.

  35. Alias Grace is a nice mystery by Margaret Atwood. The writing is equal to any literature kind of thing. I mean fiction runs the gamut.
    The honest thing about PublishAmerica is that they run a publishing business political campaign. It is very much like a lowest common denominator propaganda thing. Of course they know nothing about books. But they do know human psychology and that’s easy enough. They got you for one reason; they got me for another. I actually wrote a masterpiece of a book I am told and you are a genre writer, may have written a masterpiece but nobody is going to really know yours or possibly mine.
    The whole sting with Atlanta Nights was about PublishAmerica making pronouncements about science fiction books as a genre and I already said they know nothing of books therefore they are not even close to a traditional publishing model. They say “it’s about your book,” but they only know psychology. Again, they strangely market a service and it involves massive misrepresentation. They actually said that science fiction is a sub prime genre taking little imagination or something like that. You could create anything and it was easy, but hard to use reality and go with that. Shoot, SF is full of imagination. So they got sent a total piece of crap book that was riddled with errors and repeats just to prove that they are not to make any kinds of pronouncements about anything because they weren’t a traditional publisher and will sign anything. You see? This is what I am associated with! I wouldn’t read my book if you know what I mean.
    Fate has it that I have totally changed the signed book. It is better now, better title, a deeper work with a more expansive time scheme. More of a piece of literature. Time to reflect. You know . . .
    PublishAmerica is not a publisher in any traditional sense.

  36. Garry Lewis says:

    They only have you obligated for the one book right? They have no rights to your future books do they? It’s my understanding you have to sign a new contract with them for each book you publish with them. So if your not happy with them you can publish your next novel with another publisher is my understanding. Is this correct?

  37. MDN says:

    Very good Washington Post article about PA. Just read it – Enough said!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A25187-2005Jan20

    And yes I believe you are only obligated for the one book.

  38. Hey Gary, Folks, MDN,

    The article from the Washington Post might get you to stop thinking about PublishAmerica, MDN? Gary, you and I are the same age. I thought you were young because of your attitude and I see where it comes from, a predisposition towards religion. Faith is central to your life and you take people at their word probably, but all men and women are sinners and PublishAmerica is Satan in publishing. You will see on the Internet that there are so many authors in Hell that have PA books. I do have faith in my writing abilities and after I finished my novel I had faith that nothing could stand in its way and based on the traditional publishing moniker PublishAmerica places on its website all over the place I knew I was home free. As a lot of people who write think, I was convinced that my work was a work of stellar proportions so I never bothered to look up PublishAmerica on the Internet and played straight into the psychology they expound. They only have this one work, I had two letters sent to them by attorneys, collected some fifty other disgruntled PublishAmerica authors that want out, spoken about them to attorneys and others in a great degree of depth and I consider myself an expert on their fraud. And I have stood by the graveside of my book and will not mention its name and am Native American in this respect. They never speak of the dead. In regards to them having any other works of mine, all they have is my conviction to see them go down and to d anything in my power to do so. If there are any other PA authors who want out please contact me. I think we can get our rights back together.
    Larry

  39. But the question is: If I am dissatisfied with my relationship with PublishAmerica, and have asked for my rights back, shouldn’t they give rights back? If not, why not? They make their lion’s share off of the authors. Aren’t you guys smart enough to see that? It seems that you are but you are pipe dreaming. I did pipe dream but I hung my hat on something else.
    But as said by a lot of PA authors they are a bunch of nasty and trashy people who are predatory capitalists kind of like the ones we’ve seen bring down the American economy selling home loans that were set to blow up, bundling them to sell to China as AAA investments. What’s the difference? We will be your traditional publisher or we will sell you a home loan, just don’t actually look at what the contract will do to your investment cause it will blow up on you.
    I can’t be an author on my first novel. It is in a dark dungeon but I didn’t know it would be there because I was deceived. So I ask for my book back, it will make them no money, and they refuse. I know a guy who paid over eight hundred dollars to get his back. Why? This is a traditional publisher.
    Hey, you get what you deserve. Somehow I deserved this to learn a lesson. I know that lesson. DO YOUR RESEARCH. As far as anyone signing with PublishAmerica, they get what they deserve too, especially after being warned. It is surprising how many “Christian” authors have signed with them. They even have a “Christian” division at PublishAmerica. Is Jesus going to get your novel back after what I said comes true? Being a Christian is no excuse for stupid behavior. It seems it is. More stupid stuff from religious people these days. Like I said, PA has a lot of Christian authors, I mean people writing about Christian things and not necessarily Christian people writing about stuff other. This is with all due respect. And I see what company I keep with PublishAmerica. No wonder why no legit critic will touch a PA book. Ain’t no intellect at PA and I am wondering about mine. Plenty of artists have been rotten business people and like being a Christian is no excuse for doing stupid things, being an artist is no excuse to not be a business person. I am a stupid people.

  40. MDN says:

    PA uses its good Christian “act” to entice people into believing they are a reputable publsiher. I live in Florida and I have
    used the services of businesses proclaiming to be Christian because I thought I could trust them. I was very wrong! I am
    sorry to say that some people use faith to promote their own greed, etc. May I suggest that in the future you review agents
    and publsihers through Preditors and Editors. I have eliminated many businesses based on what I have read at that site.
    There is another preditor out there that states “don’t use PA!” How funny is that? It does take a long time to research. By the time
    I find an agency, check it out in Preditors and Editors, read each agents interests and adjust my query letter….a lot of
    time has passed. I will continue on in search of an agent for my book. If nothing materializes for me I will self publish.
    Making money off my book would be great, but having something to give to my chilcren is even better.

  41. I tend to be pretty hard on people of faith, especially Christians based on a lot of what MDN says. It seems to me to be the drug of choice in a raw capitalist society, you know, screw people all week and ask for forgiveness on Sunday. PublishAmerica’s Christian act is disgusting and they have played that psychology pretty well I believe. On my list of disgruntled authors is ten or more Christians writing on Christian subject matter. That empty fish symbol is just what is seems to be visually, EMPTY. A true Christian is respectable but how empty it is in white America. PublishAmerica is not a Christian publisher unless you consider that it exploits and deceives everyone in pantheistic equality.

  42. And take a look at Miranda Prather. It is very sad to see her face in Facebook, with her self inflicted scar looking for friends, and she looks like the loneliest person in the world. I read some of her prose and it is disturbed, quite so although not all that bad if you like morbid lesbian drug addled stuff. She is a lesbian, doesn’t bother me what so ever but her grand deception with the police and at her college was about as sick as anyone can get. A perfect resume for PublishAmerica. She is a convicted liar and on probation and went to her parents in Maryland after the incident. She happens to be the managing editor or PublishAmerica, the publisher with “Christian Values.” I stand with Christians on a lot of so called Christian values but like I said, it is no excuse for ignorance and having “faith” that PublishAmerica is a legit publisher with the values of putting out good literature. It is a real crock! So when I say something like “this is who I am lumped with” as I think of sending my novel to a critic, I end up not sending my novel to a critic. It WILL end in the trash without a glance at anything but the publisher’s name. From now on, anyone who signs with PublishAmerica is my enemy if they don’t want their rights back after their first royalty check. They feed the Beast, if they sign they are stupid, as I was although I wasn’t warned nor was I smart enough to research, they probably aren’t real writers (I may or may not be) and I loath a Christian “writer” that signs with a company that is so un-Christian with a lesbian lording over their Christian book (look up Atlanta Nights as proof that they don’t edit or care what they sign and that is the crux of why no critic will review their books). Again, a lesbian is as respectable as any respectable person, I am not caring what anyone does in their bedroom but Christian values? I’m sorry Gary, I am sure you are a very fine person but Bible study is not a badge of brains nor is it an entry into the vast multicultural world we have. It only paints you as a primitive. Christianity is becoming, slowly, what it should be, a cult of misinformed and morally bankrupt people so go ahead, sign your next three books with PublishAmerica and talk to Miranda Prather about becoming a Christian. Lord knows, you read about her exploits and prose, then look at that sad but cracked smiling face with the self inflicted scar and you know she needs something other than what she has. I can’t really help but love her. She is a romantically tragic figure worthy of any novel. I know Jesus loves her and I can hang with that!

  43. MDN says:

    Unfortunately very few people practice what they preach, Christian or otherwise. I am no longer a sucker for people who claim
    to be good church going folk. In fact, in Florida I have met quite a few people claiming to be Jehovah witnesses. I tend to run
    as far away from them as possible. Larry continues to mention Atlanta Nights. I wonder has anyone ever tried to pass off an
    already written work to a legitimate Publisher/Agent? Would they even recognize a classic piece of literature if they saw it?
    Better yet, send in chapter one of a Harry Potter book or any other best seller just to see if they catch it? I cannot help but
    think that most agents are young English majors with little knowledge of what the general public desires. In fact, I know
    of quite a few persons from my own schools who were unsucessful at getting their own books published who are now editors. Are they
    suitable persons for the job? Are there any agencies out there that give the little guy a fair shake? I mean someone who may publish
    more than usual, but really looks over and edits the book first? I feel like it’s mostly a matter of luck in getting one’s work accepted
    by these group of arrogant buffoons.

  44. Ain’t it the truth! My friend is a real estate agent and he is Hindu. In the bay area of California there is a great bunch of people of all faiths and non-faiths. The real estate office contains a bunch of agents with different faiths and non-faiths. They have a cultural sensitivity meeting. There was a Christian woman screaming she didn’t want to hear any of it. She screamed and walked out. This is what he told me and is an encapsulation of a lot of what riles me about Christians. This makes them ignorant, forget intolerant, we all know that one and when someone like me, questions the whole thing they disappear because no brains cannot talk to me. Larry mentions Atlanta Nights because it was a sting after the horrifying bombast of PA’s railing against science fiction and how it is a sub standard genre and also how PublishAmerica actually reviews books. With 30 thousand authors how the hell do you review them all Miranda Prather? Oh yes, they could be stung again but not so easily. They know folks are gunning for them. EDITING: It is traditionally a loving thing. A publisher decides on books and the editors do the books they love. They may live with the book for a year. They talk to the author and suggest things. My book is very dense. It should have been given a year with someone literate and not Microsoft Word. IS it a matter of luck? It is in some cases I’ll wager. I think it is also who you know and the subject matter. My second novel is a continuation of the first but my third one is historical and a story that needs to be told because it is so ironic and beautiful. This one may be the one that gets signed. And the sub prime house loan is perfectly related to the sub prime publishing deal. PublishAmerica is a cadre of people that are probably close to illiterate and they find their “editors” on Craigslist. Editing is a many splendor-ed thing and the history of literature is filled with stories of author editor/relationships that benefit the book. How about if PublishAmerica were honest and said on their website: “If you write in a literary way we are not your publisher and if you want a career in writing we will bury you.” “Grandma and Grandpa, if you have a memoirs that you want your children to have and don’t want a career, we are your publisher!” They are career killers and false prophets of publishing.

  45. MDN, I know one editor for a publishing company that was an English major. For the life of me I can’t tell her I’ve written one novel and have another two going. It would make her sad. Her father was a literature teacher at a university and he has all of the pomp of a monarch. She, on the other hand is a very nice person but fragile. But she does know what she’s doing and if fortunate to have a great background. My x-wife was an English major and also quite fragile. She hated it when I got one of my compositions recorded because she wanted that light shined on her for what? Nada! She never made much of a mark in writing and she’s very angry that I have written a book. I haven’t told her that it is buried with PublishAmerica but I guess she already knows. So editors are probably “those who can’t write, edit.” But some are probably the best thing in the world for an author. They don’t work at PublishAmerica. They have some guy named Microsoft Word. Editing is an art. I’ve seen it. A great editor can bring something out of a book that polishes it like a bullet and the book goes straight into the heart of the genre. As far as publishers and agents go, an agent is like a real estate agent. Why can’t I just but the house from the owner? The publisher is the house. You can’t qualify for this house. Go sub prime with PublishAmerica and it will blow up after you see the first royalty statement and your book ends up in the trash of a critic because it is sub prime and bundled into triple A lots for Chinese investors, you know, the thirty thousand PublishAmerica authors. Sub prime to hell and back!

  46. MDN says:

    Okay – seems like we have gotten off the subject. I by no means hate Christians, being that I am one.
    I simply do not like people using religion as a means to an end.

    With that said I would like to say that my book has been rejected by 13 agents.
    Some of the rejections were polite and others, well, I could practically hear the
    laughter behind the words. I hate to admit it, but I have been feeling quite depressed about it. Oh well…I guess I
    am human.

    So I spent some time reading blogs and websites of some of these agents, hoping for some useful
    advie, etc…and I was shocked by the CRAP they accepted. One of the query letters
    was so poorly written is was laughable. However, the author of the letter repeatedly
    massaged the ego of the agent.

    Okay, so I got mad and did a Google search (speaking of Google….they were laughed at when they
    first tried to sell their business…they are the ones laughing now…not that I am
    by any means comparing my novel to the magnitude of Google. Just making a cynical point).
    I digress…so I typed in “why good books go unpublished” and I came across this amazing article.
    It picked-up my self-esteem a bit.

    Now I did state that if I failed to establish an agent that I would self-publish.
    However, I did not feel comfortable with that. I had convinced myself that only
    writer rejects self-published, but I now feel differently thanks to this article.
    I hope anyone feeling blue reads this article and cheers-up.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carol-hoenig/whats-an-unpublished-writ_b_201219.html

  47. Yes, it’s true that we got off subject. It’s only that I feel that some religious people are delusional. You are obviously not.
    I never worry about my ability to put words together and regardless of an agents acceptance of this I go on writing almost every day. I only sent my novel to one agent and he looked at it by formula and expected to have certain things happen by certain page numbers. I grilled him and found this out. Lots of agents read a lot of stuff, he said, so they read this way. I need to be careful sending my works to agents that do literature and not pulp fiction.
    I don’t believe too much in doing anything outside of inspiration so I don’t do it like a job but am compelled to do it. So I almost don’t look up from the page to realize that nobody will get to read it because of the undemocratic nature of the publishing industry. For that matter PublishAmerica looks like our present state of democracy, which is a real crock of stewing self interests to undermine the middle class. So I’d suggest to anyone to just do it and not look up from the page. Live in the page only and I do have faith in myself.
    I’m not a “one hit wonder” so I push on and write. I’m not focused on PublishAmerica anymore. They have just angered me and I will do everything I can to see that nobody else makes the same mistake as I did.
    And I only hate Christians at the voting booth essentially.

  48. AndreaUKA says:

    My contract with PA ends in June 2010, I have sent them a ‘termination of contact’ letter (registered, of course), already. Be warned, if you don’t send them such a letter, registered and snail mail, at least 3 months before contract expires, they automatically renew your contract for a further 7 years.

    I am currently bombarding them with daily emails as, stupidly, I ordered (and paid for) one hardback copy of my book under their buy-hardback-for-same-price-as-paperback scam. Needless to say, more than 2 months later, there is no sign of my book and no reply to my emails. Luckily I have proof of payment. I realise it’s only one copy, but it’s the principle of course…

    Larry, I expect you are familiar with this forum? You’ll find plenty of supporters there…>>> http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=115

  49. Kim Jefferson says:

    We get is already Larry, what you are saying it repetitive. I have a Masters degree in Mental Health and you are indeed an arrogant person. I understand you are upset with the company and do not want anyone to sign that is evident, but please we get it about them not being a traditional company. You have put the information out there now let people make their own decisions. What is in this for you to keep posting after everyone leaves a comment geesh!! Get over it, publish america is a joke ok, good we have it. Also you never stated how much you made in royalties twice a year or any detailed information about your experience. Could you just be saying this because the company pissed you off?? If so, it happens get over it.

  50. Dear Kim,
    Arrogance is not mine, anger is. Well, it’s hard to not come off as arrogant when stupidity reigns. I’ll admit I was stupid but I never expected that a publishing company would do such a thing. To answer your question about royalties; I have made a total of around 35 bucks since 2007. This year I haven’t received a statement, last year got my IRS info a month too late to file. I’m not getting over it! I don’t know what kind of passion exists in your life. You have a Masters in Mental Health so use it on yourself and ask yourself the question. You call passion arrogance? You get over it! You’re a buzz kill. I get a right to express my anger and in the expression maybe I get someone to stop before signing a contract. Are you a Republican?

  51. Talk about arrogance, Kim? I haven’t posted anything in over 2 months. What, do you go around with your Masters in Mental Health and make pronouncements on people’s old posts or do you just want to rile me and get me to post as if I’m Pavlov’s Dog? You are arrogant. And I am Pavlov’s Dog as most of us are. Masters degree in Mental Health, really. How special!

  52. James says:

    Hmmm… all this anger and not one of you has said whether you like the new look of the website 😉

  53. Oh, sorry. Well, it makes me mad!!! This new look! It makes me angry and passionate! No, it is a nice texture, pleasing and easy on the eye balls. Subdued and distinguished looking, like handmade paper.

  54. MDN says:

    I noticed the new look. I like it a lot!

    I found some decent writing websites and learned a lot.
    I also went to my local library and reviewed some decent books on how to write and how to get published.
    I was impatient before about getting my book published, but what I really want is a well written and entertaining book.
    So I totally understand Larry when he expresses his passion for writing.
    Larry, when your contract ends with PA what do you plan to do? I hear electronic publsihing is a big hit.
    I honestly think people are moving away from mainstream book stores and are looking for books they want to read, not what
    publishers want them to read.

  55. Hey MDN,
    I’m not being passionate about writing so much as passionate towards idiots. I was an idiot and no more. I see people here, Christian sheep, who have ruined America and much of the world with their primitive bicameral answering to hallucinations, going ahead and deciding to sign a contract with the devil in publishing. Hey, it seems that people have decided things regardless of who and what is said to them. And sure, I was convinced that my book was the cat’s ass and it didn’t matter who published it. That was a foolish.
    When my contract ends or when I rewrite the book, so completely that it warrants a new title, I will just continue to write. I want a publisher and will probably not go electronic. I am writing my second and third books. I have a career as a composer/performer of classical music and this is my first concern, writing is as much music to me as music.
    But how will people know what to read? I mean, in all of the plethora of readable things out there, what will assert itself if there is not a publisher doing that “traditional publishing” and placing a book in front of critics and the reading public? Do you trust what you read on the Internet? Self promoting is crass. I’ve been accused of doing that but it’s like “death panel” statements, anyone can say them and I swear I don’t want anyone to buy my book.
    I’m now getting a lot of junk emails saying “PUBLISH YOUR OWN BOOK.” I trash them but it just goes to show you that one scam leads to another scam. This is arrogance, me saying stuff, Kim? This is the problem with Americans. Can’t take someone speaking their mind in a manner that is not padded for preschoolers.

  56. Noah Dillion says:

    OMG!
    I’m sitting here reading this entire comment list and I would like to add my name to dis-satisfied authors.

    Larry?
    Item 3 of my contract reads:The publisher agrees to cause all copies of the said literary work to be printed as the market demands, and agrees, furthermore to cause the copies so printed to be bound, from time to time, in sufficient quantities to supply purchasers of the said literary work therewith.

    DDoes this imply that they print books and keep them on hand to send out when a book is purchased?
    Is there any way that we can find out “how many copies” have beeen sent out for review, as item 5 states that they do this,

    in item 7, they restate that they distribute for advertising and/or promotion purposes

    item 11 states that the publisher agres to kep and maintain true and accurate records relating to the distribution of copies…

    item 16 states…by the publisher in type…

    I was under the impression that these books were printed electronically, then the implication that they go to the trouble of “setting type” is a lie.

    item 24 states the following…the plates at their value for old metal, the engravings (to be used only in the work) at one-half their original cost, …, and the sheet stock at cost of gathering, folding, sewing and…may dispose of the work, copyrights, plates, books, sheets and…

    Again I ask, what plates, what is being sewn?? I feel that they have made committments in the contract that they can not keep, especially since there is no sewing, and there are no plates.

    item 31 is interesting
    …, receive an advance dollar amount of $1 (one), which will be charged against royalties due the author.

    As I have received two royalty checks, $2.80 in Feb 2009, and $17.97 in Aug 2009, neithher of these statements show a charge of $1 for advance payment, does this mean that they have breached that part of the contract??

    I must admit that seeing my book in print was an exciting moment, but the reality of it all has become a nightmare. I wrote the book to help others who suffer from undiagnosed Narcolepsy, and now the reality that my book has been stolen and will never be read is depressing.

    I sent a certified letter, return receipt to Larry-boy and Willem on Oct 1st, but neither receipt has been returned.

    I’m in the process of composing a new book to replace it, and will self publish. If I do all the leg work, then I’m going to keep all the money.

    Author: A NARCOLEPTIC IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY
    ISBN 1-60563-294-5

  57. Hey Noah,
    They print on demand and don’t keep books about, I’m pretty sure.
    Item 7 is a farce. They do absolutely nothing but probably include things like this, in the contract to lure. I believe it says “at their discretion.”
    Item 11, well, they may send statements (I haven’t received one this year), but accuracy is nil.
    Item 24, well, if it is electronic there are no plates.
    Larry and Willem will not accept any of these kinds of certified letters and are probably not bound by law to do so.
    They are a farcical endeavor and the joke is on us.

  58. aardvark says:

    I did a books on demand publishing and I was greatly disappointed in the company. The books was cheaply made and there were errors I don’t believe were there when I read the proof. I will never go to another print on demand publisher again and I wouldn’t recommend it to any writer.

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