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sheadakota
08-05-2008, 03:08 AM
I'm not sure if this belongs here, but here goes;

I have been working my tush off writing, polishing, editing, sending things to betas- taking sage advice- rewriting- re-editing... you get the idea- then came the query letter hell experience, polishing and rewriting THAT- sending it off to agents- collecting rejections, sitting on pins and needles waiting to hear about partials and fulls...you all know the drill-

THEN, my neighbor, who knows I am trying to get published tells me her step-daughter just got her book published- just like that!

So I look up her book and yup- it's published by PA- ARRRRRR! My neighbor has NO idea what that means as does her step-daughter, but I could tell she was wondering what was taking me so long to get my book published. Then she had to go and say- "Would you like me to ask Beth to help you?"

I just smiled. Congratulated Beth on her book and left it at that, But MAN! I am feeling so frustrated- sorry but I had to get that out- thanks so much for reading/listening, I'm going to go check my inbox for kore rejections now.

joyce
08-05-2008, 03:15 AM
I know how you feel. I've got a friend who keeps telling me to self publish my books and thinks something is wrong with me because I don't. Yep, I think that would irritate the crap out of me if that happened to me. I started a thread a month or so ago stating how a woman came into my work and looked at me like I was some kind of idiot for going through the regular route to try to get published. She was of course self published and acted like she was a queen or something......very rude. Keep your chin up and keep on trying. I just keep thinking about how sweet it's going to feel if that dream ever comes true.:)

sheadakota
08-05-2008, 03:27 AM
Thanks Joyce- It is irritating because people have no idea the work involved in going the traditional route- I hold no ill feeling toward my neighbor's step daughter, in fact I feel sorry she got involved with PA. I haven't read her book, so have no idea how good(or not) it may be. But I know I would rather not be published at all than be published badly.

joyce
08-05-2008, 03:45 AM
I so agree with you. I know self publishing in itself is not horrible if you have a certain kind of book that might only reach a small & select audience, but P.A......let's all throw up at once. It makes you actually feel sorry for the person. I guess I just like torture because doing it the hard way (agent, publisher) is going to be the only way that feels best to me. You're right. We spend so much time and energy in completing our novels, it's a shame to turn it over to a place like them to only have your dreams smashed.

dawinsor
08-05-2008, 03:49 AM
The maddening thing here is that people like your neighbor don't know the difference and so can't tell what you're even trying to do, much less what it would mean if you did it.

dgiharris
08-05-2008, 03:56 AM
The maddening thing here is that people like your neighbor don't know the difference and so can't tell what you're even trying to do, much less what it would mean if you did it.

Well, to me the difference is very simple.

When you self publish, you pay to get your work put into a book

When you are published, they pay you to get your work into a book.

So Shea,

When your book finally is published, be sure to ask your neighbor how her Beth spent her acceptance check. "Oh what's that? Beth didn't get a check for her book? She didn't get any money? No royalties? Oh, SHE had to pay to get it published. How many books did she get printed out? 50 books? Well, I got a few thousand printed out and if that does well, it will go to the tens of thousands. But thanks for offering to help me self publish 50 books." :)

Mel...

sheadakota
08-05-2008, 04:32 AM
The maddening thing here is that people like your neighbor don't know the difference and so can't tell what you're even trying to do, much less what it would mean if you did it.
I KNOW! I didn't even see the point in trying to educate her, it just wasn't worth the effort.

sheadakota
08-05-2008, 04:38 AM
Well, to me the difference is very simple.

When you self publish, you pay to get your work put into a book

When you are published, they pay you to get your work into a book.

So Shea,

When your book finally is published, be sure to ask your neighbor how her Beth spent her acceptance check. "Oh what's that? Beth didn't get a check for her book? She didn't get any money? No royalties? Oh, SHE had to pay to get it published. How many books did she get printed out? 50 books? Well, I got a few thousand printed out and if that does well, it will go to the tens of thousands. But thanks for offering to help me self publish 50 books." :)

Mel...
That would be sweet Mel! I am tempted to order her book to see if it is bad, but I don't want to be petty and I really don't want to give PA any money!

blacbird
08-05-2008, 04:54 AM
Pray for your neighbor's daughter, with the faith that she will discover the error of her ways. You could also, of course, send the both of them the URL to this place, with links to the various PA threads. Plus the Preditors&Editors URL.

caw

Appalachian Writer
08-05-2008, 05:06 AM
Writers eager to be published are often duped. A student at the university questioned my writing skills (he's a sophomore) because he was getting published and I wasn't. The publisher of his choice: Dorrance, vanity. I didn't say anything, but I really wanted to sock him in the nose.

maggieuc
08-05-2008, 05:12 AM
Okay I know this is probably a dumb question but what is PA?

sheadakota
08-05-2008, 05:19 AM
Okay I know this is probably a dumb question but what is PA?
Publish America- it is a self publisher that is a HUGE scam- there are several threads here that will explain it better than I can

maggieuc
08-05-2008, 05:22 AM
Publish America- it is a self publisher that is a HUGE scam- there are several threads here that will explain it better than I can
Thanks!!!

Marian Perera
08-05-2008, 06:15 AM
PA is a vanity press that passes itself off as a commercial publisher by not charging upfront for publication. To keep its own costs low, it offers authors a $1 advance, little or no editing and stock image covers. The books are overpriced and either nonreturnable or poorly discounted to bookstores.

Since the stores usually don't order them, many authors end up buying the books in bulk from PA to resell them, but since they're paying after the fact, they can keep believing that they're really published authors. PA sends out royalty checks twice a year and usually stiffs the authors there too; checks ranging from $0.00 to the cost of a hamburger are normal.

Hang in there, sheadakota. The frustrations of commercial publishing aren't as bad as being snared by a vanity press, spending money you don't have (and won't get) to promote your book, having bookstore doors closed in your face and finally getting a check that makes you want to cry. Though I must admit, this is why I don't tell people that I'm writing. ;)

Karen Duvall
08-05-2008, 06:18 AM
Shea, the next time you see your neighbor, you two ought to have an enlightening conversation that will NOT be petty, I assure you. But it will prompt her to ask some questions that will hopefully help her daughter. Just let her know you have a different goal for your writing, that you want to make it your career that earns you a living wage. She'll say that's her daughter's goal as well. You smile sweetly and say you had an opportunity to publish with PA but made the decision not to. Self-publishing is not your goal. Then let the conversation grow from there. You'll feel better, and your neighbor may actually see an opportunity for saving her daughter from getting any deeper than she already is. It's a win-win for everyone, IMO. Well, everyone but PA.

ink wench
08-05-2008, 04:05 PM
Ugh, Shea that's so frustrating. Keep your chin high and know you're making the right choice for you. Your neighbor will learn soon enough.

kct webber
08-05-2008, 04:38 PM
Shea, that story makes me mad and sad at the same time. My father met a woman recently who was 'published' through PA. He told her that I was writing and she offered to give me the name of her 'publisher'. All I could do was shake my head.

soleary
08-05-2008, 04:49 PM
Shea, hang in there! I know it sucks. I sometimes have a hard time entering a bookstore, seeing work that is subpar. Our job is to work our tales off, throw it up to the sky and hope for the best. Focus on your work, and rock on!

Twizzle
08-05-2008, 05:54 PM
shea, consider listening to blacbird. consider passing on the links. I know the woman's comments stung, but they were spoken out of ignorance. and she is ignorant-in that she has no idea about publishing, PA or what her stepdaughter has gotten herself into. I know it could end up a shoot the messenger situation even if you're only trying to help them, but knowledge is power, and there are a lot of PA authors whose first words are "I wish I'd known." I just feel like as writers, we should look out for one another. it might be something to consider?

Jackfishwoman
08-05-2008, 06:01 PM
Shea, a similar thing happened to me! I was involved in a writing workshop and the leader/facilitator kept bragging about her "star student" who got accepted for publication with her FIRST query letter. This was when I was first starting out and knew little to nothing about the publishing process, so I had no idea what Publish America was. Sure enough, the star student was published by PA.
It took me a lot longer and a lot more hard work, but I did finally get my manuscript accepted with an actual publisher. It's not a huge commercial publisher, but a small academic press (which to me, is even more of an accomplishment!)
It still bugs me though when I hear people bragging about being published right out of the gate and then come to find out they are published by PA. I feel you angst Shea!!

arkady
08-05-2008, 06:41 PM
I've had a similar experience. A woman who used to work with my wife heard that I was trying to be published, and suggested that her uncle -- a "published writer" of science-fiction -- might be able to offer some advice.

I did a bit of web searching and found his home page. Yep, you guessed it. PA. And the sample chapters he posted were barely above the junior-high level.

People who've never gone through the mill of writing and then struggling to get it legitimately published haven't the faintest dream of how The System works, when it works at all. Don't even try to explain to them -- they'll just look at you blankly, nod their neads and go away wondering what you're nattering on about.

Marian Perera
08-05-2008, 06:59 PM
Keep in mind that many PA authors, confronted with the idea that there might be anything wrong with the wonderful publisher who accepted their manuscript, will seek reassurance on the Publish America Message Board, which is strictly policed and censored to keep it pro-PA. There they will be told that anyone who criticizes PA is a jealous wannabe whose negativity should be ignored. That may put a strain on your friendship. Just something to consider if you want to break the bad news to anyone.

dgiharris
08-05-2008, 07:12 PM
Keep in mind that many PA authors, confronted with the idea that there might be anything wrong with the wonderful publisher who accepted their manuscript, will seek reassurance on the Publish America Message Board, which is strictly policed and censored to keep it pro-PA.

You know, that is why PA is so successful. The key to any really good scam or con is that you are giving people EXACTLY what they want.

When we want something, it's amazing how we can't see the obvious sometimes.

But, the link to the thread for PA here is a very powerful eye-opening one. I read it and laughed my ass off at the "book" that Uncle Jim and company sent to PA and was accepted and the press release thereafter.

F-ing hilarious. God, I would have 'paid' my own money to have been part of that effort and contributed a chapter to that smoking pile of dogshit! :)

Lastly,

I think that people love the appearance of being 'something' rather than the actual something. It is such a great boost to your ego to walk around and say, "I'm a writer, I've been published, I'm working on a book." instead of really being a 'writer'. Suffering for your art, putting real work in, trying to learn the craft and hone your skills. So much easier to not have to work to improve, just write whatever, and get it published by PA.

Anyways, just for shits and giggles I think i'm gonna pop over to their website right now and check it out :)

Mel....

jkcates
08-05-2008, 07:13 PM
I feel for your pain, but, as others have stated, there are big differences in what you are trying to do and what your neighbors stepdaughter has done.
It does raise an interesting point though, and that is, author jealousy. I think it is only natural to feel a little ticked off when others seem to, almost without effort, accomplish what we slave at sometimes for years. Or, more often, we look at books that are published, and maybe even best sellers, and rant about what complete crap gets published. It is always a good idea to keep in mind that, first and foremost, publishing is a business. Publishers want books that make money, not that will be in the canon for the next three hundred years.
But, to the point of those who seem to have a gift. Just remember, there will always be people with gifts greater than our own. Go watch Amadeus for all one needs to know about the tragedy of that scenario.
Dont worry though, your work, when published, will be of much greater value to you personally....... and financially

Good Luck

Elladog
08-05-2008, 08:13 PM
But, the link to the thread for PA here is a very powerful eye-opening one. I read it and laughed my ass off at the "book" that Uncle Jim and company sent to PA and was accepted and the press release thereafter.

F-ing hilarious. God, I would have 'paid' my own money to have been part of that effort and contributed a chapter to that smoking pile of dogshit! :)I can't seem to find it. Sounds like fun. Where should I look?
Thanks!

Jersey Chick
08-05-2008, 08:49 PM
Look up Atlanta Nights - that's the book...

It's so bad it's terrific! :D

dgiharris
08-05-2008, 08:52 PM
I can't seem to find it. Sounds like fun. Where should I look?
Thanks!

THere is an entire forum devoted to Publish America that has the thread I was speaking about

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=115

I think it is the thread titled, "The Neverending Publish America Thread" or somethign to that effect. It is really big, but the fun stuff happens within the first couple of hundred posts. Only took me 10 minutes worth of reading to get to it.

It is very very enlightening

Mel...

roncouch
08-05-2008, 08:52 PM
Keep in mind that many PA authors, confronted with the idea that there might be anything wrong with the wonderful publisher who accepted their manuscript, will seek reassurance on the Publish America Message Board, which is strictly policed and censored to keep it pro-PA. There they will be told that anyone who criticizes PA is a jealous wannabe whose negativity should be ignored. That may put a strain on your friendship. Just something to consider if you want to break the bad news to anyone.

My first book was published by PA. (I hear the boos and hisses) I was glad to get the book in print. I looked at the PA message board and decided it was pretty much what you describe, and do not participate. PA does have some good authors. I do not condemn them, or any author. Let's face it, if the book is trash, it won't sell. I don't see any gain in poor-mouthing PA. Plenty of information is available - most of it negative. My book is selling better than I anticipated. We all know how much work goes into writing, and I encourage writers to write. I don't sweat the past, but do learn from errors in judgement. Currently, book number two is being considered for publishing by a traditional publisher. I'm 20k into book number three. I wish you all well!

Marian Perera
08-05-2008, 09:46 PM
My first book was published by PA. (I hear the boos and hisses)

Do you? I don't. The only time I'd boo or hiss anyone was if they deliberately fed misinformation to a newbie or if they put someone down for asking questions/stating the truth.


Let's face it, if the book is trash, it won't sell.

It'll sell to the author's family and friends. Also, if the book is superb but overpriced and printed by a vanity press with a poor reputation and no distribution, it isn't likely to do much better than the trash book, unless the author makes great efforts to promote and market it.


I don't see any gain in poor-mouthing PA.

Depends on how one defines "poor-mouthing".

CaroGirl
08-05-2008, 09:56 PM
Try not to measure yourself against how others perceive you. YOU know what you're trying to do. YOU know what it means to be published by PA. And, most of all, YOU know what success will mean if you get published the traditional way.

Keep on keeping on. All the best!

sheadakota
08-05-2008, 10:58 PM
I didn't intend to make this about being anti-PA. I am sure some of their authors may be satisfied with the service they provide, my point was to vent frusrtation over the fact that THIS is nit what I want and yes I could easily publish through this press if I chose to, But I would rather not, I want an agent, I want a tradional publisher to market and help me and yes to pay me.

The fact that my neighbor is ignornant of the process and how difficult it is, the hard work and yes years have put into getting to the point I am now (Querying with some partial and fulls out there) just makes me grind my teeth and as mentioned a little jealous that this girl has seemingly achieved what I have dreamed of for years. It doesn't seem fair. I know it will be worth it in the end, I know I will get published eventually, but the waiting is frustrating and then to have to hear about things like this while I wait ti hear about my submission- well you know-

I apologize about turning this into a "bash PA" thread. It was my intention. And thanks to all for the commsieration- It takes someone going through the same thing to fully understand- I don't think I will tell my neighbor, it just would not be worth the back lash. If her step daughter is happy with her book then fine- If I hear she is disalusioned with her experience, then I would be more than happy to share with her. She isn't being boastful about her publication and I don't see her that often, so I can live with it and the knowledge that what I am doing is right for me.

Jersey Chick
08-05-2008, 11:22 PM
I didn't intend to make this about being anti-PA. I am sure some of their authors may be satisfied with the service they provide, my point was to vent frusrtation over the fact that THIS is nit what I want and yes I could easily publish through this press if I chose to, But I would rather not, I want an agent, I want a tradional publisher to market and help me and yes to pay me.

The fact that my neighbor is ignornant of the process and how difficult it is, the hard work and yes years have put into getting to the point I am now (Querying with some partial and fulls out there) just makes me grind my teeth and as mentioned a little jealous that this girl has seemingly achieved what I have dreamed of for years. It doesn't seem fair. I know it will be worth it in the end, I know I will get published eventually, but the waiting is frustrating and then to have to hear about things like this while I wait ti hear about my submission- well you know-

I apologize about turning this into a "bash PA" thread. It was my intention. And thanks to all for the commsieration- It takes someone going through the same thing to fully understand- I don't think I will tell my neighbor, it just would not be worth the back lash. If her step daughter is happy with her book then fine- If I hear she is disalusioned with her experience, then I would be more than happy to share with her. She isn't being boastful about her publication and I don't see her that often, so I can live with it and the knowledge that what I am doing is right for me.

All anti-PA aside, this girl isn't achieving what you want. She isn't achieving anything at all since there is no threshold with a vanity press. If a dog submitted a manuscript (which someone here did, btw) to PA (or any vanity) it would be published. She's printed. That's not the same thing as published. Not one bit.

So don't let it get to you - which sounds really trite and all and I know that, but it's true. Though this girl and her mother think she's accomplished something great, she hasn't (relatively speaking, of course.) She isn't published. She's printed. Say it with me. Not. The. Same. Thing.

:Hug2:

Woodsie
08-05-2008, 11:37 PM
Look up Atlanta Nights - that's the book...


:e2thud: I just read the first two pages online.

It sounds like he watched/read 'The Butterfly and the Diving Bell.'

Jersey Chick
08-06-2008, 12:23 AM
It's so bad it's brilliant - honestly! And if you buy it, the $$ goes to a good cause...

I wish I'd been in on it. :)

ETA AFAIK, it's available on Lulu - so you don't have to worry about PA getting a cent for it. :D

dgiharris
08-06-2008, 01:03 AM
It's so bad it's brilliant - honestly! And if you buy it, the $$ goes to a good cause...

I wish I'd been in on it. :)

ETA AFAIK, it's available on Lulu - so you don't have to worry about PA getting a cent for it. :D


I just read a few excerpts online. As I was reading, a sharp pain began to form behind my left eyeball.

If the Marquis de Sade was an author, this would be his book.

It takes 'bad writing' to a whole other level. It is freaking hilarious. I'm going to buy this puppy and put it on my shelf. It is the living incarnation of every writing mistake known to man (plants and animals too.)

Even though I found a few sites that let me download it for free, I simply must have a hard copy of this book.

F-ing hilarious.

Mel...

kuatolives
08-06-2008, 01:06 AM
Bash your neighbor's knees out with a chainsaw.

Blondchen
08-06-2008, 01:52 AM
Ha. Hahaha. I love the gall of that woman - "Would you like me to ask Beth to help you?" I'd have smacked her, seriously.

Back when I pursued opera as a career (man, you think querying is bad? try the opera audition circuit...) you'd get people on forums like this talking about being "cast" by a company - a pay-to-sing company, just like vanity press - and at first you roll your eyes, but as the list of PFO (that's "Please Fuck Off") letters piles up you start to think that maybe a pay-to-sing program wouldn't be that bad...

But they are. Trust me. I saw a friend in one and I almost cried for her, it was that bad.

So keep slugging, Shea. I know it sucks.

roncouch
08-07-2008, 05:22 AM
Do you? I don't. The only time I'd boo or hiss anyone was if they deliberately fed misinformation to a newbie or if they put someone down for asking questions/stating the truth.

The boo & hiss was a joke!

It'll sell to the author's family and friends. Also, if the book is superb but overpriced and printed by a vanity press with a poor reputation and no distribution, it isn't likely to do much better than the trash book, unless the author makes great efforts to promote and market it.

It is overpriced! Fortunately, I have many friends, and I regretted having to charge them so much.

Depends on how one defines "poor-mouthing".

I define "poor-mouthing" as saying negative things about people, places or things without any real chance of changing them.

Queen, I do appreciate your comments. Best wishes to you.

roncouch
08-07-2008, 05:52 AM
Try not to measure yourself against how others perceive you. YOU know what you're trying to do. YOU know what it means to be published by PA. And, most of all, YOU know what success will mean if you get published the traditional way.

Keep on keeping on. All the best!

CaroGirl,

Yes, I believe I know what I'm trying to do. I do not measure myself by how others see me. "I yam what I yam"

I continue to enjoy a full and very happy life. I do make mistakes, but learn from them.

I'm reasonably confident my book(s) will be published by traditional publishers.

I do wish you well, CaroGirl

Marian Perera
08-07-2008, 10:46 AM
I define "poor-mouthing" as saying negative things about people, places or things without any real chance of changing them.

I define saying negative things about scams with the intention of exposing misinformation to potential victims as "warning", regardless of whether the scammers change or not. I believe that warning people is important.

Good luck with getting your book commercially published!

Mr. Anonymous
08-07-2008, 07:39 PM
TC,

I know you've already made up your mind...

But let me just say one thing.

If I were you, I'd be up front with your neighbor.

Just think of how much effort goes into writing a book.

This girl doesn't know what she's getting into. She likely has no knowledge of the incredible amount of time and resources she would have to spend to make her book semi-successful. And even if she did, she likely wouldn't have the time or the resources necessary to begin with.

I don't think any writer deserves something like that. I'll take failure over fake-success any day.

And I speak from experience. The first draft ( that should've been a dead giveaway) of my first novel was accepted by The Writers Literary Agency (another well known scam.) However, I had no idea of that at the time. Nor did I have a clue that there might be websites like this on the web.

Finally, I did some investigation on my own, and I found out what I know now. Sure, it was nice to think for a little while that I was just a seventeen year old literary genius (lol), and yes, the real road to getting published is a lot harder. But it is also a lot more worthwhile.

A writer doesn't just pour time and effort into a manuscript. He/she pours of little of him/herself into it. He/she pours hopes and dreams and ambitions into it. Just think how happy that girl is to be "published." Will she remain happy? Will she think that the non-existent sales figures for her book are because she's just a horrible writer? Or will she finally discover the truth...?

This is a real person we're talking about. Whether the book is good or bad or whatever is irrelevant. She took the time to write it, just like you did. She deserves to at least have a real chance.

My two cents, anyway.

roncouch
08-10-2008, 03:08 AM
I define saying negative things about scams with the intention of exposing misinformation to potential victims as "warning", regardless of whether the scammers change or not. I believe that warning people is important.

If I could save someone the heartache of a scam, I would too. I didn't flip-flop did I? :) Ron


Good luck with getting your book commercially published!

Thanks, Queen!