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Thread: The Newer Never-Ending PublishAmerica / America Star Books Thread

  1. #2951
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    Part Three of the Fort Lauderdale Paranormal Examiner series.


    It addresses the "Why We Wrote" series, which the writers donated their time and work thinking its sales would benefit "Get Caught Reading."

    "...we contacted Ms. Tina Jordan, Vice President of the Association of American Publishers to verify whether or not PublishAmerica has in fact made any charitable donations per every book sold, as they told these authors there would be.

    Ms. Jordan had this to say, "Publish America has not donated to Get Caught Reading and we have not heard from them."


    Of course this is understandable. It's quite likely there were NO sales of any of those books considering the overpricing.

    It's only available on the PA site. I can't find it on Amazon.

    Way to go, Stooges. Only you could spike your own damned book.

    Are you sending yourselves emails urging you to "stock up to have copies on hand"? Or is that strictly for the 100s of writers who contributed without payment?

  2. #2952
    Domestic extremist darkprincealain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fort Lauderdale Paranormal Examiner
    That's pretty bad if nobody wants to hold a book signing for a mayoral candidate in a city as large as Miami.
    This stuck out as a sore thumb for me. There's a pretty easy explanation, here. The bookstores in question probably got a whiff of PA through the phone line.

    Darcy's first post sounds like it's on the more reasonable end of employee experiences I've read. A couple of old threads around here paint employment there even worse.

  3. #2953
    Expert Procrastinator Kweei's Avatar
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    Okay, let's say I'm stepping in as the voice of the general public and I say, "I'm confused. I don't get why the book is $9.95 or $29.95 or $24.95. Why so many prices? What's the difference? Which is the real price?"

    What would you say to me in clear and easy to understand terms?*

    *I ask this because I think many people can get lost in the manipulative wording that PA uses. A reminder every now and then might help some of the people who might check out this thread who are on the fence. God knows I could use the clarification, too, as an observer.
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  4. #2954
    Writing! Writing! Writing! Requiescat In Pace
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    $9.95 - PA makes money off the author (who has to purchase copies of their own book to see their PAYperback be offered on PA's site).
    $24.95 - PA makes money off the author (who has to purchase copies of their own book with sporadic coupons since PA states they have nixed the "special offers").
    $29.95 - PA makes money off the author (who can't afford to buy books to engage the PAYperback copies and no longer receives "special offers," only sporadic coupons from PA).

    No matter what book price PA sets, it's all about putting money in PA's pockets. Always.
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  5. #2955
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Forgive me if I missed something, but isn't the $9.95 version and the $29.95 version of a given title physically identical in every way, and produced on the same presses by the same process?

  6. #2956
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Forgive me if I missed something, but aren't the $9.95 version and the $29.95 version of a given title physically identical in every way, and printed on the same presses?

  7. #2957
    Mah tale iz draggin. CatSlave's Avatar
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    Infocenter says they are 'nudging' the authors who are reluctant to 'invest' in their own books.

    Some people would call it extortion: Buy Your Book Now Or Else.
    Last edited by CatSlave; 07-22-2010 at 09:02 AM.

    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.

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  8. #2958
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald View Post
    Forgive me if I missed something, but aren't the $9.95 version and the $29.95 version of a given title physically identical in every way, and printed on the same presses?
    I believe so, but the $9.95 version is "returnable to supermarkets".
    Sleeping Beauty m/m retelling : 13059 words.

  9. #2959
    I am a mighty viking! TheTinCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Queen of Swords View Post
    I believe so, but the $9.95 version is "returnable to supermarkets".
    Which means ... what?

  10. #2960
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    That if a supermarket buys it, they can return it.

    It's like saying, "I'll give you a thousand dollars in any September that has 31 days."
    Sleeping Beauty m/m retelling : 13059 words.

  11. #2961
    Expert Procrastinator Kweei's Avatar
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    So if the $9.95 and the $29.95 ones are exactly the same (sans the returnable part) why would you have exactly the same book two different prices?

    And if that's the case, where the heck does the $24.95 one come in?
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  12. #2962
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K.L. Townsend View Post
    So if the $9.95 and the $29.95 ones are exactly the same (sans the returnable part) why would you have exactly the same book two different prices?
    PA hiked up the prices of softcovers by $5, so a book which was previously $24.95 went to $29.95. This was to force authors to buy into the PAYperback scheme, where if they purchased a certain number of copies, their book would be listed as $9.95 (unless it was over 300 pages, in which case it would be more expensive).

    So if you see a book that's $9.95, the author forked out the cash for that, feeling the book was more likely to sell at the lower price. Provided, of course, that PA doesn't hike that price, that the book is available, that customers know about it, that the stock cover image/lack of editing don't dissuade anyone, etc.
    Sleeping Beauty m/m retelling : 13059 words.

  13. #2963
    Sleep. Eat. Write. Wrider's Avatar
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    I posted a PA response on the Carousel of Magically Rotating Email Offers thread that maybe should have been posted here instead. (rhyme totally unintentional there lol) They say they are "nudging" authors to buy into the paperback scheme for the benefit of the consumer.

    I ended up buying into it for one of my three books out of desperation, but only on the best offer they ever came up with because I couldn't afford anything more than that. My other two... I guess they're going to be $29.95 now which I, or anyone else, will never pay.

    Now why on my third book (and on any other books that authors bought into to get them in "paperback") they advertise both the expensive and cheap, I haven't figured out yet. It feels like they're gonna come up with another manipulation strategy that will be linked to it, but I can't figure out what it is.
    "Written words are like runaway trains. They can crush a man or bring him to places he never dreamed possible."

  14. #2964
    Sleep. Eat. Write. Wrider's Avatar
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    Update:
    I called PA as the bookstore. They said retailers receive a 40% discount plus shipping (unless the retailer has a UPS or FedEx account). Typical. Don't know where the "only 5% discount" info came from unless I missed something.
    "Written words are like runaway trains. They can crush a man or bring him to places he never dreamed possible."

  15. #2965
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wrider View Post
    Update:
    I called PA as the bookstore. They said retailers receive a 40% discount plus shipping (unless the retailer has a UPS or FedEx account). Typical. Don't know where the "only 5% discount" info came from unless I missed something.
    Did they say if shipping was per book or per bulk order? As you know, they charge their authors for shipping per book. Was the 40% on all books, or just the softcovers (not PAperback or bargain hardback)? I know it's easy for me to ask all this after you've called, any info is helpful.
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  16. #2966
    Mostly Ignored spike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wrider View Post
    Update:
    I called PA as the bookstore. They said retailers receive a 40% discount plus shipping (unless the retailer has a UPS or FedEx account). Typical. Don't know where the "only 5% discount" info came from unless I missed something.
    IIRC, historically, the 40% was for non-returnable books, ordered directly from PA. The 5% was for returnable books.

    Which makes it a bad deal for all. At 5%, the store can not make a profit. And returns are an industry standard in publishing, so without that, a bookstore isn't going to take a chance on an unknown author. Sort of "heads PA wins, tails the author loses" deal.

    Have they changed this? They are changing so much, who knows.
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  17. #2967
    Sleep. Eat. Write. Wrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris P View Post
    Did they say if shipping was per book or per bulk order? As you know, they charge their authors for shipping per book. Was the 40% on all books, or just the softcovers (not PAperback or bargain hardback)? I know it's easy for me to ask all this after you've called, any info is helpful.
    Ha - funny you should ask. I thought of that myself and it bugged me so much I called them back. Got the answering machine this time, but I'm going to keep trying to find out. I'll just use my one book as the one I ask about since it's listed as both softcover and PAperback. I'll play stupid because... well... I am totally confused. If I was quicker on my feet, I would have had more ducks in a row the first time I called them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spike
    IIRC, historically, the 40% was for non-returnable books, ordered directly from PA. The 5% was for returnable books.
    Ahhh... yeah, asking if they're returnable would be another good question for me to ask pointblank.
    "Written words are like runaway trains. They can crush a man or bring him to places he never dreamed possible."

  18. #2968
    Brian Boru brianm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wrider View Post
    Update:
    I called PA as the bookstore. They said retailers receive a 40% discount plus shipping (unless the retailer has a UPS or FedEx account). Typical. Don't know where the "only 5% discount" info came from unless I missed something.
    When PA was with Lightning Source (their previous wholesale distributor), the bookstores only received a 5% discount. Some of the books were returnable but only if the bookstore paid a 10% restocking fee.

    I don't know what kind of a discount PA is offering through Baker&Taylor (their new wholesale distributor), but from what I can tell that is a moot point because none of PA's books are available through B&T at this time.

    Bookstores must order direct from PA to receive the 40% discount and when they do that the books are not returnable. The majority of bookstores are not set up to order direct from publishers and won't order a non-returnable POD book unless a customer has already paid for the book.

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  19. #2969
    Expert Procrastinator Kweei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Queen of Swords View Post
    PA hiked up the prices of softcovers by $5, so a book which was previously $24.95 went to $29.95. This was to force authors to buy into the PAYperback scheme, where if they purchased a certain number of copies, their book would be listed as $9.95 (unless it was over 300 pages, in which case it would be more expensive).

    So if you see a book that's $9.95, the author forked out the cash for that, feeling the book was more likely to sell at the lower price. Provided, of course, that PA doesn't hike that price, that the book is available, that customers know about it, that the stock cover image/lack of editing don't dissuade anyone, etc.
    Gotcha. So it was like bait. Fork over such and such money to get a lower price, a price that could change at any time in the future anyway.

    Ugh.
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  20. #2970
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    PA claimed that the $9.95 (or more, depending on page count) was a permanent price.

    But we've seen before that unless the claims are in the contract, it's best not to count on PA-promises. Even when they're in the contract (e.g. PA will pay the author royalties), best not to count on it. And what can the author do if PA raises the PAYperback price? Sue them?
    Sleeping Beauty m/m retelling : 13059 words.

  21. #2971
    Sleep. Eat. Write. Wrider's Avatar
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    Actually, I think they said "almost without exception."

    (And every time I call now, I get the answering machine. Eventually when I get through again, I'll try to get some more answers about retailers.)
    "Written words are like runaway trains. They can crush a man or bring him to places he never dreamed possible."

  22. #2972
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    Asking PA for a straight answer on anything is an exercise in futility.

    The person on the phone either knows nothing, will read you the company line, or flat out lie.

    Ask bookstores that have dealt with them. Ask several bookstores!



    The truth now! Have you been eating any chickens??

    Um. No. Not a one. I swear!



  23. #2973
    Writing! Writing! Writing! Requiescat In Pace
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    It's Tuesday, so I was checking out PA's new releases page (http://www.publishamerica.com/weeklybooks.htm) and found a book that sounded interesting, so I clicked on the book cover and went to the PA page that gives the description of the book, cost, and number of pages. It's listed at $19.95, 112 pages, and in softcover. http://www.publishamerica.net/product95082.html

    After reading the description, I was hoping the author would have a website so I could read more about him/her. I Googled the author's name and a couple of words in the title of the book and found this link: http://www.publishamerica.net/product94670.html

    This lists the book as a PAperback at the reduced price of $9.95 but has no book description or page count. Since the book was just released today on PA's website, does that mean the author hasn't been given the option of having his book as a PAperback yet, but PA is setting it up in their system already? It really shouldn't be viewable, if the book isn't even available as a PAperback. And, if the author did already agree to purchasing books to activate the PAperback, why is the link on PA's new releases page taking someone to the higher priced book rather than the lower priced one?

    Curious minds want to know!
    Last edited by merrihiatt; 07-23-2010 at 02:07 AM.
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  24. #2974
    Sleep. Eat. Write. Wrider's Avatar
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    Yeah, the book is listed with all the other PAperbacks in the general PAperback section (which is a bizarre online setup anyway). If you found it via Google though, doesn't that mean the page had to have existed for a little while in order for the bots to have found it? (not sure I got the whole search engine thing right)
    "Written words are like runaway trains. They can crush a man or bring him to places he never dreamed possible."

  25. #2975
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wrider View Post
    Yeah, the book is listed with all the other PAperbacks in the general PAperback section (which is a bizarre online setup anyway). If you found it via Google though, doesn't that mean the page had to have existed for a little while in order for the bots to have found it? (not sure I got the whole search engine thing right)
    Not necessarily. Google has been pushing in the direction of getting search results to the web faster.

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