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Thread: The Old Neverending PublishAmerica Thread (Publish America)

  1. #1301
    DaveKuzminski
    Guest

    Re: Hmmmm

    Well, when details are lacking or vague, the best thing to do is write a letter to one of those involved.

    Yes, that's exactly what I did.

    Gee, there's no icon for a smiley sticking his tongue out for Willem to see.

  2. #1302
    Gwen4
    Guest

    Re: LOL

    My 'ignernce' must be showing...best go have it hemmed
    Exactly! I mean really. Do they think they are dealing with idiots? Although some days I do feel like one for jumping on the PA wagon and signing up to take that fated ride. All I can say about the NYT partnership is "HOO-EY"

    It'll never be as it is written!!! What a game they have going, huh? I feel so sorry for those eager, hungry authors on the PA board who buy the slop they send out by e-mail. They know they are playing with emotions and that's why they continue to suck people in.

    Grr...now, I'm mad

    :grr

  3. #1303
    lindylou45
    Guest

    Jim Razzi and PA

    Now PA is saying they have a book by New York Times best selling author Jim Razzi, but when I try to find the book in the PA bookstore there is no such book or author.

    Another Bly ploy, or what? Does anybody know anything about this? I'd really like to know why he would sign with PA after publishing over 90 books with traditional publishers. :ha

  4. #1304
    Sher2
    Guest

    LOL

    <I feel so sorry for those eager, hungry authors on the PA board who buy the slop they send out by e-mail. They know they are playing with emotions and that's why they continue to suck people in.>


    Some of them seem to think that PA and NYT are actually MERGING, or that NYT is buying into PA. Either way, they think they're going to get reviewed in the NYT. The "voices of reason" on the PA boards, such as they are, get set upon by a lynch mob when they question the "partnership" and/or point out the sales pitch at the bottom of the e-mail. Pathetic.

  5. #1305
    HapiSofi
    Guest

    Re: LOL

    They should pray daily that they won't get reviewed by the NYTimes, since only novelty or notoriety could make that happen. Neither would be pleasant.

  6. #1306
    DaveKuzminski
    Guest

    Copyright permission

    Here's a new one that I spotted on the PA board. I can only hope that the author in that one example where permission was granted by the publisher is okay with that if the author still retains copyright:

    Joan DeMarle-Obe



    7/25/2004
    18:50:55
    Subject: Permission for using another person's material


    Message:
    Can anyone tell me how you go about getting permission to use another person's material, like a poem in your book?

    Joan

    elliott

    7/25/2004
    21:57:40
    RE: Permission for using another person's material


    Message:
    I assume you are speaking of reprinting the work in its entirity. For that you would have to contact the owner of the print rights of the piece. Usually it is the author but sometimes its their individual publisher or in the case of a deceased author; the agent representing their estate.

    georgie girl

    7/26/2004
    02:17:07
    RE: Permission for using another person's material


    Message:
    Hi,
    I am in the process of getting reprint
    authorization for my book. Start by contacting
    the Library Of Congress. You need to give
    them the authors name, title of book, year
    printed, and the name of publishing house.
    They charge $75.00 an hour for the search
    and then will send you the info on who holds
    the rights. If the book you are looking to reprint
    was printed after 1975 you can go to the
    Library of Congress site and search it
    yourself. I hope this helps.

    Georgie Girl

    Joan DeMarle-Obe

    7/26/2004
    08:40:29


    RE: Permission for using another person's material


    Message:
    Thanks, I don't think i'm going to go the $75 dollar route just to use a poem in a book. I'll try Elliot's idea first. Any other thoughts?

    Joan

    Joyce Ann

    7/26/2004
    08:56:57


    RE: Permission for using another person's material


    Message:
    I contacted a publisher to obtain rights for reprinting a
    portion of a writer's book. I received a letter stating I
    would have to pay $100. and follow 16 other
    instructions, as well as give a certain percentage of the
    profit on the book if the amount of material reprinted
    was over 10%.

    Obviously, this reprint is not in my book.

    On the other hand, I reprinted a passage from another
    writer without any charge by contacting the publisher.

    Hi Joan!

    Joyce Ann

  7. #1307
    HapiSofi
    Guest

    Re: Copyright permission

    Dave, I can't keep track of the players without a program. Are any of the respondents PA people? Otherwise it's just the internet's ten godzillionth instance of the blind leading the lame, of which it can be truly said that at least 1.668 godzillion of those instances concerned copyright law.

    If PA's responsible for handing out any of that bad advice -- well, no surprise there, either. I mean, PA thinks you can't apply for CIP data for a book before you've received notice of registration of copyright. That's really, really dumb. Or possibly it's canny; pretending that they believe it keeps them from having to explain to their authors why they aren't eligible for the CIP program:
    "Only U.S. publishers who publish titles that are most likely to be widely acquired by U.S. libraries are eligible to participate in the CIP program. Book vendors, distributors, printers, production houses and other intermediaries are ineligible. Self-publishers (i.e. authors and editors who pay for or subsidize publication of their own works) and publishers who have published the works of fewer than three different authors are ineligible."
    Pity about those library sales.

  8. #1308
    DaveKuzminski
    Guest

    Copyright permission

    I wish I knew. However, that's all that was shown. The writers just didn't state who was contacted, though it's my best guess that the authors and publishers they contacted for permission were outside of PA.

  9. #1309
    DaveKuzminski
    Guest

    Re: doing da math...

    Interestingly enough, I received another complaint from a PA author tonight and just happened to realize that the number of different individuals who have complained is just slightly greater than one percent of the "8,000 happy writers" that PA is always claiming. Now, if these complaints represent only those who have been published so far, which it appears to be, then the percentage is even greater, possibly twice as much. What really gets me is that no other publisher still in business has achieved as high a percentage of complaints and many have far fewer authors so it would be easier for them to accomplish much higher percentages with only a few individuals complaining.

  10. #1310
    James D Macdonald
    Guest

    Line By Line

    It's Line By Line time again....

    <HR>

    <BLOCKQUOTE>
    Dear author,
    </blockquote>

    Two words in a row with no problems, other than that they don't like their authors enough to call them "dear" ...

    <BLOCKQUOTE>

    The New York Times contacted us this week to propose a partnership.
    </blockquote>

    One wonders exactly what they mean by "partnership," and if that was the word that the Times used. One also wonders exactly which office at the Times contacted them ... the Times has an aggressive staff selling advertising in their pages.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>
    We are now working with The New York Times to bring a new era of marketing services to our authors.
    </blockquote>

    Yep, it's advertising. I wonder if the deal is: PA guarantees an ad every week, and sells those ads at the by-the-year rate to their authors, rather than the single-insertion rate that the authors could get on their own. With, of course, a small cut for PA. Bets on that this will be a "The Author Pays" deal? Of course it is.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>
    It appears that our authors are being taken very seriously by the New York Times.
    </blockquote>

    Or at least their checkbooks are.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>
    We expect to outline the details of this partnership with the host of the one and only NYT Best-seller List for you soon, but for now we are so excited that we just want to celebrate the event with you.
    </blockquote>

    True, the Times does host the NYT Best-seller List. That doesn't mean your book will be reviewed, or listed as a best seller. For starters, to be reviewed, a copy will have to go to the Times significantly before the book is published. Second, to be on the best seller list, the book has to be ... a best seller. Buying an ad for your book in the Times isn't going to get either of those things.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>
    It looks like we're entering a new level of publishing distinction!
    </blockquote>

    A meaningless sentence.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>
    Since this calls for celebration, and it's almost August, royalty month, we've put together a special offer that includes royalties.
    </blockquote>

    Here comes the hook, the Vanity Press part of this letter, and its real purpose: Get the authors to buy their own books by the case.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>
    Authors who choose to buy copies of their own book will receive a special discount, PLUS we will pay royalties on those books. Since all royalty checks will go out by the end of next month, the rewards will come in quickly. Our offer breaks down as follows:
    </blockquote>

    Let's figure this based on a typical 180 page, $19.95 PA book. (My Brother's Keeper to be precise.) I'm assuming that PA will go offset for these books, given the numbers.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>
    50-100 copies: 40 pct discount royalties
    </blockquote>

    100 copies, the author pays $11.97 per book, or $1,197.00, and gets $95.76 in royalties, for a total out-of-pocket of $1,101.24. PA pays $7.29 per book, for a total of $729.00. PA's profit: $372.24.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>
    101-150 copies: 45 pct discount royalties
    </blockquote>

    150 copies: Author pays $10.97 per book, $1645.88 total, minus $131.67 royalties, author is out-of-pocket $1,514.21.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>
    151-200 copies: 50 pct discount royalties
    </blockquote>

    200 copies: Author pays $9.98 per book, $1,995 total. Royalties come to $159.60, for an out-of-pocket expense of $1,835.40 (not counting shipping).

    <BLOCKQUOTE>
    201 or more copies: 55 pct discount royalties
    </blockquote>

    Let's say the author buys 500 copies (and gets "considered" for Independence Books, hurrah!).

    Author pays $8.98 per book, for a total of $4,488.75. Royalties come to $359.10, for a total out-of-pocket expense of $4,129.65. PA pays $5.08 per copy, for a total of $ 2,540.00, and a profit of $1,589.65. Not bad for accepting one phone call.

    Notice that as the per-book price goes down that the author's per-book royalty goes down with it.

    Notice too that the author could have gotten the same prices that PA got from a short-run printer by going to that printer herself, and have gotten books that she could offer to bookstores at the discounts they expect, take returns, and not have the PublishAmerica albatross hung around her neck.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>
    Full-color children's books are excluded.
    </blockquote>

    Their favorite short-run printer won't give 'em the same price breaks for internal color.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>
    The offer expires July 30. Please call us at 301-695-1707.
    </blockquote>

    High-pressure tactics. Hurry, hurry, hurry! Offer expires soon! Operators are standing by!

    <BLOCKQUOTE>
    Thank you.
    </blockquote>

    And thank you, PublishAmerica, for another amusing morning.

  11. #1311
    Gwen4
    Guest

    Re: Hmmmmm

    What I don't get is why I got a copy of the email sent to me. I haven't even sent them back the AQ or final ms. So, how in the world would I ever be able to buy books by July 31?

    And the costs you mentioned didn't include shipping.

  12. #1312
    James D Macdonald
    Guest

    Re: Hmmmmm

    Check me if I'm wrong on this, but the shipping costs are $3.00 for the first book, plus $0.50 for each subsequent copy in the same order.

    So ... looking at that 200 copy order (just for an example), the shipping costs would be $102.50. The royalties on that order are $159.60. After you subtract shipping, the effective royalty is $0.29 per book.

    <HR>

    Traditional royalties are figured on the cover price, not "net," not "sales price." Traditional publishers pay shipping.

    Figuring the real, honest royalty rate on that ($0.29 on a $19.95 book) -- it's a 1.5% royalty. That's horrible.

  13. #1313
    FM St George
    Guest

    Re: Hmmmmm

    yep - I did that math last year when I got this notice and realised the numbers SUCKED royally.

    and yet there will be plenty who will jump at the offer and put off such payments like their mortgage because they think they'll be able to sell them all at the retail price and garner a big profit.

    :P

  14. #1314
    James D Macdonald
    Guest

    Re: Hmmmmm

    Let's say that PA has 5,000 happy authors. Let's say that 10% of them buy 100 copies each of their own books. That's an instant cash infusion of $186,120 into PA's coffers, for no addtional work beyond manning the telephone and taking credit card orders from those happy authors. The authors are paying printing, the authors are paying shipping -- that darn-near $200K is pure gravy, and it came straight out of the happy authors' pockets.

    <HR>

    Thought: They say it's almost August, royalty month. Is it possible that the reason they need this cash infusion right now is to be able to cover royalties? The day they can't cut checks to their authors, no matter how pitiable the amounts, the gaff is blown.

  15. #1315
    maestrowork
    Guest

    Re: Hmmmm

    Boy, I think I'm in the wrong business. Who wants to write books when you can make so much more money by "helping" others publish their life's work?

    If only I didn't have a conscience...

  16. #1316
    DeePower
    Guest

    Occasionally PA pays shipping

    Every once in awhile, PA will pay royalties and will pay the shipping on author purchases.

    It is curious that the special offer comes right before PA has to pay royalties.

    Dee

  17. #1317
    Sher2
    Guest

    Hmmm

    <Thought: They say it's almost August, royalty month. Is it possible that the reason they need this cash infusion right now is to be able to cover royalties? The day they can't cut checks to their authors, no matter how pitiable the amounts, the gaff is blown.>


    And therein, in my opinion, lies the crux of it.

  18. #1318
    Ed Williams 3
    Guest

    The buzz out there....

    ...is that PA is strapped for cash, and needs some $$$ fast...

  19. #1319
    FM St George
    Guest

    Re: LOL

    where did you hear this?

  20. #1320
    NancyMehl
    Guest

    Re: LOL

    This "sales opportunity" happens before almost every royalty period. Yes, I think it's a way to get in money. It takes a lot of cash to pay 8,000 authors $1.29!!!!

    Nancy
    nancymehlbooks.com

  21. #1321
    DaveKuzminski
    Guest

    Re: LOL

    Yes, I'd really hate to see them lose their townhouse and have to set up their computers in some dark alley. They might scare the thugs away.

  22. #1322
    Ed Williams 3
    Guest

    No, seriously....

    ...this isn't just them needing to pay royalties, they are hurting for cash badly...can't say anymore, but watch events transpire...

  23. #1323
    James D Macdonald
    Guest

    Re: No, seriously....

    All the usual disclaimers about how I'm not a lawyer ... but if a company goes bankrupt all its assets are frozen, then go to the secured creditors.

    Your rights are assets. The authors aren't secured creditors.

    The time to get your rights back is before the publisher goes bankrupt.

  24. #1324
    lucyishome
    Guest

    Also trying to get out of contract

    I am also hoping to get out of PA contract. Stupid me what was I thinking. Now my eyeballs feel like they will fall out of my head after reading all of these posts. I did send PA an email to Author Support telling them I want no part of this deal and the reasons why. We will have to see if they will respond. My book has not even been edited yet so I am keeping my fingers crossed. I will give them hell and not be intimidated. If they push me I will have my attorney handle it but hope it does not have to come to that. Or maybe if there is enough of us we can file a class action suit against them. Anyway I do appreciate everyones honesty hear and although I found this a little late I figure now is better than never.
    Anne

  25. #1325
    Sher2
    Guest

    Re: Also trying to get out of contract

    <I did send PA an email to Author Support telling them I want no part of this deal and the reasons why. We will have to see if they will respond.>

    Uh-oh! Yep, they'll respond -- you're quite likely to get the "don't take that tone with us" e-mail. Don't let it intimidate you.

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