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Thread: I'm a PublishAmerica author wanting out of my contract, what should I do?

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Lowercase Prelude's Avatar
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    Cool I'm a PublishAmerica author wanting out of my contract, what should I do?

    Okay, here's what's up. I am currently under a 7-yr. contract with PA. I have only one book out with them, but when I found out about them basically being frauds, I wanted out. I e-mailed them about wanting out of my contract, but I never got a reply back. I've only sold 5 books (I got $5 in royalties) and I've never had the opportunity to have a book signing, even though my book came out last November.

    So, for those of you with more knowledge in this field than me, what would you recommend me do?

  2. #2
    Mah tale iz draggin. CatSlave's Avatar
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    Welcome, LP.

    You're in good company here.
    Read the PA threads, be of good cheer, and start working on your next book.

    Oh, and bookmark this thread: Learn Writing with Uncle Jim

    http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/...ead.php?t=6710
    Last edited by CatSlave; 06-19-2008 at 10:55 PM.

    How PA treats its authors: Oh, stop the whining and contact support@publishamerica.com like everyone else.

    PA authors CAN fight back. File a complaint with your credit card company.

    Have a question? Who can you trust? Absolute Write, Writer Beware and Preditors & Editors

  3. #3
    Brian Boru brianm's Avatar
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    Welcome to the cooler.

    With a wee bit of research through the PA threads you'll find a number of other PA authors have started threads with the same question. Basically, write PA an email telling them you want out of the contract, that you will not be buying any copies of your book, you won't be doing any marketing, and your friends and family won't be buying any copies of your book. Then you start writing your second and third books.

    Good luck.
    "This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever." Sigmund Freud (about the Irish)

    "Opera singers have resonance where their brains ought to be." Anna Russell

  4. #4
    A work in progress Saundra Julian's Avatar
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    Posting on this board, especially if the world knows who you are, will help because they will want to get you out of public view! Can't have the truth leaking out, can we?

    I was a PA author and wanted them to know I was here...hence, I use my full name on this site and I did get out of my contract and got my rights back in March of '06.

    Do as brianm says and send the same email every week until they respond. They will try to play head games with you but ignore their rude emails and keep asking to be released.

    I wish you the best.

  5. #5
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Lowercase Prelude's Avatar
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    Cool

    Okay. Thanks for the advice so far. I will keep everyone updated.
    "The secret of contentment is the realization that life is a gift, not a right." - Author Unknown

  6. #6
    minion kullervo's Avatar
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    And don't be surprised when they offer to release you for $300.

  7. #7
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin larrymuse's Avatar
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    I am an older person that made the mistake of letting Publish America have my first book. I made the bigger mistake of assuming that they were professionals. I have not tryed to sell any more of the books because I am ashamed of the errors in word usage. My plan is to wait for the contract to run out and correct the problems and try to sell it elseweare. If anyone has had success in getting out of the contract please let me know.
    Larry Just for fun

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW Joanna_S's Avatar
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    There should be a sticky thread FAQ answering the "how do you get out of your contract" question. There's a new inquiry almost every week and rarely does anyone search the forum. They simply ask the question anew each time. It would be helpful if someone looking for answers found them conveniently up top for their reading pleasure.

  9. #9
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    One of the most effective ways of getting PA's attention is to email each and every employee to politely tell them of your dissatisfaction and ask them to route your request for a release of publication rights to the person who can bring that about. Be sure to point out that you will not make any purchases or promote your book because of the state it's in because PA failed to diligently produce a good product.

    If PA claims that they're entitled to a return on their investment, point out that the current lack of sales is PA's fault for not marketing and promoting your book to retailers so that it would be available in the widest market possible and thus protect their investment. Based on the lack of sales and their lack of diligence, the publishing rights should be returned. Likewise, point out that you are the author and not the proper market for your book.

    When you make the request, be sure you keep a copy on file so you can post it and any responses from PA on your own personal web page. Be sure you list lots of keywords on your web page so it gains plenty of attention from search engines such as Google. Send your emails out once each week. If PA threatens you, post those on your website as well.

    Should PA file a complaint with the authorities in your area, point out to the authorities that you're communicating with your publisher in an attempt to get them to live up to their end of your contract with them or terminate the publishing rights and that they're trying to ignore you contrary to the spirit of said contract. Should any authorities appear on your doorstep, be sure you get their names and badge numbers and write down or record anything they say.
    When it comes to PA, the royalty check and the reality check arrive in the same envelope.

    Remember to be kind to writers who step in PA. They really don't know how bad it smells.

    The difference between PA and WLA? None. Both have the stench of dead and dying books emanating from their doorways.


  10. #10
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joanna_S View Post
    There should be a sticky thread FAQ answering the "how do you get out of your contract" question. There's a new inquiry almost every week and rarely does anyone search the forum. They simply ask the question anew each time. It would be helpful if someone looking for answers found them conveniently up top for their reading pleasure.
    You mean, like the "PA's Contract and How to Escape It" section in the Index sticky?
    ICAO
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    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II2014: 2015:

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW Khazarkhum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaoPaux View Post
    You mean, like the "PA's Contract and How to Escape It" section in the Index sticky?
    I see PA Contract Analysis.

    But it might be worthwhile to make one that just says Escaping PA Contracts or Breaking PA Contracts to help the lost souls.
    Last edited by Khazarkhum; 06-20-2008 at 10:09 AM. Reason: screwed it up...as usual

  12. #12
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    ICAO
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    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II2014: 2015:

  13. #13
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Lowercase Prelude's Avatar
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    Cool

    Here's the e-mail I just sent PA:

    "Greetings.

    I am sending you this e-mail to inform you that I am requesting a release from my contract. I no longer will be buying any more of my books or promoting my book or PA. I also request that I have my my full publishing rights back and for PA to cease the sale of my book.

    If this is ignored, I will take steps to get it recognized.

    Thank you,

    Chris Crane"
    "The secret of contentment is the realization that life is a gift, not a right." - Author Unknown

  14. #14
    Banned Bo Sullivan's Avatar
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    Dear Chris,

    I got released from PA last September; it took a while but then they realised I was persistent and serious. I wish I could tell you that I had found a mainstream publisher for my books, but unfortunately that is not the case; at least not yet. For the moment I make my work available on Lulu. I have received higher royalties for my work, through that avenue, and also through Createspace, than I ever did in my four years with Publish America.

    Good luck with your release, and remember those wise words: Be persistent, e-mail them every week, and remember to be polite, even in the face of adversity! It will all pay off in the end.

    Barbara

  15. #15
    Banned Bo Sullivan's Avatar
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    Oh, and don't forget to mention that you think your book is so over-priced that you are not selling any copies. I mentioned that and it seemed to do the trick. I also thanked them for their help in publishing my book, and for their professional attitude in realising that I must move on and make a living. How can you fail to be released when you are so polite?
    Last edited by Bo Sullivan; 06-21-2008 at 01:32 AM.

  16. #16
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Lowercase Prelude's Avatar
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    Cool

    Okay, they've replied. This is what they sent me via e-mail today:

    Dear Mr. Crane,

    We have received your request to terminate your book's contract. As a
    general rule, publishers are not in favor of that. When a publisher agrees
    to contract a book, it is done with an expectation of entering into a
    profitable venture. PublishAmerica never charges any of its authors any
    money in return for producing and publishing their book and making it
    available to a worldwide audience. This is why we enter into contracts with
    a seven-year lifetime, which affords the book ample opportunity to turn a
    profit.

    If your request was granted, PublishAmerica would be denied, prematurely,
    any hope of recovering its expenses. This is why we would prefer to keep the
    contract in place until its expiration date. Your book is currently being
    carried by major wholesalers throughout the world, and listed by numerous
    vendors. Every bookstore in the U.S. and Canada has immediate access to your
    work. All this at PublishAmerica's sole and recurring expense. We still
    harbor a reasonable expectation that, at a minimum, your book will allow us
    to break even on our investment.

    Therefore, if you were to persist on wishing to relinquish your status as a
    published author, we can only grant your request if you agree to a $300
    damage payment, which will help to offset some of our losses. Please let us
    know if you want to proceed with termination. If not, we will both
    understand and applaud your decision. As said, we prefer to keep the book in
    publication.

    Thank you,
    Darcy
    Public Relations/Web
    Darcy@PublishAmerica.com

    What should I do now?
    "The secret of contentment is the realization that life is a gift, not a right." - Author Unknown

  17. #17
    Mah tale iz draggin. CatSlave's Avatar
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    Put your checkbook away.

    How PA treats its authors: Oh, stop the whining and contact support@publishamerica.com like everyone else.

    PA authors CAN fight back. File a complaint with your credit card company.

    Have a question? Who can you trust? Absolute Write, Writer Beware and Preditors & Editors

  18. #18
    Working on 2nd WIP SherryTex's Avatar
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    Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Like writing and getting published with an actual book publishing company, getting released as these brave souls will tell you takes temerity. Email again. Explain why as suggested here. Declare you will not be assisting in promoting this book as it is not as would be agreed...and that you are an author not a marketer. This will take time. Good luck.

  19. #19
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    You can also point out that demanding payment is contrary to your contract provisions (assuming they haven't added that in yet) and that your rights should be released because sales are low enough to justify invoking that section of the contract.
    When it comes to PA, the royalty check and the reality check arrive in the same envelope.

    Remember to be kind to writers who step in PA. They really don't know how bad it smells.

    The difference between PA and WLA? None. Both have the stench of dead and dying books emanating from their doorways.


  20. #20
    practical experience, FTW Joanna_S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaoPaux View Post
    You mean, like the "PA's Contract and How to Escape It" section in the Index sticky?
    If everyone used the index that would be enough, but a lot of people don't. That's why I thought it would helpful to have a separate sticky thread that lays out what to do.

    That said, it appears I'm a lone voice on this, so never mind.

    -- Joanna

  21. #21
    Therefore, if you were to persist on wishing to relinquish your status as a
    published author, we can only grant your request if you agree to a $300
    damage payment,
    I know everyone is going to jump on me for this, but I'd pay the $300.
    Quote Originally Posted by Orchestra View Post
    But seriously, never ask permission to write something. Don't be a wimp.

  22. #22
    Brian Boru brianm's Avatar
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    If you do decide to pay the $300.00, I bet there will be a clause in the release that prohibits you from saying anything unkind about PA.

    Frankly, I wouldn't pay it. The book would be a second edition when you sub it out to other publishers and that's a hard sell. Not impossible, but difficult nonetheless.

    If it were me, I'd send the request for release out once a week and spend the rest of my time writing a second book.
    "This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever." Sigmund Freud (about the Irish)

    "Opera singers have resonance where their brains ought to be." Anna Russell

  23. #23
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Lowercase Prelude, what would you do with the book if PubliSHAMerica did terminate the contract as you requested?

  24. #24
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joanna_S View Post
    If everyone used the index that would be enough, but a lot of people don't. That's why I thought it would helpful to have a separate sticky thread that lays out what to do.

    That said, it appears I'm a lone voice on this, so never mind.

    -- Joanna
    It's a noble sentiment; I grumble cuz folks don't read what's in front of them as it is. But I'll add it to my task list.
    ICAO
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    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II2014: 2015:

  25. #25
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    Paying the $300 is rewarding PA for doing nothing, unless you count using up first print rights. You're better off writing a newer, better book now that you have experience in writing.

    Let PA deal with the problem of making money from a book it's unwilling to promote and properly market. Give PA the chance it deserves.
    When it comes to PA, the royalty check and the reality check arrive in the same envelope.

    Remember to be kind to writers who step in PA. They really don't know how bad it smells.

    The difference between PA and WLA? None. Both have the stench of dead and dying books emanating from their doorways.


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