Like other posters, I would like to thank you for your input on the subject of Austin Macauley. I received a 'Publishing Contract' from them last week, and was very excited about it. However, like almost everyone else it seems, after even minimal research about the contract type and them as a publisher, I quickly realised that all was not what it seemed. While I'm disappointed that my work is still no closer to being published, I cannot help but feel that I have dodged an expensive bullet that would not have seen very much return.
With hindsight, I think that I should have been somewhat suspicious about AM due to the sheer speed of their replies to my submissions. Every other agent and publisher seems to work in timescales of months, while AM works in weeks - they even worked within half of their expected timeframe for my second submission, and I cannot help but agree with other posters in that I wonder if they even read my whole manuscript before sending out their standard 'Non-contributory' letter.

So thank you again, and good luck to everyone who is still plugging away - like I am - with submitting to agents and publishers.