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Komnena
06-01-2007, 11:52 PM
Catslave

We might occasionally even serve the public good. Our readers have been warned about PA, if they didn't know already. I do need to retract saying I thought they might be useful for family-only projects since I've learned about Lulu from this forum.

Tina
06-02-2007, 02:03 AM
I'm told that all the tone letters are written by either Miranda or Larry personally.

Even more proof that they're utterly lousy writers. These letters show no comprehension of what is deemed acceptable business communication. Some of these 'tone' letter read like they were drafted by grade school kids (no, scratch that, grade school kids could do better).

What professional person uses "you ought to be deeply ashamed of yourself" in business correspondence? Imagine if your VISA or phone bill was overdue and on your next statement it chastised you for how sorry you ought to be!

abemorgantis
06-02-2007, 02:46 AM
That's astonishing! As for harassment, Miranda would know about that now, wouldn't she?

triceretops
06-02-2007, 02:56 AM
Yep, my money is on Moe as the author of ALL the correspondence. She's emotionally troubled, vindictive and vengeful. It fits her like a glove.

Tri

CatSlave
06-02-2007, 03:23 AM
Even more proof that they're utterly lousy writers. These letters show no comprehension of what is deemed acceptable business communication. Some of these 'tone' letter read like they were drafted by grade school kids (no, scratch that, grade school kids could do better).

What professional person uses "you ought to be deeply ashamed of yourself" in business correspondence? Imagine if your VISA or phone bill was overdue and on your next statement it chastised you for how sorry you ought to be!
The intent of the "tone letters" is to intimidate. Nobody at PA is attempting to win the "Miss Congeniality" competition.

DaveKuzminski
06-02-2007, 04:02 AM
I figure MNP is toast but doesn't realize it yet. She's closer to being laid off than it appears because she's not an owner and PA can replace her with someone who can do more for PA by combining two positions. I've seen it happen before. Odds are MNP won't last to the end of the year. They'll either cut her loose just before Thanksgiving or just before Christmas. I'm betting on Thanksgiving.

triceretops
06-02-2007, 04:29 AM
Well they certainly need a replacement who doesn't have the gall to address clients as zoo animals and ignorant idiots. Poor Moe--she's got issues, don't ya know.

Ever heard the term "fish bowl" applied to the drunk tank at the police station, by cops? It is a derogatory tag, much like the one up above--zoo animals.

Tri

CatSlave
06-02-2007, 05:11 AM
Well they certainly need a replacement who doesn't have the gall to address clients as zoo animals and ignorant idiots. Poor Moe--she's got issues, don't ya know.

Ever heard the term "fish bowl" applied to the drunk tank at the police station, by cops? It is a derogatory tag, much like the one up above--zoo animals.

Tri

But that's *exactly* what they want, someone with no conscience, someone who has no qualms about enforcing the PA cult code by intimidating and humiliating the author pool. Miranda's power trip works in her favor here.

But now they have Vic. Vic is expensive. Vic can write threatening letters at least as well as Miranda and Larry. Larry's a partner so they're stuck with him. So as the submissions slow down, and the arbitration hearings increase, not to mention Willem's travel and aviation fuel expenses and the cost of their own printing plant, what are they going to do to cut back on the overhead? It must be increasing rapidly while submissions and book sales are slacking off. The bad news about PA is getting a hell of a lot more exposure than the so-called publicity PA generates for its authors' books.

Interesting scenario to say the least.

abemorgantis
06-02-2007, 05:24 AM
But that's *exactly* what they want, someone with no conscience, someone who has no qualms about enforcing the PA cult code by intimidating and humiliating the author pool. Miranda's power trip works in her favor here.

Miranda has proven time and time again she has no conscience, no heart or soul. But she costs money. I wonder how "Executive Director at PublishAmerica" affect her job prospects in the future.

Afinerosesheis
06-02-2007, 05:32 AM
If I got a letter such as that, I would be in tears.

emsuniverse
06-02-2007, 05:50 AM
There are certain simple rules of decency that civil people follow when they communicate, and you have abided by none.

Like you people do?

Instead, you opt to make outrageous allegations brimming with falsehoods, XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, and stoop to lows that we have not seen before in our more than seven years of working with more than twenty thousand happy authors.
Brimming with falsehoods? What was that again about the pot calling the kettle black?


You ought to be deeply ashamed of yourself.

No comment.

We have courteously reminded you of your right to come and visit our office and inspect all relevant sales records, in accordance with Par. 12 of your contract, yet you insist that PublishAmerica "might not want their books audited." The truth is that we welcome your audit, as we welcome any author's audit. We also insist on receiving your apology for your beyond-offensive attitude.

People, you don't want an audit.


Also, royalty statements have been rendered and forwarded to you each time they were due, timely and promptly, to your Tipton, Iowa address, as the copies that we keep show. For you to accuse us of the contrary is shameless and irresponsible.

Oh my God, is this person SERIOUS?

You are herewith put on notice that no more email messages or phone calls from you will be accepted until you apologize for your attitude.

I have flashbacks of being sent to the principal's office here.

Pending your apology, do not email or call us again. Your failure to abide by this instruction will be considered harassment and reported to your local law enforcement agencies without delay.


And I hope you get reported to yours.

Jersey Chick
06-02-2007, 05:55 AM
Oh, I wouldn't cry, but I'd get mad as hell and probably fire off an equally furious letter. Trouble is, it would be full of typos and things that don't make a whole lot of sense (I did the same thing with one of my SIL's friends - huge fight- very ugly, but neither here nor there)...

However, when I calmed down and got out the red pen, they'd be wishing for the Jabberwock version. I don't back down and I'm not all that easily intimidated - especially by stooges.

I have to give Marie credit - she's keeping a real cool head about it. I'm mucho impressed! :)

It should be interesting to see the next phase - if PA is like most bullies, they'll back down real quick when they realize they're outmuscled.

Marie Pacha
06-02-2007, 06:06 AM
Tears are the reaction they want from their authors.

I had a legitimate reason for contacting them and they never actually addressed my original concern, but they sure danced around it as much as they could.

I told them I hadn't received ONE of two royalty statements. Any rational organization would have offered to send a duplicate perhaps assuming that something had inadvertently happened to it; like the US Postal service.

But NOOOO; among other things they first asked if I had a copy of a sales slip, then said all royalty statements were sent out, and then asked if I moved etc. etc.

Meanwhile I repeated email after email that I had not RECEIVED one of my royalty statements. I didn't ask for a check or even assume that I had a sale in that time period UNTIL they asked to see a receipt. And when I provided that they implied that either I or my witness must be lying (or both of us), because they don't show any record of a sale.

They are print on demand are they not? Lightning Source prints a copy of a book when an order is placed, and they don't pay Publish America for that UNTIL payment is made to them. I don't know who missed what in the confusion their system operates under, but I know when that book was paid for.

I wasn't in tears when I got that letter; I was angry.

Marie Pacha
06-02-2007, 06:33 AM
A little over six years ago I was divorced and for months afterwards my child support payments were messed up. Payments were taken directly from my ex'es paycheck and went through child support recovery in my state.

The corporation (which happens to be in the food industry) he worked for had sales of over $1.6 billion dollars in the last quarter of this year; in other words it's a whole lot bigger than Publish America.

I wrote their corporate offices, and I wrote my governor's office after months of dealing with their representatives who are supposed to handle complaints and told them that if they couldn't get the issue fixed my sons and I would be camping out in front of my State Capitol building and that I would invite every member of the media I possibly could to witness it and interview me.

It got fixed. Within a week. Someone got fired at the food company. It turned out there were a lot of issues with child support deductions and subsequent payments to the families that were waiting for them. A VP of the company gave me his extension in case I ever had another problem, and fortunately I never did.


My sons were quite relieved, because they knew that I would follow through with the camp out in an attempt to bring media attention to this issue. And I never had another problem with the child support checks.

I'm not very patient at dealing with customer service people who cannot make an independent decision or judgment. I tend to go to the top of the chain of command to get something done.

I don't get scared off, and I don't give up when I believe I am right. And as God is my witness I believe I am in the right with my complaints about Publish America.

DaveKuzminski
06-02-2007, 06:36 AM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Unless we receive an apology for such pathetic behavior, this will be our last communication with you on this matter. Further such messages will be deleted unread.

Gee, talk about wanting their cake and eating it too. PA must be psychic as well as psycho in order to know the content of a message without reading it before deleting it.

tlblack
06-02-2007, 06:45 AM
Also, royalty statements have been rendered and forwarded to you each time they were due, timely and promptly, to your Tipton, Iowa address, as the copies that we keep show. For you to accuse us of the contrary is shameless and irresponsible.


I had still not received my royalty statement for Feb. 2007 by the beginning of April, so I emailed PA and asked them why they hadn't sent it. After several replies to me with the same exact letter, I kindly sent them an email that stated I would just send copies of the emails (both mine and theirs) to the IRS when I filed my taxes. It took about 30 minutes for someone to get back to me and say they had mailed it in February, but would be glad to send out another copy if I would like.

If I got a letter such as that, I would be in tears.

The unfortunate truth is that every time you start asking PA questions, especially when it concerns royalties (or the lack thereof), you get those tone letters. That one is worse than the ones I received from PA when I asked that my contract be cancelled.

Marie Pacha
06-02-2007, 06:47 AM
I got one final email from Publish America:

Dear Ms. Pacha:

Ingram Book Company forwarded your question about Pawnshop's sales to
us. Book wholesalers and printers don't handle questions from individuals.
As you know very well, we have already answered your question in
detail. You are once again, and cordially so, invited to follow
through on Par. 12 of your contract, which allows you to audit your
sales records with your own eyes. Our records and accounts are
physically located in our Maryland headquarters. That is where you
are welcome to visit.

Have a good day,
PublishAmerica Support
support@publishamerica.com

Oh did I forget to mention I contacted Ingram's corporate offices? I did.

This was my final email to PA in response to that one:

A lot of people have contacted Ingram's recently just as I had the right to contact them. It probably wouldn't have been necessary under other circumstances. The young man I spoke to there was quite pleasant. Unfortunately you haven't quite answered all my questions, or responded to my requests to my satisfaction. There are still discrepancies which need to be explained.

So I'll be sending your office and Mr. Cretella's (I believe he is your legal representative) some correspondence by US Postal Service mail in the near future. And I am aware of all my options under the contract.

And unfortunately, considering your last email I don't really feel I would be welcome in your office, especially since it was necessary for me to contact the local law enforcement officials after the last one.

I would appreciate it if you would sign at least a first name to your correspondence, and a job title. It's difficult knowing who has sent which e-mails and how aware of the situation they are; especially since I was originally corresponding with Gail in the royalty's dept. I would have assumed since royalty statements were the basis for my recent contact with PA that my correspondence should have continued from that dept.

Thanks for your time.

Marie Pacha

Marie Pacha
06-02-2007, 06:55 AM
tl,

Mr. Cretella finally sent a copy of some of my royalty statements (but not all) in response to an email I sent him in an effort to facilitate the arbitration; of course I also copied the American Arbitration Association with that request which might be why the copies were sent.

But no royalties were reported for that book for the time period in question. Maybe I should send copies of the book order and receipt to the IRS with that royalty statement. and a statement from my witness, and ask them to look into the matter as well. I like that idea!

Jersey Chick
06-02-2007, 07:02 AM
Oooh.... the IRS :scared:

You'll make the stooges wet themselves, scream like little girls, and pass out ::e2thud:

I'd kill to see that :D

CatSlave
06-02-2007, 07:02 AM
tl,

Mr. Cretella finally sent a copy of some of my royalty statements (but not all) in response to an email I sent him in an effort to facilitate the arbitration; of course I also copied the American Arbitration Association with that request which might be why the copies were sent.

But no royalties were reported for that book for the time period in question. Maybe I should send copies of the book order and receipt to the IRS with that royalty statement. and a statement from my witness, and ask them to look into the matter as well. I like that idea!
Considering the number of people who have complained about possibly being cheated out of royalties, here and elsewhere, on numerous websites and in numerous chat rooms, I think the IRS would find the situation of interest. If and when you prove your allegations and have supporting documentation for the IRS, you may be entitled to some sort of recompense from the government. Maybe someone who knows more about the tax evasion issue can comment on it.

CatSlave
06-02-2007, 07:05 AM
Can you invite an IRS tax auditor to your arbitration hearing?

Marie Pacha
06-02-2007, 07:15 AM
Actually I requested that an auditor be present, and I contacted the IRS office in Maryland regarding the matter. (I've been busy out here in Iowa.)

But I want an expedited hearing and it might take too long to arrange a specific date with one of their auditors. I think just the royalty statements, a copy of my contracts, a statement from my witness and the receipt might be enough to interest them though. I can be very persistent!

tlblack
06-02-2007, 07:29 AM
tl,

Mr. Cretella finally sent a copy of some of my royalty statements (but not all) in response to an email I sent him in an effort to facilitate the arbitration; of course I also copied the American Arbitration Association with that request which might be why the copies were sent.

But no royalties were reported for that book for the time period in question. Maybe I should send copies of the book order and receipt to the IRS with that royalty statement. and a statement from my witness, and ask them to look into the matter as well. I like that idea!

I'm pretty tenacious when I want to be. PA has no idea if I sent the info to the IRS or not, nor do I have any intentions of saying one way or the other in an open forum. Apparently just the idea that I might, was enough to get someone's attention.

VGrossack
06-02-2007, 11:02 AM
Marie -

How many books are you speaking about? It sounds as if it's just one? Or have I not understood your e-mails correctly?

James D. Macdonald
06-02-2007, 11:45 AM
I'm told that PA interprets "...which allows you to audit your
sales records with your own eyes" quite strictly, in that they don't allow the author to bring along a professional accountant to audit those records.

Christine N.
06-02-2007, 03:45 PM
I think they do now, after the Phil Dolan incident. He had a forensic accountant do the audit, I think. It was a fight, but PA was forced to let them in.

Marie Pacha
06-02-2007, 04:24 PM
One is enough for a breach of contract; especially with all their denials and my witness.

Marie Pacha
06-02-2007, 04:27 PM
The arbitrator can okay an auditor; just as he has the authority to order subpoenas and can demand the presentation of certain records.

VGrossack
06-02-2007, 04:36 PM
One is enough for a breach of contract; especially with all their denials and my witness.

Just curious! A sale of a single copy could have fallen through the accounting cracks - it could be an honest mistake - but their lack of willingness to work with you is the problem.

Actually, if all the people who have problems / questions regarding their royalties were to demand answers from PA, it could be the death of them "by 1000 cuts." Of course, all of these authors would be threatened charges of harassment, even when they're simply asking the same, legitimate, not-yet-addressed question over and over.

Marie Pacha
06-02-2007, 05:31 PM
Exactly, and it was their unwillingness to even discuss it that set off alarms as far as I was concerned.

That's when I started digging and found more problems.

Sparhawk
06-02-2007, 07:05 PM
Exactly, and it was their unwillingness to even discuss it that set off alarms as far as I was concerned.

That's when I started digging and found more problems.

Maria,

I'm glad that you're taking PA to task and all, but aren't you concerned about talking about the case? I know you're not revealling a whole lot but it seems that the more you discuss it the more likely Vic and his slimeball crew will be able to get some kind of idea as to what you're going to present and prepare themselves a counter. We all know PA frequebnts these threads and I'm confident they visit Linda's guild as well.

Again, I'm behind you 1000%, I just wouldn't want to see you get hamstrung by potentially tipping your hat.

Having said that, I'll gladly provide you tone letters etc. if you feel they'll in any way help you. Give Vic and his cronies a kick in the groin for me !!

Marie Pacha
06-02-2007, 08:04 PM
Please send the tone letters to my email at ASimpleSilence@aol.com, signed with your real name please? Especially any that threatened you in any way.

I have to present my evidence to Mr. Cretella prior to the hearing. He also has to present his to me. But they don't have a clue what all I have so far. And I really don't care. What I have they can't refute.

Unless they change the documents to suddenly show a payment (and I don't think they would do that) where they SAID none existed before, how can they counter my claims? Even if they did that it would mean they had lied to me in their e-mails.

While some of the specifics of the case concerning any awards may be sealed afterwards; it's my understanding that all my evidence will remain mine to do with as I please.

I'll wear my pointed shoes!

I want to make one thing perfectly clear though; I don't know Willem, or Larry, or Miranda, although I have to admit I don't want to know any of them. I've talked to Mr. Cretella twice on the phone and although we are obviously adversaries he was polite. This is not a personal issue about who they are or their lifestyles. These are issues about their business practices and breach of contracts.

And I am prepared.

Marie Pacha
06-02-2007, 08:16 PM
By the way, did you realize that the last 76 pages of Willem's book How to Upset a Goliath Book Biz includes the names of his 20,000 happy authors, as he thanks us?

Personally I want my name removed.

(I bought it used on eBay.)

Jersey Chick
06-02-2007, 08:44 PM
I'll wear my pointed shoes!

Get yourself a good pair of cowboy boots - or something with steel toes :D

CatSlave
06-02-2007, 08:52 PM
Is it a fact that when Phil Dolan took PA to court, he was able to have the PA books audited and it was determined they kept two sets of books?

Is this information correct, and if so, can evidence of their proven bookkeeping scheme be brought up as evidence at your arbitration?

Marie Pacha
06-02-2007, 08:56 PM
*smiles sweetly*

Marie Pacha
06-02-2007, 09:16 PM
Let's assume for a minute that we are a business like PA.

Some of the orders for the books we publish and the corresponding payments come directly to our office. Those SHOULD be posted on a daily basis on our books. Right? Any business I have ever worked for recorded and deposited their receipts on a daily basis.

Then there are those books which go through Lightning Source/Ingrams and are reported on a monthly basis and should be posted then. Right?

So there has to be two sets of records kept in the office. Right?

Since the royalty percentages vary according to which bookseller they use those percentages should be listed, and actually I would think a vendor code should be too; which would indicate exactly when and where the books were purchased. After all; Lightning Source/Ingrams would need that vendor code for their own records wouldn't they?

I can think of a number of things that could go wrong in the data transfer, but I'll save those for the hearing.

Dancre
06-02-2007, 09:17 PM
A portion of my response to them:

I'm so sorry if I offended you. I believe that constitutes the apology you are requesting.

Rules of decency? I asked a question two days ago, and was put off repeatedly. I have saved copies of our email correspondence, and copied them; not to mentioned saved them online on AOL. Those will prove that I have not altered any of them in anyway.

Paragraph 12 of my contract does NOT state that the review of my account has to be done in your office. Please reread it thoroughly.

If your records do not show a payment for this book perhaps it is because your bookkeeping is inaccurate, we'll find out. And by the way...Ingrams does list a sale of that book in their 2006 sales. I checked that too.

Thank you for what you say is your final correspondence...As a writer I feel I have an obligation to present the truth to the public. But I haven't done so; instead I have opted to proceed with established methods of dispute resolution. I have the forms here for the Consumer Protection Division. I have spent most of the day gathering relevant documents and waiting for Gail in your royalty department to call me back as she promised. Instead I received this email from you...Since we have a contractural agreement I doubt any rational law enforcement official would consider that my attempts to rectify this issue would be considered harassment. Especially since both the Sheriff and the Chief of Police know me personally. Indeed when I show them the copy of your email I can include them in my witness list. Your attempts to intimidate your authors in this manner have already been documented on the Internet as well; almost word for word as your letter. I'll submit a copy of that information to the Consumer Protection Division along with my complaint form.

***
There are some typos in that correspondence to them, I was pretty upset when I wrote it. And at the time I wrote it I had not read my contract carefully, and I didn't realize I had to go through the AAA. Obviously I figured that out in the interim!

Marie, have you also contacted the BBB? I"m not sure what they can do for you, but they might be a thorn in PA's side.

kim

Christine N.
06-02-2007, 09:20 PM
Not bloody likely. The BBB is a waste as far as PA is concerned. As far as I know, all they had to do when someone complained was tell the BBB that they had contacted the complainer and that was enough to restore their good standing. Nothing about actually resovlving the issue. Check Dave's P&E listing for more information.

James D. Macdonald
06-02-2007, 09:24 PM
The fact that they have well-practiced, canned responses to complaints about non-payment of royalties should be a warning sign all in itself.

Dancre
06-02-2007, 09:24 PM
tl,

Mr. Cretella finally sent a copy of some of my royalty statements (but not all) in response to an email I sent him in an effort to facilitate the arbitration; of course I also copied the American Arbitration Association with that request which might be why the copies were sent.

But no royalties were reported for that book for the time period in question. Maybe I should send copies of the book order and receipt to the IRS with that royalty statement. and a statement from my witness, and ask them to look into the matter as well. I like that idea!

So Marie, are you saying you never got the royalty check for purchased books? If that's the case, I'd be calling a lawyer too. Good for you for having so much guts!! It sounds like PA maybe doing underhanded things under the table, so to speak. If they've done it to you, they'll do it with others.

kim

Marie Pacha
06-02-2007, 09:43 PM
http://www.baltimore.bbb.org/commonreport.html?bid=32010985&code=

That's the website for the Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland.


A lot of the cases are considered resolved even though "the consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to the BBB" or "the consumer did not accept the offer" or "the consumer remained dissatisfied."

In 10 of the 70 cases listed "Company resolved the complaint issues. The consumer acknowledged acceptance to the BBB."

"Based on BBB files, this company has a satisfactory record
satisfactory record - A business identified in our report as satisfactory has, based on Bureau files, been in business for at least one year, and has voluntarily provided the Bureau with all information requested about the business and its product or service. If any complaints have been received about the business, their number has not been considered by the BBB to be extreme, given the nature of the company's business and the volume of business transacted. Complaints are also generally typical of what might be expected for this type of business. A business stated to be satisfactory has not been the subject of any recent law enforcement actions concerning its dealings with the public. If the business has been contacted by the BBB about its advertising or selling claims, it has modified or substantiated its practices to the Bureau's satisfaction. In addition, the BBB has a clear understanding of the company's business, and the business is not in an industry which has raised significant marketplace concerns."

I could file a complaint with them; following through would only indicate that they agreed to arbitration which is a term of their contract(s) and would not indicate the results. As a result it probably wouldn't appear as a negative on their reports.

Marie Pacha
06-02-2007, 09:45 PM
Nope, never got a check. It doesn't show at all on their royalty statement to me.

Dancre
06-02-2007, 09:49 PM
Nope, never got a check. It doesn't show at all on their royalty statement to me.

Wow!! I'm glad you're taking them to court. ARe you going in arbitration to with a lawyer? Do you need one?

Mel
06-02-2007, 10:18 PM
http://bb.publishamerica.com/viewtopic.php?t=21303

Writers of old made very little money or nothing at all. In fact, most authors are rewarded posthumously! Think about that. To make money as a first-time author, you must be famous, or must have survived a journey to hell and back, literally, like a Darfur (Sudan) survior!.

No comment.

Marie Pacha
06-02-2007, 10:47 PM
An attorney is not a requirement.

abemorgantis
06-02-2007, 10:56 PM
Writers of old made very little money or nothing at all. In fact, most authors are rewarded posthumously! Think about that. To make money as a first-time author, you must be famous, or must have survived a journey to hell and back, literally, like a Darfur (Sudan) survior!.

That's both incorrect and sick.

For example, Charles Dickens did quite well with his writing in his time.

And comparing anything related to publishing to a genocide is revolting.

Dancre
06-03-2007, 05:47 AM
An attorney is not a requirement.

You might want to think about taking one with you. PA will have one, I'm sure. Just watch these folks, ok??

kim

CatSlave
06-03-2007, 06:54 AM
Maybe I missed the boat somewhere, but is there any individual or organization that collects a stockpile of evidence against PA on an ongoing basis?

If such evidence was accessible and available, it may encourage other authors who have been cheated to take the steps necessary to engage in arbitration or a court hearing, depending on the complaint. A class action lawsuit is not an option so each author has to act independently. But then if each author would share the results of their arbitration, it may help the next person who takes PA to court.

I've heard so many people complain about being cheated out of their royalty payments, but then nothing seems to come of it. I know there's an arbitration fund available. If there was a "lending library" of evidence about PA to go along with it, maybe more people would be willing to pursue arbitration like Marie is doing. It seems that for every case PA loses, the task of winning at arbitration will become easier.

Am I just dreaming, or does anyone else see the possibilities here?
Or am I trying to reinvent the wheel?

DaveKuzminski
06-03-2007, 07:29 AM
Maybe I missed the boat somewhere, but is there any individual or organization that collects a stockpile of evidence against PA on an ongoing basis?

If such evidence was accessible and available, it may encourage other authors who have been cheated to take the steps necessary to engage in arbitration or a court hearing, depending on the complaint. A class action lawsuit is not an option so each author has to act independently. But then if each author would share the results of their arbitration, it may help the next person who takes PA to court.


It's not that there's not a lot of evidence available, but that the evidence has to pertain to the individual case in question. Also, the person going into arbitration has to have standing. Were that not the case, PA would be out of business now. Unfortunately, such actions can only be conducted by a prosecutor representing the public interest and most prosecutors don't want to use their resources on cases that generate little public attention outside of the specific group affected. In other words, they want something that produces a noticeable sound bite that will resonate with a lot more people than just a bunch of writers.

ResearchGuy
06-03-2007, 07:32 AM
. (http://www.baltimore.bbb.org/commonreport.html?bid=32010985&code=) . .That's the website for the Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland. . . .
I could file a complaint with them. . . .
Relationships between PA and its authors are business-to-business. BBB is not interested in such disputes. Ask them. Likewise, governmental consumer protection agencies are not interested. Time and again such agencies (state and federal) have so stated.

(By the way, businesses are paid members of BBB. Hence, BBB is wary of offending them.)

--Ken

CatSlave
06-03-2007, 08:12 AM
It's not that there's not a lot of evidence available, but that the evidence has to pertain to the individual case in question. Also, the person going into arbitration has to have standing. Were that not the case, PA would be out of business now. Unfortunately, such actions can only be conducted by a prosecutor representing the public interest and most prosecutors don't want to use their resources on cases that generate little public attention outside of the specific group affected. In other words, they want something that produces a noticeable sound bite that will resonate with a lot more people than just a bunch of writers.
Thanks. I know the author himself needs to have a case, but what I was looking for was sort of a generic "precedence" of PA's culpability, like the audit of the books in Phil Dolan's case, which the author could use to bolster his own evidence. You know, to hammer home the point that he isn't the only one who has been cheated. Obviously my brain doesn't know much about how the law business works, but my heart is in the right place. :)

Marie Pacha
06-03-2007, 08:31 AM
Regarding evidence: For instance, I can't use statements made publically in a forum like this as "proof" of what I might say about PA's reputation. There's no way to verify or identify the people who are relating the information.

I will be allowed to use emails/correspondence although Mr. Cretella is likely to object to some. If that happens the arbitrator will make a decision as to what is permitted and what isn't.

It's not like a regular court where I can use a pattern of behavior to support my allegations, but at the same time a couple of people have offered to send me correspondence about their missing royalties and I have asked them to do so. If Mr. Cretella tries to state that it never happens I can perhaps use those in rebuttal.

Marie Pacha
06-03-2007, 08:53 AM
Maybe I missed the boat somewhere, but is there any individual or organization that collects a stockpile of evidence against PA on an ongoing basis?

If such evidence was accessible and available, it may encourage other authors who have been cheated to take the steps necessary to engage in arbitration or a court hearing, depending on the complaint. A class action lawsuit is not an option so each author has to act independently. But then if each author would share the results of their arbitration, it may help the next person who takes PA to court.

I've heard so many people complain about being cheated out of their royalty payments, but then nothing seems to come of it. I know there's an arbitration fund available. If there was a "lending library" of evidence about PA to go along with it, maybe more people would be willing to pursue arbitration like Marie is doing. It seems that for every case PA loses, the task of winning at arbitration will become easier.

Am I just dreaming, or does anyone else see the possibilities here?
Or am I trying to reinvent the wheel?

I'm keeping a list of the others who have contacted me, and I'll keep a file with their records if they send me any.

The key to others filing arbitration is based on them needing PROOF. They have to have a receipt for the missing royalties. I got lucky; my friend used the receipt and the book order as a book mark and since he lives in Maryland it will be easier for him to appear. Most of us who have been published don't ask our readers to keep receipts for their purchases of our books, but if I were a PA author I would sure request that they do, and keep those originals.

I'm sure one of the reasons that PA sets the arbitration location in Maryland is the cost. One of the damages I ask to be paid by PA if I win is the cost of my trip; not to mention the arbitration fees, and the time I have lost from work while working on this...that doesn't include these posts, but it does include time spent writing letters and making phone calls to obtain information supporting my claims.

Scribhneoir
06-04-2007, 01:08 AM
The woman with the "sweet, dear, autistic husband" has just run smack dab into reality.

http://bb.publishamerica.com/viewtopic.php?t=21410

My Amazon.com Sales Rank is now 2,609,251. I am #577 out of 785 Bestselling Adult Autism books. Only 2 weeks ago my Amazon.com Sales Rank was about 2,100,000 + in books. It has gone down approximately 100,000 a day in rank. Only 2 weeks ago I was also #446 out of 785 in Bestselling Adult Autism Books. This rating has gone down approximately 20 to 30 books a day. Now it's 121 books closer to the bottom than it was already. http://bb.publishamerica.com/images/smiles/icon_sad.gif

What can I do to increase my Amazon.com Sales Rank and increase my sales on the Internet? My book is going downhill fast and I don't know what to do.

Everybody in Berryville and Eureka Springs, Arkansas that I've told about this have been amazed that my book sales have done this
bad on the Internet because they thought the book was great.

I've sold 165 books in my local area by myself and just from the looks of things it appears that I may be selling my books three to four times worse on the Internet than I have in my own local area.

They're also amazed at how terrible my sales have been at my booksignings with the exception of the Passion Play and the Eureka Springs Hospital where I did my talk and sold 6 books at each. My first book signing I sold 0 books. My second one I sold 1 book. My third one I sold 1 book. My fourth one I sold 0 books again.

I really think it's because I'm not known anywhere else and they have no idea what the book is about besides what was written in 2 Amazon Customer Reviews and the Editorial Review. This does not seem to be enough to convince them that I have a good book.

What should I do?


If she thinks her Internet sales are only three or four times worse than her face-to-face sales, she's in for another big shock. I checked Ingram's stats on her book -- three copies sold to date.

While I've always found her somewhat annoying, it breaks my heart to think what she'll go through when she figures out she's pretty much reached the end of her book sales. I only hope she doesn't start throwing money away on desperate, ineffective marketing schemes.

Sheryl Nantus
06-04-2007, 01:16 AM
The woman with the "sweet, dear, autistic husband" has just run smack dab into reality.

http://bb.publishamerica.com/viewtopic.php?t=21410



If she thinks her Internet sales are only three or four times worse than her face-to-face sales, she's in for another big shock. I checked Ingram's stats on her book -- three copies sold to date.

While I've always found her somewhat annoying, it breaks my heart to think what she'll go through when she figures out she's pretty much reached the end of her book sales. I only hope she doesn't start throwing money away on desperate, ineffective marketing schemes.

sad, but unfortunately that's the way of most PA books - family and friends first, then people shy away (possibly family AND friends) from paying an outrageous price for a book.

I see that PS is trying to cushion the blow, but I'm waiting for the inevitable "buy your own books!" mantra to start - after all, now that you've worn out your welcome with people who know you now it's time to start attacking... er, soliciting sales from total strangers.

I suspect she'll be easily victimized by the usual schemes that PA authors brag about in order to increase sales - flyers, spam emails and the like.

:(

Marian Perera
06-04-2007, 02:41 AM
I really think it's because I'm not known anywhere else and they have no idea what the book is about besides what was written in 2 Amazon Customer Reviews and the Editorial Review. This does not seem to be enough to convince them that I have a good book.

Nope, that's unlikely to convince a complete stranger that you have a good book.

That was a very sad post, especially the part about how she had four book signings and only sold two books in total. Going to PA (rather than slogging through queries and rejections) is a quick fix that may give you a momentary good feeling, but in long run it's not worth it.

abemorgantis
06-04-2007, 03:06 AM
Your books could be the next Harry Potter but if no one reads it...sad.

Sassenach
06-04-2007, 04:34 AM
Everybody in Berryville and Eureka Springs, Arkansas that I've told about this have been amazed that my book sales have done this
bad on the Internet because they thought the book was great.

That says it all.

Komnena
06-04-2007, 07:58 AM
Well they certainly need a replacement who doesn't have the gall to address clients as zoo animals and ignorant idiots.

Tri




Don't zoo keepers usually talk more nicely to their charges than infocenter usually addresses the customers?
Komnena

VeggieChick
06-04-2007, 08:12 AM
"I am nothing but gracious for PA. Without them my novel would not be here. Look at any other publishing company online. Every single one of them makes you pay for them to publish your works! Except PA."

Really? Where are they getting this information?

triceretops
06-04-2007, 08:24 AM
Really? Where are they getting this information?

Probably straight out of How to upset a Goliath Book Biz.

Tri

TwentyFour
06-04-2007, 08:27 AM
I've read on Writers Beware that only 10% of books are bought online, that means the "How to Upset a Goliath Book Biz" could possibly be wrong. ;)

Dancre
06-04-2007, 08:34 AM
"I am nothing but gracious for PA. Without them my novel would not be here. Look at any other publishing company online. Every single one of them makes you pay for them to publish your works! Except PA."

Really? Where are they getting this information?


WHAT???? :Shrug:

James D. Macdonald
06-04-2007, 10:34 AM
Every single one of them makes you pay for them to publish your works! Except PA."

Well, yeah -- if you search on "publisher" then click on the Google AdSense ads....

James D. Macdonald
06-04-2007, 11:11 AM
The first thing that Big Bertha can do to improve her Amazon sales number is put a direct link to Amazon on her web page.

Here's the HTML she'll need:

<A HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/1424170133/ref=nosim/">Joys and Sorrows of Living with Adult Autism</A>

She can just cut'n'paste that and put it in place. She might get an Amazon associates account (it's free) and get access to more kinds of links with fancier graphics.

She can send copies of her book to every adult-autism group in the country (it would have helped if her publisher had done so three months before the book came out, but that wasn't going to happen).

I expect she has several boxes of books in her living room that she ordered but couldn't sell. She can send those out. Make sure the Midwest Book Review gets a copy, among other places.

$14.95 is a terrible price for a 107 page book. She should lower the price for direct sales to her cost plus 10%. Say she bought the first bunch for 50% (PA's standard hurry-hurry-hurry-step-right-up price). That's $7.475 each, plus the $0.50 S&H that PA charges per book, for $7.975. Adding 10% ($0.7975) gives a selling price of $8.78. That's what she should sell them for face-to-face. For sales from her website, add actual postage (don't stiff people -- find out what one envelope costs and what the postage on one book actually is, media mail). I believe that postage will be around $2.13. (If she can fit it into a large envelope she can send it first class for $1.65. Talk with the folks at the post office.

After that ... don't spend any more money. She shouldn't buy any more copies of her own book. (Buying your own book for resale is the vanity press model.) Write a new book and sell it to a real publisher. People who read and like that new book may look up the previous work.

Jersey Chick
06-04-2007, 06:08 PM
Amazingly enough, only pipesmoker has anything somewhat constructive to offer. I feel pretty bad for her, but that won't last long if she doesn't open her eyes to what's in front of her.

Marian Perera
06-04-2007, 09:21 PM
Look at any other publishing company online. Every single one of them makes you pay for them to publish your works! Except PA."

Yes, PA is a charity organization that operates at a loss because they're too altruistic to charge anyone anything.

Sigh. Do these people not even think through the implications of what they're saying? If PA is so different from the norm (i.e. greedy publishers charging authors for publication) how do they make their money?

Jersey Chick
06-04-2007, 10:06 PM
I think it comes down to the fact that these people really want to be writers, but they don't bother to really learn about publishing or what goes into reaching that milestone. They do the minimal research (how many of those people have gotten one or two publishers beyond PA?). They know almost nothing about publishing and when they find mostly upfront vanity presses and then see that PA doesn't charge them to print their book (yet.) They submit. Receive an acceptance letter. Are overjoyed because someone believes in their work and wants to give it the chance it deserves.

Some of these people have openly admitted to amassing many, many rejections, so when that acceptance comes - it must seem like the greatest thing ever. I think that tends to blind them as well - or at least makes it easier to ignore any warning bells that might be going off. They aren't thinking about how PA stays in business. They only care that their book is going to be "published".

By the time reality strikes, it's too late. They've already lost one book, have tarnished their reputation, been dissillusioned. It's kind of sad and kind of aggravating at the same time. If they'd only gone a little further than PA in their research, or thought "Maybe I need to try writing a better book." But they'll never know, unless they have that thought...

Ugh... how do those stooges sleep at night?

herdon
06-04-2007, 10:13 PM
The human mind has an amazing ability to rationalize.

Tina
06-04-2007, 10:23 PM
The intent of the "tone letters" is to intimidate. Nobody at PA is attempting to win the "Miss Congeniality" competition.

...maybe they're hoping to win the 'talent' part of the competition!

Well-written letters would be more intimidating. The next recipient of one of these beauts out to return it with corrections to spelling, grammar and sentence structure.

Jersey Chick
06-04-2007, 10:26 PM
...maybe they're hoping to win the 'talent' part of the competition!

Well-written letters would be more intimidating. The next recipient of one of these beauts out to return it with corrections to spelling, grammar and sentence structure.

Reminds me of a Rodney Dangerfield quote from Back to School.

"I sent an English teacher a love letter once. She sent it back, corrected!"

(I don't know if that's an exact quote - it's been a while since I've seen the movie :))

abemorgantis
06-04-2007, 10:29 PM
...maybe they're hoping to win the 'talent' part of the competition!

Well-written letters would be more intimidating. The next recipient of one of these beauts out to return it with corrections to spelling, grammar and sentence structure.

Send it to Miranda. She needs the grammar/spelling help the most.

CatSlave
06-04-2007, 11:32 PM
Some of these people have openly admitted to amassing many, many rejections, so when that acceptance comes - it must seem like the greatest thing ever. I think that tends to blind them as well - or at least makes it easier to ignore any warning bells that might be going off. They aren't thinking about how PA stays in business. They only care that their book is going to be "published".
Having a physical book in print with your name on it = being published.
That's enough for some folks. They don't want to look any further or see the need to.

Jersey Chick
06-04-2007, 11:38 PM
Having a physical book in print with your name on it = being published.
That's enough for some folks. They don't want to look any further or see the need to.

Exactly! Or they don't realize that that's not how the whole deal works, or they like the idea of being an author more than actually being an author. Actually being an author entails a whole lot more work for most people. It isn't a case of dashing off 100 pages, stuffing it into an envelope (or pasting it into an email), and sending it out...

herdon
06-05-2007, 12:23 AM
Reminds me of a Rodney Dangerfield quote from Back to School.

"I sent an English teacher a love letter once. She sent it back, corrected!"

(I don't know if that's an exact quote - it's been a while since I've seen the movie :))

My favorite part of the movie was him firing Vonnegut for not being able to write a good paper on Vonnegut.

ResearchGuy
06-05-2007, 01:40 AM
. . . It isn't a case of dashing off 100 pages, stuffing it into an envelope (or pasting it into an email), and sending it out...
Believe it or not, some people spend years writing and then refining their writing and then seeking publication. It is not fair to tar with so broad a brush.

Some examples:

--An 82-year-old writer who had written a memoir and had it edited by a professional. The writer has real writing experience, including a book that, while not itself published, was turned into a successful TV miniseries some years ago. She had PA publish her memoor (nice book, not ever likely to find a commercial publisher, though, and unrelated to the one that was made into a miniseries), and is pleased with the results. She is realistic that she could not spend years attempting to sell the manuscript to a commercial publisher. Her PA book has a limited, but appreciative audience -- not confined to her friends and family.

--An 84-year-old who wrote and polished her manuscript over several decades, getting help from writing teachers and others along the way. After a series of rejections of her query, she turned to PA (and was narrowly averted from signing the contract). That one is now nearing publication by a small press that has gone the extra mile to make it happen. (In my opinion, it is a work of genius, and definitely of literary and historic value. But I digress.)

--An 80-something (maybe very late 70s) writer (retired professional writer) with a memoir, a lovely work, but not much likelihood of commercial publication. Wonderfully written. Although he later soured on PA, he signed with PA for publication.

--A middle-aged woman with a nonfiction manuscript (it could be called a memoir, but that might not quite capture its nature), reflecting valuable experience and insights, and well written (again, this is a long-experienced writer, albeit not in commercial publication). The path of least resistance was PA.

These (all people I know personally) are not "dashing off" words randomly. Some folks here might want to consider seeking the acquaintance of individuals whose books have been published by PA, learning a bit more about their experiences and efforts, rather than maligning all of them as dopes. Believe it or not, there are serious writers for whom PA does in fact provide the best option (more accurately, the only option that would in fact turn their manuscripts into books). Many worthwhile books simply do not meet the needs of commercial publishers, and the authors do not have the knowledge, skills, or funds--or sometimes the time--to pursue other options. (How many octogenarians do you know who have the technical skills to design and format a book, for example? The first person listed above is just now learning how to use a PC, and has not yet attempted email--but she is making the effort.)

--Ken

P.S. What do you do if you dissuade Jane Q. Writer from signing with PA, recognizing that her manuscript is not something any commercial publisher will accept AND that it is a worthwhile work that will have at least some audience. I think one takes on a moral responsibility to help Jane Q. Writer find the better option you have implicitly told her is available. Else, Jane might go to her grave with her book never seeing the light of day, whereas if you had not butted in at least she would have seen it in print and have been able to at least get copies into the hands of her friends and family and a local audience. Is it right to replace something with nothing? I have invested many hundreds of hours (all unpaid) in helping to get to commercial publication one manuscript my advice diverted from PA. I cannot do that a second time, and would feel it a conflict of interest to say, "Sure, I can help you pursue a different option, at my usual hourly rate."

allenparker
06-05-2007, 01:49 AM
My favorite part of the movie was him firing Vonnegut for not being able to write a good paper on Vonnegut.

Mine, too, so long as we discount the scene with the drunken women in the hot tub.

Jersey Chick
06-05-2007, 01:55 AM
Believe it or not, some people spend years writing and then refining their writing and then seeking publication. It is not fair to tar with so broad a brush.

Some examples:

--An 82-year-old writer who had written a memoir and had it edited by a professional. The writer has real writing experience, including a book that, while not itself published, was turned into a successful TV miniseries some years ago. She had PA publish her memoor (nice book, not ever likely to find a commercial publisher, though, and unrelated to the one that was made into a miniseries), and is pleased with the results. She is realistic that she could not spend years attempting to sell the manuscript to a commercial publisher. Her PA book has a limited, but appreciative audience -- not confined to her friends and family.

--An 84-year-old who wrote and polished her manuscript over several decades, getting help from writing teachers and others along the way. After a series of rejections of her query, she turned to PA (and was narrowly averted from signing the contract). That one is now nearing publication by a small press that has gone the extra mile to make it happen. (In my opinion, it is a work of genius, and definitely of literary and historic value. But I digress.)

--An 80-something (maybe very late 70s) writer (retired professional writer) with a memoir, a lovely work, but not much likelihood of commercial publication. Wonderfully written. Although he later soured on PA, he signed with PA for publication.

--A middle-aged woman with a nonfiction manuscript (it could be called a memoir, but that might not quite capture its nature), reflecting valuable experience and insights, and well written (again, this is a long-experienced writer, albeit not in commercial publication). The path of least resistance was PA.

These (all people I know personally) are not "dashing off" words randomly. Some folks here might want to consider seeking the acquaintance of individuals whose books have been published by PA, learning a bit more about their experiences and efforts, rather than maligning all of them as dopes. Believe it or not, there are serious writers for whom PA does in fact provide the best option (more accurately, the only option that would in fact turn their manuscripts into books). Many worthwhile books simply do not meet the needs of commercial publishers, and the authors do not have the knowledge, skills, or funds--or sometimes the time--to pursue other options. (How many octogenarians do you know who have the technical skills to design and format a book, for example? The first person listed above is just now learning how to use a PC, and has not yet attempted email--but she is making the effort.)

--Ken

Ok - nowhere did I say everyone thought this way - I said judging by the posts that I read, that seems to be the mindset of some folks. Please don't put words in my mouth. Of course not everyone does this - and I never said that vanity presses in general were horrible things or that people who use them were stupid or clueless, or whatever. I have also never used the word dope to describe anyone - whether they are with PA or not. Nor would I. I think people make a mistake going to PA thinking that an NY house will be their next step, and I don't mind saying it. But that's a far cry from calling them names or assuming they're stupid.

Sassenach
06-05-2007, 02:03 AM
Ken, my reading of the PAMB seems to indicate that your examples are in the minority. More are along the lines of a message I read today. The poster "got serious about writing" nine months ago, "wrote a novel" and is now a "published author." [He's 18.]

Sheryl Nantus
06-05-2007, 02:06 AM
Ken, my reading of the PAMB seems to indicate that your examples are in the minority. More are along the lines of a message I read today. The poster "got serious about writing" nine months ago, "wrote a novel" and is now a "published author." [He's 18.]

I agree - while there may be PA authors who truly want to learn the craft and have the skills to move onwards and upwards, the PAMB is full of examples to the contrary.

They want to play Author: The RPG and figure that they've got it made. No classes, no reading, no work - why bother? They're "published authors" and now they can just sit back and watch the money roll in.

*shakes head*

Tina
06-05-2007, 02:59 AM
I agree - while there may be PA authors who truly want to learn the craft and have the skills to move onwards and upwards, the PAMB is full of examples to the contrary.

They want to play Author: The RPG and figure that they've got it made. No classes, no reading, no work - why bother? They're "published authors" and now they can just sit back and watch the money roll in.

*shakes head*

Or watch the money roll out when it's time to buy your own books.

The idea that the act of writing a book equals the right to be published is something that is troubling about the PAMB. I'm still shaking my head about the two-week book. Sure, there have been some famous literary instances of writers creating a wonderful book in a very short timeframe, but I wouldn't bet the rent money that this is the case for most PA authors (particularly if this is their first writing attempt period).

Many don't seem to consider who their prospective audience is and why that audience would want to spend $30-$50 on a trade paperback of memoirs, religious rantings or unqualified self-help advice.

Christine N.
06-05-2007, 03:17 AM
I'm all for people wanting copies of their books to hold in their hands. I have absolutely no problem with that. That's an accomplishment, to finish a book. I DO have a problem, like Tina stated, with people feeling that the book they've written HAS to be published and produced for public consupmtion. Because, we all know, the vast majority of writing is crap. Just because you don't recognize it as crap (and most good writers even recognize at some point they've written crap, they just know how to fix it.)

Publishing isn't about the writers; it's about the READERS. Publishers don't care you REALLY REALLY WANT to be published, if you don't have the goods, you don't get the deal. Plain and simple. I haven't been able to secure an agent - got a pile of rejection letters to prove it. But I don't rant and rave and stamp my little feet about how IT'S NOT FAIR!, instead I look to see if maybe there's something I can't make better. And I submit, submit, submit.

Apparently I'm good enough for small publishers, and yanno, I'm happy with that for now.

Doesn't mean I stop trying to become better. If I had been rejected by them too, I probably would have kept on working until I got it right, probably on a new and better book.


That's what writers who are serious about their craft do. They write, then they write something better. Repeat until you die.

Dancre
06-05-2007, 04:14 AM
These (all people I know personally) are not "dashing off" words randomly. Some folks here might want to consider seeking the acquaintance of individuals whose books have been published by PA, learning a bit more about their experiences and efforts, rather than maligning all of them as dopes. Believe it or not, there are serious writers for whom PA does in fact provide the best option (more accurately, the only option that would in fact turn their manuscripts into books). Many worthwhile books simply do not meet the needs of commercial publishers, and the authors do not have the knowledge, skills, or funds--or sometimes the time--to pursue other options. (How many octogenarians do you know who have the technical skills to design and format a book, for example? The first person listed above is just now learning how to use a PC, and has not yet attempted email--but she is making the effort.)

--Ken

P.S. What do you do if you dissuade Jane Q. Writer from signing with PA, recognizing that her manuscript is not something any commercial publisher will accept AND that it is a worthwhile work that will have at least some audience. I think one takes on a moral responsibility to help Jane Q. Writer find the better option you have implicitly told her is available. Else, Jane might go to her grave with her book never seeing the light of day, whereas if you had not butted in at least she would have seen it in print and have been able to at least get copies into the hands of her friends and family and a local audience. Is it right to replace something with nothing? I have invested many hundreds of hours (all unpaid) in helping to get to commercial publication one manuscript my advice diverted from PA. I cannot do that a second time, and would feel it a conflict of interest to say, "Sure, I can help you pursue a different option, at my usual hourly rate."

What would I do? I'd tell her to come here to AW and LEARN how to write. Writing is an art, not just throwing words on the screen. i"d tell Janie to take writing classes on Writersdigest.com or grab books and learn to write. Writing is like an onion, you peel off one layer at a time. You learn, learn, learn, like all of us have had to do. Yes, it might take 10 years to reach that goal, but isn't it better to have books that sell instead of books that sit in your house? Is it better to have PA pat you on the butt and tell you, you're brilliant, and yet only sell a few books as opposed to learning and selling lots?? Sorry, Ken, I don't agree with your logic.

And if I were Janie, I'd be pissed if someone let me sign with PA without telling me what I was in for. But that's just me.

kim

Sheryl Nantus
06-05-2007, 04:54 AM
the assumption here is that if you tell someone not to go with PA that they'll accept help in perfecting the craft of writing.

from what I've seen of the majority of PA writers who post on the PAMB they not only ignore common sense in the first place, they actively discourage anyone from seeking any knowledge beyond the misinformation the PA faithful spoon out to each other.

"buy your own books"
"pay an editor before you submit"
"nobody is publishing or representing new authors"

and so on.

you can lead a duck to water, but you can't make him swim.

Dancre
06-05-2007, 05:38 AM
the assumption here is that if you tell someone not to go with PA that they'll accept help in perfecting the craft of writing.

from what I've seen of the majority of PA writers who post on the PAMB they not only ignore common sense in the first place, they actively discourage anyone from seeking any knowledge beyond the misinformation the PA faithful spoon out to each other.

"buy your own books"
"pay an editor before you submit"
"nobody is publishing or representing new authors"

and so on.

you can lead a duck to water, but you can't make him swim.

No, that's not the assumption. All I'm saying is I'd encourage someone to learn the craft instead of encouraging them to jump on the PA bandwagon and waving the author flag. Nowhere did I say, if you discourage them, they'll go running to learn, that's just silly.

kim

JimmyD1318
06-05-2007, 06:00 AM
I think what Ken is saying is that in very,very RARE cases, PA is not that bad of a thing. When it comes to someone who is very old and really can't wait to learn about how publishing works or has time to learn to perfect their writing skills. But I think I would refer them to some place like Lulu.com before PA.

Christine N.
06-05-2007, 06:40 AM
And then there are the ones that really do have a good book, but lack business savvy. In those cases, the warnings against PA are what's worth it.

DaveKuzminski
06-05-2007, 07:23 AM
Just keep in mind there are a lot of people who have accepted the inaccurate dictum that once it's been written, the author is entitled to have it published. We know where a lot of that came from, but for the folks who have bought into that illusion, there's rarely any way of dissuading them from following that fallacy and adopting the truth.

Believe me, I see it every day when authors write to me "demanding" I give them the name of an agent specifically interested in what they've written so the agent can then get it sold and published. Most of the time, they don't even mention what they've written as if any agent without a full house and interested in new talent could handle their work and I'll know instinctively just who to recommend. That's also why so many of them fall into the hands of scam agencies. I think a lot of them believe the game is rigged when in truth it's dependent upon skill that many haven't achieved yet.

ResearchGuy
06-05-2007, 07:41 AM
Ken, my reading of the PAMB seems to indicate that your examples are in the minority. More are along the lines of a message I read today. The poster "got serious about writing" nine months ago, "wrote a novel" and is now a "published author." [He's 18.]
Oh, I too expect my examples represent a rather small fraction of PA's books. Nonetheless, they are real, and cannot be the only examples. (They are not even the only ones I know of.)

--Ken

ResearchGuy
06-05-2007, 08:22 AM
I think what Ken is saying is that in very,very RARE cases, PA is not that bad of a thing. When it comes to someone who is very old and really can't wait to learn about how publishing works or has time to learn to perfect their writing skills. But I think I would refer them to some place like Lulu.com before PA.
Ok . . . and refer them to a paid professional to do the necessary layout, design, file formatting, cover design, and mechanics of managing the process? (All that for Lulu.) Or expect them to pay (say) iUniverse or AuthorHouse hundreds of dollars (or a thousand or more) for its services?

FWIW, last year (and into the first couple of months of this year), I worked with an author who had a valuable, but not commercially publishable, manuscript (too long, too narrow an audience, no platform) that he had worked on for many years. It would have had an audience, and it had historical and social value, and on the whole was well written and quite readable (much of it fascinating). I invested many, many hours editing the manuscript, formatting it, and setting it up to help him publish at Lulu. All free because I thought there was social value and that he was deserving. Once the book was close to publication (I volunteered to act as publisher, for a percentage), he had a hissy fit -- apparently unsatisfied that I was unwilling to do a lot MORE for free and that I had indicated what my fee would have been had I been charging him on a fee-for-service basis. I ended that relationship instantly (who needs time-sink ingrates?). Never again. If I had known then what I know now (about his expectations), I would have referred him to PA myself.

(The book that I did help to get to publication by a small press after helping to deflect it from PA was written by one of the most gracious, thoughtful, and appreciative people on the face of the earth. But even that is not something I could afford to do again for free. Though I suppose I would do it again on behalf of another world-class manuscript.)

BTW, the folks I listed HAVE perfected their writing skills. Some are professional writers and some have taken decades to write and polish their manuscripts--with the aid of writing teachers, editors, and capable readers. One, I believe, knows enough about how publishing works to know perfectly well that it would be futile to pursue commercial publication for her manuscript (too small an audience, no platform). I would rather she had not gone with PA, but she is pleased with the results, and she is the only person who can judge her own satisfaction with the outcome. And, frankly, I do not think I could have directed her to a better option for her purposes and under her circumstances (not an option without a lot of up-front costs to prepare the manuscript for publication and manage other mechanics).

It is a lot easier to generalize than it is to deal with real people, face-to-face. Dealing with real individuals generates ethical issues that generalizing in the abstract does not.

Anyway . . . folks are entitled to go to Kinko's and have copies of their writing printed, or to have their writing printed as books by book printing companies (Central Plains, Lightning Source, etc., etc., etc.), so why not by PA? That whole "Freedom of Speech" thing kicks in somewhere along the line. If they can live with PA's limitations and practices, it is their call. The problem comes in when they act as shills, luring in others who actually could have better options (including normal commercial publication) because the shills simply do not know any better.

--Ken

ResearchGuy
06-05-2007, 08:31 AM
What would I do? I'd tell her to come here to AW and LEARN how to write. . . .
Apparently I was unclear. I was not describing people who do not know how to write! My examples are people who write very well indeed and who do pursue the craft seriously. It would be condescending and insulting to advise someone who has been a professional (or in some other fashion, very serious) writer and who has crafted a fine manuscript (albeit one not suited to commercial publication on account of subject, size of audience, lack of author's platform, lack of time and energy to pursue agent or publisher . . .) to come to AW to learn how to write!

--Ken

P.S. Of those I listed in the earlier message, one probably did have a manuscript with good small-press potential. I wish I had had a chance to talk to her before she signed with PA, but I did not learn of her book until after PA had published it. Maybe one or more of the others might have had commercial potential, but it would have been a long process at best, I think.

CatSlave
06-05-2007, 08:44 AM
Anyway . . . folks are entitled to go to Kinko's and have copies of their writing printed, or to have their writing printed as books by book printing companies (Central Plains, Lightning Source, etc., etc., etc.), so why not by PA? That whole "Freedom of Speech" thing kicks in somewhere along the line. If they can live with PA's limitations and practices, it is their call. The problem comes in when they act as shills, luring in others who actually could have better options (including normal commercial publication) because the shills simply do not know any better.--Ken
First, they have to understand PA's limitations and practices. Since PA's website and advertising are deliberately misleading, I doubt there are many folks who understood exactly what they were getting into before they signed the contract. The fact that PA is underhanded and uses weasel words to paint a false picture of what the author can expect, I don't see how anyone in good conscience can recommend them for anything. You know their practices are deceptive and they use intimidation and humiliation as crowd control measures once they get the signed contract in hand. How can you justify recommending them to anyone?

triceretops
06-05-2007, 09:44 AM
"I somehow got on the mailing list of a newsletter called "The Marketing Expert." It contains a lot of good ideas. Here's a brief excerpt:
A publisher gauges a book's potential success largely by the author. Now don't misunderstand me, there's market consideration as well but the authors' "salability" is looked at very closely. What we refer to as a "platform" is something all authors need to have, regardless of their target market. A platform is not who you know, but who knows you. It's your area of influence. A platform can be any of the following:
· Your business
· Your fan base
· Speaking gigs you have coming up
· Your email list of potential buyers (i.e. fans)
· Your website (if your site is drawing traffic and capturing email addresses)
· How well you're known in your market"


As good ol' prez Ron would say, "Well, there you go again."
False. The author is NOT the main consideration is selling a book. It's the book itself and how well the story is crafted. This falls exactly into the trap where the author is expected to sell himself, nevermind the damn book. What's this? No mention of the publisher being the major driving force behind the book? Typical PA advice. And the reason, PS, yes you, got this email is because you're on a vanity, self-publishing hit list that is looking for people like you to further perpetuate the rumor that marketing lies exclusively on the author's shoulders.

It's all fine and well to jump in there and assist your publisher to sell your books. I'm doing it now. But it is woefully inadequate for any author to assume the responsibility of the total campaign. We're seeing more and more of this trend in start-up presses. They're using their own authors as the (free) salesforce. It's a quick buck and has everything to do with vanity.

Tri

triceretops
06-05-2007, 09:58 AM
What will this cost me?
Much less than you'd expect. We have Tours that start at $1800 and go up from there. Consider this: under $1,800 for promotion (less than $15 a day) that lasts a lifetime. You simply can't beat an offer like that!

I believe this is where those PA authors are being sent. And this is much less than I would expect? This is "internet saturation," they call it, spam/bombing the WWW.

Of course, the free newsletter is a teaser, to up your purchase to the real deal.

Tri

James D. Macdonald
06-05-2007, 10:21 AM
With the high cover prices and the low discount, being published by PA is almost indistinguishable from never seeing the light of day.

It really doesn't take thousands of dollars to run your manuscript through Word's spelling-and-grammar checker, and that'll give you editing that's every bit as good as what PA will give you. Nor does it take a whole lot to flow your text into a template (some PA books I've seen, including Willem's, are incredibly poorly formatted), and clip-art covers are clip-art covers.

The price, discount, and production values all make PA's offerings non-competitive. Book for book, going with iUniverse or one of the other pay-to-play POD vanities is cheaper than going with PA if you're planning to sell them out of the trunk of your car.

If all you're after is a printer, they're an expensive printer, and other printers don't take your rights for seven years.

I'm really not seeing any reason for anyone to go with those guys.

JimmyD1318
06-05-2007, 06:36 PM
It is a lot easier to generalize than it is to deal with real people, face-to-face. Dealing with real individuals generates ethical issues that generalizing in the abstract does not.


Well...you do make a good point there Ken. I guess it all comes down to each individual's circumstances.

ResearchGuy
06-05-2007, 07:15 PM
With the high cover prices and the low discount, being published by PA is almost indistinguishable from never seeing the light of day. . . .
My face-to-face experience with real people says otherwise. It all comes down to individual goals and circumstances.

--Ken

ResearchGuy
06-05-2007, 07:21 PM
. . . How can you justify recommending them to anyone?
There are some people who deserve the chance that PA would give them. You do the math.

--Ken

Sparhawk
06-05-2007, 07:41 PM
There are some people who deserve the chance that PA would give them. You do the math.

--Ken

My two cents (FWIW). Publish America is deceitful and dishonest. Ken, I think there's been more than enough proof provided to take the aforementioned as a given. Books published by Publish America seldom ever see the light of a bookstore nor do they have a real opportunity to be read by the masses.

But if somebody simply wants to get abook out there and has no interest in seeing it distributed or ever seeing it in a bookstore AND cares little about editing etc. then Publish America is a viable outlet. Meiners himself claimed that PA was created for "Aunt Millie to publish her recipes". -Cite Phil Dolan arbitration.

Publish America is NOT a legitimate publisher for a writer that wishes serious distrubution and marketing support, a professional editor or a professionally designed cover. Again, If publishing was like baseball; PA would be the Teeball league while Random House would be the Majors.

The fact that PA chooses to misreprsent itself and treat their authors like crap only makes me want to see them fail as an entity. I too beleive that though there is a potential market for PA, people should be encouraged to avoid them like the plague until they admit what they really are.

Again, just my two cents.

emsuniverse
06-05-2007, 08:27 PM
THanks Julie - although I think I might DIE if it takes 3 months for my cover to come to fruitition....

How long does it take to get from, say, Random House.

ResearchGuy
06-05-2007, 08:57 PM
My two cents (FWIW). Publish America is deceitful and dishonest. . . .
Publish America is NOT a legitimate publisher. . . .
I agree entirely, of course.

In real life, though, much as folks here hate to hear this, there are some people for whom it offers -- for them -- a satisfactory result, an observation I base on direct, personal, and extended observation of actual human beings.

And there are some people who DESERVE to be hooked up with a deceitful and dishonest vanity publisher. (Getting burned by a time-wasting ingrate has influenced my view on that.)

--Ken

Christine N.
06-05-2007, 09:01 PM
I have to agree with Ken. There are some people (and we've all seen them) who are completely happy with what PA has given them. Whether their vision of their publishing dream has been fulfilled or they just don't know any better, they're happy. If they're happy, I'm happy. I've come to realize that what PA gives (deceitful or not) is all some really want from their book. They're not out to be career writers, they just want a book in their hands and to play at being author. Fine with me, there's room for hobbyists in all the art forms.

Those who aren't happy wind up here, mostly. Those that aren't happy are the ones who wanted more than PA is set up to give, and also didn't know any better, so they fell for PA's line. Hey, we were all new at one point, and PA looks enticing. I can see how the multi-rejected feel after they get that form acceptance letter from PA.

We're trying to stop those that won't be happy from signing in the first place.

herdon
06-05-2007, 09:56 PM
Vanity press definately has its place. There are many good reasons to go to a vanity press/self publishing press. For example, doing a family history and charting the family geneology and wanting it put together in a durable fashion.

But PA is much more than just a vanity press. It is a company that deceives its customers, cheats them out of royalties, etc.

I don't see any good reason to recommend PA or not try to talk someone out of dealing with PA regardless of the nature of their book or their goal with publishing. At the very least they should be recommended to Lulu.com or some other similar service that (at least to my knowledge) doesn't follow the same deceptive practices.

CatSlave
06-05-2007, 10:02 PM
There are some people who deserve the chance that PA would give them. You do the math.

--Ken
I did the math, and much more. Nobody deserves to be deluded into thinking they are being given a chance that really isn't a chance. They are being used. There is no free ride at PA. And no justification for recommending them, IMO.

The reality of PA: We'll give you a dollar and print your book for free. Your manuscript gets spellchecked and put through a Pagemaker program to make it look like a book. You get a clip art cover of our choosing. We decide the price, and it's going to be way higher than bookstore books. You can buy them from us directly at a discount and do whatever you want with them. If you manage to arrange a book signing somewhere, you pay for the books. We don't. Bookstores won't buy them because of the poor return policy, so you're on your own here. Everyone says we are a vanity press, but we continue to deny it. We'll mail a flyer to your family and friends, up to 100, asking them to buy your book. Except if you live in Canada. You pay for the copyright and we keep the rights for seven years. If your book sells to a customer by being special ordered online or through us, we'll give you an 8% royalty on the selling price, not the cover price. We sell an average of 65-75 books per title. You'll make less than a dollar per book sold. We'll give you two free copies of your book per the contract, or up to five copies if you ask for it before signing the contract (but we don't tell you that up front). That's it. You don't get anything more from us. Take it or leave it. And if you complain about us, we know how to shut you up. Attempt to understand the contract and let the buyer beware. And make no mistake, YOU are the buyer.

Now if an author in search of a publisher clearly understands the above and is willing to sign on with PA anyway, then he is an informed buyer and I have nothing to say. Now you tell me, how many PA authors understand the reality of PA before they sign the contract?

Jersey Chick
06-05-2007, 10:05 PM
For the most part, with a vanity, an author knows what they're getting. PA allows its authors to believe that they are bucking a system that refuses to consider new authors. Check out the posts where people are surprised to learn a PA credit isn't considered a writing credit where various organizations are concerned. Some of those authors were genuinely shocked to learn this.

PA is sneaky - no, these writers don't pay to be published, they pay afterwards. When someone questions, PA relies on the message board bullies to silence them, or they simply pull the thread as if it never existed. It's shameful. They turn the blame around to the authors - you aren't doing enough to sell your book.

All around, they (the authors) would be better served going to Lulu or such. I get the feeling that, while still most likely not acceptable as a true writing credit, they wouldn't be slapped with the PA sludge as well.

ResearchGuy
06-05-2007, 10:20 PM
I did the math, and much more. Nobody deserves to be deluded into thinking they are being given a chance that really isn't a chance. They are being used.. . .
Apparently I was too subtle. Some people deserve to be taken to the cleaners. I would not have thought that until I met one who accepted hundreds of hours of my contributed time and then had the gall to complain that I was not doing a lot MORE for him for free. He deserves the chance PA would give his manuscript. You disagree? I'll send the guy and his 200,000-word manuscript your way if I ever see him again.

--Ken

DaveKuzminski
06-05-2007, 10:25 PM
Sorry to hear that, but that's actually quite common. There are a lot of folks out there who believe that they've done the hard work and that editing, creating a cover, and all those other things simply aren't as difficult and should be free.

CatSlave
06-05-2007, 10:34 PM
Apparently I was too subtle. Some people deserve to be taken to the cleaners. I would not have thought that until I met one who accepted hundreds of hours of my contributed time and then had the gall to complain that I was not doing a lot MORE for him for free. He deserves the chance PA would give his manuscript. You disagree? I'll send the guy and his 200,000-word manuscript your way if I ever see him again.

--Ken
OK, gotcha. Don't you dare send me his manuscript though. I concede that in this ONE instance he and PA deserve one another.

Christine N.
06-05-2007, 11:01 PM
I don't agree with their methods of sucking in the unsuscpecting or their way of treating unhappy authors. No. Not at all. Nor do I agree with the way they handle inquiries aboout royalties. No self-respecting business OR publisher would treat their customer/product manufacturer (which is what an author is, isn't it) in such a way as they do.

That said, it would behoove everyone to really take a good, hard look at that webpage of theirs. It's weasel worded to be subtle, but it does say they pretty much take anything (which it DIDN'T until after the Atlanta Nights deal) and it DOES tell the author there is 'work to be done'. I don't know how many of the authors realize that means the author is doing all the work - obviously not as many as you would hope.

It also says that publication doesn't automatically equal bookstore placement.


Then there's the 'marketing at our discretion' clause in their contract, and the 'traditonal, royalty-paying publisher' line, which is BARELY the truth. Just barely enough to be legal, IMO. Which is where those ignorant of the publishing industry fall into the net.

They've done a good job, wording it just carefully enough where they won't get sued for false advertising.

Still, I see how it gives some the sense of accomplishment that holding a book in their hands brings. Some don't even get mad when they can't get into Author's Guild and are unacknowledeged by the rest of the industry as published.

If they'd clean up how they treated people and were a little less sneaky about how they worded things, I could almost say they served a purpose.

Wow, I must be in a generous mood today. Must be that note Jimmy sent me about my book earlier.

JimmyD1318
06-06-2007, 01:31 AM
Wow, I must be in a generous mood today. Must be that note Jimmy sent me about my book earlier.


I meant ever word of it Christine.


To quote CatSlave.
Now if an author in search of a publisher clearly understands the above and is willing to sign on with PA anyway, then he is an informed buyer and I have nothing to say. Now you tell me, how many PA authors understand the reality of PA before they sign the contract?


If someone knows what PA is and wants to go down that path then more power to them. If they are happy, then that's all that matter's. But when it comes to PA I'm pretty sure that is very rare indeed.

DaveKuzminski
06-06-2007, 05:50 AM
PA is dishonest. They are not suitable for anyone desiring to be a real author. From PA's beginnings, they'd done whatever they could to squelch criticism even if their actions were illegal. Because of their dishonesty, they're really not even suitable for anyone wanting to just pretend to be an author.

(Vic, I still have the emails from PA's extortion attempt, so don't tell me PA never tried to do anything illegal. I'll gladly face you down in a courtroom. What's worse is you know I'll win. I also have copies of the PA forum when PA tried to smear my name and reputation.)

CatSlave
06-06-2007, 06:35 AM
Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:03 pm
After all the posts on this thread, I was hoping to hear back from Jennifer. I would think she owes the board some sort of response.

I would just *love* to send a response for her.
I hope she's too busy browsing the AW threads to talk to those people.

JimmyD1318
06-06-2007, 07:27 AM
Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:03 pm
After all the posts on this thread, I was hoping to hear back from Jennifer. I would think she owes the board some sort of response.

I would just *love* to send a response for her. I hope she's too busy browsing the AW threads to talk to those people.

I hope so also. After the way they all attacked her like a swimmer wearing a t-bone steak in shark infested waters, I hope she is here looking around.

James D. Macdonald
06-06-2007, 08:37 AM
Shark bait? Did I miss something?

emsuniverse
06-06-2007, 08:42 AM
Don't you think Jennifer's banned on there?

Mel
06-06-2007, 08:45 AM
Why does she "owe" them anything? And, there's always the possibility that PA... oh, I don't know... maybe banned her?

They don't like their water stirred up.

I, too, hope she's here reading.

CatSlave
06-06-2007, 08:48 AM
Shark bait? Did I miss something?
The woman who said she wished she never signed a contract was immediately attacked -some five pages worth- by all the PAvangelists.

We here likened it to her being thrown into a tank full of sharks.

Sharks would have treated her better though.

http://bb.publishamerica.com/viewtopic.php?t=21306&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

emsuniverse
06-06-2007, 09:15 AM
Just a word of caution - I am an editor by profession yet left many errors in my book by choosing option 2 - even with others reviewing the manuscript.

You sure it was you?

I know that I kept finding mistakes that I fixed even after I had others proof it.

Wonders never cease.

as mine is a fully illustrated book for preschool children (not pages and pages of text)

They do picture books now?

And I went to the "sweet, dear husband" lady's website. It absolutely floored me. And not in a good way.

Plus, take a look at that lady's guestbook. Someone PA-bashed it.

Christine N.
06-06-2007, 03:37 PM
Oh, I agree, Dave, PA is dishonest on many levels. They're also sneaky, like I said, wording things just so in order to wriggle out of a false advertising suit. And they're downright mean - we've all seen evidence enough of that.

They also, and I've gleaned this from another e-mail loop I'm on, make it difficult for legitimate POD smaller presses to deal with bookstores, because so many of the stores lump the legit places with places like PA. It's a real shame, too, because those legit outfits, like Zumaya, put out some really good books and are just trying to get their feet in the door, but there's a guilt-by-association type of thing that drags them down.

Legitimately, POD as a business model CAN work, but the way PA has their set up is not the way to do it.


And for those that are happy with PA, I'm sure someone could set up a business LIKE PA, but tell the authors up front that the main point of sale is to the authors and orders through the website, and there would still be people lining up to submit. There's no need for all the smoke-and-mirrors, IMO.

James D. Macdonald
06-06-2007, 06:06 PM
Someone could create that publisher -- call it, say, YOYO.com (for You're On Your Own), and ... wait a minute, someone did! It's Lulu.com, and they don't seem to be having any trouble getting people to send them books, and you don't have folks going around setting up websites explaining to the world that they're a scam....

Sparhawk
06-06-2007, 06:06 PM
<<I think it speaks well of the benevolence of P.A.-- that they have allowed this thread to continue! http://bb.publishamerica.com/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Name deleted

"A book from P.A is like the gift that keeps on giving." >>

A gift the that keeps on giving... holy expleteive!!! I nearly fell out of my chair when I read this. Man, can you possibly imbibe any MORE PAvidian Koolaide ?

PA is about as benevolent as tyrant lord ruling a fiefdom. All the authors are mere Serfs tending the monarch lands for crumbs, breaking thier backs selling books to make PA rich. Are all these PAvidians this blind?

Christine N.
06-06-2007, 06:47 PM
I agree that Lulu is a better deal, but PA does put the manuscript in book format and do a cover (not saying anything about the quality). Two things which are out of some people's abilities.

I spent ten hours trying to get my little family history book trying to figure out how to make my .pdf maker do it in the proper size. I'm tenacious and not afraid to learn new things, so it wasn't a big deal, but I can see how older people or less technically minded people would give up.

No, I'm talking about doing what PA is doing, but making no attempt to fool people into believing their book will be on store shelves or that it's even possible. Tell them -we'll format the book, we'll print the book, we'll give you an ISBN and put it on Amazon, but we expect most of your book sales to come from you buying them and reselling them. Your cover price will be slightly higher than comparable books. We will not market your book, it's all up to you. Just SAY it.

I'm betting the submisssions would still pour in, because so many people believe the vanity press model IS the way publishing works. You'd have far less unhappy campers and less arbitration hearings. You'd save yourself from writing a lot of tone letters. And the people who really want to be in the industry would move on.

James D. Macdonald
06-06-2007, 06:51 PM
I'm certain that the people who've sent $1,500 to Solicitor Robert Mbungo in Lagos, Nigeria, for the final certification that will allow him to deposit $25.7 Million American Dollars in their bank accounts are also very happy and satisfied with the way things are going.

Why should anyone destroy their dreams by telling them that it's a scam?

Christine N.
06-06-2007, 07:02 PM
Because most of them already believe what they're doing is NORMAL in publishing. And if PA were up front about it, the people who don't want what PA is offering would move on, and I'm pretty sure the ones who are there would have come there anyway. Most have looked at places like AuthorHouse, Xlibiris, etc...and believe that PA is the godsend because they didn't have to pay.

How many of them looked at the Tor site, or Mundania, or Zumaya, or any of those real traditional publishers' sites and know how it's supposed to go?
I even think most of the happy ones with multiple rejections are satisified with what they got. If they weren't they would have searched for writing websites, like this one, and sought out 'how to write a query letter' places, right?

The unhappy ones figure it out too late, and the happy ones remain happy, is the problem with PA now.

James D. Macdonald
06-06-2007, 07:09 PM
I spent ten hours trying to get my little family history book trying to figure out how to make my .pdf maker do it in the proper size. I'm tenacious and not afraid to learn new things, so it wasn't a big deal, but I can see how older people or less technically minded people would give up.

Christine, you should take some junk text, maybe something public domain, put it into an .rtf format file (any wordprocessor should be able to do that), and see how fast you can fire it into Lulu (using one of their stock covers). Don't concern yourself with making it perfect -- just do a text dump.

It's minutes, honest. (The first edition of Atlanta Nights was just exactly such a text-dump, without even a title page. The current Atlanta Nights is a much-cleaned-up version with a title page, review quotes, a copyright page, and much else, but the first (rare book! the folks who invested in one won't have to worry about their kids' college tuition!) edition was done at two in the morning as a straight text upload. Since sending your book to PublishAmerica also requires a straight text upload, I'm not seeing a big advantage to PA.)

CatSlave
06-06-2007, 07:23 PM
<<I think it speaks well of the benevolence of P.A.-- that they have allowed this thread to continue! http://bb.publishamerica.com/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Name deleted

"A book from P.A is like the gift that keeps on giving."
Like herpes.

Sparhawk
06-06-2007, 07:51 PM
Like herpes.

:roll: Good one!!

MMo
06-06-2007, 09:22 PM
Might work for Christine . . . but what about someone whose response is:

Arr-tee-eff? What is that? Who is Lulu? What does "fire it in to" Lulu mean? I don't know much about computers. Can I mail it to her? Will Lulu make my book look nice? What is a stock cover? I have a photo I want on the cover. Will Lulu use it?

Exhortations to use Lulu or any other do-it-yourself option would be met by blank stares and incomprehension among my PA-author acquaintances. You might as well be speaking in Sanskrit as far as they would be concerned.

--Ken

Well, then, you refer them to your local community college for a course in computers, telling them they _must_ learn the tools of the trade. This won't take long; many schools have short courses that are only weeks long. And then you won't be in here complaining about how dumb/stupid/inept/deserving-of-being-scammed those folks are.

Mo

Sheryl Nantus
06-06-2007, 09:31 PM
Might work for Christine . . . but what about someone whose response is:

Arr-tee-eff? What is that? Who is Lulu? What does "fire it in to" Lulu mean? I don't know much about computers. Can I mail it to her? Will Lulu make my book look nice? What is a stock cover? I have a photo I want on the cover. Will Lulu use it?

Exhortations to use Lulu or any other do-it-yourself option would be met by blank stares and incomprehension among my PA-author acquaintances. You might as well be speaking in Sanskrit as far as they would be concerned.

--Ken

no offense, Ken - but after a certain point you have to let these people stand or fall on their own two feet. If they don't want to LEARN how to make themselves better writers or figure out what publishing is all about it's not up to YOU or anyone else to hold their hand and walk them through the process. You're not doing them any favors by letting them sit back and think that there's nothing more to writing a book than vomiting onto a page and rushing out to get it published and that people will be at their side the entire time making sure there are no problems. Offering help is one thing, but there's a limit as to how far charity goes.

jmo, of course.

MMo
06-06-2007, 10:15 PM
Sure, I could be ragingly condescending.


--Ken

Telling someone to learn the tools of the trade they have decided to follow is not being condescending.

Mo

David Erlewine
06-06-2007, 10:21 PM
To become a lawyer in the 21st century, one must graduate law school. To become a doctor in the 21st century, one must graduate medical school. To become a writer in the 21st century, one may be well advised to take a three-week computer course.

Um, yeah, I think the third one is condescending. Ragingly so.

Jersey Chick
06-06-2007, 10:36 PM
As technology progresses, learning the basics of computers and the internet (at the very least), etc is going to become something of a necessity, if it hasn't already. While I doubt paper will go by way of the dinosaur, there are a lot more places accepting of electronic submissions. I don't think it's at all condescending to suggest that someone at least learn the basics. Word processing, email, things like that don't take a lot of time or energy to learn. If they're going to be offended by that, that's a little silly. If the difference between going the PA route or getting into a reputable publishing house is learning Word, it's a small price to pay to avoid the the former.

MMo
06-06-2007, 10:39 PM
To become a lawyer in the 21st century, one must graduate law school. To become a doctor in the 21st century, one must graduate medical school. To become a writer in the 21st century, one may be well advised to take a three-week computer course.

Um, yeah, I think the third one is condescending. Ragingly so.

How so? The original complaint was not about lack of writing skills: characterization, plotting, continuity, or even spelling and grammar; it was about lack of technical knowlege and inability to manipulate files.

Thirty years ago, I would have insisted that a writer needed to learn typing or to hire a competent typist. Today, I say that a minimum of computer skills is necessary.

There is no condescension in that; only a statement of fact.

Mo

Christine N.
06-06-2007, 10:48 PM
Well, that's kind of what I mean, Ken. I mean, my grandmother shuts the computer off by pushing the button on the front. Seriously.

I'm not saying it can't be done- I've done it, and used a stock cover to make a lovely copy of my great-grandmother's diary from 1901, plus photos and family history, as Christmas gifts.

It took me TEN HOURS to figure out how to do it. Because when I gave it to lulu in 8.5x11 inch and asked them to convert, it took FOREVER, and I didn't like how tiny the writing came out. I had to convert it to .pdf myself, because I wanted to use fonts not supported by Lulu's .pdf converter. Then I wanted it in 6x9 trade, and figuring out how to get my word to convert it with the software I have and keep it in 6x9 took ALL DAY. Once it was done, I can do it again, but I doubt many have the patience and are as pig-headed as I am.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Lulu.com. I think it's a great site, and provides a great service. But I know there are some out there for whom it would stump them.

Again, I'm not defending PA, I'm just saying that there is a certain section of the population that got exactly what they wanted, they're happy, and that's that. They got a book, and they'll happily buy up a bunch of copies, because they think THAT'S NORMAL. On the installment plan instead of all up front like 'every other publisher' that they talk about over there. They don't know any other way, and have never thought to ask. Are there good books lost that way? Sure, just like I'm sure there are good books put out by AuthorHouse or Xlibris. (And for some, I think they might even know the real way it's supposed to go and just think it's too much work.)

All I'm saying is that PA would prevent themselves from getting those that will be ultimately UNHAPPY by being more straighforward about what they really do, and if they were, they'd still have piles of submissions.

DaveKuzminski
06-07-2007, 12:15 AM
Like herpes.

Yes, PA is like that so remember there's no cure yet so it's up to writers to "just say no."

herdon
06-07-2007, 12:26 AM
I can't say I understand why someone would go delete their recent posts. Frustration? Just walk away. Realize you are wrong? Then say it. (Or, do like most, and just walk away). But, by all means, don't take things so personal. The people here are just stating their opinions -- take them or leave them as you like.

herdon
06-07-2007, 12:28 AM
It took me TEN HOURS to figure out how to do it.

It didn't take you ten hours to figure out how to do it. It took you ten hours for it to meet your high expectations. If someone is unwilling to put in the work to learn how to do it then they shouldn't have high expectations of the outcome -- it's like me knitting a sweater without learning how to knit -- I shouldn't expect it to come out looking like a sweater I could buy in the stores.

CatSlave
06-07-2007, 01:13 AM
Just a random thought here. It seems to me that someone with enough intelligence and mental acuity to write a meaningful manuscript probably has enough brains to comprehend how to perform basic computer functions.

Conversely, someone who is barely literate will probably have a hell of a time learning or mastering them.

And before you dust off the flamethrowers, I'm referring strictly to ability, not to personality or anything else.

CatSlave
06-07-2007, 01:24 AM
Yes, PA is like that so remember there's no cure yet so it's up to writers to "just say no."
*wink, wink*

CatSlave
06-07-2007, 03:37 AM
http://bb.publishamerica.com/viewtopic.php?t=21460&sid=c38b3e54cfbe0db7f90625179f0c8a98

You are correct, PublishAmerica does indeed send out review copies, but keep in mind that they limit the total number of review copies that they will send out per author.

Everytime PA sends out a review copy they loose money on the book and so do you as no one is paid. With over 20,000 authors now in print if PA sent out just one review copy of every book that would be a substantial amount of money.

The book should actually come from you and not PA. The reason for this is that you can deduct the cost of the book on your income taxes as "promotional" or "advertising." If pa sends out the book you do not have a deduction.

Besides that your contract planily points out that we, the authors are responsible for promotion as with any publisher.

JimmyD1318
06-07-2007, 04:01 AM
http://bb.publishamerica.com/viewtopic.php?t=21460&sid=c38b3e54cfbe0db7f90625179f0c8a98

You are correct, PublishAmerica does indeed send out review copies, but keep in mind that they limit the total number of review copies that they will send out per author.

Everytime PA sends out a review copy they loose money on the book and so do you as no one is paid. With over 20,000 authors now in print if PA sent out just one review copy of every book that would be a substantial amount of money.

The book should actually come from you and not PA. The reason for this is that you can deduct the cost of the book on your income taxes as "promotional" or "advertising." If pa sends out the book you do not have a deduction.

Besides that your contract planily points out that we, the authors are responsible for promotion as with any publisher.

I think I'll join you in pounding my head on the wall!:Headbang: :Wha:

Christine N.
06-07-2007, 04:10 AM
No, seriously it took ten hours for me to do it correctly. I had it too big on the page, then off to one side, then flipped on its side. There was no way I was going to let it print like that, nor would any normal person, I daresay.

It also took some searching through the Lulu.com forums for the answer to my problem. And even then , I ordered a proof copy and then had to re-do it because I forgot to include some blank pages to make sure everything was on the correct sides of the page.

I think many would have given up long before I did, but I'm really very stubborn. I also taught myself to knit and crochet based in directions I downloaded from the internet. I hate knitting, but I've gotten quite good at crochet. ;)

brianm
06-07-2007, 04:51 AM
http://bb.publishamerica.com/viewtopic.php?t=21460&sid=c38b3e54cfbe0db7f90625179f0c8a98

You are correct, PublishAmerica does indeed send out review copies, but keep in mind that they limit the total number of review copies that they will send out per author.

Everytime PA sends out a review copy they loose money on the book and so do you as no one is paid. With over 20,000 authors now in print if PA sent out just one review copy of every book that would be a substantial amount of money.

The book should actually come from you and not PA. The reason for this is that you can deduct the cost of the book on your income taxes as "promotional" or "advertising." If pa sends out the book you do not have a deduction.

Besides that your contract planily points out that we, the authors are responsible for promotion as with any publisher.

Of course it is the PA author who should pay for the book to be sent for reviews. Because PA is not in the business to make money by selling books to anyone but the author, the author's family and friends.

Publishers who are in the business to sell to the general reading public send out copies for review at their expense. Moreover, they send it well in advance of the book's actual release date. It is yet another big red flag that something is amuck with PA's business model.

Jersey Chick
06-07-2007, 04:59 AM
The book should actually come from you and not PA. The reason for this is that you can deduct the cost of the book on your income taxes as "promotional" or "advertising." If pa sends out the book you do not have a deduction.

I'm no accountant, but would the deduction be enough to offset the cost of the book and any postage to send a copy out (never mind numerous copies)?

Just wondering.

Afinerosesheis
06-07-2007, 06:04 AM
My sweet dear autistic husband and I go there every Thursday to help the residents play Bingo.


Geez Louise~

emsuniverse
06-07-2007, 06:15 AM
My sweet dear autistic husband and I go there every Thursday to help the residents play Bingo.


Geez Louise~

I know! AMAZING, isn't it?

JimmyD1318
06-07-2007, 06:16 AM
My sweet dear autistic husband and I go there every Thursday to help the residents play Bingo.


Geez Louise~


Not trying to be mean. But, does she ever NOT call him that? If I was him I would get tired of being referred to in a way that makes it look like I'm less of a person. Just my two cents on it.

Christine N.
06-07-2007, 06:19 AM
I don't think so...she even put it on her website. Not kidding.

Merricat
06-07-2007, 06:41 AM
Just a random thought here. It seems to me that someone with enough intelligence and mental acuity to write a meaningful manuscript probably has enough brains to comprehend how to perform basic computer functions.

Conversely, someone who is barely literate will probably have a hell of a time learning or mastering them.

And before you dust off the flamethrowers, I'm referring strictly to ability, not to personality or anything else.

My mom (who is in her 50's) is fairly computer literate. My dad (in his late 60's) has had a very hard time learning how to do basic things like email, word processing, running iTunes, etc. He has learned, but it took him three or four years to learn what I picked up in a couple of months when I was 11 or 12. Furthermore, every time he switches from using a program he does know to one he's not familiar with (Safari to Firefox, for instance, or AOL email to Comcast email), he has to learn everything all over again -- even things that don't change all that much. He still needs help translating files from one format to another, and he has NO idea how to use Google. For a very long time he thought that when the computer was turned off, his email would bounce.

Now, my dad's not a writer, but he's a pretty smart guy; I'd venture to say that he's a lot smarter than my mother. But as you grow older, it becomes harder to learn new things, and computers are a fairly new thing for him. (It also doesn't help that Alzheimer's runs in the family and my dad's starting to have some short-term memory problems.)

On the other side of the spectrum, my boyfriend has dysgraphia. His sentence structure is reminiscent of a poorly done translation of some language into English, and he can't connect ideas fluidly or elaborate on them. But he's grown up with computers, so he can do massively complicated things that result in him being able to play PS2 games without the discs or the PS2.

I'm not sure it's a question of mental ability so much as which skill sets you have. My sister's an excellent harp player, but sit her down at a piano and she's not going to be able to do anything more complicated than a scale. Using a computer is just as specialized a skill, it's just that it's so integrated into everyday life that we see it as commonplace.

CatSlave
06-07-2007, 06:50 AM
I'm not sure it's a question of mental ability so much as which skill sets you have. My sister's an excellent harp player, but sit her down at a piano and she's not going to be able to do anything more complicated than a scale. Using a computer is just as specialized a skill, it's just that it's so integrated into everyday life that we see it as commonplace.
Good points, thanks.

James D. Macdonald
06-07-2007, 06:51 AM
Geez Louise~

Not singling you out....

Guys, could everyone please lay off the lady? Reality is heading her way, and she's going to be coming here for help one day, maybe sooner than later.

How she refers to members of her family is for her, and them, to determine.


Pretend that she's reading here because one day soon she will be.

Afinerosesheis
06-07-2007, 07:22 AM
Not singling you out....

Guys, could everyone please lay off the lady? Reality is heading her way, and she's going to be coming here for help one day, maybe sooner than later.

How she refers to members of her family is for her, and them, to determine.


Pretend that she's reading here because one day soon she will be.

I apologize for my rudeness, because I was being rude. This author gets to me because of a conversation between her and Frenchie in which she stated that people who get banned deserve it. Well, you and I know this is not true and I did take it personally. It makes me mad when people judge the ones who get banned, like it was their own fault.
It is, however, no excuse to be hurtful, no matter how she describes her husband. I'm not sure she would ever come here though. I just get the feeling that her rose hued glasses will be worn for quite awhile.

Jersey Chick
06-07-2007, 07:51 AM
Check the IRS Code covering authors as (self-employed contractors). Stand ready to be astounded as to what you can legally deduct. Of course you first must pay taxes in order to have something to deduct from.

The business side of writing gets little discussion on message boards. For the reason, I suppose, that many novice writers don't know, and those writers that do know, feel uncomfortable about discussing it on a public board.

PA does their authors a favor by issuing a 1099 for a single sale. I don't think they have to do it. In most self-employed situations, the company (or contractor) need not issue a 1099 for tax purposes for an annual amount less than $599.00. PA issues the tax form for a single royalty payment.

Many of the old-heads on the PA boards understand this side of the business very well. They have many retirees from all walks of life, some former CEOs and a variety of business people and if they understand anything it's profit and loss statements. I believe that's why many keep going back to PA, to turn out book after book, some as many as four books.

You can write off your book purchases as promotional items. You can dedicate an automobile to your writing business and write off the depreciation over a three-year period. You can write off cost of travel in an auto to promote your book at .35 cents per mile (last time I checked). You can write off tire replacement, oil changes and general auto maintenance. You can write off writing equipment as losses, including computers and printers, paper, ink cartridges. You can deduct all your submission mailing expenses. You can dedicate a portion of your home as your writing office and write off that percentage against your personal property taxes.

You can even write off the cost of photos that may be included in your book. And you can write off any legitimate promotional item used in your books sales. Just make sure to keep itemized records of all your writing related expenses in case of audit. Obviously for a PA book, your expenses will greatly outweigh your profits, so you will show a loss. And I believe you can show a loss for three out of five years, at which time the IRS considers your writing to be a hobby, and you can no longer legally take the loss deductions.

One of the national writer's magazines (Writer's Digest, I think) had an article on this very subject last spring just prior to the tax-filing date. Regardless of whether you are published by magazines, a vanity press, self-published or by a main-stream publisher, you qualify as a writer under the tax code and for that reason need to understand the tax side of the business.


Maybe I didn't ask what I thought I was asking - it made sense in my head, but it might not to anyone outside my head -

What I meant was - The one poster suggested it was better to buy copies of one's own book to send out for reviews, to take the tax deduction. But if you factor in the cost of the book, plus the postage to mail it out, would any deduction offset that cost and make it worth the trouble? Or would it make just as much sense to have the publisher do it (as most do) and not get that deduction?

Does that even make sense now?

Oy - now even I'm confused. My brother's a CPA, so he does my taxes - I take everything down to pens and pencils :D

JanDarby
06-07-2007, 08:06 AM
JC: the thing to remember about tax deductions is that they're only worth about a third of what you actually spent, so it's always better if you can get someone else to incur the expense.

For example, say you spend $15 on a book to send out for review. Let's pretend that's your one and only deduction, and you then subtract that $15 from your gross income to calculate your taxable income.

Let's say your taxable income before the $15 deduction is $10,000 (and forget all the complications of taxes with respect to lower rates for the first few thousand you earn, and the standard deduction, etc.). The combined federal and state tax rates total around 33% (28% at the federal level and another 5-10% at the state level), then your tax on the $10K would be $3,330. When you subtract the $15 deduction from your gross income, you have a taxable income of $9,985, and a tax of $3295, for a savings of a mere $5 on your tax return, which you've spent $15 to get.

Remember: the subtraction is not from the taxes that are due, but from the income that will be taxed, so you only benefit by an amount equal to the deduction multiplied by the tax rate. But first you still have to spend the full amount of the item, so you're always ending up in the red. Which is okay if it's something you need to do (like buying paper to print your manuscript), but not if it's something the publisher should be doing.

Being able to deduct monies you've spent is better than not being able to deduct it, but getting someone else to pay and giving up the deduction is always a better deal.

JD

LloydBrown
06-07-2007, 08:24 AM
Of course, it's tax deductible for PA, too, so the author should let them do it.

James D. Macdonald
06-07-2007, 08:27 AM
A couple of things.

First:


Everytime PA sends out a review copy they loose money on the book and so do you as no one is paid. With over 20,000 authors now in print if PA sent out just one review copy of every book that would be a substantial amount of money.

The reason any publisher sends out review copies is that reviews sell books. The publisher stands to sell quite a few more than that one copy. One good review in the right place could turn into multiple sales. That's why publishers send out review copies by the hundreds -- in order to sell books by the thousands.

The book should actually come from you and not PA.

The book should come from PA.

The reason for this is that you can deduct the cost of the book on your income taxes as "promotional" or "advertising." If pa sends out the book you do not have a deduction.

Others have already covered why this is poorly reasoned.

Besides that your contract planily points out that we, the authors are responsible for promotion as with any publisher.

Other publishers (real ones) don't rely on untrained, underfunded amateurs (however enthusiastic) to do their promotion. Promotion is too important. (About half the staff at a publishing house in is promotion and marketing.) So it isn't "any" publisher unless you're thinking of "any" vanity publisher.

Jersey Chick
06-07-2007, 08:32 AM
Let's say your taxable income before the $15 deduction is $10,000 (and forget all the complications of taxes with respect to lower rates for the first few thousand you earn, and the standard deduction, etc.). The combined federal and state tax rates total around 33% (28% at the federal level and another 5-10% at the state level), then your tax on the $10K would be $3,330. When you subtract the $15 deduction from your gross income, you have a taxable income of $9,985, and a tax of $3295, for a savings of a mere $5 on your tax return, which you've spent $15 to get.


Thanks! That's what I thought - but I know nothing about taxes - I come from a long line of accounting nerds... I think I might actually be adopted. :)

I figured it would have to be one major deduction to be worth my time. Funny thing about taxes, there's no such thing as a major deduction - unless you have kids. Then it's a pretty nice deal...

LloydBrown
06-07-2007, 09:23 AM
Reminder: quoting whole posts sucks bandwidth and causes unnecessary scrolling. Please just quote the necessary parts.

Berry
06-07-2007, 12:23 PM
For example, say you spend $15 on a book to send out for review. Let's pretend that's your one and only deduction, and you then subtract that $15 from your gross income to calculate your taxable income.

JD

Actually, if you run your writing as a business and file a Schedule C, what you do is add up all your sales, advances, royalties and so on, and then subtract all your expenses, and what's left is your profit, which you report as income. For BUSINESS expenses, you get to deduct the ENTIRE expense.

In some cases you may not be able to deduct the entire thing in one year -- a computer may have to be amortized over several.

But don't believe me, please get competent tax advice from a professional before doing this. I may have the specifics wrong, but I think the general idea is right: income from writing business == money you made minus expenses you had. That's why business deductions are better than personal deductions.

JimmyD1318
06-07-2007, 06:56 PM
Not singling you out....

Guys, could everyone please lay off the lady? Reality is heading her way, and she's going to be coming here for help one day, maybe sooner than later.

How she refers to members of her family is for her, and them, to determine.


Pretend that she's reading here because one day soon she will be.

You're right Uncle Jim. I'm sorry for being rude.

brianm
06-08-2007, 02:44 AM
This one won’t be up for very long. She has received two responses. The first one being the usual “but you didn’t have to pay anything to be published” response and the second one concerned because she is broadcasting this on her website.

http://bb.publishamerica.com/viewtopic.php?t=21472

Hey there. For a few months now I have had bad experiences with Publish America through email and forums. Here is the link to my first forum issue with PA.

http://bb.publishamerica.com/viewtopic.php?p=235685#235685

Has anyone else had a problem like this? Does anyone have any suggestions on how I should handle this?

I have added a page on my personal website to showcase not only the responses to the forums but also my emails to PA and their responses to me, if anyone wants to check em out, feel free.

http://www.roxannesackville.com/unprofpubpa.html

Just so everyone knows, my issues with this company have nothing to do with having to purchase my own copies of the novel, I have self published before and am aware of this. My issue is plainly the way I have been talked to, treated, etc. And this all started over questions about where the direct mailers were that were supposed to be mailed. Yes, PA sent me the mailer to mail myself, but it defeated the whole purpose considering I received it AFTER my book was released. So much for letting everyone know ahead of time.

Best get out another chair to welcome another new AW member. I believe she has seen the light.

Jersey Chick
06-08-2007, 03:18 AM
Hopefully she'll find her way over. I'll get the coffee going, just in case :)

brianm
06-08-2007, 03:56 AM
I just can't get over this response. The member is so worried her book won't sell she can't see the forest for the trees.

I read your website and can understand your struggle. Can you not see through your anger that many PA Authors will suffer if you have this campaign of telling all these people not to buy books from PA Authors. This is about our dreams? I think you need to deal with your Publisher but to attack us, come on?

My reaction would be of major concern that the publisher I was with acted like this. My desire would be for PA to explain itself and apologize, publicly, for acting in this manner. But, no, this member is worried others finding out about the truth might not buy PA books.

Wake up PAMB members! If your family and friends have bought your book, you've pretty well sold all the books you are going to sell while you are with PA.

Marian Perera
06-08-2007, 04:01 AM
Should I tell PA? (http://bb.publishamerica.com/viewtopic.php?t=21479)

Yesterday, I went on the PA Web site and clicked on my book... I clicked on reviews. There were two. The first one was a listing of sites with viruses attached to them. My anti-virus software blocked me access when I accidentally clicked on it. The sites were not legitimate reviewers either. The second one was hard to discern whether it was legitimate but at least it did not have viruses attached.

The link from the Arizona Republic that I had sent PublishAmerica back in November for a legitimate story about me was not on there.

My question is should I let this go or tell PublishAmerica? I don't want to be tagged as one of those who are angry with PublishAmerica, which I'm not.

This poor author seems so nervous at the prospect of informing PA of a very legitimate problem. It made me think of that scene from the book of Job, except that this time, PA answers out of the whirlwind, booming, "Where were you when we laid the foundations of our scam?"

stormie
06-08-2007, 04:07 AM
Guys, could everyone please lay off the lady? Reality is heading her way, and she's going to be coming here for help one day, maybe sooner than later.

Pretend that she's reading here because one day soon she will be.

I did the same thing and I apologized here. Yet from months of reading past PAMB posts of hers, and checking out her web site, it's highly doubtful she'll ever be here at all. She has been pouncing on anyone even slightly questioning PA.

Now, moving on and laying off PA posters....

Marian Perera
06-08-2007, 04:28 AM
This one won’t be up for very long. She has received two responses.

Three now. Pipesmoker has weighed in, letting her know that the unprofessional responses she got from PA were most likely her fault because, "In this world you generally receive the kind of treatment you hand out".

Jersey Chick
06-08-2007, 04:33 AM
Wow - if she got that kind of treatment for asking a question, I guess they beat the real troublemakers with two by fours. Or ban them. Whichever offers the most enjoyment, I guess.

I have to go over and take a peek at her website...

James D. Macdonald
06-08-2007, 04:47 AM
She has been pouncing on anyone even slightly questioning PA.

She's a honeymooner. The September royalty check will open her eyes.

brianm
06-08-2007, 04:52 AM
http://bb.publishamerica.com/viewtopic.php?t=21472

And now a fourth nasty comment to her. Here's a wee portion from his response.

I’ve read all the negative things about PA on PreditorsandEditors, and I believe from your tone, that’s where you belong. Why don’t you see who on that site is willing to publish your book for free and accommodate you the way PA has.

That's two "published your book for free" responses. Perhaps, I'll keep a running tally of "traditional" PAMB responses.

- "Published for free" - 2
- "Lived up to everything they said they would do" - 1
- "Made my dream come true" - 0
- "Allowed me to hold my precious book in my hands" - 0
- "God showed me the way to PA" - 0
- "PA taught me how to make a lollipop tree" - 0

JimmyD1318
06-08-2007, 04:53 AM
Wow - if she got that kind of treatment for asking a question, I guess they beat the real troublemakers with two by fours. Or ban them. Whichever offers the most enjoyment, I guess.

I have to go over and take a peek at her website...

I already did, and man! Did she really lay it out for everyone to see! I hope she comes here for a visit.

emsuniverse
06-08-2007, 05:00 AM
She's a honeymooner. The September royalty check will open her eyes.

I think her eyes are superglued shut.

James D. Macdonald
06-08-2007, 05:08 AM
More like whistling past the graveyard.

If she admits that what other people are saying is true, then she'll have to admit that she was scammed.

(And, again, for the foks who say, "I didn't pay to be published!" how about it? How much have you personally sent to PublishAmerica?)

Christine N.
06-08-2007, 05:21 AM
Wow, did she ever put it out there! I like this response from PA about Atlanta Nights...

Yes, their information is wrong, and we will expect your prompt
apology. There is no little truth to the story that you read. The
authors of that story know very well that it is almost completely
fabricated. PublishAmerica initially accepted the manuscript based on
a quick skim of the contents, and that when we actually began reading
the manuscript we rejected it. We rejected it long before the hoaxers
made their false claim.


Okay, WHAT PUBLISHER ON EARTH accepts a manuscript after a 'quick skim'??? That idea in and of itself is LUDICRIOUS! A real publisher carefully reads their manuscripts, and only offers to contracts to the ones they choose after a CAREFUL reading of the entire manuscript, even several by several different people.

That right there is the one of the most telling things I've ever read about PA. The tap-dance they do about AN winds up proving what they are!

BenPanced
06-08-2007, 05:34 AM
That's two "published your book for free" responses. Perhaps, I'll keep a running tally of "traditional" PAMB responses.

- "Published for free" - 2
- "Lived up to everything they said they would do" - 1
- "Made my dream come true" - 0
- "Allowed me to hold my precious book in my hands" - 0
- "God showed me the way to PA" - 0
- "PA taught me how to make a lollipop tree" - 0
Therefore, "God showed me how to make a lollipop tree". Sorry.

Man. None of the comments on the PAMB are directed at me, yet every time I read a posting from over there, I can feel my soul dying just a little bit.

Jersey Chick
06-08-2007, 05:35 AM
Wow - If words could explode on paper - I'd be afraid to open those emails (or snail mails).

Again, what professional company repeatedly demands an apology? And, if I'm not mistaken, weren't there at least two more sting manuscripts accepted by PA? I think that constitutes at least several, if not many.

Those responses remind me of a third grader who "won't be your friend until you say you're sorry."

I'm almost yelling "Grow up!" at the computer...

James D. Macdonald
06-08-2007, 06:27 AM
Wow, did she ever put it out there! I like this response from PA about Atlanta Nights...

PublishAmerica did not withdraw its contract offer on Atlanta Nights (http://www.lulu.com/content/102550) until after the hoax was revealed. The date/time stamped posts are still here on the old NEPAT (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=524&page=226).

The full texts of all of PA's letters are included in the Afterword, if you get a copy.

They're lying, and I can prove it.

Jersey Chick
06-08-2007, 06:52 AM
Careful, or else you'll get a tone letter :D

CatSlave
06-08-2007, 06:54 AM
I agree with David when he asks, "What are you trying to accomplish?"

I see that the little bit of grudging respect I had for this poster was sadly misplaced.
Just another run-of-the-mill PAvangelist, I'm sorry to admit (although he is literate).

Komnena
06-08-2007, 06:56 AM
In a case like Sackville's, are we allowed to leave messages on her website or is that still considered sliming even though she's clearly very unhappy with PA?
Komnena

James D. Macdonald
06-08-2007, 06:59 AM
I'd prefer it if no one who isn't already a friend were to post in her guestbook.

Sparhawk
06-08-2007, 06:59 AM
PublishAmerica did not withdraw its contract offer on Atlanta Nights (http://www.lulu.com/content/102550) until after the hoax was revealed. The date/time stamped posts are still here on the old NEPAT (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=524&page=226).

The full texts of all of PA's letters are included in the Afterword, if you get a copy.

They're lying, and I can prove it.

Uncle Jim,

Since when has the truth or overwhelming evidence ever stopped PA from lying. They're counting on the fact that PAvidians avoid AW like the plague

CatSlave
06-08-2007, 07:01 AM
In a case like Sackville's, are we allowed to leave messages on her website or is that still considered sliming even though she's clearly very unhappy with PA?
Komnena
If she wanders over to Preditors & Editors (as one of the PA posters suggested), Dave can steer her in this direction. :)

Jersey Chick
06-08-2007, 07:03 AM
Keep your fingers crossed.

Maddog
06-08-2007, 07:41 AM
:hooray: From Roxanne's thread:


It is the guy’s freedom to post what he wants to post, until big brother decides to take his post down, which they can at any time. If he having a problem it is not a bad idea to see if this is going on all the time. That I understand.
Though I also understand that pa is NOT going to make everyone happy. I myself have had nothing but good experiences with pa, except for the fact that no one will pay $24.99 for my book.
I hate to say it, but all of you sound brain washed. I like pa, and though I do wish I waited forever to publish my book, or maybe never, instead. It seams that no one ever has to say anything bad about them. I personally wish I knew more about them before I decided to publish my book with them, but I only have myself to blame. So I will make do with what I have and pray for the best. One thing I can say, pa does do what they say they will do.



The plot thickens...

brianm
06-08-2007, 07:49 AM
Here's another response to the lady’s posting regarding being disgusted with PA. It is clear the PAMB member is mixing up the “Atlanta Nights” hoax with the lady’s actual problems. Not a wonder he’s with PA as he apparently has trouble reading.

http://bb.publishamerica.com/viewtopic.php?t=21472


I clicked on the link provide and read through all the responses that was made with PA and Roxanne.

Quite frankly the only one that I saw that was being rude and arrogant was the writer and not PA. PA stated that they had accepted her book on an initial read through, but once it was read thoroughly it was rejected. Must of had some BAD content for PA to reject a manuscript.

As far as the Canadian addresses are concern, Yes CANADA is part of North America, but it is considered a foreign country by the United States Postal Service. I sent one of my books to Canada and it took seven weeks for it to arrive as it had to go through customs and whatever else just to reach the customer.

If you are upset because your book was rejected then get over it and move one. Borders, Barnes and Noble, Waldens, and BookAmillion all have our books many of them are on thier shelves.
I know for a fact that both of my PA book are in the Borders warehouse and available anywhere in the country.

Move on, grow up and quite crying over something that was justified.

emsuniverse
06-08-2007, 07:50 AM
It'll be gone by morning.

CatSlave
06-08-2007, 07:51 AM
:hooray: From Roxanne's thread:
The plot thickens...

Good for him!
http://bb.publishamerica.com/viewtopic.php?t=21472&sid=a548094b0aac9b7ba40354962a9e893d

brianm
06-08-2007, 07:59 AM
http://bb.publishamerica.com/viewtopic.php?t=21480

This same man posted to Roxanne’s thread. He started a new one regarding the pricing of his book.

My book has been out for almost a year, and I am finding it hard to sell because of the high price, does pa ever lower it?

Unfortunately, the only time PA lowers the price of his book is when he buys it with his author discounts.

CatSlave
06-08-2007, 08:07 AM
That's two "published your book for free" responses. Perhaps, I'll keep a running tally of "traditional" PAMB responses.

- "Published for free" - 2
- "Lived up to everything they said they would do" - 1
- "Made my dream come true" - 0
- "Allowed me to hold my precious book in my hands" - 0
- "God showed me the way to PA" - 0
- "PA taught me how to make a lollipop tree" - 0
Let's not forget "It's YOUR fault, you ungrateful whiner."

James D. Macdonald
06-08-2007, 08:40 AM
The thread is still there, but this post:

It is the guy’s freedom to post what he wants to post, until big brother decides to take his post down, which they can at any time....

... is missing.

brianm
06-08-2007, 08:44 AM
The thread is still there, but this post:


... is missing.

And they edited out the links Roxanne had in here initial post. The infomonster strikes again!

CatSlave
06-08-2007, 08:46 AM
And they edited out the links Roxanne had in here initial post. The infomonster strikes again!
Miranda, you do a better job editing your own message board than you do your authors' books.
Getting enough sleep lately?

brianm
06-08-2007, 08:54 AM
Miranda, you do a better job editing your own message board than you do your authors' books.
Getting enough sleep lately?

Perhaps she just woke up from a liquid lunch.

I was surprised how long that thread survived. It's got to be tough on her, what with all those tones letters and the like she has to send out. I think it funny that they are signing off with "Have a nice day!" So 80's hip. So California. So unprofessional. So Publish America.

brianm
06-08-2007, 09:22 AM
I just copied this from Roxanne's guestbook.

Hi, Roxanne. Please go http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=115 to see an entire webcommunity dedicated to revealing what your publisher really is.

Have a nice day

It really annoys me when I see something like this, because it makes it seem that Absolutewrite is entirely about going after and exposing Publish America. That is so untrue. A portion of Bewares and Background Checks is dedicated to exposing PA. However, that's not what AW is all about.

IMO, it only hurts AW and it’s members when things like this are posted on PA member guestbooks. Regardless of how that PA member is feeling about PA.

James D. Macdonald
06-08-2007, 09:58 AM
It is clear the PAMB member is mixing up the “Atlanta Nights” hoax with the lady’s actual problems.

Ah, he's just upset that Atlanta Nights (http://http://www.lulu.com/content/102550) is selling better than his books....

Marian Perera
06-08-2007, 02:24 PM
I was surprised how long that thread survived.

I think PA knows that any such posts are going to be bashed by the rest of the flock, who will obediently repeat whatever lies PA has told them. Infocenter doesn't need to say a word - pipesmoker and the rest will say it all. So why not leave such threads up as an example to anyone who dares to complain? You see the effect it has on most posters - one of them was even afraid to tell PA that they had linked to a virus site instead of a review of his books.

endless rewrite
06-08-2007, 02:57 PM
The bullying, self righteous, replies/lies to Roxanne's post by the self styled and 'respected' PA experts have to be the most sickening stink I have seen on the PAMB for a long while. These people are behaving like the worse kind of bullies, ganging up to attack somebody who cannot answer back - they should be ashamed of themselves and are old enough to know better. Even worse is when the drones come in to applaud the attack. The only good thing is that any prospective victims reading the posts on threads like that would run a mile rather than be associated with such dross.

DaveKuzminski
06-08-2007, 05:30 PM
Miranda, you do a better job editing your own message board than you do your authors' books.
Getting enough sleep lately?

Well, Miranda does have a reputation as a cut-up. ;)

Maddog
06-08-2007, 08:26 PM
Here's a well thought out and honest answer to Roxanne's concerns:


I am another who thinks PA has lived up to their contract. I do a lot of promotions and have managed to sell some books, and while I haven't had to email PA with very many questions, the responses have been timely and well done.

With that said, I think we have the right to voice our concerns about PA if we think someone else can benefit from our experiences. I have signed two book contracts now with PA, and would sign another, because I have been happy with their services, but there are a few things I'd like to see them do better, and I don't mind saying so. I've never seen an operation that was perfect, and there are always some things that can be changed that would make any operation better. For one, everyone knows that the high price of a lot of the books keeps the number of sales down, and I would think that a good business would rather sell 500 books at $10 each than to sell 50 books at $20 each. It just makes good business sense. And while we all do a lot of promotions on our own, I think PA could do more to help out. I'm not sure what the best way to do that would be, but I'm sure something could be figured out.

The one time I had a problem was right after my first book was published. I found a very bad formatting error in my first book that just wasn't caught until after printing, and PA told me that it wouldn't affect the saleablity of the book. That wasn't the problem, the problem was that iy was not very professional, and could have been fixed easily, but PA chose not to do so. As our books are printed when they are ordered, and are not stockpiled, a few minutes of work with the file could have fixed the problem so that any future copies would have been right.

There is one other thing that bothers me now and then. I spent many years as a manager in a call center where great customer service was imperitive, and I can tell you that whoever answers some of these posts as Infocenter is not a very professional customer service rep. Many of the answers are flippant and filled with attitude, they are sarcastic and uncalled for, and could and should be answered in a much more professional manner. There is never any reason to answer people with a response like the one that is currently posted in another thread. Someone complained about the lack of a quick response, and instead of just stating the facts, infocenter made a very sarcastic reply that served no purpose at all, other than to make them feel a bit better. I don't know if that attitude comes from being young and inexperienced or not, but it would certainly get them some sit down time with a supervisor if they answered like that in any customer service call center where I've worked.

If they don't want to answer some questions publically, then all they have to do is send that person an email and ask them to voice their concerns in private. And it should be done without trying to put anyone down, or without trying to make anyone feel bad.

Anyway, as I've said, I have been satisfied with PA, and would publish again with them. But there is no reason why people can't disagree from time to time, even on a public message board, and expect a courteous reply, one that isn't dripping with sarcasm.

Sheryl Nantus
06-08-2007, 08:52 PM
well, that won't be up for long.

expect the usual bullying and immature responses to start.

Jersey Chick
06-08-2007, 09:49 PM
A few more observations to make you go hmmm...

That means always showing respect for PA and for each other.

The mind boggles what their definition of "respect for each other" must be!

And the French lady's $0.15 :

and having to contend and listen to the gripping of some authors can't be that much fun

I hate when authors grip - don't you?

I am even surprised when they let a thread run here.. that is deliberatly insulting to them..

As am I - they usually disappear as fast as humanly possible.

I even understand.. when one of the monitor then answer a little sarcastically.. to a poster who just pushed the envellope too far.

Asking a question is pushing the envelope too far???


I seriously can't stand it anymore... I think my hair just set itself on fire.

brianm
06-08-2007, 09:49 PM
I wondered when the French woman would make an appearance in Roxanne’s thread. I am convinced of two things about this woman. She is compensated by PA to make the remarks she makes on PAMB. And, she is responsible for mixing and distributing the batches of kool-aid.

http://bb.publishamerica.com/viewtopic.php?t=21472&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15

I not only love P.A. I adore P.A.!! they not only have published my two books free-but once when I ordered a set of my cookbooks and they send me my memoir instead by mistakes, after I e mailed them, the very next day I was told I would be receiving the same amount of Cookbooks-free. !! I did.
As it was pointed out they are after all a business to make money..and having to contend and listen to the gripping of some authors can't be that much fun -nor having to answer the same sempi eternal questions that are already answered on the board..dozens of time! I am even surprised when they let a thread run here.. that is deliberatly insulting to them..talk about patience..I even understand.. when one of the monitor then answer a little sarcastically.. to a poster who just pushed the envellope too far. I don't blame him!

Besides all that because of P.A. I have a wonderful web site that I share with my friends in France and elsewhere.. for as the Chinese say: a picture is worth ten thousand words! Not to mention the fact that I have made a lot of friends here, both on the board or in person, like Rudy, helen, Kevin, Paula, and sadly also the late wonderful "Dazzling Dave." Do I get along with the P.A. people? YOU BET! I never bother them, I never complain, and I certainly don't tell them how to run their business..so as of now I don't intend to change anything.. for as another of my sayings goes "If it ain't broken don't fix it!

abemorgantis
06-08-2007, 09:55 PM
I wondered when the French woman would make an appearance in Roxanne’s thread. I am convinced of two things about this woman. She is compensated by PA to make the remarks she makes on PAMB. And, she is responsible for mixing and distributing the batches of kool-aid.

I wouldn't be surprised.

Sparhawk
06-08-2007, 10:13 PM
I wondered when the French woman would make an appearance in Roxanne’s thread. I am convinced of two things about this woman. She is compensated by PA to make the remarks she makes on PAMB. And, she is responsible for mixing and distributing the batches of kool-aid.

http://bb.publishamerica.com/viewtopic.php?t=21472&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15

OR PA is the only social life she has and she doesn't care about selling her books or being a real author. She's happily playing the role playing game and doesn't care about the unhappy players only the dungeon master.... I mean the publisher.

stormie
06-08-2007, 10:13 PM
From PA (see above #2202 for full quote): I never complain, and I certainly don't tell them how to run their business..so as of now I don't intend to change anything.. for as another of my sayings goes "If it ain't broken don't fix it!
But it is broken!

Jersey Chick
06-08-2007, 10:13 PM
One more has hopped onto the bandwagon -
I immediately emailed, apologized and asked for the sentence to be added. emphasis mine

Apologized for wanting her back cover to be right? **sighs**

stormie
06-08-2007, 10:21 PM
One more has hopped onto the bandwagon -.... Apologized for wanting her back cover to be right? **sighs**
Oh geez. Another one... When will this insanity stop?

DaveKuzminski
06-08-2007, 10:37 PM
I wondered when the French woman would make an appearance in Roxanne’s thread. I am convinced of two things about this woman. She is compensated by PA to make the remarks she makes on PAMB. And, she is responsible for mixing and distributing the batches of kool-aid.

http://bb.publishamerica.com/viewtopic.php?t=21472&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15

Or she's a deliberate PA plant.

Sheryl Nantus
06-08-2007, 10:39 PM
bullies and thugs.

what a great display of the quality of PA authors.

CatSlave
06-08-2007, 11:04 PM
I think PA knows that any such posts are going to be bashed by the rest of the flock, who will obediently repeat whatever lies PA has told them. Infocenter doesn't need to say a word - pipesmoker and the rest will say it all. So why not leave such threads up as an example to anyone who dares to complain? You see the effect it has on most posters - one of them was even afraid to tell PA that they had linked to a virus site instead of a review of his books.
You're absolutely right. They can sit back and watch the bloodbath without dirtying their hands.
The PAvidian's viciousness is equal only to their ignorance.

CatSlave
06-08-2007, 11:08 PM
Or she's a deliberate PA plant.
With all the juicy details that ooze out of the PAMB publicly and otherwise, somebody on the inside must be helping the cause. :D

brianm
06-08-2007, 11:18 PM
The first is an intelligent response in Roxanne’s thread, albeit, he still hasn’t accepted that PA is a scam.

http://bb.publishamerica.com/viewtopic.php?t=21472&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15

I guess it depends upon what you are used to doing. I've spent several years working as a manager in call centers. My wife is a customer service specialist with Nextell, who has just been bought by Sprint. I can tell you from personal experience that in a professional organization there is never, never, any excuse for rudeness, sarcasm, or anything else that might be construed as being something the customer may not like. And here at PA, whether we like it or not, whether they like it or not, we, the authors, are customers of PA. If a customer service rep made some of the comments that I have seen posted here by Infocenter, they would be looking for a job. If you call Sprint and hear the message that says "This call may be monitored for quality," then you can rest assured it means exactly that. Many calls are monitored every day, and every agent must have a certain number of calls monitored each week and they must have a certain quailty score in order to keep their job. I do not see that level of professionalism with the person (or at least one of them) who responds as Infocenter. Being busy, being frustrated, having to listen to a lot of complaints, etc, is part of the job, and none of them is ever a reason for being rude, sarcastic, or treating a customer with even any hint of disrespect.

I've said I'm satisfied with PA, and I mean it, but that doesn't mean they couldn't do a better job.

And then there’s the next one from the French woman.

The MOST important thing that P.A. does is publish our books in a very professional manner. That' s what they are in business for and as far as the way their office is run, if you look inside the "Goliath" Book you will notice that their office is mostly satffed by young people...who are most likely overtired in having to answer the same boring questions. Having 20.000 authors at last count... multiplied by Lord knows how much each day--that's a lot of boring questions if you ask me, so they like to have a little fun once in a while heck I don't blame them!

She’s almost correct in her first sentence. PA does publish the book. However, not in a professional manner. And she is correct that PA does nothing else but publish the book. Absolutely nothing else. Well, they do send out tone letters, request for apology letters, and urgent bulletins to buy more copies of your own book.

Afinerosesheis
06-08-2007, 11:42 PM
Maybe I gripped too much or pushed the envellop too far to get banned 3 times. LOL I like Don's responses.

endless rewrite
06-09-2007, 12:18 AM
I'm just amazed at the amount of crap people spout, applaud and put up with on the PAMB. Also thought the repeated reference in the call centers post about PA authors as customers of PA was very telling.

PA doesn't need to worry about treating its troublesome authors like crap or telling lies to keep them in line, their other customers do that job for them, just like the marketing, promotion, editing and bothering bookstores side of the business.

Jersey Chick
06-09-2007, 12:21 AM
A bit more amusement for a Friday -

if you ask me, so they like to have a little fun once in a while

That's the French lady on the rude emails from infomonster. If that's what's considered fun, what would obnoxious and rude be???


http://bb.publishamerica.com/viewtopic.php?t=21472&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15

Marian Perera
06-09-2007, 12:21 AM
Unbelievable. The French lady bends over backwards to excuse infocenter's poor behavior.

you will notice that their office is mostly satffed by young people...who are most likely overtired in having to answer the same boring questions. Having 20.000 authors at last count... multiplied by Lord knows how much each day--that's a lot of boring questions if you ask me, so they like to have a little fun once in a while http://bb.publishamerica.com/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif heck I don't blame them! http://bb.publishamerica.com/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif http://bb.publishamerica.com/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif http://bb.publishamerica.com/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

Their sarcasm and put-downs are just fun. Tee hee. You know what kids are like. Giggle. Isn't PA funny when it insults and belittles its own authors? Ha ha ha.

I find her response disgusting. I don't normally post so strongly, but this really turned my stomach.

Jersey Chick
06-09-2007, 12:22 AM
Nothing says "Hey, I care" like a really nasty tone email :)

endless rewrite
06-09-2007, 12:23 AM
But she put in some smiley faces so it's all OK.

CatSlave
06-09-2007, 12:24 AM
The first is an intelligent response in Roxanne’s thread, albeit, he still hasn’t accepted that PA is a scam.

http://bb.publishamerica.com/viewtopic.php?t=21472&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15

And then there’s the next one from the French woman.
Let us not forget that the *authors* of those nasty remarks and tone letters are Miranda and Larry. The "Author Support Team" signature is the curtain they hide behind when insulting and intimidating the authors. You can take it to the bank that the "Author Support Team" itself (all three of them) can only respond to author queries with answers that have been prewritten, to be cut-and-pasted into their emails. They do not generate any original responses. They do not run the message board. All they do is take phone orders and email questions. Anything that appears out-of-line gets sent to Miranda for a response, and all emails are monitored and saved. The Author Support Team has a miserable job, not only forced to lie to the authors but to listen to Miranda haranguing them all day. She gets the fun of making the authors suffer and bleed, using the Author Support Team signature as her front.

In a related subject: You may find that a close study of the cult phenomenon as it applies to PA is particularly disturbing.

It is often applied by analogy to refer to adulation of non-political leaders, and sometimes in the context of certain businessmen, management styles, and company work environments. The use of this term in its broadest sense serves as a reminder that cultic phenomena (as opposed to full-blown "cults") are not just found inside small ashrams and splinter churches but also are spread throughout mainstream institutions in democratic societies as well as permeating in a far more toxic form the governments and ruling parties of some nondemocratic societies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult#Non-religious_groups_characterized_as_cults

CatSlave
06-09-2007, 12:29 AM
Unbelievable. The French lady bends over backwards to excuse infocenter's poor behavior.

Their sarcasm and put-downs are just fun. Tee hee. You know what kids are like. Giggle. Isn't PA funny when it insults and belittles its own authors? Ha ha ha.

I find her response disgusting. I don't normally post so strongly, but this really turned my stomach.

sanctimonious (sank-ti-MOH-nee-us), adj. making or marked by a hypocritical and often smug, intolerant show of religious devotion, morality, righteousness, etc.: We all resented his sanctimonious comments on immorality when he himself was involved in a shady business deal.

A fundamental characteristic of sanctimonious behavior is how obvious the insincerity is to the observer.

James D. Macdonald
06-09-2007, 01:04 AM
For one, everyone knows that the high price of a lot of the books keeps the number of sales down, and I would think that a good business would rather sell 500 books at $10 each than to sell 50 books at $20 each. It just makes good business sense. And while we all do a lot of promotions on our own, I think PA could do more to help out.

Except -- PA knows that the books won't sell 500 copies. They'll sell 50. So if they set the price at $20 they'll get $1,000 while if they set the price at $10 they'll get $500. And they know that if they don't spend money on promotion they'll sell 50 copies, while if they do spend money on promotion they'll sell 50 copies. The price of the promotion comes directly out of the profits without any sort of return.

If the entire readership of the book is mom and dad and your best friend, then it makes sense to set the price to a point that only mom and dad and your best friend will pay.

PublishAmerica isn't interested in selling books to the public. They're interested in selling books to their own authors. Anything that they do ... anything, including the promise to send out review copies (which they do in the most meager and unhelpful way possible) and the promise to do promotion (which they do in the cheapest and most useless way possible) -- is purely to reel in new authors who think that they will get far more than PA intends to deliver.

Popeyesays
06-09-2007, 01:14 AM
When one signs a deal with a publisher one does not become a customer, one becomes a supplier.

That's because 'customers' in real publishing are the folks who pick up the book and order it without ever knowing the author at all.

If you are a publisher's 'customer' the publisher is a vanity house, plain and simple.

If PA were smart they'd do away with their message board. It just breeds trouble for them and is a major expense in the form of bandwidth and employee hassle.

Regards,
Scott

DaveKuzminski
06-09-2007, 01:25 AM
When one signs a deal with a publisher one does not become a customer, one becomes a supplier.

That's because 'customers' in real publishing are the folks who pick up the book and order it without ever knowing the author at all.

If you are a publisher's 'customer' the publisher is a vanity house, plain and simple.

If PA were smart they'd do away with their message board. It just breeds trouble for them and is a major expense in the form of bandwidth and employee hassle.

Regards,
Scott

No! Don't tell them that. It's also the best way for us to prove many of their falsehoods despite the fact that it's used by them to advertise. What better way to expose their shallowness than to let them expose it so readily and freely?

James D. Macdonald
06-09-2007, 01:29 AM
They need the messageboard to have the authors egg each other on to buying more copies of their own books (and make lollipop trees and tablecloths).

If they shut down the messageboard the PA authors would still find gathering places, but places that the Author Insult Team can't monitor as easily or censor as readily.

I do wonder how much, in dollars, the French Lady has sent to PA over the years. And she still thinks she wasn't vanity published?

Also -- while most of the people who work at PA are young women with no experience in publishing (or, indeed, in real business of any kind), the nastygrams are apparently all drafted by Larry or Miranda themselves. The turnover at PA is so high that it's likely that not one single person (other than Willem and Larry) who appears in a picture in that book is still there.

Here's a post from the old NEPAT that's still pertinent. HapiSofi posted (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2850&postcount=1357):


Lindy, Dave --

It would be useful to collect an archive of letters various writers have received from PA. What isn't said in any one letter may be revealed by variations in their standard letters.

At the moment I'm most interested in seeing variants of their "don't take that tone with us" letters. I believe that PA -- or, more specifically, W. Meiers -- deliberately uses emotional abuse as one of his standard business practices. The letters I've seen so far are practically a glossary of verbal abuse.

The ploy of (1.) using some version of "how dare you take that tone with me," (2.) in combination with a harsh and aggressive manner of speaking, (3.) while claiming that all the power rests with the speaker ... and his patience is wearing thin, = is a characteristic gambit of professional bullies. It's a favorite with rogue security personnel. I first spotted it many years ago when I heard it being used by a collections agent making one call after another.

I have yet to see any single letter to PA that would justify the language Meiers uses in his replies. Still, individual cases are arguable. But when he uses the same language in every case, it's deliberate abuse.

Here’s a perfect W. Meiers sentence: "You are under a wide variety of misconceptions, and we will expect your apology."

Here's my preliminary list of Meiers’ basic tropes:

1. Blame: Things are never cast as We disagree; it’s always You’re wrong. Or: You’re culpably wrong. Speaking of which …

2. Guilt: This is all your fault. You have failed to understand. You are stupid. You have a flawed personality. Your book is a flop. Your hopes and dreams were ridiculously unrealistic. Speaking of which …

3. Shame and isolation: You are alone. No one else sees things the way you do. No one else complains. PA’s contracts and business practices are unimpeachable. Everyone else is happy and successful. You’re just acting out. Your concerns are laughable. You’re making a spectacle of yourself. No one will help you. Speaking of which …

4, Powerlessness: We have all the power. We will use it arbitrarily. You have no recourse. We will not listen to you. Your requests are denied.

Here’s another perfect example of Meiers’ techniques:”If you have valid or coherent concerns at all, we would be happy to reconsider our decision, but for now your request is denied, and your contracts remain fully in force.

Your attorney's arguments will probably not be considered by us. Your request is denied. We will agree to revisit your request six months from now. Please contact us again at that time. Also, please consider this our final word on this issue.”It's slick, but there's nothing professional about that couple of paragraphs. It’s intended to do exactly one thing, which is make the author feel so crushed that they shut up and stop asking questions.

We only hear from the PA authors who’re resilient enough to keep talking about it. We’ll never know how many slide into silence and depression after receiving one of Meiers’ letters. Some of them could undoubtedly have been good writers, but I’m uncomfortable with that view of it, because none of them, good or bad, deserve the kind of emotional damage Meiers so casually dishes out.

Christine N.
06-09-2007, 01:45 AM
I don't know if it's that she doesn't think she's been vanity published, or she just doesn't understand the difference. I mean, she was published for FREE, right? And that's just AMAZING, right?

</snark>

I really think most of them don't know any other way, they think Random House and S&S operate in the same manner, just their authors 'know someone' or 'are big-name authors' or 'have been writing for years'.

I know it's hard to believe, but people ask me all the TIME how much I had to pay to publish, and when I explain it to them, 9 times out of 10 their jaw hits the floor.

The average Joe on the street doesn't have the first idea how publishing really works, so if their only exposure is vanity houses, and then PA comes along...

Afinerosesheis
06-09-2007, 02:05 AM
I'm glad to be here and not there. I feel free.

stormie
06-09-2007, 02:34 AM
I know it's hard to believe, but people ask me all the TIME how much I had to pay to publish, and when I explain it to them, 9 times out of 10 their jaw hits the floor.
Or how much you had to pay your agent.

The average Joe on the street doesn't have the first idea how publishing really works, so if their only exposure is vanity houses, and then PA comes along...And BINGO!

BarbJ
06-09-2007, 02:36 AM
"Maybe I gripped too much or pushed the envellop too far to get banned 3 times. "

1. :D
2. :tongue
3. :roll:

Christine N.
06-09-2007, 02:45 AM
Which is why I've been having a little more compassion for the PA authors. Some of them REALLY don't know this isn't the way it's supposed to go. Some really don't care, like the French Lady. She's happy with her situation and her PA experience. I still despise the way she treats the unhappy authors, and I kinda get how she so staunchly holds on to her belief that PA is nothing but wonderful. I've met people like her before, scolding anyone who believes differently than they do.

PA itself, I still hold in the contempt for the way it treats people and is less than up front about explaining it's business model. And the way they send nastygrams to people who criticize them, of course. They're despicable.

Afinerosesheis
06-09-2007, 02:57 AM
"Maybe I gripped too much or pushed the envellop too far to get banned 3 times. "

1. :D
2. :tongue
3. :roll:


hee hee ;)


Christine said "Which is why I've been having a little more compassion for the PA authors."

Some of us are pretty nice people! :D Maybe a little naive (for awhile), but still worthy. LOL I have lost friends,good and intelligent people, because of the divisions due to PA and its boards. Others do not discuss those things with me and that is fine. I'm not out to change anyone's mind about anything or fight those boards like I have for the past year. I just desire peace and an overflowing muse. :)

Sassenach
06-09-2007, 03:42 AM
One can only plead naivete once. There are a number of PAMB posters that choose to remain willfully ignorant.

Christine N.
06-09-2007, 04:38 AM
Well, sure they do, because they're HAPPY being ingnorant. They're usually the ones that proclaim "PA did everything they said they would do!" They have no desire to be on bookstore shelves, or do anything more than they've already done. They just don't care, they've achieved their goal, which is not the same as other people's goals, which is where the rub comes in - the ones with loftier goals get snagged with the same net that gets the happy ones.



And that's PA's fault.

Jersey Chick
06-09-2007, 05:35 AM
One can only plead naivete once. There are a number of PAMB posters that choose to remain willfully ignorant.

Or they're afraid of getting ganged up on (ouch, a sentence-ending prep!) I imagine it must really suck having all these people bash you, and yet you can't do anything about it. Makes me mad on their behalf and PA doesn't know me from Adam.

Jersey Chick
06-09-2007, 05:52 AM
Ah... a voice of reason...

Being bored means exactly jack, Pier. You're either professional or you're not. Doesn't matter if you answer 10 questions a day or 100, you answer them with respect, courtesy, and remain profesional at all times.

There's no excuse for doing business any other way. No excuse!


and then there's this:

Regarding PA answers; I see no discourtesy in answering directly. What do we want them to do, waffle around and lie to us? I appreciate their informed and direct answers; apparently, some don't and want to be treated with velvet gloves.

So to answer in a professional and courteous way is being treated with kid gloves, huh? He must be a real peach ;)

Sparhawk
06-09-2007, 05:54 AM
Well, sure they do, because they're HAPPY being ingnorant. They're usually the ones that proclaim "PA did everything they said they would do!" They have no desire to be on bookstore shelves, or do anything more than they've already done. They just don't care, they've achieved their goal, which is not the same as other people's goals, which is where the rub comes in - the ones with loftier goals get snagged with the same net that gets the happy ones.



And that's PA's fault.

Well said Christine... a wise man, my dad, told me that "Ignorance is bliss."

This was his explanation for a situation that a friend of mine got sucked into... a religious cult. He gave up everything and followed this new age religion, he lived out in the woods in a communal village where everyone prayed, lived off of nature and farmed. Technology was forbidden. I visited him once and found that we no longer had anything in common. He did seem awfuly happy and contnet with his life and the world around him. He was happy and refused to hear anything but what he wanted to hear. As far as I know he's still out in the foothills farming and living off the land... plus selling religious scriptures.

PAvidians are the same way; they're blissfully ignorant of how publishing is supposed to work an dhave NO DESIRE to either learn or accept any other alternative than what PA has to offer.

Calla Lily
06-09-2007, 06:25 AM
My fellow writer, whom I begged not to go to PA, whom I directed here, with whom I pleaded till he patted me on the head and said, in essence, he's old enough to make his own decisions...

Just mouthed standard PA rhetoric on the writing group we both belong to.

I won't quote him, but the essence was: All the PA bad-mouthing is on other boards; no PA'er he's seen has ever had a problem. [yep...he's been absorbed by the collective]

:e2bummed:

What a waste. What a mountain of frustration and anger and grief he's in for. I kept up with this thread in the hopes that something on the PAMB would wake him up. I was wrong.

A very sad night for this Lily...

JimmyD1318
06-09-2007, 06:36 AM
My fellow writer, whom I begged not to go to PA, whom I directed here, with whom I pleaded till he patted me on the head and said, in essence, he's old enough to make his own decisions...

Just mouthed standard PA rhetoric on the writing group we both belong to.

I won't quote him, but the essence was: All the PA bad-mouthing is on other boards; no PA'er he's seen has ever had a problem. [yep...he's been absorbed by the collective]

:e2bummed:

What a waste. What a mountain of frustration and anger and grief he's in for. I kept up with this thread in the hopes that something on the PAMB would wake him up. I was wrong.

A very sad night for this Lily...

Man...that's so sad. I hope it will be a gentle fall for him. But I doubt it.

emsuniverse
06-09-2007, 06:48 AM
multiplied by Lord knows how much each day--that's a lot of boring questions if you ask me, so they like to have a little fun once in a while heck I don't blame them!

Oh, wow.

So the ones who ask PA questions deserves to be b^tched at? And had their head played with because they have boring questions? THAT WOMAN IS A PLANT!

Afinerosesheis
06-09-2007, 06:54 AM
That woman is a nightmare, plant or no. I lost many night's sleep over things she'd said and done to me and my friends.

Thank God I finally said NO MORE!

Komnena
06-09-2007, 08:04 AM
Or they're afraid of getting ganged up on (ouch, a sentence-ending prep!) I imagine it must really suck having all these people bash you, and yet you can't do anything about it. Makes me mad on their behalf and PA doesn't know me from Adam.




Even more than that, PA is holding their books and their dreams hostage. The more I see of them, the more I'm grateful for the warning I got from the SFWA beware page and Victoria Strauss. I like to think I wouldn't have sent them the messterpiece I play with without the warning but I was pretty uninformed when I first came across PublishAnything. I'm very far from being an expert on how publishing works but I know a lot more than when I first began lurking here.


Komnena

emsuniverse
06-09-2007, 08:14 AM
Bolding mine:

submitted the second book in my --- series the other day, and was a little disappointed when it was not accepted, the only response I got was that the first one did not sell well enough. I got this response as a form letter the day after I sent the manuscript in. I was a little put off that the manuscript was not even reviewed, it seemed like someone just punched a few buttons and saw that my first book hadn't sold a lot and didn't even bother with the second one. The problem is, I really need to continue the series, and I doubt that another published will pick up a second book in a series they haven't published the forst book of. I understand that sales has to be a part of the acceptance process, but doesn't each manuscript have to be weighed on its own merit? How does anyone know that the second book isn't better than the first? And what if my first one sold millions, then by that reasoning I can put out any type of garbage for the second and it'll be accepted because of my record. I know that I have sold about 100 of the first book, and have had multiple signings, tv interviews and radio spots, what level of sales do I have to reach to put out the second one? I'm going to continue throughout the summer to matter what, but is it possible to re-submit the second one later when sales are better, or is it a one-submit deal where they won't look at the same one again? Sorry for the long post, but I'm sure someone here has dealt with a similar situation!

Dick's response:

That's pretty much the way it is in the publishing business, Vincent. With all publishers, past sales are the major factor in deciding whether to publish anothe book. If your sales go up enough on the first PA may then agree to go with the second. Just keep plugging away and don't get discouraged.


Same author, different thread, same topic:

Will PA allow you to re-submit a book at a later time that was rejected? The problem I'm facing is, the second book in my series was not accepted because of sales of the first book. Submitted and the next day was told this - so I am assuming it was not rejected based on content, as I don't think it was even looked at by anyone in the time they had it. I am continually marketing the first still, so if the sales climb in a few months, can I re-submit the second book? I have asked PA this and have not recieved a response yet.

Response:

I think you have to go through same steps as anyone. Go to the message board and ask. I am on my 4th book and it doesn't bother me to follow the instruction for submission.

Um, really. Reading between the lines here: Drink the Kool-Aid, blindly submit to the rules, ask no questions.

CatSlave
06-09-2007, 08:30 AM
I was a little put off that the manuscript was not even reviewed, it seemed like someone just punched a few buttons and saw that my first book hadn't sold a lot and didn't even bother with the second one.

That's exactly what they do.

brianm
06-09-2007, 12:02 PM
From Roxanne’s thread.

http://bb.publishamerica.com/viewtopic.php?t=21472&start=15

"Well, talking about discourteous, I think all call center operators should be fired for calling me at dinner time, including their supervisors.

Regarding PA answers; I see no discourtesy in answering directly. What do we want them to do, waffle around and lie to us? I appreciate their informed and direct answers; apparently, some don't and want to be treated with velvet gloves."

And the response…

Well, Jim, if you'd pay your bills on time, no one at a call center would be calling you, either at dinner or any other time. And you wouldn't keep getting your phone service interrupted. Why not try it, at least once. Borrow the money, pay the bill, and they'll stop calling.

If you can't see anything wrong with some of the posts by infocenter, maybe you need to do a little work on that comprehension thing that some people do when reading.

Ouch!

Bless you, Roxanne. You’re exposing more than just the scam that PA is with this thread. You’re helping to expose how many of the regulars on PAMB will blindly defend PA even when the truth is right there in black and white.

Marian Perera
06-09-2007, 03:11 PM
I think that response "If you can't see anything wrong with some of the posts by infocenter..." has been deleted, because I can't find it on that thread.

Go PA! Make the sole voice of dissent realize just what a shoddy, manipulative cult you run.

Christine N.
06-09-2007, 04:30 PM
Yes, that person noticed his post was deleted, and suggested they just lock the thread instead. Yeah, I'm pretty sure he knows what's going on.

And I will say Dick is right on one count - sales DO count at other publishers, and many writers have a harder time staying published than getting published in the first place. That's not a fallacy.

BUT, we're talking about PA, so basically it comes down to the fact that the author didn't personally buy enough copies.

triceretops
06-09-2007, 04:51 PM
BUT, we're talking about PA, so basically it comes down to the fact that the author didn't personally buy enough copies.

Yep, there it is right there. That magic number is deep inside the PA database--it's the information that shows the author's purchasing history. There is definitely a threshold (number of copies purchased) that PA distinguishes between a successful book, and a non-seller. I believe that the number is derived entirely from personal author purchases. The breakeven point might be 50 books, so anything over that is profit. Actually, Jim worked it out to where $300 dollars was the breakeven point.

I'll bet that if the author doesn't drop $500.00 then they aren't likely to see a second book accepted.

In fact, it's easier to get rid of a non-purchaser and sign up a fresh mark. That fresh mark has to prove him/her self. They probably having a grading system like they do in Las Vegas--the biggest spenders--the whales--get preferential treatment and are encouraged to stay with PA. Eventually, this weeding-out process produces nothing but big spenders in the group.

Now that's what I call quality control!

Tri

Komnena
06-09-2007, 05:52 PM
That woman is a nightmare, plant or no. I lost many night's sleep over things she'd said and done to me and my friends.

Thank God I finally said NO MORE!


I'm sorry to hear you had such an unpleasant experience. You deserved better.
Komnena

Afinerosesheis
06-09-2007, 08:36 PM
I'm sorry to hear you had such an unpleasant experience. You deserved better.
Komnena

Thank you for your thoughts. My cat deserves to be treated better! I am so proud of Don H. for his honest posts. I was never brave enough to just put it out there as he has done. I think this is the most interesting PA thread I have ever seen. He's right, his post was deleted. Notice James and Pier's posts ALWAYS~~~I repeat ALWAYS remain intact. This happened to me several times with those two. Don may be in for a banning. I know Don and like him. I doubt if he would care.
Note how Pier and Jim flaunt their supposed wealth. He also calls the call center people dingbats. There may be single women working those jobs to raise their kids. This shows us how they think they are better. And also shows how they totally miss the point, blinded by the light of ignorance and disregard for their fellow authors.

Good thing I can't reach through the computer screen. I'd smack the sh*it right out of both of them. :hooray:

Afinerosesheis
06-09-2007, 09:27 PM
If I didn't know any better, I think several posts in that thread have just been deleted. Why am I not surprised?