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

  1. #3351
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scully931 View Post
    Right. I submitted a sting manuscript a few months back. It's in production now.

    OR DID I???????
    DUH-DUH-DUNNNNNNNN!

  2. #3352
    So many WIPs which one to work on Jill Karg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scully931 View Post
    Right. I submitted a sting manuscript a few months back. It's in production now.

    OR DID I???????

    Oooo.......would say I did but wasn't that smart, gave them my real one by accident. I knew I should have named it a different file name that wasn't remotely close to my finished product. lmao.
    Jill M Karg
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  3. #3353
    Theophilus Don Davidson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jill Karg View Post
    I haven't received an email from them in over a month now. I'm a bad bad girl it seems.
    Count your blessings! It took me 3 tries before they finally stopped sending me those email solicitations to buy my own book.
    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.

  4. #3354
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terie View Post
    Actually, Neil, it's perfectly easy to predict how much money will be donated to Oprah's Angel Network: precisely nothing.

    As Marie Pacha pointed out here, Oprah's Angel Network is no longer accepting donations. From this link:

    "However, as of May 24, 2010, the Angel Network will no longer be accepting donations and we plan to dissolve as a 501c3 public charity, after final disbursement of funds has been completed."

    (bolding theirs)

    Take a look at that date: May 24, 2010. And the PA offer came in mid-September 2010.

    That's about as scummy as a scammer can get, pretending stating they'll send a donation to a charity that stopped accepting donations several months before.
    That is potentially actionable, if I recall correctly from my days as a 501(c)3 executive. But the Angel Network would have to be the ones to bring an action.


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  5. #3355
    Researching History's Mysteries HistorySleuth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceCreamEmpress View Post
    That is potentially actionable, if I recall correctly from my days as a 501(c)3 executive. But the Angel Network would have to be the ones to bring an action.
    Would the angel network be able to if they don't exist any more? I would think if you are personally solicited to give to a charity that doesn't exist, you may not be able to bring an action but you should at least be able to turn them in.
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  6. #3356
    Brian Boru brianm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceCreamEmpress View Post
    That is potentially actionable, if I recall correctly from my days as a 501(c)3 executive. But the Angel Network would have to be the ones to bring an action.
    I respectfully disagree. It doesn't indicate in the email offer that a portion of proceeds from author purchases will be used to make the donation. It simply states a donation will be made, which they claim to have done in the past.

    The Award will be presented to Oprah Winfrey next month. It includes a framed Certificate of Author Support and a donation to Oprah's Angel Network, as we have done in the past.
    They also have, imo, another easy out, as they can claim they were unaware the Angel Network was no longer accepting donations at the time the email offer went out.

    Do I believe they were unaware? No. I believe they were fully aware the Angel Network was no longer accepting donations but they put that bit in the offer to tug at the heartstrings of their authors, and to make themselves appear to be a gentle and kind business entity that donates money to charities that help children.

    ~brianm~
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  7. #3357
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    Knowing how people are gullible, it's not difficult to imagine that most of the target audience won't know that Oprah's Angel Network is closed since many do not perform any research or simply don't know how so they will assume it's for real and be pulled in hook, line, and sinker.
    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.


  8. #3358
    Brian Boru brianm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveKuzminski View Post
    Knowing how people are gullible, it's not difficult to imagine that most of the target audience won't know that Oprah's Angel Network is closed since many do not perform any research or simply don't know how so they will assume it's for real and be pulled in hook, line, and sinker.
    Absolutely. The stooges are a lot of things, but they aren't stupid.

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

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  9. #3359
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    But they're still creating the premise: give us money and we'll give money to charity. A charity that isn't accepting donations. So unless they make a statement along the lines of 'oh, we were unaware that the angel network was closed so we're going to donate to x charity (that isn't connected to one of the Stooges!)' I think you can still nail them for fraud. They're still using (and have repeatedly used) Oprah to get their authors to buy their own books. The endorsement at the very least might piss her off. The Oprah Machine is big and mighty.
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  10. #3360
    Resident Curmudgeon Requiescat In Pace ResearchGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianm View Post
    Absolutely. The stooges are a lot of things, but they aren't stupid.

    ~brianm~
    Neither was Bernie Madoff.

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  11. #3361
    So many WIPs which one to work on Jill Karg's Avatar
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    I looked for the older Oprah emails and I must have deleted them (aka before I started saving ever single one). I laughed at them, and terminator's, white house ones. I was just signed so it was Feb-Apr that these emails went out. Dang if i had one of the Oprah ones I would send it out to her staff with did you know attached to it...dang.
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  12. #3362
    practical experience, FTW
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    Jill,

    Is this what you were searching for? Just happened to keep all the emails. There is another one but it does not indicate "Angel network." This one, however, does not mention donations to her charity.

    BeeBomb

    Dear Author:

    PublishAmerica will put your book on Oprah's desk*!
    The queen of daytime TV is giving it one more year, and then it's over. No one has done more for bringing books to the attention of millions. PublishAmerica was there in 2003 when Oprah Winfrey announced to select book publishers that she was relaunching her famous book club, donation in hand for her Angel Network. And PublishAmerica is here today to bring as many talented authors to her show's attention for its final year as we can.

    *PublishAmerica will put your book in the hands of Oprah's staff. Five copies, so that more than one staffer gets a chance to read your work!

    We're not waiting for the Oprah show to ask for your book. We're donating it to them. And we will let your local newspaper, radio, or TV know that your book is being submitted to Oprah Winfrey. Yet another reason for them to put the spotlight on you as a local author.

    Here's how we do it:

    If you want to have books on hand, order now, and we will donate five copies
    to the Oprah Winfrey show. And you receive a 40 pct discount!

    We ship Oprah's copies the same day we ship your books to you.


    Go to www.publishamerica.net, find your book, click on it, then add to cart, indicate quantity, and use this coupon: Oprah40. Then click Recalculate and finish the transaction. Minimum volume is 12 copies.


    In the Ordering Instructions field, just write: "Media Yes". Our PR department
    will automatically contact you for names and addresses of your local news media.
    Again, we will ship your books to Oprah's staff the same day we ship your
    order to you. By using the coupon you are authorizing us to donate the books
    to the Oprah Winfrey Show. You may also request that we ship
    the five FREE books to you instead.


    Full-color and hardcovers excluded. Offer expires this weekend on Sunday night.


    Thank you,
    PublishAmerica Author Support Team

  13. #3363
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    So...makes me wonder. If someone accepted that offer, never got their books (as is all too common with PA), would they still sit there and think 'well at least Oprah's getting my books!'
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  14. #3364
    Resident Curmudgeon Requiescat In Pace ResearchGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeeBomb View Post

    ...
    *PublishAmerica will put your book in the hands of Oprah's staff. ...
    Yep, the mailroom guy/gal who takes unwanted packages to the Dumpster.

    --Ken
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  15. #3365
    Mah tale iz draggin. CatSlave's Avatar
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    Is this what you were searching for? Just happened to keep all the emails. There is another one but it does not indicate "Angel network." This one, however, does not mention donations to her charity.

    BeeBomb
    But it does include the weasel words donation in hand for her Angel Network.

    You might want to forward those emails on to Oprah's staff.
    You know, just in case they want to act on them.

    Contact Oprah: Click here
    Last edited by CatSlave; 09-18-2010 at 12:34 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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  16. #3366
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianm View Post
    I respectfully disagree. It doesn't indicate in the email offer that a portion of proceeds from author purchases will be used to make the donation. It simply states a donation will be made, which they claim to have done in the past.
    Businesses using charities' names to make sales can be actionable in the US, both as a simple violation of intellectual property and as a potential threat to the non-profit's tax-exempt status.

    If the Angel Network really was partnering with PublishAmerica to receive some portion of the proceeds from the sale of books, the Angel Network's share would be subject to Unrelated Business Income Tax; because charities don't want questions raised about their participation in UBIT-subject activities, they tend to be very vigilant about quashing unauthorized use of their names. (Saying 'Oh, no, we were just saying "Buy our book" and "We're going to donate to this charity," not linking the two,' tends not to fly in court.)

    But it's a moot point, because the Angel Network folks are certainly too busy wrapping up their endeavors to brign an action over this.
    Last edited by IceCreamEmpress; 09-19-2010 at 05:37 AM.


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  17. #3367
    Writing! Writing! Writing! Requiescat In Pace
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    As long as people do not research PA with a list of "things to look out for in a publisher," PA will continue to weave their web, catching many new authors with their sticky strings. My only hope is that some people will find their way here BEFORE signing a contract with PA (or even after, so we can provide a bit of comfort and a helping hand so they don't feel so down-trodden that they stop writing all together).
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  18. #3368
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    Out of the entire population in the world that has Internet access...

    and the sub-population of that with a book to sell...

    and the sub-population if that who bother to do research...

    there are still millions of would-be writers. Millions.

    PA's only tricked 40,000 of them in 10 years, and has to work its butt off to bring in more lest the pyramid collapse under their own greed.

    Most of the new kids figure out the awful truth within a year and cease to be an income stream.

    The others who stick around, book after book, despite zero sales-- for them I have Arizona swamp land, deeds to the Brooklyn Bridge, Sydney Opera House, and Niagara Falls. There's always going to be marks for the taking.

    But don't doubt that we're not making a difference.

    PA wishes AW did not exist and we certainly ARE cutting into their bottom line with every blog post, Tweet, and FaceBook warning each of us puts out.

    It doesn't always work, but it is making a difference or they wouldn't be scrambling around with all those idiotic "offers" every week.

    So stay at it, gang.

  19. #3369
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    PA will crumble from within, I believe. All similar outfits have; a big name gets a resentment and leaves, they do something illegal--knowingly or not--and are faced with prosecution, or their business model simply runs out of steam.

    Personally, I predict the first. There are too many willing newbies for the last one to happen (and I think it would be shocking to know how few books an author has to buy for PA to make a profit), and PA has had too many eyes on them for too long to be doing anything blatantly illegal and not get caught. From what I've pieced together of PA history, Willem has already left, which leaves the company the in the hands of Larry and Miranda, two very strong personalities without one of which the face of PA would change drastically and--to PA--fatally.
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  20. #3370
    Theophilus Don Davidson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillhoughly View Post
    PA wishes AW did not exist and we certainly ARE cutting into their bottom line with every blog post, Tweet, and FaceBook warning each of us puts out.

    It doesn't always work, but it is making a difference or they wouldn't be scrambling around with all those idiotic "offers" every week.

    So stay at it, gang.
    Amen to that! Furthermore, AW is not alone. There are many web sites putting out the truth about PA. Just do an internet search for "PublishAmerica scam" and see how many come up.

    If we keep someone from signing that awful contract, that is a tremendous win. If we keep someone (like me) from sending PA any money after they've signed that awful contract, that is still a big win. And when a PA author finally realizes the truth and stops sending PA money and/or tries to spread the word to friends, family, and strangers, that helps as well.

    We must live with small victories for now, one author at a time. But even a mountain slowly erodes and one day crumbles. So it will be with PA someday. I hope I live to see it.
    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.

  21. #3371
    Shut Up and Write Sarashay's Avatar
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    I thought that the International Library of Poetry would be scamming aspiring poets into eternity, no matter how many Wergle Flomp contests were run.

    They went bankrupt. The poetry.com domain was bought by Lulu in a sale of remaining assets.

    This gives me hope.
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  22. #3372
    Resident Curmudgeon Requiescat In Pace ResearchGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarashay View Post
    . . . The poetry.com domain was bought by Lulu in a sale of remaining assets.

    This gives me hope.
    Have hopes, but not expectations. Lulu is now moving briskly into dicey behavior. Here is part of a recent solicitation (pay for useless placement at a library conference):

    Mail in one (1) copy of your book (we will send you
    instructions after you register)
    by October 16, 2010
    Your book will be displayed physically at
    the book fair in the Lulu section of
    the Combined Book Exhibit (CBE)
    The email did not even admit how much the fee was.

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  23. #3373
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    It's good to come back here from time to time and read the posts. Oh woe is me. Newbie? written one book. tricked into failure. hopes flushed. keep writing? not a chance. once is enough for me. unless a miracle happens. I don't see the point, theres no money in it and other than your own personal satisfaction the odds are stacked against you in this business. I keep working my regular job. I'm really glad I found this place. Bless everyone and keep up the good work. l4d

  24. #3374
    Mah tale iz draggin. CatSlave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leftfordead View Post
    It's good to come back here from time to time and read the posts. Oh woe is me. Newbie? written one book. tricked into failure. hopes flushed. keep writing? not a chance. once is enough for me. unless a miracle happens. I don't see the point, theres no money in it and other than your own personal satisfaction the odds are stacked against you in this business. I keep working my regular job. I'm really glad I found this place. Bless everyone and keep up the good work. l4d
    Don't let one pothole stop you. Keep writing for your own pleasure.
    You never know how you might feel in the future.

    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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  25. #3375
    Resident Curmudgeon Requiescat In Pace ResearchGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leftfordead View Post
    . . . I keep working my regular job. . . .
    One of the beauties of writing is that one can do it while still holding "day job." Sure, time is limited. But little investment is needed other than time that might go to other pursuits.

    --Ken
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