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Thread: The Old Neverending PublishAmerica Thread (Publish America)

  1. #2726
    Ed Williams 3
    Guest

    Here's the master of the Ingram's situation....

    ....H. B. Marcus, explaining why those pesky bookstore managers still won't order PA/POD books after the explanation of the situation given by PA....


    "It's up to the individual managers of the bookstores folks. I've caught them in lies before. They can order any books but most of the time they don't want to be bothered. That's where multiple book signings are important. That's where you are offering the public genre variety. That makes the managers take notice. Otherwise it's a lot of hassle for them and they just aren't interested in a new author.

    If you want your book stocked in a book store you can play the garage band trick. Have people call the book store and ask if your book is in stock. They'll ignore the out-of-stock nonsense and order it anyway. Then you go in to the store personally with a copy in hand and ask them to stock your book.

    I've done it for four years and it gets easier all the time. It used to be impossible to get on the shelves. Now it's a freakin' phone call! You explain that the book is incorrectly listed if that becomes a question. Take a promo pack with reviews and such to prove you're selling and doing well. And if you get the run-around from one of these store managers, you call their boss!

    As far as setting up an individual signing goes, you're better off getting together with other authors. Go to a local library and set up any indiviual signings. The bottom line is that the individual store manager has to justify things with their boss. One unknown author asking for special treatment is going to be lied to. You have to show them they can sell books."

    What an authority on this subject! It's just amazing, with PA author after PA author stating something like the below....

    "I was refused by two bookstores, one including Barnes & Nobles, because they pulled me up in the system and showed me as being POD and that Ingrams, Baker & Taylor show that they do not stock my book. The first book store's community relations person would not even talk to me and hung up. The B&N community relations person said that they cannot stock me on the shelves or let me do a booksigning if Ingrams will not stock my book. They sent me an email asking for 2 pages of information, including a marketing and promotion plan, trade reviews (which I do not have), and a note describing how the book meets the competition / makes it unique. Then after I send all 2 pages of requirements, it will take 6 weeks just to be considered. I was hoping to be able to do book signings before the holidays to get some bulk sales,b ut I am just heldback right now."


    If Meiners went out and took a leak on the White House Lawn, HB would tell everyone that it's National Pee For Freedom Week...

  2. #2727
    KW
    Guest

    Here's the master of the Ingram's situation....

    Take a promo pack with reviews and such to prove you're selling and doing well. And if you get the run-around from one of these store managers, you call their boss!
    I thought his solution, as he has said many times before, was to threaten to beat up the manager, not call their boss. I thought the threat of a whoopin' was how he got stocked in all of the stores around him?

    If Meiners went out and took a leak on the White House Lawn, HB would tell everyone that it's National Pee For Freedom Week...
    Nah, he would be an expert witness for the defense that peeing on the lawn was actually good for it, that it helped it grow greener and more plush. He would then bring in pictures of his lawn and say "You see my lawn, how green and plush it is? I piss on it nightly.":ack And if that didn't work he would threaten to beat up the jury because if they indicted his publisher they would then be taking food from his daughters mouth.:teeth

    He has to try and calm the heard down because if there is a mass revolt then it will be taking food from his family. I still haven't figured that one out.:head I guess he thinks that people buy books based on who published it, not by the books own merit. If that was the case then every book released by TOR, Simon & Schuster, Viking, etc. would all be bestsellers. :smack After two years I still can't figure where this guy comes up with this stuff.:huh But since he says he knows more about the industry then we disgruntled authors do then it must be true, we should just listen to him.:hail

    Kevin

  3. #2728
    James D Macdonald
    Guest

    Re: Here's the master of the Ingram's situation....

    Multiple author signings?

    Wasn't that multiple-author signing fiasco that HB tried to arrange the kickoff for this very thread? Tell us how well that one went, eh?
    A couple of comments on <a href="http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/6294.htm" target="_new">this thread</a> over on the PublishAnything board--

    Major points to remember:

    All real publishers do a great deal of promotion of their books, but much of it is invisible to the author and the general public:

    The things that real publishers do include:

    Field a salesforce
    Publish a catalog
    Send review copies to major reviewers in advance of release
    Take ads in the trade press

    All authors get those things, free. The publisher is moving heaven and earth to get bookstore shelving (not availabilty, shelving) because they know that if the book doesn't sell, they'll lose money. They aren't pressuring the author to buy lots and lots of copies of their own books.

    Book signings and book tours, especially for first-time writers, are usually a waste of time and money.

    PetePea over there says, <Blockquote>"Sure, if Bill or Hillary come out with a book they'll break the bank for advertising. But what of the new, unknown author? I'd be willing to bet they do about the same as PA."</blockquote>

    You'd lose that bet, PetePea.

    And Tim186, Tim Smith, same thread, is the one that makes me want to bang my head on my desk:

    <Blockquote>"I was at a large multi-author (100-plus) book festival when I ran into another first-timer from my home state. Through a series of miraculous events his ms. had caught the eye of a very well-known best-selling author, who strongly urged her house (St. Martin's) to consider the story this guy had written. He got a contract, etc., but was he riding the PR bandwagaon his publisher rolled out for him? No. He was standing at a table for 8 hours hawking his book, just like I was."</blockquote>

    Listen, Tim -- on occassion, way back when, I went to a couple of those book festivals. Here's how it worked:

    The state library association put on a do, with teachers and librarians invited from all over the state, held in a nice venue. They sent me a letter, asking if I'd like to participate. Well, sure, a chance to get out of the house for a day, and free donuts and coffee? Why turn that down? So my wife and I loaded up a case of books, an award statue or two, and drove down. (We donated books to the door prize. Why not?)

    The books in that carton I took had been provided to me for free by the publishers.

    And sure, I sat behind that table, with that nice array of books. I didn't have to. I didn't need to. But, since I'm a full-time writer, my time is my own, and it looked like it might be fun. (I do enjoy talking with my fellow writers, after all.)

    Some authors there were self-published. I had a nice chat with one. He was a retired teacher, and was doing okay with local histories that he had printed locally and placed in local bookstores. The only time he lost money, he told me, was when he tried to get national distribution for a novel.

    This was many years ago, before PublishAmerica came along. I'd hate to think of going out and doing that sort of thing now, when there's a chance that a PA author might see me and say, "Look! There's Jim Macdonald! See, he has to promote his books the same way I do!" because, y'know, I don't have to. I can sit home and write new books, and in the meantime post snarky messages about how PublishAmerica is lying to you.

    Tomorrow, the local fire department is putting on a free pancake breakfast. I think I'll go. But you know what? Unlike a typical PA author I won't bring along a case of books and try to sell them. I'll just have some pancakes, chat with folks, and go home. The topic of my books probably won't even arise.

    If PublishAmerica's style of promotion was worth a damn, legitimate publishers would be using it. They aren't, because it isn't. Publicity and marketing are too important to be left in the hands of amateurs.

    Oh, yes, reviews.

    Only sending review copies to reviewers who write and ask, after the book's come out, is a guaranteed way to make sure that you only get reviewed in minor venues. The word "useless" was coined for that. And we've seen the trouble that authors have in getting PA to send copies even to the reviewers who do write to ask.

    Hey, Tim Smith -- I seem to recall you were involved in a group signing in a knick-knack shop where the shopkeeper was charging you a hundred bucks a table. How'd that go?

  4. #2729
    Ed Williams 3
    Guest

    Jim, it did start this thread, and a big thank you...

    ...I just got my copy of "Ten Percent of Nothing," and it is fascinating. Thanks for recommending it - I would heartily suggest it as required reading for anyone here, from novice to seasoned pro. It details for all the world to see the seamy underbelly of the literary scam business, who knows, you might even recognize the practices of a certain publisher as you peruse its pages...

  5. #2730
    James D Macdonald
    Guest

    Re: Jim, it did start this thread, and a big thank you...

    <a href="http://Http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0809325756/ref=nosim/madhousemanor/" target="_new">Ten Percent of Nothing</a>.

    The true story of Dorothy Deering and her long-running publishing scam.

  6. #2731
    priceless1
    Guest

    Re: Here's the master of the Ingram's situation....

    <blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>As far as setting up an individual signing goes, you're better off getting together with other authors.<hr></blockquote>

    No, HB, the best thing to do is have your publisher schedule your signings. Event planners much prefer talking to a publisher’s marketing dept. instead of an author who calls to beg for a signing. It’s simply more professional. A properly edited book, traditional return policy, and competitive discounts also make you more attractive.


    <blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>The things that real publishers do include:

    Field a salesforce
    Publish a catalog
    Send review copies to major reviewers in advance of release
    Take ads in the trade press

    All authors get those things, free. The publisher is moving heaven and earth to get bookstore shelving (not availabilty, shelving) because they know that if the book doesn't sell, they'll lose money. They aren't pressuring the author to buy lots and lots of copies of their own books<hr></blockquote>
    (happy sigh) Thank you, Uncle Jim. Even the small fries understand this and implement these very tools. We bust our tails 24/7 to get our authors’ works out and it appears as though it’s beginning to pay off with two of our titles going national. To live off the backs of author purchases is simply smarmy and cheap. It’s sad that more people don’t understand that. All I can say is, live the dream, HB.

  7. #2732
    Whachawant
    Guest

    Re: Here's the master of the Ingram's situation....

    If PublishAmerica's style of promotion was worth a damn, legitimate publishers would be using it. They aren't, because it isn't. Publicity and marketing are too important to be left in the hands of amateurs.
    Damn right. Its really too bad you couldn't post on the Publish America thread, James. Statements like this one would probably make these authors change their views in a hurry.
    I wonder how many graphic artists and advertising agencies cash in on these people because they decide to invest in their own advertising.

  8. #2733
    Ed Williams 3
    Guest

    I imagine lots of them do....

    ....regretably. I think in a lot of PA author's cases that they want to believe they are traditionally published so badly that they are going to believe that, no matter what information is given to them.

    I wonder how many of PA's top ten sellers in last month's NY Times ad still have a few copies of their own books stashed around the house....

  9. #2734
    arainsb123
    Guest

    Re: It's a blatent lie.

    I wonder how many of PA's top ten sellers in last month's NY Times ad still have a few copies of their own books stashed around the house....
    All of them, almost certainly. After all, how are they gonna find a few hundred people to unload their overpriced books on? They'd have to give them away.

  10. #2735
    ncq13
    Guest

    Time for a T-Shirt...

    Hmmm. I do believe I have been banned. Suddenly, my password isn't working on the PA Public Boards. Guess they received my letter.
    What is that link for the T-Shirts Dave?

  11. #2736
    DaveKuzminski
    Guest

    Re: Time for a T-Shirt...

    Just happened by and spotted your question. The link is www.cafepress.com/attackbutterfly

  12. #2737
    bluwinteryfox
    Guest

    Re: Contract Termination

    I sent PA, the AG, the BBB of MD letters, as well as filling out a complaint on the FTC website. I did this all on October 7. On Friday, I received my certified letter postcard that was signed on the 11. I have yet to hear from PA, no nasty emails, letters, nothing. I tried posting on the PA message board and to my utter surprise I still can.

    My questions is how long should I wait before sending PA another letter and/or an email.

    :jump Many thanks. It's nice having such :nerd knowledgeable and nice :hug people to help all of us through this difficult time.

    Monique

  13. #2738
    KW
    Guest

    Re: Contract Termination

    My questions is how long should I wait before sending PA another letter and/or an email.
    Do it now Monique since you will probably get back the standard reply to a letter.

    "Your letter did not reach the intended recipients. In the future, please use
    support@publishamerica.com as your sole point of contact. This way we can
    respond to your issues much more quickly and efficiently."

    What gets me about this reply is, do they use it only on authors? What if the power company sent a late notice? Does support email them back and say...

    "Your letter did not reach the intended recipients. And as for your complaints about the bill being late? That is ludicrous. We have hundred of other debtors who recieve their money on time, and 9,000 happy authors who will back this statement up.

    It goes without saying that our power will remain fully on, in effect and legally enforceable if you try to shut it off. If any new reasons have come about since your last request, you may state them by email, and we will consider them at our next review meeting, to be held at our leisure. Should you choose to present new reasons, our decision on your late notice will be made without regard for your letter. The existence of the letter will not be made known to the committee making the decision."?

    Kevin

  14. #2739
    BeckEaston
    Guest

    Kevin You're a riot!

    Wow. Nuff said. Hey, does anyone know or has anyone received a letter from the AG? I did and then, I sent back my response in the allotted 10 days and then nothing. I went there and got nothing so I was wondering if anyone has heard any positive news? :thumbs

  15. #2740
    Whachawant
    Guest

    RE:Kevin You're a riot!

    :rollin :lol :ha

  16. #2741
    priceless1
    Guest

    Kevin, you goof

    <blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>"Your letter did not reach the intended recipients. And as for your complaints about the bill being late? That is ludicrous. We have hundred of other debtors who recieve their money on time, and 9,000 happy authors who will back this statement up.<hr></blockquote>
    Too dang funny, Kevin. Have you considered writing comedy?

  17. #2742
    bluwinteryfox
    Guest

    Re: Contract Termination

    I received a reply from PA today. What I find really hilarious is I never stated in my letter to have my contract terminated. I just stated the price was too high,that they should adjust it and that they were using an unedited version of the manuscript. They tell me in the letter that they will not terminated my contract. All I can say is they do read this board. Now I have to decide what to do next.

    And Kevin, your reply to me was great :clap
    Monique

  18. #2743
    BeckEaston
    Guest

    That's because too many complaints?

    That's what they did to me. They also used an unedited version. They harassed me with further emails, and called my lawyer and I "laughable." I'm out of my contract and own all my rights back. I've been a catalyst in submitting claims to the Attorney General's office, I contacted every single bookseller that PA does business with and informed them of how PA conducts business. I sent all my documentation to two media people I know of who are investigating this serious matter. To top it all off, I have some serious interest in my 6 novels from “major” publishers that HB says we wouldn’t get the time of day from. (I have yet to see HB or for that matter any PA enthusiast get queries on their work from such companies.)

    Who's laughing now?

    :thumbs

  19. #2744
    KW
    Guest

    Me, a goof?

    Too dang funny, Kevin. Have you considered writing comedy?
    I can't pull comedy of the top of my head Lynn, I need material to work with. Monique gave me an easy one to use and would I be me if I didn't use it? I can't take credit for anything funny I might say, I bow to the ones that set me up.:hail

    I wouldn't try writing comedy Lynn. If I did HB would tell everyone that I am copying him and that I wanted to be like him.

    Haven't you ever wondered if support only uses those emails on authors, or if they use them on anybody? I know I have. I'm still waiting for Meiners to do a :gone

    Kevin

  20. #2745
    James D Macdonald
    Guest

    Re: Contract Termination

    My questions is how long should I wait before sending PA another letter and/or an email.

    Don't send them another email or letter. The next letter should be from a lawyer, and after that the next notice should be from the process server.

    They have no intention of dealing honorably or honestly with you. They've long since blown past second chances. Don't screw around with those bozos. When you're dealing with crooks treat them like crooks.

  21. #2746
    DaveKuzminski
    Guest

    Re: Here's the master of the Ingram's situation....

    I have to agree with James Macdonald. They want to act like crooks, then you treat them in that manner.

    By the way, Kevin, you ought to do a parody on the various letters that PA has sent to authors to show how others would be treated as you did for that one already. I can almost see the response they'll give to the bill collectors from the NYT for the ad.

  22. #2747
    DeePower
    Guest

    James McCann real opinion

    *****************************
    *****************************

    On the PA private board

    Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2004 5:30 pm Post subject:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    *I'm* the reason they have a Take It Outside Board.
    But then differences of opinion still became too much for them, and voilŕ! I go banned.
    A sad, obnoxious group, really.
    _________________
    James McCann

    ********************************
    ********************************

    Dee Power --
    Listen up PA people there is no "s" on Power.

  23. #2748
    James D Macdonald
    Guest

    Re: James McCann real opinion

    Dee, I still object to posts from private boards being posted in public (leaving aside the fairness of slamming Canada James in a forum where he can't respond).

  24. #2749
    CaoPaux
    Guest

    Re: James McCann real opinion

    Not to mention the vicarious thrill he'll get, knowing you're keeping tabs on him.

  25. #2750
    vstrauss
    Guest

    Re: James McCann real opinion

    Let me add my objection to Jim's. Please, no porting of private posts to this public forum.

    - Victoria

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