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capitalistwriter
09-09-2003, 08:23 PM
How do you get out of a contract? That's tough. You could always offer to buy the rights back, but then they might demand large sums of money.

Your best hope is probably to find a way in which they have failed to live up to their end--some way that they have breached the contract. In that case getting out is relatively easy, but still might require a visit to court.

This is one reason to be very careful about reading contracts before you sign them. Yes, I know, they are usually long and boring and it's a lot easier to just skim over the stuff you don't understand. DON'T DO IT! Read every word and--more importantly--understand it BEFORE you sign!

Good luck, LadyMyst.

tunskit
10-17-2003, 01:44 AM
I've been over my PA contract about a dozen times looking for an out. As far as I can tell, there isn't one. I remember reading on one of the PA boards that an author had been offered a publishing contract by a real publisher, but PA wouldn't let him out. My guess is, you're stuck until the seven years are up. I know exactly how you feel. I think the book with PA is fairly good, but I'm ashamed to have them listed as its publisher, so I've made little effort to publicize it.

Kit

marky48
10-17-2003, 03:19 AM
I feel your pain. I put in a request to PA today that I want to end our relationship, such as it is. I made note of the fact that I received no so-called promotion cited in the said contract and the fact that they behaved unprofessionally in their responses to my concerns.

I was also banned from their website for confronting them. I've not had a response, and they haven't returned digital pictures I submitted with a test manuscript last spring. Since I gave them an already published POD book (they solicited such works) I don't think they have much of a case regardless of so-called rights, but we'll see. I mean iUniverse can still sell the same book and is at a lower price and different ISBN. The 49 copy thread has more. I say challenge them, they'll fold.

RebelWriter
10-17-2003, 05:29 AM
I agree, they don't even have a real office. Their apartment. I didn't get any promotion either. On amazon theres no info on my novel, just the title. Can't sell that way. My books aren't in real stores. The books are larger than regular paperback books. Too pricy also. Trouble doing promoting, cause most don't like PA. Don't take any of its writers seriously. How many are like us? If we did it together, stuck together. Without their spies who frecent these boards.

marky48
10-17-2003, 07:22 AM
Then tell them. I did, but they won't respond.

marky48
10-17-2003, 09:06 PM
This is a PA clone; everything is identical. It's a POD but royalties are higher that the 8% PA pays. "The Magic Fart?" I think that says it all. And the PA thing is in no way settled. Many PA authors come here complaining but only one is still holding court in PA's defense. Of course he has yet to have his book released so denial is still in full swing. PA authors should rescind their contracts immediately.

RebelWriter
10-19-2003, 01:52 AM
I had thought the site seemed a lot like PA. I want books in regular stores, I don't mind e-publishing, and audio, as long as they are in real bookstores. Don't want to get caught again. PA was enough for me. I was wondering if anyone had heard of any investigations, or legal action against PA. Considering what they do to the writers. If there isn't somewhere we can get help. To stop it. To save our books? PA is spending a lot of money adverising themselves, not us in magazines and all. Yet they can't be bothered to put our covers and info out for the readers. Other publishers and agents don't consider us published at all. Any ideas?

marky48
10-19-2003, 02:21 AM
Rebel, I'd be glad to work with you. I've tried breaking my contract with PA but they won't respond. Victoria at writer beware is more versed and experienced at battling them than I. She seems to think it could be a sticky affair legally since it is unlikely PA will cooperate. The fact that some authors are charged for 49+ books in stock (for a POD!) to leave is another sore point from our perspective. They can keep the rights for 7 years if we don't pay them. In their dreams at least.

I suggest trying to break your contract as I have and see if we can get a response. Generally all I get here is insulted by POD and PA authors defending these companies; even with the continued help of three professionals they still refute POD scamming is ocurring at all. There will always be willing customers as P.T. Barnum pointed out. I say fight them. Contact me. I don't know who you are at PA.
www.geocities.com/mark_y1/index.html (http://www.geocities.com/mark_y1/index.html)

RebelWriter
10-19-2003, 02:35 AM
Hi Marky
I hadn't heard about the book buying requirement. That isn't listed on the contract. Know any witches? Put a nice curse on the b..... I hate them. I wrote and they haven't answered me yet. They ignore me because I complained, earlier. Even when they didn't promote our books, told us the books would be in real stores and weren't? Who has the money for a court battle? If there were a lot of us, and we all did it the same time, and maybe put it on a site, that we did, and why. Perhaps we could get out of it together. What have you heard about the best way to fight them? I have found that they only print 5 books at a time. Until those are gone they don't print any more. The printer holds those books. So why so many? They lie.

marky48
10-19-2003, 03:11 AM
Rebel,
I think I know who you are but your privacy is up to you. It's in the contract par#24, and on the 49 copy thread here. It says that they sometimes decide a book is no longer marketable and actually kick the authors out, and charge them on the back side so to speak. Witchcraft is out of my realm as a "naturalist." The company is a borderline criminal operation by Willem Meiners. Based on what I've seen herding cats is simple compared to organizing PA authors in revolt.

Even as we speak they are giving reports from Iceland and pumping out more books all the time. The authors think that if they get group signings it will help, and they'll drive to Ohio to get one. It's sad really. Real authors don't rely on such stunts. Let me know if you can find more who will join in. I don't know the people. The two I've warned won't respond. Take care.

tunskit
10-20-2003, 06:19 AM
I'd love to break my contract with them, but haven't figured out how yet. Recently, a PA author posted on one of their threads that he had an offer from a NY publisher, but PA wouldn't let him out of the contract. There must be a way, but I haven't found it.

RebelWriter
10-20-2003, 06:29 AM
An idea. Since some of want out, and there are probably a lot of us, since there are so many posting that. If we serf the net, and contact all those who feel as we do. Get together do a petition, and post it on the net as well. So all will know. Plus sending it to PA. We could stick together. Maybe that lawyer could help us. There are lots of sites out there, where writers go, just need to get everyone together, without the PA spies, and staff coming around.
I see where PA is banning some after they even dare to go to another message board. We need someone with clout to help us out here. Someone who knows what to do. Organize this, revolt. Can they stand against a load of writers who want out, and their rights returned. IF its all over the net, and their responces or lack there of?

marky48
10-20-2003, 08:05 AM
I've heard from another PA author who they wouldn't let out so this is a real thing with them. I plan to write something up for 60 Minutes. People will be contacted that want to.

RebelWriter
10-20-2003, 08:15 AM
Good idea Marky,
I have heard of things changing a lot when 60 minutes runs a story on them. If they did, it just might be the way to solve this.

writingal
10-20-2003, 05:12 PM
Hey, when you contact 60 Minutes please also mention to them Mars Publishing/Parent's Guide Press and how that company has cheated authors. You can read more about the company under that heading on the Bewares Board.

marky48
10-21-2003, 12:07 AM
Done.

RebelWriter
10-21-2003, 02:22 AM
a lot of publishers and agents need to be revealed. But right now its Publish Americas turn. Since we have been burned by them. Too bad we couldn't find a lawyer that would take up the cause, and represent all of us.

There are too many crooked so called professional in the publishing business, and too many writers are getting caught. PA is taking in more than any other publisher it looks like.

There must be more places that could get involved with this. I guess we lose our $10 for the year. But its either be a sheep or be the wolf. Anybody think Oprah would listen? Since she got so much from PA?

marky48
10-21-2003, 04:28 AM
What did Oprah get from PA? pacwritr said he sent 60 minutes an e-mail too, so maybe everyone should. Firethem a line and mention me so we're all tied together.

RebelWriter
10-21-2003, 04:41 AM
I believe it was the other site that PAcwriter was on. I went over there. THere was a thing about Oprah, she thanked PA at an awards dinner I think. For giving so many books, and money to something. Don't remember the details. But PA is trying to make everyone think they are real. Gave more than any other publisher in cash. Our money.
Do you have an email for 60 minutes? What did you say? We need to find more places to do this as well. I will write if you tell me where. Put a link for us. I will give it to others that I find as well.
Let me know if Pacwriter hears anything from his lawyer. There has to be an out, without costing us our books, and the money they have earned so far. If any.

marky48
10-21-2003, 05:12 AM
60II@cbsnews.com You'll notice Oprah never made of an actual PA book. Pacwriter seems to be indeeper doo-doo than the rest of us. He'll let us know.

RebelWriter
10-21-2003, 05:12 AM
48hours@cbsnews.com (48hours@cbsnews.com) 60II@cbsnews.com (60II@cbsnews.com)
here are the two to write too. 60 minutes 2, and 48 hours investigates. For all those who want to add to the disgrunted author pile who want justice.

RebelWriter
10-21-2003, 06:42 AM
Got an idea, when we are surfing, and find sites with disgrunted PA authors. How about we let them know about 48 hours and 60 minutes the email addresses and ask them if they want to join us and send emails too?

How many are there so far? Others on other message boards here as well?

marky48
10-21-2003, 07:11 AM
I don't know maybe 6 or 7 so far.

RebelWriter
10-21-2003, 07:42 AM
Its a start, Rome wasn't built in a day. But I think a avalanche is coming down on a certain company. We just keep looking for more writers, and giving them info, seeing who will join us. Do you think anyone at P & E would be interested? I wonder what 60 minutes and 48 hours will say? One of them has to do something.

nuartjazz
10-22-2003, 05:28 AM
Who is PA?

finerthingsinlife
10-22-2003, 05:42 AM
Why is PA the anti-christ? And for the record I am no PA author, employee, associate etc etc.

1. They publish the book at no cost to the author -- that makes them one bit better than a POD I guess.

2. They have a c**p contract -- so do others, but if you know what you're signing so be it

3. They don't market -- there are more than a few other publishers both POD & trad guilty of that one. If that is in their contract, then that is misleading, but come on we all know the truth about them, POD's and the rest

4. Their no-return policy is a REAL problem with booksellers -- other publishers have issues here too

5. They have no pre-purchase/order qualification--so again not really evil.

From what I gleaning, they are far, far from ideal but not necessarily the evil empire. The contract sucks, but if you sign it knowing that, then they seem to deliver. Am I missing something here? Please tell me what the 'conspiracy' theory is, because I just don't get it.

And...before you start, I never dsaid I was a MENSA candidate!

marky48
10-22-2003, 07:29 AM
It would be easier for you to go the outside board and read it. They claim to be traditional but only publish POD. They claim to promote; the claim to stock books in a real store. They don't. And yes, I wouldn't take the MENSA test yet if I were you.

RebelWriter
10-22-2003, 08:42 AM
hey Marky,
spy in our midst? Only a author at PA would know what is what. Othersiders don't understand. Anyone can be taken. Some think we chose this with our eyes opened. Not.
Found anything new? I am still looking. No one who has ordered my book has gotten it yet. After more than 5 weeks. People are complaining to me about it. Maybe mine has been shelved without my knowledge. But no one has gotten their money back either. I told everyone, they had better hurry, if they want one. They should have ordered from someone other than PA. Got it from my site.

finerthingsinlife
10-24-2003, 07:24 AM
I just came back to read the message and I find I have been slammed. Things get personal here really quickly it seems.

For record:

I am not a spy or a PA author. I was offered a PA contract which I read, researched, asked questions, and threw away. I have recently signed with a more respectable small press.

My questions were made for clarification only. I was looking for the breach of contract. The failure to promote and not supplying review copies seem to be the bone of the issue. The fact that will or seem to accept any manuscript is in itself not a crime--just a pity for the other small presses out there.

As to the MENSA comment...I really don't have to defend myself but the record I have a Bachelors and Masters all from a very old and reputed English university. I have also been a VP, CEO etc (and no not of dot coms, I mean real businesses). I will never claim to be a genius but I am far from an idiot.

Overall, the messages have varied from emotional rants to more reasoned comments. I happen to prefer the latter is all.

The saddest thing about PA et al, is that they trade on dreams. To tread roughly or debase those is the biggest sin of all IMHO.

marky48
10-24-2003, 07:50 AM
Finer, unfortunately I wouldn't have guessed you have a master's so that's a communication problem. You seem to be a PA apologist and since many are praising your published novel, I would suggest you reveal who they are. We've seen this sort of thing before. PA isn't so bad? It just won't fly very far. Who published you that allows you to comapare the two.

finerthingsinlife
10-24-2003, 08:13 AM
I don't intend to post here again--it really isn't worth the angst.

I am not, nor ever have been a PA 'apologist'. I would have thought a couple of my comments in my last message would have made that clear.

Quote 1
The fact that will or seem to accept any manuscript is in itself not a crime--just a pity for the other small presses out there.

Quote 2
The saddest thing about PA et al, is that they trade on dreams. To tread roughly or debase those is the biggest sin of all IMHO.

Marky, I don't support them, do dislike them, and I am sorry if I came across otherwise.

I have also NEVER said anyone is praising my work. Don't know where that came from.

I will not name my publisher here for one reason only--I don't want them to get dragged into this.

If you thought I was defending PA I was not. I wish you best luck with the campaign, and with that I will close. But I will reiterate the point that their business sins aside
"The saddest thing about PA et al, is that they trade on dreams. To tread roughly or debase those is the biggest sin of all IMHO." I think that is the worst type of crime.

Tish Davidson
10-24-2003, 09:17 AM
Seems to me the only reason for not naming your publisher is that you either don't have one or are ashamed of the one you have. No one is "dragging them in" to anything. Why should we take you seriously if you're being so evasive?

marky48
10-24-2003, 09:17 AM
I agree with the closing. Protecting the publisher just leaves one wondering with all these charletons running rampant, you know? The problem is they, PA, don't accept "all" manuscripts. I tested that and actually had two turned down. I may have skewed the data though from the first one. I pushed it to see. This is nothing personal. We're just trying to police grifters. It may not work in the free market.

"I have also NEVER said anyone is praising my work. Don't know where that came from."

It comes from those on the anouncements thread you started.

marky48
10-24-2003, 09:18 AM
Again, Tish is reading my mind. Or damn close to it.

DaveKuzminski
10-24-2003, 06:30 PM
I do not blame Finer for not revealing the name of his publisher. There are individuals who will post villifying comments about companies that publish other individuals with whom they are arguing simply because they are willing to advance their own agendas at any cost. I mention this because I know it happens. It's happened to some of my publishers.

In the meantime, thank you, Finer, for sharing your thoughts.

McInnes
10-24-2003, 07:28 PM
I have been coming back to this topic and reading its posts simply because I thought that maybe a group of writers were actually going to work together on a common cause.

Much to my dismay, I see a few of those who have posted gang up on someone because that person is simply turning the coin over to see the other side of the issue. Playing 'devil's advocate' is a very necessary step. It determines what your opponent's argument might be when they are faced with a threat.

I have been coming to this board for a couple of years now and it seems that the people who are posting here lately are only doing so to stir things up.

Try positive thinking for a change people - it's much more productive. Also, try to listen to others who may not necessarily agree with you, you might learn something.

RebelWriter
10-24-2003, 08:11 PM
It is they that are telling us we are wrong. We have heard it all from othe PA authors who disagree. We know their views. People pretending to be authors that are actually PA staff come on and try to make us look like trouble. When we are fighting for what is right. Against a publisher who misrepresents itself, and takes advantage of authors. I have no intention of making comments against other publishers that published someone. Has no baring on me. My concern is with one publisher. Where you lose either way. Either way you lose money and your book, with them. Everyone should be concerned about it, since it makes others think to start up something like it, cause PA got away with it. Not all writers are writing cause they want to simply be published, and don't care how many they sale. Some take it seriously.
If you needed surgery, and you signed for a percedure, and when you awakened and you found they had instead of getting rid of your hangnail, they had taken one of your kidneys and a lung and sold them. Would you say okay I signed the paper, so I got what I deserved? To us this is as serious. We've heard it all, and are trying to get things changed for the better. Do you not fight for anything that is important to you?

marky48
10-24-2003, 10:14 PM
Please, spare me the squishy Norman Vincent Peale line. What devil's advocate are you referring to? That's exactly the line of thinking that most of the duped PA writers use ad nauseam. You just don't like the question and neither does finer. She's afraid that her small publsher is right along those lines and so does Dave. We've been through it before.

I think the lack of merits of PA are well-documented. But they have many fierce defenders. No more of those are needed. The real question here is what constitutes "traditional" publishing. If nothing more than a thinly-disguised vanity POD then it makes no difference who goes with them. It's the same boat.

oracle
04-21-2006, 10:41 PM
Hello to all,

I continue to find it remarkable that in my semi-regular visits to this forum, I still find horror stories concerning PA. How this company has remained operational for seven years is beyond me. For those of you able to sit through a small novella (Pithy is not in my vocabulary) I would like to offer my opinion regarding PA's contract and an update on my wars with those dastardly scalawags. Here goes. Please be advised I am not giving legal advice.

How does one rescind a contract with PA? When I began my research, I had doubts they would release me. Due to the insightful comments by Ms. Strauss and Mr. MacDonald, two individuals who write as intelligently as most lawyers with whom I have done battle, and the ocntributions from the knowledgeable participants at the cooler, I gained more than a modicum of knowledge about that disreputabel company. Ever since I began my quest, I believe I have read every comment written about PA. I have conversed with disgruntled PA authors and others who have experienced the anguish of dealing with them. My condolences to all.

I should pay my thanks to PHil Dolan for his invaluable advice and attorney Charles Petit for the time he spent discussing my claim. I am indebted to both.

There are two methods one can pursue to sever relationships with THEM. You can send a pretty please e-mail begging them to release you and promising them you will never, ever say a bad word about their wonderful company. If you take this approach, you must be on your knees and bow respectfully in the direction of Frederick, Maryland. If they deign to accept your obseqious plea, they will require you to sign a release whereby you promise to forego making any disparaging comments about them for as long as you live. You may also have to promise them possession of your first born son.

The second approach allows you to retain your dignity and hoepfully cast a financial arrow into their hearts. This is by initiating arbitration proceedings with the American Arbitration Association, (AAA) a process which I have undertaken. Has anyone ever wondered why only one ex-author has won an arbitration case against PA? Possible it is because Phil Dolan may be the only one who has intitiated proceedings. I do not know this for a fact but suspect other authors with legitimate claims simply have not taken this step. In my analysis of PA, I believe they are vulnerable to a strong legal attack.

The basis of my claim is that PA, through their web site, e-mails and other propaganda, fraudulently induced me to sign with them and that by relying on said fraudulent inducements, I incurred financial and emotional detriment, i.e. damages. These specific terms are familiar in breach of contract cases.

As little as two months ago, PA's web site (they have since made some changes) promised that I would be one of an exclusive, limited number of authors that PA accepted into their family. "Over 80% of submissions are rejected," they proclaimed. In my Demand for Arbitration, I attached over 130 Exhibits, some of which exposed the above declaration to ridicule. PA will accept just about anything from anyone on any subject. I relied on this statement, among others, when I signed the contract.

PA's books are in all the major bookstores was another claim which enticed me to hand over a portion of my soul. Not according to the officers at the major bookstores was my reply. I personally checked out my local B&N and could not find one, count it, one book by a PA author. The store's manager informed me that they will only order a PA book if a customer requests such.

PA"s books are fully returnable. Maybe in Bejing but not in the fruited plains. This is the major reason bookstores refuse to stock PA's books.

PA's authors are invited to do book signings every day is a really laughable claim that is touted on PA's new web site. Really? Just applying logic, why would a bookstore, unless it is owned by a PA author, pay homage to a company that has an industry-wide reputation for unprofessionalism?

PA is not, in any sense of the word, a POD publisher. Ask any knowledgeable insider of the publishing industry and you will receive a refutation of that claim. PA is simply a modern day version of a vanity publisher attired in fraudulent clothes.

My next allegation concerns paragraph four of their contract. It reads, "Copyright shall be taken out in the name of Author in the USA, and in foreign countries." What would a reasonable person infer from that statement? That PA will do what it takes to copyright your manuscript is my interpretation. But all they do is provide the forms for the author to fill in and send to the copyright agency with a check for $30.00. In my opinion, this paragraph is an outright lie and could provide the basis for recission by itself.

Paragraph 17 states that sales promotion, advertising and publicity shall be at the Publisher's election and discretion.... What if the PUblsiher elects, in his diecretion, not to promote the book? This clause is very close to what I would consider to be a contract of adhesion, wherein one party assumes no duty at all but gains a contractual advantage.

I did not even bother to dissect the other paragraphs of the contract. Victoris Strauss' analysis is as good as I could produce. My point is there are several avenes wherby an individual could allege breach of contract or fraudulently inducement and obtain a favorable verdict.

If the above analysis is accurate, then why has only one individual been abel to prevail? Money is the only reason I could imagine. I expect to expend, not counting fees for expert witnesses, close to $2000 for the right to present my case. In my prayer for damages, I am requesting almost $9000 in actual damages and $60,000 in punitive damages. These are damages that some courts award to punish an especially egregious defendant and also act as a warning to other potential defendants. I do not know if the AAA will entertain such a request but believe it does have some merit. Here is how I arrived at this contention.

In every contract, there is an implied warranty of good faith, that each party will do nothing to retard the execution of said contract, that the parties will, in my words, act as professionals. My contention, one whcih I will strongly urge the arbitration panel to adopt, is that PA's inprofessional behavior, coupled with their misleading, fraudulent and false inducements, justifies the awarding of punitive damages.

Digression: After I sent my third e-mail requesting recission of the contract, I received a sarcastic and possible libelous response from a writer who did not have the courage to sign her, his or its name. The writer castigated me for my scurrilous behavior as a mother would chastise her child for misbehaving. (the big adjectives are mine not PA's. I doubt few employees know their meanig) It suggested I should apologize to PA for my unprofessional behavior. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! Now have any of you heard of a company or organization who communicates with clients in such a manner? I do not and I have been around since Taft was president.

This e-mail provides the basis for my request for punitives. It may be a stretch in defamatory actions but it affected me mentally and offended the individuals who read it, especially my two teenage sons. PA is an unprofessional company who specializes in browbeating and intimidating its clients. It defames individuals who dare stand up to it. It misleads hopeful authors who rely on its fraudulent inducements. It is a pimple on the world's derrier.

I hope that the above, opinion not advice, will help those in untenable positions with respect to PA. After I conlude my arbitrtion hearing, I will formulate some type of template which others may use if they file for arbitration. PA"s attoney, Victor Cartella, should have his copy of my Demand for Arbitration by Monday. Assuming he doesn't send the cops to my house as he did to another individual who was only expressing his First Amendment rights, I expect his reply within the seek. Even if he decides to release me from my contract, I still may decide to pursue my remedies. This company must be exposed so that others are not damaged. If I do not pervail, I hope those that follow will have more success. I will keep the cooler apprised of future developments. The best to you all.

Oracle signing off

JerseyGirl1962
04-21-2006, 11:32 PM
Best of luck, Oracle. :Thumbs:

JennaGlatzer
04-21-2006, 11:38 PM
Kick butt, oracle! But please don't pull up threads from 2003... we try to not let PublishAmerica threads take over the whole board, so I'm going to paste your post into the Never-Ending PublishAmerica Thread (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26537) and close this one.

Please do keep us updated on your progress-- we'll be cheering you on all the way.

James D. Macdonald
04-25-2006, 05:00 AM
Now that we're in our spiffy new sub-forum and non-thread-proliferation isn't so important, I've re-opened this thread.

Go for it, Oracle.

Other folks -- please keep this on-topic. "Me too!" and "Way to go!" posts should probably go in reputation point comments and private messages.

Fraser
01-11-2007, 09:12 AM
Hello everyone! I have read some of your comments, and concerns,regarding to Publish America. By law P.A. has to fulfill there
contract to the author as well.It is a binding contract to the two parties.
right now my lawyer is going over the contract of eight pages.I base his decision on weather to go with P.A. or not.I also checked into the B.B.B
And I cant see any real problems? please inform me if I am wrong?

DeadlyAccurate
01-11-2007, 09:17 AM
There's a sticky thread on this forum titled PA Contract Analysis (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21345) that you might want to read. I strongly advise that you look through all the stickied threads, especially the Neverending threads.

And welcome to the boards. I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than I will be able to come along and explain succinctly why you should not go with PA.

NicoleJLeBoeuf
01-11-2007, 11:42 AM
Fraser, don't put too much weight on finding no negatives from the BBB. They are worse than useless in this matter. As long as the complained-about business responds, the BBB is happy--even if the response is "Don't take that tone with us." Also, the last time that PA carried a not-recommended grade with BBB, they changed their name very slightly (in the Inc.s and the LLCs) so that the BBB would treat the renamed entity like a brand-new unrelated company without a spot on its record. So PA are once again BBB-approved without having to change a thing about how they actually function. Apparently the BBB are easily fooled, or no one's watching the database records for near-duplicates, or something.

(Someone else correct me if I got the details here wrong; that's the gist of it that I remember.)

James D. Macdonald
01-11-2007, 11:56 AM
Unless your lawyer is well-versed in publishing law (a specialty all in itself), he's unlikely to find the landmines in the PA contract.

The simple fact that you have to understand is that your book won't be in bookstores. PublishAmerica expects you to be your own best customer. If you want to sell books out of the trunk of your car -- go to Kinko's. You'll wind up paying less, and you won't have lost your publishing rights for seven years.

spike
01-11-2007, 02:44 PM
Hello everyone! I have read some of your comments, and concerns,regarding to Publish America. By law P.A. has to fulfill there
contract to the author as well.It is a binding contract to the two parties.
right now my lawyer is going over the contract of eight pages.I base his decision on weather to go with P.A. or not.I also checked into the B.B.B
And I cant see any real problems? please inform me if I am wrong?

Generally speaking, the BBB deals with consumer complaints. FWIU, the author is not considered a consumer, and the author/publisher relationship is considered a business to business relationship.

The problem is not that PA fails to meet the terms of the contract. The problem is that the contract is not standard for publishing. This includes a decent discount for stores, a reasonable return policy, distribution, have a sales force and I'm sure more that some one else can tell you.

None of these things are mentioned in the contract. Are they in standard publishing contracts? I don't know. But I do know that is what publishers are supposed to do to earn their money.

An analogy would be if you contracted to have a house built. The builder fails to put plumbing in the house. While it seems that is part of a house, the contract never mentions plumbing in its definition of "house". The contract would claim that you would be responsible for anything not included in their "house" definition. Having a lawyer evaluate this contract would be useless if the lawyer didn't understand what normally goes into a house.

While researching PA, try googling some other publishers. Why aren't their disgruntled Random House Authors? Why don't people hate Tor?

PA is a terrible mistake. Please, don't do it!

xhouseboy
01-11-2007, 03:24 PM
Hello everyone! I have read some of your comments, and concerns,regarding to Publish America. By law P.A. has to fulfill there
contract to the author as well.It is a binding contract to the two parties.
right now my lawyer is going over the contract of eight pages.I base his decision on weather to go with P.A. or not.I also checked into the B.B.B
And I cant see any real problems? please inform me if I am wrong?

First problem, you're probably already in the hole to your lawyer. This is money you'll never see again. Sure, there are writers who employ a lawyer or agent to look over 'real' contracts, but the advance or the commission normally covers this. PA's dollar not going to go far for you here. Plus, most publishers aren't in the habit of issuing dodgy contacts that need going over with a magnifying glass. If anything, there may be clauses within the contracts that require renegotiation, but rarely major surgery.

Second problem: this will undoubtedly cost you more money. You'll be throwing good money after bad from here on in.

Third problem: PA are a bunch of crooks. Why are you even considering hooking up with them?

Fourth problem: There's just too many problems to mention with this company. We'd be here all day.

Don't do it. If it's book sales you're after, you'll regret it. Guaranteed.

SC Harrison
01-11-2007, 05:50 PM
Hello everyone! I have read some of your comments, and concerns,regarding to Publish America. By law P.A. has to fulfill there
contract to the author as well.It is a binding contract to the two parties.
right now my lawyer is going over the contract of eight pages.I base his decision on weather to go with P.A. or not.I also checked into the B.B.B
And I cant see any real problems? please inform me if I am wrong?

Fraser, do not base your decision solely on the lawyer's perusal of the contract. Do yourself a favor and read a little deeper in both the old and new NEPAT threads, and you will understand much better.

The bottom line? No matter what they say, PA is only interested in selling books to you.You won't be able to get real book reviews because it is POD, you won'T be able to have the book stocked in bookstores because of the price and extremely low discount/no return policy, so you will end up buying quantities of your book and peddling them out of your trunk.

If this is what you want to do, and selling 100 or so is all you aspire to, then go for it. If not, tear that contract up and keep working at it the right way. Trust me when I say that getting the thing "printed" is not the same as being published, and doing it all yourself is definitely not as fun as you think it is.

allenparker
01-11-2007, 06:40 PM
Hello everyone! I have read some of your comments, and concerns,regarding to Publish America. By law P.A. has to fulfill there
contract to the author as well.It is a binding contract to the two parties.
right now my lawyer is going over the contract of eight pages.I base his decision on weather to go with P.A. or not.I also checked into the B.B.B
And I cant see any real problems? please inform me if I am wrong?

The law is your bitter enemy in this contract.

If you really are determined to go with PA, let me offer some points that might help you. Remember, I am no lawyer and have not had any legal training.

I give you this from my experience dealing with PA.

First, accept nothing less than 25 author copies. It will be hard to get review copies sent out adn you will need them

Second, $500 is a reasonable figure for postage on the review copies you will need to send and for entry fees into IPPY'S and other contests. Change the $1 to $500. Pa has publically stated that they pay advances to $1000, so $500 should be a walk in the park.

Change the arbitration clause so that arbitration takes place in your state. You signed the contract in your state. It is easier for the arbitration to be in your state.


There are many other things that more knowledgeable people will share. If Jaws shows up to help, he is a wealth of knowledge on this subject.

Anyway, go luck...

DeadlyAccurate
01-11-2007, 08:47 PM
I'm going to go a step further and say that if, after finding this forum before you signed, you sign anyway, you will end up regretting it. Because this place is filled with documented information on the lies and deceptions PA has told, former PA authors who have described their experiences, links to additional information, professionals in the business who have explained time and again why this company is a rotten place to go to.

If you just want a printed copy of your book, go to LuLu.com or cafepress.com. If you want to be published, and I mean really published, like the way all those authors in your local bookstore are published, PublishAmerica doesn't count any more than LuLu.com or your local Kinko's does.

CatSlave
01-11-2007, 10:34 PM
First, accept nothing less than 25 author copies. It will be hard to get review copies sent out adn you will need them

Second, $500 is a reasonable figure for postage on the review copies you will need to send and for entry fees into IPPY'S and other contests. Change the $1 to $500. Pa has publically stated that they pay advances to $1000, so $500 should be a walk in the park.

Change the arbitration clause so that arbitration takes place in your state. You signed the contract in your state. It is easier for the arbitration to be in your state.

PA will give you a maximum of 5 author copies if you ask, but no more.

PA treats it's authors equally: they each get a symbolic $1 advance, but no more.

PA refuses to change or delete any of the language already pre-written into the contract. They will refuse to change the arbitration clause.

Look at your contract CAREFULLY and find the statement that says the ONLY agreements you have with PA are those that are in the signed contract. Any other agreements, verbal or otherwise, are of no account. In other words, regardless of what you have been promised in the emails and PA advertising, if it's not clearly spelled out in the contract, it doesn't exist. I believe it's Clause 23.

And don't be hopeful by the clause dealing with PA deciding on what type of marketing and book signings you'll get for your book. That's just to fool you into THINKING there will be marketing, but read it again. All you'll get is a poorly written announcement sent to your friends and neighbors from YOUR marketing list, urging THEM to buy your book. That's how they make their money, not in the brick-and-mortar bookstores. Don't even imagine your book will ever make it inside. And if you sign the contract, better plan on polishing your skills in bookmark and refrigerator magnet making, because the only marketing you're going to get is what you do yourself.

Sorry--the truth hurts.

JerseyGirl1962
01-11-2007, 11:40 PM
Hello everyone! I have read some of your comments, and concerns,regarding to Publish America. By law P.A. has to fulfill there
contract to the author as well.It is a binding contract to the two parties.
right now my lawyer is going over the contract of eight pages.I base his decision on weather to go with P.A. or not.I also checked into the B.B.B
And I cant see any real problems? please inform me if I am wrong?

Fraser,

Is your lawyer well-versed in publishing contracts? If not, he/she's probably not going to find anything wrong with the contract. Publishing contracts, from what I've read here and elsewhere, are very strange beasts. It's best to go with a specialized lawyer rather than a garden-variety contracts lawyer.

If you want to see what PA accepts, why don't you click on the link at the bottom of James M's post? Check it out (the ebook is free), and then decide for yourself if you want these people to touch your novel.

FWIW. Good luck.

~Nancy

HapiSofi
01-12-2007, 06:19 AM
Hello everyone! I have read some of your comments, and concerns,regarding to Publish America. By law P.A. has to fulfill there
contract to the author as well.It is a binding contract to the two parties.
right now my lawyer is going over the contract of eight pages.I base his decision on weather to go with P.A. or not.I also checked into the B.B.B
And I cant see any real problems? please inform me if I am wrong?
Hi, Fraser. Your lawyer can't help you.

PublishAmerica is a scam publisher. Don't argue. That's what they are. That's why this massive AW/PA message base exists. It's been added to again and again by miserable authors who've come to talk about what PA's done to them, and by the locals analyzing PA and trying to talk newbie writers out of signing contracts with them.

Here's the short version of why the PA contract is evil: it is literally impossible to read and interpret the PA contract correctly if you assume that they're operating in good faith.

For a longer version of that explanation, go here and read the post (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3960&postcount=2467).

James D. Macdonald
01-12-2007, 11:18 PM
By law P.A. has to fulfill there
contract to the author as well.It is a binding contract to the two parties.

Please notice where the contract says ""...at the Publisher's election and discretion." That means "...if we feel like it." See in the contract what they are actually required to do. The answer is: not much.