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Bonnie Bjornstad
04-26-2006, 11:24 PM
I have just joined a friend to start co-authoring his books. Our next manuscript will go to the publisher in about a month. His first book was published by Publish America earlier this year. Contrary to all the negative reports and such that I read about Publish America on this forum, he he never encountered any of them. He elected to submit his manuscript "as is" - without any editing on their part. To date, he has had 2 book signings. His book is on the shelves at Barnes and Noble in Hoover, AL, and will soon be carried by one of our local stores here in Cullman, as soon as they can order them from the publisher. All of his experiences with Publish America have been positive and all dealings with them above-board. So we plan to stay with Publish America, since we have not experienced anything negative in our dealings with them.

eldragon
04-26-2006, 11:27 PM
What is the title of the book?

LloydBrown
04-26-2006, 11:57 PM
His first book was published by Publish America earlier this year. Contrary to all the negative reports and such that I read about Publish America on this forum, he he never encountered any of them.

Hi, there. Welcome to AW.

When you say your friend never encountered any of the problems we've mentioned about PA, does that mean his books are returnable at a competitive discount through normal channels?

Does that mean that he has discussed marketing with a publicist in PA's employ?

Does that mean that stores are stocking his books without his involvement?

Did PA arrange those signings for him?

If it's been out for over a month, how many hundreds or thousands of books has he sold?

James D. Macdonald
04-26-2006, 11:59 PM
Congratulations to your friend.

Do remember to stop by next September to let us know how things are going.


[ETA]

1) What are your goals?

2) What are the objective criteria for knowing if you've achieved them?

DeePower
04-27-2006, 12:24 AM
In your public profile you say you want to:

help my co-author to realize his dream of becoming a self-supporting full-time writer

How are you going to do that if you and he stay with Publish America?

The average PA title sells about 75 copies (more or less). Even if all those copies have earned royalties, that's only about $100.

The most copies a PA book has ever sold was around 5000, that's a royalty check of a little over $5000. (BTW this isn't a real life example, the author actually bought most of those 5000 copies.)

The problems with PA arise after the book has been released and the author realizes that it won't be stocked in bookstores, reviewed by mainstream newspapers or bought by libraries. The first royalty statement usually shows dismal sales and a pitiful check.

You know, if you want, you can get an idea of how many copies your friend's book has sold to bookstores. Ingram is the distributor for PA, their automated inventory system can be reached at 615-213-6803. After the message punch in the ISBN of the title. You can find out how many sold last year, this year so far, how many are on order, and how many copies are in stock.

In any event, best of luck with your writing.

Dee

Gravity
04-27-2006, 12:31 AM
Odd. Why is it I get the picture in my mind of a little red MG Spyder hurtling full-tilt toward a Norman-era brick wall...? At any rate, Bonnie, best of luck to you.

And as a former PA author I can truthfully say, God knows you'll need it. Peace.

John

Glenda
04-27-2006, 12:44 AM
I have just joined a friend to start co-authoring his books. Our next manuscript will go to the publisher in about a month. His first book was published by Publish America earlier this year. Contrary to all the negative reports and such that I read about Publish America on this forum, he he never encountered any of them. He elected to submit his manuscript "as is" - without any editing on their part. To date, he has had 2 book signings. His book is on the shelves at Barnes and Noble in Hoover, AL, and will soon be carried by one of our local stores here in Cullman, as soon as they can order them from the publisher. All of his experiences with Publish America have been positive and all dealings with them above-board. So we plan to stay with Publish America, since we have not experienced anything negative in our dealings with them.

Has he received any royalty check yet? His experince with PA may change a lot for him then.

Sassenach
04-27-2006, 12:46 AM
To date, he has had 2 book signings. His book is on the shelves at Barnes and Noble in Hoover, AL, and will soon be carried by one of our local stores here in Cullman, as soon as they can order them from the publisher.

Nice, but not exactly impressive.

I'd be intereted in knowing how many copies have been sold.

CaoPaux
04-27-2006, 01:48 AM
What is the title of the book?I'll buy the next round if this ain't it:

http://www.publishamerica.com/testimonials/default.asp?Page=160


"Last night with tornado warnings I was at my first major book signing. It was at the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Hoover, Al. (a suburb) of Birmingham. The manager on duty appologized for it being so slow on a Friday. I told him that it was due to the warnings of the approaching tornado weather system. In just 4 1/2 hours I managed to sell and sign 8 copies of my book. The entire staff invited me to stay till closing but I had to get home before the storms hit. They invited me to return when my next book is published. I intend to have my next book ready to submit to PA by the end of this month."
Frederick Arceneaux, "Soul To Soul Conversations With Jesus"

astonwest
04-27-2006, 02:37 AM
His book is on the shelves at Barnes and Noble in Hoover, AL, and will soon be carried by one of our local stores here in Cullman, as soon as they can order them from the publisher.Hopefully this store doesn't run into the ordering problems many others do...

Kevin Yarbrough
04-27-2006, 02:39 AM
Just know, Bonnie, that if the book starts selling good and bookstores want to stock it PA will terminate the contract. They can't deal with that kind of distribution, nor do they want to.

Also, just because you haven't had problems yet doesn't mean you won't in the future. Tell your friend to hold off sending PA his next book for a while. Look at how many people on here sent in two books during their honeymoon period only to find out what PA really was like about a year later.

Hope things go well and don't think I'm trying to persuade you not to use PA for the next book, just wait and see how PA turns out in the future. Remember Grandma looked like Grandma until Little Red noticed her teeth.

LloydBrown
04-27-2006, 06:56 AM
Also, just because you haven't had problems yet doesn't mean you won't in the future.

Yeah. The absence of a problem in the past does not guarantee its absence in the future. I haven't DIED yet, but I'd bet on it some time within the next 100 years.

janetbellinger
04-27-2006, 07:10 AM
I am impressed that your friend has managed to reverse B & N's policy of not stocking PA books. I also would like to know the title of the book. Congratulations.

Janet
05-18-2006, 08:22 PM
Hi everyone, it has been a while since I have been on. I would like to say that Mr Matthews has not had any problems so far. But, we have found out that PA marketing stinks, they sell the book for $3 less than the retail price and shipping is outrageous. They kept him on the phone for over an hour for his first order and being in Wales, that amounted to over $200 American. He got so fed up he had them call him back so he could finish the order. I must say the book looks very nice so that they did well. We did the editing but got some very good tips from the editor assigned to the book. We are not happy that we can not see from PA how many books have sold yet and we have been doing a lot of foot work ourselves, especially Allan, to get the book out there. Yes, lots of purchases of our own unfortunately but he has sold almost all of those and made his money back and then some. He will not be sending the next book to PA. We are in the process of looking for a good publisher that will not cost or at least cost an arm and a leg.
I have one question- could someone tell us a good number of books to take to a book signing please.
Thanks for all the help and input and I will be watching the forums, Blessings, Jan for Allan Matthews. Oh yeh, I am now his agent so can do a lot of questioning for him at PA. NOt like it will mean anything.

Sassenach
05-18-2006, 08:27 PM
Hi everyone, it has been a while since I have been on. I would like to say that Mr Matthews has not had any problems so far. But, we have found out that PA marketing stinks, they sell the book for $3 less than the retail price and shipping is outrageous. They kept him on the phone for over an hour for his first order and being in Wales, that amounted to over $200 American. He got so fed up he had them call him back so he could finish the order. I must say the book looks very nice so that they did well. We did the editing but got some very good tips from the editor assigned to the book. We are not happy that we can not see from PA how many books have sold yet and we have been doing a lot of foot work ourselves, especially Allan, to get the book out there. Yes, lots of purchases of our own unfortunately but he has sold almost all of those and made his money back and then some. He will not be sending the next book to PA. We are in the process of looking for a good publisher that will not cost or at least cost an arm and a leg.
I have one question- could someone tell us a good number of books to take to a book signing please.
Thanks for all the help and input and I will be watching the forums, Blessings, Jan for Allan Matthews. Oh yeh, I am now his agent so can do a lot of questioning for him at PA. NOt like it will mean anything.


If you're his 'agent' you ought to know that writers never pay to be published.

You two are doing exactly what PA wants--buying large quantities of books. That's where they make their money.

Tilly
05-18-2006, 08:31 PM
Hi Jan :)

Another problem he will run into, given he is in Wales, is that his royalty payments are going to be in dollars.

I'm concerned that you are looking for a publisher that won't cost you an arm and a leg. It shouldn't cost anything. Publishers pay writers for their work.

Another concern is that you are acting as his agent. An agent will normally have a good relationship with editors, an existing reputation for sending them work they will be interested in, and will have the expertise to negotiate the best possible contract for the writer. A new agent will normally have worked in the publishing industry, and usually at another agency, thus aquiring the expertise, skills and contacts they need. I'm sure you have his best interests at heart, but without this experience and expertise, I'm concerned that this is not a role through which you will best be able to support your friend.

I wish both of you all the best.

Janet
05-18-2006, 08:34 PM
No, I did not knowthat as I am his agent to allow me to order for him at his discount. It cost him a small fortune to order the books that he had sold before ordering them. I to am learning. So, if an author never pays to be published then where should he take his next book please. We are always open for everyones help. I know that we are playing into their hands but at this point what else can we do. The book must get out there and since we are the ones that have to do what other choice do we have please.

Gravity
05-18-2006, 08:36 PM
Oh, Lord...I feel for these folks. In the far distance, it seems I can hear John Fogarty wailing about a Bad Moon Risin'. Just plain sad, what those yahoos from Frederick do to people.

Tilly
05-18-2006, 08:42 PM
Go into Waterstones or Ottakers and look for similar books. Take a note of who the publisher is, and query them.

For agents, get a copy of the Writer's and Artists' Handbook, look for agents who represent similar types of book. Check they have genuine sales to commercial publishers, and submit to them following their guidelines to the letter.

I think you'll find the links at the top of this page very useful:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=792

Sheryl Nantus
05-18-2006, 08:45 PM
"the book must get out there" - why? Are you dealing with time-sensitive material? Is the author at an age where dealing with a legitimate publisher would take too long?

if you must rush a book out there then go to Lulu and at least have full control over it. It won't be much of anything that the public will ever see, but at least you'll be free of PA's grip.

and don't call yourself an agent, please. A real agent wouldn't ever talk about paying to be published.

Tilly
05-18-2006, 08:48 PM
The book must get out there and since we are the ones that have to do what other choice do we have please.

If you want readers, then commercial publishers who get their books on bookshop shelves are who you need to shoot for. Any company where the business model is to sell books back to the author (Vanity presses, which either charge upfront, or add it to the cost of each book they sell you, as PA does) simply aren't designed to get books out there.

Janet
05-18-2006, 08:50 PM
Sorry, okay, not his agent but his helper. We did not know what to call me to PA. It is not that there is a rush to get the book out there, it just needs to be seen so the new book that follows can be seen. Like I said, we are just learning, the hard way it seems, and value what you all say.

veinglory
05-18-2006, 09:00 PM
If you are so impatient to see a hardcopy that you wish to self-publish take a few days at least to compare the self-publishing options. It is not just that PA is a vanity press, it's that it is a terrible vanity press. As mentioned above, check out Lulu.

Or consider whether taking a few months to find a traditional publisher, even a small press, is worth the extra hundreds of readers (at the very least). Being 'out there' only matters if it gets you in the hands of readers.

Best of luck with your publishing journey.

Tilly
05-18-2006, 09:06 PM
Another issue would be selling the second book in a series when the first is contracted to PA. Is it possible for the author to make the second one a stand alone book?

janetbellinger
05-18-2006, 09:43 PM
Hi everyone, it has been a while since I have been on. I would like to say that Mr Matthews has not had any problems so far. But, we have found out that PA marketing stinks, they sell the book for $3 less than the retail price and shipping is outrageous. They kept him on the phone for over an hour for his first order and being in Wales, that amounted to over $200 American. He got so fed up he had them call him back so he could finish the order. I must say the book looks very nice so that they did well. We did the editing but got some very good tips from the editor assigned to the book. We are not happy that we can not see from PA how many books have sold yet and we have been doing a lot of foot work ourselves, especially Allan, to get the book out there. Yes, lots of purchases of our own unfortunately but he has sold almost all of those and made his money back and then some. He will not be sending the next book to PA. We are in the process of looking for a good publisher that will not cost or at least cost an arm and a leg.
I have one question- could someone tell us a good number of books to take to a book signing please.
Thanks for all the help and input and I will be watching the forums, Blessings, Jan for Allan Matthews. Oh yeh, I am now his agent so can do a lot of questioning for him at PA. NOt like it will mean anything.

Bye the way, in case anybody is wondering, I did not post this. My name is Janet Bellinger. The poster of this message is another Janet but she is not me.

janetbellinger
05-18-2006, 09:49 PM
Just because a book is published does not mean it is a good book. Paying to have a book published does not mean it will reach a wide audience. In fact, if it is not a good book, it will work against the author, for if people read it and think it isn't good writing, they will be sure to avoid buying another title of that author's in the future. Also, as many people have already pointed out on these boards, self published, vanity published and POD published books are not considered a legitimate writing credit and so do not mean that the author of said books is a published author.

Janet
05-18-2006, 09:50 PM
No, I am not you. You are much more experienced in this than either of us. We are just looking for help. Obviously, from what I am reading, we have been screwed sideways and will def find another publisher, try to make the new book stand alone. Sorry to have called myself an agent, I know I dont have that kind of experience yet. The book is beautiful and we are trying to get it out into the world since PA only puts it on certain web sites. Believe it or not it is really selling in certain places and not just by us doing it. That is the result of lots of advertising in many many places.

Tilly
05-18-2006, 09:53 PM
No, I am not you. You are much more experienced in this than either of us. We are just looking for help. Obviously, from what I am reading, we have been screwed sideways and will def find another publisher, try to make the new book stand alone. Sorry to have called myself an agent, I know I dont have that kind of experience yet. The book is beautiful and we are trying to get it out into the world since PA only puts it on certain web sites. Believe it or not it is really selling in certain places and not just by us doing it. That is the result of lots of advertising in many many places.

We're all new at some point :). Given the nature of the book, there might be useful things for you on the Arts Council of Wales site:
http://www.artswales.org/

Janet
05-18-2006, 09:56 PM
Thank you Tilly

KarlaRose
05-23-2006, 06:43 AM
Hi:
I had two of my books published by PublishAmerica. The first one "MS Won't Get Me Down" I choose the editing by PA and the cover design as well as the book itself was very good.
The second book, a novel titled "Lives Intertwined" was also very satisfactory und the people who bought it found it well-presented.

And yes, since last year PA's books are returnable. I have written to Mansfield, Ohio's Barnes and Noble and Walden Books with my news releases but have not heard from them. Tomorrow our local newspaper will interview me and take pictures of me and the two books.


I haven't tried to get bookings because being afflicted with multiple sclerosis I'm unable to drive or walk much. My family works and is unable to chauffeur me around, so I have to rely on snail mail, e-mail and telephone.

Best to you all

KarlaRose

James D. Macdonald
05-23-2006, 07:14 AM
Best to you too, KarlaRose.

I see that one of your books has been out for about a year, the other for about six months. How have sales been?

Tilly
05-23-2006, 03:55 PM
Hi Karla:welcome:

Unfortunately, the return policy PA brought in makes it even harder for bookstores to take PA books, as it reduced the discount they get to 5%.

janetbellinger
05-23-2006, 07:57 PM
No, I am not you. You are much more experienced in this than either of us. We are just looking for help. Obviously, from what I am reading, we have been screwed sideways and will def find another publisher, try to make the new book stand alone. Sorry to have called myself an agent, I know I dont have that kind of experience yet. The book is beautiful and we are trying to get it out into the world since PA only puts it on certain web sites. Believe it or not it is really selling in certain places and not just by us doing it. That is the result of lots of advertising in many many places.

No, I am not that experienced. So far, PA has been the only book publisher I've had a contract with. I got out of that contract last month. I am also not the brightest bulb when it comes to agents as I signed with NY Literary then had to cancel with them, too.

janetbellinger
05-23-2006, 07:59 PM
Good luck, KarlaRose.

PattiTheWicked
05-23-2006, 09:32 PM
I think this statement:


I would like to say that Mr Matthews has not had any problems so far.

is pretty much negated by everytjhing that follows it. I'd certainly consider these issues to be problems.

If his book is publishable, sell it to a publisher. A real one, not one who makes you buy all the copies yourself and then pimp them off to friends and family. A real publisher, one that pays the author.

As Uncle Jim always says, money flows TOWARDS the writer.

You say the book "is selling really well in certain places". How do you know that, if PA hasn't given you any sales figures?

FolkloreFanatic
05-23-2006, 09:58 PM
Why is it the the "happiest PA customers" are all people who post once and don't usually return?

Hmmm.

Sassenach
05-23-2006, 10:05 PM
They're itty bitty sock puppet people.

janetbellinger
05-23-2006, 10:10 PM
I think this statement:



is pretty much negated by everytjhing that follows it. I'd certainly consider these issues to be problems.

If his book is publishable, sell it to a publisher. A real one, not one who makes you buy all the copies yourself and then pimp them off to friends and family. A real publisher, one that pays the author.

As Uncle Jim always says, money flows TOWARDS the writer.

You say the book "is selling really well in certain places". How do you know that, if PA hasn't given you any sales figures?

It probably really is "selling well in certain places," - it's selling well to the author, as most PA books do.

PattiTheWicked
05-23-2006, 11:34 PM
Durn it, you got me there :)

MartyKay
07-26-2006, 06:42 AM
They're itty bitty sock puppet people.

Where?? :tongue

Alan Yee
07-26-2006, 06:53 AM
Janet? Sockpuppet? I distinctly remember a nice conversation I had with her in NEPAT, which I think I recovered from cache?

Not Janetbellinger, but the one who just goes by Janet. I could be confusing her with someone else, but I remember her thanking me for explaining something to her and complimenting me about my age.

Oh wait, I think you were talking about KarlaRose. My mistake. :Headbang: Janet's legit. Both of them.