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bstevens
01-01-2007, 07:42 AM
I cannot believe the comments on here because I have had the most wonderful experience with PA inspite of all the negative crap on here. I knew about it before I signed and that is why I made sure to:

Edit my manuscript 3 times before submitting. I knew that a young, new company would not have the resources or finances to devote time to an UNKNOWN with no proven track record of sales. Especially when they didn't ask me for ONE CENT up front.

I knew that they would expect me to take responsibility for most of the promotion. Ask any well known author and they will tell you that promotion is mainly up to them. The publishers don't give much assistance.

I also knew that POD meant that my books will not be on a bookshelf. The fact that Amazon and other major PODs would sell for me online (an unknown author) just blew me away with gratitude.

If you have faith in your product you should invest some money in your own work(promotion, books, etc.). Just spend what you can afford. Realistically an unknown cannot expect to make huge amounts of money writing.

I think that anyone who has NOT SPENT A DIME and got their book published should be overflowing with gratitude to PA. Your contract did not stipulate that you had to buy some of your own products. Not only that they were good enough to give you 2 copies free!

My God people if NO MONEY has exchanged hands their is no scam!

Traditional publishers are upset with PA. A company like PA has a major effect on the volume of manuscripts they receive. They like to have everyone's good work sent to them to glance at and discard and send out a rejection letter. I am sure PA has beat them out of more than a few good manuscripts.

If I could I would kiss the hands of everyone at PA for rescuing poor unknown authors from the hellish rejection cycles of traditional publishers and the vanity publishers who ask you for thousands of dollars UP FRONT!!!

bstevens
01-01-2007, 07:56 AM
I don't know this PA...but all these people can't be wrong. And these people on this board are intelligent.
Thats like telling my daughter, a model to pay for modeling school to become a model...uh nope I don't think so. They pay you...you don't pay them.
Duh!

I agreed with everything they said about the little bit of editing and little bit of promotion. They're right.

WHY THE HECK SHOULD A COMPANY YOU'RE NOT PAYING A CENT DO EVERYTHING FOR YOU, FOR THE NOTHING YOU AGREED TO PAY THEM????

bstevens
01-01-2007, 08:00 AM
Publish America - The best thing to EVER happen to unknown authors
I cannot believe the comments on here because I have had the most wonderful experience with PA inspite of all the negative crap on here. I knew about it before I signed and that is why I made sure to:

Edit my manuscript 3 times before submitting. I knew that a young, new company would not have the resources or finances to devote time to an UNKNOWN with no proven track record of sales. Especially when they didn't ask me for ONE CENT up front.

I knew that they would expect me to take responsibility for most of the promotion. Ask any well known author and they will tell you that promotion is mainly up to them. The publishers don't give much assistance.

I also knew that POD meant that my books will not be on a bookshelf. The fact that Amazon and other major PODs would sell for me online (an unknown author) just blew me away with gratitude.

If you have faith in your product you should invest some money in your own work(promotion, books, etc.). Just spend what you can afford. Realistically an unknown cannot expect to make huge amounts of money writing.

I think that anyone who has NOT SPENT A DIME and got their book published should be overflowing with gratitude to PA. Your contract did not stipulate that you had to buy some of your own products. Not only that they were good enough to give you 2 copies free!

My God people if NO MONEY has exchanged hands their is no scam!

Traditional publishers are upset with PA. A company like PA has a major effect on the volume of manuscripts they receive. They like to have everyone's good work sent to them to glance at and discard and send out a rejection letter. I am sure PA has beat them out of more than a few good manuscripts.

If I could I would kiss the hands of everyone at PA for rescuing poor unknown authors from the hellish rejection cycles of traditional publishers and the vanity publishers who ask you for thousands of dollars UP FRONT!!!

SC Harrison
01-01-2007, 08:12 AM
Good luck. You're going to need it.

By the way...how long has your book been out?

CatSlave
01-01-2007, 08:15 AM
Publish America - The best thing to EVER happen to unknown authors
I cannot believe the comments on here because I have had the most wonderful experience with PA inspite of all the negative crap on here.

Oh, my. Somebody drank the Kool-Aid.

bstevens
01-01-2007, 08:37 AM
Good luck. You're going to need it.

By the way...how long has your book been out?

The official release will be January 15 but, already my friends who bought my book said they arrived beautifully packaged and within 5 days. PA just got their own printing press. They were contracting out before.

The book's cover is beautiful and the books are very nicely bound. I have my son selling for me in chicago. We got 55% off so we expect to make $10/copy at least.

I am doing my own promotion to a targeted list of bookclubs.

www.barbarastevensbooks.com (http://www.barbarastevensbooks.com)

bstevens
01-01-2007, 08:39 AM
Oh, my. Somebody drank the Kool-Aid.

I figure that even if they don't sell a single book for me and they continue to give me a good discount, I'll make a good part time income.

Some tips I received from another PA writer below:
1. Book sells through Amazon and you get standard royalties. Let’s say 10%. – $2
2. You buy the book and save 30%, therefore you earn $6.
3. You put the book in stores on consignment at 50% and you get 15%, still better than the basic royalty, an earning of $3.
4. You convince a store to purchase books on your behalf and you pay them a 5% fee for being the buyer. They get a 40% discount. You give them their 5%, get your 10% royalties and sell your books for an additional 35%, making 45% on the cover price. We’re up to $9.
5. You could put that book on consignment at 50/50 and split the 35% discount with Joe blow (which is 17.5%). Add the original 10% that you keep, and you’re still up to 27.5%.

The worst percentage you are going to get on your book is the royalty cheque you’ll receive.

The question isn’t who gets what for nothing; the question is how will you increase the amount paid to you on every sale?

I wanted to post a little bit about my own experience with consignment. Currently in the last 2 weeks I have gotten my book into 5 bookstores this way. These are all local bookstores.

LeslieB
01-01-2007, 08:43 AM
Oh. Oh dear.

You don't really think that when pro writers talk about contributing to the promotion of their book, they are talking about selling books out of their car trunks? Or pestering their local bookstores to carry their book? Or having to buy their own books for book signings? Do you?

xhouseboy
01-01-2007, 08:51 AM
I agreed with everything they said about the little bit of editing and little bit of promotion. They're right.

WHY THE HECK SHOULD A COMPANY YOU'RE NOT PAYING A CENT DO EVERYTHING FOR YOU, FOR THE NOTHING YOU AGREED TO PAY THEM????

Because they expect to recoup their outlay, and more, on the back-end by selling books straight to the author after the author has exhausted every method known to find an outlet willing to stock his/her book, and finds all doors firmly closed.

The book may well be a masterpiece, but PA has no interest in selling books through bookstores. Their business model is designed to encourage/force the author to buy from the company.

That said, good luck with your book.

bstevens
01-01-2007, 08:53 AM
Oh. Oh dear.

You don't really think that when pro writers talk about contributing to the promotion of their book, they are talking about selling books out of their car trunks? Or pestering their local bookstores to carry their book? Or having to buy their own books for book signings? Do you?

No, but MANY MANY professional writers started out with vanity publishers and had to shell out thousands of dollars to get their books printed and then had to sell so many out of cars, bookfairs, etc., before the REAL traditional publishers would give them the time of day. PA is giving you the opportunity to prove yourself without YOU SHELLING out a cent.

They are a Godsend to good writers who are willing to work.

CatSlave
01-01-2007, 08:56 AM
I figure that even if they don't sell a single book for me and they continue to give me a good discount, I'll make a good part time income.

All sarcastic remarks aside (which are aimed at the PA business practices, not you personally), I admire your persistence and positive attitude.

I wish you well with your book, and hope you spend some time considering the different points of view you will encounter in this forum. You're in the company of a lot of writing pros, and they will not steer you wrong. You might not like what you hear, but in time you may see things a bit differently.

Best wishes to you.

tlblack
01-01-2007, 09:01 AM
You can stand on your podium and shout all night, but it won't change any opinion that I have about PA as any kind of legitimate publisher. Perhaps you didn't expect enough from your own writing and were willing to settle for what you could. Maybe you didn't go to school for two years to take writing courses and find an agent you thought would represent you legitimately either: or work two jobs as a single parent to see that your child had a college education with little or no help from his father. Sure, you don't pay PA a cent, you just get taken for every penny you have in order to purchase copies of your own work and then stand on street corners and sell what you can. Doesn't matter, because once you try and send your work to another publisher and put on your letter that you have a book with PA, they will most likely toss it in the trash without ever giving it a moments consideration. Call a few publishers and ask them their feelings on PA. While your at it, ask them what types of promotions they do with their authors as opposed to PA. Ask book stores why they will not put PA books on their shelves. Then buzz over to http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pealn.htm, click on book publishers, scroll down to PA and read the many many posts there, including a letter from Barnes and Noble to one author.

I don't know about everyone here as far as their own personal experience with PA, but I know mine and I know for a fact that I am much better off without PA. I didn't know about PA's policies when I signed their really inane contract. That one is on me. I wouldn't, however, recommend PA to my worst enemy based on my experience with them.

There are over 75 different threads here about PA. Why, I ask you, would we all focus on just one publisher if there wasn't something completely wrong about them? If you have had a good experience with PA, then I commend you. If all you expected of your work was to just see it in book form and sell what you could when you could afford to buy more copies of it, I again, commend you. Just please, don't try and convince me, knowing absolutely nothing about my personal writing goals, or anticipations, that my book having been published with PA was ever a good idea. You'd be barking up the wrong tree.

My apologies if this offends anyone, but that post just struck a nerve. A still very touchy one.

bstevens
01-01-2007, 09:07 AM
All sarcastic remarks aside (which are aimed at the PA business practices, not you personally), I admire your persistence and positive attitude.

I wish you well with your book, and hope you spend some time considering the different points of view you will encounter in this forum. You're in the company of a lot of writing pros, and they will not steer you wrong. You might not like what you hear, but in time you may see things a bit differently.

Best wishes to you.

Yes, I hear you but believe me after I read all of this stuff BEFORE I signed my contract I agonized over the decision night and day. So far I'm quite happy with everything - order fulfillment, etc.

Unknown authors must remember that they are the competition to these professional writers and taking money out of their pockets, just like all the reality shows with regular people are taking jobs from professional actors. I love this new era of the common man being given a chance.

xhouseboy
01-01-2007, 09:24 AM
Traditional publishers are upset with PA. A company like PA has a major effect on the volume of manuscripts they receive. They like to have everyone's good work sent to them to glance at and discard and send out a rejection letter. I am sure PA has beat them out of more than a few good manuscripts.


Missed that bit. Had to respond before I put my head down for the night.

You seem to be contradicting yourself. You first claim that publishers (PA invented the term 'traditional publishers'; before PA there was only 'publishers') are upset with PA because they have had a major effect on the volume of manuscripts they receive. You then go on to imply that publishers operate on the twisted logic that they like to have everyone's good work sent to them so that they can have a quick glance at it before sending out a standard rejection slip. This conjures to mind an office filled with demented employees attempting to see how fast they can force the company down the tubes.

You're defeating your own argument right there. Aside from the fact that publishers don't give a toss about PA, what makes you think that they have a vested interest in bankruptcy?

It's most likely true that PA has indeed beat publishers out of a few good manuscripts, but PA also prints out the slush pile other publishers wouldn't touch, not unless they really do want to end up destitute.

And as for the good books that they did hoover up with their 'accept anything' policy, I think you'll find that the authors of these books realise their mistake, and eventually find their way over here in an effort to find other like-minded and talented authors who are also trying to ditch PA. Some of them have since freed themselves from PA's clutches and gone on to better things with real publishers.

Any good manuscript suffering the misfortune of falling into PA's hands will sink without trace, condemned to 7 years in the publishing wilderness.

CACTUSWENDY
01-01-2007, 09:24 AM
:popcorn: Ah, popcorn anyone?

LeslieB
01-01-2007, 09:28 AM
No, but MANY MANY professional writers started out with vanity publishers and had to shell out thousands of dollars to get their books printed and then had to sell so many out of cars, bookfairs, etc., before the REAL traditional publishers would give them the time of day. PA is giving you the opportunity to prove yourself without YOU SHELLING out a cent.

They are a Godsend to good writers who are willing to work.

No, they didn't. And no, PA isn't.

I am really and truly sorry that you didn't discover this board before going with PA. Because then you would have encountered many writers who found good agents, who then found them good publishers, and who never went anywhere near a vanity publisher. You would also have read the accounts of other PA writers who struggled to get the legal rights to their books back after realizing that PA was nothing like what they were promised. And you would have learned a great deal about the way the publishing industry actually works.

I wish you all the best, in any case.

bstevens
01-01-2007, 09:29 AM
You can stand on your podium and shout all night, but it won't change any opinion that I have about PA as any kind of legitimate publisher. Perhaps you didn't expect enough from your own writing and were willing to settle for what you could. Maybe you didn't go to school for two years to take writing courses and find an agent you thought would represent you legitimately either: or work two jobs as a single parent to see that your child had a college education with little or no help from his father. Sure, you don't pay PA a cent, you just get taken for every penny you have in order to purchase copies of your own work and then stand on street corners and sell what you can. Doesn't matter, because once you try and send your work to another publisher and put on your letter that you have a book with PA, they will most likely toss it in the trash without ever giving it a moments consideration. Call a few publishers and ask them their feelings on PA. While your at it, ask them what types of promotions they do with their authors as opposed to PA. Ask book stores why they will not put PA books on their shelves. Then buzz over to http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pealn.htm, click on book publishers, scroll down to PA and read the many many posts there, including a letter from Barnes and Noble to one author.

I don't know about everyone here as far as their own personal experience with PA, but I know mine and I know for a fact that I am much better off without PA. I didn't know about PA's policies when I signed their really inane contract. That one is on me. I wouldn't, however, recommend PA to my worst enemy based on my experience with them.

There are over 75 different threads here about PA. Why, I ask you, would we all focus on just one publisher if there wasn't something completely wrong about them? If you have had a good experience with PA, then I commend you. If all you expected of your work was to just see it in book form and sell what you could when you could afford to buy more copies of it, I again, commend you. Just please, don't try and convince me, knowing absolutely nothing about my personal writing goals, or anticipations, that my book having been published with PA was ever a good idea. You'd be barking up the wrong tree.

My apologies if this offends anyone, but that post just struck a nerve. A still very touchy one.

I went through all this negative crap when I tried to get some good advice the last time I moved about moving companies. What I found out is that any idiot can say any idiotic thing on this internet and not be held accountable.

There is no doubt that some people have had problems BUT I have to look at the expectations of the people. I didn't go in and think that I would get so much for so little. No one knows me. PA doesn't know if I will buy or sell a single copy and they worked for me and TRUSTED me. I love them for that.

You also have to look at the other options of an UNKNOWN UNPROVEN author. No traditional publisher will trust you UNTIL YOU PROVE YOU HAVE AN AUDIENCE. PA is giving you the opportunity to prove yourself.

Birol
01-01-2007, 09:31 AM
No, but MANY MANY professional writers started out with vanity publishers

No, they didn't.


and had to shell out thousands of dollars to get their books printed and then had to sell so many out of cars, bookfairs, etc.,

Not true.


before the REAL traditional publishers would give them the time of day.

Again, untrue.


Unknown authors must remember that they are the competition to these professional writers

I understand your perspective on this, but it's really a lot more complicated than that. Most writing sinks or swims on its own and not in comparison to what others have submitted. Fortunately, there are lots of readers out there who will read more than one book a year. It also assumes that all professional writers are manipulative bastards with no sense of moral decency. Not only isn't that true, it's insulting.

Look around these boards and not just the PA section. You will find writers helping writers every day.

Dawno
01-01-2007, 09:31 AM
Moderator's Note to bstevens:

First off, welcome to Absolute Write. I hope you'll avail yourself of the many helpful and fun forums and threads we have here. We welcome all writers. Please read the Newbies Guide when you can, it will help you avoid some basic pitfalls here.

I've moved and merged your threads. The Watercooler Announcements forum is for announcements about the Watercooler. The Self Promotion forum is for announcements about your book. All other Publish America topics belong in this forum which is why I moved one of your threads and then merged it with the other one in here.

bstevens
01-01-2007, 09:33 AM
By the way, you can sell/promote your own work at book fairs, book clubs, on the internet, and through word of mouth. I have planned to use all of my vacation at book/literary events.

I'm not expecting to sit in my easy chair and money just falls in my lap.

bstevens
01-01-2007, 09:36 AM
No, they didn't.



Not true.



Again, untrue.



I understand your perspective on this, but it's really a lot more complicated than that. Most writing sinks or swims on its own and not in comparison to what others have submitted. Fortunately, there are lots of readers out there who will read more than one book a year. It also assumes that all professional writers are manipulative bastards with no sense of moral decency. Not only isn't that true, it's insulting.

Look around these boards and not just the PA section. You will find writers helping writers every day.

I'm a black person, speaking about black writers. Some famous ones who sold out of cars are Zane (now that she proved herself she has her own imprint with a major publisher), E. Lynn Harris, etc., and they had to pay thousands for books to be printed UP FRONT.

Rolling Thunder
01-01-2007, 09:37 AM
I'm not interested in PA as a writer. I do have a completed novel but I find I prefer to write short stories more, so that means a traditional magazine or Ezine format.

But really, Bstevens, instead of pushing the PA format so hard why not just hang out and talk about writing in general? Plenty of places here to swap information about the craft.

bstevens
01-01-2007, 09:45 AM
Missed that bit. Had to respond before I put my head down for the night.

You seem to be contradicting yourself. You first claim that publishers (PA invented the term 'traditional publishers'; before PA there was only 'publishers') are upset with PA because they have had a major effect on the volume of manuscripts they receive. You then go on to imply that publishers operate on the twisted logic that they like to have everyone's good work sent to them so that they can have a quick glance at it before sending out a standard rejection slip. This conjures to mind an office filled with demented employees attempting to see how fast they can force the company down the tubes.

You're defeating your own argument right there. Aside from the fact that publishers don't give a toss about PA, what makes you think that they have a vested interest in bankruptcy?

It's most likely true that PA has indeed beat publishers out of a few good manuscripts, but PA also prints out the slush pile other publishers wouldn't touch, not unless they really do want to end up destitute.

And as for the good books that they did hoover up with their 'accept anything' policy, I think you'll find that the authors of these books realise their mistake, and eventually find their way over here in an effort to find other like-minded and talented authors who are also trying to ditch PA. Some of them have since freed themselves from PA's clutches and gone on to better things with real publishers.

Any good manuscript suffering the misfortune of falling into PA's hands will sink without trace, condemned to 7 years in the publishing wilderness.

Traditional publishers are looking for well known names WHO THEY KNOW WILL SELL. They don't know you. If you want to spend all your days quering some SOB over and over and spending money on stamps, envs etc., go ahead. I'm not young enough to wait 4EVER. Not only that, most OF THEM WON'T TOUCH YOU WITHOUT AN AGENT and most agents won't touch you PERIOD. I went through that crap for a whole year. I finally got an agent who said she would represent me BUT SHE WANTED ME TO SEND HER MONEY LOL. No thanks. My best option is PA.

And as far as the bankruptcy question, the REASON THEY won't touch an unknown author even with a good manuscript is because of fear of bankruptcy. That's why they stick with the tried and true, politicians, movie stars, and dinosaur writers.

SC Harrison
01-01-2007, 09:45 AM
Unknown authors must remember that they are the competition to these professional writers and taking money out of their pockets, just like all the reality shows with regular people are taking jobs from professional actors. I love this new era of the common man being given a chance.

If you can derive satisfaction from knowing 50 or 75 people are going to read your book, then I am happy for you. But don't operate under the illusion that each sale will generate more sales, and with a lot of work your book will gain the attention of a lot of people, because it won't. Trust me, I've been there. Your first royalty check will be the biggest, because it's friends and family (mostly), and you will want to believe the second one will be even bigger, but it won't even come close.

As far as promoting and purchasing books, please please please be careful, Barbara. I had three different newspaper articles about my book, and each one only generated a few sales. As far as consignment is concerned, setting up the deal with the bookstore is the easy part. It's not really a sale until a reader carries it to the counter and buys it.

A lot of us here are former PA authors, and every approach to this has already been tried numerous times. As long as you are prepared for the few sales I referenced above, and as long as you refrain from trying any expensive marketing plans, I hope you enjoy the experience.

Gravity
01-01-2007, 09:46 AM
To quote the great Shirley Temple: "Oh my goodness..." Been a while since we've had one of these, eh kids? Matter of fact, some of us were there once. Just be nice to her, that's all. The stars in her eyes will fade come August.

bstevens
01-01-2007, 09:51 AM
If you can derive satisfaction from knowing 50 or 75 people are going to read your book, then I am happy for you. But don't operate under the illusion that each sale will generate more sales, and with a lot of work your book will gain the attention of a lot of people, because it won't. Trust me, I've been there. Your first royalty check will be the biggest, because it's friends and family (mostly), and you will want to believe the second one will be even bigger, but it won't even come close.

As far as promoting and purchasing books, please please please be careful, Barbara. I had three different newspaper articles about my book, and each one only generated a few sales. As far as consignment is concerned, setting up the deal with the bookstore is the easy part. It's not really a sale until a reader carries it to the counter and buys it.

A lot of us here are former PA authors, and every approach to this has already been tried numerous times. As long as you are prepared for the few sales I referenced above, and as long as you refrain from trying any expensive marketing plans, I hope you enjoy the experience.

Now I agree with that wholeheartedly. I am not going to incurr major expenses I can't afford and thus far only spending $11/mo on a good website eventhough I could have gotten a free one and $30/month on an E-newsletter that I control myself. It is $30/month and I can discontinue both of these whenever I like.

I am trying hard to identify my niche market. I think it is women. Did you look at my website www.barbarastevensbooks.com (http://www.barbarastevensbooks.com)?

I would love to hear different experiences about ads in newspapers, radio/blog interviews, bookclubs or selling at bookfairs if anyone has had those experiences.

MMo
01-01-2007, 09:52 AM
You also have to look at the other options of an UNKNOWN UNPROVEN author. No traditional publisher will trust you UNTIL YOU PROVE YOU HAVE AN AUDIENCE. PA is giving you the opportunity to prove yourself.

That is just not true. I sold my first manuscript over the transom to a well-known house. True, it was just a mass market paperback release, but it went on to sell 80,000 copies U.S. retail and was released in many languages and countries, twice in Japan, the second time fourteen years after the first time.

I used that contract to get an agent some folks on this board salivate over the prospect of getting. I met him at a writers conference where I was introduced to him by another client of his. I met the senior editor of a branch of the house that had published me. All of this would have done no good had I not had another book ready to go.

What publicity did I do? Well, the library in my hometown hosted an autographing for me and gave me the key to the city; a large grocery store ordered in two hundred copies and hosted an autographing for me; a local discount store didn't hold an autographing but ordered in two hundred copies of my second book and a hundred of my first and put in special shelving for the couple of weeks it took to move them. Other than that, I just wrote and went to the conferences I already attended.

I went on to write, and sell to major publishers, a total of sixteen books before life intervened and I stopped writing.

Now I copy edit for a well-known house. That publisher does publish new authors; I know, I've worked with their manuscripts. That publisher pays each of them an advance against royalties. It pays an in-house editor to work with the manuscript; it pays me several hundred dollars to copy edit the work, it pays a cover artist, a typesetter, a proofreader to make sure the changes get into the corrected copy, a second proofreader to do a cold pass for layout and obvious errors that may have slipped past the rest of us, a printer. It has a distributer that sees that the books get into book stores, on-line venues, and magazine racks. It pays royalties promptly and accurately. Now tell me, who gives whom the better chance.

Oh, yes. Of the books I wrote, I could purchase copies for my own self, but not for resale, at a fifty percent discount, and when I purchased on that discount, I did not have to pay postage on the shipment. Please check your costs for getting your books to you. Last I heard it was so much for the first book and an additional cost for each additional book, way beyond what normal shipping would be, provided that an author had to pay for the shipping.

So, please enjoy the honeymoon with PA, but please watch your words. You're really going to hate the taste of them as you eat them after the first royalty statement.

Mo

Birol
01-01-2007, 09:55 AM
I'm a black person, speaking about black writers. Some famous ones who sold out of cars are Zane (now that she proved herself she has her own imprint with a major publisher), E. Lynn Harris, etc., and they had to pay thousands for books to be printed UP FRONT.

The internet is truly color-blind, as it is sex and gender-blind. Until I checked out your website, I did not know if you were a man or a woman and until you brought up race, I did not know that either. I assume you are a citizen of the US, but only because you're published with PublishAmerica and the US is their primary market, and their market is writers, not readers. A true commercial publisher, or traditional publisher as PA calls the commercial publishers, target readers.

As a reader, I do not look at the author photo or do research on the author before buying a book. I look at the text to determine if it is something I wish to read. I'm a bit of a text-slut that way. As long as it gives me pleasure, I'll go along with it.

The information you're posting here, about PA giving you a chance and the methods you are going to use to make certain success happens to you, are not unique to minority authors either. Most authors who have signed with PA and who stop by to tell us that we are wrong and that they are glad PA has given them the chance have said the same things. Sex, gender, ethnicity, none of that matters.

There are always exceptions to the rules. There will always be one author who happened to make the seemingly impossible work, but relying on that one author to give you hope is unrealistic. Far better to research and look how the majority of those who have succeeded have done so and model yourself on them instead of on the exception. If your inspiration must be minority authors, then you're far better to look to Mosley Walter (whose talent and insights I greatly admire), Ernest Gaines, and Paule Marshall.

bstevens
01-01-2007, 09:58 AM
That is just not true. I sold my first manuscript over the transom to a well-known house. True, it was just a mass market paperback release, but it went on to sell 80,000 copies U.S. retail and was released in many languages and countries, twice in Japan, the second time fourteen years after the first time.

I used that contract to get an agent some folks on this board salivate over the prospect of getting. I met him at a writers conference where I was introduced to him by another client of his. I met the senior editor of a branch of the house that had published me. All of this would have done no good had I not had another book ready to go.

What publicity did I do? Well, the library in my hometown hosted an autographing for me and gave me the key to the city; a large grocery store ordered in two hundred copies and hosted an autographing for me; a local discount store didn't hold an autographing but ordered in two hundred copies of my second book and a hundred of my first and put in special shelving for the couple of weeks it took to move them. Other than that, I just wrote and went to the conferences I already attended.

I went on to write, and sell to major publishers, a total of sixteen books before life intervened and I stopped writing.

Now I copy edit for a well-known house. That publisher does publish new authors; I know, I've worked with their manuscripts. That publisher pays each of them an advance against royalties. It pays an in-house editor to work with the manuscript; it pays me several hundred dollars to copy edit the work, it pays a cover artist, a typesetter, a proofreader to make sure the changes get into the corrected copy, a second proofreader to do a cold pass for layout and obvious errors that may have slipped past the rest of us, a printer. It has a distributer that sees that the books get into book stores, on-line venues, and magazine racks. It pays royalties promptly and accurately. Now tell me, who gives whom the better chance.

Oh, yes. Of the books I wrote, I could purchase copies for my own self, but not for resale, at a fifty percent discount, and when I purchased on that discount, I did not have to pay postage on the shipment. Please check your costs for getting your books to you. Last I heard it was so much for the first book and an additional cost for each additional book, way beyond what normal shipping would be, provided that an author had to pay for the shipping.

So, please enjoy the honeymoon with PA, but please watch your words. You're really going to hate the taste of them as you eat them after the first royalty statement.

Mo

WHY DON'T YOU TELL US WHO this wonderful publisher is???? Why do you withhold its name???? Believe me I checked most all of them out and PA was the best one I came up with. ANXIOUSLY AWAITING YOUR IMPARTIAL REPLY. Let's not forget they're YOUR bread and butter.

Gravity
01-01-2007, 10:02 AM
Uh-uh, let's watch the attitude, Barb. C'mon now, group hug!

bstevens
01-01-2007, 10:03 AM
I don't need all that editing. I am a professional person with a college degree. In fact I asked PA NOT TO EDIT mine at all. I didn't want my story line changed. That's another thing I have heard that the traditional ones do IF YOU are one in a million who gets published at all, they REWRITE and pick apart your story and put it how THEY want it. I want to sink or swim based on my own merits. Glad I didn't send my manuscript to your company.

aruna
01-01-2007, 10:04 AM
Traditional publishers are looking for well known names WHO THEY KNOW WILL SELL. They don't know you. If you want to spend all your days quering some SOB over and over and spending money on stamps, envs etc., go ahead. I'm not young enough to wait 4EVER. Not only that, most OF THEM WON'T TOUCH YOU WITHOUT AN AGENT and most agents won't touch you PERIOD. I went through that crap for a whole year. I finally got an agent who said she would represent me BUT SHE WANTED ME TO SEND HER MONEY LOL. No thanks. My best option is PA.



Welcome, Barbara, and do stick around for a while. I'd like to share my own experience in publishing,
I was a complete unknown when my first agent picked me up. She sold my first novel to a major UK publisher.
Contrary to what you say, I di dnot spend a penny on my own promotion (except fore a website.) All my costs - including travel to London from Germany, flights etc - were covered by the pubplisher. My book was translated into several languages, and it ws similar in those countries. I did not pay a penny for promotion. As a matter of fact, in Germany they paid me - cash in hand, DM 500 per hour - for readings etc during the promotion campaign.
The thing is, if you prodice a commercially vioable product - and that is what your book is, a product - publishers need to invest in it so as to make money. That is not your job; though of course you can help if you want to, by giving readings, signings etc.

bstevens
01-01-2007, 10:06 AM
Uh-uh, let's watch the attitude, Barb. C'mon now, group hug!

OK it it just that at this point in time I feel an injustice is being done to PA and the many benefits that an unknown penniless author could derive would be lost if PA closes its doors.

aruna
01-01-2007, 10:08 AM
I don't need all that editing. I am a professional person with a college degree. In fact I asked PA NOT TO EDIT mine at all. I didn't want my story line changed. That's another thing I have heard that the traditional ones do IF YOU are one in a million who gets published at all, they REWRITE and pick apart your story and put it how THEY want it. I want to sink or swim based on my own merits. Glad I didn't send my manuscript to your company.

Oh dear. A college degree is really not enough when it comes to creating a good novel.
My editor certainly did not pick my book apart or rewrite it. What she did was give me valuable advice on how to make it much, much better. I learnt so much about novel writing from her and others who have worked in the industry!
Being a "professional person" means nothing as far as novel writing is concerned. There is an art and a craft to it and we all have to learn it, as even though we may be good at English that is no guarantee that we can write a good novel..

bstevens
01-01-2007, 10:08 AM
Welcome, Barbara, and do stick around for a while. I'd like to share my own experience in publishing,
I was a complete unknown when my first agent picked me up. She sold my first novel to a major UK publisher.
Contrary to what you say, I di dnot spend a penny on my own promotion (except fore a website.) All my costs - including travel to London from Germany, flights etc - were covered by the pubplisher. My book was translated into several languages, and it ws similar in those countries. I did not pay a penny for promotion. As a matter of fact, in Germany they paid me - cash in hand, DM 500 per hour - for readings etc during the promotion campaign.
The thing is, if you prodice a commercially vioable product - and that is what your book is, a product - publishers need to invest in it so as to make money. That is not your job; though of course you can help if you want to, by giving readings, signings etc.

It's a beautiful dream and I believe you are speaking of an experience that did occur 15-20 years ago. The publishing industry has changed. Every body and his brother thinks he's a writer now and he can be thanks to PA LOL

Birol
01-01-2007, 10:13 AM
Aruna is an author who is currently publishing novels. Her experience is now, not 15-20 years ago.

PA would like everyone to believe that they can be an author, but the truth is, they can't. Thanks to technology, everyone can have a book printed, yes, but that's not really the same thing as being a professional author.

I wish you the best of luck, Barbara.

aruna
01-01-2007, 10:14 AM
Actually, this happened in the last 5 - 6 years.

Last year I decided to look for a new agent and publisher. I got the agent - a first class one, by the way - and with any luck the publisher will come along soon.
The thing is, though it is indeed difficult, if you have written a good book you WILL find an agent and a publisher. I would not settle for less.
I know of several authors right here on this board who have landed major publishing deals with majar publlishers in the last few months, It's not a dream; it's reality. But you need a good enough product (ie manuscript).

Gravity
01-01-2007, 10:15 AM
Barb, just so you know: I'm a former PA author. I went with them in 2001, when they were still fairly unknown, and thus had almost no presence on the Net. My book came out in the spring of 2002, and that's when the rot set in. Long story short, I started fighting like hell to get the rights returned. That fight ended in Feb 2006, when they were. I spent the intervening time polishing my craft, and ended up getting a three-book deal with a good-sized commercial house (by the way, that's the correct term, "commercial publishing"; "traditional publishing" is term PA coined, and is merely chimera). During this time I also managed to secure a top-flight agent, and right now we're moving forward with new books, to more commercial houses.

As others have said, if you're happy with no bookstore placement (because the discounts PA sets for them makes it untenable), and statistical lifetime sales of around a hundred copies of your work, we're thrilled. It's just that some of us wanted more.

And some of us got it.

bstevens
01-01-2007, 10:18 AM
Oh dear, A college degree is really not enough when it comes to creating a good novel.
My editor certainly did not pick my book apart or rewrite it, what she did was give me valuable advice on how to make it much, much better, I learnt so much about novel writing from her and others who have worked in the industry!
Being a "professional person" means nothing as far as novel writing is concerned, There is an art and a craft to it and we all have to learn it, as even though we may be good at English that is no guarantee that we can write a good novel..

Mister I have had those writing classes but book knowledge is not a gift. I have a gift for writing which is way more valuable than that. Being a great story teller is something you have inside. Education only gives you the grammer, etc., you need to express your feelings. I have 3 other books ready to go. I can write a great book in one month that usually consists of about 300 pages. I am not going to release the others to PA until I see how well they do on this one. So far they are exceeding my expectations. The cover they designed is fabulous and the quality of the books is GREAT! Everyone who sees them are impressed as am I.

So far I am attributing their past poor performance to being a new upstart. They recently acquired their own printing press whereas, before they were contracting out.
www.barbarastevensbooks.com (http://www.barbarastevensbooks.com) www.myspace\bestevensbooks.com (http://www.myspace\bestevensbooks.com)

I have several free websites as well.

aruna
01-01-2007, 10:27 AM
Mister I have had those writing classes but book knowledge is not a gift. I have a gift for writing which is way more valuable than that. Being a great story teller is something you have inside. Education only gives you the grammer, etc., you need to express your feelings. I have 3 other books ready to go. I can write a great book in one month that usually consists of about 300 pages. I am not going to release the others to PA until I see how well they do on this one. So far they are exceeding my expectations. The cover they designed is fabulous and the quality of the books is GREAT! Everyone who sees them are impressed as am I.
.

First of all, I am no mister!!!

I too have a natural talent for storytelling; I've had that all my life., without my stopping to think or plan.That is not the same as novel writing; that's just a rough first draft.
The story needs to be deliberately crafted into a novel; and the craft of novel writing does not come naturally. It has to be learned, I am learning all the time! I feel that being professional about writing means exactly that: learning constantly how to craft something really good out of the raw stuff of my story, improving myself all the time.

When I wrote ny first novel about 7 years ago I thought it was brilliant. But I had the good luck to meet a professional from the pubpishing world who told me all the things that were wrong with it, which I couldn't see: the structure was bad, it was too wordy, some of the characters needed work, etc. These are things we usually can't see ourselves; we don;t have the distance.

Even naturally gifted musicians, singers, dancers, artists of all kind, need years of hard training befiore the consider themselves professionals. Why should it be different with writers? (scratches head)

bstevens
01-01-2007, 10:31 AM
First of all, I am no mister!!!

I too have a natural talent for storytelling; I've had that all my life., without my stopping to think or plan.That is not the same as novel writing; that's just a rough first draft.
The story needs to be deliberately crafted into a novel; and the craft of novel writing does not come naturally, It has to be learned, I am learning all the time! I feel that beinga professional neans exactly that: learning constantly how to craft something really good out of the raw stuff of my story.
When I wrote ny first novel about 7 years ago I thought it was brilliant. But I had the good luck to meet a professional from the pubpishing world who told me all the things that were wrong with it, which I couldn't see: the structure was bad, it was too wordy, some of the characters needed work, etc. These are things we usually can't see ourselves; we don;t have the distance.

Even naturally gifted musicians, singers, dancers, artists of all kind, need years of hard training befiore the consider themselves professionals. Why should it be different with writers? (scratches head)

Not meaning to belittle you but I don't have that problem. My characters are so clearly defined that you can touch them with your mind's eye.

The only thing I am concerned about right now is the comment below which was on one of the other threads. But since PA just got their own printing press I think that problem has been cleared up. I ordered for my son 100 copies he's going to sell in chicago and they had the books to him during the Xmas season in 4 days.

Sales success is unwelcome at PA. When a book starts selling, you have to scramble to supply it to the market. You have to get it printed and shipped when the public wants it, and ship it to lots of different addresses -- bookstores and distributors -- rather than just shipping it to the author on your own schedule. Doing all that is a lot of trouble if you were never set up in the first place to sell books in quantity to the general public.

aruna
01-01-2007, 10:32 AM
Good luck to you.

Gravity
01-01-2007, 10:37 AM
Sweet Jesus. It's just like watching a car headed for a cliff. Guys, I think we've done about all we can here.

Good luck, Barb. May you have all the success with PA they're capable of delivering.

aruna
01-01-2007, 10:44 AM
Sweet Jesus. It's just like watching a car headed for a cliff. Guys, I think we've done about all we can here.

Good luck, Barb. May you have all the success with PA they're capable of delivering.

I guess her book got "the chance it deserved"!

Popeyesays
01-01-2007, 10:45 AM
No, but MANY MANY professional writers started out with vanity publishers and had to shell out thousands of dollars to get their books printed and then had to sell so many out of cars, bookfairs, etc., before the REAL traditional publishers would give them the time of day. PA is giving you the opportunity to prove yourself without YOU SHELLING out a cent.

They are a Godsend to good writers who are willing to work.

This is what PA says, but they're wrong. No modern big-time author buys his own books or does his own promotion. No 'Middle-List author does either, sure they might sign books and such, but they don't oay for those books out of their own pocket. For every one book you sell on Amazon you might sell a hundred or even a thousand if it was sold generally in chain and indie book stores. No small press requires you to pay anything up front. Royalties are 8-10% on cover price, not net. The average book at PA sells about 75 copies, the preponderance to the author himself.

I don't think you have done anything wrong, friend, but next July or so, why not give us a report on your sales?

Regards,
Scott

SC Harrison
01-01-2007, 10:47 AM
Now I agree with that wholeheartedly. I am not going to incurr major expenses I can't afford and thus far only spending $11/mo on a good website eventhough I could have gotten a free one and $30/month on an E-newsletter that I control myself. It is $30/month and I can discontinue both of these whenever I like.



That's almost $500 a year right there. You'll have to trust me when I tell you the sales they will generate or facilitate will not come close to covering the costs, but you won't know that for sure until you get your second check, and by that time it's too late.

Look, just because you can afford to do something it doesn't mean you will get a decent return on the money or even gain the exposure you want. Outside of friends and family, whatever steps you take will only get you a few sales. Get a website, it will get a few books sold. Do the newsletter thing, sell a few books. Place some on consignment, one or two might sell quickly, and the others sit there gathering dust. Do a booksigning, sell a few books. Do you follow me?

This is the bad side of POD, and the part that wears you down after a while. Each sale takes effort on your part, and pretty soon it becomes a chore, and a heartbreaking one at that. You don't believe that now, because you have faith in yourself and your book, and you're excited about getting out there and making it happen. You will understand in a year or so, and I hope you make it through without losing your love for writing.

maestrowork
01-01-2007, 11:47 AM
It's a beautiful dream and I believe you are speaking of an experience that did occur 15-20 years ago. The publishing industry has changed. Every body and his brother thinks he's a writer now and he can be thanks to PA LOL


I just got published in 2006. Not 1986. Not 1996. I am a new author. I never went vanity. My publisher is small but legit. My books are sold in real book stores, on real book shelves. No, I am not making millions, but we're not talking about money and fame, are we? My book was edited, and nobody tried to change it to something I didn't write. My integrity as a writer is very much intact, thank you. Why else would a publisher buy the book if they think they have to rewrite the whole thing? That simply doesn't make sense.

And I can attest that Aruna is a great multi-published writer; so between you and her, I wonder to whom I should listen.

maestrowork
01-01-2007, 11:52 AM
My characters are so clearly defined that you can touch them with your mind's eye.


Wow. You do have self-confidence to spare.


I ordered for my son 100 copies he's going to sell in chicago and they had the books to him during the Xmas season in 4 days.

Let me understand this... you are telling your son to sell books? Shouldn't that be your publisher's job?

All I can say is good luck and don't let us naysayers burst your dream.

tlblack
01-01-2007, 11:58 AM
I went through all this negative crap when I tried to get some good advice the last time I moved about moving companies. What I found out is that any idiot can say any idiotic thing on this internet and not be held accountable.

There is no doubt that some people have had problems BUT I have to look at the expectations of the people. I didn't go in and think that I would get so much for so little. No one knows me. PA doesn't know if I will buy or sell a single copy and they worked for me and TRUSTED me. I love them for that.

You also have to look at the other options of an UNKNOWN UNPROVEN author. No traditional publisher will trust you UNTIL YOU PROVE YOU HAVE AN AUDIENCE. PA is giving you the opportunity to prove yourself.


Tis very true people can, do, and will say anything on the internet... but...what I said, although from an emotional viewpoint, is very true, and I am no idiot. My book was edited in parts (not by me) by a published author working for a writer's group who has 16 published novels in print with publishers besides PA. (including her first one) My mistake was finding the wrong agent to represent me who for all intents and purposes had no real knowledge of the industry as she represented to have, and then signing that contract on her suggestion. (She sent my ms to PA without informing they were a POD.) The let down was huge but again, it is my problem and I have since had the contract cancelled and begun a new path with my writing. Whether or not I ever find that real publisher who will publish my books still remains to be seen. I said before, if you are happy, I commend you. Much luck!

Nobody here knows me either. I am new around here as well, but I can tell you that there aren't more thoughtful, helpful people anywhere on the net that I have had the pleasure of finding than here on AW. Find your genre, post some work, and let the ones here that have many many books in print or do editing and critiques for a living give you some pointers. If your writing needs work, they will tell you. If it is in great condition, they will tell you that as well.

As far as proving anything to anyone other than myself... it isn't necessary. I learn something new every day even in every day work as a floral design specialist, for 20 years. Nothing in life is perfect, nothing ever will be. It's when you can't see the forest for the trees that things start to get muddled and get in the way.

As I have said, if you are content, I commend you. Also if down the road, you find your experience with PA as enjoyable, then great. Good luck!

DeadlyAccurate
01-01-2007, 12:31 PM
If you're interested in outside opinions of a sample of your work, you can post an excerpt in Share Your Work. I would be happy to give you a critique to help you improve your writing. My writing has greatly improved by reading what others have said about it.

For the record, I'm currently reading the debut book* of a Dallas author who is neither a dinosaur (he's 33) nor a movie star or politician. And, he sold his book first to the publisher before he ever landed an agent.

*Gil's All-Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez

Raindrops
01-01-2007, 12:38 PM
Where do I start. My goodness, after reading these posts, I think my blood pressure raised. I wish there was a smiley that threw up their hands and sighed. I went through the PA thing, and I can tell you from my experience, it was the worst ride I had ever had. Thank God I received my rights back before my book went to print. Not only was it not ready for publication, PA was willing to print it as is knowing fully well that it wouldn't go anywhere.

I have a question for you BStevens. Who told you that unknown authors cannot get published through legit publishers?? Sweetie, that's not true AT ALL!! Publishers are always looking for new talent. Go into any big bookstore and check out the new books coming in each month. Also, you can do a search for new authors by visiting publishing companies online.

You said that you have three completed novels ready to go, correct? That's awesome! :D If I were you, I'd start shopping them around. It's a fact of life that every writer gets rejected. You just have to keep sending out queries and never give up. With the strong determination that you possess, I feel that you'll make it in this business. And with that, I wish you the best! :)

Patricia
01-01-2007, 02:36 PM
Wow. . . Deja Vu

Bartholomew
01-01-2007, 04:39 PM
1. Book sells through Amazon and you get standard royalties. Let’s say 10%. – $2
2. You buy the book and save 30%, therefore you earn $6.
3. You put the book in stores on consignment at 50% and you get 15%, still better than the basic royalty, an earning of $3.
4. You convince a store to purchase books on your behalf and you pay them a 5% fee for being the buyer. They get a 40% discount. You give them their 5%, get your 10% royalties and sell your books for an additional 35%, making 45% on the cover price. We’re up to $9.
5. You could put that book on consignment at 50/50 and split the 35% discount with Joe blow (which is 17.5%). Add the original 10% that you keep, and you’re still up to 27.5%.

Thats really cool.

The extent of my involvement with that process is going to the bank and cashing checks.

And I'm about as unknown as they come.

Glad its working out for you, all the same.

Christine N.
01-01-2007, 04:57 PM
Wow. Bstevens, I admire your spunk, but your information about the publishing industry is way off base.

I agree that many more authors are taking a hand in their promotion these days. Some spend part or all of their advance, with the thought that it's the publisher's money anyway.(ETA: I don't particularly believe that, but I can understand the thinking). But what I don't agree with is what you believe about publishing on other points.

Big publishers take on new authors every day. Same with agents. Take a gander at Publisher's Lunch someday for the latest on the book deals. Many, in fact probably most of them are new or new-er authors.


These big publishers put money into every single book they produce, in the forms of catalogs, advertising campaigns (yes, they do! I can prove it to you), and a sales force. They market to libraries. They have reviews in trade mags and markets. Money that you don't know about. They have whole teams of people who carefully consider things like cover art, title, marketing plans. PA, for all the authors they claim, have none of this.

Editing - three whole edits with PA? Were they only for grammar and spelling? Don't fall for PA's line that 'we don't touch your prose', 'cause that is crap. Every single author needs the benefit of a good content edit. Make sure things are cohesive, characters are well formed, plot lines make sense, and the book will be the best book it can be. My small press editor spent weeks with just me going over stuff. I didn't have to make any changes I didn't agree with, but many of them I did. It's not about 'writing characters you can touch with your minds eye', it's about having a book that shines as a whole. Everybody needs this.

Big deal, I'm a college graduate too. Even the most published author among us needs editing, critiquing, polishing. Every. single. one.

You should spend some time here and find out where people here have been published. We have authors who have books out by St. Martins Press, Tor, Daw, Harlequin, Kensington (and I remember the day Jackie got her deal, she was SO excited, a new author and her first book), and others that I can't recall off the top of my head, plus a number of smaller, legitimate presses. People who know what real publishing is like. Editors from publishing houses whose books you can find in a bookstore, and other various publishing professionals. They know how it really works.


- PA just about accepts everything that comes in the door, which is why they have volume. It's called slush in the publishing world. There are statistically bound to be some great books, some good books, but mostly badly written, in need of serious work or not publishable at all books. Because this is what comes in to EVERY publisher and agent. But every publisher and agent doesn't accept them.

We have proof positive that PA does this.

Didn't pay one red cent, huh? How many books are you planning to buy? How much are you planning to spend promoting yourself? Welcome to reverse vanity! Nobody published by a real publisher pays, dear. Only vanity and self-published authors pay.

Not waiting for money to fall into your lap? You wrote the book, you did the hard work.

PA has a terrible reputation, and you're going to have to overcome for them when selling your book.

In other words, don't believe the manure PA spreads and the hype on the message boards. I haven't even mentioned the nasty letters PA sends out if you question their methods, and the obvious mismanagement of their books, shorting authors royalties and continuing to sell books they no longer have the rights to. It's all here in these threads though.

It's a scam not because of money changing hands, but because of the misleading advertising and rigamarole they push down their authors throats.


PS - I pay $17 a year for my website, for the domain name only, but I am my own webmaster. It's a good way to go, and right now if you Google my name I'm in the top five results. I send a quarterly newsletter myself for free. There are cheaper ways of doing the promotion.

PPS - just so I identify myself, I had my first book published in Dec. 2005 by a small but honest publisher. The next comes out mid-2007. I do promote myself, the publicist for my publisher lines up my appearances for me, though, and I don't travel far. I also do school visits, since I'm a children's writer. I also write English Adaptations of Japanese Light Novels for the largest Manga publisher in the US. (which means my name is in the book, under 'English Adaptation by:" when you pick up the book at the local bookstore, and they will be in nationwide bookstores, starting this spring.)

Bartholomew
01-01-2007, 05:06 PM
I don't need all that editing. I am a professional person with a college degree. In fact I asked PA NOT TO EDIT mine at all. I didn't want my story line changed. That's another thing I have heard that the traditional ones do IF YOU are one in a million who gets published at all, they REWRITE and pick apart your story and put it how THEY want it. I want to sink or swim based on my own merits. Glad I didn't send my manuscript to your company.

Ouch.

I'm working on an English degree. I co-write with someone who's out of college. We can produce a 4-5 page MS between the two of us, edit it twice apiece, and still not have it at a professional level.

Editing is an art, and a hard one. You have to make a lot of decisions and these decisions often lead to the deletion and rewriting of large segments of text. Check out J.K. Rowlings website--She's published with Scholastic--she has a wonderful segment about portions of the story she removed. If you want the heartache of the editorial process to ease up, go check her stuff out.

Alternatively, become Stephen King.

Bart, who wonders why he uses emdashes instead of parenthesis.

Bartholomew
01-01-2007, 05:10 PM
My God people if NO MONEY has exchanged hands their is no scam!



No money? My experience has been that publishers pay advances. How much was your advance from Publish America?

Birol
01-01-2007, 05:15 PM
Em-dashes set things apart differently than parenthesis. In this context, they tend to emphasize the additional information rather than treat it like an aside. IMO.

Christine N.
01-01-2007, 05:18 PM
Oh, and really welcome! I hope you do stick around and read some of the threads, read some of the Share Your Work and give your opinion, post some for people to critique. Answer a question, ask one of your own.

Everyone is welcome at AW, as long as you respect your fellow writer.

Bartholomew
01-01-2007, 05:22 PM
Em-dashes set things apart differently than parenthesis. In this context, they tend to emphasize the additional information rather than treat it like an aside. IMO.

I wonder if the sole difference is that Emdashes emphasize, while parenthesis tell your eyes it is okay to skip ahead.

Hmm...

Thread Hijacked, Baby!


Oh, and really welcome! I hope you do stick around and read some of the threads, read some of the Share Your Work and give your opinion, post some for people to critique. Answer a question, ask one of your own.

Everyone is welcome at AW, as long as you respect your fellow writer.

Yes. In all sincerity, Welcome.

Marian Perera
01-01-2007, 06:32 PM
...they didn't ask me for ONE CENT up front.

I'm only on page 70 of the old never-ending Publish America thread, and I may have missed something, but does PA no longer charge people $30 for copyright?

And I also have a college degree, not to mention years of experience in writing, but that doesn't mean the novel which I've nearly finished is so good that it needs no editing.

Anyway, good luck with your book(s).

cinders23
01-01-2007, 06:52 PM
Yes, I hear you but believe me after I read all of this stuff BEFORE I signed my contract I agonized over the decision night and day. So far I'm quite happy with everything - order fulfillment, etc.

Unknown authors must remember that they are the competition to these professional writers and taking money out of their pockets, just like all the reality shows with regular people are taking jobs from professional actors. I love this new era of the common man being given a chance.

The reason I don't like PA and other similiar publishers is that they basically make their money off books sold to friends and family of the author and, of course, the author. This to me is scammish...feeding off the hopes, dreams and desperation of the writer.

I've never seen the PA contract, but I suspect the author will get about 10%. Heck, if I have to do all the work I would self-publish under my own name and get 100% of the profits. So you say you would have to spend money to print the books...well you are going to spend money buying the books from PA anyway. Also books stores won't stock PA books because the prices are too high. I suggest you study up on self-publishing to find out all your options. There are cheap ways to do it, be your own publisher, and keep 100% of the profits. It's much more respected than going with a vanity.

Consider this....everyone in the publishing industry is aware that PA will publish anything..thus if you ever want book reviews you can forget it. Any reviewer worth anything won't consider reviewing a PA book.

Anyway, I wish you success and you'll have to let us know if you are still satisfied with your decision a year from now.

Good Luck,

Cindy

PVish
01-01-2007, 07:21 PM
I would love to hear different experiences about ads in newspapers, radio/blog interviews, bookclubs or selling at bookfairs if anyone has had those experiences.

I'm a self-pubbed and a POD author who currently has some manuscripts circulating with commercial publishers. I have NEVER paid for ads or interviews, though I have been interviewed on TV, radio, and in print media. I have been invited to many bookfairs and bookfests--usually as a guest speaker or performer. I NEVER pay for table space, and often I am paid to present.

I do not sell many books at these events because most of the attendees are other authors trying to sell books, too. We do, however, swap books, so I'm able to see what other, uh, less-than-commercially-published authors are writing. About every seventh or eighth book (that I've swapped for and read) is pretty good.

My self-pubbed book, which has earned me a profit in the mid-five figures, was selected by several area bookclubs and one library bookclub two counties away from me—but that's because it won a contest sponsored by a local arts council which also underwrote part of my off-set printing costs for the first thousand. The arts council promoted my book and set up appearances for me--the way a commercial publisher would do. Without their backing, my book would have gone unnoticed.

POD has worked for three of my projects because (1) all were targeted to a local niche (2) I have a readership in place because I write a column for a regional paper (3) the POD publisher I chose takes returns and prices the books reasonably (4) I live in an area with no bookstores but plenty of gift-shops, and my POD books are well-suited for gift-shops, which order directly from the company so i don't have to supply them (5) material used in these books has already made money: I receive a monthly check for first rights to my columns that I collected into one book; the short stories that appeared in the other two books had won money in various contests. Had these works been written for a larger audience (Yes, I talked to agents at conferences), I would have pursued a commercial publisher—as I'm doing for two current projects.

I have a masters in English and have taught at the college level. I still need an editor. I'll have an essay in the up-coming Cup of Comfort for Writers (Adams Media, 2007). Although that essay had won me money in a contest a few years ago, I was amazed how a few edits by the C of C editor made it so much better.

PA is to prose what the International Library of Poetry is to poetry. (Yeah, I was once taken in by the ILP and actually bought the book that my mediocre "Editor's Choice" poem was in.) I am much more skeptical now than I used to be.

xhouseboy
01-01-2007, 07:36 PM
[quote=bstevens]

Not only that, most OF THEM WON'T TOUCH YOU WITHOUT AN AGENT and most agents won't touch you PERIOD. I went through that crap for a whole year. I finally got an agent who said she would represent me BUT SHE WANTED ME TO SEND HER MONEY LOL. No thanks. My best option is PA.


A year's nothing. You skipped the perseverance stage. How does 5 years of that crap sound? That's how long it can take some to attract an agent and make a mark in their chosen field - doesn't have to be book writing. And it takes a lot longer in some cases.




And as far as the bankruptcy question, the REASON THEY won't touch an unknown author even with a good manuscript is because of fear of bankruptcy. That's why they stick with the tried and true, politicians, movie stars, and dinosaur writers.


Any really good manuscript stands a chance. By 'dinosaur writers' I take it you mean those having already paid their dues, those with a solid readership.

I wish you well. Better that you hang out here and see both sides, rather than be subject to the censored propaganda PA will constantly feed you. But I think you'll find that talking up PA doesn't go down well here. There's too many who have already gone through what you're about to embark upon, and they're the ones you should listen to as opposed to the cheerleaders over at PA.

Although I suspect that you're keen to find this out through personal experience, and if you think a year of rejection was tough and unfair then prepare yourself for what's to come. It's about to get a lot worse if you don't take on board what some ex-PA authors are trying to tell you.

I'm not saying your book isn't worthy. I'm not saying it won't sell. I am saying that you're in for a hell of a learning curve. Good luck.

Saundra Julian
01-01-2007, 07:47 PM
Welcome to AW, Barbara.... from an X-PA author. :hooray:

I have one suggestion for you. Stop spamming other PA and X-PA authors. Everyone hates spam and you do yourself a disservice with this shoddy practice.

As for your feelings about PA...well, good luck. We'll be here when the honeymoon is over.

Saundra

Marian Perera
01-01-2007, 07:49 PM
A year's nothing.

I agree. It's been nearly seven years since I sent my first manuscript out to agents, and now I'm relieved it was never accepted - it just wasn't that good. With a later manuscript, I got a very encouraging rejection from a top agent. With my current novel, maybe I'll succeed. I'm pretty sure, though, that if I'd sent my first manuscript to a place which published it unedited and then expected me to do all the legwork to promote and sell it, I wouldn't have had the time or the enthusiasm to write much more.

Gravity
01-01-2007, 07:52 PM
I have the feeling Barb won't return (I could be wrong, though; I frequently am). I just hope she doesn't pull a Jeff and start crowing on the PA boards how she really let us have it with both barrels. Jeff can pull that off because he's a putz; I don't get that feeling from this gal. I think she's just someone nice, but basically gormless about how PA (and commercial publishing) works.

She'll find out, though. Alas.

Gravity
01-01-2007, 07:54 PM
Oh yeah, I guess I qualify for "dinosaur" status (I'm fifty-four). Bring me a stegasaurus. Rare, please.

jchines
01-01-2007, 08:09 PM
It's a beautiful dream and I believe you are speaking of an experience that did occur 15-20 years ago. The publishing industry has changed. Every body and his brother thinks he's a writer now and he can be thanks to PA LOL

Sigh. As another data point, I was picked up by my agent last year. I had a PoD book out a few years ago, but I didn't mention this to my agent, because they don't care. He picked me up because I had written a book that got picked out of the slush at a major publisher. (A "traditional publisher," as they call them at PA.)

So chalk me up as another of those one in a million authors who got picked up as an unknown and sold two books (so far) for $4000 and $5000 advances, respectively. Not to mention foreign sales.

The way new authors "prove themselves" is by submitting a good book. Waving a Publish America book in the air (or any other self-published or vanity-press work, for that matter) isn't going to do anything for you.

I'm glad you're happy with PA and what they've done for you. I truly am. And I actually agree with you on authors doing their own self-promotion. My publisher has done a lot for me in terms of publicizing and distribution, but I'm also working to promote my books.

However, I think it would be a good idea to step back and educate yourself a bit more about how the publishing industry works. Not just what they say at PA. Not just what they say here, either. Never confine your research to a single source. Look around, read agent blogs, talk to other published authors -- the ones whose books get national distribution and actual advances.

imagoodgurl4
01-01-2007, 08:50 PM
I am an as-yet unpublished author, currently working on a manuscript. However, for a time, I did consider going the POD/PublishAmerica route. I'm only 21, so I have a lot to learn about the publishing industry. However, young as I may be, I am not stupid and I decided to thoroughly research this particular route. I'm very fortunate that I found this forum, because everyone here has been so helpful. I lurked for awhile before joining and I paid particular attention to the threads on PA. I checked out Preditors and Editors and I have found that a useful site. Already I am compiling a list of legitimate agents for when I am ready to shop my MS around.

I looked at the practices of PA and listened to a few Podcasts about them and realize they are not a godsend. They are scammers who prey on the writers whose work means the most. PA may be fine for those few people who just want to see their name in print. Granted, this is a great thrill, but I know I hope to accomplish more with my writing, as it is a very personal thing for me.

So personal, in fact, that I don't want to squander the time and effort I have put into my work on a money-hungry company like PA. I believe I have talent. I have a lot to learn, yes, but I have been told by a published author, who also happened to be a Creative Writing teacher of mine in high school, that I have real talent.

I'm glad I was saved the trouble and heartache of having to deal with PA by the wonderful, talented people from AW, for whom I have nothing but respect. I have learned a lot from you guys and came to the conclusion that this many people cannot possibly be wrong.

veinglory
01-01-2007, 08:52 PM
I'm not expecting to sit in my easy chair and money just falls in my lap.

I am with a small press and this is basically what happens. I type my fiction on a sofa and have to walk to the mailbox for my checks--but close enough, I think.

Gravity
01-01-2007, 08:57 PM
Even though I doubt she'll return, you have to admit Barb's visit (and her comments) sure livened us all up this New Year's Day! :D For that alone, we say thanks.

Gravity
01-01-2007, 08:59 PM
PS: It's gratifying to see how many of you booze-rats aren't too hung over to be online, and lucid. :tongue (just kidding)

imagoodgurl4
01-01-2007, 09:07 PM
Gravity: You gotta admit though...sometimes stuff you write when drunk or hungover is pretty funny. Not that I've ever done that of course. :D

grommet
01-01-2007, 09:20 PM
I don't post very often, but on the off chance that Barb is still around, I thought I'd contribute yet another datapoint.

I'm an unknown author in my early...damnit...MID thirties. With no connections and no previous publications, last year I snagged an awesome agent. A few months later he sold two books of mine for a five figure advance to HarperCollins.

(By the way, the editing process was a breeze:) Nothing was changed --aside from a few house style things-- without my approval and those darn editors are so sharp that I wanted to make the changes they suggested. There's a reason they do this for a living.)

Was getting published hard? Hell yeah. I have a couple of unsold books that, frankly, didn't deserve to be published though I struggled for years to do just that. In retrospect, they're the work of a new writer though at the time I honestly believed I had a achieved a level of writing that could "touch the mind's eye." Instead of blaming the publishing industry for being unfair, I joined a writer's group and wrote another, better book. I researched the industry, and I got savvy.

I also started reading Absolutewrite religiously. There's a lot of great information here from a large, diverse group of talented, experienced people. Take some time to look around. Please.

I also have a friend who went with publishamerica. Nobody was happier than I was when he found a publisher. Three years later, he's no longer writing fiction. Why? Because he believed the hype and when his book failed to sell despite all of his efforts, he thought it meant it was because he was a rotten writer. He's not, though it's going to take some time for him to believe that.

I wish you the best of luck, Barb, but realize that the opinions we've formed about PA aren't because of jealousy or ignorance. We know how PA works. Many of us have experienced it first hand. And many of us have also had the chance to taste what real publishing is supposed to feel like. Yes it's a lot of work and often a lot of disappointment, but nobody ever said anything worth doing was easy.

Grommet

benbradley
01-01-2007, 11:32 PM
Mister I have had those writing classes but book knowledge is not a gift. I have a gift for writing which is way more valuable than that. Being a great story teller is something you have inside.
You mean it's a gift from God? Perhaps that's my problem.:cry:



www.barbarastevensbooks.com (http://www.barbarastevensbooks.com) www.myspace\bestevensbooks.com (http://www.myspace%5Cbestevensbooks.com)

I have several free websites as well.
That would be several OTHER free websites, as myspace IS a free website. But the myspace link clearly doesn't work, and I've tried several variations that "ought to work" but don't. What is your correct myspace.com site?

Someone asked of a sample of Barbara's writing. There's a sample from her book on her website right here:
http://www.barbarastevensbooks.com/excerpt.html

Stacia Kane
01-01-2007, 11:52 PM
It's http://www.myspace.com/bstevensbooks

(I noticed the .com part was in the wrong place, and once I'd fixed that all I did was remove the extraneous "e".)

LloydBrown
01-01-2007, 11:57 PM
No traditional publisher will trust you UNTIL YOU PROVE YOU HAVE AN AUDIENCE.

You do realize that this statement is easily disproven by looking on the shelves of any bookstore, right?

imagoodgurl4
01-02-2007, 12:06 AM
I read Barbara's sample and, no offense to her, but I couldn't finish it. I'm not a professional, but I found a few things wrong with. One, she uses a lot of passive voice: "had" "was." Two, all tell, no show. Three, a lot of repetition. Four, I have no idea who these people are and what the story is supposed to be about. Just some guy who was never married sleeping with his boss.

I think, bstevens would most definitely benefit from editing services, but I will say right now that if the rest of the book is the same as the writing sample, I wouldn't read past the first page. I'm a very picky reader and the book needs to catch my interest from the get-go or it gets tossed. So, even though I have no professional writing experience, bstevens, please take my advice as an avid reader. Ditch PA, get your rights back, edit your draft several more times and then query agents until you land one.

LloydBrown
01-02-2007, 12:08 AM
. Ask any well known author and they will tell you that promotion is mainly up to them. The publishers don't give much assistance. That's strange. Many well-known authors are here on this board telling you the opposite.


The fact that Amazon and other major PODs would sell for me online (an unknown author) just blew me away with gratitude.
You're easy to please. Amazon automatically lists anything with an ISBN, unless the publisher asks them not to. Unfortunately, you don't sell many copies through Amazon until you're already selling many copies through bookstores.


Realistically an unknown cannot expect to make huge amounts of money writing. Unless the book is exceptional.


I think that anyone who has NOT SPENT A DIME and got their book published should be overflowing with gratitude to PA. How much money have you spent on books, websites, travel, etc.?


Your contract did not stipulate that you had to buy some of your own products. No, they were betting that you would, and it seems they were right, doesn't it?


Not only that they were good enough to give you 2 copies free! Because that's so much better than the 25-100 copies a real publisher would give you.


My God people if NO MONEY has exchanged hands their is no scam! Didn't you say you were buying your own books?


Traditional publishers are upset with PA. A company like PA has a major effect on the volume of manuscripts they receive. Why do you think real publishers are upset that PA has stolen their unpublishable submissions?

Tell me something: where are the best-sellers? If PA is such an awesome way to sell books, where are the best-sellers?

Even if PA just published what people sent them, without reading it, about 2% of those would be commercially viable manuscripts (we'll call these base hits) selling 5,000 to 10,000 copies each. Yet, strangely, only one PA title has reached that level (they have a single claim of 5,200 copies for a single title), instead of the 400 commercial successes you'd expect.

Where are the doubles? You know, the books worth of multiple print runs, translation rights or something? The 10,000 to 100,000-sellers. Are you telling me NONE of the 20,000 manuscripts PA has taken straight from the mail room to the printer have skipped across the ballfield with a couple of bounces? Statistically, at least 50 of them should have.

There's no point in even talking about the triples and homes runs. A nasty computer virus that snatched unpublished manuscripts intact from hard drives across America could have found 5 or so triples and maybe a home run, but PublishAmerica, as awesome as they are, can't. Can you explain what makes their publishing history WORSE than random?

Gravity
01-02-2007, 12:26 AM
You want to hear something horrible? A nasty little thing I've found out by attending (and speaking at) national writers' conferences these past few years? Psst, here it is: commercial publishers and agents are starting to LOVE PublishAmerica.

Yes, I can hear the gasps of disbelief, but I'll tell you exactly what some of them have told me. Since PA has made such a presence in these last few years, the quality of the manuscripts these editors and agents are recieving has increased dramatically. One editor put it this way. "PublishAmerica is the literary equivalent of a lobster," he said (and I'm paraphrasing here). "Not because it tastes good. But because it's a well-known fact that lobsters are really nothing more than sea-going cockroaches. They'll eat anything, and leave the ocean floor in a better condition. So it is with PublishAmerica. They deal with the crap, so we rarely see it. That leaves us free to seriously consider the submissions we do ask for. For good writers, that's a win."

PA lurkers, that's something to ponder, ain't it?

blacbird
01-02-2007, 12:26 AM
WHY THE HECK SHOULD A COMPANY YOU'RE NOT PAYING A CENT DO EVERYTHING FOR YOU, FOR THE NOTHING YOU AGREED TO PAY THEM????

This is exactly what real legitimate publishing companies do, all the time. Your value to a real publisher is in the work, not in any up-front fee. If they think the work is valuable, they'll accept it, publish it, get some level of distribution, and expect to make money from its sales. They'll probably even pay you an advance against royalties, up front.

Study and learn, Grasshopper.

caw

Medievalist
01-02-2007, 12:44 AM
I pretty much say what I think people need to know here (http://www.lisaspangenberg.com/writing/pa.html).

benbradley
01-02-2007, 01:22 AM
I read Barbara's sample and, no offense to her, but I couldn't finish it. I'm not a professional, but I found a few things wrong with. One, she uses a lot of passive voice: "had" "was." Two, all tell, no show. Three, a lot of repetition. Four, I have no idea who these people are and what the story is supposed to be about. Just some guy who was never married sleeping with his boss.
The excerpt might make more sense if you read the synopsis on the main website (you can't get to it by hitting the "Home" button on the Excerpt page, that link is broken for some reason, you have to go to the main page without adding "index.whatever" to it):
http://www.barbarastevensbooks.com/
I had already read it and it becomes clear she (the main character) is talking with the "unscrupulous con man," this horrible, terrible, evil person (did I mention he's a bad guy?) in the synopsis. But I doubt reading the synopsis would significantly change your opinon of the excerpt.

I poked around (I should really be writing instead of "poking around!") and found these short reviews, all 5-stars:
http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping/shopreviewlist.asp?id=17279
It's interesting that Ernest in Florida wrote the exact same review as Candace in Illinois.

CatSlave
01-02-2007, 01:23 AM
Publish America - The best thing to EVER happen to unknown authors
...Especially when they didn't ask me for ONE CENT up front.

...I think that anyone who has NOT SPENT A DIME and got their book published should be overflowing with gratitude to PA.

...My God people if NO MONEY has exchanged hands their is no scam!

...I ordered for my son 100 copies he's going to sell in chicago...

The minute YOU bought your first book, money DID change hands. That's how they get you -- not up front, like an honest vanity publisher, but after you've signed on and become your own captive buying audience. You've been blinded by what you think is the light at the end of a tunnel, when it's really the train of disaster headed your way. I hope they serve you better than they did the other PA authors here, but I doubt it. Again, I wish you all the best.

stormie
01-02-2007, 01:29 AM
I cannot believe the comments on here because I have had the most wonderful experience with PA
So far. Give it a few months.


I knew about it before I signed and that is why I made sure to:
Edit my manuscript 3 times before submitting.
I looked at your book's excerpt on your website, and found a lot of errors.

I knew that they would expect me to take responsibility for most of the promotion. Ask any well known author and they will tell you that promotion is mainly up to them. The publishers don't give much assistance. Not true.



I am sure PA has beat them out of more than a few good manuscripts. Doubtful.



If I could I would kiss the hands of everyone at PA for rescuing poor unknown authors from the hellish rejection cycles of traditional publishers I'm a college grad. I even taught for several years before turning to writing. Yet I had a ways to go to learn the craft of writing. And no editor ever knew if I was black, white, green, or eighty-years-old. Nor did they care. It's the writing that counts, plain and simple.

imagoodgurl4
01-02-2007, 01:44 AM
benbradley: You're right, I didn't read the synopsis before that earlier post, I only read the sample. I read it from the link you posted and you're right, it still doesn't change my opinion. I even found a few errors in her synopsis that, to me, are a huge turnoff. If you can't right a decent synopsis, what makes me think your story will be any better?

I poked around the rest of the website (I really should be writing too, lol) and I noticed how she uses third person when describing herself on her author's page. Since she did state she has free websites, I think it's safe to assume she manages them herself, which, in my opinion, appears ammatuerish. I once had a substitute teacher in elementary school that referred to herself in the third person....highly annoying.

She also stated she has a college degree and she is therefore a professional and does not need editing services. Again, when I checked her website, it says it's in business. How does that have anything to do with writing? I'm going to be receiving my Bachelor of Science this year in Architecture and that doesn' t mean I'm anymore an expert on writing just because I've gone to college, nor does it make me an expert architect.

I read the reviews, but if her book isn't due out yet, as I believe she stated in an earlier post, either on this thread or another one, how did she get reviews? Not only that, but how are all 5 positve? I mean, not everyone is going to like your work, no matter how good it is. And yes, the last two were most definitely posted by the same people, which makes me think it's not necessarily other posters, but perhaps a couple people who work for PA. Very fishy.

Sorry for the long post, but I just have no tolerance for ignorant people like bstevens.

bstevens
01-02-2007, 01:46 AM
Where do I start. My goodness, after reading these posts, I think my blood pressure raised. I wish there was a smiley that threw up their hands and sighed. I went through the PA thing, and I can tell you from my experience, it was the worst ride I had ever had. Thank God I received my rights back before my book went to print. Not only was it not ready for publication, PA was willing to print it as is knowing fully well that it wouldn't go anywhere.

I have a question for you BStevens. Who told you that unknown authors cannot get published through legit publishers?? Sweetie, that's not true AT ALL!! Publishers are always looking for new talent. Go into any big bookstore and check out the new books coming in each month. Also, you can do a search for new authors by visiting publishing companies online.

You said that you have three completed novels ready to go, correct? That's awesome! :D If I were you, I'd start shopping them around. It's a fact of life that every writer gets rejected. You just have to keep sending out queries and never give up. With the strong determination that you possess, I feel that you'll make it in this business. And with that, I wish you the best! :)

At this point I just say NO to traditional publishers. I went through a whole year of excuses like: 1) we only look at material from agents; 2) some want first 3 chapters and some want whole book and heaven help you if you don't do it just right - REJECTION; 3) they all have different procedures; 4) many are only interested in certain genres; 5) I found one interested agent and she wanted me to pay HER up front.

No thanks. After one year of that hell and all those vanity publishers trying to get $1000-$5000 out of me WITHOUT seeing their finished product. PA sounded like a fabulous deal to me even after I read all the Preditor Editor crap. I'm still happy. My book is beautiful. The cover is more beautiful than I ever imagined. www.barbarastevensbooks.com (http://www.barbarastevensbooks.com)
, product delivery is good so far, most of all they didn't tear apart my manuscript.

Just waiting now to see how royalty payments will work. If everything goes good I'll likely give them the rest of my work. Not subjecting myself through query hell again.

illiterwrite
01-02-2007, 01:50 AM
2) some want first 3 chapters and some want whole book and heaven help you if you don't do it just right - REJECTION;

Oh, golly gosh, I know it's hard to follow guidelines, isn't it?

I'm a first-time author. I have no connections at all, and no one knows my name. My book will be published by Penguin in April. Like others have said, it's certainly possible to do, and all without (gasp) paying a dime.

bstevens
01-02-2007, 01:50 AM
benbradley: You're right, I didn't read the synopsis before that earlier post, I only read the sample. I read it from the link you posted and you're right, it still doesn't change my opinion. I even found a few errors in her synopsis that, to me, are a huge turnoff. If you can't right a decent synopsis, what makes me think your story will be any better?

I poked around the rest of the website (I really should be writing too, lol) and I noticed how she uses third person when describing herself on her author's page. Since she did state she has free websites, I think it's safe to assume she manages them herself, which, in my opinion, appears ammatuerish. I once had a substitute teacher in elementary school that referred to herself in the third person....highly annoying.

She also stated she has a college degree and she is therefore a professional and does not need editing services. Again, when I checked her website, it says it's in business. How does that have anything to do with writing? I'm going to be receiving my Bachelor of Science this year in Architecture and that doesn' t mean I'm anymore an expert on writing just because I've gone to college, nor does it make me an expert architect.

I read the reviews, but if her book isn't due out yet, as I believe she stated in an earlier post, either on this thread or another one, how did she get reviews? Not only that, but how are all 5 positve? I mean, not everyone is going to like your work, no matter how good it is. And yes, the last two were most definitely posted by the same people, which makes me think it's not necessarily other posters, but perhaps a couple people who work for PA. Very fishy.

Sorry for the long post, but I just have no tolerance for ignorant people like bstevens.

I'm not wasting up my professional writing skills on this crappy board. What errors did you find in my synopsis? You're no English major. You're stupid. PA won't accept your work A**hole.

WildScribe
01-02-2007, 01:51 AM
OK it it just that at this point in time I feel an injustice is being done to PA and the many benefits that an unknown penniless author could derive would be lost if PA closes its doors.

Do you work for PA? Seriously, now.

Also, I checked out your web site. I'm not going to say a thing about your plot, but your editing needs some work. For a couple of bucks I might be willing to correct the grammatical errors for you, and even punch up the text a bit.

bstevens
01-02-2007, 01:52 AM
This is exactly what real legitimate publishing companies do, all the time. Your value to a real publisher is in the work, not in any up-front fee. If they think the work is valuable, they'll accept it, publish it, get some level of distribution, and expect to make money from its sales. They'll probably even pay you an advance against royalties, up front.

Study and learn, Grasshopper.

caw

Keep on dreaming. Life is long. My time is precious. I don't know about yours.

bstevens
01-02-2007, 01:54 AM
Do you work for PA? Seriously, now.

Also, I checked out your web site. I'm not going to say a thing about your plot, but your editing needs some work. For a couple of bucks I might be willing to correct the grammatical errors for you, and even punch up the text a bit.

HA HA that's why most of you are on this site. Trying to get people to pay for what PA will do for FREE. I don't need your imbecile skills. Sell it to a sucker who is dumb enough to pay you.

James D. Macdonald
01-02-2007, 01:55 AM
Please, everyone, there's no need to be slinging around words like "ignorant." No one is perfect; no one knows everything.

Respect.

Talk about facts and leave the personalities out.

Gravity
01-02-2007, 01:57 AM
Not subjecting myself through query hell again.

Then you'll never be commercially published, Barb. It's as simple as that (and did you even read my testimony to you a page or so back? I wonder).

Folks, I think we've all shot our bolt here. I know it's incredible, but there are really some writers who don't want any bookstore placement, nationally-recognized reviews, have their work competitively-priced, enjoy sales of more than a hundred copies (and most of those to themselves) or anything else. Jeff Miller fits this paradigm; so does Barb. There's no sense haranguing the girl. She's ecstatic. For her, PA is heaven. Let's leave her to it.

bstevens
01-02-2007, 01:57 AM
The excerpt might make more sense if you read the synopsis on the main website (you can't get to it by hitting the "Home" button on the Excerpt page, that link is broken for some reason, you have to go to the main page without adding "index.whatever" to it):
http://www.barbarastevensbooks.com/
I had already read it and it becomes clear she (the main character) is talking with the "unscrupulous con man," this horrible, terrible, evil person (did I mention he's a bad guy?) in the synopsis. But I doubt reading the synopsis would significantly change your opinon of the excerpt.

I poked around (I should really be writing instead of "poking around!") and found these short reviews, all 5-stars:
http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping/shopreviewlist.asp?id=17279
It's interesting that Ernest in Florida wrote the exact same review as Candace in Illinois.

You have to be real dumb to come up with that conclusion. You're stupid as hell and desperate for money and have some insane hate because PA didn't accept your work obviously.

I guess you think the cover is ugly too LOL LOL LOL just because PA did it. Pathetic to have so much hate for a company because they didn't want you.

Gravity
01-02-2007, 01:59 AM
Wow. And this is where the wheels come off. The timeline to these things never changes, does it?

Birol
01-02-2007, 02:01 AM
Barbara, MacAllister has already warned you about the open hostility. Watch the personal attacks and invective.

You came here of your own accord, where you knew the majority of individuals were opposed to PA's business practices, and yet you have been genuinely welcomed. The other members are simply having a discussion with you.

As for you other members, I know you all feel very strongly about this, and I know that any author should be willing to hear criticism of their work without taking it personally, but for the time being, lets steer clear of specific discussions about Barbara's manuscript, okay?

Now, everyone (this includes you, Barbara) let's step back and take a deep breath, before resuming the conversation.

bstevens
01-02-2007, 02:01 AM
Oh, golly gosh, I know it's hard to follow guidelines, isn't it?

I'm a first-time author. I have no connections at all, and no one knows my name. My book will be published by Penguin in April. Like others have said, it's certainly possible to do, and all without (gasp) paying a dime.

I don't believe a d**mn thing that any of you people are saying on here. You have some extreme hatred for PA and will concoct ANY lie on the planet to prove you're right. If you were truly a writer and so valuable to major publishers WHY THE HELL DO YOU HAVE TIME OR WANT TO CUT UP A COMPANY THAT YOU SAY IS SO INFERIOR?????

TwentyFour
01-02-2007, 02:03 AM
OUCH! BStevens I sent you a nice welcoming pm and you came back calling people names. I dislike PA but won't sucker punch anyone with names over it. Please, please, do not call people names here, it's a bad thing to do anywhere. I've posted things and others gave me advice on how it should be written and so on. I've had some rude people once or twice but I never came back saying they were A**holes (cursing is allowed here but I hardly do it anyway). I hope we can all just get along today--ITS A HOLIDAY. Happy New Year~!

imagoodgurl4
01-02-2007, 02:06 AM
bstevens: if you read my post, you would have seen what errors I found in your synopsis. I never claimed to be an English major, but I have studied several AP English courses in both high school and college. But you are not an English major either. You have a degree in Business, as stated on your website. I'm not stupid and you are under a serious misconception if you think your opinion about my intelligence matters to me. I happen to know I'm a very bright person and I have a relatively high IQ (probably a bit higher than yours, judging by the fact that you've sunk so low as to attempt to insult me rather than try to validate your argument.) If you don't agree with my opinions, say so and then back up your claims. They are my opinions. You are entitled to your as I am entitled to mine. If you don't want to hear what people have to say, then you shouldn't post on a board that is very obviously opposed to PA.

I'm glad PA wouldn't accept my work. Not that I'd submit to them anyway. I care about my work too much. It's too good for them anyways. They wouldn't know it was good whether it bit them in the butt or not anyway, seeing as how they don't read any submissions they receive. But, seeing as how you've never read my work, don't presume to think that you are capable of judging it. I plan on submitting to real publishers. Where I'll actually get paid. I'll tell you what, when I do get published by a REAL publisher, I'll send you a free copy.

A$$hole, huh? Is this the part where my feelings are supposed to be hurt? I've got news for you, I've been called worse and at least I can respect those people's opinions, because they know me.

Good luck with your book.

Birol
01-02-2007, 02:08 AM
Because we care about writers as people, Barbara.

I'm also telling you, right now, that if you were anyone other than a PA author caught up in the height of ecstasy, you would have already been temporarily banned or put into limbo until you cooled down.

Mac, Jim, and I have all told you to leave the hostility at the door.

Now, either you step back voluntarily until you cool down or I will do it for you.

bstevens
01-02-2007, 02:09 AM
Barbara, MacAllister has already warned you about the open hostility. Watch the personal attacks and invective.

You came here of your own accord, where you knew the majority of individuals were opposed to PA's business practices, and yet you have been genuinely welcomed. The other members are simply having a discussion with you.

As for you other members, I know you all feel very strongly about this, and I know that any author should be willing to hear criticism of their work without taking it personally, but for the time being, lets steer clear of specific discussions about Barbara's manuscript, okay?

Now, everyone (this includes you, Barbara) let's step back and take a deep breath, before resuming the conversation.

I'm out. Sorry I came here since you are personally attacking my VERY GOOD work because you have such insane hate for PA.
This is a waste of my time. Unlike some, I have writing to do and stories to tell and I can't do that if I spend all my time blogging out hate and Neither can you. That's why I don't believe you're writers at all. Just some disgruntled ex PA authors. If they're good enough for the BBB. They're certainly good enough for me. So focus your hate on the Better Business Bureau instead of me please. Goodbye

Gravity
01-02-2007, 02:10 AM
Yeah, Barb, you're right. We're all liars and haters here, every man-jack (and woman-jill) of us. I'm lying when I said that I'm a former PA author, and now I'm commercially published, yadda, yadda.

Y'know kid, I've tried to like you, to give you the benefit of the doubt, knowing the hell you've willingly stepped into, but you're making damned hard (gotta feeling this thread isn't going to end well...)

Chickadee
01-02-2007, 02:13 AM
She also stated she has a college degree and she is therefore a professional and does not need editing services. Again, when I checked her website, it says it's in business. How does that have anything to do with writing? I'm going to be receiving my Bachelor of Science this year in Architecture and that doesn' t mean I'm anymore an expert on writing just because I've gone to college, nor does it make me an expert architect.

I do have a relevant degree in English and even I know that my papers that were written well enough to earn As and Bs at my university doesn't mean that I am an expert in the English language.


I'm not wasting up my professional writing skills on this crappy board. What errors did you find in my synopsis? You're no English major.

Ms. Stevens, I am an English major and if you'll pardon me for saying so, the other posters are quite correct: there are plenty of grammar errors you missed during your edits.

Marian Perera
01-02-2007, 02:15 AM
I'm out. Sorry I came here since you are personally attacking my VERY GOOD work because you have such insane hate for PA.

The only hostility I've seen so far has been from you. People have wished you luck and addressed you politely, but you have not seen fit to respond with courtesy - which IMO is not a professional attitude. You're going to find it difficult enough to peddle books already; are you planning to accuse store managers of "insane hate" if they tell you that their policy is not to carry books from PA?

TwentyFour
01-02-2007, 02:15 AM
I think since they posted AW's site on the PAMB, they sent someone here to fight.

Birol
01-02-2007, 02:16 AM
I never can keep track of these things. When does PA mail out their royalty checks again?

James D. Macdonald
01-02-2007, 02:17 AM
At this point I just say NO to traditional publishers.



ONE hot summer’s day a Fox was strolling through an orchard till he came to a bunch of Grapes just ripening on a vine which had been trained over a lofty branch. “Just the things to quench my thirst,” quoth he. Drawing back a few paces, he took a run and a jump, and just missed the bunch. Turning round again with a One, Two, Three, he jumped up, but with no greater success. Again and again he tried after the tempting morsel, but at last had to give it up, and walked away with his nose in the air, saying: “I am sure they are sour.”

“IT IS EASY TO DESPISE WHAT YOU CANNOT GET.”


I went through a whole year of excuses like: 1) we only look at material from agents;

So, get an agent, or don't go to publishers that require agents. This should be spelled out in the publishers' guidelines.



2) some want first 3 chapters and some want whole book and heaven help you if you don't do it just right - REJECTION;

Again, what they want is spelled out in their guidelines.



3) they all have different procedures;

Guidelines.


4) many are only interested in certain genres;

Very true. Guidelines.


5) I found one interested agent and she wanted me to pay HER up front.

She was a scammer. Guaranteed.

What you need to do is write a better book, and submit it according to the publishers' (and/or agents') guidelines.

My very best advice right now is that you forget this book with PA. Don't try to break the contract. Don't try to get the rights back. Instead, take the time that you'd otherwise spend on promoting it to write a new, different, better book. Then another book beyond that. Keep working on your craft. Then submit those new, better books (following the publishers' guidelines to the letter).

That really is 100% of the secret of success in this trade. Write a book that other folks want to read. (Not "are willing to read." Want to read.) Then submit it according to the publisher's guidelines to a publisher that publishes your genre.

John Grisham couldn't sell one of his legal thrillers to Harlequin. Nor would he be foolish enough to try. Publishers specialize in the markets that they know how to promote.

Here's what every real publisher gives every one of their authors (even the newbie first-timers):

1). Review copies well in advance of publication to major review venues.
2). Listings in their catalog.
3). Promotion by their salesforce to bookstores and libraries.
4). Advertisements in trade publications.

All of those things are invisible to the authors. None of those are things the authors can do on their own. All of them are vital.

PublishAmerica does none of them.

===========

From Marlowe's Faustus (http://www.bartleby.com/19/2/15.html):

Faust. Come, I think hell’s a fable. Meph. Ay, think so still, till experience change thy mind.

jchines
01-02-2007, 02:18 AM
BStevens -- I suspect stepping back and spending your (and our) energy on something else is probably a good idea at this point.

But you say your book comes out on January 15? Would you mind checking in with us in about six months to let us know how it's going? I would also suggest waiting at least that long before giving PA the rest of your work, so you can see and decide for yourself if the results are what you what. But of course that's up to you.

In the meantime, I wish you the best of luck.

James D. Macdonald
01-02-2007, 02:21 AM
Incidentally, PA did accept my work.

Read all about it here (http://critters.critique.org/sting/).

Ilovepensandpaper
01-02-2007, 02:21 AM
PA doesn't know if I will buy or sell a single copy and they worked for me and TRUSTED me. I love them for that.

Publish America trusts you to buy copies of your own book, as well as your friends and family. That's all it trusts you to do.

bstevens
01-02-2007, 02:23 AM
BStevens -- I suspect stepping back and spending your (and our) energy on something else is probably a good idea at this point.

But you say your book comes out on January 15? Would you mind checking in with us in about six months to let us know how it's going? I would also suggest waiting at least that long before giving PA the rest of your work, so you can see and decide for yourself if the results are what you what. But of course that's up to you.

In the meantime, I wish you the best of luck.

Thank you and goodbye. Be glad to do that.

James D. Macdonald
01-02-2007, 02:24 AM
I never can keep track of these things. When does PA mail out their royalty checks again?

End of February, to arrive in March.

We're well into their ninety-day-excuse period right now. September will be the eye-opener for the recently-published folks.

Bartholomew
01-02-2007, 02:34 AM
Thank you and goodbye. Be glad to do that.

Aww...

illiterwrite
01-02-2007, 02:38 AM
I don't believe a d**mn thing that any of you people are saying on here. You have some extreme hatred for PA and will concoct ANY lie on the planet to prove you're right. If you were truly a writer and so valuable to major publishers WHY THE HELL DO YOU HAVE TIME OR WANT TO CUT UP A COMPANY THAT YOU SAY IS SO INFERIOR?????

No, I'm not lying. Sigh.

WildScribe
01-02-2007, 02:43 AM
HA HA that's why most of you are on this site. Trying to get people to pay for what PA will do for FREE. I don't need your imbecile skills. Sell it to a sucker who is dumb enough to pay you.

Actually, a more than a few businesses and individuals have paid me to edit their website content. Because this is so funny, though, I'll do it pro bono.



In this book, Barbara weaves a tale
of betrayal, witchcraft and loss of
human spirit. (This is generalized and should be left out entirely. )The story vividly reveals
what REALLY goes on when naive
American women travel alone and, fall
into the hands of unscrupulous con
men. (Actually, I have little doubt as to what happens to ANY woman who falls in with con men.)

The heroine (Is the a heroine, really?) of this book, Brenda, a
businesswoman and professional (you might have to explain to us the important distinction between businesswoman and professional in this context) , is a
rising star in Corporate America - on the
fast track(redundant). Desperately in need of some
rest and relaxation she arranges a
vacation to Jamaica, hoping to revive
her energies and motivation(Also repetative). Everyone
warns her to be careful traveling alone
but,(the comma goes before "but") headstrong Brenda does not heed
their warnings, (no comma here)as she immerses herself
into a relationship that would (will, or better yet just "leads") lead to
the worst betrayal imaginable, (no comma here, either, however I am also out of breath. Separate this run-un) at the
hands of an abusive con man and his
common law wife. A con man that is so
skilled in deception that U.S. law
enforcement cannot even see through
his bag of tricks(I have trouble believing this, but I guess we can suspend reality here). It is only after the O.J.
Simpson trial and, (comma, space, and) a public outcry to
end domestic abuse, (no comma here) that she is
delivered from the hands of the
perpetrator.(perpetrator works here in a way, but did you mean something more like "predator"?)

Brenda experiences her own
private 911 (9/11, but you are throwing in so many American landmark events that I am flooded ((see how clever I am? ;)))as she succumbs to
brokenness of the human spirit and a
complete nervous breakdown. (What is endearing about her? Why do we want to follow her?) This is a
book you will not put down as it unfolds
the elaborate plot to circumvent the
U.S. Immigration process, infidelity,
pure evil in its worst form, identity theft
and finally absolution.

With each stroke of her masterful pen, (Ouch. It's obvious that the author wrote the synopsis, so to see this smacks of ego.)
the characters seem to come alive
before your very eyes. The story is
riveting as it unfolds and takes you on a
journey so evil and twisted it defies the
imagination.

Please keep in mind that this was not as thorough as I normally do, but I'm in a hurry to post it before you're banned. This is not meant to be rude or cruel, but is a crit just like any I would give another member here. ]

Best of Luck,
Dionne

Bartholomew
01-02-2007, 02:45 AM
I don't believe a d**mn thing that any of you people are saying on here. You have some extreme hatred for PA and will concoct ANY lie on the planet to prove you're right. If you were truly a writer and so valuable to major publishers WHY THE HELL DO YOU HAVE TIME OR WANT TO CUT UP A COMPANY THAT YOU SAY IS SO INFERIOR?????

I, for one, believe that Publish America provides a very good service.

To the publishing industry.

Slush piles can be mighty work, and Publish America sops slush up like a huge, amoral sponge.

Rolling Thunder
01-02-2007, 02:47 AM
LOCK THREAD

Medievalist
01-02-2007, 02:49 AM
I'm not wasting up my professional writing skills on this crappy board. What errors did you find in my synopsis? You're no English major. You're stupid. PA won't accept your work A**hole.

Oh wow.

I was feeling a little sorry for you; I'm not now. Not even a little.

You're in a wonderful position, here, to learn from some amazing people, people like James Macdonald, who's a top notch writer, a very well respected author, and a fine teacher.

Don't blow it.

DeadlyAccurate
01-02-2007, 02:52 AM
You have to be real dumb to come up with that conclusion. You're stupid as hell and desperate for money and have some insane hate because PA didn't accept your work obviously.

I guess you think the cover is ugly too LOL LOL LOL just because PA did it. Pathetic to have so much hate for a company because they didn't want you.

Been a while since I got my BBA, but I'm pretty sure none of my marketing classes included "How To Make Sales By Insulting Potential Customers."

alleycat
01-02-2007, 02:52 AM
I had a feeling . . .

Julianne
01-02-2007, 03:06 AM
OK, I don't post very often, but since I'm in an editing mood and because Barbara did ask... Only clear-cut grammatical errors are noted.


"The story vividly reveals what REALLY goes on when naive American women travel alone and, [delete comma] fall into the hands of unscrupulous con men.

The heroine of this book, Brenda, a businesswoman and professional, is a rising star in Corporate America - on the fast track. Desperately in need of some rest and relaxation, [insert comma] she arranges a vacation to Jamaica, hoping to revive her energies and motivation. Everyone warns her to be careful traveling alone, [comma goes here, not after "but"] but, [delete comma here] headstrong Brenda does not heed their warnings, [delete comma] as she immerses herself into a relationship that would lead to the worst betrayal imaginable, [delete comma] at the hands of an abusive con man and his common law wife. [The previous sentence is also awkwardly written; it could be made into to shorter ones.] A con man that ["that" should be "who"] is so skilled in deception that U.S. law enforcement cannot even see through his bag of tricks. It is only after the O.J. Simpson trial and, [delete comma] a public outcry to end domestic abuse, [delete comma] that she is delivered from the hands of the perpetrator.

Brenda experiences her own private 911 as she succumbs to brokenness of the human spirit and a complete nervous breakdown. This is a book you will not put down as it unfolds the elaborate plot to circumvent the U.S. immigration process, infidelity, pure evil in its worst form, identity theft and finally absolution. [previous doesn't make sense -- unless you really do mean to say that someone in the story circumvents infidelity, evil, identity theft, and absolution]

With each stroke of her masterful pen, the characters [faulty sentence construction; as written (with the pronoun "her") the opening clause must modify the subject of the sentence - "characters". If "her" is the author, the clause needs to read as such.] seem to come alive before your very eyes. The story is riveting as it unfolds and takes you on a journey so evil and twisted it defies the imagination."

Good luck with your book, Barbara.

SC Harrison
01-02-2007, 03:07 AM
I don't believe a d**mn thing that any of you people are saying on here. You have some extreme hatred for PA and will concoct ANY lie on the planet to prove you're right. If you were truly a writer and so valuable to major publishers WHY THE HELL DO YOU HAVE TIME OR WANT TO CUT UP A COMPANY THAT YOU SAY IS SO INFERIOR?????

Believe it or not, it's to help people like you. I know you won't accept that now, and that's okay. Many PA authors have come here in an effort to expose what they think is an unwarranted conspiracy against the company that's making their dream come true. When you awake from the dream, you will understand what we are trying to do here.

Bartholomew
01-02-2007, 03:08 AM
You have to be real dumb to come up with that conclusion. You're stupid as hell and desperate for money and have some insane hate because PA didn't accept your work obviously.

I guess you think the cover is ugly too LOL LOL LOL just because PA did it. Pathetic to have so much hate for a company because they didn't want you.

And now its time for another episode of FORUM ETIQUETTE WITH CAPTAIN COOL!

*The paperclip from MS Word appears and taps on the thread.*

"lol" doesn't mean anything. Perhaps you meant to type a simple, "heh," to imply a chuckle? Or a "Buahahahah" to imply demonic laughter?

You're insulting the other forum goers. This weakens your stance and paints you in a bad light.

You're defying all logic. Perhaps you meant to make your post sound reasonable? Or perhaps you meant to insert a "J/K" at the end?

*The paperclip vanishes*

Thanks Captain Cool!

Dawno
01-02-2007, 03:11 AM
Folks, PA's business practices would be the best thing to focus on. If a Publish America author even follows the PA boards long enough they'll see plenty of posts (up until they're deleted) about folks who can't get their books into bookstores or have trouble getting signings, etc.

Our opinion of any author's writing is just that, our opinion. It doesn't mean a thing. The facts about Publish America's business practices are easy to prove and are meaningful.

Pick a fact, focus on it, link to the source material.

stormie
01-02-2007, 03:12 AM
Interesting--PA authors have to defend themselves and PA. Those who are commercially (or as Barbara says, "traditionally") published, never have to.

Raindrops
01-02-2007, 03:13 AM
I will reply to your post the best way I can.

Here are lists of publishers that do not require an agent:

Dorchester
Tor
Harlequin
Champagne
Mundania Press
Twilight Times books
The Wild Rose Press
There are many others, but this is just off the top of my head.


Before you shop your manuscripts around, you need to do some research to see which publishers take your genre. It's not a big deal to send the first three chapters of your book. As far as writing a synopsis/query, it is unavoidable. I don't like to write them any more than any other writer does, but if you expect to get published, you have no other choice. And be persistant. Even though you get a rejection, keep sending them out.


Also, you should NEVER pay for an agent. If they ask for money up front, then they're a scam.


I'm still learning about the publishing world, and I have to say, it's rough. But I'm willing to do whatever it takes to succeed and if that means hard work, so be it.

Don't give up. :)

Gravity
01-02-2007, 03:14 AM
Thank you and goodbye. Be glad to do that.

I'm not sure. In the Bingo game, does that count as a flounce? Or not? Maybe kind of a flounce-light. This one's hard to score...

Gravity
01-02-2007, 03:16 AM
Yep, stick a fork in this one. It's done.

Birol
01-02-2007, 03:19 AM
DO bust out the ban-stick, love.

I agree with Gravity, that we've really said all that we can say, but as long as you guys can stand up under the personal attacks without attacking back, I'd rather leave the door open for Barbara for now.

WildScribe
01-02-2007, 03:20 AM
Because odds are she'll be back in a year asking for help getting her rights back. Sad, but true.

LloydBrown
01-02-2007, 03:21 AM
I'm game. I'd still like to see some supporting statements and a willingness to read the same in return. "You're all wrong and you're stupid if you don't see it my way" gets old.

Dawno
01-02-2007, 03:21 AM
Bart, I've been watching the PA threads for a couple of years now, some posters here came in with a very defensive attitude and are now members. Calling people trolls isn't helpful.

Birol
01-02-2007, 03:22 AM
I'm game. I'd still like to see some supporting statements and a willingness to read the same in return. "You're all wrong and you're stupid if you don't see it my way" gets old.


Agreed. It does. If the personal invective continues, it will be dealt with.

Gravity
01-02-2007, 03:22 AM
I agree with Gravity, that we've really said all that we can say, but as long as you guys can stand up under the personal attacks without attacking back, I'd rather leave the door open for Barbara for now.

Yeah, keep it open; I'm tougher than I look. Maybe Barb is in that "anger" part of grieving. Or something. :::sigh::: We sure get 'em here, don't we?

James D. Macdonald
01-02-2007, 03:24 AM
Guys, critiques and copyedits of the sample text don't belong here. No matter how they're meant, they don't.

If the samples are posted by the author over in Share Your Work, sure, go to town. But here ... here we talk about PA's business practices.

(Though I will make an exception for the writing of Larry, Willem, and Miranda. Comment away on them.)

Bartholomew
01-02-2007, 03:27 AM
Calling people trolls isn't helpful.

Gotta call 'em like I see 'em. Sowwy. :cry:

PattiTheWicked
01-02-2007, 03:27 AM
Unknown authors must remember that they are the competition to these professional writers and taking money out of their pockets, just like all the reality shows with regular people are taking jobs from professional actors. I love this new era of the common man being given a chance.

By your logic, Nora Roberts is probably quaking in her million-dollar shoes, concerned that some no-name writer is going to steal her sales. ("Oh, no!" cried Nora. "Patti from AW has a story and someone might read hers instead of my Number One Best Seller!")

The fact is, the "common man" doesn't often get a chance to publish because more often than not, his (or her) work really sucks. If you have been turned down by every single publisher out there, then you know what? There's a reason for it. Either you're work isn't good enough or it's not something they feel they can sell. Either way, why would you want to give your money to a company like PA that basically asks you to pimp books out of your garage?

There are many authors on AW who have published with various POD presses -- myself included -- who can look back after gaining experience and say "Oooh. Now I see why Kensington/HarperCollins/Avon turned me down."

Joanna_S
01-02-2007, 03:45 AM
It sounds like Barbara's anger is a defense against hearing the truth about her 'publisher'. I agree that although she needs to clean up her act a bit, she shouldn't be banned. If she can work through the anger and grief, she's going to need a place like this to recover. She's obviously passionate about writing. Let's just hope she can maintain that passion when reality bites.

And Barbara, as people often say around here, every author was once a first time author. We all had to pay our dues, send out submissions, deal with rejections, etc. I recently found out that two of my books went into third printings (in the English language editions). I haven't done one single thing to promote them -- not a signing, an appearance, nothing. And I certainly never bought and sold a copy myself. I'm not famous in the slightest. People bought the books, not the author. I guess I'm just saying that it's best not to believe all the misinformation spread on the PA site and message boards. If you're as good as you say you are, don't settle. Just get better and go back to the cycle of submission and rejection and (fingers crossed) acceptance that we all have to do to be published writers.

-- Joanna

Cathy C
01-02-2007, 03:48 AM
I'm out. Sorry I came here since you are personally attacking my VERY GOOD work because you have such insane hate for PA.
This is a waste of my time. Unlike some, I have writing to do and stories to tell and I can't do that if I spend all my time blogging out hate and Neither can you. That's why I don't believe you're writers at all. Just some disgruntled ex PA authors. If they're good enough for the BBB. They're certainly good enough for me. So focus your hate on the Better Business Bureau instead of me please. Goodbye

bstevens, it's quite possible you won't see this reply, but I hope you do because it's VERY important to your future as an author. I haven't read your website, but I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and believe you have an audience for the book you wrote. Cool. Now, we have to talk about what that means in the real world, because I'm all about audience and selling to them. Ask anyone here--I'm HUGE on promotion and believe it's helped my book. But what promotion means to the audience may not be what you think, so it's important to discuss what you're letting yourself in for.

There are only three things an audience (e.g., the reader) cares about in a book:

1. Content.

2. Price.

3. Availability.

Content. The content is up to you. That's the ONE thing you can control when pubbing with PA. Unfortunately, even the very best content in the world can't protect you from the other two, and no amount of promotion can sway over the top of them.

Price. Here's the real problem with PA. You're absolutely correct that the publisher hasn't requested any money from you. But neither is the publisher putting in any money themselves. No, it's the READER, your audience, who is being asked to fund your venture into writing. In a way, all publishers expect the readers to pay, but there's a significant difference in the method commercial publishers in New York and even small presses use versus what PA does. Now, to get a good idea of how New York does it, you should read Tor editor Anna Genoese's blog--specifically, "P&Ls and how books make (or don't) money: part the first (http://alg.livejournal.com/84032.html)" I'm going to steal a little bit of it to post here (and ask her forgiveness for doing so, since she does come here from time to time):




Here is a grid:


Art - $5,900

Printing covers for marketing use (kits, etc.) - $4,500

Typesetting & design - $2,700

Copyediting - $1,000

Proofreading - $405

PPB (paper, printing and binding) - $19,295

Ad/promo (bookmarks, ads) - $1,900

Galleys - $300


Add it up. Your total cost on this book is $36,000. In USD, yes.



Okay, now, out of the publisher's own pocket, they have paid $36,000 for an average paperback to put it on the street. That's an AVERAGE one, without special treatment. In addition to this, in the scenario Anna gives, she has paid an advance to the author of $12,500 IN ADDITION to these costs, for a total of $48,500. To recover this amount, they charge the public $6.99 per copy and hope for the best. For the sake of comparison, we're going to say that this is a trade paperback, the size PA prints, and give it a discount price of $13.95, which increases the chance for a profit.

Now, compare that to PA. The company pays the up-front fee the printer charges of about $300. They pay for a stock cover (meaning the art isn't custom drawn/painted/photographed based on the contents.) Let's be generous and say that's $1,000. Editor's time is about $200 (again, being REALLY generous from what I understand of the time spent.) So, PA has paid approx. $1,500. But what do they charge the public? "$13.95? No. $14.95? No.

How about $24.95? Yep. That's the average price of a PA book of comparable size to a NY release (say around 300 pages.) Why? Well, it's not the quality of the book, I'm sorry to say. It's that they don't intend to spend one penny of the cost to produce the book out of their own pocket, and yet--they still expect a superior profit from the book. You're getting what, 10% on the list price? Let's be generous and say 20%. If the book costs $5.00 to produce (again being generous), and you get another $5.00 in royalties, that means THE PUBLISHER receives the other $14.95--the FULL price of a similarly excellent book from NY.

Why is this?

Because PA wants to take no risk on their books. They want the profit, but not the risk. But without risk, there's no incentive to be concerned about the book. If they have nothing to lose, then they also have nothing to gain by expending effort. The AUTHOR is the only one with risk in the PA scenario. They risk no royalties. PA risks nothing. You already said you ordered 100 copies. They've got their entire expenditure back without lifting a finger.

That's why they don't warehouse books and do standard fulfillment of orders.

That's why they don't promote the titles with advertising.

That's why they don't bother to enter into contracts with bookstores to take returns.

They don't need to.

Availability. remember that two of the things that matter to the public are price and availability. If the book isn't in bookstores, then the reader has to search it out. If they search it out, even if the book is well-regarded, the price is too high. Heck, remember that the price on the MEGA-SIZED Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (at 783 pages, in hardcover) was $29.99. That's because New York knows that the public has a "stop point" when shopping for books. That stop point is $30.00, regardless of the quality . . . regardless of how bad they want it. For $24.95, they won't go to much effort, and shipping from a webseller like Amazon, is going to zap that price over the top of their budget. I've seen it too many times.

That's the problem with PA. It's not hating. It's not prejudice. They've simply chosen a business model that pushes their books right to the edge of failure, forcing the author to keep it from falling over the cliff. Without constant attention, without infusion of time and cash for promotion, the book will fall over the edge. And unfortunately, PA doesn't care whether it fails or not. That's why the ex-PA authors are angry. They believed their books stood as much of a fighting chance as every NY book on the shelf. But the PA books don't have that $48,500 spent to get it to the readers. That's the lie they tell.

I hope your book does well. But you're walking into an uphill battle. I wish you the best. :)

Christine N.
01-02-2007, 04:08 AM
Barbara, I'd be glad to take a look at your work for free. Now, I get paid money by a legitimate publisher in Los Angeles, whose name I will gladly give you, to rewrite things that have been translated from Japanese. I'm good at what I do, they are very happy with my work.

It takes time and a critical eye to weed out the technical errors that people have pointed out in your work here. That sure as heck doesn't mean that my own work doesn't need editing. It'd be like going to the prom naked. Ack!

If you don't want to take our advice, I suggest you get yourself a copy of "Self-Editing for Fiction Writers". One of the best books about the technical aspects of writing there is, IMO.

I've told you some of the publishers that have paid some of the authors here for their work. You can go to bookstores and find their books.

Jim C. Hines, Daw
Liam Jackson, St. Martins Press
Jim MacDonald, Tor
Jackie Kessler, Kensington
Susan Gable, Harlequin

There are more. Go and search these people on this site, then go to the store and look for their books (oops, I think Jackies book doesn't some out until later this year.)

Real publishers. We're NOT lying to you, we have no reason. PA is the liars.

I have no hate for PA because they didn't want me. I never submitted to them. I researched before I submitted to anyone.

"Save authors from the rejection wheel?" Oh. my. Dog. Are you kidding? Rejection is because you don't have the book they want. It's not always about the quality of the writing. I swear that's true.

Just about every single writer here has been through rejection. We all know how hard it is. But for most of us that makes us seek out people who can help us improve our work.

Sorry you don't see it that way. Reality is sometimes hard to take, and I say that respectfully. We all thought our first book was wonderful - now, many of us know better. I ripped out the first six pages of my first book after a wonderful critique by a terrific writer.

The people here at AW helped me fix up my first query letter, so much so that when I was getting form rejections, I suddenly got requests to read. From real publishers.

I must have learned something being here, because my next book got less form rejections and more personal ones, along with requests for partial right off the bat.

I have no jealously over PA or its authors. I have nausea about what PA does to writers.

benbradley
01-02-2007, 04:16 AM
You have to be real dumb to come up with that conclusion. You're stupid as hell and desperate for money and have some insane hate because PA didn't accept your work obviously.

I guess you think the cover is ugly too LOL LOL LOL just because PA did it. Pathetic to have so much hate for a company because they didn't want you.

I suppose this is where I say "Thank you for sharing."

Christine N.
01-02-2007, 04:22 AM
Wait, is it time again for the "how many times has PA used the came clip art" game again?

That was always so much fun.

James D. Macdonald
01-02-2007, 04:30 AM
A while back I figured up the amount PA spends on one of their titles. It isn't $1,500. It's closer to $300. Counting everything. Art, copyediting, prepress, all of it.

They make their nut when the author buys 30 copies. They make a nice profit when the author buys 50. Beyond that ... gravy. Gas for the boss's helicopter. Another SUV for Larry. Miranda's race horse.

The fellow who supposedly sold 5,200 copies was Neo Franco Cantu, and his book was Destiny Foretold. The information that I have is that he bought most of those himself.

I recall when Larry talked about him being PA's biggest seller. Mr. Cantu popped up on the PA messageboard to say if that was the case what had happened to his royalties?

That was when he was banned.

I believe that the fancy new photocopy machine that PA is going to use to print books will be installed in February or March of this year. Anyone who's planning to get out of their contract by going to arbitration might want to start the process now. After that photocopier is installed there'll be no way to accurately determine how many copies of a book have been printed.

You could probably all break the contract tomorrow by questioning Paragraph 11:

The Publisher agrees to keep and maintain true and accurate records relating to distribution of the said literary work, including reports of all sales and collections therefrom.

Check with a lawyer. Do it soon.

Toothpaste
01-02-2007, 04:55 AM
Wow. Can I just say wow. This thread grew to 6 pages long in less than two days.

BStevens, because you may still be checking on this thread despite not posting, I am a new author. How new? I had never had anything published in my life, never had tried to get anything published. Didn't major in writing or in english. But I am being published by two big houses. I'll even tell you who they are, though you could easily find out on your own. Scholastic UK and The Weinstein Company in the states (as well as in Germany, Greece and Italy). The latter bought my book after a 4 way auction. And if you think I am lying, as you seem to think anyone is who refutes your opinions, google my name "AdrienneKress".

My agent is Darley Anderson in the UK. You can visit their website http://www.darleyandersonchildrens.com/ if you think I am lying again.

Also you confuse your "their and there". 'Their' is when you are saying "Anna and John and their cat Marty", "There" is for "There once was a man from Nantucket", think of it like the opposite of 'Here'. Then there is also 'They're', which is a contraction that means "They are".

Good luck with the book though, despite your incredible hositility and just plain meaness, I do hope it lives up to your expectations!

Christine N.
01-02-2007, 05:01 AM
Yeah, obviously if we say people here are published by big names, and it's their first book and they're unknowns, WE must be lying. [rolling eyes]

Every person who has published a book on these boards is easily found, their credentials easily checked. Do the legwork and see how truthful we are.

benbradley
01-02-2007, 05:03 AM
Folks, PA's business practices would be the best thing to focus on. If a Publish America author even follows the PA boards long enough they'll see plenty of posts (up until they're deleted) about folks who can't get their books into bookstores or have trouble getting signings, etc. Why am I not surprised that PA would delete PA-negative posts from its discussion boards? Perhaps because I've seen posts expressing "inconvenient opinions" deleted so many other places before. FWIW (and this isn't just buttering up to youse guys) I've yet to see anything like that here on AW.

Our opinion of any author's writing is just that, our opinion. It doesn't mean a thing. The facts about Publish America's business practices are easy to prove and are meaningful.

Pick a fact, focus on it, link to the source material.
Here's perhaps not a fact, but an opinion: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. I once was "brainwashed," and by an organization (not related to writing or publishing) with a MUCH BETTER reputation (but still very undeserved, in my current humble opinion) than Publish America. Here's some relevant but very generalized links to "source material":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_True_Believer
http://skepdic.com/truebeliever.html

I read Hoffer's "The True Believer" (among one or two dozen other books related to cults and cult-like groups) about 15 years ago. I found the author's generalizations such as "The true believer thinks this... The true believer does that... The true believer doesn't do the other thing" to be annoying, but I could certainly relate to the content. And for whatever reason, it has stayed in print since its first publishing in 1951.

Actually I now see and must admit that I've shifted from your admonition: "The facts about Publish America's business practices are easy to prove and are meaningful." I've instead tried to discuss the negative effects this and other organizations' practices have on people, and while this is harder to prove, it is certainly very meaningful.

imagoodgurl4
01-02-2007, 05:09 AM
Haven't you guys heard? We're all big hacks who can't cut it in the real world (and by real world, I mean PA), so we have to resort to getting published by commercial publishers. *hangs head in shame* Of course, I'm kidding. :D


What I don't understand is why the people from PA who believe the practices there are right, come here and tell us all how wrong we are? I mean, there are hundreds of people on this site and I don't know how many post in the PA threads, but we can't all be wrong! I mean, they are, of course, entitled to their opinion, but why come here and try to convince all we're wrong when the evidence speaks for itself? I just don't get it.

DamaNegra
01-02-2007, 05:13 AM
Waaa, if people from the US are worthless for not having a college degree AND english mayor, then what can I expect in life? If you need all three things to become comercially published then I'm doomed!

stormie
01-02-2007, 05:18 AM
What I don't understand is why the people from PA who believe the practices there are right, come here and tell us all how wrong we are? .... I mean, they are, of course, entitled to their opinion, but why come here and try to convince all we're wrong when the evidence speaks for itself? I just don't get it.
PA authors have to defend themselves and PA. They're stuck. Writers pubbed by commercial publishers don't have that need to defend themselves or their publisher. I mean, who'd say negative things about being published by, say, St.Martins Press or S&S or HarperCollins?

Christine N.
01-02-2007, 05:18 AM
We are not, of course, the end-all-be-all of what is what in publishing. There are plenty of places to look and see how publishing is supposed to work. Websites, agent blogs, books.

Unless they're ALL in collusion with us and lying. Oh gosh, it's a conspiracy, like a certain scam agent thinks.

imagoodgurl4
01-02-2007, 05:25 AM
Thanks for clarifying, stormie. I just always wondered what they felt they had to prove to us. If they're happy with PA, good for them. If they feel that's the best route for their book, fine. It's their decision. They might realize it's a mistake later, but everybody makes them. When you fall off the horse, you just gotta get back on again. But that's just my opinion.

stormie
01-02-2007, 05:32 AM
Thanks for clarifying, stormie. I just always wondered what they felt they had to prove to us.
Actually, these discussions had me thinking about this tonight. I mean, no one would have to defend any of the commercial publishing houses. Who'd say anything negative about Viking or Putnam? So, don't the PA authors realize this?

CatSlave
01-02-2007, 05:33 AM
What I don't understand is why the people from PA who believe the practices there are right, come here and tell us all how wrong we are? I mean, there are hundreds of people on this site and I don't know how many post in the PA threads, but we can't all be wrong! I mean, they are, of course, entitled to their opinion, but why come here and try to convince all we're wrong when the evidence speaks for itself? I just don't get it.

Reminds me of the determined folks who come knocking on your door, with The Book in hand, asking you if you Have Been Saved. Scary stuff, methinks.

stormie
01-02-2007, 05:38 AM
Reminds me of the determined folks who come knocking on your door, with The Book in hand, asking you if you Have Been Saved. Scary stuff, methinks.
Hey, great horror story. And PA Marches On, by A.Writer.

PattiTheWicked
01-02-2007, 05:40 AM
Well, you know, the whole PA/author relationship is like when your best friend starts dating a guy who's a loser. He cheats on her, takes all her money, and slaps her around a little, but ... he told her he looooooooves her! And if you can't see him for the Great Guy He Really Is it's because you're either jealous or all his ex-girlfriends are lying.

WildScribe
01-02-2007, 05:42 AM
Patti, wicked scary analogy. *shudders*

DamaNegra
01-02-2007, 05:52 AM
Well, you know, the whole PA/author relationship is like when your best friend starts dating a guy who's a loser. He cheats on her, takes all her money, and slaps her around a little, but ... he told her he looooooooves her! And if you can't see him for the Great Guy He Really Is it's because you're either jealous or all his ex-girlfriends are lying.
I've seen enough of this even in my lifetime. The only course of action is to throw your hands up, wait the painfully long time it takes for the person to realize then refrain from saying 'I told you'

Birol
01-02-2007, 05:54 AM
The former-PA authors might be able to respond to this better than I could, but I think it is a variant of the Golden Word Syndrome, where the author perceives any criticism of their writing to be a criticism, or an attack, on them as an individual. They have not yet reached a stage where the are able to separate the individual from the author from the work. They're not really arguing against our position, but defending themselves and their dreams against people who they feel are attacking them as individuals.

imagoodgurl4
01-02-2007, 05:59 AM
I haven't submitted anything for publishing yet, as I'm still working on my ms, but I will say as far as the whole criticism thing that I'm an architecture major. It's not an easy major to be in. You go at least three days without sleep at a time. You are constantly working on projects. You have to spend about 47 hours working on models. And you have to incorporate any suggestions your professor offers. Then, when you present your final project, you basically get your whole project trashed and the professor points out everything that's wrong with it...in front of the rest of the class. You learn to get a backbone real quick, so I understand what you're saying, Birol.

CatSlave
01-02-2007, 06:07 AM
Hey, great horror story. And PA Marches On, by A.Writer.

Oh My Gawd, I can see it now -- Night of the Living Dread. Hordes of demented PA authors roaming the streets, searching for brains. ROTFLMAO!

Excuse me, I have to clean off my monitor and keyboard.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
01-02-2007, 06:10 AM
I believe this is a good time to post this again.

http://www.wizardessbooks.com/html/PA_stories.htm

Lest you, bstevens, think I'm one of those who PA turned down, think again. I wrote 'Evil's Own Trinity'. It was printed by PA back in May, 2005. It was a good book... it could have been a better book, if I hadn't been as tired of the rejection cycle as you are. And it could have sold more than the pitiful few it sold - to friends and relatives willling to shell out the exhorbitant $21.95 for 276 pages of unedited (except by me, because by the time I was working on the galleys, I was scared to death of the errors PA would put INTO my book) rough draft.

I paid $30 for my copyright; PA paid nothing but a $1.00 advance - which is framed and hanging here on my office wall to remind me I screwed up. It was a painful lesson learned... but I learned; and no day is a total loss in which one has learned.

You'll learn, too. When you do, do not be ashamed of it. Come back here and settle in with the rest of us, move on from PA and go to work on becoming good enough for a REAL publisher to publish. There are plenty of us here at AW - some were even as hell bent on defending PA as you are. We've all been welcomed with open arms... as long as we remember to respect each other. Easy.

Good luck... and welcome to AW. I hope you stay and learn and grow with us.

imagoodgurl4
01-02-2007, 06:13 AM
Oh My Gawd, I can see it now -- Night of the Living Dread. Hordes of demented PA authors roaming the streets, searching for brains. ROTFLMAO!

But it's not yet Halloween! :D

Cathy C
01-02-2007, 07:14 AM
Waaa, if people from the US are worthless for not having a college degree AND english mayor, then what can I expect in life? If you need all three things to become comercially published then I'm doomed!

Never fear, Dama. I have none of the above and I'm published. Just a plain old high school graduate and we're about to finish edits on our eighth book in four years. Our first book for a major house hit the shelf just exactly two years ago so I still qualify myself as a "new" author and I know for a fact our editor is looking for debut (never before published) writers for the line I write for. :)

DamaNegra
01-02-2007, 07:22 AM
Never fear, Dama. I have none of the above and I'm published. Just a plain old high school graduate and we're about to finish edits on our eighth book in four years. Our first book for a major house hit the shelf just exactly two years ago so I still qualify myself as a "new" author and I know for a fact our editor is looking for debut (never before published) writers for the line I write for. :)
Just as long as I don't go meet my editors wearing a sarape and doing my best 'mexican trying to speak english with little success' accent :ROFL:

spike
01-02-2007, 07:53 AM
The former-PA authors might be able to respond to this better than I could, but I think it is a variant of the Golden Word Syndrome, where the author perceives any criticism of their writing to be a criticism, or an attack, on them as an individual. They have not yet reached a stage where the are able to separate the individual from the author from the work. They're not really arguing against our position, but defending themselves and their dreams against people who they feel are attacking them as individuals.

Birol, you are so right.

Notice how she did not become abusive until people began commenting on her writing. I know this because I had a massive case of GWS. Anyone who didn't like my work "just didn't get it". Took me a long time to get over it, and it was a painful experience. Although not quite as painful as looking back at the words that I thought were so golden.

Barb--I hope you come back. And if you do find that any of your ideas about PA or publishing were in error, no one here will hold it against you, because many here were where you are now.

BenPanced
01-02-2007, 08:04 AM
And as far as the bankruptcy question, the REASON THEY won't touch an unknown author even with a good manuscript is because of fear of bankruptcy. That's why they stick with the tried and true, politicians, movie stars, and dinosaur writers.
And any publisher stupid enough to shell out that much money on an unknown is still one I wouldn't want to do business with.

Though it'd be really cool to get that much attention if/when my first book gets published...

Birol
01-02-2007, 10:55 AM
Aruna, I understand you were attacked, but Barbara didn't ask. You're responding to an attack. No one wins that way. We're not critiquing anyone's writing unless it is posted in SYW.

aruna
01-02-2007, 11:09 AM
Aruna, I understand you were attacked, but Barbara didn't ask. You're responding to an attack. No one wins that way. We're not critiquing anyone's writing unless it is posted in SYW.

I'm referring to this phrase:

Originally Posted by bstevens
I'm not wasting up my professional writing skills on this crappy board. What errors did you find in my synopsis? You're no English major. You're stupid. PA won't accept your work A**hole.

Patricia
01-02-2007, 11:09 AM
Oh My Gawd, I can see it now -- Night of the Living Dread. Hordes of demented PA authors roaming the streets, searching for brains. ROTFLMAO!

Excuse me, I have to clean off my monitor and keyboard.

Such remarks and attitude only deters some PA authors interested in doing something serious with their work from coming here.

I think we would better serve our purpose here at AW if we don't lump all “PA authors” into one group. I think we should show a little class and respect for those writers who have realized their mistake, gotten their rights back and moved on.

Above all, I think we should remember it’s the PA business model we are targeting, not the authors as a whole and select group.

Popeyesays
01-02-2007, 11:15 AM
I'm referring to this phrase:

Originally Posted by bstevens
I'm not wasting up my professional writing skills on this crappy board. What errors did you find in my synopsis? You're no English major. You're stupid. PA won't accept your work A**hole.

It was probably a rhetorical question, she didn't expect to be shown errors. Mostly she became so angry she lost control of her argument and slipped into name-calling (argumentum ad hominem) which is, after all, a logical fallacy.

I don't think anyone's prose is totally golden, there's some base metal in the alloy of even the greatest authors.

Regards,
Scott

aruna
01-02-2007, 11:15 AM
And Barbara, as people often say around here, every author was once a first time author. We all had to pay our dues, send out submissions, deal with rejections, etc.

....and painful as it may be, this is exactly what we need to make us BETTER WRITERS. I spent almost five years on my first book, rewriting and submitting it. I thought it was so great! It broke my heart when it didn't get published.

But in retrospect I am so glad! The book was the best I could do at that stage of my career, but first books are seldom up to publishable standard, and looking back I can see what an embarrassment it would have been to me now.

We simply cannot judge our own writing. It takes distance to do that - the distance of years and developed skills, or the distance of another person entirely reading and critiquing our work.

I'll say it again: no matter how great the raw talent, nobody expects a ballet dancer, a violinist, a sculptor to produce great work at the first attempt. Why do aspiring novelists think they need no training? It's a mystery to me!

blacbird
01-02-2007, 11:54 AM
At this point I just say NO to traditional publishers. I went through a whole year of excuses like: 1) we only look at material from agents; 2) some want first 3 chapters and some want whole book and heaven help you if you don't do it just right - REJECTION; 3) they all have different procedures; 4) many are only interested in certain genres; 5) I found one interested agent and she wanted me to pay HER up front.

1). There's a reason for this. If you can't figure out what it is, you're too inexperienced to be in this game yet.

2). There's a reason for this. If you can't figure out what it is, you're too inexperienced to be in this game yet.

3). There's a reason for this. If you can't figure out what it is, you're too inexperienced to be in this game yet.

4). There's a reason for this. If you can't figure out what it is, you're too inexperienced to be in this game yet.

5). This agent is a plain, out-front scammer, more forthright and honestly so than PA.

If you really want to produce a book for no up-front fees, without the baggage from your chosen "publisher" that I assure you you will soon come to regret, go to Lulu.

Oh, and by the way, assuming you are not a PA shill or a plain troll, regards all the negative comments you are getting on this thread:

There's a reason for this. If you can't figure out what it is, you're too inexperienced to be in this game yet.

caw

J.S Greer
01-02-2007, 02:36 PM
^The bird has it right.


1. Book sells through Amazon and you get standard royalties. Let’s say 10%. – $2
PA authors start out at 8%


2. You buy the book and save 30%, therefore you earn $6.

If you can actually sell one.


3. You put the book in stores on consignment at 50% and you get 15%, still better than the basic royalty, an earning of $3.


Which wont happen. Bookstores dont like PA, and do not physically stock their books.


4. You convince a store to purchase books on your behalf and you pay them a 5% fee for being the buyer. They get a 40% discount. You give them their 5%, get your 10% royalties and sell your books for an additional 35%, making 45% on the cover price. We’re up to $9.

See answer to #4


The worst percentage you are going to get on your book is the royalty cheque you’ll receive.

Which wont be much because you wont sell a lot of books. Good luck getting the right amount when you get your check also.


I wanted to post a little bit about my own experience with consignment. Currently in the last 2 weeks I have gotten my book into 5 bookstores this way. These are all local bookstores.

Which means "Local" sales figures at best.


[I]At this point I just say NO to traditional publishers. I went through a whole year of excuses like: 1) we only look at material from agents; 2) some want first 3 chapters and some want whole book and heaven help you if you don't do it just right - REJECTION; 3) they all have different procedures; 4) many are only interested in certain genres; 5) I found one interested agent and she wanted me to pay HER up front.

This paragraph bothers me the most.
If you dont have the inclination to follow a publishers submission guidelines implicitly, then you dont deserve to be published. Period. It is up to you, not them, to dazzle and get it right.

That paragraph is so wrong in so many ways, that its ridiculous. Your lack of knowledge backs up exactly what the blacbird said.


I'm not wasting up my professional writing skills on this crappy board. What errors did you find in my synopsis? You're no English major. You're stupid. PA won't accept your work A**hole.

Good night, and good luck.

Christine N.
01-02-2007, 03:42 PM
We've seen this before, someone unwilling to do the necessary work to enter this business honestly. It's not the industry's job to change to suit you, it's your job to produce product someone can market and is good enough that they think people want to read.

"Oh, it's too much work to figure it all out." And yet, everyone else that submits does.

It's silly. I have yet to hear about anyone who rejects manuscrips because you didn't get it 'just right'. Not sending an SASE, or not formatting it how an agent/ publisher likes, well, those are different, but I'll tell you that if your book is really great, REALLY GREAT, they won't reject it.

If you've got a query letter that is really great, they won't reject you - UNLESS of course, they've filled the lists or just signed/published a book like the one you're selling (which happens).

It's not about your font size, paper quality or anything but the work. Of course, if you can't follow directions, then yes, some will reject you off the bat without reading, because you can't follow directions.

Sorry if that's too much for you. I guess you don't want to be really published that badly.

Gigi Sahi
01-02-2007, 04:23 PM
bstevens wrote:

"At this point I just say NO to traditional publishers."

Ah, so you do realize that PA is NOT a traditional publisher. Good. That's the first step. I see a light for you at the end of the tunnel.

Listen, the PA authors here (both current and former) are not disgruntled because PA didn't accept us, we're disgruntled because PA DID accept us. Soon, hopefully very soon, you'll be too.

After spending a couple of years writing and polishing your ms then enduring the grueling process of submission and rejection, it's such a thrill to finally have it accepted for publication. When you learn that it was accepted by a publisher that is not only NON-traditional but a laughing stock in the publishing industry, well, it's enough to piss you off.

You're not unique, Ms. Stevens, every PA author once felt as you do - elated, excited, and singing the praises of PA to no end. Then reality sets in and it's nice to know there's a supportive place for us here on AW.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

(Today the kiddies return to school. My 8-year-old is 9 today and having his b-day party in class, so I'm off to get the ball rolling).

aadams73
01-02-2007, 06:23 PM
Not meaning to belittle you but I don't have that problem. My characters are so clearly defined that you can touch them with your mind's eye.


:roll:

Is this someone pulling our leg? It's got to be.

imagoodgurl4
01-02-2007, 06:36 PM
I think it is that attitude that kept bstevens from being accepted by legit publishers/agents. An unwillingness to listen to criticism or helpful comments. Basically, she is saying her story is so well written that, if you can't see it, you're a hack. When, in reality, it is PA that is the hack. She will discover this soon enough.

LeslieB
01-02-2007, 06:58 PM
I think it is that attitude that kept bstevens from being accepted by legit publishers/agents. An unwillingness to listen to criticism or helpful comments. Basically, she is saying her story is so well written that, if you can't see it, you're a hack. When, in reality, it is PA that is the hack. She will discover this soon enough.

I know it is hard, considering some of the things she said, but I'm willing to cut her some slack. Everyone loves their own writing, especially at first, and it is really hard to see its flaws.

I had that experience this weekend. I sent a scene from my WIP to two friends, and they both told me it sucked. Luckily, both of them are excellent betas and told me exactly *why* it didn't work for them. Did it hurt to hear that? You bet. Was I miffed and frustrated? Oooooh yeah. But after I got past the burn, I thought of a way to completely rewrite the scene, and the second version works for the whole story so much better that I wondered why I didn't think of it before.

That's the sort of thing that an editor at a publishing house can do. They can point out ways to make your work better, not "rewrite it to suit themselves." But the hard part is admitting that maybe, just maybe, your work isn't perfect to begin with. She hasn't gotten to that point yet, but hopefully she will. And when she does, AW will be waiting.

imagoodgurl4
01-02-2007, 07:06 PM
LeslieB: I understand what you're saying. I love my work, too. I, also, have a great beta reader who does not hesitate to tell me when a scene sucks. Of course I get a little miffed, but I use it to my advantage by seeing it from a different perspective. Usually I come out with a much better scene.

My point that I was trying to make before is that bstevens will be very unlikely to succeed in the publishing/writing world if she cannot come to terms with the fact that editing and critiquing is not a personal attack on her as a writer, but a useful tool to help improve her writing so that her books will be even better. I apologize if that point was not made clear before.

LeslieB
01-02-2007, 07:21 PM
Oh, I don't disagree with you. I was mostly using what you said as a jumping off point for "Play nice, guys." Some of the comments in this thread have been harsh, and I really don't like it when this sort of situation moves from "PA is a bad publishing choice" to "and your writing isn't commercially publishable anyway". Maybe it isn't, but that's not the point. The point is that PA is a scam and a ripoff, and we should focus on that.

imagoodgurl4
01-02-2007, 07:34 PM
You're right...I will try and keep my posts focused on the bad business practices of PA.

PA is not the best thing to ever happen to unknown authors. They want you to believe this so they can get you to buy your own books. You won't make any money off them, as they don't pay your royalties. And, even if they do, you are, for the most part, purchasing your own books. So your royalty is more like a partial refund.

tlblack
01-02-2007, 07:58 PM
Yes PA is a scam, and one so big that it's methods and practices should be in book form just to be a warning to others never to go there. They take writer's hope and dreams for their work and squash them by not doing everything they could to ensure that the book being published is in it's best form prior to publication. I feel for Barbara as she is new to PA. She is just getting her book published, but according to her posts, she also read up on PA before she signed their contract and she did it without any editing by PA. (although we who have been there know that is to spell check it) I hope that she will return here in a year with the good news that her book sold well. Based on my own experience with PA, I also don't think that will happen. She and her family will be it's only voice to the public and the majority of the public won't be listening. (by that I mean, book stores, newspapers (other than local ones) tv, radio etc.)

All books need to be edited for content, redundancy, grammatical and spelling errors just to name a few. Why would anyone not want to have their work in it's best possible condition before getting it published?

SC Harrison
01-02-2007, 09:49 PM
Some of the comments in this thread have been harsh, and I really don't like it when this sort of situation moves from "PA is a bad publishing choice" to "and your writing isn't commercially publishable anyway". Maybe it isn't, but that's not the point. The point is that PA is a scam and a ripoff, and we should focus on that.

I also did not like the critiquing of Barbara's website/content, but she kind of opened the door by putting her link(s) in her posts and nearly begging for people to go take a look. You do that over at the PAMB, and you get a profusion of back-pats and ooh-aahs. You do that here (and other writing sites) and you get true feedback.

It still hurts when you're on the receiving end of that sort of analysis though, but I'm not sure her reaction was totally justified. Understandable maybe, but a little over-the-top.

LeslieB
01-02-2007, 10:25 PM
I certainly won't defend the things she said, which were quite nasty. But I've seen this happen a number of times.

We are trying to help writers and show them why PA is not a good choice. I don't think running through a list of PA's flaws and then throwing in "you're ugly and your mother dresses you funny" is going to make them listen to the truth about PA. All it will do is put people on the defensive and make them even more convinced that we're just a big bunch of meanies out to get poor maligned PA.

After all, PA is the one telling them they are wonderful. That they are now part of that great elite, 'published authors'. That all it takes is their hard work and determination to make their book a success. And here we are at AW pouring cold water on all that. We are already in a bad starting position, so why alienate PA writers even more by dumping on their work?

Bartholomew
01-02-2007, 10:39 PM
Having an ego problem really isn't an excuse to come here and treat us like dung. I welcomed her with open arms, and my comments on her excerpt were about as complimentary as they were going to get. She did ask.

CatSlave
01-02-2007, 10:57 PM
Such remarks and attitude only deters some PA authors interested in doing something serious with their work from coming here.

I think we would better serve our purpose here at AW if we don't lump all “PA authors” into one group. I think we should show a little class and respect for those writers who have realized their mistake, gotten their rights back and moved on.

Above all, I think we should remember it’s the PA business model we are targeting, not the authors as a whole and select group.

You are quite right, and I apologize to the PA writers for the generalization. All I can say in my own defense is that at the moment it seemed some humor was needed to balance out the righteous condemnations of Barbara.

Christine N.
01-02-2007, 11:01 PM
The two are intrinsically connected in this case. She was tired of the 'rejection cycle'. Instead of thinking maybe her writing needed more work, she blamed the publishing industry.

Once PA 'accepted' her, she felt vindicated, and now sees no reason to change or work on her craft anymore.

This is one of PA's more insidious crimes; making writers feel they've reached their goal and that they no longer have to improve to meet the industry standards. That they're already good enough.

Or, maybe those kinds of people are just naturally attracted to PA?

allenparker
01-02-2007, 11:05 PM
... but this needs to be addressed.

She wrote:


Some tips I received from another PA writer below:
1. Book sells through Amazon and you get standard royalties. Let’s say 10%. – $2 [/QOUTE]

Well, your royalty is 8%.

[QUOTE]
2. You buy the book and save 30%, therefore you earn $6.

No, you buy the book from PA at somewhere between 20% and 45% discount and earn nothing. If the book sells, you may get to split some of the profits, depending on how you sell it.


3. You put the book in stores on consignment at 50% and you get 15%, still better than the basic royalty, an earning of $3.

You buy the book at a 20% discount and place it on consignment for a 45% discount and you lose 25%.



4. You convince a store to purchase books on your behalf and you pay them a 5% fee for being the buyer. They get a 40% discount. You give them their 5%, get your 10% royalties and sell your books for an additional 35%, making 45% on the cover price. We’re up to $9.

No, you convince the store to buy the book from Ingrams and they get a 5% discount. They need a 40% profit to make the sale. They up the price of your book the required amount and you have paid more for the book than you could have purchased it from PA. Even with the 8% royalty, you lose big!

[QUOTE]
5. You could put that book on consignment at 50/50 and split the 35% discount with Joe blow (which is 17.5%). Add the original 10% that you keep, and you’re still up to 27.5%. [/QOUTE]

A 50/50 consignment means that they keep 50% of the money that comes in. SO, when you buy at the beast rate from PA, you lose 5% on each purchase, tie up your investment for months waiting for a sale that may not happen.



Overall, this is bogus math. Nothing there will earn you a dime. Most will cost you more money than simply buying several copies of the book and handing them out as gifts. Pa has made it impossible to make any money. Want to know more? Demand an audit! See what happens.

If anyone feels the need to discuss the above numbers, please feel free to PM me. I purposely made this post short. To most, the tactics and their perils were common knowledge.

I realize that this message may not reach its intended audience, but I hope that this will help other PA prospects to understand the voodoo economics that creeps on the PA boards from time to time.

Mods, feel free to boot the message as necessary. awp

CatSlave
01-02-2007, 11:07 PM
The two are intrinsically connected in this case. She was tired of the 'rejection cycle'. Instead of thinking maybe her writing needed more work, she blamed the publishing industry.

Once PA 'accepted' her, she felt vindicated, and now sees no reason to change or work on her craft anymore.

This is one of PA's more insidious crimes; making writers feel they've reached their goal and that they no longer have to improve to meet the industry standards. That they're already good enough.

Or, maybe those kinds of people are just naturally attracted to PA?

PA reinforces the Us-vs-Them mindset at every opportunity. In some circles this would be considered brainwashing. PA is VERY good at it.

WildScribe
01-02-2007, 11:12 PM
Thank you Allen. I think you're actually the third or fourth poster to reiterate this, which just goes to show how bogus the whole "system" is.

CatSlave
01-02-2007, 11:13 PM
...the voodoo economics...

Bravo! Well said, Brother.

stormie
01-02-2007, 11:54 PM
Publish America - The best thing to EVER happen to unknown authors
I think that title is what originally got people here concerned, to put it mildly. Then many became exasperated at the misinformation from bstevens. Some newbies, reading that, might fall for her saying that it's nearly impossible to become published by a commercial publisher. In trying to refute that, I know I lost sight of the OP. Plain and simple, it is not impossible for someone unpublished to get an agent or a publisher. Reading everything you can on writing, BIC and writing, and rewriting, is a big part of it. Ultimately, great writing trumps all.

Just my two cents.

Bartholomew
01-02-2007, 11:58 PM
It might be in our best interests to edit the title of this thread. *Shrug*

icerose
01-02-2007, 11:58 PM
First things first so Barbara doesn't have to question whether or not I'm lying.

http://www.amazon.com/Sign-Calla-Lily-Book-I/dp/1413730477/sr=1-1/qid=1167766867/ref=sr_1_1/104-0147346-1312744?ie=UTF8&s=books

And

http://www.amazon.com/Rise-Wizards-Wizard-Chronicles-Book/dp/1413738664/sr=1-2/qid=1167766960/ref=sr_1_2/104-0147346-1312744?ie=UTF8&s=books

These are my two shame books. The second was never released as I fought tooth and nail for my rights for over four years.

When I signed onto PA it was the beginning of 2002. I had never heard of PA, I had no idea how publishing works, I did know what a vanity press was and that there were small and large, I had no idea what a POD press was or what it meant in terms of sales and bookstore placement.

I wanted my books to appear on shelves, I wanted it to be out to a wide audience. I figured PA would be a good starting point. They had testimonials about how they had bookstore placement and promises of being stocked in every brick and mortar bookstore from sea to shining sea. They have since removed that statement from their website due to authors coming back and stating it is absolutely not true.

I discovered in May of 2002 that Ingrams was having issues with bookstores and their discount wasn't good enough. I did my research, asked PA if I could get my own distributor, they stated it would not be a problem. I sent a copy of my book to Wal-mart's distributor as well as another one that the major publishers use, they would print the books, keep a warehouse stock, have it competetively priced and it would be in mass paper-back form instead of the trade paper-back. I had the entire Utah School district asking for it to be made as part of their curriculum because a local teacher had read it to her class and they enjoyed it, she had sent it up the line and for it to be feasable for the district then the whole state had to sign onto it.

I was escstatic to say the least. I had foreward magazine as well as a few other majors who had agreed to review my book, the caveat was that the books had to come to the publisher. I submitted all of this to PA and this is what happened after that.

The reviewers never recieved their copies. PA wrote me back and told me it was their decision and discretion as to the extent and amount of reviews.

Both distributors were cancelled by PA saying they had no interest in such avenues.

The school district was refused on the basis that PA couldn't be bothered with sending out enough copies on a standard 50% discount that all other publishers give them.

All of my hard work, all of my efforts brought about nothing. And it was because of PA.

After all this I don't hate PA. I am actually a little grateful to them.

They taught me to do my homework. They taught me not to settle. They helped lead me here to the wonderful folks of AW where the mysteries and pain of publishing are opened and healed and there is always someone with an understanding shoulder to loan.

I learned to love critiques. I learned that my first work is pathetic. I became and am still becoming a much stronger writer.

PA nearly killed my writing career. I didn't write anything for over a year because of them. Had I not completed two other full novels while I was in honeymoon period, busily going about my promotions and making things happen (which was all for not as you can see) I think I might have quit all together.

I have had my rights back for over a year. They are still selling Sign of the Calla Lily. I know at least two copies have sold since my release and been recieved. They stated their were no copies in stock, yet they are selling, which means PA has a direct hand in it.

I'm sorry you grew impatient and settled for PA, but we all have our choices and if you're happy, I'm happy.

Expect to get between .50-$1.50 per book. Their royalty statements are really hard to read as they are based on net rather than cover price. You will see different discounts and such and the price they base your percentage off is less than a sales price because they first take off what they sold it to that online retailer for, then took off the discount, then they take your percentage off what's left. You will not get royalties off any books you buy and sell yourself.

As for needing an editor check out Anne Rice's latest book and what happened when she thought the same thing. If anyone doesn't need an editor it should be a multi-published multi-best selling author, yet they in fact need them just like everyone else.

I wish you well but you did your homework so you should know exactly what you will get over the next seven years.

Oh and a word of caution, don't ask PA any real or hard questions, that tends to agrivate them and they decend down into personal attacks and threats and use "big" vocabulary words out of copy and pasted form letters. "Don't take that tone with us." "nonsensical" and so forth. But you already knew that so this warning is pointless, good luck then.

I nearly forgot, I also had three television interviews lined up, I cancelled them when it all toppled over. What was the point?

And there had been several times when they couldn't even fulfill a two book order. Their response? It wasn't their fault. (By the way it's never their fault.) Including when they had their own publisher name listed wrong on Amazon. Now that was funny.

J.S Greer
01-03-2007, 12:02 AM
Originally Posted by bstevens
Not meaning to belittle you but I don't have that problem. My characters are so clearly defined that you can touch them with your mind's eye.



:roll:

Is this someone pulling our leg? It's got to be.

Wow, I missed that one.:tongue

Marian Perera
01-03-2007, 12:39 AM
icerose, I'm so sorry to hear about everything PA put you through. They had the chance to profit from your success and good publicity and yet they let you down in that way. What a bunch of... I'm trying not to use strong language here, so just assume I did.

MMcC
01-03-2007, 12:44 AM
icerose it was very nice (and, I hasten to add, gutsy) of you to share that.

icerose
01-03-2007, 12:45 AM
icerose, I'm so sorry to hear about everything PA put you through. They had the chance to profit from your success and good publicity and yet they let you down in that way. What a bunch of... I'm trying not to use strong language here, so just assume I did.

It's okay. Developmentally as a writer I wasn't ready. Even if they had the potential to be best sellers I was not ready. I had much to learn about the craft, about myself, about my voice, and so forth. It was a tough learning experience, but at this point I don't think I would trade it as I feel I am a much stronger writer and person because of it. Rejection, feedback, editing, slogging through the tough parts of writing, and so forth are all welcome. I am no longer impatient when it comes to becoming published. I grew up a great deal and I think I needed that most, to grow up. I was only 19 when I was accepted, I hadn't pounded out my million words yet and now that I have I feel that I am rather close to actually deserving to be published. And that means more to me than anything.

icerose
01-03-2007, 12:46 AM
icerose it was very nice (and, I hasten to add, gutsy) of you to share that.

Thanks MMcC,

It's not anything I haven't shared before, I just feared it might have been buried and hoped that even if the OP doesn't see it, perhaps it will save someone else's (at the very least) pocket book from being emptied.

Curiouser
01-03-2007, 01:07 AM
It's just like reading about myself Icerose.
You said: 'I wanted my books to appear on shelves, I wanted it to be out to a wide audience. I figured PA would be a good starting point.'

Thank goodness that you and others like you are sharing in this way. Everybody on this board is certainly helping me to take a deep breath and move on.

imagoodgurl4
01-03-2007, 01:15 AM
It's just like reading about myself Icerose.
You said: 'I wanted my books to appear on shelves, I wanted it to be out to a wide audience. I figured PA would be a good starting point.'

Thank goodness that you and others like you are sharing in this way. Everybody on this board is certainly helping me to take a deep breath and move on.

I never submitted to PA, but I considered it. And then I found this board. It's been very, very helpful and I'm so glad I found it, because I checked out all the links of PA and even researched them myself. Thorough research helped me from making a big mistake. And for those former PAers, at least you guys realized what PA really is and you can now start fresh.

icerose
01-03-2007, 01:25 AM
I never submitted to PA, but I considered it. And then I found this board. It's been very, very helpful and I'm so glad I found it, because I checked out all the links of PA and even researched them myself. Thorough research helped me from making a big mistake. And for those former PAers, at least you guys realized what PA really is and you can now start fresh.

When I found AW, it was about June, The first Nepat thread had barely crawled to 8 pages. There was no information about PA when I signed, or at least very little. All the authors who have contributed and the experts who have done painstaking research, it has been a laborous act and I say thank you.

Saying PA is a scam and admitting that they are a bad company is harder than most imagine. It takes a great deal to swallow your pride and say "Okay, I screwed up, my book isn't real, and I am a fake." It was one of the hardest things I had to do, but I had to be honest with myself and I (with a great deal of help from PA) learned rather quickly and only spent 5 months of promotional work and not having spent money on it as I am perpetually broke, lost nothing but a few bits of flesh and walked away with some scars.

I won't speak on other's feelings as I don't know them but at that intersection when I felt like a total fraud, I almost quit. I am so very grateful I didn't but it was painful. I only wish those who really want their book to go somewhere and have the talent and the basics to do so are spared it and learn through places like this from people like you the better way into the industry and that's right through the front door. Whether it's the first book they write or the fiftieth, once a book becomes publishable and has an audience, I believe that is when the author should be given their chance and by someone who is in the position to give it. I'd much rather take a wack with a clue stick and drink up bitter elixers of critique (which have become sweet to the taste) rather than be spoon fed sugar coated manure and candy dipped lies.

Curiouser
01-03-2007, 01:32 AM
:) And speaking of critiques how does one go about asking for someone to do one on this board?

If someone was willing to have a look at some of my writing would it be a chapter? More?

James D. Macdonald
01-03-2007, 01:36 AM
Curiouser: go to Share Your Work. http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=26

Popeyesays
01-03-2007, 01:38 AM
:) And speaking of critiques how does one go about asking for someone to do one on this board?

If someone was willing to have a look at some of my writing would it be a chapter? More?

Look for yourself. Such things are in the Save Your Work section. Just use the password provided to be able to access the section. There's lots of genres to pick from. Put up your stuff a couple thousand words at a time and use the input to make changes throughout the whole book.

Be sure to provide a critique or two, often the best way to improve is to actually critique and see for yourself when you make the same kind of error you point out to someone else.

Regards,
Scott

Curiouser
01-03-2007, 01:51 AM
Thank you all for your advice.:)

CatSlave
01-03-2007, 01:55 AM
It takes a great deal to swallow your pride and say "Okay, I screwed up, my book isn't real, and I am a fake."

Your book IS real. You are NOT a fake.
PA is the fake for stomping on your dreams and laughing all the way to the bank. Fargin bastages.

ChunkyC
01-03-2007, 02:05 AM
Cat is correct, ice. If you've reached the point where you have a finished book to submit to PA, you can submit it anywhere. You are a writer. Millions of people who say they want to write a book, never do. You did, and you should be proud of that.

icerose
01-03-2007, 02:38 AM
Thanks guys, and it's ironic to think that I probably would have never found AW without PA lol. All the authors complaining about how mean you are.

What I meant by my book isn't real was that it isn't commerically published as I had thought. And what I meant by myself being fake was that I wasn't a commercially published author like I had thought. I was nothing.

It's like when you think everything is going great, you can see everything building up and moving forward and you are on the edge of making it then whoosh! they pull out the stepping stool that you were standing on and you realize you were only looking at a picture rather than the real thing, you aren't living in a mansion, but rather a cast out barn and you have become the laughing stock of the industry. However I must state that most everyone I have encountered has been nothing but kind and the only disdain and abuse I recieved for signing with PA were the "happy" pa authors and PA themselves.

Everyone else has been understanding, and kind, and amazingly patient with correcting the misunderstandings of the industry.

I still believe in my work and my writing and my stories, but the two that got soiled with PA's stink, it's just not something that can come off with a little rewriting, or even a lot. I look back at the first novel I completed and all I can see is the tainted sorry state it is. It's the one thing that breaks my heart is what should have been the most amazing time in my writing career, my first book published, has become my most humilating one and nothing can make that go away.

Curiouser
01-03-2007, 02:46 AM
:) I have to agree with Icerose and say how supportive everyone is here. With regard to the book that was published with PA -- I still think that the story is good. I would just like to polish it a bit and get it out to the readers with another publisher. I have been referred to the thread that deals with getting the rights back so who knows? Either way i am going to be using this forum to help me move on and write better.

ChunkyC
01-03-2007, 04:03 AM
It's the one thing that breaks my heart is what should have been the most amazing time in my writing career, my first book published, has become my most humilating one and nothing can make that go away.
And that is why this corner of AW is here. :Hug2:

Caro
01-03-2007, 04:14 AM
The two are intrinsically connected in this case. She was tired of the 'rejection cycle'. Instead of thinking maybe her writing needed more work, she blamed the publishing industry.

I see this frequently in the fic community -- there are always people who are interested only in hearing that their work is the greatest thing since sliced bread, who don't want to hear that maybe some improvement is needed. Any comments that don't praise them to the skies is met with cries of how "mean" and "jealous" the critiquer is.


This is one of PA's more insidious crimes; making writers feel they've reached their goal and that they no longer have to improve to meet the industry standards. That they're already good enough.

Or, maybe those kinds of people are just naturally attracted to PA?

I think those kinds of people are just naturally attracted to PA because PA will stroke their ego and tell them how wonderful and special they are. When realization comes that they aren't going to outsell Dan Brown, they will often find all sorts of scapegoats to blame their lack of phenomenal success on.

maestrowork
01-03-2007, 04:41 AM
I was nothing.


You're not nothing. Far from it. Judging from your posts, I must say you're a very strong person. Finishing a novel is itself a tremendous achievement. And knowing that you can still improve and reach your goal shows integrity and humbleness.

We are happy to have you here with us.

icerose
01-03-2007, 05:00 AM
Ray and Chunky, you two are in trouble. I can barely see my keyboard now. :Hug2:

Thanks.

SC Harrison
01-03-2007, 05:56 AM
What I meant by my book isn't real was that it isn't commerically published as I had thought. And what I meant by myself being fake was that I wasn't a commercially published author like I had thought. I was nothing.



I know exactly what you mean, icerose. To put your heart and soul into writing a manuscript that you think might be pretty good, and then go through the rollercoaster of praise and indifference that is PA, it makes you question everything.

Even now, when someone compliments me on something I posted in SYW, I can't help but wonder if they're just being nice and what I've written is actually total crap.

I know all writers have doubts about their abilities, but when you combine that with being sucked into an ego-trap like PA, you have the double-whammy of: Not only am I a bad writer, but I'm also a damn fool.

AW is a godsend. If I ever do get published properly, it will be because you folks kept me from giving up.

LeslieB
01-03-2007, 04:19 PM
I never submitted to PA, but I considered it. And then I found this board. It's been very, very helpful and I'm so glad I found it, because I checked out all the links of PA and even researched them myself. Thorough research helped me from making a big mistake. And for those former PAers, at least you guys realized what PA really is and you can now start fresh.

I found out about PA after a friend told me about the Atlanta Nights sting. I was stunned. "Wait, a publisher is doing *what* now?"

Then she told me about AW, and I started plowing through the forum boards. I learned about scam agents and crooked publishers and a whole lot of other things that I knew must exist (I'm in law enforcement, I see crooks everywhere) but had no idea how to recognize. So I look at PA authors and think, "There but for the grace of God... and AW... go I."

icerose
01-03-2007, 09:14 PM
But you would think with all this information all these experiences anyone who read a single one of them would run. I know if I had read them I would have run. My work is worth either being published right or not published at all.

With Publish America they have painted you into a corner that the only hope of your book selling at all is to promote the heck out of it and buy your own books and even then it's just going to die slower. So it's either die right off the bat but linger in purgatory for seven years or die a long slow painful pointless death.

At least that's how I feel, if my book isn't good enough to get into commercial publishers, then it might as well not be published at all.

tlblack
01-04-2007, 12:02 AM
A little off the current topic here but....

I had actually talked one book store (Books-A-Million) into putting my book on their shelves provided that I got their wholesaler to purchase it. I got the form from their wholesaler, with their information filled in and mailed it PA asking them to fill out the parts that applied to them. I got a letter back from them without the form stating they would not do business with that buyer. No other book stores in my area would even consider selling a PA book in the store. They would happily order one for anyone who asked, but not stock it.

I later found out that the book store wanted a much larger discount than PA would ever agree to and that was why PA wouldn't fill out that form. (through lots of research and just asking the store managers at some book stores in my area)

icerose
01-04-2007, 12:09 AM
I later found out that the book store wanted a much larger discount than PA would ever agree to and that was why PA wouldn't fill out that form. (through lots of research and just asking the store managers at some book stores in my area)

That much larger discount is the industry standard discount. PA is well below the standard which is why books cannot be stocked in chain bookstores. It is all PA's doing and they know it.

J.S Greer
01-04-2007, 12:58 AM
That much larger discount is the industry standard discount. PA is well below the standard which is why books cannot be stocked in chain bookstores. It is all PA's doing and they know it.

Bingo...yet a quick trip to the PA forums, and youll find any number of posts where the authors talk about having their books physically in stores.

Its sad when a company pushes aside potential sales because their profit margin might decrease with one of those sales.

James D. Macdonald
01-04-2007, 01:08 AM
Sure, their books are physically in stores. When they physically take some books and put 'em there on consignment....

And a lot of bookstores still won't take 'em.

A book on consignment still isn't a sale. Not until a reader takes it to the cash register. Which with PA's prices and production values isn't that good a bet.

(Yes, you can send in your friends at the rate of one a week to buy your books to make it look like there's a steady demand. Been tried. Bookstores aren't fooled.)

tlblack
01-04-2007, 01:12 AM
That much larger discount is the industry standard discount. PA is well below the standard which is why books cannot be stocked in chain bookstores. It is all PA's doing and they know it.

Agreed!

Perhaps PA knows exactly what it's doing. They know the majority of the books they put in print are written badly and that they would have nothing but complaints and/or law suits from anyone other than the people who wrote them and their family members who buy them. (The one who wrote it and their family and friends won't complain about it. They are happy that the author got their book in print, whether or not they like, or can understand the story in the book or not.) If an author is doing all the buying, and selling what they can to anyone who will pay the high price for it, then PA isn't responsible for it. They only sold the books to the authors at that little discount and make no claims (none that I have ever seen) that those books are sellable.

PA lays out the hype to their authors so that they think their books will be on book store shelves, but all that contract really says is that it will be made available. That is a lie too because they won't sell it to the wholesalers in bulk, but writers who sign those contracts don't see it as such. They don't know that they won't be able to get their books in big book stores. (perhaps smaller stores in their own towns will buy a few stock copies, but I've not personally seen any books by PA on the shelves in large book stores here) They read on the contract it will be made available and interpret that to mean it should be in as many stores as other books by other publishers. It can be purchased sure... in small quantities by individual people or in larger quantities by the author. The minute a wholesale company tries to buy it, (per my own experience with that) PA will start handing out excuses as to why they cannot or will not sell it to that wholesaler. Their main focus of sales is the authors.

Slave2Six
01-04-2007, 01:17 AM
The drama in this thread, gripping though it may be, is somewhat superfluous don't you think? Why try to talk someone out of a decision that they have made and acted upon rather than allowing him/her to go with it? The contract is signed and the train is in motion. Let's admire its speed or watch the spectacular explosion. Either way, it's certain to be exciting.

ChunkyC
01-04-2007, 01:22 AM
Why try to talk someone out of a decision that they have made and acted upon rather than allowing him/her to go with it?
Because we're decent human beings and want to help both those who have signed and those who have yet to sign. Plus, every PA author who comes to realize signing with PA was not the best thing to do, is another person who might prevent someone else from making the same mistake in the future.

icerose
01-04-2007, 01:23 AM
The drama in this thread, gripping though it may be, is somewhat superfluous don't you think? Why try to talk someone out of a decision that they have made and acted upon rather than allowing him/her to go with it? The contract is signed and the train is in motion. Let's admire its speed or watch the spectacular explosion. Either way, it's certain to be exciting.

Exciting? Exciting, how can you... I'm going to stay off this one.

underthecity
01-04-2007, 01:27 AM
I don't post on the PA threads any longer, but I still follow them. I've been following this thread to see what would happen with bstevens. Actually, I expected a banning given her abusive language, but she announced her leaving and has not yet returned. She probably won't. I mean, she definitely won't because everyone at AW is wrong, followed by lots of exclamation points and capital letters.

In any case, this episode reminded me of a similar one we had last year. Those who are fairly new to AW probably won't know about it unless they have read the old NEPAT. But for those who were around then, here's the link to the thread. (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=524&page=632) Scroll down to the second last post and read on. It goes on for pages and pages and pages.

Much like the OP in this thread, this poster's visit and was a classic exercise in futility. The posts got so ridiculous that she was eventually banned, but not before a thousand posts were thrown from side to side that all essentially said the same things.

If you read that thread, you'll see many unfamiliar names including those who were banned later and some who don't post any longer .

Why do I bring this up? To emphasize to bstevens and anyone else visiting that, well, we've seen and heard it all before: MY book is different. MY book is better. I have it all figured out. I will be a success. YOU are all unpublished losers. I will promote. I will be awesome.

Pretty much any argument any ardent PA author voices has been voiced before and has been refuted a thousand times over. I have to wonder why they come over here to yell and scream, but never actually accomplish anything.

It reminds me also of this episode (http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?p=35704&sid=cebfea08695fea1383f446a6cb2e1499), which made one and only appearance with a vicious post on AW then never returned again.

If as much energy was spent writing and publishing quality books as it is by people who defend PA to their dying breaths, bookstores would have twice the number of books they already sell.

allen

Bartholomew
01-04-2007, 01:33 AM
The drama in this thread, gripping though it may be, is somewhat superfluous don't you think? Why try to talk someone out of a decision that they have made and acted upon rather than allowing him/her to go with it? The contract is signed and the train is in motion. Let's admire its speed or watch the spectacular explosion. Either way, it's certain to be exciting.

Well, old chap, that rather would defeat the purpose of having a beware board, no?

Christine N.
01-04-2007, 01:57 AM
Don't forget stupid and liars. We're just a bunch of stupid liars who are jealous.

Snicker. Those are my favorite.

PA lurkers - Google is your friend. Google the names on these threads, those who make claims they are published, or that their first book was published, or that they were an unknown who got an agent.

Why would we make this stuff, easily verified or not, up?

J.S Greer
01-04-2007, 02:04 AM
The drama in this thread, gripping though it may be, is somewhat superfluous don't you think? Why try to talk someone out of a decision that they have made and acted upon rather than allowing him/her to go with it? The contract is signed and the train is in motion. Let's admire its speed or watch the spectacular explosion. Either way, it's certain to be exciting.

Its not about bashing someones decision, its about giving them the info that they didnt have before making their choice. Its about saying "Hey, dont forget this, and this, and this" so that they have more info to make their choice with.

If anything is worse to say "Hey, lets watch them crash and burn, itll be fun" Id rather try to help them from making the same mistake twice.

J.S Greer
01-04-2007, 02:10 AM
Don't forget stupid and liars. We're just a bunch of stupid liars who are jealous.

Snicker. Those are my favorite.

PA lurkers - Google is your friend. Google the names on these threads, those who make claims they are published, or that their first book was published, or that they were an unknown who got an agent.

Why would we make this stuff, easily verified or not, up?

Denial is a mighty harsh mistress indeed. Aparently, many a PA "Author" serves her, and to the bitter end.

allenparker
01-04-2007, 02:11 AM
I believe that these specific boards and threads ARE for Bstevens and authors just like her. As a person that supported PA, I can attest to the futility of seeing the light here. It wasn't until I came to a point that it was obvious that PA was dumping me that I found out the truth.

People who have not experienced the PA road may never quite understand the process Bstevens and many others like her travel. There is a virtual traffic jam of hurt on every corner. Once you finally break free from the whole pack of lies, you feel relief from the stress, but you are incredibly hurt. The only ones that keep writing are the ones that can play hurt. It is hard to do in football, and it is hard to do in writing.

But later, afer the light, Bstevens or others like her will see what we are pointing out. It will be at that time that we can see the progress.

we simply must be patient.

maestrowork
01-04-2007, 02:15 AM
Why try to talk someone out of a decision that they have made and acted upon rather than allowing him/her to go with it?.

Because we don't want PA to succeed. We want to help those who haven't signed to stay away from PA, and those who have signed to realize they should get out while they still can. That's the right thing to do -- whether or not the person believes us.

Otherwise, we should all just close this thread and go home. Who cares, right? Your loss is not my problem. But we don't do that, because we're a community. We don't want to sit there and watch while someone drives off a cliff. If, after we've warned them, they still drive off the cliff, then at least we can say we've done our best.

J.S Greer
01-04-2007, 02:20 AM
It reminds me also of this episode (http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?p=35704&sid=cebfea08695fea1383f446a6cb2e1499), which made one and only appearance with a vicious post on AW then never returned again.


That is funny. Its amazing how people who dont hear what they want to hear turn it around on a place like AW.

Ive never seen any example of rudeness tolerated here, and in fact, ive seen MODS here ask people to be polite.

Christine N.
01-04-2007, 02:23 AM
Sadest part is that that particular individual believes she'll never get any better than PA.

I'd be willing to bet she has is it in her to produce commerically publishable work, if she'd put in the work. She didn't want to, she wanted it all to be fun and easy. At least PA gives people that, if only for a while.

James D. Macdonald
01-04-2007, 02:28 AM
Why try to talk someone out of a decision that they have made and acted upon rather than allowing him/her to go with it?

My comments aren't meant for the PA authors. They've signed the contract -- there's little I (or anyone) can do for them.

My comments are meant for the people who haven't yet signed the contract, the ones who are looking for information.

There's still a heavy psychological element. A new author will think that anyone who says "I like your book!" is a wonderful person, possessor of good taste, wise, knowledgeable, on their side. Even if you say "Look, the PublishAmerica business model is designed to make sure your book fails," they'll say, "Yes, maybe for others, but this is MY BOOK we're talking about! Anyone who reads it will love it and tell all their friends! They'll love it too! They'll pay more because it's worth more! Besides, I'm a great salesman and I read my contract and this is *MY BOOK*!"

James D. Macdonald
01-04-2007, 02:41 AM
It reminds me also of this episode (http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?p=35704&sid=cebfea08695fea1383f446a6cb2e1499), which made one and only appearance with a vicious post on AW then never returned again.

That was here: http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26568&page=6

The NEPAT Overflow, when it was just six pages long.

Oh, how our baby has grown.

Gravity
01-04-2007, 03:13 AM
Oddly enough (and yes, I'm being facetious), all three posters who so vigorously defended PA have sunk without a ripple. I wonder if they believe their ravings were worth it...

AnneMarble
01-04-2007, 03:25 AM
Oddly enough (and yes, I'm being facetious), all three posters who so vigorously defended PA have sunk without a ripple. I wonder if they believe their ravings were worth it...
There were only three? Sometimes it felt like thirty. :rolleyes:

It's a shame, though. Some of the defenders of PA sounded like they had promising books. At the very least, they could have put aside that book and written the next book (and the next, etc.) until they wrote one that a legitimate publisher wanted...

Gravity
01-04-2007, 03:33 AM
There were only three? Sometimes it felt like thirty. :rolleyes:


:D Yeah, I know. Recently we had the Jeff Miller Show, but his WWF bad-boy act didn't really have legs, and folded while still off-Broadway. Of course none of these pretenders to the Clueless Throne can hold a candle to the late, unlamented H. B. Marcus. He truly was legend.

Richard White
01-04-2007, 06:11 AM
I vaguely remember Wandering Sensei. What book did he have with PA?

davids
01-04-2007, 06:24 AM
:D Yeah, I know. Recently we had the Jeff Miller Show, but his WWF bad-boy act didn't really have legs, and folded while still off-Broadway. Of course none of these pretenders to the Clueless Throne can hold a candle to the late, unlamented H. B. Marcus. He truly was legend.

Yah what ever happened to the ubiquitous Mr. Miller-here to save to have and to hold-to cherish and be loved by and love all?

Birol
01-04-2007, 08:09 AM
I don't think Wandering Sensei was a PA author. They were banned for behavior unrelated to PA.

Alien Enigma
01-04-2007, 11:22 AM
You people seem to miss me when I'm quiet. I've been rather busy doing business things. I see that I have a whole thread about me. Nice, very nice. What gives, people? Am I the guy you love to hate? When I'm here, you give me a cyber thrashing, when I'm gone you guys are missing me. It's nice to be in demand. ;)

Alien Enigma
01-04-2007, 01:12 PM
You obviously want my presence here or you wouldn't keep bringing my name up. Now, you tell people not to respond to me. People aren't ignorant they can see what you people are doing. Plus, if you're not logged in you won't be able to see Birol's message that prompted me to reply again. I'm pro-writer. Not just certain writers. The attitude amongst Absolute Write is the attitude of only considering certain writers published. The fact remains, if a book has been written and it is available to the public; you're published. Have integrity. Honor your word. Honor your contracts. What happened to Ed Williams? Please verify or dismiss the tales that I have heard on various internet forums.

J.S Greer
01-04-2007, 02:34 PM
You obviously want my presence here or you wouldn't keep bringing my name up.

I brought you up in another thread because I thought it was funny that you were talking crap on the PA board about this one. If you take that as being wanted, then so be it.


Now, you tell people not to respond to me. People aren't ignorant they can see what you people are doing.

Not to censor, but to avoid threads filled with endless bickering. I dont mind though. Anytime you want to talk shop, look me up.


I'm pro-writer. Not just certain writers.

Huh?


The attitude amongst Absolute Write is the attitude of only considering certain writers published. The fact remains, if a book has been written and it is available to the public; you're published.

Sure Jeff, there is no difference in a PA or a book published by a traditional house. None. Youre right. Editing, Marketing, Even level of writing talent is all equal, not one bit of difference. Youre not conveniently stretching the definition of the word published at all.


Have integrity. Honor your word. Honor your contracts. What happened to Ed Williams? Please verify or dismiss the tales that I have heard on various internet forums.

Again, huh?



In summation Jeff, come here all you like. Defend PA, your work, or any other literary topic youd like. No one will ban you here, no one will hush you because you voice opposition. The PA boards would, but AW wont.

Alien Enigma
01-04-2007, 02:48 PM
J.S. I respect your honesty when you say that I am free to voice opposition. That's one thing I can honestly say about Absolute Write. I am free to voice my concerns, gripes, and opinions. I often get grilled for them, but that's what it's all about when it comes to opposition. There are many things here that I don't agree with, but I'm still allowed to post as a member. I operate my own forum now and I welcome this type of dialog. I don't necessarily endorse forum fights, but I do endorse open communication. I have an alliance with Publish America, Wizards of Words, and The Author Society. Even though, sometimes I'm labeled as a troll; I'm not trying to be intentionally. I'm inviting an open line of communication. Please forgive the formatting of this post, I have scripts disabled.

J.S Greer
01-04-2007, 03:12 PM
J.S. I respect your honesty when you say that I am free to voice opposition. That's one thing I can honestly say about Absolute Write. I am free to voice my concerns, gripes, and opinions. I often get grilled for them, but that's what it's all about when it comes to opposition. There are many things here that I don't agree with, but I'm still allowed to post as a member. I operate my own forum now and I welcome this type of dialog. I don't necessarily endorse forum fights, but I do endorse open communication. I have an alliance with Publish America, Wizards of Words, and The Author Society. Even though, sometimes I'm labeled as a troll; I'm not trying to be intentionally. I'm inviting an open line of communication. Please forgive the formatting of this post, I have scripts disabled.

And I can respect that. That is a much better post from you than some of the others ive gone back and looked at (Im relatively new here.)

My gripe isnt with you...It's with PA, and even with those who blindly defend them to a lesser extent. I feel bad for most of the PA authors, though my sympathy only goes so far. Blind at first is one thing. It happens. Not wanting to open your eyes is another alotgether.

PA is not the haven for huddled literary masses that they make themselves out to be, and they are dishonest about it. The threads in this forum give the specifics. A year ago, I would have looked to PA, having known nothing about them, and seen my dreams in their hands. Now I know different.

Bartholomew
01-04-2007, 04:07 PM
Hi Alien. Missed you.

xoxo

Christine N.
01-04-2007, 04:56 PM
Well, there's published, and there's "published". There's vanity published, self published, small press published, and published by a press who's operated by a bunch of lowlife scumbags who treat people like crap...

I'll give you published, just not published well. People who have books with vanity presses are published too, right? Because those books also weren't vetted by an editor, either. But they were probably given a better edit than a PA book; some of the better vanities do at least do that. Someone actually reads the book.

Oh, and most of them aren't pamphlets either.