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Thread: The Old Neverending PublishAmerica Thread (Publish America)

  1. #26926
    annoyed and annoying roach's Avatar
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    It strikes me that there is a fundamental aspect of PA that often gets missed in the are they or aren't they to blame (they being PA authors).

    PA lies. They lie on their website, in their contract, on the message boards, in the e-mails. Some people use the term "weasel wording" when discussing this, and I think that tends to give the impression that if PA authors just educated themselves they would have known the secret formula used to decipher the code.

    Instead, until one compares the contract to what actually happens, there's no way to know that PA is lying. By then it's too late.

    One might--might--be able to make the case that those who sign with PA now should have done a routine check and found this site and known better. To do so, however, requires that all humanity become less trusting than it is right now, and I'm not so sure that would be an improvement.
    Eggplant Literary Productions,
    A small electronic speculative fiction publisher.

  2. #26927
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sassenach
    Then. Why. Didn't. They. Do. Their. Homework? Before I signed a SEVEN year contract, I would check out, at the very least, if this was standard in the book publishing industry.
    Sassenach, let's pretend that writers signed knowing exactly what PA was in terms of having to sell their own books. Let's even go further out on a limb and say that they realized PA would retail their books at least five to ten dollars above market. If this were the end of the story, I don't think this thread would be as lengthy as it is.

    This has to do with verbal abuse by the principal owners, noncompliance in editing disagreements, shoddy cover design, lying about how books would be stocked on bookstore shelves, marketing, returnability, and illegally selling books after the author has recieved the rights to their books.

    These issues are now being brought to light, but in the not so distant past, these details didn't dominate the 'Net. People didn't have the luxury of the lovingly nauseating Atlanta Nights. PA hadn't threatened people late at night or turned their authors over to the FBI on trumped up charges. They hadn't bandied author's phone numbers and hometowns to the general public.

    These were all things that many found out after they signed. To ridicule someone for bad judgement is disingenuous. Do you ridicule a battered woman for making a poor choice in marriage? I hope not. Life isn't always black and white. Perhaps a bit of empathy would carry you a bit further.

    In the long run, it's PA that's the rotten egg so why spend your time beating the authors over the head? It isn't anything they haven't done to themselves already. Your continuing to point this out only serves to rip off a scab. Or was that your point all along?

  3. #26928
    Coffee Fanatics TracySutterer & GaryRogers's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    When I wrote my Memoir: Computer-End Program, I thought that it would benefit society by exposing the inadequate programs that serve the homeless in New York City. The book is supremely relevant today as there are individuals stuck in shelters all over the United States due to recent hurricanes.

    When the Memoir was printed by PublishAmerica, I had hoped that it would be read by politicians and my experiences would assist local State governments to make significant changes. However, due to the high price of the book, no return policy and absolutely no marketing by PublishAmerica the book remains in limbo.

    PublishAmerica claims to now have a return policy - I have contacted Borders / Barnes & Noble, and my book still remains not returnable. It is sad when a book is returned to a bookstore for numerous reasons. Yet, at least the book was purchased with the option of being returned.

    The urge to write has diminished significantly due to my affiliation with PublishAmerica. It takes a great deal of discipline to sit your butt to write a book, edit, and go through the process of publication. I had thought that all my efforts in that venture would facilitate a book that would be shelved and purchased by the general public. At the time of this writing, I feel that all my efforts were a complete waste of time.

    I am very discouraged and depressed that PublishAmerica has been delinquent in its responsibility to market and promote my book through catalogues that are normally sent out to bookstores by respected publishing houses.

    In addition, I kick myself in the butt every time my mind reflects back to the moment the contract was signed and sent back to PublishAmerica to get the process started. Had the information about PublishAmerica been available on the Web concerning their operation at the time the contract was received, I would have not signed it.

    Hindsight is 20/20. Oh, well. Life goes on.

    Argile Stox
    Last edited by TracySutterer & GaryRogers; 10-29-2005 at 02:12 AM.
    "Right Now Is Just Waiting To Happen"

  4. #26929
    egem
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    Quote Originally Posted by TracySutterer & ArgileStox
    The urge to write has diminished significantly due to my affiliation with PublishAmerica. It takes a great deal of discipline to sit your butt to write a book, edit, and go through the process of publication. I had thought that all my efforts in that venture would facilitate a book that would be shelved and purchased by the general public. At the time of this writing, I feel that all my efforts were a complete waste of time.
    Argile Stox
    Never say this about your work. It doesn't matter who published it. You have to remember where the work came from. You still have all that info, research, and everything else inside your head. Keep promoting yourself even if you can't promote your book. It wasn't a waste of time. You have a lot of information that can still help people. Look for radio shows, newspapers, and other outlets that are looking for this information. Write an article for a paper or alternative press. Promote yourself and let the book follow. What you shoudl hope for is to get someone interested in the info so you can publish again, even if you have to rewrite it. Don't give up though. Believe me, most of the world doesn't know anything about Publish America, and that plays to you. Just promote yourself and don't worry about the book. You don't have to say in your resume PUBLISHED BY PUBLISH AMERICA. It really don't matter. If the information is good someone will be interested. Let's remember our books come from ourselves, from inside us. Promote what you have on the inside.


    Jenna, you made a point about buying your own books. I think this is huge. People, writers, should always know, if you are buying your own books you are most likely with a POD. Some small small presses ask you to buy copies for your own use, but you will know this up front, and they will still GIVE you copies to give to book stores or for promotions.

  5. #26930
    practical experience, FTW Rose colored glasses's Avatar
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    Starting over. That seems to be the only choice an "author" has after the reality of PA sinks in.

    Yes sassenach, I was inexperienced, naive...if it makes you feel better, I can even throw "stupid" into the mix. And let's not forget impatient. That's a key PA quality right there.

    I posted a letter here earlier that I received from a non-profit agency I had donated a copy of my book to. They informed me that they no longer accept personal memoirs. That's how bad it is, folks. So many poorly written memoirs that a growing number of people don't even want to look at one anymore. Thanks to the marketing techniques propagated on the PA boards, celebrities, universities, the First Lady - you name it - have been bombarded with PA books and now it's having repercussions.

    At this point, I am washing my hands of it. I long ago disassociated myself from PA. I don't mention them on my website or anywhere else. I've promoted like crazy and I accept that it's useless. I took down all book info from my website. I am abandoning the pen name I chose.

    I have learned a lot in this process, but it's a painful lesson. I don't know if I'm good enough to write for magazines. That's what I'm educating myself about now. If I go on attempting to write, it will be with a new name and new topics. I don't want to look back.

  6. #26931
    Let's see what's on special today.. Bufty's Avatar
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    There must be many, many exPA authors out there who only wrote the one Novel or book, had their spirits soaring for a year or so, then slowly and painfully found out the truth on their own. Others may have found the will, as Egem said, to write another book and try and make the best of the bad PA one, but I suspect that far more have just given up and faded away feeling disillusioned and abandoned - not to mention the feelings of self-doubt. That must hurt. And I don't mind taking stick from anyone if it means I can steer just one more fellow writer away from that.
    Last edited by Bufty; 10-29-2005 at 02:39 AM.
    Everything yields to treatment.

  7. #26932
    egem
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    [QUOTE=Rose colored glasses]Starting over. That seems to be the only choice an "author" has after the reality of PA sinks in.

    At this point, I am washing my hands of it. I long ago disassociated myself from PA. I don't mention them on my website or anywhere else. I've promoted like crazy and I accept that it's useless. I took down all book info from my website. I am abandoning the pen name I chose.
    QUOTE]

    Rose (I hope I can call you Rose), please don't wash your hands of anything. There are PA authors on this site that hate PA and still list their PA books with other books they've published.

    Also, as a poet I may have to go with a POD. My poety is very far outside what poets today are writing. All of my poems that will go into my ms have made many many rounds with all kinds of publications and publishers.

    Writing a book is a big thing no matter who publishes it. Please don't disregard your work. You have to know that not everyone or anyone can just sit down and write a book. At very least your book shows publishers and other writers this. Part of the question publishers ask is "Can this writers really produce a book," you've answered that question now keep going. If you just had a manuscript you might still be able to send it to other publishers and see, but now it is in book form. It does prove and say something about you. Do ALL YOU CAN WITH IT. Even if you can't promote the book promote yourself, as I was saying before.

    The writing industry is vast, and I think it eats writes alive everyday.

  8. #26933
    Banned JohnJStephens's Avatar
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    John and others: I know who egem is. Egem does not work for PA. Just thought you should know.
    Thanks. Apologies, egem.

    I've always been curious about the same things, but never knew how to find out more.
    Difficult if you are on the wrong side of the Atlantic

  9. #26934
    egem
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    [QUOTE=JennaGlatzer]OK, I was wrong. QUOTE]

    This is the sign of a gentle and gracious hostess, but please, I know I brought much much much of it on myself. Do not apologize. I did not mean to start a flame war any of the times I came on to this board, but it always turned out that way. My emotions got the best of me a few times and (I feel) destroyed what I was asking and saying. I apologize.

  10. #26935
    Dances With Hamsters SC Harrison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sassenach
    I've read them all, and was struck by the number of times people mentioned that they got a bad feeling/gut feeling that PA wasn't kosher, but kept going because they wanted to get published.
    Sassenach, you can add me to that list. A part of me was incredulous at the marked difference between the websites of PA and the Big Guys. To say that PA's home page is "busy" would be a huge understatement. My father always tried to teach me if something appears "too good to be true" then run like hell. He was almost always right, but I usually had to find out for myself, anyway.

    The two sides of my brain finally concluded that PA was merely a new variation of the vanity press, and an inexpensive one at that. I knew when I signed the dotted line that the quality of my book played little (or no) part in their acceptance, and that I was just one more wannabe. I can also honestly state that I am reasonably happy with the finished product. No errors have been found (yet), and they did correct many things I had missed, including punctuation. I am also very happy with the cover, regardless of how easy it was for them to do it. That being said, it's not selling. I've done a great deal of "marketing", with very little result. I now accept that it will never sell more than a few hundred copies, each one requiring time that I can't afford to give.

    Impatience does play a major role in any writer choosing to pursue a vanity approach. Let's face it—nearly all new writers think their book just needs an outlet. I Googled many big publishers, and most refuse to accept unsolicited manuscripts. I now know there are many small presses who do, but I didn't know that then. I also (now) know that if I work hard enough, I may be able to have a (real) agent handle submissions for me.

    There is a widely held belief that being published "the old fashioned way" is nearly impossible. Even people who don't write (or read, for that matter) believe this. I am now leaning towards "highly improbable", but this may be just another delusion on my part. I have no shortage of them, that's for sure. Those of us (the deluded) need a reality check from time to time, but we also need hope.

    In summary, PA is misleading in their advertisements, and they do profit on the hopes and dreams of both the uninformed and those (like me) who choose to ignore their common sense. Yes, prospective authors should be exposed to the truth about PA so they can make an informed choice, and this forum is doing just that. The best way to accomplish this is to allow PA authors an unrestrained forum to express their dissatisfaction with their personal situation. Questioning their judgment in the past can reduce their credibility in the present, thus making thier testimonial less effective.
    If we knew that tonight we were going to go blind, we would take a longing, last real look at every blade of grass, every cloud formation, every speck of dust, every rainbow, raindrop—everything.

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  11. #26936
    egem
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    Quote Originally Posted by SC Harrison
    There is a widely held belief that being published "the old fashioned way" is nearly impossible. Even people who don't write (or read, for that matter) believe this. I am now leaning towards "highly improbable", but this may be just another delusion on my part. I have no shortage of them, that's for sure. Those of us (the deluded) need a reality check from time to time, but we also need hope.
    Don't lean toward "highly improbable." Unless you know for certain that your book isn't marketable don't go with a POD. I stated before that I have ms of poetry that I'm putting together and thinking of going POD. I also have enough for a collection of short stories and two novels that are nearing completion. I WOULD NOT publish the novels or the short stories through a POD. I would only publish the poetry through a POD because I have a group of literary authors that would buy the work. I can do readings with them, so I already have an outlet. It would hope to reach some small presses with it and let them see it in book form. It would most likely have no impact at all and I know this right up front.



    Novels and short stories are such hard work and usually always have someone somewhere out there looking for them. Getting published I don't think is like winning the lottery. It's much more like getting a very very good job. It's hard and it takes a lot of time and education and understanding and work, but it is not improbable or impossible. If you think you can market your work in the least bit try every publisher you can find before going with a POD.



    As for already having a POD book, don't spend any more money on it (I'm not an expert so take this advice as how I see it). Don't spend money, never spend money. Go out on the web and promote it and yourself. If it is an expert book look for radio shows to call in to or newspapers to write to the "letters to the editor" section or send promotional materials to. Do not include a copy of the book.



    If you've written a novel do what the epublishers do and get a website and find other outlets to promote yourself and the book. Talk about the type of stories you write, but (this is my opinion again) start writing the second book and querying publishers. It can just be one more little bit that shows them that you can in fact write an entire novel. You might not even want them to read it, but it will let them know that you write a type of work. Let it work for you and not against you.



    The is a double-edged sword for those who hate PA. I understand this, and I would feel the same way. This is in fact one of the hardest things about being lock in with these guys (again my opinion), you feel you have to promote them in order to promote yourself or that you will do them some good by promoting your book. Find! but at least promote yourself. Put the book up on the site, and start writing another one. Remember the new publisher will see your manuscript and it is bound to have some errors in it. They should know what PA is. It was a mistake not the end of your career. I know very little about many things, but I know that you should always be promoting yourself even if your book sucks, and a few people on this site have written, from what I've read, outstanding books that were published by PA. If you can write it doesn't matter and if you've written an entire novel you can write, you just need help that you didn't get the first time.



    Again, don't go with POD if you haven't already tried every option. Try every press you can. Revise and try again. Don’t spend money on your own books. I mean a 4$ a month website is one thing, but spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars isn’t going to make an impact. Even if you print it POD and get it in at your local book store it’s not going to help. If you want to do something with it enter it into contests or send it to a newspaper. Let people buy it off the web if they want it.

  12. #26937
    2 WIP? A glutton for punishment astonwest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by egem
    Rose (I hope I can call you Rose), please don't wash your hands of anything. There are PA authors on this site that hate PA and still list their PA books with other books they've published.
    One can bet money on the fact I'll be dumping any mention of my PA book when the next one comes out, because it's junk (as early attempts at novels tend to be). I don't bother promoting it anymore, so simply eliminating any mention of it from my site, etc. would be simple. Unfortunately, they have it for life, so it's not a matter of waiting out seven years (not that a contract ending would solve anything, as we see from others' examples). My only saving grace is that the only proof I wrote it is the picture on the back of the book (knew that would come back to bite me)...

    I liken it to famous movie stars who did nudity/porn earlier in life...
    best not mentioned, and hope to God no one ever finds out.

    Also, as a poet I may have to go with a POD.
    Lulu would be my suggestion...

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  13. #26938
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    How many of y'all remember the Darf post from Infocenter, back about six months ago?

    Remember where they said: "We have hired PR staff that is doing nothing but talking to serious media and telling them the real story about PublishAmerica and its amazing crowd of authors: you may expect the announcement of a surprise news story soon, in a surprise media."

    So, what was the surprise news story in the surprise medium?

    (For those who don't recall the Stipid Darf, you can read it again here: http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/...d.php?p=178408 )

  14. #26939
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Hello, egem. Welcome back.

    To clear up some questions from earlier:

    You said:


    They are indeed a free POD. Can anyone find another?
    I don't know how it slipped my mind: Whitmore Publishing, a new branch of long-established vanity press Dorrance. The difference between Whitmore and PublishAmerica is that Whitmore's standard advance is ten times greater.

    You said:

    If you want to publish a cookbook for example you may not be considered a writer by the good Dr. or Ms. Mass, but some would like to go that route and still be respected by a community of writers.
    I don't know what gave you that impression (or what gave you the impression that I'm a doctor) but if someone came up to me and said they'd written a cookbook my first reaction would be to say "Have you queried John Wiley & Sons?" Of course people who write cookbooks are writers. What other word would you use to describe them?

    Now a couple of questions for you: Are you the same peson as "Egem55"? If so, are you the person who went posting the same message all over the web?

    Now I understand that you're a poet. As such, your choices for publication in book form are essentially limited to this: Self-publication. And as such, your choices for distribution are essentially hand-selling your work. That's just the way it is.

    Even so, for you, PA would be a lousy choice.

    Since this is such a big thread, and I'm sure you haven't seen it, I'm going to repost a comment I made in April:

    Okay, let's try costs.

    PA: They say a 255 page book is typical. A $19.95 cover price is typical. The highest discount in the contract is 30%. Copyright is $30.00.

    Total cost to the author for 500 is: $6,982.50 + $30 = $7,012.50 out of pocket for a PA author, ignoring shipping and handling.

    If the author goes to a local short-run printer with the same 255 page book, for a 6x9 softcover, perfect bound, four-color cover, he's looking at $5.75 per book, or $ 2,875.00 for printing. Copyright is still $30. ISBN is $225 for ten. (Note: In the quantities PA is buying them, the cost per ISBN is far lower.)

    Total cost: $3,130.

    If the author goes to iUniverse:

    Basic package is $459.00. For 500 copies, the author discount is 55%. Typical iUniverse price for 255 page book is $14.95. $3,363.75 + $459.00 = $3,822.75

    Author sets selling price for own book at $15.75 (average price for a trade paperback in the USA). For iU and PA, use the list price. All 500 sell:

    If the author sells 'em all:

    PA: $9,975 - $7,012.50 = $2,962.50 profit, not counting shipping&handling.

    iU: $7,475 - $3,822.75 = $3,652.25 profit, not counting shipping&handling.

    Self: $7,875 - $3,130 = $4,745.00 profit, not counting shipping&handling.

    As I said, this is a big thread. Still, please read all the posts that came after your first appearance. And please go back and read just this one page from last June: http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/...d.php?p=214405

  15. #26940
    practical experience, FTW spacejock2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SC Harrison
    There is a widely held belief that being published "the old fashioned way" is nearly impossible. Even people who don't write (or read, for that matter) believe this. I am now leaning towards "highly improbable", but this may be just another delusion on my part.
    I'd say it's almost impossible to get a first novel published. Common wisdom says you have to bang out a million words of fiction before you're competent at the writing craft. Remember: published authors are just beginners who never gave up.

    If you want to get published, write and polish your first book. Then write and polish another. Ditto for a third. Now bury the first two and start shopping the third around to agents. And write the fourth while you're at it.

    I'm guessing this will take 3, 4 or 10 years. (It took me 10, but that's a single data point.) Will you get published? Maybe, maybe not. Is it impossible to get published? No, but your writing career starts with a lengthy stint as an apprentice, and your early work almost certainly won't sell.

    Given the above, you can see why PA attracts so many writers.

    Cheers
    Simon


    Hal Spacejock 5 out this month!

  16. #26941
    Take off! Canada James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sassenach
    Then. Why. Didn't. They. Do. Their. Homework?

    Before I signed a SEVEN year contract, I would check out, at the very least, if this was standard in the book publishing industry.
    Where. Would. They. Have. Got. This. Information?

    Sorry dude. Bookstores and librarians were also just discovering PA until fairly recently. How do you know so much about PA? Probably due to this thread and the others like it (that are most-likely products of the same posters here).

    Cj
    I have all the answers.
    I just don't know any of the questions...

  17. #26942
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    I can show you exactly where I first ran into PublishAmerica. It was in June, 2003, and I have Canada James to thank.

    http://groups.google.com/group/alt.w...12af4d80?tvc=1

    I'd been a member of Alt.writing.scams for years, but this was a new one.

    I'd heard of (and recommended against) AmErica House before then, but I'd been unaware that AmErica House had morphed into PublishAmerica.

    A further note: Even if you live next door to a published writer, that may not help. Few writers are aware of/have an interest in the demimonde of scams and vanity presses. I didn't, not really, not until I was radicalized by hearing of a local fellow writer taken advantage of by Commonwealth: http://www.sff.net/people/yog/

  18. #26943
    Take off! Canada James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
    I can show you exactly where I first ran into PublishAmerica. It was in June, 2003, and I have Canada James to thank.
    You're welcome everyone.

    (I've come a far way ... if I do say so myself.)

    C. James
    I have all the answers.
    I just don't know any of the questions...

  19. #26944
    egem
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
    Hello, egem. Welcome back.
    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald



    I don't know how it slipped my mind: Whitmore Publishing, a new branch of long-established vanity press Dorrance. The difference between Whitmore and PublishAmerica is that Whitmore's standard advance is ten times greater.




    Thanks for the tip. I'll look into Whitmore. Thank you for your information about self publishing as well. I have looked into many routes, and have not picked by path as of yet.



    I am and was Egem55, I thought I said that in the post, but maybe I was wrong. I picked a name close to this one so that everyone would know it was me, or so I thought.



    Yes I have posted messages all over the web about PA. I have been trying to get to the very topic that we are all talking about right now or were talking about (I'm a little afraid that you are about to change the direction of this conversation). That being that writers who have already gone with PA and what they should do with their books. Also how they shouldn't beat themselves up over what has happened. I don't like downing a publisher. I don't like downing any publisher that has published writers. I think warning people is great, and I think people should know that PA is a POD crooks or really whatever people who have gone with them feel about them. It is good information to have. People's stories about the publisher are good to hear, but many are throwing the babies out with the bath water. I don't think it is right.



    Now I'm wondering if you might tell me what you think of PODs or vanity presses? I've seen your posts on this subject before, but what I'm really asking is what do you think of the writers who go with PODs knowing that they are publishing their own books? Do you think the publishers are good? I believe that you have a few of your books reprinted through iuniverse (might be wrong). Many published writers do this. I know that this is a very different situation. The books were out of print and you as a member of the guild can put them back into to print for free, correct? This is a much different use of a POD. I'm wondering though about first time writers.

  20. #26945
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    Egem, in my opinion, we're not "downing" PA as you put it. What we're doing is exposing a scam claiming to be a publisher. Please notice that although we offer advice and suggest caution in dealing with other POD houses, we don't put them down, either. At least, not in the same manner or with the same vigor as PA is regularly exposed. This is simply because PA's policies and behavior toward writers is predatory beyond what is reasonable or acceptable.

    Keep in mind the old question about whether a tree falling in the forest when no one is around makes a sound. That could be applied to PA thusly: if a publisher prints a book that no bookstores want to stock on their shelves, is it published?

    Because PA books stand virtually no chance of getting to readers through PA's efforts, PA doesn't deserve to be called a publisher because it fails the litmus test of what publishers do.
    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.


  21. #26946
    practical experience, FTW spacejock2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by egem
    I don't like downing any publisher that has published writers.
    PA isn't publishing anyone in the traditional sense. Many writers sign with them thinking they ARE getting published that way (editing for content, keen publicity staff organising media interviews to promote titles, book reps selling copies into stores, etc etc) But that's why this thread exists.

    Quote Originally Posted by egem
    Now I'm wondering if you might tell me what you think of PODs or vanity presses? I've seen your posts on this subject before, but what I'm really asking is what do you think of the writers who go with PODs knowing that they are publishing their own books?
    I self-published and was then signed by a real publisher. Having been on both sides of the fence I knocked up an article on self publishing which you might find useful. I'm not trying to stop people following the trail I took, just pointing out the landmines.

    Quote Originally Posted by egem
    Do you think the publishers are good?
    That's the wrong way to look at it. First ask yourself what you want. Then find the publisher who can give it to you. (Failing that, post your want list to an internet forum and ask for suggestions.) If your want list includes 'books stocked in shops so people can buy them' then POD, PA, vanity, pay-to-publish, e-books, self-pub and so on are not the answer. (Here's another article of mine, this one on how bloody hard it is to distribute self-published books, which also serves as a warning for those considering this route.)

    Cheers
    Simon


    Hal Spacejock 5 out this month!

  22. #26947
    I Haz Most Wonderful Daughter EVAR SuperModerator Dawno's Avatar
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    Egam, there's a forum here at AW about self-publishing and POD if you're interested. Also there's a blogger who writes regular reviews of POD books "PODdy Mouth" at http://www.girlondemand.blogspot.com. There is some real food for thought there in her posts about the trials and tribulations of POD. Hope that's helpful.

  23. #26948
    egem
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveKuzminski
    Because PA books stand virtually no chance of getting to readers through PA's efforts, PA doesn't deserve to be called a publisher because it fails the litmus test of what publishers do.
    I don't know, I think some of these books have had readers from what I've seen, not massive amounts. I don't know if this is the heart of the problem is it? I think the problem is seeing what has happened here with many of the writers. Most traditional publishers HELP their writers put out a well edited book that will not hurt the writer. The goal of that publisher is to make money and to have a good name in publishing. I don't think PA cares all that much about their name. Writers who are not ready to publish or who need help to getting their (which is most of the writing world) are hurt by going with this publisher. I think the other problem is that people believe they are getting a traditional publisher. This is not the case.

    I'll say this too, I'm sure it has been said before. It seems if you go with a POD you are hoping in someway that someone will see the work and get interested. Maybe in that book, maybe in the next one. I think if you go with PA and some else gets interested you will have a great deal of heartache however unlikely this may be.

  24. #26949
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    Egem, some of those books do have readers, but only through the efforts of their writers. PA hasn't made any real effort to sell any. That is why they fail the litmus test.

    A real publisher would not rely upon the writer to sell books from the trunk of a vehicle or go begging bookstores to carry a copy or two on consignment. A real publisher would have agreements in place and a professional sales force that sees to it that their publishing house's books have a fighting chance to sell to readers and generate a profit for the publisher and author.
    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.


  25. #26950
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by egem
    I've seen your posts on this subject before, but what I'm really asking is what do you think of the writers who go with PODs knowing that they are publishing their own books? Do you think the publishers are good?


    If an author know what he's doing, there's no problem.

    Are you using "POD" as a shorthand for vanity press, or are you using it to mean short run printing using digital technology?

    If you're asking about vanity presses
    in general, PublishAmerica and the rest, no, I don't think the publishers are good.

    I believe that you have a few of your books reprinted through iuniverse (might be wrong).
    You're wrong.

    You're also talking about the Back In Print program which didn't cost the authors anything.

    I'm wondering though about first time writers.
    Generally speaking, self-publishing is a poor choice. Exceptions are: Specialized non-fiction, niche fiction, and poetry.


    -=-

    Earlier you mentioned PA authors, even bitterly disappointed ones, who still list their PA books on their web pages. Please pay attention to this point: Authors Love Their Books. Even if bad things happen to their books, they still love them. This isn't a point in PA's favor, nor does it show that those authors are hypocrites. It shows that authors love their books.

    -=-

    The idea that authors, even those who don't have books in bookstores, should promote themselves is singularly wrong-headed.

    -=-

    Forgive me for questioning, but we've seen people take names similar to those of other posters and carry on as if they were those posters, for reasons of their own. We've also seen third parties clip posts from one place and post them elsewhere as if they were their own, for purposes of mischief. One thing that made me question whether you were the poster was the utterly bogus "John Grisham Subsidy Published His First Book" line. Five seconds' research would point out how false that is. Have you gone back to the places where you posted that nonsense to see how it was received?

    -=-

    I have no idea what you mean by "downing a publisher," but if you mean it in the sense of shooting it down -- that's the goal. When this particular publisher goes down I intend to dance around the flaming wreckage.

    -=-

    I'm sure there were other points. Many of them are best addressed in the Self-Publishing and POD boards, not in this thread. The others ... have come up before and will probably come up again. I'll catch them next time around.

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