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Thread: [Publisher] PanAm Books

  1. #1
    Becoming a laptop-human hybrid Fuchsia Groan's Avatar
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    [Publisher] PanAm Books

    I searched and couldn't find a thread for this; forgive me if there is already one.

    http://panambooks.com/flight-check/

    An elderly gentleman contacted my newspaper about his lengthy WWII novel published by this press. Examination reveals it to be a provider of paid editorial and publishing services with a submission fee. The website isn't loading well for me, so I can't figure out whether there's any non-pay-to-play aspect. The fees are referred to as "investments."

    Anyway, pretty standard, except for the flight motif and evocation of the Pan Am trademark. I'm just always intrigued when I come across yet another of these companies.

    Specifically, if a journalist covers the book for whatever reason (this book has a cool backstory that was featured in the author's hometown paper), how should he/she refer to the publisher? I feel like it's misleading to imply such a book was trade published, but it's not technically "self-published," and "vanity" is a loaded term, so...
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  2. #2
    Shakespearean Fool DreamWeaver's Avatar
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    That's difficult. "Printed by publishing services provider Pan Am"? "Published by Pan Am, a [city]-based subsidy publisher"? "Available from investment publisher Pan Am"? Since the gentleman already knows about the investment angle, that might wave a bit of a flag without hurting his feelings or bringing the ire of his friends and family into play. Sticky wicket, any way you look at it.

    You could simply avoid talking about the publisher at all.
    Why doesn't George R. R. Martin use Twitter? He already killed off all 140 characters.

  3. #3
    Grr. Argh. Thedrellum's Avatar
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    Yay! Misinformation!

    Marketing/Sales—whether you publish through one of the Big Five publishing houses, or whether you self publish, the work required of an author is the same. Ninety percent of the work to market and sell your book rests on your shoulders.
    Also, to get any sort of response from them, you need to pay a reading fee of at least $25. There "Who We Are" page consists of vague generalities that specify exactly nothing about who they are.

    What I find most strange about the site is that they seem to only list their various publishing services, none of which seem to include actually publishing the book. If there is a way to publish with them that doesn't involve paying them money, that way is well-hidden.

    In a review, I'd probably not mention the publisher at all.

  4. #4
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Since it's expected to mention the publisher, I'd go with something like "[book], issued [or printed] by PanAm Books, a publishing services company based in ...."
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  5. #5
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Fuchsia, I don't envy you your job. I'd probably refuse to review it...but I have that luxury, since I write my blog for myself. Self-published books have to be really good to get my attention. Even for superb vanity-published books (rare anyway) I'm not sure I want to reward a writer's poor business skills.

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  6. #6
    Becoming a laptop-human hybrid Fuchsia Groan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thedrellum View Post
    What I find most strange about the site is that they seem to only list their various publishing services, none of which seem to include actually publishing the book. If there is a way to publish with them that doesn't involve paying them money, that way is well-hidden.
    Indeed, that part is quite mysterious. My assumption would be that you pay for their services, but they also mention vetting submissions according to their needs. And because of that vagueness, I can almost count on some authors getting angry if I suggest that they paid for publication. (This is why I treat Tate authors with kid gloves.)

    I won't be reviewing this one, but I have reviewed books from other presses with similar business models, if more polished products. So it's an ongoing concern.
    YA thriller The K1ller in M3, out now from D1sn3y-Hyper1on

    "Taut storytelling and believable characters make this a standout mystery" Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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