Publish America

The book industry trade publication Publishers Weekly is outing Publish America as the scam we all know that it is… it seemed only the desperate, aspiring authors who "sold" their books to the publisher couldn’t see it.

Until now. 

A group of authors wronged by the vanity press have mounted a grassroots campaign to garner media scrutiny of Publish America’s business practices.

Led by Dee Power and Rebecca Easton, the authors’ group is mounting a campaign to alert the media about PA. A release with more than 100 e-mail addresses of aggrieved authors was recently sent to the press, and, after a story ran in PW NewsLine last week, PW heard from more troubled authors. The enterprise, said authors, is in many ways worse than a vanity publisher, because of how the house positions itself. "If they would just say, buy your books up front and pay X amount and we’ll give you X, Y and Z, then that would be one thing," said author Kate St. Amour, who wrote a spiritual thriller called Bare Bones. "But they don’t tell you those things when you sign up with them."

The authors said the goal is as much public awareness as restitution. "We hope to spare other people, perhaps thousands, the frustration and problems we’ve had with this deceptive company," Power said in her letter.

The authors allege that Publish America doesn’t edit the books they publish, they don’t pay royalties, and they make little or no effort to get their books into actual bookstores.  The article says that Publish America doesn’t charge for printing the books, but they do require authors to provide a list of friends and family, which the company then hits on hard to buy books.

I don’t remember Penguin/Putnam asking me for my Christmas card list…

Publish America’s Executive Director Miranda Prather told PW that all the claims against the company are unfounded and maintained the fiction that they are a "traditional publisher." 

As for marketing to the author, Prather said, there’s "no pressure on our authors to buy their books. That would make us a vanity press." She declined to identify the company’s CEO and, unlike a traditional house, said that the company does not edit for content, only for grammar and spelling.

Uh-huh. Most "traditional publishers" aren’t shy about identifying their CEO…nor do they take out half-page ads in the New York Times courting authors to sign with them and make their dreams come true. But hey, what do I know?

UPDATE: More on "A Writer’s Life" about PublishAmerica:

405 thoughts on “Publish America”

  1. As one of the once-published authors, I can attest to your facts and offer more complaints of my own. However, it is a repeat of all that others have gone through, some worse than others. My heart goes out to those who have worked so hard to promote a book that took months or years to write and then watch it crumble with bookstores’ refusal to stock it, reviewers refusal to look at a PA title, and royalty checks that do not match actual sales. Thank you for a well written piece.
    Joy Rutter

  2. Dear Mr. Goldberg,
    Thank you for putting this article up on your blog. It’s very important that legitimate writers such as yourself help tell new authors about the perils of PublishAmerica.
    all the best,
    Lisa Maliga

  3. I am recently published author with PublishAmerica. I too have been sucked in by their false claims. I am carting 15 copies of my book, “America’s Bachelor President and the First Lady,” to a local bookstore to sell to them at a 20% loss because they refuse to deal with PublishAmerica’s questionnable business practices when trying to purchase books for their shelves. My book has actually appeared in required reading lists for those researching James Buchanan and Harriet Lane, but PublishAmerica has done nothing to promote it. I have done all the leg work and spent a ton of money doing so. I am hiring a lawyer this week to get out of the contract.

  4. I was the first to file a complaint in this new round about a year and a half ago. I campaigned for FTC violations but the PA authors weren’t fully debriefed at the time and I was ridiculed and run off all of the message boards for writers. So be it, but I’m glad this thing is finally catching on.
    The first batch of writers were blackmailed by the company and still many sign gag orders to leave. I didn’t have to due to my tenacity. There will be more stories to come. I’ll see to it.

  5. Publish America is a “dirt bag” organization. I know of a couple of authors who have been “played” and shuffled into a horrible situation, because of their unethical practices.
    When problems occur, its always nice to know where the “buck” stops, in order to deal with a situation and resolve it with the right people. But, as indicated in an aforementioned submission on this site, “who’s at the controls of Publish America?”
    Well friends, seeing that this is the season of giving, allow me to offer this gift to all of those who would like to send Santa a little note about two little boys who are beyond “naughty.”
    The CEO’s of Publish America are:
    These two malpractice “artists” have established quite the list of enemies, while “bunkering” themselves without risking any return fire. There’s a purpose for their obsession to remain anonymous.
    Well what fun is that?
    No more however, as information will flow about these two; such as the color of their Suburbans, their Maryland licenes plate numbers, their e-mail addresses (as long as they keep them), their home addresses and little things that they don’t want made public.
    So, stay tuned and Happy Holidays!

  6. I got out of the contract with Publish America, but only because I figured out how. It was easy and only took 2 weeks. Just ask and I will share.
    They lie, they cheat, and refuse to honor their own contracts. I warn all authors to look away from the evil they represent.

    • Hello,
      I too have a couple books published by PA and I now want to get them to another publisher but PA still has them, although both of them are presumably our of contract by now. One was published in 2003 and the other in 2006, but when they asked if I wanted out of the contract I replied that I would stay with them, but they offered nothing in writing to me.
      Please inform me on how you got out of your contract so I can do the same and get my books to the other publisher. I would be very grateful for the information. You can respond either via email. Thank you.
      Harvey Jones

  7. Serious editing is non-existent. Promotions are the sole responsibility of the author. Traditional media will not accept Publish America works for review. Bookstores will not stock titles published by Publish America. The books are horribly overpriced. But…in the face of all of this, and for those who are somehow able to overcome it, they will insult you with false sales figures, and humiliate you with laughable royalty checks. It is criminal and somebody should do something about it.

  8. I just posted this thread on the PA MESSAGE BOARD.. after I recieved a certified latter to day stating my grammer was inadequate. Which may be likely due to the fact it is a Historical Romance Novel set in the earlt 19th century. I think it has more to do with the fact it is a 300 page novel and would be costly.
    I wish I would have taken a moment to research I have now…
    Ok…. I am sure this will be my one and only chance to express my disappointment.
    I am sure after this thread is posted, my password will be evoked.
    I signed my contract in February of 2004.
    My manuscript was written following Dorchester Publishing guidelines for a Historical Romance Novel, stating that the word count is 100,000… a full-blown Historical Romance Novel.
    My QA. Was finished in the beginning of June, and all seemed to be well.
    The waiting process began, but I assumed it would be well worth the wait.
    August 13,2004 I received my $1 and knew everything was about to fall into place.
    Later that month I received an e-mail from my editor explaining my Dialogue tags were wrong… I immediately went to the message board and began asking for help…everyone was great!! Thank you.
    I sent back my revised manuscript on September 16,2004 asking for a return e-mail to reassure me all was well. I received that e-mail later that afternoon, and was relieved.
    November rolls around still no proofs…. No response to my e-mail’s asking if everything was ok.
    Therefore, I posted a thread asking other author’s if this was normal.
    The thread then disappeared… my user name unregistered… three days later I was aloud back on the message board. I would like to state in my post I never doubted PA… so it was strange to me as to why the thread would be deleted, but nevertheless it was.
    I have e-mailed my editor several times… nothing. I even called PA… still nothing.
    This morning I received an e-mail from the message board telling my picture will be posted, and when I went to the mail-box I had a registered letter from PA… telling me they have now decided not to publish my work…. After a year of waiting…. And now nothing.
    OF COURSE IT IS MY FAULT…. I ask you when you receive an e-mail one day telling you everything is great and then nothing… and then a certified letter stating … sorry about your luck.
    As I said I will probably be unable to post after this…
    Good Luck to all of you… but be careful.
    The Keeper of my Heart

  9. Hello again Lee ,you will see most of the replies to this blog are from the authors’ group who is mounting a campaign to alert the media about PA. Led by Dee Power and Rebecca Easton, Googling PA,reveals a great deal of writers’ forums taken up with long-winded, visceral rants.
    Margaret Atwood, Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, and Virginia Woolf are among the many authors who self-published early in their careers.
    I for one am a newly publish America author and to date I’ am very pleased with the service that I have received from them. I found the text edited well and they made changes in my poor grammar.
    They first sent me a cover for my book that I was unhappy with and when I emailed them they responded in a quick and timely fashion. They worked side by side with me to design a cover that was to my liking.
    I would like to see my book priced lower yes, but the fact is I have a book and it is selling.Chapters did say that they will cary my book.
    They did request that I send them a list of friends and family, however I only sent them ten names. They sent out only 1 letter to them notifying them of my release. They have never pressured me or my family and friends to purchase the book.
    I have two books readings scheduled for the month of February and have had many positive reviews of my book.
    When I have questions regarding my book they answer in a timely response. I knew the deal when I signed my contract and I for one think they are being fair.
    I would suggest anyone having second thoughts about choosing PA as your publisher; wave the Pro’s and the Cons.
    Do not let unhappy authors make your decision for you.
    Look at both sides of the situation and by all means talk to other Authors who are happy with Publish America and have had success stories.
    I wish you the best of luck in your writing career with whatever company you choose and thank you for letting me voice my opinion in your blog.
    Rose DesRochers

  10. I am a published author with PA. My book Abduction was released to the bookstores today. I have signings up and coming in several bookstores. I have not experienced any problems as far as bookstores excepting my novel to place on their shelves.
    I agree fully with Rose and have stated so in every site including and useless-knowledge. The people who are upset with PA are snowballing and grabbing every young or new writer they can and taking them down with them. If you are dis-satisfied witha publisher than by all means, choose another one. Pa does and has done exactly what every writer that signed with them asked them to do… Published their book and got it to the bookstores on and off-line.
    As for closing the thread to avoid a war, I guess I would say duhhhhhhhh… That would only hurt Pa and those of us that have enjoyed working with them. The only one that would benefit from that would be the people upset with PA. I have a second book due out with them very soon and my third novel will also be placed with them.
    I will echo my own words and say once more. If you are unhappy with your book sales then perhaps you need to be sure that you have done what was needed to do to sell it. Leg work to get into as many bookstores as you can is not a crime!!!!!!! If you believe in your book then Sell it like you do. Selling your book is an interactive works between you, PA and the bookstores.
    I have my book being advertized over two radio stations and through 4 newspapers now. I didn’t pay for it… I convinced the papers and radio stations that my novel was THAT good. Word of mouth and a little walking is going to sell the book… If PA printed up 10,000 books for you, that doesn’t mean they are going to sell. That is where you come in.
    If you did this and the book still didn’t sell, then have another look at your book and see what you might need to do to make it sell.
    I don’t know if they are the best or the worst… I just know they have done me and a great number of other authors good. Everyone has their own thoughts and are entitled to them until they become a war zone. Then… hmmmmmm??? I wonder what we look like to people looking in.

  11. If amazon and carry your book, they are doing a great job of hiding it. A search at both sites and on the net for your books under your name, and “D.R. Day,” turns up zippo. Which is exactly what you are going to get in royalties from ScamAmerica.
    The only listing I could find was — where else? — at the ScamAmerica (aka Publish America) website, where they trumped the news that ONE BOOKSTORE has ordered a copy or two of his book. Wow, that’s impressive. One store. Hell of a publisher you got there, Darrell.

  12. To date two of my books have been published by Publish America. I read my contract carefully; after all there were seven pages of terms. Publish America has complied with all of the terms listed.
    My books have been purchased through Barnes and Noble and, and are listed online with a number of other companies too. I had a poetry reading and book signing at a Barnes and Noble in Yonkers, N.Y.
    Did Publish America ask me if I would like them to send an announcement to my family and friends…Damn straight they did, and MY family and friends were delighted to see that sign of my success. I have a copy of the letter they sent, and it was not pushed upon any of us. On my first book I only sent it to about three people, and Publish America did not demand more names from me.
    I’m sure there are authors who are disastified with Publish America, just as there are some people who are not satisfied with anything.
    I am however, quite pleased with all my contacts with them.
    Thanks for your time.
    Put my name in on Barnes and Noble, my books will appear.

  13. It’s another scam…

    We provide our authors all the professional services of editors, book designers, and book publicists to ensure their success.

    In other words, you ARE A CUSTOMER.

    We may issue publishing contracts with offers of financial advances to authors who have been published and have already established their popularity.

    Convention publishers don’t work that way. When they say “we may issue publishing contracts with offers of financial advances,” it means that standard practice is THAT THEY DON’T. But they will kindly make an exception of they can trade on your good name.

    We may issue publishing contracts to professional writers who have become accomplished in their writing career and the contract may neither offer an advance or request a deposit.

    A deposit??? This should be your big, fat tip-off that this is another PublishAmerica vanity press scam. But in case you missed that subtle clue…

    We may issue publishing contracts to talented writers who have not been published before or become accomplished in their writing career, and this contract may request a one-time deposit of $780 that is returned to the author the first quarter after the book has been formally released.

    Publishers pay YOU, you don’t PAY THEM. Don’t let your desperation to be published blind you into forking over money to what’s obviously a vanity press operation.

  14. Thanks Lee. I missed that paragraph about the $780 fee.
    As a new author (just completed my first novel that I started in 1996), any other helpful info?
    I had 2 professional editors review and offer suggestions for my manuscript that I eagerly fixed. They are excited about my work but I’m apprehensive about taking the step on getting it published. From everything I’ve been reading, its Hell out there.
    I’m going to try the following publishers for now:
    Any helpful insight would be appreciated. Thanks.

  15. Stopping looking for a short cut, Jack. Tate is another vanity press, so is Bancroft Press. You don’t research this stuff very hard, do you? Just a casual *glance* at Bancroft reveals it’s a vanity press. This is from their website:

    All service fees at Bancroft Editorial are flexible and negotiable. We offer payment plans that fit you best—by the hour, by the page, or by the project. We price ourselves competitively among others in the industry, but if you are price-shopping for an editor, we are probably not your best bet. If quality and expertise are your top priorities, we welcome your business. The author pays for all incurred expenses, such as travel. Fees and billing schedules will be discussed in our initial consultation.

    C’mon Jack, it took me 30 seconds to find that out. Make an effort to look into these companies yourself.
    Tor Book is the only reputable publishing company on your your list.
    You might also want to visit:
    for their handy overview of the different publishing houses and scams out there.
    Better yet, just walk into a bookstore, go to the shelves, and look at the books they are selling. Note the names of the publishers and their addresses.
    Most reputable publishers don’t have websites telling you about “the professional services they offer to writers” nor a schedule of fees.

  16. Thanks for the fast reply.
    Ya I know… I’m searching through the deluge of sites out there.
    The bookstore shelves is the best bet for seeking potentially repeatable publishers.
    I’ll keep my pestering to a minimum by fully researching these things before asking. Thanks for the link.

  17. I was seriously considering sending in my manuscript to PA. It’s almost five hundred pages, and I’ve worked on it way too long for something like this to happen to it; now I’m rethinking whether I should trust PA or not. I don’t want to risk it.

  18. I sent in my manuscript to PA. And I am having some serious doubts about, what to do. It has become increasingly apparent that these people are frauds. So my concerns stems from they having something I’ve worked so hard on. Thankfully I haven’t signed anything so I am not tied in to them yet. Thank you all for posting it has really helped me out a great deal.

  19. All
    I wish to say is that I paid a fee to have the PA contract assessed by the Australian Society Of Authors, Contract Advisory Service. This is the industry journal for Australian writers. What they said was, you amy find it enlightening and assist in dampening down some of the emotion and hysterical bile that you seem to be drowing in:
    Dear Robert
    What follows is an assessment of your contract addressing your specific questions and the contract in general. Any clauses not commented on should be regarded as acceptable as they stand.
    Consistency with Australian arrangements
    In regards to its terms and conditions, this agreement is similar to most Australian contracts. I have seen other US publishing contracts which differ, but this one follows the Australian template quite closely. It is a straightforward piece of contract writing with no catches.
    Publishing, promotional and distribution obligations on PA.
    The obligation in clause 2 to make the volume; “attractive and substantial looking” is one I haven’t heard before. However, it would work to make PA use their “best endeavours” to produce a good quality work and would leave them liable if there was a quality issue down the track. To keep yourself in the decision making process you should ask for the following to be added to clause 2 after “… substantial looking.”:
    “The Publisher agrees to take account of the Author’s reasonable views on these matters.”
    Clause 9 contains the substance of PA’s promotional obligations and the obligation is fairly easy on them. The obligation can be tightened up, but it is inevitably up to the Author to keep themselves informed of what is being done on their behalf by the publisher. The clause should at least state that:
    “The Publisher agrees to use his best endeavours to distribute …”
    The words: “at his discretion” should be deleted. Further along in tis clause the reference to: “media outlets of the Publisher’s own choice” should read media outlets that the Publisher, in their opinion, deem best suitable for the purpose of promoting the work.”
    The best way to make a publisher publish your work is to work a “best endeavours” provision into the obligations wherever possible. These words do have a legal impact in any dispute as a failure to use their “best endeavours” will represent a breach of terms of the contract. The difficulty, of course, is that it is for the author to police this aspect of the publishers performance. A poor return and the lack of a good explanation from PA is one sign of a failure to apply themselves.
    There is no reason why you shouldn’t be continually asking for details fro PA as to where they are with the promotion and distribution of your work. If they value their relationship with their authors, they should provide you with acceptable answers to your questions.
    Other Observations
    Clause 3. It would be better to start at 10% and move up to 12.5% after 10,000 copies, but don’t lose the 12.5% if they suggest a move to a flat 10% as an alternative.
    Clause 6 should be deleted if you are indeed the sole author and all subsequent numbers should be amended
    Clause 7 should end as follows: “ …negligence on the part of the Publisher, its employees or agents.”
    Clause 10. 2 copies of the work is poor, Ten or even a dozen should be no problem really.
    Clause 17. Should state that you will make yourself “reasonably available to media interviews …” and that; “The publisher agrees to fully meet any travel costs and accommodation costs incurred in the course of promoting the work.
    Clause 18. Try and have this deleted, I have already suggested an amendment to clause 2 which covers this, instead you could word the clause as follows:
    The Publisher agrees to consider the reasonable opinion of the Author in all matters dealing with design and publication of the work.”
    Clause 27 should read “The Author covenants and represents to the best of his knowledge that …”
    Clause 32. The figure for your advance should be 50% of the royalties you can expect from the first print run of the work.
    All in all, Robert, a good agreement. Please feel free to contact me through the ASA if you require any further assistance.
    A merry Christmas to you and best of luck with the book.
    Carl Baitup
    for the Australian Society of Authors

  20. I wish only to say this to Thumper. Before you o rolling your fingers over the keyboard, you might want to make sure you have the right information. Both Amazon and Barnes and Noble as well as BAM, Tattered Cover, Target and several other stores have my novel listed on their site. Type in Abduction and see for yourself!
    Your constant travels of writing against PA must be taking up a great deal of your “Novel” writing time. Perhaps you would better serve both yourself and others that tire of the constant complaining by settling in and writing us a nice novel so we can see that talent you are so upset about.
    Life goes on and we all learn what is or isn’t right. We each also have the choice to switch or ride the waves. Let’s be done with this and do what we all are wanting to do. Write books and poems for the enjoyment of the kind readers that buy our books… Darrel…

  21. I am an attorney. The PA contract is straight forward and they offer to even negotiate details and terms. Most of the sites with threads are linked to subsidy presses. I am thinking about accepting the contract and investing in myself. I see Publish America authors on and on the Barnes and Nobel site. I was considering self-publishing and this requires no initial layout of money, so why not? How many take their two free books and run? Authors should think of themselves as the voice of the future to the present. Getting into Random House is too difficult and a lot of stuff out there on bookstore shelves is just plain garbage. I think the most important thing for an author is to promote themselves. All this negative stuff is only hurting writers, not explaining what PA is “all about”.

  22. Don’t they own the copyright for 7 years? That right there is reason enough not to go with PA.
    Any book with an ISBN number (which only requires the paying of a fee) can get listed on Amazon or B&N, so that’s not much of a recommendation.
    The problem with publishing with a company like PA, regardless of whatever else one thinks about it, is that your book will have no credibility. It won’t be reviewed, it won’t be respected, it won’t be read.
    If your book is good and there is a market for it, a traditional publisher will accept it. Just keep trying and keep working on your craft.
    Good luck!

  23. What PA is “all about” is exploiting the desperation of aspiring writers… and offering a bait-and-switch. Anybody who signs a contract with PA now… after their questionable business practices have been exposed by a number of news organizations (and well documented on countless blogs and websites)…deserves the screwing they are going to get.

  24. Hi,
    It is really good to read some of the positive and negative comments on PA. I have been planning actually to send my manuscript and try to have a first hand experience. It is because PA`s profile in its homepage appears very good. This will be my first time to try. I have been waiting for many years to find a publisher that can publish my story or stories without financial obligations from my side.
    I am convinced I have a story to tell. My heart continues to call me to that higher purpose. I have not really found one that can help me. Can anyone lead me to other publishers who have a good reputation? Addresses please!
    a Filipino immigrant in Denmark

  25. Thank you Mr. Goldberg for your warning to aspiring writers. Unfortunately, a relative of mine who is barely getting by on a disability check and government subsidized housing, now believes that her dreams of becoming a published poet have come true. I wonder how many people she will beg to buy her book before she realizes what Publish America really is. Just to see how easy it was to sell a book on, I posted about 20 books that I had lying around the house. One didn’t have an ISBN that recognized, so all I had to do was write a detail page. At least, I might make some money selling used books….but my poor relative has expectations of being rich and famous. She is sold on Publish America’s lies. Her book of poetry just came out a few days ago and already some used copies have appeared on Probably books that she bought herself. This is all very sad.

  26. That contract review is chilling. Great except for all of these caveats, “at his discretion” which to PA means never. This is a POD vanity scam that after two years of hard work from myself and others especially SFWA has been exposed for the snakes they are. They won’t even deliver the books once someone buys them. My apologies to the reptile commnity.

  27. This morning, I placed some used books on sale at My reason for doing so was to test Publish Americas boast that their authors are stocked by It was so easy to place a book for sale on that since this morning, I have sold 7 books in a few hours. I am actually making more money selling used books in a few hours, than most Publish America writers see in royalties in an entire year. I am selling my used books to total strangers, who are buying for their reading enjoyment. This should tell you that if you have to buy your own books or ask friends and relatives to buy them, then something is wrong.

  28. I’ve never sold used books that fast, but I’ve sold many especially textbooks that way. Publishamerica books are too overpriced to sell anywhere. That’s the real test.

  29. Check out your books on e-bay. You will find 101 copies for sale by a bookseller. Can we say…Show me the money come August PA?

  30. Dear Mark York,
    Thank you very much for taking time providing me list of publishers. I have been very excited reading the profiles of some of them. I hope this can lead me further in my search for a good publisher. The stories I have written for a number of years continue to scream out in darkness. They, too, long for to be shared, read and heard.
    God bless you.

  31. Dear Mark,
    What should one do to convince an agent that his work is worthy to be published? Should one write or should one have a personal contact? I thought of sending my manuscript just by online. Are there more things to be done?
    Have you published your works? Have you been contented with your publisher? What themes do you write about?

  32. I am now starting my own publishing company and keeping control over my work. Look for Bella Publishing out in the market in the very near future. I am a published writer and an attorney so I decided to try it all by myself–no subsidy publisher, just me; and it is freeing not to have to worry about political marketing of my art. I have been wanting to do this for some time and know someone who has opened his own comic book press who is very happy; and he is a well known comic book artist who just decided to make a go on his own as I have now decided to do–so I am not going with PA or anyone else who is after my work. I have an advantage of knowing the law and how to do this stuff, so I decided to take advantage of my ability and knowledge.

  33. That would make you a self-publisher. I’m still chasing agents myself since my two experimental PODs like all of them did nothing. That’s the name of the game in order to sell a manuscript to a real publisher that we’ve all heard of with books on shelves. You write a good query. Good luck.

  34. Oh boy. Not liking what I’m hearing from everyone here. I’m recently inked a contract with Publish America.
    What should I do?

  35. Dear Derek,
    Go ahead and congratulations. Negative comments will always be there. But there are also those who can come up with positive comments. Let PA be your first hand experience. I should like to do that. Share what happens after your contract.It will be very exciting to know.

  36. What, exactly, are you congratulating him for? The honor of being taken advantage of by a publishing scam? Shame on you, Elizabeth.
    The truth about PublishAmerica has been exposed quite effectively by the media…and dozens of aspiring authors that the company has bilked. The lesson I hope Derek has learned is to do his research BEFORE signing a contract.
    If I was you, Derek, I’d ask PublishAmerica to release me from my contract immediately. They have no legitimate reason to refuse you… especially since they have done anything for you yet. If they do refuse, please come back and share their letter with us so everybody can see the type of people you’re dealing with.
    Once you get your manuscript back, do look for an easy way or a short cut into publishing. Submit to reputable publishers. How do you find them? You can start by walking into a book store and taking down the names of publishers with books on the shelves… then do you research. Make sure they are legit. Then submit your book to them.
    Here’s a hint: Do not go with any publisher that wants to charge you any kind of fee or wants a list of your relatives to market your book to.

  37. What Lee said. First don’t send back the proofs when you get them. Ask to cancel. Tell PA you won’t promote the book in any way. This has worked for others, so it’s worth a shot. Beth, do your homework.

  38. Are these guys really that bad? How can they afford to stay in business with all this purported bad press?
    I can’t comprehend how they’d be able to make money by publishing someone’s book, then telling them to go promote it. It doesn’t make much sense to me.
    Then again, I’ve been wrong before.
    It was just great to go from a kid who mispelled every other word in high school, to sitting down one day and writing a horror novel. And better yet, to have what I thought was a decent publisher show interest in what I busted my ass to accomplish. Then this.
    You have to realize what a crappy feeling I have in my gut right now, having an actual contract, and thinking of turning it down to try again. It’s like hitting the lottery and returning the winning ticket in hopes the next jackpot will be more lucrative.
    Being a first time author, I’m sure my manuscript isn’t up to par with the likes of Steven King or Dean Koontz, but I have faith in the story, and see my writing as pretty damn good–and I’m my own worst critic. But to tell this PA I’d like to back out has gotten a bit insane these past couple days.
    My book has 166,000 words to it. Most of the other publishers frown on first time submissions over 100,000. And it’s not all garbage filler in between good scenes. The plot is there. The story is there. The characters are there.
    With the contract with PA inked, can I give them a go and pull out once I learn they are doing nothing to promote my book? Isn’t that part of signing with them, that they are suppose to promote it? And what if I don’t think the quality of the book itself is any good; is that grounds for pulling out of the contract?

  39. You have to realize what a crappy feeling I have in my gut right now, having an actual contract, and thinking of turning it down to try again. It’s like hitting the lottery and returning the winning ticket in hopes the next jackpot will be more lucrative.

    You’re deluding yourself.You haven’t won the lottery. You don’t have an actual contract with a real publisher. It’s exactly that attitude that has made you ripe for the picking by predators like PublishAmerica.
    You want to believe the fantasy that you’ve landed a real publishing contract. Then go ahead, live the fantasy. Just remember that it is one.

  40. Derek,
    What PA does, based on innumerable stories in the media and testimonials from people they’ve conned, is:
    *agree to “publish” your book — any book, regardless of quality
    *make it available for purchase online (along with approximately 3 million other titles)
    *do nothing to promote it or get it in bookstores
    *do nothing to get your book reviewed (no mainstream outlet will touch it)
    *pressure you, your family, friends, neighbors, casual acquaintances, people you went to high school with, etc. to all buy copies of your book
    *market it to no one else
    It costs PA a couple bucks to print your book, and they sell it to you and your list of suckers for $20. That’s how they make their money.
    Unfortunately, this does not count as being published in the traditional sense, nor in any other meaningful sense. All it does it make your book available for you to purchase for yourself. This is known as vanity publishing.
    If by some miracle of miracles a real publisher should actually want to put out your book once you’ve signed up with PA, they control the rights for 7 years (!) and will take a hefty cut of any royalties you should get.
    If that sounds like what you’re after, go for it.

  41. Writers love their own books and so they will buy and sell at least 75 copies of it. That’s the goal of the company and with a page count that high you’re looking at $39 for a POD trade paperback. it isn’t going to sell to anyone but you. That’s how it works.
    Real publishers offer the books at discounts to stores that are benefical to both parties. PA gets around this by offering short discounts no store will accept so they don’t.
    Reject the contract. Don’t submit the proofs. They do promote the books: to the author and their family.

  42. Derek,
    Two or three years ago I sent a manuscript to PublishAmerica. It was a mystery I never could sell. It had made the rounds in NYC and my agent finally gave up on it. I spruced it up, employing the skills I had gained writing and publishing fifty or so other novels. It was pretty good after the reworking. It was unique. It dealt with a livestock detective investigating the assassination of a prize cutting horse. I knew nothing about PA at the time I submitted the novel, but was suckered by their website. They accepted the book (what book don’t they accept?), slapped a weird cover on it and published it after a long delay, the better part of a year. (Don’t count on seeing your finished book within the time frame they advertise). So far, they have paid me about five dollars in royalties. I spent much more than that ordering a few at their shallow discount. I am a much-published award-winning novelist, but they made no use of that in their cover material or their alleged promotion, though they requested material about myself and I supplied it. Of course they have done nothing, taking no advantage of my successful publishing background. PA is a joke. Stay away.
    Richard S. Wheeler

  43. Hey guys? I just received the contract release agreement copies from Publish America that I requested back in the DAY. My friend read it and said two things made him nervous about the cessation contract. Is there anything I should know about anyone being screwed by PA after the contract has been nullified? I read one horror story about a guy who’s contract was negated, and the Publisher took the content of his book, re-titled it and sold it under someone else’s name. Is this true to anyone’s knowledge? Should I be as worried as I feel? They have the manuscript, but not the final draft…
    Thank you kindly,
    Emily S. Janiak
    Author “I Knew By The Light Of The Moon”


    Too bad I couldn’t make the font twice as big and bright red.
    If all you want is your manuscript typeset (badly) and bound into a (badly) designed cover, go for it.
    If you want to be published, that’s not the business they’re in.
    Several reputable mystery writers contributed to a thread about PublishAmerica at my blog a year ago. The thread’s still going; last I checked, it had 91 comments. I’ll link to it here–click on my name.
    First, repeat:

  45. From Keith’s blog. This was written by bestselling author Jan Burke and is well worth repeating:
    Jan Burke (web)
    7:05 pm, Dec 3, 2003 EST
    Keith, thank you.
    I hope those who are considering this route will follow those links and carefully weigh what you’ve said. Alas, I’m starting to believe that most people who opt for self-publishing fall into at least one of three categories: 1) the angriest people you’ve ever encountered — too angry to listen, 2) the entitled, who want and deserve it all and want it right now, and are unable to hear criticism about any of their choices and 3) the ignorant who are too impatient to change that status with a little research.
    Often, they don’t seem willing to accept basic facts about the book business, holding fast to rare exceptions rather than admitting what is really going on in self-publishing.
    One of those facts is that there are whole industries that make more money off those who dream than they do by selling books.
    But you’ve just heard that so-and-so sold his self-published book to Random House? Guess how many other books were published by Random House that were not? Guess how many self-published books sold fewer than 100 copies? If you want to be the exception that makes it, please play the lottery. Your chances are better, it will cost you less, and take up less of your time.
    Want to self-publish because your genius is unappreciated by the cabal of agents and publishers who spend most of their day trying to figure out how to keep talented people from being heard? There are legions misunderstood geniuses who would be glad of your company. They need you to post fake glowing reviews on Amazon and mention them in posts to fan lists, where you can pretend you are not seen for what you are.
    There are legions of them, and there are also legions of companies who will be glad of your dollars, now including some that will let you pay for a review in their magazine.
    I hope, Keith, that your blog will at least tempt a few people to think twice before joining them.

  46. Okay, Keith, I read your comment. Not sure if it was a reply to my comment, but I read it. I understand most people have a major problem with vanity presses. However, I cannot see that simply being a vanity press makes a company bad. It is the misrepresentation of this particular company that this blog was written about. I re-read my comment, and realized I may have left it unclear. I already got out of my contract, I just have to sign the papers. I got out because of all of the things that the company did to hurt me. I just want to know for sure if my signing this release will be signing away more rights. Does anyone have an answer to that question? Thanks.

  47. It depends on the wording of the release. If you’re not absolutely sure, have a lawyer look at it.
    Simply being a vanity press is not bad. Being a vanity press that cons vulnerable people into thinking it’s a real publisher is what’s bad.
    I might use a vanity press myself at some point. I’ve got some art songs, short screenplays, and a one-act opera that aren’t doing me any good on my hard drive. There are no publishers for such things, and it would be nice to have them in an attractive package for my kids when they grow up.
    However, this is not publication.

  48. It depends on the wording of the release. If you’re not absolutely sure, have a lawyer look at it.
    Simply being a vanity press is not bad. Being a vanity press that cons vulnerable people into thinking it’s a real publisher is what’s bad.
    I might use a vanity press myself at some point. I’ve got some art songs, short screenplays, and a one-act opera that aren’t doing me any good on my hard drive. There are no publishers for such things, and it would be nice to have them in an attractive package for my kids when they grow up.
    However, this is not publication.

  49. Emily that’s probably the non-disparagment clause where you get out but can’t speak of PA in public ever again. It’s shot from pistol with a silencer. Don’t sign it and don’t return the final proof.
    go to AW and talk to the others there.

  50. Is there somebody out there who can tell something about Tate Publishing Company? More real experiences, please.

  51. Read through this for the first time…I’m stunned at the number of people who seem to be looking for a publisher via the internet, and not by looking in already-published books in bookshops for the names and addresses of publishers who’ve handled something similar in the past. Certainly that’s what I’d do should my part written novel ever get finished.
    Is there no equivalent of the “Writer’s and Artist’s Yearbook” over there? That book gives a list of publishers and agents (and vanity presses, I think, but they’re listed for what they are), and what sort of books they’re looking for.
    It also outlines how to present your work to the publisher to give the best chance of publication, and last time I flicked through it it wasn’t by sending an email.
    Best of all, where I am, Writer’s and Artists Yearbook is available in libraries, so consulting it won’t even cost you anything.

  52. Is there any way out of a contract once signed with these clowns?
    What would be involved should I chose to involve a lawer in the situation?
    I want out!
    And I need advice.

  53. You’re in a tough spot. Write them a letter, certified. Say you won’t buy or promote the book. File complaints with the FTC and tell them you have. It will work.

  54. The FTC? Federal Trade Commission?
    What would I file in the report? I’m sure that with all the fancy wording of their contract that their butts are covered.
    What would a lawer cost? And what steps would they take that I could not take myself?

  55. Okay. I know that Publish America isn’t like Random House. But since most of us are no name authors I still thank them for taking on my book and not charging $10,000 like vanity presses. I admite it’s up to me to promote it.

  56. You have no slice of any pie save the Willem Meiners “get rich off duping naive writers” like yourself mincemeat variety. Never yell. Saying something loudly won’t make any more true. Promoting won’t work because PA mines the playing field. You have no hope, but stacked up against upfront fee companies thousands are hooked on this point alone. The blame is not on you Dave. It’s on your publisher.

  57. I signed with PA two years ago…here’s my experience thus far. They had my book available for sale within a year, as per the contract. I paid nothing to do this. I keep reading about up front costs and I paid nothing. They stayed in close communication during the final processes of preparing the book for sale. They worked with me very well to ensure I had a cover I was pleased with. I rejected what they had done twice before I got something I liked. I got my 2 free copies. They made the book available on-line as well as through bookstores. Those are all things they said they would do and did. Now for some negative things I have noticed. First, my book probably at best only had a spell checker ran over and in my opinion no real editing was done. There are several mistakes that made press and both my wife and I are disappointed at this. The book is $20…, which is, in my opinion, way overpriced. Have I sold any books at this price to anyone but family members? Yes, but I am sure more people would have taken the chance on the book had it been more affordable. I have seen books the same size and page count go for between $10-$13. They have not plagued my family and friends with mail to buy the book. To my knowledge they’ve only sent the one letter letting them know I have a book available. But, ever since my book has been finalized through their process, I have had little to any contact from them whatsoever. I was accustom to receiving e-mails from them talking about how they were growing and how great things were, and now I hear nothing from them. I have received on small royalty check so far and should be receiving another in August. I didn’t feel the check reflected my sales and e-mailed them as such and was returned a letter that stated that being as my book was just recently available for purchase that the check only reflected the internet pre-sales on their website and copies ordered directly through them. They said that books ordered through a retail store would not have been posted to my royalties yet and to expect them on my next check. Now in all honesty I’ve probably only sold 100+ books thus far, so I’m not expecting much, but I am expecting more. We shall see in August. Will local bookstores carry my book in stock? No. Why? Do to the fact that PA publishes for demand, they do not take returns. So if your book is a lazy sale and the store wants to make room on the shelf they cannot send the book back to the distributor for a credit. It is also difficult to get a signing anywhere for this same reason. They will work with you if you want to bring a couple copies of your own, but being as there is no return policy most bookstores won’t help you. Have I found any place to carry my book? Yes. My book is fantasy and a local gaming store was kind enough to let me put a few copies in each of their retail outlets in an on consignment basis. Most of these sold and for that I was happy. Am I unhappy with my experience with PA? Yes and No. Yes I’m unhappy that their version of editing is most likely nothing more than a guy with MSWord and a spellchecker program. I’ll be the first to admit while I feel I’m an adequate writer, that I’m not the best typist and that sometimes my spelling can get a little crazy in the heat of the inspirational moment. But as I was trying to go over and ready the book for sale I worked hard to try and catch as many of these errors myself and was looking forward to having an editor go over it. I feel I was let down in that respect. On the positive side I do have a book I can hand and show to people, that despite its few flaws, is an attractive piece of work. PA will try and get you to come to their writers conventions and will talk about having big signings. Just understand this is all at your cost and I’ve never participated in them. Will I publish another book through them, almost certainly not? Why? Simply because I want better attention to detail in the editing of my book and I’d like to be able to walk into a book store one day and find my name on the shelf. That’s my goal. So take this for what you will. It’s the truth of the matter. I had their contract looked at by several reputable business people who are used to contracts and their opinions were that the contract covered the publisher and myself equally. I have the copyright documentation to my book, and the contract I have with them says that I maintain all rights to the work. The only thing they claim for the seven-year tenure of the contract is the publishing rights. Would they were ever to take my name off it and try and sell it under another title and name? Sounds like an urban myth to me. If they aren’t going to change the price of the book to make it more affordable and change policies to make them book available to be carried in stores…why would they bother? Do I feel that PA is opportunistic and looking to take advantage of the author market? Yes? Do I believe they would steal your idea and run with it and try and screw you out of your book? No. Why? Simple. PA is playing the author lottery game…Get enough books and enough rights to publish under your belt, and eventually they’re going to get a writer that will hit it big. An author could sell their book’s rights as a movie or TV option, and who owns the rights to publish the book? PA…pure and simple. Would they be able to meet the demands of such an undertaking? No. They’d probably sell their rights to publish your book and make a lucrative profit in for themselves in return and use that to hype more people into signing up. They want their piece of the pie like anyone else out there, and while I’ve given them a slice of mine, I’m saving the rest for someone else.

  58. Thankyou for warning everyone before they go to Publish America. I have a friend that was about to until I stopped her. Does anyone have any advice for a place to publish her story that is not a scam? Thankyou,

  59. Hey everyone. I have just read all the postings. I signed my contract with PublishAmerica two weeks ago. As of yet, they only have three chapters of my manuscript with a deadline date of August first. I am seriously considering pulling out of this. However, I do not know the formal way to go about this. Advice anyone?

  60. Well, I’ve sent PA a registered letter stating that since I have not heard one word them about my contract dispute, I would be giving them ten days from the receipt of the letter to respond, or I will consider the contract null and void.
    I have not heard from them, either in my request for a return registered letter, or by e-mail. I doubt I’m in the clear, but does this give me leverage in getting out of their contract?
    I’m tiring of this ignoring game they are playing. They are simply tying things up out of spite–can they actually drag this out for seven years?
    Still, I’d like to know the approximate cost for a lawyer to get me out of this. Any ideas?

  61. I’m not a lawyer. He is: keep after him and get a free consultation. I don’t think there’s ever been a case that’s dragged out for the 7 years. They haven’t been in business that long in this later version. The rights used to be held forever. They
    still have one of those that I’m aware of and it is against her will.

  62. I’m not a lawyer. He is: keep after him and get a free consultation. I don’t think there’s ever been a case that’s dragged out for the 7 years. They haven’t been in business that long in this later version. The rights used to be held forever. They
    still have one of those that I’m aware of and it is against her will.

  63. I’d like to comment on the author who says his book is for sale on various websites, including Target.
    All that means is that people can order from those venues online. After the discount, shipping, etc. you will get only a few pennies in royalties, in many cases. And who orders books online from Target anyway?
    The books are not on the shelves. The books published by traditional publishing houses are on the shelves. That’s the big difference between traditional publishing and vanity publishing: that and price.
    PA books also have no grocer’s bar code, only the Bookland EAN barcode, so they could not be carried by any physical retail store other than a bookstore, anyway. Target, Wal-Mar, your local drugstore, etc., all require grocer’s bar codes (otherwise known as UPC bar codes).
    PA does not charge to print your book, but neither does, so you might as well use the latter and keep your copyrights.

  64. Anything is better than PA, but really a POD is a POD. They’re only files online. Not real books in a warehouse and on shelves in stores. Some folks can’t seem to grasp that basic fact. It’s a technology, sure. One used exclusively by vanity presses.

  65. POD or digital printing, is not used exclusively by vanities. Big-name traditional publishers use it for short press runs, where it’s economical and to keep some classics in print. They also often use if for review copies.

  66. As a new author I’ve been looking around trying to find a publisher for my book. Publish America seemed too good to be true. I was so happy to find your site! You have saved me so much disappointment and frustration. I’ll keep searching for a proper home for my manuscripts. A word to other aspiring authors: Don’t be desperate! Do your homework and find a publisher that’s legit. You owe it to yourself and your dream. Yeah, it’s hard to get published for the first time. But don’t let that discourage you. Again, thank you for posting all of this info on PA. The “positive comments” on this firm have not swayed me in the least to publish through them!

  67. The minute uses of POD by the big commercial publishers is a false equivocation. It is NOT the main mode of publication at a real press. Not. Nor will it ever be.

  68. Hmmmm, I just can’t help wondering what all the fuss is about? I’m newly signed with Publish America, and I know upfront that my book will most likely not be a best seller through Publish America. Although I have gotten good reviews, being a first time author, I know that my work will not be recognized with the likes of John Steinbeck. I plan on trying a more traditional publisher with my next novel. In the meantime I’m submitting short stories online. This along with my first book through Publish America is a means of “getting my feet wet”, so to speak. I see no reason for a lot of bashing of one publisher, when everyone has the right, and duty to research before you sign. I went with Publish America for a reason; no up front costs. This gives me a chance to evaluate my work while I experiment with the writing craft.

  69. This gives me a chance to evaluate my work while I experiment with the writing craft.

    What the hell does that mean? Can’t you “evaluate” it without tying it up with a vanity press masquerading as a traditional publisher? What do you possibly have to gain by getting reamed by PA? Have you even tried submitting it to a real publisher? You’re just the kind of sucker PA likes best. How many copies of your own book will you be buying?

  70. Hey, why the personal attack? I’m only expressing my own personal views. Isn’t that the purpose of this forum, to express ones views? I decided to join the discussion here, and instead of getting a good response, I am attacked and called a sucker. If the sole purpose of this site is to only bash PA, this is not the place I want to spend time. I’m interested in all details of the writing craft, and decided to participate here. If my views aren’t welcome, I will go elsewhere. There are many places where people discuss publishers and such without acting juvenile, and without name calling. Good luck to everyone here, including Not A Moron.

  71. Don’t buy your own books and no one else will. I’m afraid that’s the scam Lee. You’ll see later down the line after to 2 cent royalties come in. The costs are on the backside: $30 for copyright; high cover prices; low royalties on the net; poor quality and horrible reputation. Luck has nothing to do with it and won’t be on your side with PA. They’ve seen to that.

  72. For what it is worth, I just received an email from PA saying that starting next month, they WILL be making all book titles returnable for all bookstores. This is a very encouraging sign I believe. It shows to me that PA is making efforts to help authors sell more books. I hope that everyone will agree.

  73. Well I’ve read this entire thread. Wow. There’s a lot of hostility here that’s for sure.
    I guess I’m not real sure why the negative posters are so hell bent on making folks feel like shit about their choices.
    I’ve spent a couple of years on and off writing a first novel. It’s been a great experience. I’m finishing up the second edit and will then send it out to traditional publishers in a few weeks. Like everyone I’ll hope for an aceptance, more likely than not I’ll just collect rejection letters.
    At that point I’ll probably go with one of the POD’s that don’t want me to pay them, plop my free copy on the shelve and continue working on my second novel.
    I plan on continuing that process pretty much from now on. That and keeping my day job 🙂

  74. After a strange furry of e-mails and a personal phone call from the owner of the company saying he was sorry for “not acting in a professional way in an e-mail he sent to me”, I elected to not go with Tate Publishing out of Oklahoma. Has anyone else had similar experiences?

  75. Well after reading this thread last night I went back and reviewed PA’s site.
    It’s been my experience that arguing with pissed off arrogant folks is usually a waste of time but I thought I would take a shot here since you guys are making this so personal and trashing something you clearly didn’t/don’t understand. You all seem to be pretty clueless about the publishing industry in general, that or you just don’t like the reality of it.
    The industry is broken up into three very distinct tiers. From what I can tell you’re pissed off that a second tier company did not provide you the support and dollars that only top tier publishers provide (The third tier you pay a few thousand bucks and try to sell your book out of your garage:)
    By top tier I mean both major and Indy’s that BUY your work (that means a check up front), invest in it’s development and presentation and finally distribute it through their well established distribution chains. Anyone that takes the time to write a book should do enough research to not accidentally land at a second tier company by mistake. That would be pretty absurd and I doubt happens very often. If it happened to you then I can see why you would feel ripped. Pick yourself up and do a little research on the Industry. Second tier publishers (like PA) are relatively new to the industry because print on demand has made it possible for there to be something between your paying four to five grand to self publish and a company paying you four or five grand to publish your work. These middle companies can get a book in print for a few hundred dollars and available on-line. That’s about it, anything else is wishful thinking on both of your parts. This is because the per cost is about double offset printing cost and the traditional 40-60% distributor discounts as well as absorbing returns is out the door. That means that the price for the reader is double and bookstores will not carry it for lack of returning books that don’t sell.
    Does that make it a scam? Of course not. Most fiction books would be a waste of time because of the high price, but many non-fiction titles can find decent markets outside of book stores and may sell enough to make the few hundred buck investment worth it for the likes of PA. Likewise many folks are willing to let them take the few hundred buck shot on a no market book just to reach a conclusion on that work and move on to the next project. Unless you really want to try and market your own book this route is going to net at best a few bucks for a nice diner over maybe a year or so and PA may make a couple of hundred when it’s all said and done. As far as them taking aim at any names your willing to give them, give me a break, that’s probably the best and only market for much that they accept. So what, give them a couple of names or not.
    Now for the twisted cruel joke stuff that’s being touted, I just don’t get where they are coming from. Did they really think that a web site based POD company was going to fly them around for book signings and the fat royalty checks were going to be rolling in? I doubt it.
    You don’t need advice from anyone. But what the hell:
    Go to half priced books and pick up a copy of ‘writers market’ and mail the info they accept (query, manuscript or outline) to all of the larger publishers and agents that accept unsolicited work. Work your way down the list until you’ve exhausted every publisher idea you can develop that PAYS for work.
    If it works great.
    If at some point your ready to throw the towel in then take a glance at a few POD shops and pick a couple that do not ever charge you a penny out of your pocket. Pick one and get yourself a little closure (make sure the deal includes a couple of books) and start your next project. Now don’t expect these guys to tell you they are a shitty little POD publisher, they won’t. As long as they do not want any money from you just wink and smile. It wouldn’t hurt at all to have a little fun and try to generate a little interest in the POD book if that’s what you end up with. You might scare up a signing or talk a little local store into carrying the book. It’s certainly worth the effort. Hopefully the next one will sell to one of the big guys 🙂
    LOL and keep writing.

  76. Great post, Stephen. While I agree with much of what you’ve said, the problem with PA is that they sell themselves as a “second tier” company that’s simply a POD house. Their grandiose pitch makes some writers believe they are being published…which they aren’t. They are being printed. There’s a difference. Granted, the writers are as much to blame as PA, since anyone with a little common sense (and not blinded by desperation) can see through the sales pitch.
    If they, like iUniverse, were upfront about who they are and what they do, that would be different (though even iUniverse is getting a little shady…advocating that self-publishing as a necessary first step for authors).

  77. Lee, I am assuming we are talking about fiction. I write code for a living and spending my evenings writing a tech book about web or application programming would be for dollars not ego so PA would have to back up it’s sales pitch with a check to get my attention. My guess is most of my peers (and up 🙂 would agree.
    So if I’m following this, your saying that writers are stumbling into PA BEFORE sending their work off to publishing companies and PA is convincing them that it’s the same thing?

  78. Scratch that question Lee, I’ve banged around your site and read a number of yours and others post on the subject now.
    Perhaps you’re all sincere in your intentions but to me it comes across as simply outrage. Thread after thread seems intent on trashing the companies that dare to call POD publishing and demanding that the pathetic morons that let them print their work admit that their not really ‘published’ writers. That distinction seems to be the most important thing. Since a lot of these companies don’t actually charge anything anymore and the ones that do only charge a few hundred bucks the protection angle rings hollow. Unless your concerned that Aunt Mary will pay $40 to read her nieces crappy little novel.
    It seems mean spirited to me. I’m sure a lot of writers have left your site feeling pretty miserable and pathetic. But hey it’s their fault for having the audacity to think of themselves as ‘published’ authors. I think most of them got that with their $5 royalty check.
    There’s no short cut to a successful writing career and no one is ever going to buy into one with a POD book.
    If it works out that my work is accepted and ‘published’ and some POD author is silly enough to be proud of their unedited crappy little book I am going to make damn sure I’m extra nice to the poor bastard.
    Likewise if my work is rejected and I POD it you folks have made damn sure that I will not have a spark of pride for my unedited crappy little book. Not that I would have anyway, I did/do understand the distinction.
    Sorry for my tone but I’ve banged around your site for a few days and became a little upset when I read some of the post from obviously non-professional writers who clearly now feel like crap about their work…

  79. Taking rights for 7 years and blackmailing writers to get out is not a “second tier” practice. Come back and tell us how it went when your first royalty check comes at 70 cents. Don’t buy your own books either. Neither of these happened to me but oh the crowd that did.

  80. As an author about to submit my draft to PA, I was both disheartened and confused to read some of the comments on this blog. Disheartened, because my novel represents three years of writing and 15 years experience as an aviation crash investigator. Confused, because there appear to be many authors who have had good and profitable experiences with PA. Obviously, we all write to be read, and we write to sell. Can anyone give me some guidance before I launch? Many thanks…Joshua Bettleman sends

  81. As an author about to submit my draft to PA, I was both disheartened and confused to read some of the comments on this blog. Disheartened, because my novel represents three years of writing and 15 years experience as an aviation crash investigator. Confused, because there appear to be many authors who have had good and profitable experiences with PA. Obviously, we all write to be read, and we write to sell. Can anyone give me some guidance before I launch? Many thanks…Joshua Bettleman sends

  82. Yeah, Joshua…stay the hell away from PublishAmerica. It’s a scam…a vanity press dressed up to look like a “traditional publisher.” You will be throwing away your book and your money. How about submitting your book to an agent or a real publisher? If you’re smart enough to be an aviation crash investigator, you’re obviously intelligent enough to see through PA. NOT ONE SINGLE PROFESSIONAL WRITERS GROUP WILL ACCEPT PA AUTHORS AMONG THEIR RANKS. That should tell you something right there. Walk into a Barnes and Noble and see how many PA books you find. A BIG FAT ZERO. Check how many PA books have been reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, or any other respected newspaper or magazine. A BIG FAT ZERO. Google PA and read all the negative articles from major newspapers about them. I mean, Good God man, how bad does a fish have to stink before you decide not to eat it?

  83. Joshua, if you publish with PA, your book will be coming from the same company as this one.
    As you read that thread (and read the whole thing–your book took three years, you owe it that much) pay extra attention to the stats on the average PA book.
    Then read this and this and definitely this.
    PA’s “success” stories are so few in number compared to the number of authors they publish, that the rarity of them should be a sufficiently loud warning bell. Most if not all of these successes are also so meager that they would be considered disasters in the real publising world.

  84. I have written the same thing below but have not received any response. Maybe that’s because I’m not bad mouthing PA. I’m asking a question: 1. How do you find a publisher that will read your manuscript?
    2. Then, how do you get a publisher to promote your book since you are new unknown author? I doubt none because that would cost them money. I have 2 books published with PA and the one I am writing now, I certainly would like to try another publisher.
    So you tell me who will read my manuscript.

  85. If you have too ask that question, you are definitely PA author material.
    Here’s some advice. Have you heard of the Writers Market? It’s published every year and lists the names, address, and requirements of various editors and hundreds of legit publishing companies.
    Or…go the bookstore. Look at some books from major publishers. Open to the acknowledgements. See who the editors are the authors thank. Send your manuscript to them.
    In other words, Doug, make an effort and stop looking for a shortcut from scam artists.

  86. Douglas, go through all the books on your shelf that are like the one you wrote, then look them up online. Search for their guidelines.
    Few will accept unsolicited manuscripts. Those you can query. Others will accept them. Follow those guidelines to the letter.
    At the same time, try to find out which agents rep your sort of book. Look up but don’t stop there. Get the lit agent market out of your local library, or invest in one. You want agents who have clients whose books you own, or have at least sold books you’ve heard of.
    It takes time to do it right. I just went through all of this. It’s not easy but there are no shortcuts.
    By your website, I see you write westerns. Have you checked out the resources at the WWA?
    Anyway, make note of the authors you like, and whose careers you’d like to emulate. Find out who represents them and who publishes them. Target those people.
    And you should look for a friendly online community to join. I liked when I was there. They’re especially friendly and respectful to ex-PublishAmerica authors.
    Good luck.

  87. Good advice from Harry. I use AQ exclusively and I get read. The agents are picky and mostly worry about sales. That’s the deal. Whatever the book may be this is the only route to publication. Unless you use academic presses, an agent is a necessity. That’s how you get read. The new author fallacy is just that: a fallacy.

  88. I’m so sick of all these sites that are downing this publisher. I don’t really care so much about the publisher as I do about the writers that have published books with them.
    If you are a writer and you have a company that will publish your work for free, do it. A book in your hand makes you a writer, and an ms in your drawer makes you a file clerk. People are shoveling crap about this publisher all over the web and they don’t know what they are talking about.
    This is a war between traditional publishers/established writers and PODs. This argument has always been around. Traditional publishers and established writers have always looked down their noses at PODs, but some of the best writers ever have published their own books. John Grisham self published A Time to Kill for crying out loud!
    If you have published a book through Publish America be proud of that book and know that you got a deal that many small presses can’t beat.
    If you don’t believe me in what I’ve said take a look at this article from an industry outside of the influence of traditional writers and publishing houses:
    I’ve never seen so many writers down other writers and shovel so much crap at the same time. Anyone that downs a book for where it comes from is a Nazi and that is all.
    These sites do not give helpful info to young writers they silence their voice and a few authors that are mad about getting their books published FOR FREE are pissed because they fooled themselves into thinking they would be popular overnight and it didn’t happen.

  89. If you are a writer and you have a company that will publish your work for free, do it. A book in your hand makes you a writer, and an ms in your drawer makes you a file clerk.
    Only a PA employee would say something so unbelievably stupid. Anyone who buys that line of inane crap deserves to be “published” by PA!

  90. Sigh.
    John Grisham did not self-publish A Time To Kill. Who ever told you that is a liar.
    There is no war between traditional publishers and POD. People are warning new writers of the dangers PA represents to their career. That’s all.

  91. Well folks, I started my own publishing company and invite writers to write for me. I have artistic control,a nd I can write what I want to write when I want to write it, whcih means I am writing all the time with a slew of my own titles out, and waiting for work from my writers. Anyone who says I’m a self-publisher, or self-published, doesn;’t know what they are talking about, because this is not a vanity press, and I use the same printer Random House uses! They probably get a better print rate than I do, but sorry folks, everything now days is POD, and few will get rich at this! You need to write art for the sake of the art and for no other reason! Check out my website at———– Bellissima means beautiful and Bellissima Publishing, LLC is about the writing of beautiful words and the making of beautiful books! For me it is the dream of a child who wanted to make her own books that has now come true. Life is all about dreams, after all, abd about making dreams come true. Otherwise you have nothing, nothing at all.

  92. Oh my God. DO visit Penny’s site.
    It’s the best argument there is for avoiding self-publishing, particularly the POD variety. The site itself is amateurish and ugly (and full of miss-spellings). A 12-year-old could design a better site.
    The book cover…you must see the book covers. They look unprofessional (oh hell, why mince words, they look like crap) and are just what you’d expect from a POD vanity operation.
    Her books are sub-par crap that the public, the media and professional writers will never mistake for a real book.
    No, you won’t get rich doing this, Penny. You’re absolutely right about that.

  93. Whoa.
    “Crap” is an understatement. “Bad” is a kindness. I can only hope no one actually submits to that publisher.
    This is the way things have been going. First, there were the straight-forward vanity presses. People learned the names of the publishers and avoided them.
    Then PublishAmerica came along. They didn’t charge upfront fees, so few recognized them as slush publishers at first. Some authors got into bookstores. They slipped under the radar. Then, as people looked at the quality of the books, they learned to avoid it as an author mill.
    Now we have self-publishers passing themselves off as micro-presses. The publisher is a made-up name, or the author’s wife using her maiden name so no one discovers the truth.
    Sometime very soon, these sorts of SP masquerading as publishers will be discredited. The bad rep will hurt the authors who tried this route and, even worse, will discredit people trying to establish small presses.

  94. I have a story of my own to tell. I finished my manuscript this past January, read my copy of Writers Market, sent to one publisher, got a rejection letter and said to myself, OK no big deal. I had a co-worker who was a published author. Guess who she was published by; PA. So I says to myself, hey, maybe I should send them a query letter and three chapters of my manuscript. The manuscript was accepted. I signed a contract in May 05 and was happy as can be. I even got my website up and running and got the copyright submitted.
    Then I started to notice some of the problems with PA. I looked at the way they promote author’s books on their website. “First Lady, Laura Bush sent a personal letter of thanks to. . . “. Lots of name dropping. Then, a guestbook post on my website told me to do a little research on PA, which I did. I was floored at the volume of negative information available about PA and their tactics. With what I noticed myself and a little math based on their own sales figures and number of authors, I easily determined that 1. they do no marketing, 2. they sell to the author and to the ‘100 of your family and closet friends list,’ and 3. do a lot of self promotion. They are not interested in their authors, they are interested in PA.
    So I am in the process of trying to get out of my contract. If I wanted my family and friends be the only folks to read my book, I could send them a copy of the manuscript. But more important than that, I do not want my name or book associated with a company that has a soiled reputation within the publishing, book marketing and writing communities. I hope to get out of this contract soon. If my manuscript isn’t good enough to be marketed by a real ‘traditional’ publishing house, great. I’ll keep working on it and tryin g to improve it. Then I’ll try to improve my writing in my second manuscript.
    I really appreciate the information that is presented in this forum. Wish me luck in my efforts to get out of my contract.
    Pete Grondin

  95. Pete,
    Good advice from Harry as usual, and as one who did this successfully early on in 2002, I’d say start mean-mouthing PA all over the net. They hate that. Send them a registered letter saying you want out, and won’t promote your book or buy copies. They hate that. It may take a while but they let quite a few vocal authors out to get rid of them. I see no end in this. I was the first to file FTC false business advertising charges against them and was ridiculed and banned from several forums frequented by hurt PA witers.
    Never mind the fact I was one too, they accused me of badmouthing their books, which I didn’t, but sure could have based on literary merit and style rules. My statement was a book with PA is worthless. It is and I would extend that to all vanity presses including most new home startups.
    Write better book and let the rejections come. Only by running that guantlet will a book be valid in the market. Sometimes not even then.

  96. I have done my part, trying to contact publishers. I was very happy reading about their profile but all the time they are asking for author`s subsidy–three or five thousand dollars. I don`t have that. So my manuscripts which I believe have a message to tell to the world will just be hidden for more years…
    Beth Hill

  97. Better there than PA but what $3000 to 5000? There is no such fee, only high prices and POD only production. That’s a dichotomy when they claim not to be a POD.

  98. I went over there. I don’t know who Ed’s source is but there an editor over there who had a blog a while back. She was revealing too. They found out about it and took it down.

  99. Writing a book is only one part of the equation. It’s only when an author can get the attention of a publisher that the book will become a reality. Most, if not all, of the big name publishers will not even accept a manuscript from an unknown author, let alone actually review it for possible acceptance for publication. Publish America does offer a service that is unavailable from traditional publishers, an opportunity to get your book published. Without a doubt, there are books that don’t merit publication, but for hopeful authors like myself, I would at least like a chance to see if I can have a successful writing career. With Publish America, I accept the extra work required to promote my book. Without Publish America, I probably wouldn’t get an opportunity to have a published book. For those of you that don’t want to put any work into getting your book on the market, continue to send your manuscripts in for rejection. As for me, I’ll work for myself and Publish America and see what we can do together.

  100. “Without a doubt, there are books that don’t merit publication, but for hopeful authors like myself, I would at least like a chance to see if I can have a successful writing career.”
    Then do what writers have done for many years. Learn how publishing works and how you gain access to it. Then, if you discover that your book is not ready for publication, lay it aside and write the next better book…and perhaps even the better one after that.
    The one thing you DON’T do is destroy your chances before you’ve hardly begun by giving your book away to a vanity press and trying to become a book distributor/book seller when you haven’t even finished learning to be a WRITER yet.
    Educate yourself — don’t throw yourself at the first deal that looks barely passable. That isn’t the way to build a career and it won’t. All it will do is exhaust you and dishearten you…and in the end, you’ll STILL have to muster up the energy to do it the right way. If you have that much energy left.

  101. Who would have ever of thought that I would be here a year later saying that there should be reason for concern . Writers should be cautioned before publishing with Publish America. I wish I had of listened to the warnings. Live and learn I guess.

  102. I chose PA only for my first book which was published by another POD. I was unhappy with the previous company and when they went under I had PA publish it. I do know the problems with POD’s and I actually did alot of reasearch, but what attracted me to PA was the fact that they now take returns and went through Ingram. Of course, they charge way to much for their book which hurts sells. They do that so they can make money off of the author, if no one else. My experience with Barnes & Noble stores have been great, however. Only one store has refused to stock my book, (most only ordered 2 copies, but I’m thrilled to have that)and a couple has asked me to do book signingsin their stores. I don’t expect to make any money off this book, but at least my first book has a second life now. I’ve written two more books since and am working on the fourth. My second book, although rejected by many big publishers, has gotten good feedback. One publisher even wanted to see more of my work. So, I don’t doubt I will eventually find a traditional, perhaps a big, publisher for my work. I never will go the POD route again. But, there is nothing wrong with going with one, like PA for example, as long as you know what they really are and the problems with POD’s. But as an author’s writing improves, he or she should go for the traditional publishers.

  103. “Of course, they charge way to much for their book which hurts [sic] sells.”
    This is not a valid statement. It should be sales. Sells is a verb. Improves? I think that’s the key statement. No writer should print anything before its time. It looks like you and hordes of others did. Anyone who falls into that pit will be viewed the same if viewed at all. You don’t have the slightest idea what your talking about like most PA writers. We’ve seen it before from the multitudes.

  104. Just as children need to learn their own lessons, in order to move on to the next stage in life,(have you ever tried to tell a teenager thatyou know what’s best for her?) so we (Oh, my God, did I commit the sin of saying we instead of us?) PA authors must learn our own lessons. For me, it is about learning, and I am learning some very valuable lessons about marketing. Do not delude yourself into thinking that a contract with a traditional publisher is an automatic guarantee of riches. Maybe some of us at PA are secret gamblers,and like to take risks. It really doesn’t matter what our motives are. The only thing that matters, is that we know about the way PA operates, and that for some reason, we choose to continue. Maybe some of us are champions of the underdog,rushing to the defense of PA. I have signed two contracts with PA. I will not comment about whether or not I would sign again. I will say, though, that I have learned more in the past six months, since signing, than I normally would learn in several years. And, for those who are openly contemptuous of the writing abilities of the authors at PA, I have become a better writer, during the process, for as my writing gains public exposure, I become aware of the need to take it to higher levels. I thought we were supposed to be in this together.
    Janet Bellinger

  105. “for as my writing gains public exposure, I become aware of the need to take it to higher levels.”
    Like all vanity printed writers the awareness of that comes late. You don’t, and won’t, have any public exposure. We’ve heard all of the myths PA uses. It’s true about publicity and promotion and the myth of riches out of the box, hell Dan Brown’s testimony verifies that, so that’s a straw man. Any level of regular offset, small advance contract with a major or small publisher beats anything a vanity press will do. If you haven’t caught on to the scam yet you probably won’t. Some are just that way.
    I thought we were supposed to be in this together. Why? Together would mean you’d take the advice of those who know more than you, but you don’t so…

  106. My uncle has just published a collection of humorous stories through PA. After putting his “baby” into the arms of PA, he is now quite heartbroken. His complaints are that the price is too high and the quality of the book is too low. He’s stated many times that he didn’t care if he only sold 10 copies as long as his book was published. But it is hard for him to look at his dream as a poorly made first edition paperback.
    Personally, I think I’ll just write numerous volumes of some drivel and keep submitting it until I have forty-five books published and my own complete library at no cost.

  107. I am currently writing a fiction novel and was doing some research on the web about publishers and came across the PA site. After reading it…and taking note of how terribly bad the actual site is written…it threw up all kinds of red flags for me. They simply painted the picture… to get your book published is sooo easy! We pretty much accept everything! Based on my research… getting a book published is a challenge. Actually I still can’t get past how badly the site is written. Anyway, I’m writing all this to say, but not hurt any feelings…did any of you folks who published with PA read the site before you signed on the dotted line? It is two steps away from reading like a scam..actually… I was thinking Multi-Level Marketing. Just chalk it up as a learning experience and good luck on your next wrtiting endeavor.

  108. I have read a lot of the comments here and they have helped alot. I also googled PA and realized there was more bad press to wade throught then finding the link to their website. That tells me something. I know that i will be sending my manuscript into a tradional publisher because unlike some writers, i have faith in my work. Some people say not to send in first time work to tradional publishers, but i have only heard bad things about vanity presses and other nontradional publishers. Thanks for those that posted, hearing the pros and cons helped alot and seeing as how there are more cons than pros i definetly will not be sending my manuscript into PA. At first the website sounded great, but i did my research and it does sound like a scam to me. i have worked to long and to hard on a dream to have my story read to have it fizzle before it comes true. Yes with PA it would be published, but how good is that if no one gets to read it? I mean i want to go into a book store and see my book in a nice cover on a shelf were a lot of other people with read it. Yes, some people do order online but I want the people that are at their local bookstore looking for something to read to see my book and go “hmmmm that looks interesting.” So what if i dont make it big at first. It is all about bringing the joy of reading to others for me.
    Okay sorry for the long post just had to get things off my chest. One more point to make? Why should any author do all the work in promoting their book? The publisher should do some too cause they are proud of it and want to show off their new writer or new book. Oh well maybe i am living a fantasy and it is all about money. Thanks for reading.

  109. “I am currently writing a fiction novel”
    Here’s your next clue that you don’t have a firm grasp of the subject. The message of stay away from PA is solid. Nothing good will come of stepping in that pit. And thousands of would be authors learned it the hard way.

  110. Last night I got to thinking about something else about PA. Their paperback books are horribly over priced. I have never paid more than $13 for a paperback book. I can see a hardback being $24 or $25 but not a paperback. It is no wonder that bookstores will not allow the books to be put on their shelves. Ok another thought. I do not believe that by downing PA will silence a writers voice, but will make them more aware about what they are getting into. Even if they dont want to listen. Authors of PA see the website and think it is great but I have learned that sometimes good things come to those who wait. So what if it takes a few months to a publisher to get back to you about your manuscript, you can use that time working on another one. Another thing. I know that no one in my family would read my book so PA would hit a roadblock trying to sell it to them. My family does not like supernatural fantasy and that is what my book is, so sending them a letter about my book would do nothing for PA. Anyways, the prologue, ch. 1 and ch. 2 are on the my site if anyone wants to read. Have a nice day.

  111. I published with PA 5 years ago after sending letters of quiery to every agent I could think of, I even had a close friend in the business, and no one would give me the time of day – nothing. When I finally found PA I knew what they were from just looking at the website – any half-wit could see it. But the story I’d written so aggressively came to me, almost without my own intitiative, I just had to do something with it, just put it anywhere at all out of my hands and into the world – and anything’s better than nothing. The bottom line is that it didn’t cost me a cent so I went for it. They did absolutely NO EDITING – I’d even found typos in their “edited” version. Still I went ahead with my eyes wide open.
    But everyone should get this straight – traditional publisher don’t do marketing either unless you’re already really established or a celebrity. The most tradional publisher do is get it on the shelves, but it will still not sell, it’ll most likely sit there. The advance is nice – but that’s about it. I never pushed my book at all, don’t even tell people about it, because I’m embarrased. I’m just hoping the powers that brought the story to me in the first place will at some point take it somewhere else because the bottom line in life is that anything is possible
    I’ve just let it go – obviously the story’s not meant to be anything more that what it is – that’s got nothing to do with PA, they did what they said they’d do and it didn’t cost me a dime – it’s out there in cyberspace. Yeah, they’re misleading, but anyone with average intelligence can pick that up. And, to their credit, I must say I really do like the cover they designed

  112. I am grateful to have found this Blog and other information posted on the web regarding Publish America. I have not signed a contract, and certainly have no intention of doing so now, but I wish I’d had the foresight to do this research before I sent in my manuscript to them for review. I sent them the complete manuscript, and now I’m worried about PA possibly stealing my work. Should I be worried? Would they stoop that low? I already have the book “published” on Lulu, so I’m hoping that fact will help me. When I receive my congratulatory acceptance letter from PA, should I mention that to disuade them from even thinking about trying it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  113. Shirley, you probably don’t have anything to worry about. Just don’t sign the contract, if they offer you one.
    Send your book to more reputable publishers, and don’t sweat it.

  114. They won’t care a bit if it’s printed elsewhere. Don’t sign the contract. Since they don’t do any actual work, “stealing” it would require something they don’t have the ability to do, so.

  115. After some unbelievable royalty checks and infinite patience Publish America has informed me it will no longer review submissions from UK authors. So I must begin the exhausting process of searching for another publisher for my newest book. My husband is on disability and we have no money to self-promote my books or pay publisher’s fees? Anybody got any ideas out there?

  116. Real publisher’s don’t charge fees. Nor do real agents. Since you had a book with PA it’s not a published book anyway, so what you are in for is selling a first book. Good luck. We all need it aside from a professional level salable manuscript. The last one should keep you busy because if the numbers hold up most PA books aren’t. You’ll know from the rejection slips.
    agent query for starters.

  117. Patricia, professional publishers don’t charge fees. You need to approach them with a book they think readers will buy, and then they will pay you to publish you.
    Don’t pay publishers or agents’ reading fees. Your book should be the thing of value you bring to the business, not your checkbook.

  118. To those still not convinced about what PA really is – please, learn the difference between publishing and printing. PA touts itself as a “traditional publisher”. First note that this term was invented by PA, according to PA’s president and co-founder Larry Clopper. So: there are publishers and there are printers. PA is a printer, falsely promoting itself as a publisher.
    What does being published mean? It means that your book has gone through an editorial filter. Someone who knows something about the book business selects your manuscript above others, reads it, edits it, prints it, distributes it, and promotes it – all at no cost to you. PA does not select manuscripts – it prints anything. PA does not read your book, edit your book (unless you pay), distribute your book, or promote your book. PA is a printer.
    You are not a “published author” if PA prints your book, because your book hasn’t gone through that editorial filter. You may not agree with editorial choices – after all, a lot of junk is published every day. But that’s the way the industry works, and bookstores, reviewers, and readers are unlikely to trust a PA book when they have a wide selection of published, edited books to choose from.
    Publishers put money, time, and effort into their books and authors because they believe it will pay dividends. PA will never put one dime into the book they printed for you. They didn’t even read it.

  119. This is a comment to the one “Posted by: Penny Weigand | Wednesday, March 02, 2005 at 05:42 AM” and is not meant to be rude.
    You state, and perhaps someone else has pointed this out already, “Getting into Random House is too difficult”.
    Of course getting in is going to be hard. But if you can settle for ‘second best’ and not do what needs to be done to “promote” yourself, as you say, to the real traditional publishers, that’s no one’s fault but your own. My favorite authors have all admitted that they received loads of rejection letters through the years. J.K. Rowling gets to laugh at those who refused her “Harry Potter” series now.
    And as far as “a lot of stuff out there on bookstore shelves is just plain garbage”, it’s the fault of publishers like PA who don’t care about quality like the real publishers out there. That’s why publishing is so hard in the traditional fashion. They don’t just accept idiots flappery.
    I am not published yet, so you won’t find me anywhere. But good luck to you all in publishing. In life there are no shortcuts, and neither can you take them in writing.
    Good luck finding the publisher that will suit you best. For those who have difficulty finding publishers, I recommend doing some research in the “Writer’s Market” most recent version, or for poets try the “Poet’s Market”.

  120. Hi there. And it’s pronounced ‘Yuu-li-koo’… I have trouble with that one a lot. It is true that real agents don’t charge fees or anything. The only thing the Writer’s Market says you should ever have to pay for is any long distance phone calls made ON YOUR BEHALF or the postage required to ship your manuscript. Other than that, an agent is practically free, if you can find the right one for your manuscript. Some agents also specialize in only certain genre, so you need to do research on that too.

  121. “Getting into Random House is too difficult.”
    “My husband is on disability and we have no money to self-promote my books or pay publisher’s fees”
    “some of the best writers ever have published their own books. John Grisham self published A Time to Kill for crying out loud!”
    “traditional publisher don’t do marketing either unless you’re already really established or a celebrity”
    “The most tradional publisher do is get it on the shelves”
    It’s this sort of overwhelming auctorial ignorance that allows places like PA to flourish. It really stuns me that people actually believe this stuff, believe it enough to trumpet it loud and proud. Where is this craptastic information disseminated? Super-secret writer’s forums I’ve never come across? Is it whispered in the streets?
    First off, you’re damn right it’s hard to get published. (NOt traditionally published: published. PA isn’t a publisher. They’re a printer. A vanity press. No one considers PA’s ‘authors” to be “published” excerpt themselves.) It’s hard because there are standards in place; you’re expected to behave like a professional and turn in a professional, polished product for evaluation. It’s hard because you actually have to work at your writing. It’s hard because learning to do anything well is hard. It’s hard for the same reason getting into medical school is hard: you have to work really hard to learn and be good at what you do. Now does that mean they should lower the standards at medicals school to let in people who are completely unfit to be doctors? And does it mean that any schmoe who prints up a document claiming he graduated from the Schmoe School of Medine and is now a doctor is actually an M.D.?
    So yeah, it’s hard. It should be hard. Either you want to work at your craft or you don’t.
    “traditional publisher don’t do marketing either unless you’re already really established or a celebrity”
    Bullcrap. They certainly do. How do I know this? Because I am a first-time author (with a big N.Y. house, one of the Big Six, so I know whereof I speak) and I know what they have done and are doing for me. I’ve seen the catalogue ads, the displays they’ve designed; they’re sending me on a book tour, etc. and so on. I have plenty of published author friends; all of them were first-time authors once, and all of them got support from their publishing houses, including book tours, promo merchandise, posters, dumps, and so on — some more than others, depending on variables like how exciting Marketing was about their books. But they all got support, they all got reviews, they all got bookstore and library placement, without which your book is guaranteed to wither and die. And none of them were named Grisham or King, either.
    “The most tradional publisher do is get it on the shelves”
    And that’s huge. That’s -everything.- Ninety percent of book sales are made in brick and mortar bookstores. And of the books that are bought online, most are ALSO available in brick and mortar bookstores.
    “”some of the best writers ever have published their own books. John Grisham self published A Time to Kill for crying out loud!”
    No, he didn’t. There are some self-publishing success stories, though they’re one in a million. Chris Paolini’s parents self-published Eragon before Knopf bought it. But self-publishing isn’t vanity press publishing, which is what Publish America is. There are no vanity press success stories, or at least none I’ve ever heard. If Paolini had gone with PA instead of self-publishing, his book would still be festering in the forgotten void with the rest of PA’s stuff instead of at a bookstore near you.
    “My husband is on disability and we have no money to self-promote my books or pay publisher’s fees”
    What publisher’s fees? Publishers and agents don’t charge fees. Publishers pay YOU and agents take a cut of that payment. If the book doesn’t sell, the agent doesn’t get paid.
    You don’t have to be a celebrity or connected to get a book deal. I was nobody. I queried an agent, he took me on, he sold my book. Sure there’s rejection involved, but dealing with rejection and bad reviews is part of the biz. Query agents, meet other writers, join critique groups, learn all you can. And don’t go with PublishAmerica; you’re better off dousing your magazine in kerosene and lighting a match.

  122. Publish America did everything they said they would do. I have my two free copies of my novel and there is nothing cheap looking about them, the cover is well designed and the paper quailty is just fine. Editing was available if I was prepaired to wait in line, I preffered not to wait; plenty of advice was supplied by competent people and the text was cleaned up to a decent level. My book is listed by over forty stores and several of them show that the book is in stock. What more does an author need at no charge? H.B. Long Author of ‘A Colt Quintet.’

  123. And H.B. no copy will ever be on a shelf; the price is too high to sell, and no one will ever even see it unless you buy them and hand them out on a street corner at a loss. PA is banking you will. A book with PA has a net value of $0.

  124. Hi, I just wanted to say that I am a PublishAmerica author. So far, I have not had any problems. Everything is going as planned. I think if someone is not pleased with a publisher, maybe they should look for another. I don’t think bashing someone will resolve the problem. That only makes you look bad…like politicians mud slinging. This is just my opinion, and PublishAmerica has not done anything wrong by me.

  125. Mark A. You are right about the price being on the high side, however my price per book was just $12.50 from PA. Tate Publishing wanted $4000. for twenty-five copies. The book may not sell from book stores, but word of mouth is still the most poweful tool avaiable, who knows for sure where it will go. A lot of the comments on this thread are ill founded, I never encountered a rude person at Pa., my e mails were promptly and politely responed to. As for editing, no book is perfect, and the minor errors that remain in my text will in no way take away from the enjoyment of reading a fairly good story. H.B. Long

  126. Hello all, hope things are going well. I stumbled upon this site and I would like to know something. I submitted my manuscript to PA but haven’t signed anything. I am thinking of taking my book to, granted I will have to pay for it, but I atleast got to talk to an actual human being about their services, which i think are pretty neat. Barnes and Noble owns 25 % of iUniverse so you can get the book from their website and possibly in stores.
    My real question is this: They have a copy of my manuscript, I havent signed anything. Is the book in any danger of being used by them for personal gain? Answer as honestly as you can and please, try to keep the tempers out of it. I appreciate any help either way.

  127. Paul, I think you have nothing to worry about, if you sign nothing, all rights to the manuscript are yours. If you do sign with PA your book wsill be printed and you will be given two free copies. My book is listed wirh Barnes and Noble, Amazon Books, Powell Books, Chapters and thirty other stores. PA requested a list of names from me and to my knowledge not one of them has been notified that my book is in print. My book was published two months ago, I have no idea if a single copy, other than those I bought myself, has been sold. Spend some more time trying to find another publisher, exhaust every avenue. I wish you luck. H.B. Long

  128. Thanks! I decided after some consideration to go with Iuniverse. I talked to them on the phone and they gave me a lot of useful information. I would get 20% royalties and i would have free range of the creative process. I will however have to pay 400 bucks to get it finished, but I’d get 5 (i think) free copies and I’d even keep the book writes in case a mainstream publisher wanted to give me a shot. I have still have to edit it, but im going to have my book out hopefully by Christmas.

  129. Paul, you have made a move, congratulations. I checked out iUniverse and it looks very promising, I have another novel ready to go, I intend to look into iUniverde a litle deeper. I am confused that you say you still have to edit your manuscript, iUniverse claims to provide that service in their flat fee. Did I miss something? H.B. Long

  130. You’ve not had any problems because you aren’t aware eoungh to see them. You will have no sales except to yourself. iUniverse is a vanity press. The same principles apply. It’s not real publication.

  131. As far as the editing services are concerned, it depends on the package you buy. As for me, I’m doing this for the sheer fun of getting something published. I know I won’t make a living off of writing, not many people do. I wrote the book 2 years ago for fun and im working on the second sequel to it. The way I look at it, the publishing industry is very narrow minded and insular. It doesn’t give fledgling writers a lot of breathing space and thats a bit sad. It seems as if these days, no house will publish you without an agent. If there is no agent who wants you you can’t get published. meanwhile, they will constantly put out “new” versions of old books (how many times are they going to put out “The Stand” with a new cover, I wonder?) All because they are afraid to take risks. It gets to the point where guys like me get frustrated with the way things work. you get tired of rejections and people basically saying your work isnt good or they dont have time to read it. You either want to quit or take matters into your own hands. I don’t give a damn if this is a vanity press or not. I have nothing to lose really. My book is solid but it doesnt fall into one set category. Now, as far as Iuniverse is concerned, I atleast got to speak to an actual human being and that amounts for something. I e-mailed PA four days ago and they still havent gotten back to me. Just yesterday, after deciding to terminate my relationship with them 9which was nonexistant anyway) i immediatly felt better.
    As far as a publisher offering 4000 to publish a book, i highly doubt that. Stephen King only got a 1000 for “Carrie”. Publishers tend to want to save as much money as they can. I’m not saying that to be mean and dont take it that way, I am only repeating what I have learned in my experience.
    I like this message board.

  132. Having a bad day are you, Mark? Tate did not find a sucker here. When was the last time you were offered $4000. by a publisher for your work? After looking into iUniverse it was not difficult to see them for what they are. Going their route, books will cost the author more than PA charges and the format is no better. At least with PA I got plenty of help, no charge, and they designed a great cover. It is obvious that any author who publishes with POD is going to have to do all the work and spend a bundle. Is there something about that concept that is not clear to you? PA is as good as, or better than many such publishers. Even though my novel is listed with all the major book sellers I am not naive enought to think that they are actively promoting it. Paul you would be better off going with PA, the books you receive will be of high quality, the rest is up to you. At least your book will be in your hands, as opossed to taking up space on your hard drive, at the least cost to you. the chances of finding a tradidional publisher to take you on are virtually non existant. If you think that iUniverse will do a decent job for $400. I suggest that you go over their publishing guide once more. H.B.

  133. In response to Sara’s submission, June 02, 2006. PA never asked for money to edit my text, if I wanted it edited I had to wait in line. When I opted for the Fast Track, PA assisted me by pointing out the kinds of errors that were in the text, examples were selected from all parts of the text so someone must have read the whole thing. I will never have the skills to properly edit any text but I have learmed a lot from the people at PA, I now write much cleaner work and have more confidence in what I write. I can’t fault PA if my book is not a winner but I thank them for what they have done. When the cover design was submitted for my approval it was not to my liking, it was re done to my satisfaction and it cost me nothing. H.B. Long

  134. More on Publish America

    I got this email today:Hello Lee, I am a writer wondering if I should go with Publish America. Take a look at my website and let me know what you think. I don’t know why he wanted me to look

  135. Liberty, Justice, and Willem

    PublishAmerica CEO Willem Meiners has written a book entitled PUBLISH AMERICA: THE INSIDE STORY OF AN UNDERDOG WITH A BITE, which he describes as telling the story of the most captivating pioneers in today’s traditional publishing industry and their vi…

  136. “As far as a publisher offering 4000 to publish a book, i highly doubt that. Stephen King only got a 1000 for “Carrie.”
    No, Stephen King got 2,500 dollars for the hardback rights to Carrie, in 1974. In today’s money, that’s about 4,500 dollars. Not to mention that the paperback rights sold for $400,000.
    Stephen King was smart. Carrie wasn’t the first novel he wrote and shopped to publishers, it was the sixth. He kept writing and kept getting better until he has something publishable. If he’d instead funnelled his work down the toilet of some vanity press like IUniverse or PublishAmerica, he wouldn’t be a bestseller today.
    “When was the last time you were offered $4000. by a publisher for your work?”
    That would be today, if you count the French foreign rights sale for my first book. My American publisher gave me quite a bit more. And I am a first-time author. The kind of “fledgling writer” you feel publishers ignore.
    ” the chances of finding a tradidional publisher to take you on are virtually non existant”
    It never ceases to amaze me, this neverending line of bullshit spun by one vanity-press author to another. Paranoid-delusional fantasies about about the publishing industry, half-truths about agents, outright lies {Stephen King only got 1,000 dollars for Carrie! John Grisham was self-published!) that serve to push these writers deeper and deeper into the shadow world of fake publishing. There is no point in discussing “iUniverse or Tate Publishing?” when what you should be aiming for is “legimitate, royalty-paying publisher or sock drawer?”
    Vanity press publishing is a waste of your time, money, and energy. If you go with iUniverse or PublishAmerica, you’re not published, you’re printed. Simple as that.

  137. And my printed version with iUniverse is reasonably priced at $10.95 You can’t say that with PA. Mine happened a long time ago when vanity presses were free. At that price all are still a bad deal, which is what people naive enough, like these two, don’t get. It’s not publishing at all. Can’t get an agent? You probably don’t deserve to be published. That’s what the trend from the data says.

  138. Congratulations, Clare. As for the $4000. I was never offered this money for my manuscript, that’s the amount that Tate Publishing wanted from me, to publish it. You are dead on correct in saying that a traditional publisher, or an agent, is what an author should aim for, I sent hundreds of inquiries with no luck. My book is listed with fory outlets and it has an average rating of four stars with these stores, that may or may not mean anything of value, but it is something. Mark A York, I don’t know the word count of your book but mine is 135500 iUniverse asks for $16.76 per copy in quantities of 50-99 for paper backs. My book cost only $12.50 per copy from Publish America. Which is the better value? H.B. Long

  139. To all aspiring writers who are inclined to believe all of the negative crap being spewed out against PA, and they automatically believe that going with PA is a huge mistake, have a look at the posting on this site by Jane Bellinger, March 16 2006. Her comments are well presented and they realistically offer a straw to frustrated authors who have produced solid stories that no agent or traditional publisher will look at. I too have signed two contracts with PA, my second novel will have to wait for a conciderable time before being published. If all PA wants is to sell novels to their authors, why the long wait? H.B. Long

  140. Your book still hasn’t been published. It is available in a form resembling a trade paperback. How many copies of your PA books have you sold to people who are not family or friends? I would wager a dozen…tops. PA is a vanity press. You are their customer, not an author. It’s time you face the reality, HB. The reason your books haven’t interested agent sor publishers is, most likely, that they aren’t very good. You are the perfect PA “author.” You are so eager to see your book “in print” that you will gladly delude yourself into thinking that your books have actually been published. You aren’t an author. You are a customer of a printing service, no different than a guy walking into Kinkos.

  141. It would be nice to know the name of the person who posted the last comment. You are no better than the agents and publishers who declined to read my text, you condemn it without reading it. I have, more than likely, read many more books than you have and I think my novel is very good. You are right about one point, I did not sell many copies of my book to non family members, it was never my intent to try to do so. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck chances are very good that it is a duck. H.B. Long

  142. If it looks like a vanity press and quacks like a vanity press, chances are it’s…
    … a legitimate publisher! You’re all just jealous and small-minded! I’m a GENIUS! Shut up! God self-published the Bible! Hummm.. hummmm… I can’t heeeeear you… hummm….

  143. “my second novel will have to wait for a conciderable time before being published. If all PA wants is to sell novels to their authors, why the long wait? H.B. Long”
    Well they reject some too so does that make them a commercial publisher? No, it just means the pipeline is clogged with the next wave of suckers, er “authors” waiting to head over to Lightning Source. That’s all, yet fallacious analogies are the MO of the PA author. Your book is listed online at $25 so apparently you can’t even realize what it costs. The reality is no one will ever see it, and fewer will buy it at that price.
    Judging by the average of PA books we’ve seen, yours is unpublishable which is why you were rejected, but in addition a western is a tough market these days, as Mr. Wheeler, a veteran of this genre will tell you. You entered a novice and it doesn’t look like you’ll advance due to this learning disability. It can be cured though with education. You don’t want it from us it appears. One day it will sink in.

  144. “I did not sell many copies of my book to non family members, it was never my intent to try to do so. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck chances are very good that it is a duck.”
    I rest my case.

  145. Thanks, but I don’t even have time to read books I bought six months ago.
    And I didn’t say your book was bad. I said PublishAmerica is a vanity press. It is.

  146. Mark, what has sunk in is your inability to correspond in a civilized manner. You are right about about one thing, I won’t be seeking an education from you. Don’t bother me with more of your vitriol. H.B.

  147. Oh it’s quite civilized. It’s just you can’t handle the subject matter. I’ve been there and done that. Take the advice you’ve been given: vanity presses are bad news. Any book with any of them stands little chance no matter how good it is. Publishamerica is the worst of the lot. Defending them is afool’s errand.

  148. Perhaps you are right, most seem to agree with you. I will wait and hope for the best. I’ll get back to you later. H.B.

  149. Vanity/subsidy press. You pay they give you back your own work. So far you seem intent on following the wrong trail pardner. Go to a bookstore and look at the spine of the books. Do you see Dorrance, Xlibris or Publishamerica on any of them?
    agentquery Go take your lumps. There are no shortcuts in writing. Quit looking for them.

  150. What makes PA particularly offensive is (1) they masquerade as a publisher, and (2) they are unprofessional. If you ever dare write to ask them a question about your royalties or contract, be prepared for an insulting, illiterate response from “the nation’s number one book publisher!!” (yes, that’s *two* exclamation points, if you don’t mind).
    PA has now spun off a new company whose name escapes me because it’s really hard to remember, in an effort to improve their PR by being a little more selective with authors who sold decent numbers with PA (ie. more than eight copies, I would guess). I personally met a PA author who submitted his second novel to PA but got a contract back from this new company instead.
    As for editing – open up any PA book (eg. the ones written by their own directors, sample chapters available on their website) and note the typos and inconsistencies.
    If you’re querying an agent or editor about your new book, DON’T mention that your first one was published by PA. They’ll know you’re clueless. If you really want to see your manuscript in book form, go to a genuine vanity press like (also POD with no set-up costs), which at least leaves the book’s rights with the author.

  151. Wish me luck, everyone, as I fish for a no-fees publisher willing to handle my latest book: Big Bucks and the Boogerman, a collection of hilarious stories about money-hungry TV evangelists which shows how far off base they are from what the Bible actually teaches.

  152. Thanks for your good wishes, H.B. The book is a mixture of articles and fictional stories, and even some of the fiction is based on real life occurrences. But I had a good laugh while exploring the ridiculous errors commonly seen and heard on “Prey TV”. Too bad Publish America will no longer handle UK authors, but oh, well, maybe things will pan out for better in the end.

  153. I thing the best route to go would be to look for a book agent which doesn’t charge fees. That’s the best way to get a mainstream publisher. And as for royalities, it’s better to keep part of something than all of nothing.

  154. An earlier post stated that libraries can’t purchase books published by PublishAmerica because PublishAmerica does not lay the groundwork. Surprise, surprise, my neighbour just informed me that he has brought home a copy of my novel, ‘A Colt Quintet.’ He found it at the local library, and guess who published it. That’s right… PublishAmerica. However, I must agree with most of the negative posts on this site, there are, no doubt, many better ways to have your book published, finding one, however is not likely to happen. Mark York advises me that hope is not a plan, you can’t argue with that statement but at least my book is being read and it did not cost me a dime. PublishAmerica flooded me with information on how to edit my manuscript, as a result I am a better writer and my confidence level has soared. Hope lives eternally. A Colt Quintet is listed by Barnes and Nobel, a notation says, ‘People who bought this book also bought ‘Lonesome Dove.” Having my name on the same page with the author of that book is priceless to me. Thank you,PublishAmerica. H.B. Long

  155. “An earlier post stated that libraries can’t purchase books published by PublishAmerica because PublishAmerica does not lay the groundwork. Surprise, surprise, my neighbour just informed me that he has brought home a copy of my novel…”
    It’s not that libraries “can’t” purchase the books. It’s that they don’t like doing it because PA doesn’t provide CIP data, which makes the librarian’s life hard. As a result, some libraries have a policy not to purchase PA books.

  156. Long you’ve drunk the Kool-aid thus will never see the light. Your income will not come from writing. That much is certain. By the way my first vanity book has been in a library in Missouri for years. Let the good times roll! We’ve made it baby. See in you in Aspen.

  157. It’s Canada, Mark. I agee that my income will never come from writing. Darn that Kool-aid, it is powerful stuff and spelling tags are not the only tags I have problems with. With more help from you and Sara I willl improve, Thank you both. H.B.

  158. You shouldn’t agree it won’t. My point is with the current thought process evidenced by your last comment you won’t. There is a difference. Aside from the work, the route you’re on won’t get you published legitimately. With this knowledge in hand the choice is yours as it is for the rest of us.

  159. I am taking your advice. Three chapters of my latest novel are on the way to a legitimate publisher and I have signed up to participate in a three day, novel writing contest, the winner of which will have his story published, the right way. No more short cuts and no negative thoughts. Thanks again. H.B.

  160. As a formerly happy PublishAmerica author, I’ve found the comments here quite fascinating. Unfortunately, PA has failed to keep me in the happy column with my second novel, so I’m seeking a way to exit my contract. Any advice would be appreciated – just take a look at my blog ( and contact me from there.

  161. PublishAmerica claims to be a “traditional” publisher, while this isn’t exactly true, it isn’t exactly false either. For no “out of pocket” financing, a new author can get his or her book in print, have a web presence (my book is on 4 different websites I had nothing to do with and wasn’t even aware of), retail accessibility (as lame as it may be) and have his or her name as a recognized author come up on several search engines – this, for any unpublished writer, is not an easy task sans cash. If one carefully reads PA’s website and literature they make no claims to promote any book as neither do “legit” publishers except for established notables and celebrities. Getting a first novel published is close to an impossibility these days and I, for one, am satified with PA’s results when compared to the only other alternative which was nothing at all. No one else wanted to LOOK at one page of my book – and I did all I could, did all the research and followed all the formalities required to obtain that. I am not a sucessful author and probably never will be, but I was smart enough to scrutinize and read between the lines before I signed anything with PA so when I did I’d exhausted every other possibility and expected nothing more than what they delivered.
    If you ask me any irate past and current PA authors are an example of naive, ignorant, self-deluding quickfame-seekers needing to blame someone else for their own failures and the harsh realities of life as an adult. To them I suggest “grow up”, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, fact is you’re all lucky someone at all took the time and expense to read one paragraph of your work period.
    Instead of spending time trying to crucify PA for what you or your book apparently lacked in the first place, sit down and write another – that’s where your energy should go if you want to get anywhere.

  162. “Getting a first novel published is close to an impossibility these days…”
    This is such a persistent falsehood and so easily debunked that it’s sad anyone could fall for it.
    I spent the first six months of this year reading nothing but first novels in my chosen genre. They were all published within the previous year and a half, and there were more than twenty of them.
    PA wants you to believe that it’s “close to an impossibility” to break into publishing because they want you to give up on success and fall prey to their scam. It’s not true. All you need is a book people will want to read.
    Who is PA for, then?
    “… naive, ignorant, self-deluding quickfame-seekers needing to blame someone else for their own failures and the harsh realities of life as an adult”

  163. So, what you are claiming is that getting a first novel published is an easy task!
    Excuse me. What have you been smoking?
    I have written five full length novels, I am neither naive, ignorant, self-deluding nor seeking quick fame. Facing life as an adult has been accomplished. Finding an established publisher for one my novels has not. Whether or not my work is worth looking at is a moot point. My quiries to agents and publishers are properly prepared, they are all ignored. At least, Mark York gives sound advice that is worth note. You do nothing to help an aspiring writer. H.B. Long

  164. “So, what you are claiming is that getting a first novel published is an easy task!”
    Not at all. I’m astounded that you could misread my post that way. I said it was possible, not easy.
    As for the rest of my post, you understand I was turning rick’s snotty remark back on him, don’t you? But you’re right. I should do something to help an aspiring writer:
    The word is spelled “queries.” Also, your submissions may not be as properly prepared as you think.

  165. “My quiries [sic]to agents and publishers are properly prepared, they are all ignored”
    As in no responses? I’ve had that happen, unfortunately, to requested partials. It happens. “Not right for my list” means not good enough, or any number of other reasons including economics of a particular story.
    I’m with Harry on this. You aren’t prepared at all. Many aren’t and no response is one way to catch a clue. Try it out on miss snark if you dare? PA is a loser bin for slush and other unpublishable efforts in the real world.

  166. H.B., I’m a well-meaning writer. I’m warning you about the bs so many PA shills try to peddle. I’m also sick of the insults of PA supporters.
    I think it’s pretty telling that my comments bothered you, but insults from a PA supporter are apparently invisible to you.

  167. If you can’t post a logical argument in a web comments thread there’s little chance you can with a picky agent looking for a reason to toss you. Offhand, I’d say that’s why no Publishamerica authors have been published post-PA. They never seem to learn. The PA shills have the most fallacious argument imaginable. There are no redeemable qualities.

  168. I don’t “support” PA in anyway, neither do I “support” anyone who get’s into they’re own mess
    All I’m saying is that if you have no illusions in the first place you can’t be disillusioned – get it?
    right and wrong aren’t usually the choices we have – more often it’s the lessor of two evils – mine were “go with a crummy outfit that’ll do anything with my manuscript as long as it doesn’t cost me a dime or let it sit in a drawer forever
    don’t expect anyone or anything to be watching your back for you – that’s what I mean when I say “grow up”
    To an idealist a realist can sound “snotty” but hey, I didn’t make this world
    so go ahead – if you have nothing else rational and sound to either add to or dispute that I purposely didn’t make an attempt to check my grammer, punctuation or spelling so you guys can go to town on that one and by doing so, prove what talented writers you are – my gift to you

  169. Beside’s teh POD question going on here, I’ve seen both good and bad from other writers, what about agents who charge to send a manuscript to an editor? I ask this because I have a friend who has an agent but the agent charges for each submission to an editor. What does everyone think about this or is it a common pratice? I thought I read somewhere that a good agent will not make such a charge. Is my friend getting ripped off?

  170. I would just remember this, not all PODs are bad, and not all traditional publishers are good. Just because you go though a traditional process doesn’t mean your book/novel will be well edited.
    Remember, as a writer its your business, you are the boss of your manuscript, take every procaution you can to protect it.

  171. “Remember, as a writer its your business, you are the boss of your manuscript, take every procaution you can to protect it.”
    That is simply horrible advice. You aren’t the boss of your manuscript, not if you sell it to a publisher. You are a partner. Your job isn’t to “protect it” the manuscript. Your job is to get it into shape so that it can be read and enjoyed by as many potential readers as possible. Your job is to make is saleable or you might as well just keep it in your computer.
    The fact is a lot of manuscripts need intense editing and too many writers are so “protective” of their work-in-progress (though they don’t see it as “in progress”) that they won’t led an editor like me change a word. They are too full of themselves to see where so tighening (not to mention punctuation) could really help. It’s that “protect the manuscript” mindset that keeps a lot of writers unpublished…or sends them to vultures like POD. I can’t think of a single respected, well-reviewed, well-distributed POD press. Anybody can start a POD press and it shows in the look of the books and the content between the covers. POD is a manufacturing technique that makes it easier for people to print their manuscripts so they look like books. But just because something looks like a book doesn’t make it one (okay, it does in the literal sense, but you know what I mean).

  172. “Just because you go though a traditional process doesn’t mean your book/novel will be well edited.”
    Horse hockey. It’s like comparing something to nothing and saying they’re the same. They aren’t. It’s a false analogy and this bad logic is common among PA defenders.

  173. “Horse hockey. It’s like comparing something to nothing and saying they’re the same. They aren’t. It’s a false analogy and this bad logic is common among PA defenders.”
    Actually I’m not defending PA, they really could be terrible, I don’t know. What I am saying is that just because you get your book ‘edited’ in the traditional sense doesn’t make it perfect. Editors are human and there are bad editors out there. I’ve seen some books that I wonder about the editors, usually non-fiction books. Of course seeing as how you claim to be an editor I can see where you would put down any competition to your traditional processes.

  174. go with a crummy outfit that’ll do anything with my manuscript as long as it doesn’t cost me a dime or let it sit in a drawer forever
    There’s a third option: Put the unsold book into a drawer and write another, then another, then another. When you finally write a book someone wants to publish, you take out those trunk novels and look them over with a more experienced eye.
    Editors are human and there are bad editors out there.
    Gee, ya think?
    Look, it isn’t hard to know what publishers to go with for your novel. Look at the bookshelves in your own home. Who published those books? How did you buy them? You want to discount books that had to be hand-sold because there was no other way to buy them.
    Go to the forums and check them out. There’s a lot of information there.

  175. “Put the unsold book in a drawer and write another, then another, then another.”
    That is excellent advice if you took the time to make each one better than the last one. I had a book printed by PublishAmerica, they did no editing, but to their credit, they gave me a short course on the subject and I was astounded to discover that the text was riddled with errors. I have completed three full length novels since then and I know that each one is better than the last. I decided to take the advice of some people who have posted to this thread, perhaps one day I will produce something that is worth sending to an agent. If that day arrives I will then learn how to write queries. I have no beef with PublishAmerica, they did what they said they would do. I expeceted more, but I was quite naive. Those who claim that PublishAmnerica books will never sell, are bang on, I can attest to that fact based on first hand knowledge. Reading and re-reading the posts on this site has been very rewarding, I have been shot down in flames, time after time, but I have learned to not take it personally. H.B.

  176. “Authors” such as myself, do not appreciate other “authors” venting their anger and frustration in such a way as too denigrate the accomplishments of others (however small they may be) whom they have nothing to do with other than sharing a love of words. Whether being “published” by PA is up for debate or not – the mere task of writing anything one can be proud of is not a simple task beyond a certain length – as any writer well knows except for a gifted few. My “snotty” comments were also written out of anger because “Jason’s Journey” exists – which by definition means has a presence outside of myself, is in the minds of others. This is because of PA, however “shoddy” and “crappy” others claim they may be. “Jason’s Journey” while sorely in need of an editor – which is the fault of PA, but ultimately myself for I chose to sign with them – has touched readers I know and don’t know personally – as a writer that’s all I’ve ever wanted; that’s what I got.
    It’s difficult to expose PA because there is no other “outfit” like PA, and I admit they do exploit that vagary, what business wouldn’t. As far as royalties are concerned unfairness in business is always to be watched for and prevalent everywhere. I, for one, don’t have that problem with PA but some might. It just doesn’t help anyone, including yourselves, to disparage other peoples work or raze there sense of accomplishment.

  177. But Rick, if you’d printed your book with or one of the other “no upfront fees” POD printers, you wouldn’t have lost your rights for 7 years. You wouldn’t have all those introduced errors that many PA authors find in their books after PA has “edited” them. You wouldn’t have a horrible contract that you’re probably going to want to extricate yourself from in a short while. And you wouldn’t have the PA stigma attached to your writing history (believe me, you do NOT want to mention this to any future prospective agents or editors).
    PA is a printer. It’s not a publisher because it’s not selective in what it prints. It’s the local copy shop with a nicer cover.
    Yes, finishing a novel-length work is a huge achievement that you’re rightly proud of. But you aren’t a published author. Not yet. Being published is not a “right” that everyone deserves.
    (I’m neither a published author or a former PA author but I have worked for a decade in the publishing industry. The vast majority of words strung together by human beings on paper don’t deserve to be published because no one else wants to read them. That’s just a fact.)

  178. “Of course seeing as how you claim to be an editor I can see where you would put down any competition to your traditional processes.”
    I don’t claim to be any such thing. My competition comes from within the traditional commercial venue. That’s where would be authors compete for publication space. Anyone who goes with vanity presses is not my competition because for me that road led nowhere as it does for 99.99% of everyone who tries it.
    Freelance editors love vanity dupes since that’s where they make their living. Editing is free with commercial publication because they pay you and for that end of the deal.

  179. sara…PA does no editing. All errors in any text they print are those of the author. PA fully knows that many errors still exist after the author has done all that he, or she, could do to clean it up, in spite of this, they send the work to the printer, a disclaimer explains that the text has no editorial input, as per the express wish of the author. H.B.

  180. PA is nothing less than an assembly line processing excited authors. There is no logic to your statement that they introduce errors into a text that they want to get to the printer in the shortest time. You are flogging a dead horse with garbage like that. I have gone through the mill. PA will do only what is required of them to give the appearance of being a regular publisher. If an author’s text is riddled with errors PA will advise the author that his text will placed “in line” for editing. Months later they will offer the author one more chance to do his own editing, they will help with the editing but no editing will be done by them. Eventually the author is offered the final chance to get on “the fast track.” The author really wants to see his work in book form so he jumps through the hoop like a trained seal. He puts his “I agree” tag on his e mail and off the text goes to the printer regardless of the hundreds of errors still remaining in the text. That’s how they work, and they will continue to do things that way for as long as naive authors sign up with them. Others who have posted to this thread recognize that many writers want no more than to have their book in their hands and they are willing to purchase copies for family and friends, for those writers, no harm has been done. If, on the other hand, an author is seeking fame and fortune, that author must avoid PA and others of their ilk, like the plague. H.B.

  181. Don’t lecture me about vanity press editing Long. I know more about it than you ever will and I know it first hand. They screw up the formatting, copy and add typos when folks try to edit their proofs. That’s a fact. Try frequenting a forum with multiple ex-PA authors, a class you should aspire to join.

  182. I can only make comments based on my own experience. From your last post it seems that you were suckered in by more than one vanity press in order to gain all of that experience about their editing practices. Your frustration has caused you to develope a form of tunnel vison. Most agree that PA
    is to be avoided, but you take your hatred of them to an unreasonable level. Nobody is trying to lecture you, if you can’t take a person’s opinion, based on his own expercience, as just that, you have a problem. H.B.

  183. You can also make them based on reading other peoples experiences that have a long record base online. The things I say about PA are said because they are true. I’m reporting factual information. Your view is narrow and naive as we’ve seen repeatedly here so blaming me for that is a fool’s errand. Learn and move on. Like all PA authors you’re quick to assign hatred from reporting facts. It’s a logic path problem PA is quick to make hay with. And they have.

  184. No pal I’m afraid “facts” aren’t opinion. They actually do things I descibed. Proving they don’t from one source isn’t valid. A sample of one isn’t statistically valid. The thing about opinions is this: some are better than others based on the foundation that holds them up to scutiny. Had you said this is what they did with me, and others may differ, that would have been valid, but you had to say what I reported was bunk. It wasn’t. When you call people liars online you have to answer for it.

  185. H.B., numerous authors have reported that PA carelessly ran MS Word spell- and grammar checks on their books, introducing mistakes into the text.
    Have you visited the forums at The Bewares board has many reports from different authors.

  186. I have read enough of them, Harry. In an earlier post to this site I said that my opinion was based on my own experience, that is clear language, as is the statement about opinion not being fact. If PA ran my text through a spell checker I am unaware of it. They did send me a twelve page booklet outling the types of mistakes I had made throuhout the text, and it helped me a lot. Someone at PA read most of my novel, or they could not point out these mistakes from so many specific pages. It seems to me that it would have taken only a bit more time on their part, to edit as they read, but this was not done. Now they are processing another of my novels in the same manner. I will ask for a release from my contract, if they refuse, I will not cooperate with them in any way. Having the novel locked into a hard drive at PA for seven years will result in the same number of readers seeing the book on a store shelf. H.B.

  187. My request for a realease from my contract with PA was flatly refused, they wanted reasons for the request. Maybe someone out there can help me with this. My novel, ‘A Colt Quintet,’ is listed with forty-four stores on the net and nineteen of them show that the book is in stock, and a neighbor of mine had a local library order a copy for him and it is in his possession now. My statement of sales from PA shows that not one copy was sold. Something is rotten in Denmark! Are stores that list the book in stock being dishonest? Is PA so crooked that they will not give true data? Is the whole publishing industry tainted with disception? I pointed this out to PA, they have not responded yet. H.B.

  188. There’s a lag time for copies sold to be recorded. Of course they sell books after they’ve been discontinued and rights returned so… Just tell them you won’t buy or promote the book. That you’re wise to the scam and they’ve lost another mark. That ought to do it, but there’s no telling when.

  189. PA got back to me about ‘the in stock’ listings of my book, they say that this represents what is known in the trade as, ‘virtual stock,’ even, ‘used copies’ of books fall into this category, even if one hundred books are listed as in stock, there may not be one book actually in stock. This may, or may not, be true. On the face of it this would appear to be a legitimate use of the adjective, you could consider it to be devious, and deceptive, also. They are skirting around my main concern, which is the total lack of sales of my book, and their inability, or failure, to place one copy on a store shelf. Trying to tie them down to admitting that they are useless to me in any effort to really do something constructive about getting readers for any text I turn over to them, is doomed to failure. I can only refuse to converse with them about anything but the cancelling of my contact. PA claims that authors seeking cancellation of contracts with them is almost unheard of. H. B.

  190. pub‧lish  /ˈpʌblɪʃ/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[puhb-lish] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation
    –verb (used with object) 1. to issue (printed or otherwise reproduced textual or graphic material, computer software, etc.) for sale or distribution to the public.
    2. to issue publicly the work of: Random House publishes Faulkner.
    3. to announce formally or officially; proclaim; promulgate.
    4. to make publicly or generally known.
    5. Law. to communicate (a defamatory statement) to some person or persons other than the person defamed.
    –verb (used without object) 6. to issue newspapers, books, computer software, etc.; engage in publishing: The new house will start to publish next month.
    7. to have one’s work published: She has decided to publish with another house.
    [Origin: 1300–50; ME publisshen b : to declare (a will) to be a true and valid expression of one’s last will c : to reproduce (an opinion) in a reporter
    3 a : to disseminate to the public or provide notice of to the public or to an individual (as through a mass medium) —see also notice by publication at NOTICE b : to distribute or offer for distribution to the public copies of (a copyrightable work) by some transfer of ownership, rental, lease, or loan
    4 : UTTER —pub·lish·er noun
    Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law, © 1996 Merriam-Webster, Inc.
    WordNet – Cite This Source
    v 1: put into print; “The newspaper published the news of the royal couple’s divorce”; “These news should not be printed” [syn: print] 2: prepare and issue for public distribution or sale; “publish a magazine or newspaper” [syn: bring out, put out, issue, release] 3: have (one’s written work) issued for publication; “How many books did Georges Simenon write?”; “She published 25 books during her long career” [syn: write]

  191. What the hell was this dictionary adventure supposed to represent?
    PA lies en masse. Everyone who has ever dealt with them knows that. They sell books to the author. Strangers rarely ever hear of them except in a negative news profile. That’s an improvement, but they’re still in business. Roaches are hard to kill.

  192. Having ‘Jason’s Journey’ published by PA is seen by many as having merely being printed, Rick. ‘Thinking outside the box’ will have no impact on the way creative people view this. You are safe to call yourself a publihed author, without legal repercussions, but what good does that do you? Take Harry’s advice and write more novels and direct your efforts towards haveing one published by anyone but a POD. Railing against the sensitivety of those who are trying to help you will be as fruitless as posting a mini dictionary on this site. In this case you must think inside the box.
    According to PA, roaches will inherit the earth. H.B.

  193. It’s one thing to advise and warn other writers, I do that all the time regarding PA. It’s another to tell people with already published – oh, excuse me, printed work that they might as well have “burned their manuscripts instead”
    H.B. – who does that help, what satisfaction does that give and to whom, and who is it really directed at?
    If you want to punish PA for YOU’RE mistake do it with a lawyer through the proper channels or some other way.
    You understand what I’m saying? If your writing is any indicator you seem like a smart guy. It’s not that hard to figure out.

  194. Thinking “outside the box” in the most rigid of situations is exactly why we still don’t live in caves
    bad advice H.B. – re-think it

  195. Relax, Rick. My novel, ‘A Colt Quintet,’ has been printed by PA. For months I looked at it as having being published, and technically it has been, however, after reading all the complaints of other authors who have been processed by PA, I recognize the significence of what may seem like, ‘hair splitting,’ as being the only way to face the reality of the situation. My book will never take up space on a store shelf, burning the text would have resulted in the same number of readers seeing it. Get the point? You are hung up with the definition the word, publish. Writing science fiction requires the author to think ‘outside the box,’ but if you buck the flow in the way you see PA, as opposed to the overwhelminly opposite opinions of other authors, in respect to having been published, or merely printed, it is obvious to me that you are thinking ‘outside’ this particular box. Our cave dwelling days are far behind us, the boxes that cavemen were confined to were extremely narrow. Don’t you think it odd to continue to be confined to their way of thinking? The box you are in is PA’s box, Rick. Get out of it! You claim to have warned other authors to avoid PA, we are at loggerheads over the meaning of a word, notthing else. H. B.

  196. WORDS are what we have to work with my friend – definitions are the most important thing in LIFE – the only “box” we need for without them we cannot communicate properly and hence begin all conflicts
    you’re damned right I’m hung up on the meaning of a word that’s why I’m a writer

  197. You gave plenty of examples of the definations of the word publish in an earlier post to this site, Rick. Sometimes it’s the interpretation of the application of the word that causes the problem. Words are not boxes, Rick, and unfortunately they ARE the cause of many conflicts. This one is a tempast in a tea pot. H.B.

  198. So tell me why I should, as an author, not call myself “published” if according to the dictionary I most certainly have the right to and by doing so gain credibility (albeit outside of the real publishing world) with people who otherwise would never read a word of anything I’ve written. Fact is, most people will not sit down and read an entire novel that’s not in printed form. What good does it do me to interpret “publish” not to my benifit and in doing so at least minimize the damage PA has done to me up to this point. If I listened to every naysayer and doomsday prophet in this world I’d never get out of bed in the morning. Offer one solution other than “write another book” or “put it away in a drawer and hope eventually something will come of it” What planet are you living on? I don’t know about you, but I don’t fart out books everyday and I don’t expect to live forever. True, if you put a monkey at a typewriter for enternity he would eventually rewrite the entire works of shakespeare but of what practical use is that knowledge?
    Let’s get together and figure out a way to beat PA at their own game. I’ve lived in NYC for 30 years and have been on both ends of every scam you can think of and I won’t take this lieing down. I am PUBLISHED and have a web presence and if that’s the only thing I can get out of PA then it’s still something and I’ll take that and do something with it. Don’t you dare tell me things are hopeless. That attitude, is precisely why we now walk upright.

  199. And, I’d like to add, interpretations of definitions are fine – I’m all for it. But your interpretation is directly contradicted by the dictionary – which, I believe, is regarded to have slightly more authority on the subject than you.

  200. You know, I have quite a different perspective living here in NYC. Here, all artists, in every profession (and I’ve been in just about all of them at one time or another) misrepresent themselves in order to gain importance and thus get more people to see their work. Through that process alone I’ve seen many (some I’ve know personally) slowly rise to the top – I mean WORLD WIDE FAME. In the process, people at the top laugh at them and many go to great lengths to even discredit them and in effect stall their efforts often because those at the top are easily threatened by “up and comings” because anyone successful in the arts will tell you it’s easier to get there than to stay there. Everyone with determination and ambition in this town trumpets the slightest thing they do to everyone who’ll listen. Outright lies are commonplace yet accepted as part of the game. If I had to give one reason for my failure at anything, it’s that I’ve always tried to honestly represent myself and always played down my work rather than show it to whomever was willing to take a look. I always worried about the “powers that be” and what they might think of me and how that would effect me. An opera singer once gave me the best advice I’d ever heard on how to learn to sing, she said “call yourself a singer to everyone before you think you actually can so they’ll seriously listen.” A bad singer is still a singer – a non-singer is exactly that. Better to be laughed at than not do it at all, or to keep it under wraps until it’s perfect because chances are it never will be. As a matter of fact, I’ve found the better you get at anything the more critical people become. It’s much less threatening for people to recognize potential than it is to acknowlege true talent.
    If any writer with a manuscript has the energy and drive to continue searching for an agent or publisher until they find one I absolutely encourage that 100 percent – they absolutely should not go with PA or self-publish, but the reality is is that we all lose our drive at some point if we don’t make any progress at all. If that’s where you are (that’s where I was) then at least do whatever it takes to get as much attention – yes, good or bad – it takes to get anyone at all to read your work – the bottom line is that you will be judged not on who you’ve worked with or signed with in the past but the work itself.
    Good luck to you too H.G. – I really mean that

  201. “So tell me why I should, as an author, not call myself “published” if according to the dictionary I most certainly have the right to and by doing so gain credibility (albeit outside of the real publishing world) with people who otherwise would never read a word of anything I’ve written.”
    You’re not published commercially since it’s widely known a PA book won’t be in the marketplace in the same way a comercial or even a small press book will. The same is true of any POD press product in that business model. Printed and available at prices higher than normal is not published in the way people think of when they here that word.

  202. com‧mer‧cial  [kuh-mur-shuhl] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation
    1. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of commerce.
    2. engaged in commerce.
    3. prepared, done, or acting with sole or chief emphasis on salability, profit, or success: a commercial product; His attitude toward the theater is very commercial.
    4. able to yield or make a profit: We decided that the small oil well was not commercial.
    5. suitable or fit for a wide, popular market: Communications satellites are gradually finding a commercial use.
    6. suitable for or catering to business rather than private use: commercial kitchen design; commercial refrigeration.
    7. (of a vehicle or its use)
    a. engaged in transporting passengers or goods for profit.
    b. civilian and public, as distinguished from military or private.
    8. not entirely or chemically pure: commercial soda.
    9. catering esp. to traveling salespeople by offering reduced rates, space for exhibiting products, etc.: a commercial hotel.
    10. (in U.S. government grading of beef) graded between standard and utility.
    11. paid for by advertisers: commercial television.
    12. Radio and Television. a paid advertisement or promotional announcement.
    13. (in U.S. government grading of beef)
    a. a low-quality grade of beef between standard and utility.
    b. a cut of beef of this grade.
    14. British Informal. a traveling salesperson.
    mar‧ket‧place  [mahr-kit-pleys] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation
    1. an open area in a town where a market is held.
    2. the commercial world; the realm of business, trade, and economics.
    3. any sphere considered as a place where ideas, thoughts, artistic creations, etc., compete for recognition.
    “in the same way” is a vague statement at best
    It’s just to bad I can’t post pictures for you guys too – I think that might help

  203. What’s really wild is that you guys are so hellbent on tearing down PA that you’re taking yourselves down in the process – forget about other artist, you obviously don’t give 2 craps about us. All I’ve been trying to do is suggest how to make the most out of a bad situation yes, I know, it is a radically new idea but what can I say I’ve always been a “trailblazer”

  204. “The thing about opinions is this: some are better than others based on the foundation that holds them up to scutiny”
    I’ve been using the goddamned dictionary to refute your ideas

  205. Also, if “getting a book on bookstore shelves” is more important than the simple act of having someone read it then it hints at, like I said before “quick fame seeking”
    Burning a manuscript – in ANY senario – is outrageous. Any so called “writer” who either utters or agrees with those words neither loves or is devoted to anything else but his own acknowlegement.
    What would you think of a painter who chose to burn his works if he couldn’t show them at MOMA – what would that say about his ego?
    What would you think about a marshal arts expert that would only use his skills to defend himself?
    We need to take this blog to another place and start some true interaction here as opposed to venting or defending either PA or ourselves
    I don’t know about any of you but I believe in Jason’s Journey now more than ever based on the reactions of those that read and or currently reading it. When it first came out I was already embarrased that I signed with PA (I knew exactly what I was doing – you’ve got to wake up REAL early in the morning to scam me) still, I gave them the list and knew my family and friends would be impressed – I have friends and aquintances in the publishing world – published authors – that I still haven’t mentioned it to – they wouldn’t help me one iota because being the snobs they were my lack of education convinced them I lacked the ability to complete a novel – some of them even liked it but wouldn’t pass it on unless I lied about my education – and and I wasn’t comfortable with that at all so I didn’t force the issue – because I wasn’t sure myself if it was good – I felt if it was it would be evident and I wouldn’t have to do that. I was also “advised” by them that I should lie about that in my bio when sending letters of queiry – which of course I didn’t do. I suppose someone else in the industry with out the educational backgrounds they had would feel differently, but I didn’t know any – and it made me doubt myself. Let me make this clear, I do not advocate outright lies.
    The meaning of the word published is not in a teapot – that word alone can either greatly increase of decrease your readership. In the end I think it’s the only thing a true writer is concerned with – not notiriety, or money, or shelf space.
    I’ve lived my entire life as a working artist and I’ve come to believe that a simple love of what you do rather than yourself allows your expression to flow freely and opens your channel to the universe. After that theres nothing else, everythings trivial

  206. Do have a union card for that artistic community? Credits of any kind? Perhaps if you said anything not cliched by publishamerica writers one would give that a chance but you can’t even spell “query.” This is the sort of thing we’ve seen by such novices over and over. See what an agent says about your pitch and report back.
    Mine is you don’t know what you’re talking about and probably wrote an unpublishable book. You want credit but I don’t give credit. Others in power do in the marketplace.

  207. Welcome back, Mark. It was my intention to end the discussion with you, Rick, however, you continue to use a dictionary as a hammer and you have a penchant for taking things out of context. ‘A tempest in a teapot,’ was in reference to our conflict over the interpretion of a word, trying to use that phrase to advance your argument does show a lack of locic, as Mark says. I know that Mark was not referring to that specific thing, other examples are abundant. Nobody burns a mansuscript, Rick, and nobody farts out novels every morning, and a monkey at a keybord for eternity will eventually type out the complete works of Shakespeare is not a truth, it is merely a very unlikely probability. Dictionaries give accepted meanings of current uses of words, nothing else. The English Language is the most flexible language in use wordwide, the interpretation of words strung together to make sentances that can be INTERPRETED by the reader in the way the writer intends, is crucial to the writer. Nobody is attacking you, Rick, you are taking advice as negative critisism, putting Mark and myself down as being poor writers because we offer what we see as valid opinions will not enhance your reputation as a writer or an individual. Take a deep breath and re read the last dozen posts to this site. Another thing, living in NYC and being on both ends of every scam that was ever hatched does not give you an edge over others in the world, every scam has two ends, Rick, you HAVE to be on one of them. As for the planet I live on? It’s the same one that Jason left when you guided him through the universe. In order to write a science fiction novel you were required to overlook the laws of physics and leave the world of reality behind in the wake of Jason’s ship. Reality is of prime importance on this planet, Rick. All the best to you, H.B.

  208. You can’t even put a sentence together
    “Do have a union card”
    “Mine is you don’t know what you’re talking about”
    I can see now why you’re so livid about signing with PA – you are in serious need of a professional editor. I’ll admit, I depend on spellcheck at times but you need to study simple grammar.
    “All you need is love” is one of the biggest cliches in the world – does that mean it’s not true?
    There’s a reason why cliches become what they are – they are also maxims and axioms, that’s the reason why people keep repeating them
    “Look before you leap”
    “You’ve got to fight fire with fire”
    “A stitch in time saves nine”
    “A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush”
    (perhaps applicable in this case)
    “You reap what you sow”
    “Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves”
    “Cleansliness is next to Godliness” (my fav)
    “The truth will set you free”
    “One good turn deserves another” (something I live by)
    “Blood is thicker than water”
    “Time is money”
    Being accused of using cliches has no impact on me whatsoever – I learned a long time ago engaging myself in the quest for originality is completely absurd
    “There’s nothing new under the sun”

  209. You and Mark are taking what I’m saying as denfending PA which is not what I’m doing at all
    I’m talking about any artist in any field getting his work out there any way he can. If you guys thought PA was your ticket to bookstore shelve you were sadly mistaken but what’s really going on here is that all you want to do is dwell over the tradegy and injustice of the existence of an organization that takes advantage of people’s ignorance – well, yeah, your right and perhaps maybe I’m wrong because I’m on the wrong blog but, my god, can’t you get past it? PA isn’t the first business to do what they’re doing and they won’t be that last, yet you and Mark (if you’re even differnent people) butt words with me because I refuse to let that defeat me and I try to tell that to other writers. Yeah, PA will publish anybody but so what, what’s wrong with that? The cream rises to the top. If you guys are looking for the good housekeeping seal of approval on your work you can’t get it from PA PERIOD. I AGREE wholeheartedly on what you claim PA is. Now what don’t you agree with in what I’m saying?
    You guys fancy yourselves writers? Compose something that makes a clear case for what I’ve said up to this point – or for that matter, what the dictionary says, that you think is wrong – I don’t mean “interpretations” I mean absolute. Because I got news for both of you, if it ain’t black or white it can be whatever you, or I, want it to be that benefits US. And that gentlemen, is EXACTLY how PA operates. Why shouldn’t we?
    (I’m starting to feel like Leona Helmsely)

  210. By the way, I’d like to submit something to them completely unreadable – I mean senseless, and see if they’d print it. I’d like to see exactly where their bucks stops.

  211. Hold on there, Rick, you are in no position to point out errors in script or sentences. Here are a few of your own…’it’s just ‘to’ bad I can’t post pictures.’ Neither requires nor. ‘Marshal’ Arts. Here is one you omitted…If you live in a glass house, don’t throw stones. H.B.

  212. I left those there – you guys gotta have something to do
    Anyway, in a previous post I made mention of how critiquing (yeah, I’m aware of it I just ain’t pulling out Webster’s for that one – I think you boys can figure it out) spelling and grammar was silly. Mark felt the need to point out that I misspelled query as if that’s some brilliant way to judge someone’s writing ability (haven’t you been complaining about PA’s lack of editors?) I, in turn, brought up his mistakes. His was the glass house – I had some stones of my own.
    He started it!!! Nanana

  213. My dictonary defines ‘Absolute’ quite clearly, nothing you are saying falls within the confines of the meaning, but I guess you are entitled to your INTERPRETATION of the meaning. PA has already PRINTED many senseless pieces. Maybe you could sell them, on a piece about Mark and myself being the same guy, you could title it, ‘The Truth About The Gruesome Twosome’ H. B.

  214. I think Rick’s points are very well taken and he’s a wonderfully witty writer.
    I’m going to log onto right now and order a copy of Jason’s Journey

  215. Mark, I’d like to ask you this because I’m in the process now of writing my query letters. Are you suggesting that the word itself should be used in the letter? Wouldn’t that be redundant and almost condesending to the reader of the letter that you’d have to tell them what the letter is? Also if I was an agent or publisher I’d read it as overly formal and stiff that might convey immaturity or naivete. I’ll admit, Rick’s out of his mind, who sits at a blog pouring through a dictionary, he’s obviously out there somewhere with Jason in his ship. But I’d like to get some concrete advice from you because you sound very serious and realistic about things. I think this may be the first time I’ve every actually wrote down the word query, it’s in my vocabulary, but I’ve never used it other than in conversation. How and why would you ever put it in writing other than to request help in writing a letter of query, in which case I don’t think it would be a cardinal sin to misspell it
    I’m confused

  216. They sometimes request it in the subject line of an e-mail submission specifically. That’s where I use it. As for hard copy I haven’t used it there to my knowledge. There are many ways to mangle words but typos anywhere in a query and proposal are killers. Make sure there aren’t any. That’s all I’m saying.

  217. I haven’t looked at this thread in weeks and it’s amazing how the conversation has devolved.
    Ordinarily, though, I tend to err on the side of not meddling in the discussion to encourage a free exchange of views. But this is getting out-of-hand and childish.
    I am going to start deleting comments that stray from the topic of Publish America and their business practices.
    You are welcome to disagree with me and one another here, and to do so loudly, but I’m not going to tolerate any more personal attacks.
    Those who continue will be banned from posting.

  218. HB you completely misread what rick was trying to say – he was saying the if YOU,RE point wasn’t absolute it was worthless not his he made no claim that his point lay within the definition of absolute
    “if is ain’t absolute it can be anything you or I want it to be” reread that
    it’s pretty obvious why you got scammed by PA

  219. “HB you completely misread whar rick was trying to say.” How do you know what Rick was TRYING to say? If Rick has mastered the use of words, as he claims he has, a reader will not have to guess at his meaning. Rick claims to have no faith in PA, but he clings to his claim that he is just as published as any author who has had his work presented by a traditional publisher and that author’s book is on store shelves. Mark is correct. I have no problem recognizing the fact that I was scammned by PA, much smarter guys than I fall into that category. I am just one more writer that is trying to steer others away from that pit. H.B.

  220. You’re last post was another example of misreading. He never wrote the words “just as published as any other author”…you really need to go back and reread what he did write. He did write “I agree with you wholeheartedly on what PA is” But you both can’t except the fact that he didn’t get scammed. He’s plans to blow smoke in peoples faces just like PA and call himself published because he has a legal right to. He wasn’t duped he plans to dupe other’s into reading his work…that may or may not be ethical but based on both or your replies that went completely over your heads…like I wrote before it’s really clear how you both fell for PA because you have a problem with reading comprehension.

  221. Hello Folks, I’ve been reading the posts on this site mostly because PA duped me as well. However, as I read the various posts I wondered what happened to get us all to this point, and what I realized is that while we can all agree the PA has been one of the worst phenomena to “enter” the literary world, I have to wonder what the circumstances were to allow it’s conception. Clearly, the premise behind the PA concept is noble; unfortunately the two shysters at the helm have taken a good idea and destroyed it for personal gain. As such, perhaps much of the blame for the literary quicksand we, and countless others, are in is a result of publishing houses such as Random House, Scholastic, etc. along with the agents because of their imperialistic attitudes. Having been privy to one or two of the “exclusive” clubs in the United States the one thing that I have learned is that it is not talent that gets you discovered, it’s the connections. Hence, I suspect that some of the more abominable writers listed among Random House’s and Scholastic’s authors receive tremendous help.
    What I would like to propose is that rather then beating each other up for falling prey to unscrupulous people such as PA, perhaps we should be using this forum more as a support group and victim’s advocacy. Clearly, for whatever reason, we were all victims’ of PA’s con game, and being a victim doesn’t mean that we are stupid, or bad in anyway. In my opinion, fault lies with the publishing industry for being so nepotistic and imperialistic, and for PA for taking advantage of that system.
    I don’t feel bad about being naive and buying a bogus bill of goods because I know the emotional and intellectual state I was in when I signed that contract. But now… Now I want to know what to do? Do I “write” off that book? Do I need an attorney to get out of the contract? If so, what’s that going cost? Clearly, I, like many of you, have spent way too much on this book and there comes a cost-benefit issue.

  222. I would be careful of passing judgement on “abominable” writers legitimately published. The records show most writers were unknown at one time and through hard work became known. Connections aren’t needed in publishing per se. The evidence is clear on that.

  223. Dee-Kay. I signed a contract with PA to have them produce my second novel. After reading many posts to this site I decided to back away from PA. I requested that they release me from the contract, and I
    worded the request in a way to leave no dobut that I would neither buy a single copy of the book nor do any promotion on it. They have a list of fifty names, which I provided for them, I told them that all fifty had already read the novel, so they had no chance of making a dime on it. Here is their reply to my request.
    Do not address us in such a tone. For now, your contract termination request is denied, and your contract remains fully in place, depending upon the reason for such an unusual request, we may reconsider your request at our next review to be held at our leisure.
    Thank you,
    PublishAmerica Support.
    This request was made 4 Oct 2006, their reply came back on the same date. I have heard nothing since. H.B.

  224. This is the typical response. They change their tune when nothing happens with the books, but it can take a while and even legal action in some cases. Keep reminding them and consult an attorney who is used to fighting them on behalf of the authors. He is easily found in these threads.

  225. what if you took the same novel, changed the title and did some re-working of it – say, change character names and sexes and such, dates, places. with the software available today it could take all of 15 minutes – if PA finds out, let them be the ones to initiate legal action, let them spend their money into pursuing it – something like that could go on for years anyway and it would be very unclear what the new book was – sampled, derived from, what? those lines are so blurred nowadays and the fact is that some writers just keep reworking the same plotlines over and over again anyway – and you never know, you just may end up liking it better – the changes could be an improvement
    in other words, if we need to write new novels I don’t necessarily think we have to start from scratch – just retool the existing one

  226. Retooling the novel is a good idea. I doubt very much that PA has the resourses to track every new novel that goes to print. A new title and a few key changes could do the trick. I think it is highly unkikely that PA would be willing to absorb legal fees to pursue any novel, they have a never ending supply of new authors to to feed off. Hopefully, this site, and others like it, will alert many to the scam. In the meantime I will take Mark York’s advice and play the waiting game for a while. Badgering them seems to be a waste of time, they ignore my e mails. H.B.

  227. Mark, don’t you have any thoughts on that? Seems like the only time you post is to cut down somebody else. Sounds like a good idea. It’s the best advice I’ve read yet on any of these PA threads that’s actually constructive instead of victim-based.

  228. “Seems like the only time you post is to cut down somebody else.”
    That seems wrong to me, but PA victims take owning up to their mistakes as personal attacks. This is well established. They aren’t. Just facts.
    Are you referring to the retooling? I think the chances of changing it enough to get out from the clutches of PA is a mistake. Concentrate on getting out for real and write a new book. Sell it to a real publisher.

  229. PA victims are just that, victims! What do they have to own up to? PA are the ones who have to own up. Your tunnel vision is showing. H.B.

  230. They have to accept they were duped and quit defending the choice. This always drags on way too long, in which they atack anyone who points this out. It’s been going on for years.

  231. I think the retooling idea is great for several reasons: First, if the “real” publishing world doesn’t consider PA publishers just printers than they can’t turn around and accuse an author of submitting an already published work based on their own opinions. Second, no one can be accused of plaguriziing their own work. third, if it ever came to trial the case would be impossible to prove without going over the entire book word for word – who’s going to do that and how long would it take? Fourth, in defense, any author could bring up the PA contract for scrutiny that I’m sure you all agree (yes, you too Mark) couldn’t stand the test – even the best contracts can be broken. Fifth, like barber said, what would the new manuscript even be – how could you define it? (you guys know I love that one) the lines would be so blurred it would take years and probably end up in the supreme court to reach any final judgement – I, for one, have never heard of any such case, either way it would have to be a landmark decision of some sort. sixth, copyright laws are very rigid – you can’t own an idea – any change would not fall under the same protection and would have to be copyrighted seperately under the new name – that alone would define it according to the library of congress as being a “new” novel and that alone would negate PA’s claim on it – the United States Government has a bit more authority than PA I believe (remember Miricle on 34th Street?).
    and seventh, in the worst case senario if all of it did hit the fan and went to court think of the publicity if would garner – your name would be everywhere, in today’s world, that’s all it takes to open doors – I don’t think I have to make a case for that…it’s a win, win situation
    that, my friends, is thinking “outside the box”
    kudos to you a. barber – we think alot alike

  232. “alot?” How many of those are in your manuscript?
    The problem is this: You’re offering an already published manuscript for legal purposes, and PA can attach the publisher if they find out. The real stickler though is the long odds of a publisher taking on a book that still belonged to PA whether they knew it or not. It’s never happened yet.
    That’s because the work isn’t good enough to be published although some vanity press books have been.
    Just be shed of them and have it over with. That will happen long before you publish the book with anyone else. Trust me on that one.

  233. Don’t “retool” your PA book and offer it around as if it’s fresh material. It isn’t.
    You probably wouldn’t get sued–there isn’t a lot of money in books and the attorney’s fees wouldn’t be worth what the company would recover–but you’d have a pretty hard time publishing a new book.
    Don’t lie to people you want to be in business with.
    Write another book. You were going to do that anyway, right? Write a better book. Really pour your heart into it.
    Focus on the future. Focus on the work you’re going to do now. Don’t let PA turn you into a con artist.
    And before you go on about nepotism and connections, read Slushkiller.
    The whole thing. It’s long, but it’s worthwhile.
    Good luck.

  234. “That’s because the work isn’t good enough to be published although some vanity press books have been.”
    This statement has no merit if it is directed only at work submitted to vanity presses. If some vanity press books were worthy of recognition it seems reasonable to assume that some other submissions to vanity presses will be just as good.
    I will not retool my novel with the intention of presenting it to an agent or publisher while it is still under contract with PA. Until that problem is solved I will invest my time in refining the text. H.B.

  235. Let me start by saying that I am 22 and working on a novel, and had considered PA as it was recomended to me by a friend.
    Well, I have just spent the last hour and a half of my life going through this mess of comments, and I have arrived at two conclusions.
    First, Publish America is not the way to go. It seems that their business practices, and the idea that they peddle of making it big as author clearly false.
    Second, I realized that if becoming a true, published writer, such as some of those who post on here, is going to turn me into someone who talks down to people and berrates them by masking it behind the “Im just giving facts” line, they too are something that I want no part of.
    PA is mis-representing itself and that is wrong. However, I feel that many people get caught up in the semantics of the topic. The editing, the royalties, etc. And before I get flamed endlessly for saying that, I personally do believe that those things ARE semantics.
    Please hear me out.
    I think that many of these people simply want a hard copy of their work to hold in their hand. They want the title on the spine, a pretty cover, and a blurb on the back. Something small to say that they did something creative and it was “worthy.”
    Now I know that PA is a printing company, and nobody has recognized their work, but to alot of people who are content with PA’s services, it is the idea that they are “out there” that they want. An illusion? Of course. But is it wrong for people to have it? Im not so sure.
    I dont know why someone would really believe they are going to make it big as a writer coming out of PA. It is kind of beyond me. It should be clear you are having a book made FOR you. Beyond that, you are given an illusion that it is somewhere, reaching someone. And to tell the truth I dont think that is wrong. We survive on large illusions everyday, and one as miniscule as your book sitting on an anonymous person’s nightstand isnt the wrost.
    People are bashing PA for selling books to the friends and family of those who they service. And true, that is probably their target audience, but in actuality I think that to many of the writers whom PA publishes, friends and family are the people they want to reach. They want recognition from those they care about.
    Now after reading many of these posts, it seems that the “true” authors are more angry at the availability of peoples work being printed. And thats fair, because much of the work produced by PA is probably sub-par gibberish in the first place. However, it is not right to call people ignorent, or naieve, or stupid, when they choose to defend PA.
    Most likely the people arent defending the company, so much as defending their hope that the story they put out there really is reaching somebody. And even though it probably wont, who are we to say someone randomly didnt pick up the book and enjoy it. If they even reach one person who they dont know, that is something that the writer might be able to claim as a small victory. And though not on par with writers who recieve advances, and book deals, and such, it is no less of an accomplishment for them. True, they may not be real published reknowned writers, but I dont think it devalues their work.
    I have really been turned off to the whole process by reading these biting and angry comments back and forth. It seems that PA publishers are somewhat hopeless, deluded, dreamers, and “true writers” are rude, egotistical, self-indulgent asses. Neither is better, and apparently neither can be swayed. And yes, I am thinking of particular people as I write this.
    So in conclusion to my mini-essay, thank you all for helping me waste a couple hours of my life, and furthering my complete and utter despair for the species.

  236. Steven,
    Most of the biting comments back-and-forth aren’t written by published authors but by know-nothing wanna-bes (like Mark York and H.B. Long). These wanna-bes may be right about PA, but you shouldn’t mistake them for knowledgeable publishing professionals.

  237. my book, jason’s journey, is a good book period – it’s been read by enough people for me to come to that conclusion – not all finished it, some didn’t like it, but most LOVED it, it moved them and I know they were being honest because they knew so much about it, subtle details and imagery that couldn’t possibly have made an impact unless they were engaged in reading it, and they all – not knowing one another – had the same things to say about it, what impressed them, what moved them
    I sorely regret that PA ended up jason’t journey but in large part the theme of my book is that the universe propels us forward – sometimes in painful, frightening ways – when we don’t have the strength to do it ourselves so the way I see it, if PA has it, it’s meant to be, I’m not meant to be more than I am right now, for whatever reason I don’t understand at this moment I need this failure and perhaps in the future jason’t journey may become something more than it is but the bottom line is that things are what they are
    anyone who want’s to devalue my book should read it first before doing so otherwise he’s basing his opinion on absolutely nothing
    marilu henner’s a published author – is she any struggling author’s role model? getting on bookstore shelves in and of itself doesn’t make anyone a writer or any work great of even good – being under contract with PA alone doesn’t automatically make anyone’s work bad or unpublishable – it’s just a bad decision period
    Oh, and by the way, I’m not retooling it, I have a few years left on the contract and when I do I’m shopping it around again. I already have quite a few people talking about it and suggesting it to others
    the fat lady ain’t sung yet

  238. “However, it is not right to call people ignorent, or naieve, [sic]or stupid, when they choose to defend PA.”
    Well one is what one does, particularly in the face of the facts these folks don’t want to acknowledge. Stupid is another matter but they can achieve that too if persistant and resistant enough to reality.
    “by know-nothing wanna-bes (like Mark York and H.B. Long). These wanna-bes may be right about PA, but you shouldn’t mistake them for knowledgeable publishing professionals.”
    Right, we’re right, the publishing professionals agree and that invalidates what I say how? It’s a slam against anyone who has a vanity press book in their past and dares to call it what it is. There is such a thing as learning from a mistake and no dishonor in that. Not knowing a mistake is a real problem to growth. I’m not an editor or an agent, but perhaps you could find one who disagrees?
    How many people “loved” your book depends on the sample size, which for a PA book is microscopic rendering the number meaningless. If you believe in it get it back and submit it to find out. Count the rejections. Chances are high that PA will dump it too when they see it hasn’t sold and you won’t buy it any longer. That’s the gig over there. It has no bearing on your writing future. That’s in your hands alone.

  239. “How many people “loved” your book depends on the sample size, which for a PA book is microscopic rendering the number meaningless. ”
    It doesnt matter how many people loved the book. If it ANYONE reads and enjoys it, why should you trash the guy and call it meaningless? It does not devalue the work just because it doesnt reach a large audience. Is that so difficult to understand?
    “Well one is what one does, particularly in the face of the facts these folks don’t want to acknowledge.”
    I am sure that you clearly dont mean just what you said because if you want to play this game the list runs long and deep with you. It is class towards fellow man that prevents people from saying such things to one another. However the anonymity of the internet has somehow given people a new found courage to devalue people and take swipes at them from the comfort of a place far far away.

  240. Well as you may notice Steven it isn’t I who’s anonymous is it? I do mean it. It’s meaningless in the commercial sense which is what he was driving at. That’s the deal with vanity press books no matter how touch-feely you want to get. That’s the standard line we always here. It’s a justification mechanism and a corner stone of denial.
    I notice you didn’t drum up any outrage for the fact I was slammed for not being a publishing professional. You can’t have it both ways and I detect myopia here.

  241. Steven, do you really consider the two hours as being wasted? Did you not learn of the true nature of PA from the posts to this site? Where are examples of an author or his work being trashed? All of the points you bring up about what PA authors get from PA, have been hashed over before, if PA supplies any pleasure to those who wish to gain recognition from friends and family only, no harm has been done. Are you such an author? Apparently you are not, you were smart enough to do a little snooping before jumping into the PA quagmire. It seems to me that your tender age is responsible for your ingratitude to those of the species who cared enough to send you a heads up. At least you were polite enough to identify yourself.

  242. I think this discussion would be better if both sides of the dispute would refrain from personal attacks. If your book was published by PA and you’re pleased about that, criticism of PA isn’t criticism of your book. If you dislike PA, then if someone weighs in defending their book, you can make your point just as well by sticking to talking about PA rather than turning on the author.
    Really, we can talk about this without yelling if we just stick to the subject, which is Publish America, NOT any one individual’s novel. Please, guys, calm down.

  243. This is an age old defense that has failed everywhere in practice. The two are intertwined no matter who tells them. All books tied up with PA are worthless in the market. Whether they have merit or not individually remins to be proven. That isn’t a personal attack it’s a fact.

  244. Facts can be put tactfully, though, Mark, come on. I agree with a lot of your points; I just think the discussion’s getting over-heated and it would benefit everyone’s blood pressure if people tried to debate more calmly. 🙂

  245. You know, it is true that every simon and shuster and doubleday book is brilliant by simple virtue of being published by those big houses so I suppose it stands to reason that PA books are all crap – the publisher and the writer are definately one in the same – if one sucks so does the other
    the question is: before a writer’s work ever get’s published – how judge whether he’s good or not without that signifier? I suppose before that day it’s anyone’s guess – who could possibly judge except, I guess, influential agents and legit publishers? I for one, can’t judge if a book is good or not unless it makes the new york times top 10, then I know it’s good – before that I haven’t a clue

  246. Well that’s how you know. And below that from the fact you can walk into a store and find it easily. That’s the yard stick I’m using here.
    There’s no tactful debate here. It’s not a debate at all. PA is a scam POD vanity press. It was disguised at first, albeit thinly, but now everyone knows it. The only thing to do is get the rights reverted, sometimes requiring legal help and move on. Don’t list it as a credit.

  247. okay okay, so I accept everything you say as 100 percent fact – now tell me, how in god’s name do I get out of this contract short of spending money on a lawyer? I know all contracts can be broken but is there any way to do it that won’t cost me? someone posted that they got out easily in 2 weeks – I asked how but they never answered
    I am writing a new book, but I still want out of this contract NOW!!! the best thing in the world would be for them to dump me – thats the most hopeful thing I’ve read yet from anyone
    So – how is it done?

  248. Well “now” isn’t realistic. These people are snakes, and that’s an ad hominem to those reptiles. First, you send them a formal letter through the mail stating you won’t buy, or promote the book in any way and you want your rights reverted.
    Speak badly of them in public and associate with the advocates they hate online. It’ll work perhaps sooner than later, but no has ever gone the contract distance as they haven’t even been in business that long.
    I suspected Bob was using hyperbole but it’s not. It happens to be true. One can hope.

  249. Well, I suppose interacting with you on this blog is a great start – I can’t imagine anyone more militant in they’re hatred of them than you
    Up till now people have been buying my book on their own but I’ll put a stop to that – I’ll discourage it one way or another
    I wonder, would it be violating the contract to print up my own “manuscripts” of jason and hand them out – not to sell them – but just get them read and stop people from buying them – I’ll just put the word out that it’s available directly from me for no charge – at this point, I think it’s going on it’s own momentum and people will read it whether it’s bound with a pretty cover or not – actually, I think it might even make more impact at this point to print it up in simple courier and put it in a clear plastic cover – it’s all about imagination anyway so plain black and white text might be the strongest statement of all almost like the same appeal of all the reality shows that are so big now – better a raw manuscript than some cheesy grade z fake publisher with some dopey cover art
    I’ll take your advice – thanks

  250. I can’t give legal advice but according to my training this sounds illegal. The book is encumbered. Usually selling isn’t a concern, only the lack therof, so I don’t know what kind of demand you’re talking about here.
    The best thing to do is let them know you want out officially then wait and see what happens. Never mistake regard for the facts as “hatred.” They are what they do.

  251. Hello Lee and Mark,
    It is good finding you again after such a long time. Thanks for all the comments on the screen.
    For now I only would like to greet you and all your allies Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
    Continue to have an open and critical mind, otherwise, there is no one to stand strong and brave for something that is real and true. Christmas is here to stay to dismiss that which is false and to bring hope to the desperate.

  252. Hello Lee and Mark,
    It is good finding you again after such a long time. Thanks for all the comments on the screen.
    For now I only would like to greet you and all your allies Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
    Continue to have an open and critical mind, otherwise, there is no one to stand strong and brave for something that is real and true. Christmas is here to stay to dismiss that which is false and to bring hope to the desperate.

  253. Hello Lee and Mark,
    It is good finding you again after such a long time. Thanks for all the comments on the screen.
    For now I only would like to greet you and all your allies Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
    Continue to have an open and critical mind, otherwise, there is no one to stand strong and brave for something that is real and true. Christmas is here to stay to dismiss that which is false and to bring hope to the desperate.

  254. PublishAmerica did a great job for me. if some snob book reviewer will not review my book because of the publisher then I do not want their review! Why? Small-minded folks do not appeal to me.
    I am a wealthy woman, I wear the best shoes, the best clothes and have the best jewelry. I do not care who publishes a book.
    If the book looks good and is interesting that is all I care sbout.
    That’s my opinion. I love PublishAmerica

  255. Dear Mr York,
    In your expert opinion, just pray tell me what would make me “legitimate?”
    I suppose to spend four years writing a very fine book, then perhaps forty years having it thrown back at me by some upstart because who ever heard of me anyway?
    No, I wisely sent it to PA they provided me with an excellent cover, gave me $1.00 which I framed and hung on my wall and I have a beautiful book available most everywhere.
    Thank you for your snide comment about my “legitimacy” you actually sold a book for me–keep your insults and put-downs a coming.
    Really my “legitimacy” is of no concern to me. Having my beautiful book available to folks to read is much more gratifying.
    I suppose you are a Randon House author or what? Quite frankly, I have never heard of you and do not care to. Enjoy your legitimacy and don’t worry I do not want it or need it.
    Alice M Crooker
    Author of Peas, “Pills,” and Parkinson’s
    Available at, Barnes and Noble, and proud to be published by Publish America.

  256. It’s legitimate publication, as most people understand the word, if an established publisher buys your book. Sorry, but PA ain’t it. If you don’t care, fine, but in that case, *don’t* care. Don’t get worked up when people discuss the facts. PA is an author mill, and you’ll have to deal with people pointing that out; that’s the price you pay for getting your book printed without having to go through the difficulties of submitting, rejection and all the other things that go with legitimate publication. You pays your money and you takes your choice.
    These comments people are making aren’t personal; they haven’t read your book, they’re just talking about the company, and what they’re saying is accurate. But you can’t have it both ways. Either you go legit and get called legit, or you don’t. Going to an author mill, declaring that it’s given you what you want, and then getting angry when people call it an author mill, is inconsistent. If you’re really happy with what they’ve given you, then relax.
    The trouble is, PA sell a dream as well as a printed book. They can give you the book, but the dream is of legitimate, or semi-legitimate publication. That dream only holds as long as people don’t talk about what PA is really like. I can’t help feeling it’s that that’s really bothering you. In which case, I’m sorry you’re upset, but you’d do better to steer clear of threads like this if you don’t want to hear what people have to say about it.

  257. What Ey-up said and to add, personal tales of woe and testimonies of faith are the bread and butter of crooks like PA. They are universally rejected by commericial publishers. Your book isn’t “beautiful” until others say so.

  258. Ey-up and Mark are are right about PA. Your book may be available at and Barnes and Noble, but you will not find a single copy on a shelf of any store. Your statement of sales from PA. will show zero, the only people reading your book are those you gave copies to. H.B.

  259. Dear Mark and Goldberg,
    How are you? Let me think. I think I have listened to your allegations against Publish America. Before I came to interact with your comments, I was very sure to forward my manuscripts for publication to Publish America. I have two novels, poems and short stories. Having learned from you, I have lost the desire to contact Publish America but it has been two years now and my manuscripts are still untouched. What alternative could you have given to your believers?
    Well, February is near. I wish you happy Valentine`s Day.

  260. Dear Mark and Goldberg,
    How are you? Let me think. I think I have listened to your allegations against Publish America. Before I came to interact with your comments, I was very sure to forward my manuscripts for publication to Publish America. I have two novels, poems and short stories. Having learned from you, I have lost the desire to contact Publish America but it has been two years now and my manuscripts are still untouched. What alternative could you have given to your believers?
    Well, February is near. I wish you happy Valentine`s Day.

  261. I don’t believe we are a team, only in agreement about Publishamerica. If they haven’t printed your book by now, it must have been lost. Thank your lucky stars and move on. You’re free.

  262. I am 75 years old. I’ve spent over 50 years in business and have written five books. One thing I’ve learned is the meaning of caveat emptor. How many of these whining authors really read the contract the signed. If not, what’s the gripe? If you did and PA has not lived up to the written word of the contract, sue. I have had dealings with PA over two books and, yes, they do very little to help promote, but they have lived up to the written contract. So I have no grounds for griping and whining.
    Earnest Mercer

  263. Hej, Lee,
    Greetings from Denmark. How are you? Anything new? You wrote about a book which can be made available to one who makes a request. Is it a free gift or something one has to pay for?
    Are you interested to see my website with my paintings and poems? I would like to hear from you, on what you think about them. Kindly write a line.

  264. I am a new author and was wondering what publishing companies I could approach and submitt my manuscript to. If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them. I already know how you feel about Publish America. It does sound too good to be true.

  265. It seems to me that all the people that claim on here that they are happy customers with PA are all phonies.. THEY have to be. This is unbelievable. I am a published author with PA. They have done nothing to promote my book. I know for a fact that it has sold at least 100 copies but yet I have seen no Royalties.. I contact them via email and get no response. I ask them why are they not sending me my checks. NO answers… The book is WAY TOO EXPENSIVE.. its only a 150 page paperback for 17.95 .. very unreasonable and stupid for lack of better terms.. this is absurd. I realize I am going on and on .. but I am so mad ..

  266. Publish America skirts on the fringes of publishing legality. After several years of watching my book slowly suffocate under the quicksand of PA’s “promotion”, I tried to get out of my contract with them, only to be practically belittled by their caustic response. The only people they contact about your published book are the people you provide them with. That goes for newspapers as well as friends. As far as being available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or any other bookstore, this extends only to the actual ordering of the book. You will not see it on the shelves, and since this type of representation for a book is responsible for around 80% of a book’s sale, you don’t have to be a math wiz to calculate that you are already at a disadvantage when a person has to know about your book before purchasing it. PA likes to tell half-truths, but is like a spin on the roulette wheel. If you bet on all the numbers, you are bound to win. With so many authors under contract, PA is bound to hit on a few that will go somewhere even without PA promotion. Of course unknown authors are expected to play a vital role in their book promotion, and I was totally prepared and ready to be available for any book signings or other promotional activities. What I didn’t expect, was to be the sole initiator of my book’s promotion. As far as editing goes, they hide behind the “we leave your book as you intended” principle. My computer’s spell check does better! Why should I have to re-read what they send back (after supposed editing), only to have to fix more errors in grammer and spelling? Obviously, if I missed it the first time, I will the second time around. Pricing is a rip-off, too. I would never pay as much as they charge for my book even if I had the advantage of perusing it on a bookshelf (which of course isn’t there). And since when does a writer have to pay for their own copyright? You would think that a publisher would want to make sure that their “property” is protected under copyright before releasing it, but PA never checks back to ascertain that the author has indeed copyrighted it. Of course, they will tout your book’s success with signings and interviews, but this is something the writer must achieve on their own. PA is never responsible for setting any of this up for the author. I have gone several quarters now without so much as a single sale because I have neither the financial resources, or PR savy to set up promotional activities. If you just want a pretty little book cover, and the feel of claiming you are published, then PA is the outfit for you. But if you are looking for a serious publishing company that treats its authors with respect even after the ink on the contract is signed while expecting to gain respect from other writers and publishing companies, then avoid PA! PA’s people will spout their “sour grapes” diatribe over and over to cover their own misconduct. Too bad they don’t realize, or seem to care, that if they put as much effort into promoting a writer’s book as they do with rebuttals of pissed off clients, they wouldn’t have to worry about defending their reputation in the first place!

  267. Diana and Mary: I have had two books printed by PA, the second one was printed by them in spite of my request to not print it. I ignored the e mails that they sent prior to the printing, hoping they would drop it and eventually release me from the contract. I told them I would not buy a single copy and that I had advised everyone on the list of names I provided for the first book to not buy any copies. Six weeks later the two free copies were delivered to me. They advised me I would never be released from the cntract, it would be in force for the full seven years. As for royaly checks, I received a check for $1.40 for a single sale of the first book, based on that, I would have to say that they do pay royalties. I will admit that they did everything they said they would do which in the long run was, nothing but make copies of the books. Mary, you are right, if an author merely wants to see a copy of his work and crow about being published, no harm has been done. I expected much more than that and I feel that I was used by a bunch of unprincipled low lifes. H.B. Long

  268. Hey, guys, I’m not taking any sides here, I don’t think that all these countless complaints are of angry authors who are made because they can’t write and, therefore, sell a single copy. However, while the general experiance with PA has been a bad one for most people, I must say there are a few misconceptions. First, many complaints have came in saying “they’ve admitted that out of 11,000 of their books, 1000 have not sold a single copy.” Well, PA didn’t fuck them over, no publisher can promise your book will sell, none do, not even with their “expert” editing and marketing plans. All agenices and producers clearly state, “we cannot promise a sale.”
    Second, it’s very hard to find a publisher who does not work with some sort of a Print on Demand system, which the only problem pretaining to that process is that they usually come with no return policy. But unless your getting published with Penguin or American Books, don’t expect a return policy. I do agree that their books are overpriced, however, I had a friend who became a PA author and although all these unfortunate circumstances fell upon him, his Barnes and Noble gladly hosted his booksigning. When you write a book, if it reads like shit, don’t blame your publisher or editor, you wrote it. An editor is simply someone who crops out your useless information and constructs your story to make it better. I’d like to think that if I were an author who was good, I could do most of that. If you can’t have your manuscript 50 to 70% ready, you need to seriously think about why you’re pursuing this dream. However, I am not supporting PA, they have some bad business practices no doubt, but they could be easily fixed, PA just won’t do it.

  269. Hey all you “writers” here, I have an idea. Instead of bitching and complaining about publishamerica, learn from your mistakes and seek a good publisher with another work of yours. If you can’t come up with more than 1 story, you’re not very good. Yes, we all know that PA’S a scam, so why keep coming onto this site and wasting your time bitching when you could be pursuing a better publisher? You can get out of the contract with them. Do the research, most authors are successful in breaking that bind with them. PA’s been taken to court many times and the author’s prevailed on every ocassion, so they will probably be reluctant to fight it. What is a publisher who forces its authors into compliance anyway? Who signed your name to the bottom of that contract? You did, not them. Had you done more reseach before jumping the gun, you would’ve seen all the complaints. In the past 36 months alone, PA’s had 70 of them. One author managed to get her rights returned to her by pissing off a “top author” of theirs who worked as a recuriter and was paid with free copies of his book. The company’s a joke, no doubt. So, the question remains, with these countless complaints out there, why are writers still placing their signatures on that line? It’s not that hard to tell that PA’s a hoax all its own. For example, they offer a step where you can send your manuscript to print without editing and get it published faster. Hello! No ligitiment or traditional publisher would print a book without editing. Here are some tips for when your looking for a publisher.
    1- Ask if there is a return policy. If not, that automatically puts you at a disadvantage.
    2- Ask for the names of their editors and top executives and explain that you’d like to do research on them. If they refuse, they obviously have something to hide.
    3- Ask if you can have your book printed without editing. If they say yes, they are not ligitiment and certianly not traditional.
    4- Do research on as many of their authors as possbile and if the majority are unhappy, turn away.
    5- Check bookstores to see if that publisher’s books are on the shelves. If not, something’s a miss there too.
    6- Purchase a book of theirs and read through it, if it’s full of typos, errors, etc, think twice before publishing through them.
    7- Try to get a look at their facility. PA calims to make more money than any publisher out there, but yet their office is located in a crappy corner apartment complex, see here,
    8- Check the average prices on their books. If an author whom you’ve never heard of has a book roughly to same length as yours and is selling them at $20, what makes you think yours will be any lower?
    9- Ask around about them with other publishers. Now, to some extent, a publisher will always talk down about their opponents because they want your book, but none like publishamerica.
    10- Check the Better Business Bureau of their state and see what and how many reports have been filed on them.
    11- Look in the back of a Stephen King, JK Rowling or Nora Roberts book, are they published through publishamerica? Well, I’d suggest going for a company in the similiar rankings as theirs. Now, in many respects, that’s not been so ligitiment. For example, “Legally Blonde” was a book before a movie, and it went through authorhouse, another publisher many look down upon. However, she’s now through major publishers like Penguin and Randomhouse.
    You do all that, and you’ll be just fine.

  270. Hey, everyone, I think there are enough bad reports out there by now to turn any serious author away from PA. So we can all go home now and try again. YOU LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES! NO DOUBT! BE STRONG AND BRAVE, ALL WILL BE WELL IN THE END.

  271. Well, I have sevetral writers now all of whom have 4 year degrees or more. It is one of the Bellissima requirements in order to be nvited to write for us. I am personally writing and happy, and while it has been a long learning process for Bellissima, and while we are not perfect, ‘Surfer Girl’ was recognized by the Girls Voices In Literature Database, Uiversity of Miami, Florida and another Bellssima Book is a required text for a BYU graduate class (the author is not the BYU instructor); so while criticism on this blog has been scathing, I am sticking with my dreams, and so should all of you. I expect that those who scream the loudest against us are employed by the “traditioal publishing houses,” who fear anything new; and if you have not purchased a Bellissima Book, you should not trash us. What is your definition of ‘crap’ is someone else’s treasure; and you who speak like this are mean, self-centered, without hope and without dreams. You have to be a dreamer to be a writer. You are not a writer if you cannot dream! Sorry to notamoron—because he/she has notachance–2 years since the learning process began we are still here, still for real, not self-publishing, and moving into offset. If you don’t want to get published, then keep submitting only to the big guys—Rawlings, by the way, started with a small house and was bought out by Scholastic. This could happen with one of our books or a PA book, or any book. Bellissima opens the doors of dreams for those who dream, but only for a select few–Bellissima has its writers, turns away writers, and really is no longer looking for writers. Everything about us is getting better–And we are happy to follow our dreams and happy not to look like anyone else because all the world loves an orignal, and Bellissima is an original!

  272. I agree, before you call someone’s work “crap,” I’d make sure I could do better myself first. Everyone has different opinions, but opinion is not fact. Look at how many times Stephen King, JK Rowling and Nora Roberts were rejected, so is their writing “crap” also? Just because someone’s rejected, even ample times, does not mean they’re a bad writer. A lot of times, people aren’t bad writers, they’re just not good editors. I don’t understand why people are so hateful toward writers who don’t write the best masterpiece since “The Odyssey.” So what if they wrote a bad first book, what in the world have they ever done to you? I’d move to help them better that book and improve their writing skills, but I guess some just love to throw down on people.

  273. Here’s a little advice about publishers and agents.
    1- If a publisher does not have a return policy, stay away, it’ll make things harder for you.
    2- A publisher who charges a reasonable fee is not necessarily bad if they have a good reputation, editors and a return policy. They charge for the costs of publishing because they don’t know if your book will sell, so they’re going to make sure they lose nothing.
    3- However, no ligitment agent will ever charge a fee, unless it’s a editorial or critique, and that’s usually under $100. No kind of editor will work for free for an author they don’t even know and has no record of great sales. But, besides that, if an agent ever wants to charge fees, they’re a scam because they make their money off of you, not off of selling your work.
    4- Do research before signing that contract, there is tons of info out there on bad publishers and agents. But you must also realize that not all compaints are ligitiment. Some sites say “Everyday, a new scam report on bad publishers and agents come in.” I don’t believe that because all publishers and agents in this nation would eventually be termed as “a scam.” All can’t be bad like that.

  274. You know I don’t know rather to be hurt or what, because I know the Devil can’t take away what God has given me. I believe in my Bible, I feel sorry for the people that are doing the scaming,because what goes around comes around. God has the final say, I’m putting all of this about my book in God’s hand he said if I hold my peace he would fight my battles, So I’m going to stand on the word with this and Publish America, And these are the things that are done in America, people have been scamming people for years, but they alway’s get their payback you will never hear about that. All for the love of the Dollar bill. I’m not going to talk about how hard I worked on my book. I’m going to tell you how I trust God to sell in for me. See God is above the devil. I have read alot of things about PA in the last couple of days mind you they sent me and e-mail telling me of Dr. Phil’s show what they had to say. And I remembering them sending me an e-mail asking me how did I find out about them. I can’t remember how. But I feel it in my gut that something big is about to happen about all of this. See God isn’t going to stand back and watch his people be misused by a scam. Sometime it takes this to bring thing to a stop, nothing bad goes on forever. The good always come out on top. So I still say the Devil can’t take from me what God has given me. I claim this in Jesus Name!

  275. I don’t know why the industry still allows people like publishamerica to stand. I’ve asked good publishers that question and they said, “Everything they do, in one form or another, is specified in the contract, so it’s not illegal.” So I guess it’s okay to rip people off as long as you tell them you’re going to.

  276. If everyone is unhappy with publish America, why do some of you degrade and pick on our little company, Bellissima Publishing, LLC?
    This is very rude.
    We are a POD with instant off-set capability if a book merits it. The technology is all here, and since I am a lawyer, I do know how to do things. All my writers have 4 year degrees or more and write with a purpose. Our website is not without errors. We do everything ourselves and we are learning. This is how we control costs. We are not asking for any more writers. We are not out to cheat anyone, and I do not write all the books as suggested by some in this blog. Our covers are not perfect, but we are here; and our writers are happy. We get better every day.
    Our books are affordable, well written; and no book is perfect or without mistake. But we try! We compete with no one except ourselves, and no one is forced to buy their own books. We are in this for the long term.
    We are not accepting submissions at this time. We are a morally based company and publish old fashioned books with a purpose and a message! We are for real. Wr may someday be the goose that lays the golden egg, so be careful what you say about us, because like an elephant, we will not forget.

  277. I have a good book, needs minor editing but I have been told that it is a pretty good read. I am looking for a published author from a real publishing house who actually has books on shelves nationwide to collaborate with me. This author would get to put his/her name on the book with me and share the profits. Its a win win situation for the published author and myself. BUT WHO AM I, you might ask? I am a t.v. sitcom writer and screenwriter with produced credits so I am somebody that may be famous one day….maybe not, who knows. I can prove this about myself also but can’t on this public site. This offer is up for grabs. Interested published authors should contact me at The book is written for adolescents and is a mystery genre. Contact for more info and to negotiate. All inquiries must be able to prove authorship of national publications, not self-publishing. THanks.

  278. Well David that’s all fine and good but this is the the wrong thread to find such an author. A TV writer with produced credits in East Texas would be rare, so the view from here in Hollywood is skeptical. Send it out.


  280. Our website work is getting better and we have a couple of new sites (below):
    Along with blogs for all our authors on (though google):
    So, to Notamoron and to others who have made mean comments about Bellissima Publishing, thank-you. You have made Bellissima even better, and we will continue to improve and grow—
    By the way both “Surfer Girl” and “Walk On The Child’s Side” received honorable mention at the DIY Book Festival, so we are doing just fine.
    If all of you writers are going to sit there and just think about the big guys and the big bucks, you are going to miss the small and wonderful pleasures of being a published writer. You know, if one person reads your book and hands it to another person to read, and another and another—Your then somewhat tattered book may just make a difference in this world! So just think positively and get out there and write!
    And if we are not bothering you, please just be polite and kind to us. You have not read our books, and we are not looking to cheat anyone or ask anyone for money; and we really do have our writers and do not need any more writers!
    Bellissima Publishing, LLC is not Publish America, so try to keep your focus, and realize we are just something else out there, just a small new publishing house of very humble beginnings making a few dreams come true!

  281. Bellissima. you have a strange way of being any help to aspiring writers. Why do you crow to the point where you advise authors not to bother you? H.B. Long

  282. Dear HB Long,
    All I get is nasty remarks from writers on these blog sites, saying things like our website looks bad and our covers look like . . . (you now). . .and that everyone should stay away from us. This is why I say not to even bother submitting to us. If you feel that way, you are not a good fit for Bellissima! Besides, we have all we can handle with the writers we have right now. We do not have a big promotion budget. We cannot guarentee placement in all the chain bookstores. We cannot afford great financal risks on returns. You do have to participate in your own promotion. We are out there taking our time at growing and publishng and we are on on and all over the web. Our writers are told up front they won’t get rich and all about our limitations. We edit, but we don’t catch every single mistake. I started out on this blog encouraging writers to contact Bellissima and Notamoron responded with exremely unkind words. Now we have our family of writers, and we do invite writers we know to write for us all the time! Writers who aren’t willing to grow or to take a chance with their work should not apply to any small house. All of you need to stop the rhetoric. Read your offers and explore all the possiilities and then decide—almost all the big houses are owned by Random House, have their books printed outside the USA and are not the best quality. Our books are printed in the USA, ink doesn’t rub off on your hands when you read the books, and the type is large enough to see. All I am saying is right now we have our writers, and we have invited additional writers to write for us that we already know—Just don’t say Bellssima wants to trap writers and cheat them—I began Bellissima because I didn’t like PA, or subsidy publishing, and the main reason for that was lack of editing and too high cover pricing as well as the cost of self publishing. No one has to buy any of their own books from Bellissima, and Bellissima does not charge writers to publish their books. Royalty is standard 12%/8% on cover price. No advance. Publishing a book must be a cost effectve venture. We have very stringent requirements. Saying Bellissima is not accepting submssions at this time does not mean we won’t accept subissions in the future, but Notamoran is not a Bellissima candidate; and if you feel as he does, you need not apply. If you are interested in being published with us, then I invite you to convince me to take you as a writer by emailing me at But look at a Bellissima book first.

  283. Ha! Everybody that is doing the talking I got my book printed,and it looks good, some mistakes in it but what can you say, one of my friends told me I write like I talk,but with all the mistakes I have made in my life a little in my first book don’t hurt me. And for as making any money I never cared about making any money anyhow I just wanted my book published, And I got what I wanted. This has always been my dream, I been trying to figure out how to give my money away anyhow ask my co-workers they told me that was foolish talking I never wanted the money I wanted my words in print. So I got what I wanted and I thank God for this all coming true. Be careful for what you pray for it might come true, all I can say is that God is good. God calls this first fruit give the first away and then you will prosper. See whatever is for you no one can take that away no matter how hard they try, buy my book “Straight Down From Heaven” there is something in there for everyone, all blessing comes Straight Down From Heaven.
    See If you read my book you will see it is better to give then recieve. So now I see my book, PA was a blessing to me, after all.

  284. Although I have allowed “Bellissima Publishing” to post here, do not take that as an implied endorsement. IT IS NOT. I don’t know anything about this publisher (nor do any of the booksellers I have contacted) and I would advise you to go into any dealings with them with your eyes wide open. They appear to be a POD press which, in and of itself, doesn’t mean they are dishonest. But the likelihood of you selling many books, or getting any critical notice, when going with a POD press are slim. Personally, I am very leery about POD presses — they are notoriously fly-by-night. Anybody with a credit card can start a POD press and call themselves a publisher, so the quality of the editing, cover art, and professionalism is often iffy at best. (And most are started by aspiring authors who want to publish their own work).

  285. Penny Weigand. Some time ago I found your website in my search for a publisher, I cantacted you and you requested that I purchase a Bellisima book before going any further. I remember your story of your own frustration in finding a publisher led you to forming your own publishing company and your subsequent pleasure in the success of your company. I did purchase one of your books, “Eyes” by, Penny Diane Sirna Weigand. I have to assume that you are the author of that book. The quality of the product is fine, the editing is not, which you have admitted may be lacking in catching every error. I have no problem with that. However it seems that you have borrowed a fault of PA, with a modification, they sell to their authors, you sell your own work to prospepective authors who cantact you, seeking to have their work published. What percentage of your sales are acounted for by this ploy? Lee Goldberg has posted a timely warning about houses like yours, I tend to take the advice of this man who no axe to grind with you. I do have a short story that I may request you to look at as per your invitation to contact you. Please reply to this post giving reasons why I should follow up on your invitation and whether, or not, my observations in this post are correct. H.B. Long

  286. Bellissima only looks at finished manuscripts, and we are not a fly by night organization, only small; and we do have off-set capablity if a book merits it. I would hope this is only a discussion, and I am not asking for a Bellissima endorsement. None of you get it. We are not looking for writers, and Belissima publshes a book because it believes in the message of the book. “Eyes” is a very litle book that was one of our first endeavors. And to HB Long: I do not force my writers to purchase anything from Bellssima. I suggest prospective writers purchase a Bellissima Book, any Bellisima Book, not my books, to see if Bellissima is for them. You purchased the least exoensive of all the Bellssima Books; and trust me, Bellissima only makes a buck or two at most on any of its books. It is not about money. I stress over quality, and work hard all the time to make our products better, but I do not force anyone to purchase anything from Bellissima. I would never know for sure if a writer bought a book prior to submission, and it has been my experience as a published author outside my own company that publications generally suggest a prospective writer study their publcations and/or their published lists prior to submssion. I am sorry if you thought you had to buy something I wrote. This was really your choice, not my directive. I certainly have other writers, and you could have purchased one of their books; and I don’t really care if a writer reads anything I wrote. If you look at the evolving of Bellissima, you will see we have a certain style; and we look for a certain kind of book, length, mesage, etc. Our writers must all have 4 year degrees or more, have a positive message in their books, etc. I do not remember you contacting me, but it does sound like you do not really like Bellissima. Our writers work carefully and closely with Bellissima in the editing process, and I do believe POD is the future in books; but it is not true that anyone with a credit card can set up a publishing house. There are legalities that must be followed if a thing is to be done right. As to Lee Goldberg, the host of this site, I would like it if you would just remove Bellissima and all references to us from this site. I did not come on here to do anything but talk about the business and the process of writing and publishing; and I certainly never asked anyone for a endorsement, not even you. I won’t try to talk anyone into writing for us, and I certainly will not beg for submissions. I don’t eed to do that. I really like the writers I have right now, and they come from all over with a genuine purpose. One of our writers comes from AU, one from NY, one from WV, etc. To respond to these comments is both stressful and disconcerting. Mostly individuals on blogs have been unkind, and this blog is no exception. No wonder you all have trouble getting published. By the way, the first thing I ever wrote and sent in, I got published. I have never had an trouble getting my name out there for the last twenty plus years. Google me. I did not start Bellissima to see my name in print. I am long over that. All I want to do is produce something called literature. It is not easy, but I am having fun. And the frustration I felt was not because I could not find a publisher, it was because I could not find a publisher I really trusted and did not want to give up artistic control over my work when it was published forever in book form. So, Belissima is not a self-publisher and I do publish my own work as well as the work of others. So what? I am not asking anything of anyone. I foot all the bills for my writers. They pay me noting and they get royalties from me. No. You never have to buy anything from me and as to LB Long? It is not necessary for you to submit to me unless you meet Bellissima standards and believe in Bellissima and in your own work.

  287. Ms. Weigand, Thank you for your long, but repetitive reply. I do not like or dislike Belissima, you are reading things in my post that are not there. If my memory was faulty when I recalled reading about your frustraion in finding a publisher, I apologize. Obviously I do not qualify as a candidate for submission to your publishing house, I hold no degrees. Good luck to you in your endevours. H.B. Long

  288. To HB Long:
    Thank-you. I am weary of these blogs; and I apologize if I interpreted your stance as a challenge, and it was not. I believe our various web sites and bellissima blog(s) make it clear all Bellissima writers must have 4 year degrees. I do this so that Bellissima writers are qualified in their fields of expertise.
    Thank-you for your wishes of luck. Good luck to you as well.

    PUBLISHER: Publish America
    PUBLISHED: October 10th 2005
    COPIES SOLD BY ME: 48 copies
    COPIES SOLD BY PA: 0 copies
    CONCLUSION: PA marketing strategy…NIL.
    Now they refuse to answer my letters. I have never at any time been disrespectful. This is not very professional conduct on their part.
    Well…I know where to not get my second book published.
    Good luck to all authors

  290. Welcome to the club, Mr. Charlebois; there are thousands of authors with similar complaints about PA. Don’t expect professional behaviour from a group that cares nothing about your situation. If you want results from mail to them, you will have to order more of your books. H.B. Long

  291. Though the Publish America team did create a fine cover for the book, the other list of things unattended to have given me a love-hate relationship with my own work. They did not edit the manuscript, my wife and I did that ourselves. In fact, the only change to my manuscript that was made erroneously changed the spelling of a friend I acknowledged in the foreward. They do not promote, it is not open for review, and is considered by retailers and The Writer’s Guild to be vanity press. I have been my number one customer.
    Though I am grateful for the lessons learned, and for that moment, that very first moment that I held a book with my name on the cover, I could never recommend Publish America to anyone who wants more than that from the experience.

  292. Mr. Richey, you have described the situation very well, your experience with PA is the same as my own, they did create a nice cover for my book, they did no editing or promotion, I hope that all aspiring authors who read your post, take your advice. H.B. Long

  293. I need to get out of the contract with Publish America. I signed it in 2005 for seven years, and so far have received one royalty check worth $12. If you can help, please let me know. Please send your responses to my email at

    $1200.00 AND I DO ALL THE WORK

  295. There is NO shortcut in this business (unless you know someone). You must be prepared to wait years and years and more years. Submit your work to successful authors with REAL publishing experience and find out if you are any good. Just ask them to read a page, that’s all they will need, and tell you if it honestly stinks or not. It’s not enough to THINK you are good. If successful, honest writers say you are good, then query agents. Query them all. Submit to real publishers. Don’t fall for these kinds of vanity scams. Just. Don’t. Your love, your muse, your LIFE, your manuscript will go from a coveted obsession to the punchline of a very, very funny joke (to the legitimate publishing world). With your work of two words, i.e. your first and last name on that “contract”, your work of a hundred thousand will become court jester to the literati. It is not worth it.

  296. I agree with all these complaints. We have sold books and have never seen compensation for them. They won’t respond to my attempts to resolve this matter. I am happy that my contract expires next month and hope to find a real publisher.
    I had thought about suing them for breech of contract, maybe if a bunch of us got together we could straighten them out.
    Ed Mixon, Harvest

  297. I just signed a contract with PA and so far its been fine, and as to books not being on the barns and nobil web sit, I was a little nervious so I went to the PA bookstore and randomly picked out ten different typs of books. I easly found each and every one at the Barns and nobil website. It put my mind at ease. Ive also read that they hound your friends and family to buy your book, I told them that I didnt want to give any names to them and nothing else was said. AS a first time author I expect that my book will not be placed on bookshelves and also expect that i will have to do alot of permoting. But my boook will be availble on many online bookstores. If my book is good it will sell. If not the next one will be better, I just like to write and tell stories with my writting and am thankful that my book will be availble to everyone. I want to be published not rich. If you want to be rich you should try anouter prefession

  298. with all these complaints I’ve read on various websites why are there only 64 complaints listed in 36 months on the better business bural, the place most people will go to check out a business, the place I looked before signing the contract and so far I’ve been happy. But if I do end up with a horror story I wont blame myself because I did check them out by the proper chanels I will blame the people who are grumbling about them without filling a proper complaint with the place most will go to check out a busness. I”m not trying to defend anyboby or get into a word war I just want to know why they seen to be fine on the berrer busness bural

  299. I think the problem is that you’ve been checking the Better Business Bural. I think the other problem is that you are clearly a fucktard for your reasoning concerning your likely scamming. If I suffer a brain injury, I’m going to blame you as reading your words has me convinced that others with brain injuries are walking the earth and not getting the care they need, which, naturally, makes my presumptive brain injury your fault.

  300. hi tod I want to respond again my first responce was not posted. I guss I pushed the limit explaining how I realy felt about you calling me a “fucktard” I realy thought it was childlike and immature. I’m sory you didnt like my analogy, but the fact is i did look up publish America on my computer, I even gave a scam check using their name, I dont know why nothing came up like it does now when I type in publishAmerica my network my computer whaterer? after that I went to the better busniss bural to make sure they were a lagitment company and acording to them they are. I’m just saying that if more people pomplained to them and there were more complaints listed it might turn others away from PA. I already sined the contract and the book is in the final stages so all I can do is hope the book is good enough to overcome any obsticals..
    I realy wish they posted my last responce I think you would of enjoyed it!!!! Im sure you can fill in the blanks!!!!!! middle finger to you times ten!!!!!!

  301. Thank you for your time. Being a new author is hard enough and these people keep wanting me to sign a contract. I told them I wasn’t going to outsell myself, however, I need a decent publishing company I can submit my first 4 chapters too. Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated and respected. I am writing a horror novel and know it has the potential to be a best seller.

  302. thanks for pointing that out daisyi, i’m sure its not the only word thats misspeled my spelling and gramar is horrible, so bad its embarrising thats why I want to write books. Mabye I spelled my name wrong on the contract LOL! thank god for spellcheck!

  303. Here is the email address to the office of consumer affairs of Maryland
    The Attorney Generals Office:
    Contact them with a SHORT itemized list of grievances with PA. Let them know that they have breached contract and be prepared to prove it.
    PublishAmerica has already changed their online FAQ page to reflect that books will not appear in bookstores. It’s all changed in the last few weeks.
    You may not need to file a lawsuit if we all petition at the same time.
    PA Information to include with your email:
    PublishAmerica LLLP
    P.O. Box 151
    Frederick, MD 21705
    (301) 695-1707
    Good luck.

  304. My biggest problem is getting the books. I ordered 500 dollars worth of books, as I have already booked a few signings. I had to cancel everything because I can not get the book. I have emailed them, begging them to please get the book to me. I have received several excuses why copies have not been sent out- back orders, binder broken down, etc. I just want the book! The more books I buy and sell, the more money they make- so I do not understand why they are not falling over themselves to send me the book. I am so upset. I did not know any of this stuff before I signed with them. I would not be unhappy if I just had my books! I fully intended to market myself- but I can’t do a very good job of that when I can’t even get copies that I ordered. I am very disappointed.

  305. hey guys! I am just getting to know what I missed since 2007 my book was published by Publish America.
    With ALL the promises that I received from PA prior to publishing my book(Sing this Melody), I now realize that I have only grappled with the “winds” of false hope.
    My book was put on Amazon by PA, and about seven other bookstors (which I saw), and since 2007 that it was published not a dime has reched my hands.
    I do not even receive any quarterly updates about my book as promised by PA, much less money.
    I am still waiting in frustration. Please help me come through the PA Scam!
    Thank you.

  306. I just had to reply. Dr. Richard Tate called me personally after I had some questions and had submitted a manuscript. In the course of our “discussions”, I sent the following email to Dr. Tate. It was the simple question posed as an equation. Two coherent thoughts + money = Published Author. Dr. Tate sent me back a nasty reply that I was questioning his integrity, and wished me well in my search for a publisher. I tried to explain in a reply email that I was not refering to Tate per se, but as they say, methinks he doth protest too loudly. By the way, the title of my self-help business/sales book is entitled, “Just Another Day at the Office – Things I’ve learned By Getting Burned”. See the irony? :-).

  307. Most of what I’ve been reading is rather amusing, but let me ask you this: If the writers you are referring to can’t get signed by a “traditional publisher” what would you suggest they do? Nothing? Just say “Oh, well,” and quit? Make sense. Publishing is just like the music biz, filled with jealousy, and predjudice, and people who I wouldn’t trust walking my dog, let alone making such important decisions. Publish America just may be the only outlet for an author to ever see their manuscript in print. Would you suggest they just accept the opinions of people they’ll never even see, to tell them the quality of their work? My name is Dennis Osondu, and you’ll be hearing frome me in the very near future. Especially, when I wind up as the highest selling PA author of all time (no damn jokes!)thanks to my upcoming novel: “Ghetto Foxy: Queen Of The Red Carpets.”
    You’ll realize from my writing that talent isn’t all it takes in this buisness, or in any damn buisness. I’ve submitted my manuscripts to dozens of companies, only to be told repeatedly, no. Fine, I say. Because, I’m one of the best urban fiction writers of all time, and PA is going to help me prove it.
    You’ve all taken a look at the garbage that’s being called Urban Fiction, and had a few good laughs over it, I’m sure. Well, the laughing is about to come to a grinding halt. I’m a student of the masters: Stephen King, Anne Rice, Robert Jordan. And, I’m going to wipe the smirks off all of your faces. So, keep trashing Publish America (to me, the biggest drawback to dealing with them is their incredibly high prices), but when you read Ghetto Foxy (and, believe me, you will), perhaps you’ll realize that the real problem is the way these industries operate. They give people no other recourse, but to deal with a Publish America. Which I’m going to do. And, when you read my first novel, you just might want to quit writing, yourself. Or, at least, work harder on your craft. Because, chances are, I’m way better than you! Long live the Queen—Megan Denise Fox!

  308. Please, let’s cut the bullshit! Stop with the waiting for some person you’ll never even meet face to face, to tell you if your writing is good or not. It’s 2010. There’s an African American family in the White House. So, isn’t it about time we stop lying to ourselves? My name is Dennis Osondu, and I’m not an aspiring writer. I’m a writer! In fact, my upcoming novel: “Ghetto Foxy: Queen Of The Red Carpets” is the best urban fiction horror novel ever written! You may say: “It’s the only urban fiction horror novel ever written,” but it’s not, and that’s not the point. The point is, the publishing industry is exactly like the music industry. We once had Rakim, now we have “down south music.” There are people in charge of who gets published, and who doesn’t, who shouldn’t be in charge of shit! I’ve submitted my work to publishers who also write, who I’ll write under a table, and they refused to even respond. I won’t even say Wahida Clark’s name. But, if you’re really telling aspiring writers to simply put their typewriters and manuscripts away, rather than give PA a try, you sound dumber than you probably really are. PA will always be around, as long as America stays the way it is. I’ll let you see a sample of my writing if you’d like. Go to My upcoming novel is about a particular actress that’s on the verge of really blowing the hell up, and I’m going to ride the wave of her sucess. That’s what publishing is really all about; writing the best novel you can possibly write, and then promoting and marketing it. Think before you write. The hell with letting the words flow naturally! Agonize over every one of them. Remeber your target audience with every sentence, and never forget them. And, read! I suggest buying every single Stephen King novel, Robert Jordan novel, and Anne Rice novel. For fun, go and also buy a Wahida Clark novel. Ha! Ha! See the difference between good and bad writing. For good urban fiction writing, check out Nikki Rashan’s “You Make Me Wanna”, Omar Tyree’s “Leslie” and Relentless Aaron’s “Topless.” My main problem with Publish America is the way they price their books. I know for a fact that my book is going to sell, but putting a price tag over twenty dollars on it, will hinder that. I’m going to see if I can’t work something out with them regarding that. But, when it comes to getting my manuscript in print, with a nice cover (extremely important—maybe, most important!, they’ll do just fine. I plan on being the proof that the publishing industry is bullshit. Especially, for urban fiction writers. They don’t want to see the writing improve. And, the authors who now have their own publishing companies, aren’t about to open the door for much better writers…like me. So, in short, with all of the problems people have with Publish America (and, I do appreciate the advice, and the warnings—especially, regarding their contracts), understand that everyone has to start somewhere. If you really have a good book, go to PA and let them put it together for you. Do Not send them your only book. That’s a no-no. I would say the same thing about any non-traditional publisher. But, if you have more than one, send it to them. Let’s see…send it to PA who will print it up for you, give you a hot cover (their covers are banging, don’t let people lie about that) put it on the internet for you, and finally give you something tangible (which will undoubtedly boost your ego, as well as your writing)to show others. Or, keep your manuscript in some dusty dresser because people warned you against dealing with them. Make sense. People are going to take the chance. At least, the brave ones are. And, take it from me, be honest about your writing (I even suggest you send your manuscript to publishers overnight express—it really does make you view your work with a harsher eye, knowing it’s about to get read, and compare your stuff to the masters. It’s the only way. Writing is not music. Good writing is not a matter of opinion. It’s a matter of the writer knowing how to write, properly. Go to to see an excerpt from one of my novels. And, remember: Megan Fox is a fucking queen!

  309. Hello Michael, I want to thank you for your post, I would like to know how you did get out of your contract, as I feel that I am about to be going down a path of this as I have one book already published with them, and another possibly on the way; if you would email me at, I would really appreciate it.


  311. Thank you for everything about the publishing company. I almost fell for allowing them to publish my first children’s book a few months ago. I was referred to them by a friend, and it sent up warning flags when they wanted such an unreasonable amount of my royalties. I sent a message asking to renegotiate the offer, and they flat out refused to hear of it, which sounded to me like they were a scam if they could not even take the time to discuss with me anything regarding my book. Instead, they sent me an automated email to explain why they would not negotiate with me. I was ready to give in and use them as my publisher, but something in my heart told me not to. I learned on a forum what a scam they were several weeks after I decided not to publish with them. I thought about taking a chance just to have my book in print, but I said to myself “no, I will wait for another publishing company to pick me up before I will let a company bamboozle me.” I read the information you provided and it made me realize how thankful I am that I refused their offer and never side the ridiculous contract they sent me.

  312. This is directed to the complainers: I currently have five books published through PA. I read the contracts before signing. I expected PA to do certain things and they did. I expected PA to NOT do some things and that’s what happened. There is NO guarantee they’ll sell my books. They asked for a mailing list and I provided it. They sent ONE new book notice each time and have not hounded anyone to buy my books. I believe that many of the complainers here have unrealistic expectations. In today’s market, try finding an editor, a publisher and an agent who will take your manuscript, edit, publish and insure that it gets into stores…if you believe it’s that simple. PA says they’ll publish your book and that part doesn’t cost you a thing. If you want to market it yourself, that’s up to you. Quit complaining. Write your book and find a different publisher. It’s that simple, but for someone to complain their book isn’t in the stores, well, there are tens of thousands of books that are not in the stores just like musicians who put out their music and stores don’t stock it. Companies are in business to make a profit. Duh! Of course PA charges for other services. No one can afford to hire proof readers, editors, agents, etc and not have some income coming in to pay these people. You’re getting your book published for free so of course they’re going to make you pay for additional copies. Be realistic. If you aren’t satisfied with getting your book published for free, send your manuscript elsewhere and see how quickly you have to wise up. I have five books published and no complaints. They’ve done what they told me they would do and I am pleased with the quality. Each writer must decide for themselves and have reasonable expectations. It’s as simple as that.

  313. I am also one of those duped by PA. I wanted my books in print so I went with them. When I discovered what they were really about, I tried to get out of my contracts. I was told I would have to buy my way out. Which I will not do. PA did no promoting of my books, and only wanted to sell them to me. One book that was published was the rough draft and not the finished manuscript. What was funny was the used the synopsis of the finished manuscript for the back cover which had seven stories. The rough draft had six. I pointed this out to them, they changed the cover to reflect the rough draft, then said they never received the finished manuscript. I sent it again, and was told that the Editor said not to print it but to use the rough draft. I will not accept any offers from them, and am waiting until my contacts expires or until I can afford an attorney.

  314. Really late to the party here, but I thought I’d update you with Publish America’s new name, which is now America Star Books. (Apparently they changed names in 2014.) So… now to avoid America Star Books.

  315. Every thing that I have seen appears right. Since I fell for their sales pitch in 2009 they have not done anything except delay, defer and in general say “royalties this period and has had no sales for longer than a year” every time Inquiry.
    Then they just called today out of the blue (443-684-5736) and wanted to send me data on my royalties.
    I noticed that on several blog spots they are getting a very be reputation.
    I will not do business with them and have revised the book in total and will give it away.

  316. Thank you for your advice, by the way I am 11 but have talked to other famous authors about book writting ( online talking) I sent them some of my stories and they like them.


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