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

  1. #3051
    Mah tale iz draggin. CatSlave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkie View Post
    They're borrowing a page from the infamous poetry contests, where you submit a poem and voila you're accepted. Later on they put your poem in a book with other winners and you get to buy the book for $29.95.
    How... original.

    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

  2. #3052
    Writing! Writing! Writing! Requiescat In Pace
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    Except in this case it will probably be $34.95, or more.
    [URL="http://www.amazon.com/author/merrihiatt"][SIGPIC][/SIGPIC][/URL]
    I'm a clickable link to Amazon

    [URL="http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/merrihiatt"]Smashwords[/URL] [URL="http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/merri-hiatt?store=allproducts&keyword=merri+hiatt"]B&N[/URL] [URL="https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/merri-hiatt/id458595119?mt=11"]iTunes[/URL] [URL="http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=Merri+Hiatt"]AllRomance[/URL] [URL="http://merrihiatt.com/"]Website[/URL]

  3. #3053
    figuring it all out B.L. Robinson's Avatar
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    I replied to the email. I told them that I thought the best part of my book is that on none of the pages does it refer in any manner to PublishAmerica as the so-called publisher when the contract expires in 154 days. For some reason they never comment on any of my replies, I send them on every email I get from them, it's a wonder they haven't stopped sending the spam to this email like they did the other!
    "For I am a bear of little brain, and big words hurt me."
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  4. #3054
    Mah tale iz draggin. CatSlave's Avatar
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    What would be an appropriate title?

    Yes, You Can Squeeze Blood From a Turnip
    Last edited by CatSlave; 08-03-2010 at 09:58 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

  5. #3055
    Writing! Writing! Writing! Requiescat In Pace
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marie Pacha View Post
    They added shipping charges on correspondence?
    Yep. And, if you didn't select the shipping charge, the transaction would not go through.
    [URL="http://www.amazon.com/author/merrihiatt"][SIGPIC][/SIGPIC][/URL]
    I'm a clickable link to Amazon

    [URL="http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/merrihiatt"]Smashwords[/URL] [URL="http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/merri-hiatt?store=allproducts&keyword=merri+hiatt"]B&N[/URL] [URL="https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/merri-hiatt/id458595119?mt=11"]iTunes[/URL] [URL="http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=Merri+Hiatt"]AllRomance[/URL] [URL="http://merrihiatt.com/"]Website[/URL]

  6. #3056
    Researching History's Mysteries HistorySleuth's Avatar
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    How many books do the authors have to buy to be included, I wonder?
    Blog Twitter @HistorySleuth1
    From the History Press

    A History of Native American Land Rights in Upstate New York
    On Amazon.

  7. #3057
    So many WIPs which one to work on Jill Karg's Avatar
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    well i would say 1. Hint you all I wished I would have known about your site last December. Now they have my first born but will not have the second of seven in the series.
    Jill M Karg
    The first step to happiness is to know what makes you happy.

  8. #3058
    Domestic extremist darkprincealain's Avatar
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    Welcome to AW, Jill! You may need to review your contract, some of them contain language reserving for PA the right of first refusal, or in the case of some contracts, to other rights based on the characters of the book.

  9. #3059
    So many WIPs which one to work on Jill Karg's Avatar
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    no it was a standard give us your book we will give you 8% for first 2000 copies, 25% next 4000 and 50% after 6000 of sales.

    No binding of the characters or sequels. even movie rights and audio books are 50/50 rights and obligations. They don't have to promote book to hollywood but can't stop me from getting agent and promoting it myself.

    It was/is a standard non-sequel contract. I have full copywrites of my book.

    Again they made it so they can get out of stuff but also leaves enough room that if i wish to do so myself they can't and won't stop me.



    Had a writer/professor check the contract out. She informed me that it was a typical contract but wished they gave me more royalities...lol.
    Jill M Karg
    The first step to happiness is to know what makes you happy.

  10. #3060
    Writing! Writing! Writing! Requiescat In Pace
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    Had a writer/professor check the contract out. She informed me that it was a typical contract but wished they gave me more royalities
    There is a stickied thread about PA's contract on this forum. I don't think there's anything typical about the contract. It basically states that PA has very little responsibility and what they claim they will do is "at PA's discretion" (which essentially means if they feel like it).

    FYI, it's copyright.
    [URL="http://www.amazon.com/author/merrihiatt"][SIGPIC][/SIGPIC][/URL]
    I'm a clickable link to Amazon

    [URL="http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/merrihiatt"]Smashwords[/URL] [URL="http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/merri-hiatt?store=allproducts&keyword=merri+hiatt"]B&N[/URL] [URL="https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/merri-hiatt/id458595119?mt=11"]iTunes[/URL] [URL="http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=Merri+Hiatt"]AllRomance[/URL] [URL="http://merrihiatt.com/"]Website[/URL]

  11. #3061
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    Sure, like PA is bothering to actually sell the movie rights to anyone. No, they're just waiting for you to do it and announce breathlessly that you received a huge chunk of change. Then they'll swoop in and announce to you that you owe them half even though you did all the work and they did nothing. And you sold them the right to do that for only a dollar.

    By the way, it's copyrights, not copywrites.

    As to your writer/professor checking out the contract, she might have been correct about it appearing to be typical, but that takes into play the assumption that the other party actually intends to play fair and honest. Judging by how PA has reacted to the many requests for termination, fair play and honesty don't appear to be on their short list of virtues.
    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.


  12. #3062
    practical experience, FTW AudioGenius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveKuzminski View Post
    As to your writer/professor checking out the contract, she might have been correct about it appearing to be typical, but that takes into play the assumption that the other party actually intends to play fair and honest.
    True enough, PA's wording on that contract is brilliantly deceiving. That thing has even misled some lawyers. If you're not a lawyer who specializes in contracts (or if you just know what to expect from PA) then you're going to be fooled at some point during the read.
    <Insert clever remark here>

  13. #3063
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    I would go further than that and say a lawyer versed in intellectual property law.

    The language involved here is fairly specific to publishing. An IP attorney will make sure you understand the document thoroughly.

  14. #3064
    Quote Originally Posted by JulieB View Post
    I would go further than that and say a lawyer versed in intellectual property law.

    The language involved here is fairly specific to publishing. An IP attorney will make sure you understand the document thoroughly.
    I would go even further and recommend finding an IP attorney with expertise in the publishing industry. I'm an IP attorney myself and I would still seek outside guidance from someone familiar with publishing contracts and standard practices.

  15. #3065
    Rewriting My Destiny Cyia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jill Karg View Post
    no it was a standard give us your book we will give you 8% for first 2000 copies, 25% next 4000 and 50% after 6000 of sales.
    There's your first red flag. You don't GIVE your book to anyone. They PAY you for the right to publish it. They pay you an advance based on what they expect the book to be worth over its life. PA gives $1...

    No binding of the characters or sequels. even movie rights and audio books are 50/50 rights and obligations. They don't have to promote book to hollywood but can't stop me from getting agent and promoting it myself.
    More red flags.

    Make sure on the "no binding of characters". PA, in the past, has refused to allow people to do so much as put their book into another format (like graphic novel) and has had the 1st right of refusal on sequels. They can (or at least used to be able to) refuse to allow you to even use "look inside" on Amazon or put up excerpts on your own blog/site.

    Right now, this second. STOP TRYING TO GET PUBLISHED AND DO YOUR HOMEWORK. You're operating on bad information, not the least of which is that agents will help you with promotions.

    Agents sell your book, and the rights associated with it. You WILL HAVE to tell the agent at some point that you've got a book out with PA, if an agent makes an offer. PA doesn't count as a publishing credit, but it does blow your "debut author" status. And should an agent take on book 2, they need to know that the "prequel" is locked up.


    It was/is a standard non-sequel contract. I have full copywrites of my book.
    You own the copyRIGHT from the moment you write the book. Again, make sure they don't have 1st rights of refusal. Some of their contracts do, some don't. And there is NOTHING standard about a PA contract.[/quote]

    Again they made it so they can get out of stuff but also leaves enough room that if i wish to do so myself they can't and won't stop me.
    Their contracts are one sided. You don't have as many rights as you think you do.[/quote]

    Had a writer/professor check the contract out. She informed me that it was a typical contract but wished they gave me more royalities...lol.
    She's wrong. It's not a typical contract, and even among other vanity presses, of which PA is one, it's just about the worst contract out there. It wouldn't matter how high the royalty on the book, percentages of $0 are still going to add up to $0 for you.

    PA doesn't pay on books you buy yourself, which will be 99% of your sales. Plenty of people here can tell you how likely it is to get paid on any other sales you might make by chance, though since 99% of that other 1% will be to friends and family, you're still looking at dismal numbers.

    You got played. Your book is sunk. It stinks, but it's technically legal with their contracts. Move on.

  16. #3066
    minion kullervo's Avatar
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    These are the folks I had review my contract. Since, you know, that's what they do all day long:

    http://www.rohde-victoroff.com/

  17. #3067
    Terri Coop has been known to write circlexranch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubastes View Post
    I would go even further and recommend finding an IP attorney with expertise in the publishing industry. I'm an IP attorney myself and I would still seek outside guidance from someone familiar with publishing contracts and standard practices.
    What Bubastes said. I am a criminal defense attorney who had to become an IP attorney real fast during a lawsuit for my family company.

    The IP aspect is pretty straightforward. Copyright belongs to the writer unless they specifically assign it now and fer-ever in a contract. The required wording is pretty precise. I won a lawsuit based on the absence of the precise language on some old contracts. Unless a contract says (to the effect of) "I assign you my copyright, all of it, now and forever, and I really mean it," then copyright isn't the issue in contract review.

    Even those old PA contracts that ran "for the life of the copyright" didn't strip the writer of the copyright.

    An entertainment/publishing lawyer is what is needed for a situation when a writer doesn't have an agent. The nuances are too subtle and can be too tricky for a noob (and that includes me, when and if I am ever presented a pubbing contract for a novel).
    Terri Coop

    The Blog Coop (keeps them safe and from wandering around)

    "Why I Fear Clowns" A journey along the CCC (creepy clown continum).

    "Readin, Rittin, & Rhetoric" is my own take on writing and staying sane in the game of life.

  18. #3068
    So many WIPs which one to work on Jill Karg's Avatar
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    here is a question if you never received the $1.00 are u still under contract.
    Jill M Karg
    The first step to happiness is to know what makes you happy.

  19. #3069
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    Had a writer/professor check the contract out. She informed me that it was a typical contract but wished they gave me more royalities...lol.
    Just because someone is a writer and a professor doesn't mean they know squat about literary contracts.

    You can contact a literary agent to shepherd an "orphan" deal when you sell a book to a publisher. Most will close a "done deal", and they earn their 15%. She can strike out clauses that are not in your favor, reserve media rights, foreign sales, reduce the contract time to 2 years not 7.

    But most of all a legit literary agent would have told you to run the hell away from PA!

  20. #3070
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jill Karg View Post
    here is a question if you never received the $1.00 are u still under contract.
    Yes. If one party fails to fulfill one aspect of the contract, that does not nullify the contract.

  21. #3071
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyia View Post
    It's not a typical contract, and even among other vanity presses, of which PA is one, it's just about the worst contract out there.
    No, it's not a standard publishing contract. Yes, it is a poor contract. But the worst contract out there? Nope. Not by a long shot.

    - Victoria

  22. #3072
    Back in the black, & staying there! Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Would a worse contract be one that requires the writer to sign the copyright over to the publisher, or obligates the writer to buy a large number of books?


    "The novel has a dark, eerie, fairy-tale feel." Washington Post's review of The Beast Prince

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  23. #3073
    Theophilus Don Davidson's Avatar
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    The PA Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Queen of Swords View Post
    Would a worse contract be one that requires the writer to sign the copyright over to the publisher, or obligates the writer to buy a large number of books?
    No, I wish PA's contract had a provision requiring me to buy a large number of books, or any number of books, because that would have been a red flag and I never would have signed it. The attractiveness of the contract is that the author is not obligated to do anything except provide the completed manuscript. Of course, the catch is that PA doesn't obligate themselves to do anything, either, and they get to hold your book hostage for 7 long years in the hope of squeezing some money out of you.
    May God bless,
    Don

    Don't give your book, or your money, to America Star Books (formerly PublishAmerica) until you know the truth. Follow this link to read actual documents written by America Star Books/PublishAmerica that show conclusively what they are, and what they are not: http://christianityforthinkers.com/PublishAmerica.html.

  24. #3074
    Theophilus Don Davidson's Avatar
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    Am I Costing PA Money?

    Quote Originally Posted by circlexranch View Post
    The standard B&T contract has a $35 fee to enter a book into the database and $10 per year to maintain it there unless it sells more than 10 copies during the year.

    Unless PA got some sort of dispensation, that's $1.4 million to get 40000 books into the database (not including the happy-damn-it authors with multiple titles).
    I really hope this is true. I love the idea that not only is PA not making any money off of me, but that I'm actually costing them money just because they are hanging on to my book. What a lovely thought.
    May God bless,
    Don

    Don't give your book, or your money, to America Star Books (formerly PublishAmerica) until you know the truth. Follow this link to read actual documents written by America Star Books/PublishAmerica that show conclusively what they are, and what they are not: http://christianityforthinkers.com/PublishAmerica.html.

  25. #3075
    nothing simple here tlblack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant View Post
    Yes. If one party fails to fulfill one aspect of the contract, that does not nullify the contract.
    It would be a breach of contract and one could file an arbitration case over it, but really, how many PA authors would file a case over not receiving a one dollar advance? None that I know of and PA counts on that, just like they count on authors not filing arbitration cases over not getting paid a royalty check for a couple of dollars.
    Teresa

    "Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who only dream by night." - Edgar Allan Poe

    If you want the pages falling out of your book, be sure to send your ms to PA.


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