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Thread: The Old Neverending PublishAmerica Thread (Publish America)

  1. #421

    PA's contract

    Having received and viewed a recent copy of PA's contract (one of several I have received over the years), I can state that PA takes all the publishing rights they can even though they may never use those. Forget selling your book to an overseas market like you can with a traditional, legitimate, royalty-paying publisher offering more than a token one-dollar advance. Those rights are taken by PA for that one-dollar advance.

    Like I've stated before, PublishAmerica has a poor contract. Strongly not recommended.

  2. #422

    Re: PA's contract

    i vaguely remember a discussion on rights over in the take it outside board, but i couldn't find them. also, i wasn't sure if the newer contracts were changed in any way. poor poor authors.

    thanks for the refresher dave!

  3. #423
    Ed Williams 3

    For a moment of levity...

    ...here's HB preaching the gospel over on the PA boards...

    "Then of course there's that 7 year deal with the contract. A new author can't have a realistic chance with anything other publishers offer. PA gives you a chance to establish a fan base. The average person doesn't have that kind of time with promoting at another publisher. If your book isn't selling off the shelves in a couple months with other publishers, they pull it and you have to try establishing yourself while in out of print-like status.

    I've met a lot of authors since I've been with PA that chose this publisher over deals on the table with others. I've seen established authors go with PA. That's why I know I made the right choice. Taking a sequel somewhere else and starting all over doesn't make sense."

    I would love to know just who these "established authors' are...further in the thread someone references Random House as one of the publishing houses authors have left to go with PA....

  4. #424
    James D Macdonald

    See it quick before it goes away....

    <a href="http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/main/9436.htm" target="_new">http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/main/9436.htm</a>

    Good quotes:

    ... He [the events manager at Books-a-Million] said that they changed their policy about a year ago on recieving POD titles. Even if they were regional. My book is now released and the books can't be bought at Books-A-Million like I thought.... Have yall been facing this same problem? I've seen some crappy books on their shelves that looked like they had been there since the 70's. He said that's why they had to change their policy.... I even told them that if they'd order just 2 copies, that if they didn't sell, I'd buy them back at their cost. Problem is, they won't even order it....


    Same here in Lawrenceville, GA.... I offered to buy the books and stock them on consignment...no dice....

    I feel sorry for those guys. They believed what PA told them. Two more happy authors on their way to discovering reality.

  5. #425

    Re: See it quick before it goes away....

    anyone following this thread?


    maybe this should be a lesson to authors about using real names.

    here are the reviews (they are particularly nasty)


    it's an interesting tale...now only if they could spell...

  6. #426


    Those threads are spooky... there's definitely a story in there somewhere, though possibly not the one the author originally meant to tell.

    One of the posters comments that they can't possibly sue for libel, but in my highly inexpert opinion, some of the accusations she's making in her book sound pretty serious; black magic practice and so forth. I mean, whether you believe in that stuff or not, very few people want to be associated in print as practicing it. Wouldn't at least some of it be grounds for libel? Something she and PA should have looked into before publishing the book, I'd say.

  7. #427


    I think the problem is in the fact that she is pawning it as an autobiography, as non-fiction.

    Now, if she was marketing it as a fictional autobiography, which in my opinion would make it infinitely more interesting although it is only the mere idea of a premise, she probably would have less of a problem.

    her family may have a case, if they could prove that they were somehow injured by the publication of the book. however, since they overestimated the distribution and money involved with a PA book, she may not have much to worry about.

    it seems her family thinks she received some kind of half-million dollar advance, or some other equally ludicrous amount. she may not be far off on her appraisal of her family in that title, but in her presentation she may find some legal difficulties.

    overall, i would rate the reviews a solid 4 out of 5 stars. they are exquisitely entertaining. almost made me want to buy the book...but as a matter of principle, i won't.

  8. #428

    Re: autobiography

    Emeraldcite, maybe I've misjudged them from the brief samples available at the PA site, but I think her family sounds atrocious, the kind of characters you couldn't make up if you tried. If she's any kind of storyteller, they're furnishing her with rich material for at least a short story or article, maybe an entire comic novel, about what happened with her family when she published her first book.

    Besides, if they're really as white-trashy as all that, I can't imagine they'll bring a successful civil suit for defamation or whatever. What lawyer is going to take on a long, tedious civil case on a contingency basis when the targets of the suit are an author of modest means, and a book published by PA? I believe the relevant legal doctrine here is (I know I'm going to misspell this) ex rapibus non sanguinem: from turnips, no blood.

  9. #429

    Tales from the Dark Side...

    of crazy relatives who can't spell, and don't know the difference between slander and libel [or fiction].

  10. #430

    thanks Hapi

    ex rapibus non sanguinem

    I learned a new one!

  11. #431

    yah know

    sometime i wonder why i bother. Q

  12. #432
    Ed Williams 3

    Another sad PA board quote...

    I have only approached BAM so far. I just recieved my books that I ordered and I've only gotten thus far as of now. I thought BAM was the best Southern Regional Chain. Others like Barnes and Noble, looks more like a wish. I just know that Barnes and Noble will be more snobbish and say no. I will attempt them, expecting a no and hoping for a yes. If we can't get our books in the easiest store of all,(BAM) it seems worthless to try. I know that I need to visit Independent book stores. I'm sure I'll have better luck. If anything, I bought 250 of my books. I've only got to sell 250 more. I know I've sold several already. I don't know the #'s of course, but I'm pretty well known is several cities in Alabama. I've already had my press release in 5 different major cities newspapers. I've spent more time on promotion than I have visiting book stores. That's my mistake. If BAM won't shelve it and there is a big demand for my book, I bet BAM might change their minds huh? We'll see.

    ....you don't know whether to feel sad for these people or wonder what in the hell they are thinking...

  13. #433
    James D Macdonald

    Re: Another sad PA board quote...

    ....you don't know whether to feel sad for these people or wonder what in the hell they are thinking...

    Feel sad for them. They believed PA's explicit and implicit promises.

  14. #434
    Ed Williams 3

    Ah, how patriotic of PA....

    Subject: Beginning of the end

    On the horizon appears to be the beginning of the end with PA and myself. Despite the high respect I have for the company and the wonderful job they are doing for authors, I received an email from them yesterday deeming myself unpublishable because I am living in Spain.

    Ironically, I have been here in Spain awhile and have published a book with them under this situation. That book has been met with some success. "Torn" was the #1 seller for PA from December 5, 2003 through January 8, 2004 on Amazon. It currently sits at #69 on the sales chart there for PA. It also sits at #12 on Barnes & Noble and has been in the #1 position various times.

    Despite this track record, the handicap of living overseas, serving the country through a military base, has now dampen my future with this noble company. Unfortunate, but the cruel reality of business. I am unable to attend book signings and other promotional events to further increase sales.

    So, as this regrettable turn of events unfolds, I want it to be clear that I harbor no hard feelings for PA. On the contrary, I wish them continued success and understand that they must hold the interest of the company above that of the authors. It is the logical approach of any company that wishes to be successful. However, by doing such, I now have to focus on other avenues for publication. It is a path I had preferred to avoid but now am forced to travel.

    I only hope that PA permits this post to stand because I want it to be understood that I respect their decision, although hold my opinion in silence on whether I am in agreement or not. Still, I do not want anyone to be misled into thinking that I am upset with PA because I am not.


    Frederick A. Babb

  15. #435

    Re: Ah, how patriotic of PA....

    I was wondering something. How much does a PA author make per book sale? And how many books would a PA author have to sell to recoup their loses from the set-up fee?

    In other words, how many of them even make back their initial investment?

  16. #436
    FM St George

    Re: Ah, how patriotic of PA....

    depends on what you consider to be the "startup" investment...

    I make 8%, more or less, on my book that sells for $12.95 on Amazon.com and $9.95 off the PA site - $1.03 and $0.80 respectively. Problem is, if someone from a bookstore decides to do me a favor and purchase them at the special discount for business, then they're buying them at $7.77 and *I* get only 8% of THAT... being $0.62 per book then...

    needless to say, the "big" money is in trying to resell books out of the back of your car after making an investment of a few hundred dollars, since PA gives lousy discounts to authors to start with. No one's getting rich at those royalties, even if they convince traditional bookstores to purchase them; and every royalty payment period there's a lot of disgruntled peeps who discover the horrible truth about their royalties.

    now, how much did I invest? Not much, really - I didn't take them up on their initial "buy now!" offer and lose a few hundred on my book to start with; I purchased a domain site and converted it later into my own website for all my writing. I purchased a few books for a book fair, but I think it's pretty well nothing compared to the PA authors who hire publicists and the like to sell books that are usually unsellable...

    in other words, PA may not get you in the front door with a bill for services rendered, but they'll get you in the back by making you buy your own copies to try and make a decent dollar...

    as usual, jmo - ymmv...

  17. #437

    Re: Ah, how patriotic of PA....

    So, essentially, you need to sell more than 300 books to recoup your initial investment.

  18. #438

    Re: Ah, how patriotic of PA....

    and only a handful have sold anywhere near that...

  19. #439
    FM St George

    Re: Ah, how patriotic of PA....

    I still don't understand what you consider to be the "initial investment"... sounds like you're confusing PA with the other POD's that require money upfront.

    with PublishAmerica there's no money upfront other than the $30 you send in for a copyright, putting you technically $29 in the hole from the start - after that, you spend as much as you'd like, and PA encourages you to spend a LOT by offering author discounts and so forth... in fact, I'm pretty sure that even the best PA author is coming out in the red every which way since there's practically no way to earn a profit with the above scenario...

    as I said before - at least with other POD's they get the money upfront and you feel that you're at least a customer paying for a product - with PA they sneak it in the back way with you being so "thankful" that you "made the cut" that you'll put up with incompetence and bad everything and then pay them for copies that you won't be able to resell...

  20. #440
    FM St George


    this is too good not to share...


    click on the LiveJournal link - this is one of PA's EDITORS....

    *falls over laughing*

    please, please... oh, Lordy... please...

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