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Ed Williams 3
11-20-2003, 08:34 AM
Editor's note: For those new to this PublishAmerica discussion, it may interest you to see the index to it created by James Macdonald: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=526

----

More PA woes, straight from a PA author's mouth...

HBMarcus

11/18/2003
10:52:39
Subject: OHIO BOOK SIGNING


Message:
Well the manager finally got word. The corporate office CANCELLED THE ENTIRE BOOK ORDER! He can reorder on his own for Ohio authors only on his own authority. But he won't know until later today if he can get the books here on time.

This is not my fault folks. This is idiotic and I've tried pretty hard to make this work. I'll know more later today. In the meantime I'm going to see what else I can put togther to accomodate everyone on the Saturday date.

As far as scheduling anything for December with them, I simply have no trust in them at this point. I'll try getting another book store to host this for Saturday though. At this point I don't care if he gets the books in or not if I can get another place.

I'm sorry everyone. That's all I can say. This was supposed to be a done deal back in September. Waiting until now to NOT get the books is rediculous!

emeraldcite
11-20-2003, 10:07 AM
is there a point of reference for this post? i think i have an idea of what's going on, but is there a background story?

marky48
11-20-2003, 11:01 AM
It's a PA post em. Here's the skinny: Marcus has been setting up a Ohio signing for PA authors from several mid-western states since September. PA or lightning or both can't supply the books, although they've said they could.

There may be a Waldenbooks veto of an advance order for that many PA books at once; undoubtably rare, but suspicious from the pro-PA POV at any rate.

That's all I have at the moment.

James D Macdonald
11-20-2003, 11:34 AM
First, get to know HB Marcus:

<a href="http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/main/7174.htm" target="_new">http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/main/7174.htm</a>

Now, see him in happier times:

<a href="http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/1167.htm" target="_new">www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/1167.htm</a>

Then, watch the sad conclusion:

<a href="http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/1489.htm" target="_new">www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/1489.htm</a>

Google advanced search will show you more individual posts in various threads, such as <a href="http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/1124.htm" target="_new">http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/1124.htm</a> and <a href="http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/1175.htm" target="_new">www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/1175.htm</a>

Hope this helps.

It brings me no joy to report that I'm not surprised by the way it looks like this is turning out.

emeraldcite
11-20-2003, 11:38 AM
i have no stake in this, but i like to follow it nonetheless...

emeraldcite
11-20-2003, 11:46 AM
gee, i thought POD meant print on demand....there's demand, where're the books? lol

dogpile
11-20-2003, 08:58 PM
It's the return policy that's killing this. I called WaldenBooks and inquired. I told them that I was planning on attending. I was told that they "cannot justify ordering non-returnable books that have no guarantee of selling...". Basically, WaldenBooks doesn't want to get stuck with a bunch of books that they have to pay for, and can't be sure of anyone buying them. Once again...the bane of PublishAmerica and their lack of faith in their authors. IF they had ANY faith...they would accept returns at least.

Ed Williams 3
11-20-2003, 09:18 PM
...that PA doesn't need to have faith in their authors. They turn a profit cause they sign tons of authors, and then reap the sales that they produce from relatives and friends. No need to take a risk on returns when there is guaranteed easy money up front. This is the basis of their whole business model.

James D Macdonald
11-20-2003, 11:35 PM
It isn't just the no-returns policy, whereby bookstores can't return books that don't sell -- PA also has a non-standard discount on its books, meaning that bookstores get less profit on the books that do sell.

Combine those two and it's a wonder that any PA books make it into bookstores at all.

marky48
11-21-2003, 12:50 AM
What is the non-standard discount again? 8% of the net price is the author-killer for royalities.

I had been reading those threads save the one back in June. Mr. Amaroso featured in the last was grumbling about my little visit to the board for several days in August. It brought me no pleasure then, and still doesn't, to address these sad details concerning this company. But believers still fall daily.

James D Macdonald
11-21-2003, 12:58 AM
The PA discount, when the books are ordered through a distributor, is 20%. Bookstores expect at least 40%.

marky48
11-21-2003, 03:56 AM
Thanks James.

James D Macdonald
11-21-2003, 05:39 AM
The game's going into extra innings -- <a href="http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/1520.htm" target="_new">www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/1520.htm</a> -- thanks to heroic efforts by the authors. But look at the numbers of books they're getting shipped in for the signing. One copy. Three copies. Five copies. If they sell 100% of the books it won't pay them for their gas to drive to the mall.

And they're overjoyed by it.

marky48
11-21-2003, 06:38 AM
Boy, if I was pirate I'd opt for a lifeboat at this point. That really is sad.

Dancre
11-23-2003, 01:42 AM
tis better to wait for a legitimate publisher and climb up the ladder of success than to take the easy way and be stuck with nothing.
and it is sad.
kim

Ed Williams 3
11-23-2003, 02:27 PM
Jennifer M



11/23/2003
00:01:30
Subject: Thanks HB and Claudette


Message:
I just wanted to thank HB and Claudette for all their hard work for Saturday's book signing. It wasn't as we had planned but it was still a great event and all the thanks goes to you two. Many blessings in your direction. Also I want to add that I truelly enjoyed meeting all the other authors as well....Paula, Tim, Rich, Ann all of you it was a real pleasure!!!! If I don't see you in December Than I'll see you in Feb. I'm working really hard for the december thing........It was too much fun to have to wait!!!

Jennifer Milo
Twist of Fate

Ed Williams 3
11-23-2003, 11:42 PM
HBMarcus

11/23/2003
10:45:09

H. B. Marcus
CRISPY
The Joe Schmoe Show
RE: Thanks HB and Claudette


Message:
Jennifer, I'm glad that in the face of INCREDIBLE STUPIDITY you still stayed there and acted as a representative of PA in a calm non-killing fashion. (By the way, my wife and I think you should change your message post photo because you're a little more drop-dead-gorgeous in person.)

Anyway, you missed the lady who won that electric guitar we gave away. That had my eyes well up for an instant until I remembered I was HB. Of course I brought a camera that said: "Please insert non-bleeding batteries here." Rich and I hung out until the last dog was hung. I still can't get over how the two of you mugged people walking by.

"Hey Rich, have I mentioned what a great job you're doing?"

Thanks for catching me outside by the way and keeping me from turning the manager into a stain. Walking it off was a really good idea when we found out the books were NOT THERE! But after the rather loud receiving of the guitar in the drawing, the store manager was going: "Wow, I've never done anything like this before."
I said: "We're PA people. We do this all the time. See what you've been missing?"

I can't believe all Ann had was a review and she sold a freaking book while she was there. That's just wrong on so many levels! I was there all freaking day and I sold one book. Claudette is going: "Hey HB, I just hit the twenty book goal I wanted!" I SOLD ONE FREAKING BOOK! Oh well, I had a lot of fun.

I still can't believe Tim (the guy who called me a sociopath) is still hanging tough with me. He's got something planning for his neck of the woods and I am so there. It was great to see a familiar face. I'm just sorry he missed the breakfast thingy.

Claudette...TWENTY FREAKING BOOKS! Oh, I'm sorry, let me rephrase that; TWENTY FREAKING BOOKS! That's just sick. But hey, you put a lot of work into this thing that I didn't ask for but I really appreciated. I can't thank you enough. I really mean that. Folks, if you set up something like this, GET HER. All I am is hung-over psychotic comedy relief. She made the difference with a really bad situation. You people have no idea how glad I am this is over.

By the way, my new buddy at Walden's wants to do this again in a couple weeks. I told him point blank: "Well golly gee whillickers Steve, I'm still waiting for the books to show up for this one." But, I did resist the urge to turn the little weasel's face into a crime scene. That looks good for PA.

YO HO HO!

James D Macdonald
11-23-2003, 11:50 PM
The thread Ed is quoting from is <a href="http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/1545.htm" target="_new">here</a>.

Poor HB. I feel his pain. He hasn't figured out who the pirates are, yet, and who it is who's been yelling "YO HO HO!"

PA swept his deck with grapeshot and boarded him in the smoke.

DaveKuzminski
11-25-2003, 01:47 AM
It's at PublishAmerica (http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/1539.htm) and contains this one particular posting which I find interesting since it was one of their member authors who earlier suggested this very tactic for getting their books into bookstores. Here's the posting:

Begin quote:
Message:
I somehow doubt it...

most of the big stores seem to have changed their policies so that they refuse to order ANY POD books unless asked for specifically for by a single customer.

I suspect it's probably from a rash of POD authors "special ordering" in tons of books for imaginary customers and then the bookstore swallowing the books sitting on their shelves when the person never returns to pick up their special order.

sure, it's a great trick to get your book on the shelves, but now they've caught on and now won't stock any PODs - if you thought it was hard before to get onto the shelves, it's worse now.

End of quote.

So, did they really believe that the bookstores wouldn't catch onto that tactic and create their own response? After all, isn't that why "return policies" were developed many years ago? Wasn't it to prevent publishers from taking advantage of dealers with imaginary orders?

XThe NavigatorX
11-25-2003, 02:43 AM
I still think the future looks great for POD, but not until they get the actual POD machines affordable enough to sit in the stores themselves. Order a book. Three minutes later it's in your hand, literally hot off the press.

Personally, I don't think it's a good idea , but I see it coming.

Ed Williams 3
11-25-2003, 06:25 AM
....that these people are working so hard to create a demand for their books, yet their publishing situation negates their efforts before they even get out of the gate. Bookstores were already leary of POD books, now they are even more so based on stunts like the one Dave has just pointed out in his previous post. Think about it - PA, right now on Amazon, lists 3043 books. Ponder that for a moment - with the most well staffed publicity department in the publishing industry PA couldn't properly promote that many books. What PA is doing is simple - they sign up lots of authors, count on those 10-100 unit sales they'll each produce to relatives/friends, and that's as much as they need to do. Much easier to keep signing new authors than to continue to work with the existing ones. The saddest thing about all this is that PA is trading on people's dreams, luring them in by holding the title of "Published Author" out in front of them, then snatching the carpet from underneath their feet when its too late for them to do too anything about it. The PA author ends up with no real reviews, no library placement to speak of, no national chain stocking of their title(s), no true publishing credit, and minimal sales. Very, very sad.

HBMarcus
01-14-2004, 03:13 AM
Well golly gee whillickers.
I'm surfing around I find people going to a lot of trouble collecting my quotes to bash my publisher. The word 'context' means nothing I see.

Where to begin?

The big author signing was screwed up by the manager of the Waldens book store. He spent months telling me lies and telling his corporate office the other half of the lies. All because he figured he could manipulate me into doing what suited the purposes he had cooked up to please the corporate office.

I had one chance early that week for my publisher to get the books to me on time. The manager of the Waldens told me they were on the way and everything was fine. Then when his corporate office was contacted I found out that he lied. They never got any order and they did what they could to get books there at the last minute. They tried really hard for us. It wasn't their fault. They even drop shipped books ordered that day and they continue to sell out of my books.

In fact the one author who had no books there stayed for about 45 minutes and sold a book anyway.

Libraries? The libraries around me all have copies of both my books. In fact when a friend asked about them they were more than happy to buy two copies of each.

Reviews? Check the Midwest Book Review, which most libraries around the country use as a buying guide. The January issue has a review of my latest book.

The pathetic bashing from authors who thought publishers do everything for you when you sit on your hands is so ten minutes ago. I've met quite a few authors who had an offer on the board with one of the moldy established publishers and went with mine instead. You can arrange the quotes any way you want and I'll still be connected to one of the fastest growing publishers ever. Check your facts. You bought Microsoft stock out of Bill Gates' garage on the day it went public and you traded it for a handful of sour grapes.

FM St George
01-14-2004, 03:24 AM
wow...

just a little wired on coffee, HB?

let's just say that some of us want to spend more time writing than begging bookstores to order copies of overpriced PA books and dealing with the no-returns policy... believe it or not, there is a world outside of the PA cult and those of us who have turned our backs on it may, just may, have a point.

btw, I've been banned from the PA boards, in case you were wondering... must have been my posts just after the Ohio debacle...

but, as Lisa found out - no one's ever been banned at PA - so enjoy your freedom of speech here, since it seems that a lot of us don't have it over there.

Sheryl Nantus

James D Macdonald
01-14-2004, 03:46 AM
You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time.

HB, how many books, total, have you sold? What kind of profit have you made (gross income - cost of goods sold)?

You are aware that the Midwest Book Review is a joke, right?

HConn
01-14-2004, 05:13 AM
... authors who thought publishers do everything for you when you sit on your hands...

I've never heard of nor met this author. This person is a myth created by vanity presses.

Ed Williams 3
01-14-2004, 06:06 AM
HB,

Glad to see you found us, and offered your responses. Takes balls, and I respect that. With all that being said, there still are a lot of holes in the side of your boat. For example:

1. My publisher paid the freight to send me to several of the largest southeastern book and trade shows. Shows like SEBA, the Southern Festival of the Book, the St. Petersburg Festival of Reading, and others. Most true publishers have a stake in the outcome of a book's success, and do invest money in their authors, in one way or the other.

2. Libraries? When I refer to libraries, I mean more than just the ones in your immediate area. Getting books placed through author intervention and hand delivery is a PA trademark, but hardly means widespread distribution of a title.

3. The Midwest Book review is basically a joke.

Now, explain one thing to me if you would, given that this particular topic was deleted off the PA boards. Why is it that PA books are not registered in the Library of Congress? And I'm not talking copyright registration, as you can register a copyright for a cow, but a Library of Congress registration? Hearing that explanation would be of interest to all here, I'm sure.

In the end it comes down to this - HB, if you were approached by a traditional publisher who offered you a nice advance for a future book, would you take it? Or would you stay with PA?

James D Macdonald
01-14-2004, 06:52 AM
I think you meant cataloged by the Library of Congress, Ed.

In fact, there are eight AmErica House books cataloged there, though none within the past two years. How they came to be cataloged I don't know. Perhaps it was before the true nature of AmErica House/PA was widely known.

Another question that comes to me are exactly who are these authors who were offered publication by major legitimate presses but who chose to go with PublishAmerica instead? Titles/Authors/Dates? That story sounds a lot like the urban legends where a friend of my uncle knew the guy it happened to.

dgkgoldberg
01-14-2004, 08:57 AM
I will be a tad surprised if HB comes back to answer any of these questions.

I am the evil wench who, over on the Gothic.net boards, informed a PA writer that she could determine her sales figures quite easily. PA books were hand sells, however many she sold would give her the sales figures.

I also informed her that shilling a community that contains several writers, that you've never posted to before, is not a way to sell books.

I also commented that I did not expect her to respond, that I expected her, like most PA writers to have done a drive by.

I later saw her sobbing tale of woe on the PA boards about this incident of PA bashing. She was comforted by her husband who reminded her of the lowly status of writers on that message board.

She was most upset because I dared to say that she would not return and talk about these things.

She didn't.

FM St George
01-14-2004, 09:19 AM
well, therein lies the problem - all the PA authors who bleat such wonderful things on the PA boards don't have the cojones to come onto other boards where negative replies will be edited out and have a serious discussion.

instead, I expect to see a snarky post from HB on the PA boards in the next few days about how "he told us" and more chestpounding about how great PA is, yatta yatta yatta...

oh, and that Ohio signing? They raffled off an electric guitar in the mall - it might have helped get interest, but I somehow doubt that every author can afford to toss such a luxury item out at a booksigning. As for the mistakes, well... while I believe that the bookstore manager was dishonest in not telling HB upfront that he couldn't DO a POD signing due to company policy, I don't subscribe to the paranoia frame of mind that says that it's all a Giant Conspiracy to Hold The Good Authors Down, Don't Ya Know.

the funny thing is that I frequent quite a few writing boards and I hardly EVER see other PA authors there - instead they're in their own masturbatory circle on the PA boards stroking each other's ego and reviewing each other's books and ignoring that there just might be other boards that may offer BETTER advice than you get from each other at PA...

so it goes...

dgkgoldberg
01-14-2004, 10:03 AM
It was sad, a writer who I respect offered her some very constructive cirticism that she could have used --- and I've even been known to be helpful from time to time (I am a bottom-feeder but also a Stoker finalist and I like helping horror writers grow) but instead of seeing the potential for help she saw an attack on her already perfect work.

shoot, I'd love someone to crit my work

DaveKuzminski
01-14-2004, 10:34 AM
I was explaining PublishAmerica to someone this evening. His reaction was that their company mascot must be a mosquito because it's a bloodsucker that flies by night.

FM St George
01-19-2004, 09:09 PM
www.publishedauthors.net/...afe/48.htm (http://www.publishedauthors.net/cgi-bin/forums/cafe/48.htm)

sneaky ones forgot to ban my password on this board... until I dared to point out the obvious and suddenly, again, my password is "invalid"...

guess my emails must be getting into the trash bin as well since they've never answered me...

*laughs*

the sad thing is that this illustrates yet another PA problem - like, the books AREN'T getting out to the customers, even after they've been ordered and paid for.

and so it goes...

thorgunna
01-20-2004, 01:37 AM
I just can't believe that every POD outfit is as bad as PA, 1stbooks or IUniverse.

But then, I don't live in Kansas, neither.

Peg

FM St George
01-20-2004, 02:06 AM
I honestly don't think so either - if I PAID to have a book put out by Xlibris or the other POD's; I'd be on the phone and screaming that as a customer, I'm not getting what I paid for.

but this is where PA has you by the tinsel, so to speak - since they "pay" you a buck, you do feel somehow obligated to not only defend them, but to accept a level of customer service that wouldn't stand if you were paying for it. Even with all the criticism of the other POD's, you can at least honestly say that you get what you pay for.

and, as I've said here and on other boards - there ARE areas where a POD is possibly the way to go. If you're publishing a family history that may not be of any interest beyond your local circle or area history that won't go beyond a few hundred miles, then you may want to consider a POD since most small publishers won't see it as worth the cost of printing. Of course, that's a decision you have to make and shoulder cost-wise, but I do believe that POD's do have a place in the market. As do the smaller publishing houses and the people who run their own publishing companies and take on all the work - at least they know what they're doing!

but by advertising themselves as being equal or better than the "traditional" publishers who pay the author and have a decent distribution system, PA does do the other PODs a major disservice, I will say that.

jmo, ymmv...

darbyj
01-20-2004, 04:34 AM
They didn't remove my password from that site either, so I was able to post...for now. I can't believe they actually said, "PublishAmerica books have the same chance of making it onto a bookstore shelf as do the books of any publisher."

Blahchh. I feel so dirty. I'm going to go throw up now.


Lisa

FM St George
01-20-2004, 05:01 AM
tick, tick...

*laughs*

wait for it...

FM St George
01-20-2004, 05:54 AM
and it's GONE!!!

w00t... less than an hour...

tsk, tsk... another "timeout" for you!

*chuckles*

James D Macdonald
01-20-2004, 06:42 AM
"PublishAmerica books have the same chance of making it onto a bookstore shelf as do the books of any publisher."

Where did they say that?

DaveKuzminski
01-20-2004, 07:05 AM
James Macdonald, they said it in the topic linked above. Here's the full quote in case they squash that topic:

infocenter
Administrator


1/18/2004 09:12:49
RE: What's the deal!?

Message:
Sheryl,
What you are saying is not true, though there are many cases of the policies of individual bookstore managers differing. There are literally dozens of stories on our message board with facts that run exactly contrary to what you say. No major chain bookstore, including Barnes and Noble, has any such policy at all.

See these links, the info below, and the quote below from a Barnes and Noble VP, for the facts on this issue:

www.publishamerica.com/cg...n/8622.htm (http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/main/8622.htm)
www.publishamerica.com/cg...n/6654.htm (http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/main/6654.htm)
www.publishamerica.com/facts/index.htm (http://www.publishamerica.com/facts/index.htm)

No publisher guarantees book sales to bookstores. Major chain bookstores have no policy against stocking non-returnable books. Actually, Barnes and Noble has quadrupled the number of books they order from PublishAmerica during the past year and we sell to them directly each and every day. Thousands, each and every month, of PublishAmerica books are sold in bookstores. Hundreds of bookstores across the nation stock our books.

PublishAmerica books have the same chance of making it onto a bookstore shelf as do the books of any publisher. It may be of interest that less than one percent of all authors ever see their books stocked by bookstores at all. For bookstores to stock all books published would mean adding 15 feet of new shelf space each and every day.

Therefore bookstore managers must be selective, so they decide based on what that they think will sell. If they do think it will sell, they will stock it, and vice versa. So, if your book is romance and the store's shelves are overflowing with romance novels, the odds are they won't stock it. And, if your book is a history of agriculture in Tupelo County, Mississippi, the bookstore manager in Seattle may feel the same way.

Bookstores will generally stock a book that they think will sell, regardless of whether it is returnable or not, and regardless of whether it is printed on digital or offset presses.

Please do not judge a bookstore's corporate policy by what one local manager or one letter tells you. You can find stories on our website about, for example, two Borders locations in one town: one manager insists that he cannot carry a book, the other orders 40 copies. Bookstore managers are human, they have strengths and weaknesses like all of us, they can make good judgment calls and bad ones. One will like your book, the other may not. Apparently, the one you spoke to was unaware that B&N bookstores order directly from us and from Ingrams, the major book distributor, every day.

Also worthy of note, most of your books are physically, actually, in stock at Ingram, with copies in their Oregon and Tennessee warehouses, and at a Barnes and Noble distribution center, ready to ship immediately.

A Vice President at Barnes and Noble wrote us a letter recently, saying,

"We very much believe in print-on-demand (POD) technology as a cost-effective tool available for publishers to extend the range of their title offerings to Barnes & Noble... We believe that POD represents an opportunity to increase the range of titles we offer...

We will continue to stock every title that you publish, which enables us to rapidly replenish our stores..."

vstrauss
01-20-2004, 08:14 AM
Ah, the usual mix-n-match cut-n-paste job, recycling verbiage from their website FAQ section and from previous scoldings of naughty authors.

- Victoria

darbyj
01-20-2004, 08:26 AM
Yeah, that was fast, wasn't it, FM. I think they were waiting for me.

I can't believe they can actually state that their books have the same chance of making it to a book store shelf as any other published book. Were I a newbie reading it, I'd believe it.

Sigh, I don't mind what they do but how they do it...it's just wrong. I don't know how these people sleep at night.

Lisa

Dragon Chow
01-20-2004, 09:15 AM
A Vice President at Barnes and Noble wrote us a letter recently, saying,

"We very much believe in print-on-demand (POD) technology as a cost-effective tool available for publishers to extend the range of their title offerings to Barnes & Noble... We believe that POD represents an opportunity to increase the range of titles we offer...

We will continue to stock every title that you publish, which enables us to rapidly replenish our stores..."

They've been quoting this "recently" received letter forever. I wonder how recent is "recently"? :rolleyes

DC

HBMarcus
01-21-2004, 04:58 AM
I had no idea there was so much time in an author's life to spew such nonsense. I would have expected two or three, but now I see there is actually nothing going on in your lives. No publisher prospects beyond paying to have it done. No chance of distribution in the big stores as offered by PA's partnership. Total denial of the fact that traditional publishers watch the movers and shakers at PA.

Would I go with another publisher? If I didn't give PA the first crack or chance to match, what would the new publisher think of me?

Did the thought enter your minds that popping out one book means 'flash in the pan'? You negotiate the contracts for each one after you've proved your worth. If you worked on the greatest novel of all time and it didn't get the recognition you expected, you post here. Otherwise you should be trying to make something of what you worked so hard for. Do your efforts mean so little to you? WOW! That's all kinds of sad to hear.

Look, if you want to dash your dreams, that's your business. People with considerably larger expectations about life are doing well. If you're already well known in the book writing field you can profit from PA. They are quicker at putting a book together. Some have done this already to avoid the two-year slush pile. Some first timers have done so without looking back.

We're happy folks, you're not. Sad day in you-land, huh? Coffee addiction? No! It's called motivation and energy, which suits me quite well. I'm not the one who signs a contract and then complains about it in a way that might hurt my publisher on their own freakin' message board. What did you think would happen?

PA is a new company that is growing really fast. Burning bridges with them was stupid because the door is closing and it may have been as far as your talent could take you. WHOOPS! I don't have to hand anyone my book. People who have read my first book seek out the second one. That's how it's done.

Giving away a guitar at a book signing made it a lot of fun. That incentive sold a lot of books and provided a very cool gift for Christmas they couldn't pick or afford. Working out details like that with local vendors is how it's done. Multi-author signings provide variety to the public. That's just bringing numbers. You have a problem with any of that logic? Oh, I see. Let's just sit around and go: "Hi, it's great big me! Come here to my table and buy my book and I'll sign it for you." Get real.

All I can se here is a lot of people who said: "Oh, i've got the keys to the kingdom, but THIS is in my way! When I run out of THIS I have plenty of THAT to thwart my efforts as well! It's all somebody else's fault! It can't be me! I wrote the dammed thing!" Puuuulease. I'm so tired of hearing two year-old arguements.

Having nothing means nothing. Paying for nothing is stupid. I bought a ninety-nine dollar guitar for slightly above cost and the book sales went far above that cost. It wasn't for me. If I wanted a profit I would have charged the authors for their part in the raffle. If you don't get the point, I can't explain it to you.

Here's the dollars and sense: For the next seven years I have two books that will continue to sell and spread my name. In the meantime I have a lot of other books to release, which will spread the word as well. I'm in it for the long haul. I don't expect a million bucks for my ONE attempt like a freakin' lottery ticket. Traditional and pay publishers can't offer that beyond the next addition.

The idea that this board has even heard of me means I'm doing something right. You follow?

astonwest
01-21-2004, 05:55 AM
Sigh......

"No publisher prospects beyond paying to have it done."

There are plenty of folks around here who've never paid to have it done...and in fact have gotten multiple-thousands of dollars in advances. Not everyone, of course, but a blanket statement like that defies all logic.

"Total denial of the fact that traditional publishers watch the movers and shakers at PA."

Really? I'm curious how many of the folks in the illustrious new imprint at PA have been approached by "traditional publishers." We won't dwell on the fact that you're separating "traditional publishers" from PA, which would tend to imply they aren't a "traditional publisher", as they always claim. (Then of course, there's the fact one of their biggest movers and shakers went to another POD for her most recent book. Guess she won't be giving any big talks on how to sell books at the upcoming convention...)

"Would I go with another publisher?"

You never did really answer this question...I'm curious...if another publisher asked and PA didn't match the deal, would you jump ship? An honest question...

"Look, if you want to dash your dreams, that's your business."

Actually, PA dashed my dreams...by making me try to believe my book was sellable under their terms. Whether it was sellable (or publishable) or not is a moot point anymore...

"I'm not the one who signs a contract and then complains about it in a way that might hurt my publisher on their own freakin' message board."

Actually, I think a majority of the complaints people bring up on the message board are items you don't read about in the contract. Pricing is one. Store stocking is another. There are many other issues that come up, but these are the two that were usually the biggest.

"Giving away a guitar at a book signing made it a lot of fun. That incentive sold a lot of books..."

Remind us again how many books (your titles) you sold during that event...

"Working out details like that with local vendors is how it's done."

I prefer working out details like how I'm going to get my books there on time. That, and how I'm going to get paid. And there's always things like how the event is going to publicized. They normally turn out a lot better that way...

"Multi-author signings provide variety to the public."

I have to agree to that (a single book tends to limit the exposure, because not everyone enjoys the same genre)...unfortunately, most multi-author signings set up through chain stores end up being little more than a "tuck 'em in a corner" event, with tons of authors stashed at a minimum number of tables. It's very tough for any author to make any impact in that sort of a setting (when you're trying hard not to smack each other with your elbows while signing books).

"All I can se here is a lot of people who said: "Oh, i've got the keys to the kingdom, but THIS is in my way! When I run out of THIS I have plenty of THAT to thwart my efforts as well! It's all somebody else's fault! It can't be me! I wrote the dammed thing!" Puuuulease. I'm so tired of hearing two year-old arguements."

I'm still trying to figure out what all this meant...can anyone interpret it for me?

Although the bit about "It's all somebody else's fault! It can't be me! I wrote the dammed thing!" sounds like it was pulled directly off the PA boards, when anyone ends up with a negative review, or gets the door slammed in their face at a newspaper or a bookstore...

"The idea that this board has even heard of me means I'm doing something right. You follow?"

Just because one has been heard of doesn't mean what they do is 'something right'.

Oh well...as is always the case, you have your opinion...I have mine...everyone around here has their own...and no one is going to change their mind despite what anyone says...

Best to keep writing and let the chips fall where they may...

Big Daddy West
:hat

GravityFades
01-21-2004, 06:52 AM
To borrow a quote from Richard M. Nixon (strange thought!):"let me say this about that." I have one, count 'em, one novel with PA, and that's the last one they'll get. My second one was done with a large traditional CBA house, and will be in stores nationwide May 1.
How is this being accomplished? the young lad in the back asks. Simple, my boy: the publisher has my book listed in a catalog. Said catalog is then placed in the hands of a highly-trained sales force. It is THEY who make the rounds to the book buyers, taking orders for it (please God).
Yeah, I have to talk it up, be available for interviews and signings and such, but those will be booked by a very nice lady at the publisher called a publicist. Of course, common sense and five decades on the planet tells me that I won't get the treatment that, say, King or Grisham enjoys. That'll come with time (again, please God). But I won't have to collar some poor overworked wretch of a Borders manager and plead with him to stock five copies of my overpriced opus.

In sum, let me finish with another quote (Mae West, if I'm not mistaken): "I've been rich, and I've been poor. Rich is better."

Thus endeth the lesson.

John

FM St George
01-21-2004, 07:13 AM
well put, both of you...

wonder if we'll ever see any other PA authors venture out beyond the masturbatory world of their own boards... this one and others where, perhaps, it's not all glitter and gold paint. Where Real Authors who have actually dealt with reviewers outside of PA shills and editors who don't just rubberstamp whatever's on the paper and you actually EARN money for your writing instead of having to harass bookstore owners and earn a paltry buck a buck because you can't afford to give a decent discount.

and, again - for all their efforts there's only one PA author I can think of who's sold 500 books... that fact alone should have the majority of them hanging their heads in shame.

sad fact is that most of us who've been "banned" actually had good reasons and questions - now our "publisher" refuses to answer our emails and ignores us - hardly good business behavior and most certainly not a way to win us back.

but then, they don't care - there's always another sucker down the block waiting for that magic email from PA offering to "publish" them...

Ed Williams 3
01-21-2004, 09:02 AM
"No publisher prospects beyond paying to have it done."

I've never paid one dime to publish either of my first two books. The third one is under option as we speak. I get good royalty checks, and expense paid trips to major book conferences.

"No chance of distribution in the big stores as offered by PA's partnership."

Name some PA titles that have stocked nationwide in any of the well known national chain bookstores.

"If I didn't give PA the first crack or chance to match, what would the new publisher think of me?"

That you had regained your publishing sanity.

"If you worked on the greatest novel of all time and it didn't get the recognition you expected, you post here."

Big talk when you consider the top selling PA title has sold maybe 500 copies.

"We're happy folks, you're not. Sad day in you-land, huh?"

If you're happy, why the diatribe? And if your publisher is so wonderful, why do they not accord their own authors the privilege you have here, that of being able to post whatever you want to? What's their fear?

"People who have read my first book seek out the second one. That's how it's done."

And where, other than the internet, might they find one?

"Multi-author signings provide variety to the public."

Good point, HB. Might help to have some copies available for them to buy, too. What did you have at this big signing, one copy of your own book to hawk? That signing is an absolute joke, if I was you I'd not use that as a defense of your publisher.

"Traditional and pay publishers can't offer that beyond the next addition."

How would you possibly know what a traditional publisher would offer their authors?

"The idea that this board has even heard of me means I'm doing something right. You follow?"

HB, you're held up as one of the main examples of a PA zealot, and you're proud of that. This is America, and you have that right, but the reason people know you is not because you're doing something right. You're touting a publisher that's an industry joke, and your top selling author sells maybe 500 copies. Hell, my publisher gave away close to a hundred of my latest at just one trade show this past fall. How many trade shows has PA sent you to?

James D Macdonald
01-21-2004, 11:02 AM
Total denial of the fact that traditional publishers watch the movers and shakers at PA.

You're right; I totally deny that's a fact.

Here's something for you to think about over there in Cloud Cuckoo Land:

If the traditional publishers thought that the PublishAmerica plan was worth a damn, they'd be doing it too, and better than PA is doing it.

If traditionally-published authors thought PA was worth a damn they'd be at PA elbowing you out of the way.

Mostly, though, traditional publishers don't know who PublishAmerica is. Those who do don't care.

PublishAmerica is a nightmare for bookstore managers. It doesn't trouble the sleep of traditional publishers. Traditional publishers: You know, the guys who are in the business of selling books to people the author has never looked in the eye.

So, again, no dodging: How's business? How much more have you spent on your books and promoting them than you've brought in from total book sales?

How many books, grand total, have you actually sold, given away, or otherwise distributed?

Now tell me, what's your experience with traditional publishers? How many works have you submitted to them? What kind of responses did you get?

HConn
01-21-2004, 01:17 PM
I'm sure pro writers will be happy to jump to PA for the chance to "be creative."


After 4 months of intensive work and 18
booksignings after receiving my author's copy
of my novel, I wanted to share these bullet
points...
� You CAN get into major bookstores. I asked
for and got a "BINC" # from Borders and have
had 7 successful signings with them. Also
with WaldenBooks, B&N and B. Dalton.
� You MUST creatively present yourself. I
walked in with a half bushel of apples (see
title: ROTTEN AT THE CORE), silkscreeened
t-shirts for their staff to wear during the
signing, a 3' x 10' banner, business cards,
bookmarks, 11" x 17" posters, a sign-in sheet
promoting my second book (I have hundreds
of contacts now to market from!), and printouts
from my website showing the store's name,
website, etc. Also, a contract guaranteeing
that I will buy back all unsold books that they
order or offering to bring my own, and finally, a
promotion plan showing where I would drop
direct mail postcards and/or have kids deliver
door hangers, and where I would submit my
press releases.

www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/newauthors/883.htm (http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/newauthors/883.htm)

finerthingsinlife
01-21-2004, 01:49 PM
I must admit to have a sneaky sympathy--regardless of the publishing choice (poor--given), his/her approach DOES show both passion and creativity. Rag on the publisher with abandon, but when a poor b*gger goes to those lengths , you do have to take you hat off to them. I'm in marketing and I have done some whacky promos sometimes but that individual has big kahunas to do that. Yes, making the most of a poor decision, but got to give them a 'nice try' award mention.

From my little perspective, let's stick to shooting PA and not pick out the individuals that are trying to make the most of a dumb publishing decision.

Summary--poor publisher decision, nice try on at least trying to sell a book that will never see a bookshop otherwise.

Going back to lurking....

Ed Williams 3
01-21-2004, 05:14 PM
....below are the totals per each PA title that the bookstore where this illustrious PA booksigning/guitar raffle took place claimed to be able to order. In the end, of course, no books actually came in for the signing, but forget about that for just a second. Just suppose that the order below had come in just in time for the big signing - with the number of copies below that each author had available to hawk, bet they were all eating steak dinners afterwards!

_______________________________________________

HBMarcus

11/20/2003
15:18:35
Subject: IT'S ON FOLKS!!!

Message:
The books are due to arrive tomorrow (Friday) at the Walden's in Mentor for the Ohio book signing. That's the good news. Now the bad news. Aw come on, you knew there would be some. There weren't enough available of all titles. The following is a list of what the corporate office was able to get for the event.

H.B.Marcus-THE JOE SCHMOE SHOW-1413702872 1 copy

Sheryl Nantus-THE DRAGON WHO WAS BORED-1592861261 1 copy

Londis Carpenter-SKETCHES FROM LIFE-1413704158 3 copies

Frank P. Whyte-HEARTS OF GOLD-1592865682 3 copies

Claudette Milner-CHILDREN OF PLAINS ESTATES-1413704247 1 copy

Emanuel Carpenter-A JOB AIN'T NOTHING BUT WORK-1413703232 1 copy

Anne Sweeney Holliday-CONTEMPT OF COURT-1592869238 5 copies

Rich Kisielewski-DA BUSHES-1592863094 5 copies

S.L. VanOrman-DARK MINDS-1592865429 1 copy

Jennifer D. Milo-TWIST OF FATE-1413702309 1 copy

Tim Smith-MEMORIES DIE LAST-1591292425 2 copies

Paula F. Blevins-THE WAY HOME-159286113x 5 copies

Robin Adams-TOO MANY TEARS-1592867367 - Not available through Ingram

Annette DeLore-PRISONER OF THE HEART-1591293049 1 copy

Robin Adams, I hope you have author copies. We shall continue with the event and simply take orders for books. I will work out the details with the manager today. I want to stay professional about this and carry through with the event. It is very important to not let this one event affect relations between PA and Walden's books so please plan on attending and everything will be worked out.

THE BOOKS HAVE BEEN SENT AND WILL BE THERE.

Don't forget to bring book marks and business cards and such. I'll be posting further details as I get them. Thanks for hanging in there pirates.

FM St George
01-21-2004, 07:20 PM
as one of the authors mentioned, this WAS the point that turned me away from going there - well, that and car trouble.

if I have to count on supplying my OWN books every time there's a signing, then I'm a fool - the max. you can purchase books from PA is a 30% discount and usually bookstores will demand that much, if not more back at the signings. This one, I believe, had nothing, but the authors had tables out in the MALL, not in the bookstore after all.

of course, you can just stand there and hand out bookmarks and so forth, but wouldn't you feel more the fool if your "publisher" can't even supply the books when needed? Especially with the bragging that POD means that each book is available almost immediately?

too much money flowing AWAY from the authors and TOWARDS PA with very little profit possible or even in sight - and while these peeps may find it a wonderful hobby to keep tossing money to a company that doesn't even keep their promises, some of us have moved on and away from that.

jmo, ymmv.

FM St George
01-21-2004, 08:22 PM
www.dailynewstribune.com/...202004.htm (http://www.dailynewstribune.com/news/local_regional/walt_author01202004.htm)

there's already a post up at the PA boards declaring that they're planning to swarm this columnist for the lie that PA charges a fee for their books...

I think they should just be ashamed that a little old lady is being scammed like this...

jmo, ymmv...

emeraldcite
01-21-2004, 08:50 PM
quote:

Also, a contract guaranteeing
that I will buy back all unsold books that they
order or offering to bring my own,

/end quote

so if PA won't have a buyback policy, the authors have to substitute their own just to get into the bookstore. it would suck if b&n bought 100 over-priced copies and you were forced by your own contract to buy back 90 of them. that's quite a gamble.

darbyj
01-22-2004, 12:22 AM
Was PA aware of the lack of books for that guitar raffle/book signing? If so, why didn't they just ship over the "49 in stock" they always seem to have for each author in the signing?

FM, I think if I were you, I'd try to wiggle out of my contract and when they pull the old "49 copies" crap, you could throw that in their faces.

Lisa

HConn
01-22-2004, 12:23 AM
finer, I'm not "shooting" the poster who wrote that marketing plan. I'm pointing out how much trouble and money they had to expend to market their own book because of the handicaps that come from being a PA author.

FM St George
01-22-2004, 12:45 AM
well, I doubt they'd let me get out of it, considering I'm a mouthy broad...

as far as marketing goes - this fellow is a GREAT example of a truly dedicated author - he believes in his book and is willing to promote it as best he can...

too bad that he's got the ankle chain and ball of PA with him - can you imagine how he would be on a real tour with some decent money behind him? (NOT his own; a publisher's?)

if you have to buy your books to sell your books, then you're losing money from the start... I daresay that the "lousy" shipping that PA seems to continually have is part of the deal to force authors to buy their own books "to have on hand" and avoid such problems...

the cesspool is just getting dirtier and dirtier...

astonwest
01-22-2004, 05:40 AM
Does anyone know for certain they didn't charge for publication back in 1999? I have a 1999 Writer's Market which contains a "new" listing for Erica House, which was the predecessor of AmErica House/Publish America, as I recall.

Who knows?

James D Macdonald
01-22-2004, 05:43 AM
Okay, let's deal with the myth that PublishAmerica books get bookstore distribution.

They don't.

Here's proof that you can check yourself:

Take the list of all PublishAmerica books published this month. You can get it off Amazon; there are 179 titles listed. Take those titles and authors and copy them down.
Now check for PA's 10 best-sellers (again from Amazon).
Copy those down.

Now with that list of 189 books, go to your favorite bookstore. A local independent, a regional big-box, whatever pleases you.

Check to see how many of those books are on the shelf.

I can tell you right now how many you'll find: None.

(Of course, it's possible that you may find a copy of a title or two. In that case, I bet you that the author lives within 25 miles of that store.)

With any legitimate publisher that has thousands of general interest books in print, you'd expect to find multiple copies of hundreds of titles on the shelves.

To prove that, try the same experiment with any legitimate traditional publisher that puts out a roughly similar number of titles per month. How many books did you find?

While it wasn't the complete list, you found a pretty fair selection, didn't you?

QED, folks. Don't believe me; try it.

(Oh, yeah -- while you won't find any of the PublishAmerica books <a href="http://catalog.loc.gov/" target="_blank">cataloged at the Library of Congress</a>, you'll find every single one of that legitimate press's books cataloged there. Funny thing!)

<HR>

No one is dumping on PublishAmerica's authors. They're writers, every one of them. They finished a book. They love their books. Based on slush-pile experience PublishAmerica has even released three or four good books this month, books that thousands of people might read with pleasure and recommend to their friends. Unfortunately, the PublishAmerica model is such (unedited overpriced non-returnable books with horrible distributor discounts) that the good books will suffer the same fate as the bad books: They'll only be read by the author's family and friends.

Even if an author does everything PublishAmerica suggests, and does it perfectly, he'll still sell a negligible quantity of books.

It's a pity. A tragedy. It isn't the author's fault that he believed PublishAmerica's claim that they're a "traditional publisher."

GravityFades
01-23-2004, 03:10 AM
As an addendum, check out the "poor quality books" thread on PA...sad.

John

astonwest
01-23-2004, 05:37 AM
Very sad...

It's sad because you can see the brainwashing going on...one of the persons involved in the discussion actually used a phrase that has been used over and over again by PA supporters...the bit about getting in on the ground floor of a growing company. Sigh.

It's rather amusing...
I've read some recent books by traditional publishers, and only one of them had a major error (and only one error) that made me go "huh?" I believe that same book may have had one or two other spelling errors...

Unless one can't consider Henry Holt, St. Martin's Press, or Putnam traditional, of course......

I have a PA book (not mine) on my shelf that has at least ten major spelling, grammar, or comma problems...all on the first page.

Ahhhhh, but I forget..."real" authors are supposed to go get their books professionally edited (to perfection) before submitting them to a publisher.

Puh-shaw!

Big Daddy West
:hat

AnneMarble
01-23-2004, 06:39 AM
As an addendum, check out the "poor quality books" thread on PA...sad.

That is sad. People see only want they want to see. I think PublishAmerica uses strong soap in its brainwashing.

I found the comments on Avon covers interesting. I agree that their romance covers aren't the best or most imaginative, but they aren't that horrid. Most of all, they Sell Books. Isn't that the whole idea? I was also amused by the line "Their books look like kindergarten art projects." I wonder if the author saw some of the "cartoon covers" (popular on contemporary romance today) and didn't realize that they're _supposed_ to look like that? :rolleyes

Canada James
01-23-2004, 12:49 PM
'I've read some recent books by traditional publishers, and only one of them had a major error (and only one error) that made me go "huh?"'

Then you don't read enough books. Errors in books (and poorly made books) are more common than you think. Most times the poorly crafted books (pages printed upside down, the wrong book printed in the wrong cover, glue all over the place, etc) are caught by the bookstore before they hit the shelves.

For some really serious errors check out Dirt Eaters by Dennis Foon or The Bone Collector's Son by Paul Yee. Both published traditionally and both with awful editing.

I think the difference is not that "traditional" houses produce error free books whereas PA doesn't produce error free books but that only the former is embarrassed when it happens.

"Ahhhhh, but I forget..."real" authors are supposed to go get their books professionally edited (to perfection) before submitting them to a publisher."

Actually I was given that advice by a NYT best-selling author (and even given the name of the person she uses). She's a friend of mine so she wasn't trying to sell me something, she just believes in using an editorial service before submitting her work to a publisher. (And just a point - I found a typo in her book.)

Canada James

astonwest
01-23-2004, 07:23 PM
"Then you don't read enough books."

You're probably right. With all the projects I have going on, plus the day job, I get very little time to read a ton of books.

"...are caught by the bookstore before they hit the shelves."

Unfortunately, in the PA business plan, bookstores aren't the main receivers of the incorrect books. The general public tends to receive them direct.

"I think the difference is not that "traditional" houses produce error free books whereas PA doesn't produce error free books but that only the former is embarrassed when it happens."

Again, you're right (and be careful, you'll get your card pulled if PA sees you putting out 'could-be-construed-as-slams-against-PA'). Unfortunately, you have multiple folks supporting PA telling folks they do thorough edits, and trying to convince people that the naysayers are lying.

"Actually I was given that advice by a NYT best-selling author (and even given the name of the person she uses). She's a friend of mine so she wasn't trying to sell me something, she just believes in using an editorial service before submitting her work to a publisher. (And just a point - I found a typo in her book.)"

Two points here. 1) She may not have been trying to sell you anything, but the fact that she gave you the name of the person she uses makes me personally wonder if she was attempting to give a referral for her editor (nothing wrong with that, of course). May not have been the case, but it certainly made me wonder.

Myself, I don't like the idea of paying money for something that may or may not improve my chances of getting the book accepted. Flushing money down the toilet, that is.

2) You still found a typo in her book, which is normal for any book professionally edited. The difference being, it was obvious (to you...at least I hope) it was simply overlooked during the process. People make mistakes. When there are an abundance of problems in editing, though, one can't rely on folks believing it was simply overlooked.

CWGranny
01-23-2004, 07:27 PM
"Actually I was given that advice by a NYT best-selling author (and even given the name of the person she uses). She's a friend of mine so she wasn't trying to sell me something, she just believes in using an editorial service before submitting her work to a publisher. (And just a point - I found a typo in her book.)"

I know a couple children's writers who do that, too -- not many. I asked two editors about it (whether it was common, do editors appreciate it, etc) and was told that those two editors HATED dealing with authors who had their manuscripts done by an "editorial service" (and that other editors they knew hated it also) because (1) editing isn't absolute and what an editorial service does is not necessarily what a publisher would do and (2) the authors who use "editorial services" tend to be resistant to the editorial process with the publisher. They already "paid" for an edit, so why should they let this editor at the publishing house tamper with their prose?

Once an author gets "big name" enough, she can get away with that kind of attitude because a publisher will back down rather than losing the author. But the result (according to the editors I quizzed) is a decline in the quality of the writing and a different "sound" to the author's prose once she stops being edited by the publisher (sometimes different enough for readers to think the author is no longer writing the books and they just have her name on them).

It should be noted though that this is a US American problem and one author told me that in Australia, publishers actually like it if you have a book independently edited before submission -- since it saves time. But is does not endear you to US editors -- at least not to all of them.

Gran

James D Macdonald
01-23-2004, 10:13 PM
Dirt Eaters by Dennis Foon is from <a href="http://www.annickpress.com/catalog/index.html" target="_blank">Annick Press.</a>

I've been unable to find The Bone Collector's Son by Paul Yee. Are you sure of the title/author?

FM St George
01-23-2004, 11:27 PM
www.publishamerica.com/cg...n/8896.htm (http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/main/8896.htm)

this has got me wondering if PA is on the edge of bankruptcy or something like that if they can't even produce the product people are paying for...

darbyj
01-24-2004, 12:00 AM
First of all, both Jameses: I thought The Bone Collector's Son was written by Amy Tan?

The types of editing errors I see in many PA books in abundance, but rarely in traditionally published books are not typos. They are more distracting than that. They are as small as constant spelling errors (spelling Sergeant as Sargent throughout an entire book, for example) and tense errors, but can get as large as what I consider to be "flow errors". These are problems with flow in the story and with the author going off on tangents. These are not things PA edits out. These are not things traditional publishers always edit out, but I see them more in PA books. They are what truly ruin the stories, not the typos.

Lisa

StellaMoon
01-24-2004, 02:07 AM
Amy Tan wrote The Bonesetter's Daughter.

Paul Yee's The Bone Collector's Son is published by Tradewind Books.

Deejay816
01-24-2004, 04:59 AM
Can be ordered here:

www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos...94-8065909 (http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/1896580254/richmondpubli-20/701-4804994-8065909)

Hope that works - I always have such a time with urls on message boards.

Deejay

Deejay816
01-24-2004, 05:01 AM
And of course I meant Bone Collector's not setter's, but that sounds like a good title too. :p

XThe NavigatorX
01-24-2004, 05:08 AM
I think it's a pretty good idea to have your book edited by a pro, also. But I'm lucky enough to be married to an eagle-eyed pro editor, so it's not so much a chore for me.

SRHowen
01-24-2004, 06:09 AM
While I do freelance editing, I do mostly non-fiction stuff, and some fiction, but I end up doing stuff for publishers etc.

Your book should be the best you can do, then you get an agent or a publisher and they will edit--don't fool yourself into thinking a pro-edit is going to get you in the door.

Be comfy with grammar etc., then do the best you can and send out--some issues will continue to be an issue for you unless you teach yourself something about the mechanics of writing.

I'm sure James and others here can confirm that agents and publishers EDIT--even pro edited work.

Shawn

James D Macdonald
01-24-2004, 06:42 AM
When you sell your book to a legitimate publisher, I assure you that it will be professionally edited at no cost to you.

Deejay816
01-24-2004, 07:53 AM
I agree with you 100% but there are some people who can tell a story who simply have writing skills that aren't up to par. In other words, if they didn't have their manuscripts edited before submitting, their chances of getting looked at, let alone published, would be pretty slim. Since this is a PA thread, I don't think it's out of line to refer to some PA books here. If probably read a dozen PA books - I think with some serious editing, a few of those could have been picked up by more traditional publishers - without, those books end up at PA because the authors become frustrated when no one else will take them seriously.

Deejay

James D Macdonald
01-24-2004, 09:12 AM
There are a couple of issues here.

One of them is that the writer needs to sit down and improve his craft. This is work, I'll admit. There's no substitute, and there's no shortcut. You have to learn how to write.

The second is the philosophical question of how to go about finishing a book before sending it to a publisher for consideration.

Some people may hire a professional editor to do this, and you can find legitimate professional editors who may agree to edit your book for a fee. I know some. Heck, I've even done it myself.

The legitmate ones won't promise that you'll be published. The legitmate ones aren't cheap.

Some people (I fall in this category myself) have a small circle of trusted beta readers. After the book's as good as we can make it, we send it out to our friends, who rip it apart.

Yet others have workshops they belong to, who fill the same function.

Still others can edit their books themselves with stunning results.

The goal is to send out the best book you can; how you do it is a matter of personal preference and skill.

The warning about "professional editing" is two-fold. First, as in other areas of publishing there are a goodly number of scammers and incompetents offering their services (for a fee). As a rule of thumb, anyone who advertises in Writer's Digest doesn't belong on your list. Anyone who tells you that a manuscript must be professionally edited before it's submitted, and that this is a standard publishing practice, is fibbing to you.

Second, having your manuscript professionally edited doesn't guarantee that it will be made publishable.

In practical terms, what you do is your own business, but for most slush all that professional editing will give you is slightly less unpublishable slush.

The labor theory of value does not hold with entertainment. Fiction is part of the entertainment industry.

absolutewrite
01-24-2004, 09:20 AM
From the Daily News Tribune article linked earlier:

"After finishing the book, unable to afford a literary agent, she searched for an inexpensive publisher."

Would anyone else care to point out the smack-myself-in-the-forehead problems with that sentence?

I feel so bad that this woman thought she had to "afford" an agent OR a publisher. But I feel so much worse that this journalist actually legitimized that in print... making it sound like a fact (that one has to pay for an agent).

Deejay816
01-24-2004, 10:25 AM
Hey, James - Again, I agree wholeheartedly with what you are saying here. Serious writers do need to work hard at the craft to perfect it, but at the same time, I do think the way in which one polishes his or her work before beginning the submission process is a matter of personal preference. Any editor who promises publication after editing is lying, which you pointed out in your post (I'm not referring to editors at publishing houses here), but professional editing is beneficial for some people.

Like you, I prefer to rely on my tried and true beta readers to tell me what doesn't work in my manuscripts and what needs fixing to make my work more credible and readable.

But I do some editing on the side - I never solicit business but work solely on recommendations (so this is not a solicitation for anyone's business). I never make promises that an edited piece will be selected for publication, or will even find a home with an agent. I do promise to make it as polished and clean as I possibly can and I don't work cheap. I've never had any complaints from my clients, which is a good thing, and none of them walk away from me expecting publication. One of my clients recently asked me to dinner at her house and it was very interesting. There were only the two of us and she had the dinner catered and we both had our own serving person - that was so strange to me, but it was kind of nice to be pampered. I would say that was a satisfied client.

Deejay

Canada James
01-24-2004, 01:20 PM
"Unfortunately, in the PA business plan, bookstores aren't the main receivers of the incorrect books. The general public tends to receive them direct."

And the general public tends to be a lot less critical than book people, I assure you.

But my point (which got missed) is this: forewarning people against PA because of poor editing puts two thoughts into the writer's minds:
1) I'll hire an editor
2) Lots of other publishers turn out crap. As long as I tell a good story, grammar means nothing.

You are wasting good bandwidth if you think the editing remarks are meaningful in any novice writer's mind.

I can point out lots of books with terrible editing (the two I mentioned were the ones I'd be most embarrassed about - which is too bad because they ARE great stories). The rep for Annick Press, when I mentioned to her about the editing, actually shuddered.

"...(and be careful, you'll get your card pulled if PA sees you putting out 'could-be-construed-as-slams-against-PA')..."

I didn't care before and I don't care now.

"Unfortunately, you have multiple folks supporting PA telling folks they do thorough edits, and trying to convince people that the naysayers are lying."

Unfortunately, when you say they don't edit you are lying because they do. They just don't have a very skilled staff doing it and they don't do it in the manner in which most PA authors need.

"Two points here. 1) She may not have been trying to sell you anything..."

She used to be an editor for a major house, actually.

Canada James

James D Macdonald
01-24-2004, 01:43 PM
Unfortunately, when you say they don't edit you are lying because they do.

Oh, James. Are you confusing editing with copy editing again?

astonwest
01-24-2004, 08:53 PM
"And the general public tends to be a lot less critical than book people, I assure you."

Maybe to the author's face...but if a publisher (and an author) put out garbage, public backlash can be fierce. Take a look at the commentary at Amazon on Clancy's latest, The Teeth of the Tiger...

"But my point (which got missed) is this: forewarning people against PA because of poor editing puts two thoughts into the writer's minds:"

That just happens to be one of the many reasons to forewarn people (there are many others I could delve into, but most have already been mentioned in other threads, this board (and site) and others)...plus, as James mentioned, copy editing isn't the only type of editing that books need.

"I didn't care before and I don't care now."

Funny, isn't this the same person who once touted himself as a "White Knight" going off to defend his publisher against all these attacks on other boards? If I had the time or energy (or cared), I'd go venture off and find that posting...but if you say you don't care, that's your choice.

"Unfortunately, when you say they don't edit you are lying because they do."

That's a lie only by using PA logic...taking apart a sentence and nitpicking the contents. Any person with a decent word processor can run the same type of editing PA does (and thus, by running a spelling or grammar check, voila, we have edited your book). In the past, there have been times when they haven't even been able to step up to that standard (ask a few of the PA authors how many corrections they had to fix on their proofs). Ponder this: last I looked (which I admit has been a while), PA was cranking out new books at over 70 books a week...that's 280 books a month (basically). You're telling me that a staff of editors can sit down and go through 280 books a month, and do a full edit on each?

"They just don't have a very skilled staff doing it and they don't do it in the manner in which most PA authors need."

I have to wholeheartedly agree with you on your second point. I don't believe it's the skill of the staff that's the problem, as much as it is they're being underutilized (I have to assume their editors have degrees or training in English, but can't be certain on that). Unfortunately, with the standard brainwashing package used by most of their supporters, they tend to try and make it seem like decent editing is paramount to ripping your heart out (you wrote those words, and you want an editor to tear them up and rewrite them?). Myself, I would have actually preferred a real editor going over my work, and telling me what worked and what didn't.

"She used to be an editor for a major house, actually."

Okay, and? She still has friends...still refers people to them. When people I know want to get books placed in a chain store here in town, I refer them to a place where I know the manager (and he knows me). I imagine your point here is once again lost on my incompetence.

Big Daddy West
:hat

p.s. just for kicks, I went over and checked the "new releases" at PA. 73 new books this week...

Canada James
01-25-2004, 01:29 PM
"Oh, James. Are you confusing editing with copy editing again?"

Not confusing, defining. Remember James: to talk to your audience you must learn to talk at their level. Otherwise your arguments fall on deaf ears and you wind up with an argument of semantics. You don't have to belittle others to make them feel small, all you have to do is take away their victory.

Even if all they do is check the first line of every page they have still "edited."

Astonwest:
"Maybe to the author's face...but if a publisher (and an author) put out garbage, public backlash can be fierce."

I think that's more a backlash against Clancy. You should have seen the rave reviews of Dirteaters in the Globe and Mail. Sheesh.

"That just happens to be one of the many reasons to forewarn people..."

Again you missed my point. The problem is you're trying to have the same argument that you've had with other PA authors. Start fresh with me.

"Funny, isn't this the same person who once touted himself as a "White Knight" going off to defend his publisher against all these attacks on other boards?"

Actually, it was in defence of the authors. But yes, at one time I was much more pro-PA than I am now. Funny thing: most of us grow with our experiences. But when you have the time check out exactly where my stances have always been. The arguments I had in defence of PA: they don't take movie rights, they do edit, there was no Maryland detective on a "case" against PA. I was right on all counts then and still am now.

"That's a lie only by using PA logic...taking apart a sentence and nitpicking the contents. Any person with a decent word processor can run the same type of editing PA does..."

So you admit that they edit. Now your point of them "not editing" is moot. (Are you getting it yet?)

"You're telling me that a staff of editors can sit down and go through 280 books a month, and do a full edit on each?"

Nope, I'm not.

"Okay, and? She still has friends...still refers people to them. When people I know want to get books placed in a chain store here in town, I refer them to a place where I know the manager (and he knows me)."

And? That manager gives you a kickback? Because that's what it sounded like you were getting at to me.

Canada James

aka eraser
01-25-2004, 10:34 PM
" Even if all they do is check the first line of every page they have still "edited." "

I suppose if you have sex once you've also become a parent.

It seems to me that only Canada James is arguing semantics here. Everyone else *knows* what editing means in relation to book publishing.

DaveKuzminski
01-25-2004, 10:37 PM
Canada James, how can anyone check on your past stances? You erased the vast majority of those. Remember?

SRHowen
01-25-2004, 11:38 PM
stay out of these-PA and other companies like them, and many POD's etc., take advantage of a stage in a writers career where the writer thinks they know all and every word is golden. Period.

Editing is the process of reading the entire book. It is a process to make the book a salable and readable work of commercial fiction (in most cases commercial)--it is a process that weeds out as many errors as it can. Yes, there are some typos etc missed. So editing the first line of a page is not editing. Using grammar checker or spell check is not editing--every writer knows that grammar checker is about useless (unless you have a good knowledge of grammar to start with), and spell checker--it is not going to catch from for form or collages for colleges --it is not going to catch over worded phrases, POV errors, tense errors and many more.

A good editor who spends days carefully reading a MS and producing a several page editorial letter does catch those things. A good line by line editor looks at every page and examines every line--that's why it takes a year to get a book on the shelf.

And don't site to me that oh that's the big guys way of---- Yes there are errors in the big guys books--but not the number of them that are in the majority of PA books--most of which--every one I have read, appear to be the work of amateurs. First books that should have been part of the million words of crap that every writer has to get out of their system before they make it.

I've been editing for almost 20 years now--I know what goes into a good edit.

PA by any professional standard does not edit--they do even less than a good crit group does.


Not confusing, defining. Remember James: to talk to your audience you must learn to talk at their level. Otherwise your arguments fall on deaf ears and you wind up with an argument of semantics. You don't have to belittle others to make them feel small, all you have to do is take away their victory.

How insulting. The majority of the people on this board are pro's or semi pro writers. To imply that people here must be talked down to --ugh. Grow up and face the real world of publishing instead of eating up the @#%$ that PA pours into your shallow brain pan.

Shawn<---very sick of it all.

FM St George
01-26-2004, 01:13 AM
www.publishamerica.com/cg...al/569.htm (http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/general/569.htm)

interesting thread here about the exact thing we're talking about - note that now getting your proofs is basically nothing more than a formality, it seems... you're not allowed to do much and dare not ask for much more beyond a correction on a comma or two.

the mentality that PA encourages that all of a writer's words are gold and shouldn't be challenged or edited is a bad one and will NOT help these people further on in their career. When I worked at Penguin Books Canada I saw countless GOOD writers have their work edited, and I don't mean for just the occassional comma or semi-colon error. An editor's job is to help produce the best product avaliable and if that means sending a chapter back to the author with a slew of red lines through parts of it, so be it.

these people truly believe that their words are written gold and it'll hurt them in the future when they try to sell even a short story - I can't imagine their response when an editor comes back and says "hey, we loved the story - but can you cut out a thousand words?" - they'll sputter and spit and scream "no" and lose the sale, most probably.

the sadder thing is one of these posts mentioning that she paid a professional editor to help prepare the manuscript before sending it to PA - news flash; the COMPANY is supposed to do the PROMOTION and the majority of the EDITING. If you want to send it to an editor before submitting, great... but it seems that PA does little more in the way of editing than just making sure the commas don't get too rampant (and fail in some cases, based on the excerpts I've seen on some websites) and promotion is nil, leaving some PA authors with little else than to hire their own PR firms. That's just disgraceful.

as usual, jmo ymmv...

Canada James
01-26-2004, 01:13 AM
"I suppose if you have sex once you've also become a parent."

But if have one child you are.

"Everyone else *knows* what editing means in relation to book publishing."

Check the PA message boards. *Everyone* doesn't know.

Dave:
"Canada James, how can anyone check on your past stances? You erased the vast majority of those. Remember?"

pub43.ezboard.com/fabsolu...41&stop=60 (http://pub43.ezboard.com/fabsolutewritefrm32.showMessageRange?topicID=4.top ic&start=41&stop=60)

Guess I forgot.

Howen:
"How insulting. The majority of the people on this board are pro's or semi pro writers. To imply that people here must be talked down to --ugh."

Now let's actually address what I wrote.
Your audience: Novice writers considering PA.
Your lingo: Either what the experienced pros understand, or what the novice writers will understand.

Which do you choose?

"Grow up and face the real world of publishing instead of eating up the @#%$ that PA pours into your shallow brain pan."

That was uncalled for. Now either start addressing what I write or just don't post. That's how misunderstandings occur.

Canada James

DaveKuzminski
01-26-2004, 02:04 AM
Just so you can't erase your words again, I'll quote part of what you stated above. I draw your attention to your last two sentences. I think it fair that you pay attention to the same advice that you give others.

HOW SO? Simple. I asked for your stance, not a reference to a litany of facts and demi-facts you posted that you have spewed out. Those, which I might add, mimic what PublishAmerica gives out which is why you earned that comment you considered so insulting.

I will ask you again. What is your stance? Do you need a definition or are you mature enough to answer in an honest manner?

Here's the partial quote:
Dave:
"Canada James, how can anyone check on your past stances? You erased the vast majority of those. Remember?"

pub43.ezboard.com/fabsolu...41&stop=60

Guess I forgot.

Howen:
"How insulting. The majority of the people on this board are pro's or semi pro writers. To imply that people here must be talked down to --ugh."

Now let's actually address what I wrote.
Your audience: Novice writers considering PA.
Your lingo: Either what the experienced pros understand, or what the novice writers will understand.

Which do you choose?

"Grow up and face the real world of publishing instead of eating up the @#%$ that PA pours into your shallow brain pan."

That was uncalled for. Now either start addressing what I write or just don't post. That's how misunderstandings occur.

Canada James

aka eraser
01-26-2004, 02:16 AM
There's CJ doing what he does best; ducking, bobbing, weaving and tossing red herrings.

You, and no one else, claimed that skimming the top of every page constituted editing.

My comment, about everyone knowing what real editing was, referred to people "here", (AW posters, NOT the novices at PA). The previous sentence made that plain.

Shame on you for scolding others for not addressing what you write while allowing yourself those same "liberties."

FM St George
01-26-2004, 02:55 AM
fwiw, I think the majority of PA authors know WHAT editing is... they just don't think it applies to THEM.

after all, they're pirates in the publishing world - they don't have to produce coherent and well written books; just books...

:P

James D Macdonald
01-26-2004, 04:50 AM
Unfortunately, the PA authors won't come here, and we can't go there.

There's really nothing we can do for those who have signed the contract in any case.

The best we can hope for is that people who are considering PublishAmerica will check around and find out about what kind of deal they'll be getting into before signing on the dotted line.

astonwest
01-26-2004, 09:41 AM
"Even if all they do is check the first line of every page they have still "edited.""

Indeed, this is becoming an argument in semantics. The end result is the same, however, that no matter what you want to call it, most of the books coming out of PA need a lot of work (mine did for certain...).

(from the aforementioned PA thread) Kristan wrote:

"An editor's job is much bigger than simply correcting grammatical errors and catching typos. While copyeditors are responsible for cleaning up the manuscript, editors are responsible for tackling the bigger issues such as ensuring the novel's characters are fully developed and the dialogue is believable and true to character."

"Please don't underestimate what a great editor can do for an author; a great editor only has one goal and that's to help the author write the story he or she set out to write in the most powerful way possible. Authors shoudn't be fooled into accepting poor writing as "style" when, under the coaching of a good editor, he or she can turn that style into great writing without sacrificing the original intent."

It's good that some folks understand the difference...

"The arguments I had in defence of PA: they don't take movie rights, they do edit, there was no Maryland detective on a "case" against PA. I was right on all counts then and still am now."

You may be, but unfortunately, if one only tends to defend and not point out fatal flaws, it tends to get assumed a person is defending all points. Pricing, for example. (since this is an argument I've used in past discussions with PA authors, I won't delve into it)

"Nope, I'm not."

Unfortunately, at least one PA author is convinced they do a full (or at least more than a simple spelling and grammar check) edit...and has posted such information for all to see...

www.mindsightseries.com/d...1063291976 (http://www.mindsightseries.com/discus/messages/6/2622.html?1063291976)

"Hey, I dropped by to say I've had a fantastic experience with my second book through PA. The new contracts are different, the editing went great, and they even provided info on writing. I like the idea that they don't stylize your work. I don't want someone messing with my books. I read my author's copies of The Joe Schmoe Show and there were no mistakes. I realize there were a couple errors to Crispy, but that was my fault. This time they corrected a lot before I ever got to proof it. When I had a question about a correction they made they refered me to a book on writing to explain it. Most of what they did was grammatical stupidity on my part. Nothing was changed in a negative way as far as the content goes."

"And? That manager gives you a kickback? Because that's what it sounded like you were getting at to me."

I wish he did...but that wasn't my point...

But then, such is life...two sides of an argument that will never come to a close...

DaveKuzminski
01-26-2004, 10:14 AM
Okay, while Canada James is examining his words that still are online to determine if he even has a stance, let's examine one of the other claims about PublishAmerica. Anyone want to post the section from a PublishAmerica contract that relates to film rights? I have some of their contracts, but I'd like for this to be posted by someone other than me so I won't be accused of leaving out any wording.

I think we should once and for all point out whether or not PublishAmerica is cutting itself in for money that legitimate royalty-paying publishers don't take.

Canada James
01-27-2004, 12:52 PM
Once again I am having one conversation while the rest of you are having another. Sheesh.

If you want to help potential PA authors you have to think like a potential PA author. Now, since none of you pros have been down that road I thought I'd shed some light. But clearly that's not what you want.

What you want is to harp on all the benign problems all the while patting yourselves on the backs at what a great job you're doing as writer advocates.

Sorry Mr. K, but the "James and Dave" show has had its last curtain call.

Canada James

FM St George
01-27-2004, 07:13 PM
considering half of the posts here are FROM unhappy PA authors, I find your statement confusing...

but, hey... whatever floats your boat.

CWGranny
01-27-2004, 08:20 PM
I don't think it's very nice to suggest all the new PA writers are stupid. From what I can tell on the board, they really do think they are being edited, not spellchecked. They honestly believe PA has someone going over their work line by line, finding all the mistakes and correcting them and then giving them a chance to agree to the corrections. They have no such delusions that editing equals skimming the first line on each page or running spell check. Most of them know how to run spellcheck.

I know PA itself believes it's authors are stupid but I don't think it's very nice for you to back up this particular belief. The TRUTH is that the PA message board posts make it VERY CLEAR that those PA authors do, in fact, believe that someone is assigned to carefully edit their manuscript -- looking for all errors (which include spelling, grammar, and changes in character names, and similar mistakes that can only be caught if you read the book).

Evidence on the board would suggest not one single PA author is "defining" editing as "ran the spell check." Thus, it's pretty clear that PA is NOT editing according to how their own authors define editing. Now -- they are editing in accordance with how the COMPANY defines editing. Of course, this is the same company who defines themselves right out of being a POD company (and not many of their authors are buying that re-definition either).

I don't think your fellow authors are ANYWHERE near as stupid as you keep painting them here. I, personally, think they are competent adults who are being taken advantage of...not stupid children who would be happy as clams to find out that the "editing" they thought was happening was really just a spellcheck.

Even Marcus knows what editing is...he just chooses to redefine it as "stylizing" (what a company man) and he's glad not to get it -- but he still understands that he is not getting editing as traditional publishing defines it. So, basically, not one person has ever said, "Oh, PA skims the manuscript and runs spellcheck and grammarcheck? -- hey, great, that's just the kind of editing I was hoping for."

Gran

DaveKuzminski
01-27-2004, 09:04 PM
If you want to address me, it's Mr. Kuzminski.

As to the show you believe is going on, you're welcome to believe you're entertaining. I have no such purpose. My entire reason for entering these discussions is to help others avoid the ripoffs. I do not see you warning anyone of what to beware of or how to avoid being stiffed in the wallet by some of the scammers that are out there.

darbyj
01-28-2004, 01:06 AM
This is the kind of PA post that really upsets me. I want to shake people like this and scream "don't you get it?" I think I tried explaining to them that the traditionally published world does not take PA seriously, but I was slapped on the knuckles:


Message:
The dark clouds floating in the sky releasing a mist on the ground have assisted in providing the perfect background on a dark and gloomy day. The sensation of self-doubt sinks in as an analysis of the situation leaves me feeling somewhat helpless.

Let me explain the situation. I was greeted with an email from an agent this morning that basically says the same as all when including the rejection. "You are a new writer despite your book being published at PA. They are not considered a legitamate publisher."

Well, I'll be damned!!!! Despite having two books in print and one on the way, I am nothing more than just a "new writer" like any other writer that has yet to experience a sale, a contract, a book in print. Three books later and I have been deemed unproven by the powers that be because none of them have been printed "traditionally".

What are those story that appear on Amazon, Barnes&Noble etc. that have bookcovers, a place in the market and sales? Are my books a figment of my imagination or do I "not count" my PA work just because the "traditional publishers and agents" have deemed them not worthy of their value?


Everyone here probably wishes that PA was more "traditional" in the sense of having our books stocked in book stores, but that is basically the only difference now between PA and the "traditional" people. The early years of PA provided less than quality products, but with time they have learned to improve their product and their books now rival that of the "traditional" people. So why are we still condemned to the land of "new, unpublished writer" despite the experiences that we have endured?

Sometimes I get the feeling that you just cannot fight city hall and, until those elderly people trapped in their mindset are retired off, we will never be accepted as legit authors in the world.

Sorry about my on going rumbling, but it was something that I just needed to get off my chest.

Frederick A. Babb
www.frederickbabb.com


PA "publishes" books, yes, but not in a way that is taken seriously by other publishers. Some have argued that PA will have its day, that it is a company clawing its way up through other larger companies trying to keep it down. That's the hope these people have. Am I wrong to think of PA as a sort of a printer I didn't have to pay? That's what I went into my contract thinking. It really roasts my buns that these people believe the "we are a real publisher/your book has just as much of a chance of being on a bookstore shelf as any other book/PA will be one of the big guys" hype and get so angry when an agent/publisher/reviewer says, "nuh uh."

Lisa

DaveKuzminski
01-28-2004, 01:18 AM
Mr. Babb and others might believe the standards have improved at PublishAmerica and they may very well have. However, many of the people they're trying to convince of the new, more worthy quality have been burnt one too many times by the old PublishAmerica standards. Consequently, in their eyes, it might be like what we experienced in school. When you average an F with a C, you don't get a passing average of A. Instead, it's more likely one that is a grade of D. In other words, PublishAmerica will have to consistently max out every exam that follows in order to slowly raise its average because it has a thousand or more of those Fs from its early years holding it back.

FM St George
01-28-2004, 01:33 AM
I saw that post as well and had to just sigh - instead of swallowing the line that somehow PA is "fighting the system" it'd be nice if these people took a step back and asked WHY PA books aren't considered to be at the same level as traditionally published ones.

Instead, it becomes a plaintive whine that will, no doubt, be echoed in future postings where they chant the PA mantra and declare that all the other books and publishers out there are crap and darn it, PA is THE ONE TRUE LIGHT!!!

btw, Lisa - still on your "timeout"?

heh, heh...

emeraldcite
01-28-2004, 01:52 AM
one thing that the pa authors don't understand about their 'publisher' is this:

imagine we're talking basketball. if you are picked up for your community team, you can consider yourself a 'basketball player.' you may be good. you may play a lot of games. Sure you have experience playing for a basketball team too. however, you can't go around calling yourself a 'pro' because you did not play in the NBA. you are not being paid highly for your skills.

same with PA. sure, they're publish. just as published as any vanity press produces. isbn's, online sales, and everything. but what they lack is reputation. PA doesn't edit (by edit i mean take the story, tear it down, build it back up again). they proof. they catch nominal errors. they slap a cover and sell it to the authors at a discount. not boxes of free copies. then, for being POD, it seems pretty hard to get what you demanded. on several of the PA boards there was talk of problems getting copies. you'd think that PA would make sure that if a group of authors were going to do a signing, there'd be books there. the signing could bring in sales. it could be a chance to sell their product.

alas, that was not how it was. some of the authors were lucky to get a few copies. so much for printing on demand. there was demand, and the printing couldn't meet it. that's why traditional houses have print runs and return policies. the book will be there when it is needed.

good luck to them trying to get agents, if they want them. but many of the authors who post on the PA boards are more concerned with having a copy in their hand than copies on the shelves.

Dragon Chow
01-28-2004, 02:16 AM
I want to shake people like this and scream "don't you get it?"

I understand you perfectly. I often feel like that too when I read the messages in the PA board. :cry


Some have argued that PA will have its day, that it is a company clawing its way up through other larger companies trying to keep it down.

That's not gonna happen, because PA has no intention of becoming like a traditional publisher. It takes too much work. They'll have to do things like manuscript selection, content edit, and <gasp!> marketing. Nope, selling overpriced books to their authors is much easier.

Yes, they're growing, all right. They're adding a hundred new authors every month. And since the old ones are stuck for seven years, the number just keeps growing. But numbers don't matter. They could have a million authors and a billion dollars in sales, but they still won't be taken seriously. Quality is what counts, not quantity.

DC

SRHowen
01-28-2004, 03:39 AM
The dark clouds floating in the sky releasing a mist on the ground have assisted in providing the perfect background on a dark and gloomy day. The sensation of self-doubt sinks in as an analysis of the situation leaves me feeling somewhat helpless.

I got stuck on this--and have been banging my head on the desk again and again :blackeye If this is a sample of the posters writing--well, umm bangs head again.

I can see why people go with PA--it is easy. No rejections, no one touches what you did and it answers a dream, you have a book to hold. But in the end traditional is a book in a book store, not one but many and in the big chains.

As too the old getting out of the big names so the young can get in and change things--who does this guy think works in the publishing houses?

Ugh, back to that paragraph--bangs head.

Shawn

DaveKuzminski
01-30-2004, 02:00 AM
There are two topics in the PublishAmerica forums that are of interest. One speaks of slammers and points at one of their authors who posts there and here. The other concerns their Independence imprint which may not be a hardcover book after all going by what the author stated in www.publishamerica.com/cg...n/8919.htm (http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/main/8919.htm)

emeraldcite
01-30-2004, 02:15 AM
if you sell 500 or more copies, you get a bell on your book and a new publishing name. that'll fool them wascily wabbits.

a goal for achievement.

FM St George
01-30-2004, 02:28 AM
smoke and mirrors yet again...

I'm so surprised.

not.

emeraldcite
01-30-2004, 02:49 AM
dave, which post is this?


quote/ One speaks of slammers and points at one of their authors who posts there and here. /quote

i couldn't find it and i'd like to read it.

thanks!

DaveKuzminski
01-30-2004, 03:13 AM
Look in www.publishamerica.com/cg...al/581.htm (http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/general/581.htm)

GravityFades
01-30-2004, 03:29 AM
I'm the John they're speaking of. Pretty rabid stuff. Oh well, people will think what they will.

John

CWGranny
01-30-2004, 03:45 AM
Wow John, they got vicious fast. Good thing they are so much more tolerant and big hearted than the folks on Writersnet because if they can actually slide downward in their response to you, I'd hate to imagine it.

Gran

darbyj
01-30-2004, 04:04 AM
Okay, the gee golly whillickers thing is reeeeally getting old. It's like I have a blackboard under my skin and it is being nail-scratched from the inside out.

John, I'm so sorry the post is turning that way. Unbelievable. The stupidity that comes out of some of those mouths, or rather, their fingers, never ceases to amaze me. You HAVE to stay with PA for the rest of your life because they are the future!? You can't be a PA author and see that there is something wrong with the way they do things?!

You are a voice of reason, John.

I can't say anymore, because I'm at a loss here.

Lisa

FM St George
01-30-2004, 04:04 AM
obviously you don't have that horrible clause about your second book...

and if they really think that you could negotiate a decent advance with PA, well.... they're even more deluded than usual!

just wait for your access to be pulled...

*chuckle*

amazing how they don't dare go to the other boards to dispute you there, where they're not protected by the PA moderators, hmm?

we still love ya, John...

{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}

GravityFades
01-30-2004, 04:40 AM
Hi gang. Oddly enough, I did have that clause. I sent PA my next novel, a thing called Gravity Fades. They passed on it. I attempted to answer them, and lo and behold, I've been banned (big shock). Oh well. Moving along.

John

GravityFades
01-30-2004, 04:45 AM
That last post was less than clear (getting gnawed on will do that to a feller). I sent Gravity Fades to PA in the summer of 2002, I think. Anyway, they did take a pass on it. What's coming out in May is my private eye novel.

The "them" I was referring to were the other posters. That's when I found I'd been banned. Gosh, I feel like I've joined a secret society or something, The Banned League! Do we get a club newsletter, secret grips, a hat, what? *G*

John

GravityFades
01-30-2004, 04:47 AM
That last post was less than clear (getting gnawed on will do that to a feller). I sent Gravity Fades to PA in the summer of 2002, I think. Anyway, they did take a pass on it. What's coming out in May is my private eye novel, Until the Last Dog Dies.

The "them" I was referring to were the other posters. That's when I found I'd been banned. Gosh, I feel like I've joined a secret society or something: The Banned League! Do we get a club newsletter, secret grips, a hat, what? *G*

John

GravityFades
01-30-2004, 04:49 AM
duplicate posts...brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department...*G*...I'm gonna rest now...

John

vstrauss
01-30-2004, 05:07 AM
Welcome to the League of the Banned, John. I've been following your posts here and elsewhere...I had a feeling your days were numbered on the PA board.

Now about that secret handshake...

- Victoria

FM St George
01-30-2004, 05:57 AM
don't worry, John - I somehow think you'll survive without them...

*laughs*

and at the same time, anyone getting a rather cultish vibe from the rantings?

wow... basically, if you publish once with PA you're bound to them for life...

scary stuff...

*falls over trying to perfect secret handshake*

astonwest
01-30-2004, 06:04 AM
It's pretty sad when they start circling their wagons and such...

"Robinson, you can't play act as the voice of reason on this board while taking vicious shots at our publisher (and us) on a different forum."

Unfortunately, if he ended up taking shots at "our publisher" on the PA board, he'd have his posts removed, and would have ended up banned anyway...you can't have it both ways, Mr. Garrett...

"Did you ever stop to think what another publisher would think of you when you became self-righteous upon changing publishers?"

Judging from the comments John received (listed over on the writers.net thread mentioned) from editors and agents, I don't think anyone is going to consider what John has done (I'm still trying to see where he has become 'self-righteous') as something horrible.

"As soon as you hooked up with a satellite publisher who promised the moon and the stars you folded up any integrity you had."

Huh?

Myself, if a publisher came to me and told me they would be using an actual publicist to go around to stores and plug my book, I'd sign with them too...I don't mind doing work trying to plug my book, but it takes a ton of time which should be spent in writing my next one...

"Don't get me wrong. I love it when people get offered an advance. The thing is, you can negotiate your contract with PA for an advance like the professionals do."

I'm curious...has Mr. Marcus ever been offered an advance? I tried negotiating the second contract...one of the clauses was the advance...I didn't even go as high as "the professionals", only to $100...they wouldn't bite. Ha.

(Of course, the fact I've often complained about the overpricing of my book probably didn't help me out... :-P )

"As far as attacking the close this board and the people who post here, this board has a very positive feel where you and your new friends are so negative that nobody lurks or cares."

Yes, I can tell it has a really positive feel...just from that post right there...and all the others bashing the non-compliant...

Sigh...

(Be careful, though, John...you mentioned when your book was going to be out, so I imagine the crew over yonder will be looking to make sure to post negative reviews as soon as they can...)

From the other mentioned thead:

"I guess I assumed that when and if your book made the Independence Books label that all the Waldens bookstores would carry them. This is evidently not the case."

Oddly enough, I realized this wasn't the case to begin with...I went further and asked whether stocking decisions would still have to be made through the regional offices, as was the case before. No answer (though the other question in that same e-mail received one)...

oh well...

John, for joining the League of the Banned, you receive a free gift...you know how to contact me... :-)
(make sure to get your secret handshake in order first...)

astonwest
01-30-2004, 06:50 AM
"wow... basically, if you publish once with PA you're bound to them for life..."

Unfortunately, their standard brainwashing regimen attempts to get folks to believe that if you've been published by PA, you've got the best thing going, so why would you even CONSIDER going anywhere else? PA's own propaganda proclaims how many of their authors return for their future books...

Funny, the folks I've talked to haven't been all that interested in sending future works to PA...and once I (since I was contractually obligated) sent in my second work for consideration, and we were unable to come to an agreement on a contract, I don't plan on doing so again...

dgkgoldberg
01-30-2004, 07:01 AM
My second novel came out with a reputable small press that publishes traditional horror and dark fantasy and offered a reasonable advance for a novice.

I can't imagine defining myself or my career as a (name of press) author. That's just plain weird at best, jejune at moderate best, and pathologically deluded at worse.

I do want some of what HB smokes. I often make really bad decisions. I made one horrid publishing decision. But, I have never been able to look at my errors and do a King Midas spin. I'd love to do that, I'd learn nothing but I'd be semi-euphoric. Poor HB. Bless his heart. He can't tell the differance between being percieved as an inconoclast or gadfly and the pointing and laughing.

What none of the Jim Jones is alive and well and pouring the Kool aid crowd seems to get is that:

Many people are readers. Many readers do not like some books. If a reader does not like something I have written that is not invalidated because the reader does not have a book. Part of the borg seem to believe that a poster on any message board or book sell site should be invalidated if they have not written a book.

First time novelists regularly get advances that are enough to buy decent used cars.

Many publications pay more for one short story than the authors will net for the sale of 100 Publish America books.

No one considers Publish America authors a threat.

Some people are concerned that Publish America will lure more people into a world of poor distribution, foul editing, broken dreams and distortions regarding the business of publishing.

And, when the PA trolls do a google search on me I am aware that some sites do incorrectly list me as a self published writer vis a vie my first novel. That is inaccurate and I have tried without success to get the offending web sites to remove that text. Please feel free once you have done said search to email me with your questions in referance to that, I'll be more than happy to answer any questions.

aka eraser
01-30-2004, 09:02 AM
I had a vision.

The time-the near future- perhaps 2005/6. The place-the PA message board: HB, the last remaining pirate, is clinging to a piece of PA flotsam and using his remaining strength to rail against the Traditional Publishers who torpedoed his beloved boat.

Fade to 404 Error message.

Ok, I admitted on another thread that screenplays aren't my thing.

Try not to feel bad John. Near as I can tell, every writer with a spine has been banned from PA.

Maybe it's time to revisit that t-shirt idea?

Ed Williams 3
01-30-2004, 11:27 AM
....by Mr. Marcus. I figure that since PA books are not typically sold in bookstores, online sales have to comprise the bulk of the sales these books achieve. I also figured that Amazon is a good place to guage sales strength of the various PA titles, as it is the best known online bookseller. Currently PA lists 3356 titles on Amazon, and factor in that the top selling PA books may have sold around 500 copies. With all that being said, out of 3356 books, Mr. Marcus' current literary efforts are sales ranked as follows:

1106. The Joe Schmoe Show
by H. B. Marcus (Paperback - October 2003)
Avg. Customer Rating:

Usually ships in 24 hours
List Price: $19.95
Buy new: $19.95
Used & new from $19.55

2833. Crispy
by H. B. Marcus (Paperback - December 2001)
Avg. Customer Rating:

Usually ships in 24 hours
List Price: $19.95
Buy new: $19.95
Used & new from $18.69

No wonder the slavish devotion to PA, most of it has to be due to publishing self preservation. Well, at least there is one bright spot in all this - sell two or three copies, and you could be in the top fifty PA best sellers in no time!

FM St George
01-30-2004, 07:07 PM
ah, but the majority of PA books don't even sell 500 - I believe there's only TWO of them currently under the now-useless Independence Books label. Which means pretty well nothing, as the PA authors point out in another post.

the sad thing is that these people are spending more time promoting and preaching than writing... and are getting more in the hole financially than if they had just printed up copies at Kinko's and just handed them out.

CWGranny
01-30-2004, 07:27 PM
Amazon is not a good place to judge PA sales. The bulk of sales from many (if not most) PA books come from the author buying the books and reselling them. Now, this used to be reflected in Amazon because authors bought from Amazon and resold in order to (1) get royalties and (2) qualify for all these "make x number of sales and get y" promotions PA has. But, since PA makes the greatest profit by selling to the author directly (rather than through Amazon), PA has wisely made bulk sales to authors award royalties and qualify for sales promotions.

Also, to be perfectly fair, I know of 2 PA authors who sold 1000 books -- through truly Herculean promotional efforts that consumed a blinding amount of each person's time. You won't see them post on the PA board because they lost posting privledges a long time ago (back during the first rash of "pretend PA authors" who popped up on the board only long enough to smear people PA didn't like and then disappeared.) Seems your password would suddenly stop working if you were foolish enough to object to your publisher letting their message board be used that way -- go figure. Both of those authors have moved on to other projects and I don't believe they promote their PA books anymore.

I also suspect Christy French probably sold 1000 copies of her PA book (which apparently did not keep her from moving on to a different POD publisher). And I think I remember Lynn Barry saying she sold 1000 and joined the club (she does most of her sales as resales, I think -- buying the books and selling them from her diner). I suspect she is the only 1000 seller you will see on their message board.

Apparently selling 1000 books doesn't automatically make you a bubbling happy PA author. It's probably the realization that if you had a more...supportive publisher ... those 1000 sales (coming as they do through copious hours, dollars, and sweat) would have been more like 10,000 sales. That realization tends to drain away your appreciation for the $1 advance and the flowers they used to send when you became a 1000 book seller.

Gran

FM St George
01-30-2004, 11:27 PM
www.publishamerica.com/cg...al/581.htm (http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/general/581.htm)

and the bashing continues; without John able to defend himself due to PA banning him from the boards.

HB Marcus is certainly going to win over plenty of friends with this sort of ranting. Childish at the minimum; psychotic at the extreme.

sheesh.

jmo, ymmv.

XThe NavigatorX
01-30-2004, 11:50 PM
Holy cow.

FM St George
01-31-2004, 12:16 AM
yep... kinda scary, isn't it?

CWGranny
01-31-2004, 12:21 AM
I am sure when John's book sells out the advance (which will be well more than $1) and he begins getting royalty checks that reflect that his sales are expotentially higher than the best of the PA authors -- I am sure he's going to hang his head and moan about leaving PA...the publisher who arranges these great signing events...oh, wait, right, they didn't arrange the one in Ohio. So, the one whom bookstores recognize and cheerfully agree to stock...oh, wait, right, that's not PA either. Um...the one who made sure the bookstore were able to get a huge supply of the books for the PA authors at the sale...right, they didn't do that either.

Hmmm.

I'm sure they did something great. After all, Marcus' agent recommended them. Didn't Marcus get all mad because the agent turned out to be a scammer who wanted to pick his pocket? That certainly makes him an authority on wise choices.

Gran

GravityFades
01-31-2004, 12:24 AM
Holy cow is right. All I can say in reply (seeing as I can no longer post over there) as that my publicist told me orders are already coming in from the sales force for my book. She said the excitement level is high among the reps, and they're translating that into sales. Here's my take on it: let's say you've always wanted to own a new Chevy. Or whatever. And one day it comes true. You take delivery, and for a while things go fine. Then problems begin to develop, and after a while you wish you'd never bought it. But it's yours, and you make the best of it. If someone asks you if owning a Chevy is a good idea,you relate what your experience with them has been. (Sorry, Chevy owners, this is just for illustration). Then comes the day you find yourself able to buy another new car. And you do. But this time, it ain't a Chevy. The analogy hangs true, I think. I hold no brief with my old publisher. They did publish my first novel. But due to problems inherent with the POD model, opportunities that came to move larger quantities of books, opportunities I could have taken advantage of, I had to let go by. So when it came time to consider this publisher again, I chose not to. That's all it is: purely a business decision. For those happy with them, good onya. I've simply moved on.

John

emeraldcite
01-31-2004, 01:57 AM
well, at least you'll have no problems getting signings without having to give away a guitar. lol.

Ed Williams 3
01-31-2004, 02:29 AM
...if maybe PA isn't slipping HB a little money on the side. Surely he is not this ignorant...

RealityChuck
01-31-2004, 02:35 AM
Hypocracy watch, Chapter XXVII:

PA authors get slammed if they criticize PA, but if you complain about problems with your legitimate publisher, the PAdroids constantly parrot it all over their boards.

dgkgoldberg
01-31-2004, 03:00 AM
I really think HB is a true believer.

Really.

emeraldcite
01-31-2004, 03:15 AM
yeah, PA doesn't have to pay him, he completely believes everything he's spouting. He's the one beleiver that can really attest to the vision of the cult leader. he'll drive them into the flock with his blind faith.

come into the flock, my children, we did make you happy.

:rollin

Ed Williams 3
01-31-2004, 04:51 AM
....to pile onto someone when they are not allowed a chance for fair rebuttal. PA really is a like a cult - all dissention is surpressed, and only one line of thinking is allowed. Most of their authors will never get out of their cocoon and see that there is another line of thinking out there re book publishing. In some cases, that doesn't matter because some PA authors won't be published by anyone else anyway. Conversely, there are some very talented authors writing for them, and they're throwing away their books, their effort and time invested, and their writing skills into a cesspool like PA. That is the most reprehensible thing about them, that they represent themselves as a legit publisher, when they are anything but. Sooner or later someone is going to initiate legal action against them for deception or fraud, and maybe then they will be put on the literary sidelines for good.

dgkgoldberg
01-31-2004, 07:27 AM
"This year was a hard year for me, I had a heart attack in April. Thank God I am alive and well. God is so good. I have worked hard hours to afford my books and then stepped out in faith to send autographed copies to celebrities, in an effort to promote, yet one review says that I only post letters from people who have received copies of my book, is this a self recognition publicity stunt. "


This from the same thread.
It's almost heartbreaking.

Canada James
01-31-2004, 01:35 PM
"I know PA itself believes it's authors are stupid but I don't think it's very nice for you to back up this particular belief. The TRUTH is that the PA message board posts make it VERY CLEAR that those PA authors do, in fact, believe that someone is assigned to carefully edit their manuscript -- looking for all errors (which include spelling, grammar, and changes in character names, and similar mistakes that can only be caught if you read the book)."

You know what Granny? I've had many conversations with PA authors regarding spelling, grammar and editing. *I* never suggested PA authors are stupid. Let's get THAT out of the way. But, most of them know exactly what kind of editing they are getting and feel that as long as they have an entertaining story the mechanics don't matter. I'm basing my assumption on countless conversations with them, just so you know.

"I, personally, think they are competent adults who are being taken advantage of...not stupid children who would be happy as clams to find out that the "editing" they thought was happening was really just a spellcheck."

I'm not sure what logic you stretched to get to that conclusion, therefore I'm going to ignore it.

Dave:
"As to the show you believe is going on, you're welcome to believe you're entertaining."

It's called "sarcasm."

"I do not see you warning anyone of what to beware of or how to avoid being stiffed in the wallet by some of the scammers that are out there."

You're right Dave. Some of us aren't doing it to be seen. You assume too much of me.

PA has you right where it needs to keep you ineffectual. Keep arguing over editing, store distribution and price. Heck, bring up old points like movie rights! Good job guys! Good job!

Doubt me? Check out the PA new releases for today. You lose again.

Canada James

DaveKuzminski
01-31-2004, 08:44 PM
You know what, Canada James? You can't read worth a damn. If you look at the quote you made of Granny's posting, you'll clearly see that she stated PA and not you. Or do you work for PublishAmerica in a staff function contrary to your previous statements? Come on, Canada James, you can't have it both ways here.

Then you argue with someone's belief about something regarding the logic they used when it's quite obvious? At least Granny recognized the fact that those individuals have to be competent in order to succeed at writing a whole book. You just snapped off a snide remark in order to discredit her thinking.

As to your warning people, I haven't so much as even heard a peep from anyone remarking that Canada James really helped them avoid a scam. On the other hand, I often hear such kind remarks about others, especially those who have the COURAGE to post their words PUBLICLY so that they can assist more than just one individual at a time. All you do is ride a roller coaster, praising PublishAmerica loudly on the peaks and muttering very low in the dips.

So, what's on the new releases page that we should care about? I looked, but the print on the images was too small for it to hardly even qualify as marketing for all those books, if that's what PublishAmerica considers that page to be. I noticed they sure get as much attention as Jamie Farr. How long has he been on the front page of their site?

Ed Williams 3
01-31-2004, 10:28 PM
"Don't get me wrong. I love it when people get offered an advance. The thing is, you can negotiate your contract with PA for an advance like the professionals do."

Wouldn't you like to be smoking what HB is smoking?

DaveKuzminski
02-01-2004, 12:17 AM
I know you have an agent because you've stated that in one or more of these topics. Even Mr. Macdonald has stated that you have a legitimate agent. Consequently, that means you have another manuscript to be published.

So, you want to tell us why you're not offering it to PublishAmerica? Aren't they good enough for you? Or did they reject it already?

emeraldcite
02-01-2004, 02:19 AM
what reality are these people living in? really though, it goes to show that most (not all, mind you) of the authors at PA need to be educated on the standards of publishing. what happened to the original poster goes to show that PA will take almost anything and turn it for a buck. the gist of the story: they certainly don't try to help authors like a traditional publisher would.

www.publishamerica.com/cg...n/8949.htm (http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/main/8949.htm)


i really feel bad for some of these folks, they just don't know what to expect and they make things up to fit the story PA feeds them. the price of ink went up...geez.

emeraldcite
02-01-2004, 02:25 AM
the proof is in the pudding. and at PA, i was reading an excerpt from a book that they are putting out that switches from third person to first in mid-paragraph.

i had to read it three times to make sure i wasn't drunk or someone hit me over the head.

allion
02-01-2004, 06:32 AM
Oh boy - 68 pages for how much??

Sure, yeah, ink is really that expensive - like liquid gold, at these prices, I think.

Every day there is a new sad story from that place.

James D Macdonald
02-01-2004, 11:06 AM
Goodness. The key words are: "5 yrs. ago, I talked with Vantage press ...."

Vantage Press, one of the granddaddies of the Vanity Press world. That isn't quality publishing, folks, though the modern run of PoD vanities does make them look like the Old Established Respectable Business.

The interesting thing is in the list of word-lengths for novels and such.

Here's a bit better information:

<blockquote>
<hr>

Short Story: less than 7,500 words.
Novelette: at least 7,500 words but less than 17,500 words.
Novella: at least 17,500 words but less than 40,000 words.
Novel: 40,000 words or more. At the author's request, a novella-length work published individually, rather than as part of a collection or an anthology, shall appear in the novel category.

<HR>
</blockquote>
<a href="http://www.sfwa.org/awards/rules.htm" target="_new">http://www.sfwa.org/awards/rules.htm</a>

Canada James
02-01-2004, 01:55 PM
Hey Dave, reread Granny's post and start here:

"I don't think it's very nice to suggest all the new PA writers are stupid."

Who is she accusing of suggesting that all PA writers are stupid?

"You just snapped off a snide remark in order to discredit her thinking."

Actually I'm pointing out the obvious: I'm having a new discussion while the rest of you are stuck in reverse.

"As to your warning people, I haven't so much as even heard a peep from anyone remarking that Canada James really helped them avoid a scam."

Not all of us feel the need to inform you of our every action.

"All you do is ride a roller coaster, praising PublishAmerica loudly on the peaks and muttering very low in the dips."

In case you missed what I meant by "stuck in reverse" just reread your quote above.

"So, what's on the new releases page that we should care about?"

The fact that there is a new releases page Dave. As long as that page exists, your efforts are completely ineffectual.
Does it bother you that I might be better at the writer advocate thing than you, or is it just that this town isn't big enough for two caped crusaders?

You aren't going to start a poll on your site to see how many people I've helped, are you?

"So, you want to tell us why you're not offering it to PublishAmerica? Aren't they good enough for you? Or did they reject it already?"

I never said PA was a first-choice publisher. I said they were a gateway and nothing more.

Canada James

DaveKuzminski
02-01-2004, 07:52 PM
As usual, Dodgem James, you live up to your true name. You select passages out of context to back up your claims. Then you duck the real questions to always make yourself look good when you're totally undeserving.

So, tell me, do you model the villains in your books on yourself or Meiners?

CWGranny
02-01-2004, 09:21 PM
OF COURSE there's a new release page. The simple truth is that you cannot save everyone. How many years have people been warning writers about the World of Poetry/Poetry.com cheat? There is *NO* slimey deal with more documentation than poetry.com -- and yet, poetry.com keeps filling those books. You cannot judge the success of the watchdog by whether anyone keeps getting scammed. That's like saying that as long as someone gets their pocket picked, the police force is ineffective against crime.

It just means they cannot erradicate it. Yes, that's pretty darn sad but I'm not advocating that all the police force hang their heads in shame because my pregnant little sister got her purse stolen (which she did this week). Nor would I suggest that people like Dave and Victoria and Ann quit giving out warnings just because folks are still getting tricked into believing PA or poetry.com hype and double talk.

But really, even if the watchdogs managed to stop the cash flow to cheats like PA/poetry.com so that both companies folded...there is someone else eagerly waiting to take up their spot. As long as cheating and abusing people is a comfortable activity for some people, as long as they can blame their victims, there will continue to be muggings, and literary cheats. It's just the sad state of the world.

Gran

aka eraser
02-01-2004, 10:13 PM
Canada James said:

"I never said PA was a first-choice publisher. I said they were a gateway and nothing more."

Have you ever said that on the PA message boards?

FM St George
02-02-2004, 05:38 AM
www.publishamerica.com/cg...al/581.htm (http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/general/581.htm)

wow... can't wait to see what they toss at me now...

oh, the horror of it all...

*sniffle*

*chuckle*

I'm so special...

emeraldcite
02-02-2004, 07:28 AM
lol...Hb's a real champ of PA:


Did you notice the literary expert forgot a comma?
"You will never, ever become a writer with literature like that which is not even worthy of my time if it were printed on the inner walls of the restroom."
There should be a comma after 'that'. So do you still want to be bothered by that slammer? I repeated English in high school and I caught that.

and then...


The funny part is that he thinks he took a step forward with this other publisher when PA is miles ahead of them. It's a satellite publisher. It's not a big name to be prowd of.

PA is something to be 'prowd' of. whoops, ended that one in a preposition...

DaveKuzminski
02-02-2004, 08:34 AM
I've noticed that very few of those individuals who visit those other boards are brave enough to post the same message on forums where they can be answered. Talk about slamming, some of these individuals ought to look in a mirror.

FM St George
02-02-2004, 08:39 AM
actually, Steve's a hoot - he got into a huge fight with Mark over at writers.net and then tried to bolster his argument by posing as another person and boosting his own work - forgetting that writers.net keeps track of the IP...

whoops...

I will somehow survive this...

*giggles*

I'm just waiting to see how long Lisa's post stays up...

:D

Ed Williams 3
02-02-2004, 08:41 AM
....

"You are published Valentine, you've lived the dream many would die for. A lot of cowards on writers net would love to get published by PA and because of their arrongance or wanting to blend in well with other crowds, they wont. They might never realise their dream as you have, to see your thoughts written on paper PUBLISHED for any and all to see!!!!!"

In a lot of cases, those thoughts would be better off staying within the minds of those who thought them. I don't think it has yet registered over at PA that some authors slavish devotion to PA will keep them from ever being picked up by a traditional publisher. Bottom line, publishers today expect some modicum of business savvy from their authors, which would eliminate some of the more well known PA Davidians. If they can't figure out what PA is, will they be able to figure out a marketing plan? A book tour itinerary? Extremely doubtful, to put it mildly.

Let's lay down the gauntlet to some of our cult brethren over at PA. Y'all can even answer these questions on your own board, as your bravery seems to be more pronounced there. Please answer the following:

1. Name any PA titles that have been carried nationally by any bookstore chains.

2. Name any traditionally published authors that you know of who opted to publish with PA after having their initial works traditionally published.

3. Just what does being designated an "Independence" author/title mean? If it means "going national," please name what bookstore chains are nationally stocking these titles?

We're waiting...

James D Macdonald
02-02-2004, 01:53 PM
Name any traditionally published authors that you know of who opted to publish with PA after having their initial works traditionally published.

Actually, I can see that happening. Bad things happen to authors, bad things happen to careers.

There's a whole raft of authors who managed to get one or two books published but didn't manage to get number three placed. This really does happen. Written fiction is part of the entertainment industry, where you're only as good as your last review.

How about authors who only had one good book in them? It happens. How about the ones sodden with drink, overtaken by senility? The ones whose chosen genre is currently unmarketable, the ones who have an experimental thing they'd like to try ... you can find all kinds of authors.

Not all writers are automatically savvy about the business.

So no, I'm not going to rule out the idea that some people who are traditionally published today might not be vanity published tomorrow.

A better challenge might be this: Name a writer who was offered a contract by a traditional publisher who turned it down in order to publish the same book with PublishAmerica.

(Oh, and here's something funny: We've all heard about the book by Jamie Farr and his wife, right? PA isn't the only vanity publisher that boasts of celebrity writers: Vantage Press got Ellen Corby. (You remember Ellen Corby, right? She played Grandma on The Waltons.) )

Ed Williams 3
02-02-2004, 09:45 PM
...I really hadn't thought about the scenarios you described, but you're right. You could have an initial book or two that sells and then the well run dry (Personally, I would just stop attempting to publish if the well dried up for me, but that's just my take on things). In that case, I could see someone going the POD route, at least they would understand exactly what they're getting themselves into. That's what bothers me so much about PA - if they were honest on the front end as to what they are, I would have no beef with them. Instead, they prey on aspiring writer's dreams, and that bothers me a lot.

vstrauss
02-03-2004, 08:28 AM
>> So no, I'm not going to rule out the idea that some people who are traditionally published today might not be vanity published tomorrow.<<

I agree. I've gotten a fair number of inquiries about PA from freelance journalists and nonfiction authors--some with impressive careers--who are considering it because they're having a tough time placing their first fiction.

- Victoria

FM St George
02-03-2004, 10:11 PM
www.publishamerica.com/cg...e/2263.htm (http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/2263.htm)

I still find it funny that all these brave souls dare not grace any other boards with much more than a trolling rant while parading around with no clothing on the safety of the PA boards...

guess real conversations just don't turn them on...

:D

darbyj
02-03-2004, 10:18 PM
FM,

Did you see my PA post? Please tell me you did.

Lisa

DaveKuzminski
02-03-2004, 10:32 PM
I hope he doesn't get banned from the PublishAmerica forum for visiting my site. I mean, what could he have been thinking by doing that?

James D Macdonald
02-03-2004, 10:34 PM
Here're some comments for Chickie:

John Grisham's first book was traditionally published. His big break came when his agent managed to sell his second book to Hollywood prior to publication.

Edgar Allen Poe was a well known writer and editor during his lifetime. He died broke partly because with the state of copyright at the time people were pirating his works left, right, and sideways. The initial payment he got for first publication was the only money he saw despite being widely reprinted. (Does this sound familiar?)

Ed Williams 3
02-03-2004, 10:34 PM
...HB charges off on these rants because he can - no one can challenge him on the PA boards, and he has failed to answer even a few of the questions put to him here. Obviously, he wants PA to be a traditional publisher, so it is so for him. And so be it, he has every right to think and believe that, and he will still be defending PA years from now, provided they survive. And let's face it, they, or some version thereof, will survive, as so many people want to be published and have no avenue for doing so. A writer's dreams are an easy thing to prey on, and PA does a masterful job of that. Conversely, no one has an inherent right to be published, but PA does a good job of promoting that belief as well. Maybe they should consider venturing into the political realm one day.

I do think he should be more careful about his comments about professional achievements - I think both from a sales and scope of publishing achievement standpoint that many on this board could swamp him five times over. Face it, PA books aren't stocked nationally in any stores that I'm aware of, and getting library placement is tough for them - what achievements can there be?

One final thing, HB - if I were you, I'd work on my spelling, syntax, and verb tenses before I'd be casting out many more insults about anything writing related....

darbyj
02-03-2004, 10:41 PM
HB (or to anyone who can make him aware of this message),

I tried to post a message to you on the PA board, but it was pulled very quickly and I was banned from the board again. How very glad I am to have this board to post on, where I know my message to you will be here the next time I look. I am hoping you will see this and understand.

When I sent my manuscript to PA and it was accepted AND I signed the contract, I really liked the idea of PA. I appreciated that I didn't need to pay them to publish me and that they would design a cover at no cost to me (a cover with which I was very happy, by the way). Looking back, it might have done me some good to be aware of the cover price ahead of time (not stated in my contract) and the difficulties involved in getting my book into brick and mortar stores. But I don't blame PA for that, I blame myself.

I wanted to tell you that not all PA authors who are disgruntled with PA suffer from "sour grape" syndrome. I knew what I was getting into when I signed my contract. PA serves authors in a way that I don't think any other publisher does, and that is wonderful, but for them to tout themselves as traditional is...well, deceptive. They may not take an author's money. They may offer an advance. They may offer some sort of editing. They may offer royalties. As I said, they do provide a service to authors, but they are not traditional.

I resent their pulling any message and banning any author that states that fact and I resent authors like you who defend that pulling and banning. I don't understand why PA can't be PA, a company that provides a type of publishing without cost to the author. I don't see why PA has a problem with that. I signed up with them thinking that, and I'm sure many others would as well.

Again, I apologize for having to place this message here instead of on PA, but I did try. I don't want you to think I am trying to "have it both ways" as I believe another PA author was accused not too long ago before he was banned.

Lisa

emeraldcite
02-03-2004, 10:57 PM
PA serves authors in a way that I don't think any other publisher does, and that is wonderful, but for them to tout themselves as traditional is...well, deceptive. They may not take an author's money. They may offer an advance. They may offer some sort of editing. They may offer royalties. As I said, they do provide a service to authors, but they are not traditional.

exactly, darby: putting up cardboard cut-outs of people in your restaurant doesn't mean that it's a great place to eat. most of their services are more for the sake of saying they provide, rather than being full-scale services.

also, i found this quote interesting off the boards:


Traditional publishers don't really do a whole heck of a lot more than PA, just give us a bigger advance and have our books sitting in piles in a warehouse.

lol. right. they pay you more and have a supply of books on hand (or if there is a demand for them, they can actually provide them). they keep them in the warehouse so they can ship them to the brick & mortars.

for being on demand, PA doesn't deal well with getting the books out in a timely manner when they are demanded. not even for their own authors' signings...

aka eraser
02-03-2004, 11:14 PM
4000+ "happy" authors. Two (3?) of whom have sold 500+ books. Let's pretend they didn't by any themselves (a stretch, I know).

I'm a first-time, no-name author of a fishing-related book. It was published by a small arm of a large, traditional publisher and released late. Review copies were not sent out until it arrived in bookstores. With the long lead times of magazines combined with the book's release at the end of the traditional fishing season, I've received only one tiny mention. I hope for, but don't really expect, more ink in the Spring. (Yes, I've been doing some prodding, and will do more.)

My point though, is that despite virtually no publicity and without buying a single copy myself, or having a signing, or a puff piece in my local weekly paper, my book sold between 500-600 copies in December alone.

Those numbers won't make King, Grisham or Uncle Jim nervous but it's a far sight better than probably any 10 PA titles did combined in December.

THAT is the main advantage of being traditionally published and placed in brick and mortar stores without begging and whining. My book was in a catalogue distributed to stores and supported by a sales force. It is available to anyone, anywhere, at any time within a day or two.

HB Marcus can bluster, Ho-Ho and even, apparently, levitate; but his claims that PA is superior to even a small, legitimate, traditional publisher are laughable.

Oh, and I got a $5,000.00 advance too.

FM St George
02-03-2004, 11:45 PM
I saw the post, Lisa... thanks for having the guts to post it and bear the wrath again of the PA Bully Boys...

I agree with everything you said - and if HB had a leg to stand on he'd be here discussing it with us instead of standing on his own personal soapbox at PA and bleating at the converted.

The sad thing is that he may actually be a good writer - but I fear for any editor who would have to work with him or any publicist who might have to now that he's been pumped up by the PA monster... he probably truly believes that every word is sacred and would refuse outright to cut a comma!

ah, well... more's the pity...

emeraldcite
02-03-2004, 11:47 PM
actually, he has admitted in several post how grateful he was for PA fixing his grammar. need i cite 'prowd' again...lol

\:rollin

darbyj
02-03-2004, 11:54 PM
Eraser,

Great for you on the advance and the sales. While I am aware that a first time author published with a traditional or small press wouldn't get the pub that King or Grisham or Grafton get, and while I've never worked with any publisher other than PA, I just KNOW that those other presses must at least open the door for the author in some way, shape, or form. The books must be in catalogs or signings are set up for the author (yes, the author gets the work of the signing, but not the begging and bargaining that must come before it) or something. Not with PA. And that's okay, if your not into the traditional way of publishing. Then don't say you are, you know what I mean?

FM, glad someone saw my message. I can believe how fast it went. I was so pissed. Imagine my surprise when I came here and my message was still here! What a relief.

Lisa

FM St George
02-04-2004, 12:10 AM
ah, but here we have discussions...

not one-sided rants pulled by the moderators without a single comment nor reason why.

PA certainly is fast on the boards... too bad they're not as fast answering questions from their authors on things like slow delivery or responses to questions about their "free" websites and all that...

LOL!

darbyj
02-04-2004, 02:56 AM
"If you're not up to the challenge, then whining and pointing fingers at your own inadaqucies tells me you're losing. Sad day in loser land."

Again, not being able to respond to something like this because I've been banned is very frustrating, HB. Not every disgruntled PA author is whining and pointing fingers at his/her own inadequacies, or even at PA's- just aggravated that PA and some of its authors consider it a traditional publishing company. It's not the company and what they do, but the deceptive way they present themselves to authors who long to be published and may not realize how much their book is going to cost after it's printed or how hard it will be to sell, not matter how much they believe in it.

Sigh, I can't wait to get back to work.

Lisa

FM St George
02-04-2004, 03:16 AM
don't sweat it too much, Lisa - if you look at the posts you see very little logic and way too much emotion. That tells me that while he may be holding the banner high, he still has trouble justifying it to himself in the long run and falls back on the emotional pleas and diatribes to keep himself (and the authors he gathers under his wing) going.

if you check he doesn't even try to refute any of your argument (or those of the rest of us); he just rants on about how it's *YOUR* problem if the book isn't selling - as if we're all just sitting back and waiting for the cash to roll in.

maybe it's just me, but I didn't sign up with PA to be a door-to-door salesman of my own book. I didn't sign up to have every bookstore refuse to carry a POD when I was told BY PA that they would. And I refuse to become the neighbourhood bully forcing my product on friends and family and perfect strangers because somehow I'm supposed to be the only one flogging my book.

That's the job of the publisher. It's in THEIR best interest to have my book succeed; more than myself. But since PA counts on resales by the author for their income, they don't bother. How many threads have you seen that recommend authors keep buying copies of their own books to resell? Ask James M. or AC or VS if they had to buy their own copies and then resell them to make money...

He knows the truth - he's just in too deep to get out and he's too hooked on the ego boost by being PA's main spokesman. It's an addiction and a sad one - I wonder how much money he's lost trying to sell books. And he just submitted his third one to PA to boot.

We state facts, he rants illogical and misspelt diatribes - who do you think looks better in the long run?

;)

darbyj
02-04-2004, 04:54 AM
I agree with you, FM, I am certainly no sales person and knew I couldn't go door to door, bookstore to bookstore selling. I did bring my book and a media kit to a few local stores, but I'm not into begging/convincing. I gave them a free copy of my book, figuring if they liked it and wanted to stock it, do signings, etc, they'd contact me. I'm not a pushy person and had no desire to keep going back. The end result was that my book was not stocked in any local stores. Maybe they didn't like the book. Maybe they didn't like the price. Maybe they didn't like the no return policy. I don't know.

I'm just so tired of the "sour grapes" thing. What PA does is not "bad". I don't know why they can't just admit what they do.

Lisa

FM St George
02-04-2004, 05:38 AM
well... because then they won't get the money.

if they came out at the start and said "Oh, by the way - you'll have a heck of a time getting your book into mainstream stores due to the no-return policy and the only way you're really going to sell is by harassing managers, friends and family while excusing the overpriced book..."

gee, I'd have still signed up.

NOT!

:D

think of it this way - at least we can walk into our local bookstores and still hold our heads high - I doubt that happens when HB walks into a bookstore - they probably duck down below the counter and the manager takes a lunch break; anything to avoid being harassed and verbally attacked by a salesman!

because in the long run those tactics will only carry you so far - after he's harassed the local stores, where do you go? It doesn't work so well online, as he's probably seen by now since we're still here and actually writing.

I'd rather sell NO books and still have my dignity and intergrity than sell 500 by harassing and shoving my book in someone's face every few minutes. It may never make me rich, but at least I can look at myself in the mirror.

something I doubt some PA authors can do at times...

:)

Canada James
02-04-2004, 01:08 PM
Mr. Kuzminski:

"Then you duck the real questions to always make yourself look good when you're totally undeserving."

It's funny when I prove you wrong. And I get to do it so often, too.

"I've noticed that very few of those individuals who visit those other boards are brave enough to post the same message on forums where they can be answered. Talk about slamming, some of these individuals ought to look in a mirror."

Not all of them have as thick of skin as do I. A cult is a cult is a cult. This one is no different than the one at PA.

Granny:
"OF COURSE there's a new release page. The simple truth is that you cannot save everyone."

But it's easier to get your point across when you argue points that both sides understand, Granny. The devil doesn't have to make you evil to get you into Hell, he just has to keep you from God. Think hard, you're almost there.

"Nor would I suggest that people like Dave and Victoria and Ann quit giving out warnings just because folks are still getting tricked into believing PA or poetry.com hype and double talk."

See, this is the problem right here. I'm having conversation (a) while you're stuck in conversation (b).

(Conversation a) Stay away from benign warnings such as movie rights, editing and distribution. All they do is give the author the idea that they can find ways around them (we are problem solvers). I've stated this from the beginning (Dave, if you mention my deleted posts I'll just post the link because it's still there) and I am restating it now.

I have always believed that people should know exactly what PA is before signing their contract, and I just can't agree with you that warning people of sex scenes in PA books is really a mark against the company. I guess you and I will just have to agree to disagree, Granny.

(You see, and I do understand that you don't get my subtlety so I will explain, Mr. Kuzminski's warnings are about the hypocrisy of sex scenes and not actually about contract problems. If you think he's doing a bang up job then you obviously agree with his tactics. I, for one, don't and am not afraid to publicly state so.)

(Conversation b) This is the argument you had with all those other PA authors that you are now taking out on me. I'd tell you what it was, but because I wasn't there in the beginning I don't get it half the time. It's like I walked into a movie half-way through or tried reading a Star Trek novel.

a.k.a. eraser:
"Have you ever said that on the PA message boards?"

Worse than that.

FM:
"I still find it funny that all these brave souls dare not grace any other boards with much more than a trolling rant while parading around with no clothing on the safety of the PA boards...
"guess real conversations just don't turn them on..."

Real conversation is just fine. I've yet to see it happen here or there.
I believe astonwest said:
"Yes, I can tell it has a really positive feel...just from that post right there...and all the others bashing the non-compliant..."

And I would have to say that it rings as true here as it does at PA.

The very non-compliant Canada James

absolutewrite
02-04-2004, 05:13 PM
We still let our non-compliants post...

Until they seriously get on my nerves, that is. And sometimes long after that. ;)

darbyj
02-04-2004, 06:23 PM
I just meant that they don't need to call themselves a traditional publisher to get folks to sign up. Their banner says something like: we treat our authors the old fashioned way, we pay them. That's fine, because it's true. They might not pay as much an advance, but they do pay. You might have a more difficult time getting the book to sell, but if it sells, you do get the royalty.

I didn't go in thinking PA was traditional and was so intimidated by attempting to go the traditional route and SO wanted to see my book in print that I went. But I think some people sign up thinking they are traditional because of all the hype the read on the MB, and I don't think that's right.

Lisa

astonwest
02-04-2004, 07:23 PM
"This one is no different than the one at PA."

Be wary, there...you've seen what they do to folks who post to their board, and then post (what can somehow be construed as slamming PA) on others...calling PA a cult (which you just did) might get HB to call for you to walk the plank...

but then you've already told us all that you don't care what they think...but I still don't think you'll be posting those statements about PA being a cult on their board...

:hat
Big Daddy West

DaveKuzminski
02-04-2004, 08:28 PM
So far, you haven't proved me wrong. You do misquote others, including me. For instance, I have never called PublishAmerica a cult though you put that statement into your response directed at me in a feeble attempt to tag me as the originator.

Since you want to bring religion into the fray, let's ask how moral you are. Have you helped your fellow humans? Do you avoid telling lies that would harm others? Do you offer assistance to those in need? OR DO YOU MERELY WALK AROUND LIKE A BIGOT TELLING OTHERS THEY'RE GOING TO HELL?

Case in point? You stated it yourself: "Nor would I suggest that people like Dave and Victoria and Ann quit giving out warnings just because folks are still getting tricked into believing PA or poetry.com hype and double talk."

See, this is the problem right here. I'm having conversation (a) while you're stuck in conversation (b).

That's your evidence? No, Dodgem James, you're the one ignoring the tricks and double talk instead of doing the morally right thing for those who are innocent. Don't tell me you're afraid of having your book derailed by your publisher. You have plenty of opportunities to spread the truth. All you have to do is sign on under an alias. Oh! Excuse me, you already do. Problem is, you don't spread the truth. You only talk about how smart you were in negotiating with your publisher in obtaining concessions that the other authors didn't. Uh, what were those concessions again? Wasn't one supposed to be concerning price?

No, the truth is that you're a bigot and a hypocrite who resorts to religion when his logic reveals weakness in his side of a discussion. You can't even stay on topic when you argue.

Case in point: Dodgem James stated: I have always believed that people should know exactly what PA is before signing their contract, and I just can't agree with you that warning people of sex scenes in PA books is really a mark against the company.

First of all, you should restrict the subject of a sentence to one topic. You're supposed to be a writer and understand that. Furthermore, having made that poor sentence, what you fail to point out is that those first comments were made by individuals representing the publisher. So far, no one has located any books written by that poster and published by that publisher. You also conveniently ignore the posted proof that the publisher deliberately targeted Dave Bowlin and myself thereby admitting to having posted those words. Of course, that I pointed out in a posting that they were equally vulnerable makes me the heavy. No, Dodgem James, it doesn't. What I pointed out in a speculative moment was that I ought to do that. My statement effectively pointed out to them that some things they might do to me can be turned against them. That, in turn, caused them to cease some of those smear tactics. Why? Because they know I won't back down.

Anyway, I'm really getting tired of pointing out how lame your arguments are. I recommend you ask Mr. Meiners to send in another clown. You're no longer entertaining.

FM St George
02-04-2004, 08:54 PM
sorry, DJ - you'll have a hard time convincing anyone that this board is as restrictive and cultish as the PA boards.

and that just lowers your integrity that much further with the average reader who sees people being banned left and right without a comment at PA and sees us chatting here.

as it stands, you obviously regret your decision to stay with PA but don't have the balls to mention it out loud for fear of losing what little sales you already have with PA. Fine, but don't think that walking this middle of the road will work for you forever - you still avoid the most basic of questions and continue to carry the PA party line. I've seen very little from you on the PA boards disputing their claims.

of course, I only have a college diploma so I'm unqualified under your standards to say this, so...

*chuckles*

aka eraser
02-04-2004, 10:58 PM
Canada James said:

"I never said PA was a first-choice publisher. I said they were a gateway and nothing more."

I asked: "Have you ever said that on the PA message boards?"

CJ's response of "worse than that" doesn't answer the question.

It only requires a simple "yes" or "no."

I think we all know the answer though. After all, CJ still has posting privileges on the PA boards.

XThe NavigatorX
02-05-2004, 04:54 AM
I found this interesting. It seems BN has a blanket no PA books policy. I know someone else who was accepted into the BN small press program with a non-PA, no-returns lightning source book, so it's not just against the POD process.

www.publishamerica.com/cg...n/8977.htm (http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/main/8977.htm)

astonwest
02-05-2004, 05:36 AM
I believe I posted info from the B&N fact sheet for small presses previously...they no longer have a 'no POD' blanket statement, but the rules they do have certainly preclude a majority of POD books...PA in particular...

Personally, I don't think it's solely a 'conspiracy' against PA as the folks over yonder would like to believe...mainly, the rules PA sets up precludes them from getting in the door on a national basis...

I would love to hear how this friend of yours was able to get in...

pub43.ezboard.com/fabsolu...&index=133 (http://pub43.ezboard.com/fabsolutewritefrm32.showMessage?topicID=37.topic&index=133)

(This contains both info from Waldenbooks as well as B&N)

XThe NavigatorX
02-05-2004, 06:18 AM
His publisher was purchasing a few full-page ads in some upcoming genre magazines, I believe, and he included a pretty extensive marketing plan + he had some endorsements from larger names.

FM St George
02-05-2004, 07:11 AM
why, look what popped into my mailbox (and all the other PA authors) today!

www.publishamerica.com/cg...al/608.htm (http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/general/608.htm)

tell ya, this is the biggest scam I've heard yet - why the HELL would you buy your own books when PA is supposed to be selling them for you???

*shakes head*

Canada James
02-05-2004, 04:51 PM
"So far, you haven't proved me wrong. You do misquote others, including me. For instance, I have never called PublishAmerica a cult though you put that statement into your response directed at me in a feeble attempt to tag me as the originator."

If I "tagged" you as the originator that was my mistake. No conspiracy.

"That's your evidence? No, Dodgem James, you're the one ignoring the tricks and double talk instead of doing the morally right thing for those who are innocent."

You don't know me well enough to make that claim. Period.

"No, the truth is that you're a bigot and a hypocrite who resorts to religion when his logic reveals weakness in his side of a discussion. You can't even stay on topic when you argue."

I brought up the religion comment as an illustration. You seem to get in quite a snit when religion is brought up. Issues?

"You only talk about how smart you were in negotiating with your publisher in obtaining concessions that the other authors didn't."

I did much more than that. I would explain further but we're getting off topic.

"First of all, you should restrict the subject of a sentence to one topic."

There were two clauses there, each divided by a comma. Both had to do with the other.

"Furthermore, having made that poor sentence, what you fail to point out is that those first comments were made by individuals representing the publisher."

Your warning isn't against the publisher, it's against the innocent authors*. I've always been on their side.

*not the authors who posted the comments, which I have publicly been against from the get go. The authors mentioned here are the rest of the PA bunch that don't deserve the kind of treatment Dave is capable of dishing out. See his last post for more details of said treatment.

"Do you offer assistance to those in need? OR DO YOU MERELY WALK AROUND LIKE A BIGOT TELLING OTHERS THEY'RE GOING TO HELL?"

Wow. And all you people out there take this man's side over mine?
The blind cult marches on (glad he isn't my leader).

Let's see now: I'm a dodger, a liar, immoral, a bigot, I can't write, I misquote people, my logic is fishy...

Hey, Dave, would you evaluate my manuscript for me? I'm sure you'd give me an honest critique.

Canada James

Canada James
02-05-2004, 04:53 PM
Jenna:
"We still let our non-complaints post...

Until they seriously get on my nerves, that is. And sometimes long after that."

Keep reading a few more posts down from your last. This is why PA authors stay at PA.

Canada James

Canada James
02-05-2004, 04:55 PM
"...and that just lowers your integrity that much further with the average reader who sees people being banned left and right without a comment at PA and sees us chatting here."

It does amaze me that the average reader can be that blind. But, as I've stated, my self-esteem does not need your pats on the back.

Canada James

astonwest
02-05-2004, 07:20 PM
"why the HELL would you buy your own books when PA is supposed to be selling them for you???"

Folks buy their own books because PA DOESN'T sell them for the author, unfortunately...that, and it's about the only way you can get things set up such as signings (now that stores have wised up, and no longer blindly purchase books created by local authors). I myself have bought my own books...and in fact, still have quite a stockpile left over (which is a common occurence, from what I've read). Besides the other reasons I mentioned earlier, the other reason I bought my own books was because the price is completely outrageous for my book ($16.95 for a little over 100 pages). I figured I could buck the system, and sell more books for a lower price (apparently a misconception). Since PA was completely unwilling to even entertain the notion of lowering the price......

I counted up off my royalty sheets, and my own personal spreadsheet tally...Sales due to PA's attempts to sell my book registered 22 copies (this, from the mailing they sent out when my book was first released). All other sales were due to my own efforts, as far as I know. If there were other efforts made on PA's part, I was not aware of them, and there is no info on the royalty sheets telling an author where sales were made, so only by sheer deduction can one figure these things out.

(These 22 came at $14.95 for a $16.95 book...this was before they instituted the $3 discount, along with a $3 shipping charge)

92 copies were because I purchased books and sold them myself. Prices ranged from $10 to $12.95 for a $16.95 book...

The other 70 copies were a combination of convincing stores to stock the book, or promoting the book to folks over the internet...

So, 184 copies in (just under) 2 years (and PA contributed a little over 10% to the total)...as I've mentioned previously, just moving on to the next one...the best thing a person can do...

:hat
Big Daddy West

DaveKuzminski
02-05-2004, 08:09 PM
No, Dodgem James, they're not taking my side. What you've observed is merely the fact that they have eyes and minds and are capable of recognizing your behavior for what it is. Unfortunately, you seem incapable of understanding that the overall response to you is similar to what many writers are told regarding critiques. If one critique points out a problem in a manuscript, it's not necessarily a problem, but if several point out the same problem, then it's time to do a rewrite.

As to your sarcastic suggestion that I do a critique of your manuscript, the answer is no. Your reaction to criticism is already documented. Giving you a critique would be an exercise in futility.

FM St George
02-05-2004, 11:41 PM
I hear your pain about buying copies - I bought a few last year for a local book fair and the majority of them are still sitting on my shelf due to horrible weather making the attendance little to none...

I just can't believe that all these authors are buying the mantra that you need to BUY your own books (and forgo the royalties, natch!) to resell them to somehow be successful. There's a few brave souls asking about why this system exists, but they're being shouted down by the usual sheep bleating that the system works for THEM, and if you truly believe in your book, yatta yatta yatta...

and, let's face it - it's not like the discounts are that great to start with... I shudder to think about how many PA authors are tossing money away hand over fist to have boxes delivered to their homes in wistful thinking that they'll be able to bully the local bookstore into allowing them a signing or stock their books on consignment - even at that math, you come out a loser.

sad, sad, sad...

dogpile
02-06-2004, 12:25 AM
What amazes me is how many of these people actually think they can walk up to Bertlesman's and say "Oh, I sold over 3000 copies (like Bertlesman's will care about that pitilance anyway)". The truth is that THEY bought about 2800 of these...which will NOT register as a retail sale...and means NOTHING!

Now...as someone mentioned...if they pay the bit extra, order from Amazon (or ANYWHERE else), they stand a better chance of having these copies register for something...and not for money in PA's pocket.

FM St George
02-06-2004, 12:28 AM
true - I actually did the math about ordering from Amazon.com and then being able to pocket the royalties instead of ordering from PublishScAmerica and not getting any royalties at all... it was darned close, I tell you...

including the inflated shipping costs to boot!

sad, sad, sad...

I just shake my head at the number of PA authors right now taking their tax refunds and socking it into books instead of paying off bills... d'oh!

emeraldcite
02-06-2004, 01:59 AM
at least if you order enough from amazon, you won't pay for the shipping

:rollin

vstrauss
02-06-2004, 03:42 AM
>>I just can't believe that all these authors are buying the mantra that you need to BUY your own books (and forgo the royalties, natch!) to resell them to somehow be successful.<<

It's part of the larger mantra, "Even traditionally-published authors have to promote their own books." Born, in most cases, of a woeful ignorance of the way publishing actually works.

It's truly a shame that so many aspiring writers don't spend time studying up on the field they want to enter, as opposed to just plunging in without any preparation at all. I don't totally understand it--why should people think that they don't need to find out something about the publishing process before attempting it? Maybe it's an outgrowth of the idea that "everyone has a book in them". If anyone can write a book, publishing it must be just as intuitive, right?

To be fair, the publishing industry is not especially forthcoming about the way things work, and does tend to mystify the process by keeping so much information close to the vest. But there are plenty of "how to get published" books that can be easily found in any large bookstore, so it's not totally impossible to find out what's what.

- Victoria

FM St George
02-06-2004, 04:37 AM
well, the problem isn't promoting it - to be fair - it's the "encouragement" for the authors to buy a zillion copies of their own book 'cause PA can't guarantee having anything anywhere on time.

at least with an upfront POD like Xlibris you receive the books when you pay and you have a product on hand - if nothing else, the Ohio debacle showed that PA can't deliver diddly on time, even with plenty of notice. Heck, there's threads talking about how people have been waiting up to SIX weeks for books ordered off the PA website.

now, having said that - I think there's nothing wrong with having some books on hand; maybe two or three. But ordering buckets of books for booksignings and then having to negotiate your prices down to the point that you might make a buck a book, well...

I think it's just another illusion PA likes to encourage - that somehow your committment to promotion isn't just sending out notes and getting interviews; it includes buying scads of books 'cause they can't sell them the regular way.

and the cultists encourage it by bragging about what deals they've pulled off with local bookstores at their own cost; not even thinking that they're feeding the beast, so to speak...

I ranteth.

FM St George
02-09-2004, 12:05 AM
www.publishamerica.com/cg...al/581.htm (http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/general/581.htm)

down at the bottom - I've just written to Author Support at PA (hah!) and asked them to remove the posts with my name as he seems to be encouraging other authors to harass me.

I don't expect them to do much, but at least they'll notice that one of their "authors" is a bit erratic, to say the least.

what a loser... notice that I don't spell it with two OO's like he does, heh, heh...

astonwest
02-09-2004, 07:39 PM
Personally, I'm surprised that the posts stayed up as long as they have (did? don't know if any have been removed). I mean, posting that stuff up (on his part) encourages folks to come over to all these 'no-no' sites...

oh well...
Be careful, FM...

:hat
Big Daddy West

p.s. I wouldn't count on AS to do anything about it (be good if they did, though)...they only tend to pull posts that make themselves look bad, or could get them into legal trouble...posting quotes probably doesn't qualify...

FM St George
02-09-2004, 07:58 PM
oh, I figure that Hamish over at writers.net will get into it now that I"ve pointed out that they're basically reposting stuff that they shouldn't be... Steve obviously didn't read the ToS for using the forums at writers.net, so I'm sure he'll be banned (again) soon enough... the sad thing is that he really is coming across as rather psychotic, which tells me that he's finding out the truth about PA and is lashing out at everyone who told him the truth beforehand. So it goes.

oh, check this out - www.publishamerica.com/cg...n/9032.htm (http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/main/9032.htm)

is this a horrible scam or what? Not only do the authors have to bring their own books, but a HUNDRED dollars each? What a frelling scam! I can't believe anyone is buying this tripe!

wow... it's almost impossible to comment on...

FM St George
02-09-2004, 11:22 PM
and here's the great response back from AS... mind you, nothing about me being banned, but still...

Ms. Nantus,

No, we will do no such thing. Authors do not need your nor the "site
owners'" permission to repost something that was previously posted publicly
on an internet message board.

We do, however, remove posts that contain statements that are obviously not
true, though this doesn't happen very often.

We seem to recall that you, for some odd reason, may have had a propensity
for posting bizarre "facts" that were easily proven not to be true.
Anything of that nature, of course, we would remove. Otherwise, no.

Thank you,
Author Support Team

James D Macdonald
02-09-2004, 11:38 PM
I can't believe anyone is buying this tripe!

Those poor guys. They're wandering around carrying signs that read "I'm a sucker. Take me for all I'm worth."

aka eraser
02-09-2004, 11:41 PM
Author Support Team=Thought Police

FM St George
02-09-2004, 11:47 PM
"I can't believe anyone is buying this tripe!

Those poor guys. They're wandering around carrying signs that read "I'm a sucker. Take me for all I'm worth."

I know... your heart breaks, in a way...

I mean, a hundred bucks for a booth? Okay, the "advertising" may count for something, but let's face it - it's not exactly going to be much more than a mention in the paper and a flash on the telly screen... and then they STILL have to bring their own books!

wow...

*shakes head*

I'm not sure what's sadder - the fact that these people are spending money hand over fist for maybe a buck profit a book or that there are so many out there who will take advantage of them with scams like this...

CWGranny
02-10-2004, 12:15 AM
Wow, what a shock. You mean the author support team for a BOOK PUBLISHER doesn't understand basic copyright? What a surprise. I am sure Hamish will attempt to enlighten them.

Hey, I would feel comfortable knowing my publisher didn't know copyright law...suuuuurrrrreeeeee.

Gran

FM St George
02-10-2004, 12:33 AM
*puts up hand*

let me point out that I am NOT ashamed of the comments that have been crossposted in any way, shape or form. I'd be a fool to post anything about PA and not assume that it might possibly get back to their ears. I am bothered that they are allowed this to happen in that it could encourage other PA authors to harass me and sets a bad precedent in that I have no way to respond and defend my words.

I did forward all the info to Hamish and have faith that he will be sending them a note - but I did want to make that clear; there is NO way I'd ever retract said comments - my complaint is not that they've been exposed to the innocent virgins of the PA boards, but that I have no opportunity to comment and the encouragement of the poster (and now, PA) for people to harass me because I'm not toeing the party line.

just wanted to say that...

James D Macdonald
02-10-2004, 12:56 AM
A buck in profit?

Let's see. Someone check me if I'm wrong.

Typical PA book is $19.95. 30% author discount, Author pays $13.965 each, or $698.25 for a carton of fifty. Plus $100 booth space, $798.25.

Selling them at cover price brings in $997.50 if they all sell.

So, the typical author on this gig would have to pay less than $199.25 for travel to Dayton, meals, and lodging, and sell fifty books to make a profit.

DaveKuzminski
02-10-2004, 01:20 AM
Well, this will probably become another signing fiasco as I just don't see all of the participating authors succeeding, if any. Why? Because they are writers who should leave the sales and marketing to those who know how to do it well. That much is evident from their previous signing reports where very few of the participants managed to sell much of their inventory.

astonwest
02-10-2004, 05:34 AM
I sort of figured they'd come back with something such as that...very sad they're so predictable...

As for the "multi-author deal', I'm a little confused...Is this a bookstore that will be offering stalls for $100 each? Is this a book fair of some sort, or just a signing within a store? I've never heard of a store selling spots at a signing before...yikes!

There was a book fair of some sort around here last summer...they wanted $150 for a booth, and obviously, I'd have to supply my own books...the financials, as pointed out earlier, don't make sense...even if you were to somehow pull a rabbit out of the hat, and sell all your books for full price.

(With the current offer) Even at a 40% discount (which they generally will allow for orders of around 50 copies or so)...you'd fork out $698.50 (books + booth), and in the end, would only make $997.50, so roughly a $300 profit, assuming all books sold...which is a fairly big assumption, especially in a group signing setting...

I wonder if they'll get a full table, or be crammed 4-to-a-table, as I've seen done elsewhere...

I wish them all the luck in the world, though...

emeraldcite
02-10-2004, 06:01 AM
yeah, this is some kind of knick-knack store, and the owner has graciously declined any cut from the books....of course, 100 bucks per author would cover anything they'd possibly make from selling the books. lol

RealityChuck
02-11-2004, 01:01 AM
Jim -- it is highly unlikely and PA author is going to do that sort of analysis. They will go and brag about how they sold 5 books. If you bring up the numbers, the heavy-duty rationalizations will go into effect.

I found this PA thread very interesting: www.publishamerica.com/cg...e/2313.htm (http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/2313.htm)

Subject: How many books sold

Some replies:

"if I have sold 20; I am satisfied."
"(If they [count the copies I bought myself], I've broken my first 100, but if they don't, I've got a long way to go!)
"I'm up to about 250 books sold that I know about."

As a perspective, my novel (which had pretty lousy PR and mediocre distribution from a major publisher) sold 16,000.

FM St George
02-11-2004, 01:48 AM
true - and given that PA basically forces the author to resell books without any support or assistance, I would consider selling twenty books to be a major accomplishment.

I know that I've actually sold 18 books from PA directly ( via their esteemed royalty check/receipt in August) and personally sold another five this past Christmas at a much lower price to online friends to get rid of my "stash" - ordered twenty for a local book fair that got pretty well rained out. I dropped the price to $9.99 so I was making little profit, but at least I could honestly promote the book at that price.

but these people really don't do the math - I asked questions when I still had access about how they did their accounting and got little to no response - while it may be some sort of tax maneuver to "lose" money to defer this and that, I doubt it's actually planned. I seriously doubt you could find a single PA author who's made a profit; given the stunts and expenses they seem to be constantly bragging about incurring in order to resell their overpriced copies purchased from PA.

astonwest
02-11-2004, 06:11 AM
"I dropped the price to $9.99 so I was making little profit, but at least I could honestly promote the book at that price."

I did the same thing...the problem, however, is though I don't feel like a crook selling copies for $10 (as I did while trying to sell them at $16.95/$19.95), I'm to the point now where I just don't care to promote it anymore...(which is sad, considering how much stock I have left......guess I'll be giving most of them away)

I imagine there are probably a few (maybe more) PA authors who have either made a profit or not lost any money...most of those, I don't imagine you'll find posting on their board...because they'll be the ones not purchasing their own books, and not marketing their books themselves (using expensive methods such as guitar giveaways and such)...

Big Daddy West
:hat

emeraldcite
02-11-2004, 07:05 AM
this is frightening...

www.publishamerica.com/cg...n/9040.htm (http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/main/9040.htm)

the problem with this is that the whole class could come out, conceivably, published. that is a scary.

on the bright side: the class is in the 'life-long learning' center, which means that it isn't part of the university's curriculum, but rather a part of their continuing education and community programs.

interesting, nonetheless.

Ed Williams 3
02-11-2004, 11:54 PM
...Books" mean for a PA author?

FM St George
02-12-2004, 12:25 AM
actually, they've never really clarified it; despite posts asking.

the idea seems to be that they get into the returns program, but no one seems to be able to verify that, including the one or two authors who have managed to sell 500. The problem of if you purchase the 500 yourself or if they're "cold" sales is also never really addressed properly, it seems.

I found it rather depressing that for all the blathering a lot of these authors do, only one or two of them have sold 500 copies. That's darned depressing, considering most of them have been spending money hand over fist to promote them by purchasing copies and reselling.

FM St George
02-12-2004, 03:19 AM
www.publishamerica.com/cg...e/2327.htm (http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/2327.htm)

now here's a good solid group asking for some discussion as to the no-return policy that we've all hit the wall with...

and note that the PA Infocenter hits back with the same prattle as usual; reprinted numerous times and never really dealing with the question - wonder if any of them will have the guts to ask it to the PA reps at the convention where they can't hide?

I like the part about how everyone's now going to a no-return policy... really...

:P

astonwest
02-12-2004, 05:58 AM
"the idea seems to be that they get into the returns program, but no one seems to be able to verify that, including the one or two authors who have managed to sell 500."

Two things here...one is that having a book in IB allows Waldenbooks stores to return their unsold copies to PA, as long as they bought direct from PA (and PA still doesn't return 100% of the money)...there has never been any clarification on whether Waldenbooks managers get to make the decision on which books to stock, or whether it still has to go through their corporate regional centers...

Second, I know you keep repeating the remark about 1 or 2 authors have managed to sell 500...but I think you're only basing that on how many actually show themselves on the PA board...I personally know of others who don't frequent the PA board at all, and many who have sold more than 1000 (yes, I know, if they had been picked up by a true traditional publisher, they probably would have sold more than ten times that amount)...but to make a remark that only 1 or 2 of their authors have reached the 500 mark is simply opening a spot for any debate opponent to exploit in an argument...

"The problem of if you purchase the 500 yourself or if they're "cold" sales is also never really addressed properly, it seems."

It was originally addressed, by an Infocenter lackey making the remark that all purchases counted towards the 500, regardless of where they came from...I'm certain that was put into place to generate a huge influx of author orders...

Then I read later (I haven't read the PA boards in some time now (other than the "see this" links on many of these threads), so don't know what else has come about since) where an author was told that self-orders didn't count towards qualification in IB...I personally figured that might be the case, considering all the emphasis placed by PA on how it had the final say in who got in...

Here, buy a ton of books...but that doesn't guarantee you get in...classic...reminds me of a similar tactic in offering a sales advance...

(one would tend to wonder at PA being selective about their books, because it should make people think that 'not all PA books are worthy of being published by a "stricter standards" publisher'...maybe that's just me...)

OK, I'm going to rant now...based on the thread FM linked to:

Infocenter lackey writes:

"PublishAmerica has an account with B&N and many other bookstores, including chains, and they buy our books all the time."

No crap, folks...many readers order a book through a bookstore. B&N is a bookstore...if a reader orders a book, of COURSE they're going to place an order...this says nothing about B&N stocking, or making purchases for signings (and even then, many folks will work out a deal with a manager to buy unused stock, effectively making a "return" out of the order)...

"Major chain bookstores have no policy against stocking non-returnable books."

I refer folks to other threads in which I quoted B&N corporate policy fact sheets...

"Actually, Barnes and Noble has quadrupled the number of books they order from PublishAmerica during the past year."

See the previous comment about customer orders...

"Thousands, each and every month, of PublishAmerica books are sold in bookstores."

Ditto. (and considering they come out with roughly 250-300 books a month, that's only 3-4 orders per book...that's sad)

"Hundreds of bookstores across the nation stock our books."

How many bookstores are there in the nation? At one time, I had my book stocked in 5 stores here in town (and this town has less than 500,000 people)...So, if 19 other people were able to do that (out of something like 3-4000 authors?) in their similar- or larger-sized towns, that would be a true statement...but it doesn't make it impressive...

"PublishAmerica books have the same chance of making it onto a bookstore shelf as do the books of any publisher."

Perhaps any other POD publisher...oddly enough, I see a ton of books from TOR and Putnam on my local bookstore shelves...and very few PA books (mine and another author or two busting their humps)...I guess if they want to get technical, every book has a 50% shot of getting on a shelf...it either does or doesn't...1 or the other = 50%...

"Bookstores will generally stock a book that they think will sell"

So, they don't believe most PA books will sell? That should be a wake-up call for many folks...sigh.

(again, the company telling people their books aren't worthy of being published...shouldn't a book be sellable if it's worthy of being published?)

"Please do not judge a bookstore's corporate policy by what one local manager or one letter tells you."

If that letter happens to be FROM the corporate office, I would think I'd be okay in judging at that point...granted, there will always be the chance the manager will want to bend or break the rules for a particular book, but banking on those odds is ludicrous.

Oh well...it's the same old song and dance they always use when people bring up the return policy...I'm through with my rant for now...

Allen (PA author) wrote:

"How can we affect the process so that we are the number one publisher in the US?"

I'm in no way trying to pick on this author in particular...but when did "we" become a publisher? Aren't "we" authors, the ones writing the books? Just thought that was odd...

Big Daddy West
:hat

Dodgem James
02-12-2004, 06:50 AM
"I found it rather depressing that for all the blathering a lot of these authors do, only one or two of them have sold 500 copies."

Keep in mind that 500 copies sold does not guarantee you entrance into Independence Books. It just gets you a "review."

It's my bet that many of the 500 copies sold authors are nearing their 7 year mark and simply turning down the chance to be a part of I.B..

DJ (the author formerly known as Canada James)

Dodgem James
02-12-2004, 06:53 AM
"...but to make a remark that only 1 or 2 of their authors have reached the 500 mark is simply opening a spot for any debate opponent to exploit in an argument..."

Careful, Aston, I got called a bigot for suggesting that very thing.

DJ

vstrauss
02-12-2004, 07:48 AM
>>one is that having a book in IB allows Waldenbooks stores to return their unsold copies to PA, as long as they bought direct from PA (and PA still doesn't return 100% of the money)...there has never been any clarification on whether Waldenbooks managers get to make the decision on which books to stock, or whether it still has to go through their corporate regional centers...<<

According to the PA press release I saw about Independence Books, there are a number of restrictions, in addition to ordering direct from PA: a pre-payment requirement, no refunds after 90 days, and order minimums. This is not going to be all that attractive to bookstores--especially the pre-payment.

I think this is yet another of those things that is designed to make PA look good to its authors while ensuring that it takes very little financial risk.

- Victoria

astonwest
02-12-2004, 07:28 PM
"Careful, Aston, I got called a bigot for suggesting that very thing."

I think it's probably all in the delivery...

"According to the PA press release I saw about Independence Books, there are a number of restrictions, in addition to ordering direct from PA: a pre-payment requirement, no refunds after 90 days, and order minimums. This is not going to be all that attractive to bookstores--especially the pre-payment."

Unfortunately, what has bothered me from the very beginning with the IB imprint is the notion that Waldenbooks will be able to "stock your books" when you're in the imprint...

As Victoria mentioned above, there is a pre-payment requirement, they must order direct, and even then, they only get a portion of the payment back...combined with the order minimums, it's going to be a tough sell to local managers...

And unfortunately, I believe that's STILL going to be the only way to get books stocked. It was implied that Waldenbooks would be stocking these books nationwide (something which still gets propogated on the PA boards from time to time)...however, corporate fact sheets continue to say that regional buyers have rules set up for title purchases...one of which (RIGHT AT THE TOP OF THE SHEET) is that they "will consider for purchase only books which are available through an authorized, designated Wholesaler or Distributor. Books must have an ISBN and EAN barcode."

Two strikes...have to order direct, and I don't believe PA books have an EAN barcode, just an ISBN...

So, in other words, authors in IB will still have to bust their hump going into local stores and trying to get local managers to order copies to display in their local store...and this time, the stores have to buy a minimum number of copies...and take a gamble (with the partial refund...though better than taking a gamble with the full cost, at least they used to have something to show for their expense at the end of the day--stocked books)...

Who knows?

FM St George
02-12-2004, 07:40 PM
and yet it's almost impossible to find this information anywhere on the PA site... in fact, most of what you learn is from rumors repeated on the boards from other authors and tidbits of tantalizing info dropped by the Infocenter when a discussion gets too heated...

emeraldcite
02-12-2004, 09:23 PM
originally, i thought IB was going to be their hardcover arm...funny that they would release everything ass-backwards. paperback first, then hardcover.

Dodgem James
02-13-2004, 06:59 AM
"I think it's probably all in the delivery..."

And who is delivering.

"...they "will consider for purchase only books which are available through an authorized, designated Wholesaler or Distributor. Books must have an ISBN and EAN barcode."
"Two strikes...have to order direct, and I don't believe PA books have an EAN barcode, just an ISBN..."

PA books have an EAN barcode, that's the stripey thing on the back of your book that stores scan so they don't have to manually type in your ISBN each time a book is sold.

The strike is clear: "...will consider for purchase only books which are available through an authorized, designated Wholesaler or Distributor."

That means if they have to order direct through PA to get the returns policy, however flawed, they aren't going to because they have a policy stating they must order through Ingram, B&T, etc.
Now, Mr. Kuzminski, wouldn't that be a better warning on your site than "P&E suggests that special attention be paid to topics where their writers criticize authors outside their company for having sex scenes in their published work while giving support to their own for the same thing."

Just a thought.

DJ

astonwest
02-13-2004, 07:13 PM
"And who is delivering."

But mostly how...at least the way I see it...
One could look at a prime example of bad delivery/bad reception from a few months ago.

"PA books have an EAN barcode, that's the stripey thing on the back of your book that stores scan so they don't have to manually type in your ISBN each time a book is sold."

I was under the impression that PA only used an ISBN barcode...on the back of the book...is not an EAN barcode separate from the ISBN barcode? I forget where I read about the difference between those two...

"That means if they have to order direct through PA to get the returns policy, however flawed, they aren't going to because they have a policy stating they must order through Ingram, B&T, etc."

But see, if you attempt to tell folks that (especially on the PA board), a number of things will possibly happen. 1) You'll have a multitude of authors trying to tell you that it's all the bookstore's fault, and how dare they put a rule in place to stifle new authors. 2) An Infocenter persona will come on, and give the 'copy and paste' answer to any bookstore stocking questions, telling you how there are no policies against stocking PA/POD books at any major chain stores. They may be willing to modify some of the wording to apply to Waldenbooks instead of B&N. 3) You may get your posts pulled (though I think they've decided in recent times to simply come in with a fell swoop and post their 'facts', instead of removing posts (but see #4). 4) You may get yourself banned from posting.

Unfortunately, banning and removing posts does not remove the problem at hand...which is a policy at the corporate level which hinders PA books from being stocked in a bookstore...and folks researching a decision to sign a contract with PA (or to sign a second) should have that information...

Of course, we could go on and on about this, including the possibility that PA glamorized IB just to get authors enthused enough to sell/buy more books, when from the looks of things, there aren't too many differences (in reality) between it and the regular PA imprint...but of course, that's just an assumption on my part...

Big Daddy West
:hat

FM St George
02-13-2004, 09:32 PM
www.fictionforum.net/writ...ew-pa.html (http://www.fictionforum.net/writers/toolbox/interview-pa.html)

a PA author posted this link on the PA boards asking for PA authors to write and gush about how wonderful PA is to them and all that... 'course, the interview is over a year old...

funny how they violate half of what they say - my book wasn't anywhere near 7,000 words and yet they still accepted it; along with other childrens' books.

*laughs*

otoh, at least there's real names here... instead of the InfoCenter et al...

emeraldcite
02-13-2004, 09:52 PM
Who are you leading authors at the moment and what has been the key to their success through Publish America?

Our best selling authors wrote interesting stories with tight plots and developed characters. Readers have responded accordingly. Second, they believed in their work. Their enthusiasm infected others. We often say that the author is the best sales tool for any book, and these authors have proven that time and again.


they forgot to answer the 'who' part of the question...skirting the issue yet again.

"Best-selling authors? Hell, we have best-buying authors. Is that the same thing?"

Ed Williams 3
02-14-2004, 04:27 AM
....PA Davidians, etc. - it's almost like we are developing our own lingo here.

XThe NavigatorX
02-14-2004, 07:23 AM
lol. Pavidians.

Dodgem James
02-14-2004, 12:11 PM
"But mostly how...at least the way I see it...
One could look at a prime example of bad delivery/bad reception from a few months ago."

We could look at a few from a few days back but we won't ... because it wasn't a PA author delivering it.

"I was under the impression that PA only used an ISBN barcode..."

Not really any difference. They want something their scanners will pick up. You can buy software that will make your own bar codes.

"But see, if you attempt to tell folks that (especially on the PA board), a number of things will possibly happen."

If people ignore the facts thats one thing. But keeping the facts silent because it's better for your ego to warn about possible sexual content, please.

emerald:
' "Best-selling authors? Hell, we have best-buying authors. Is that the same thing?" '

Not the same thing. You misquoted them. They said "Our best selling authors" which you interpreted as "Best-selling authors." Two totally different meanings there.

Navigator:

"lol. Pavidians."

This is a prime example of why PA authors don't leave the PA message boards and don't listen to those "outside."

Typical schoolyard mentality.

DJ

Ed Williams 3
02-14-2004, 07:14 PM
...the confines of their bulletin boards because the truth hurts, and because they can't offer anything factual up to back their claims. I've lost count of how many questions have been posed here about the Library of Congress, returns, actual book sales figures, etc., that have never been responded to.

Let's face it, raffling off electric guitars at book signings and paying a bookstore/seller $100 for the right to hold a book signing is laughable, and it just exposes PA for what they are. For the record, I attended several major book conferences last fall (Southern Festival of the Book, SEBA, the Atlanta Literary Festival, and the St. Petersburg Festival of Reading), all paid for by my publisher, and the PAs/iUniverses/Xlibris' and the like were consensus regarded as the bottom feeders of the publishing industry. iUniverse was charging their authors $100 for a 1-2 stint in their booth in Atlanta, and some guy was singing and strumming his guitar outside their booth in Nashville - nevermind that he was off key and people were openly laughing at him, he'd paid iUniverse his money for the privilege - you can imagine the comments.

James, you have every right to your opinions, and I hope your claims of having a lit agent and all are true - it is always good to see someone move up and succeed. Absent more substantiated proof, however, to me you look like another PA hack who's trying to tote the leash for his masters. Meiners must be proud.

astonwest
02-14-2004, 08:08 PM
"Not really any difference. They want something their scanners will pick up. You can buy software that will make your own bar codes."

I went and looked up some info on EAN barcodes...and no, there isn't any difference (PA does have an EAN barcode)...so in that, I was mistaken...

www.infinitygraphics.com/...otext.html (http://www.infinitygraphics.com/Pages/ISBNinfotext.html)
(the links in the text below didn't come through as links here, in case anyone wanted to research more)

"Bookland EAN (European Article Number) bar code symbols have become a requirement in the U.S. book publishing industry. They are used to represent the ISBN (International Standard Book Number) of publications.
Bookland EAN bar code symbols begin with "978" followed by the first nine digits of the ISBN. The last digit in the symbol is the check digit, which is calculated automatically by our system.

United States publishers may obtain ISBN numbers from the ISBN Agency R.R. Bowker.

For detailed information and/or specification guides regarding Bookland EAN symbols and their use contact Book Industry Study Group.

The International ISBN Agency provides a comprehensive ISBN Users Manual in pdf format."

"The 5-digit add-on symbol generally is used to represent a price or sometimes for data determined by a publisher's internal control procedures.

When used to show pricing, the first digit of the add-on is a currency designator. A 5 represents US dollars.

The remaining four digits represent the suggested list price. Leading zeros are used for prices less than $10. The price designator 9999 is used when the price is greater than $99.98. Below are some examples:

PRICE in US Dollars 5-digit add-on
$5.00 50500
$29.95 52995
$129.00 59999
Unknown at time of publication 90000

It is required that the number 90000 be used when the publisher has no particular information to represent.

When the add-on is used for internal reasons, the publisher may choose any number between 90000 and 98999.

[[I'm kind of curious as to why (which reason) my book had an 'unknown 90000' add-on code, when the price of the book was placed directly on the back cover prior to publication (so I wouldn't think there would be 'no particular information to represent', and I'm not certain what is meant by 'internal reasons' (versus external)...looking at a few other PA books I've purchased, they all seem to have it...very strange.]]

Numbers between 99000 and 99999 have been reserved for book industry-wide use. The Book Industry Systems Advisory Committee (BISAC) already has assigned part of this range to the National Association of College Stores (NACS). NACS has exclusive use of the add-on numbers 99990 through 99999, and has chosen 99990 as their "used book" designator and 99991 for "desk copies.""

"If people ignore the facts thats one thing."

It's not that people are ignoring the facts...it's that certain businesses are wanting to squash the facts...and have become quite adept at doing so (at least to their own folks).

"But keeping the facts silent because it's better for your ego to warn about possible sexual content, please."

I guess I didn't understand this one...I have a feeling you're referring to Dave...so will pass it on by...

Big Daddy West
:hat

On a side note, I thought Navigator's Pavidians comment was pretty funny...

On a related note, I have to say that it sort of works both ways...folks outside the PA board may call names and such...but PA authors are just as guilty, both on their board, and when they tend to venture out to defend their publisher. I don't believe it to be the main reason folks don't venture off the PA board, I think that has more to do with hearing truths that are contrary to what you've been led to believe...

FM St George
02-15-2004, 08:09 AM
"I don't believe it to be the main reason folks don't venture off the PA board, I think that has more to do with hearing truths that are contrary to what you've been led to believe..."

actually, I put a lot of it down to intentional ignorance - you look on the boards any day and you'll see a flurry of request for legal information; website design, grammar assistance and editing help going back and forth - and these people don't usually have any qualifications beyond being in the PA stable! Instead of doing a little bit of research and moving out of the safety of the circle they depend on each other not only for reviews, but for everything from website design (usually at a price...) and so forth.

True, there are qualified authors at PA who will gracefully give their help but I shudder when I see a post asking for grammar help or legal interpretation et al... instead of punching the question into a search engine or going to one of the many writing sites, they depend on their own for help - and that's not good.

I surf to about three or four writing sites daily; I'm sure most authors do the same. I doubt most of the PA authors have anything bookmarked other than the PA boards and their fellow authors' websites. I doubt any of them subscribe to the magazines and publications that would answer a lot of their questions and I sincerely doubt that many of them want to hear anything detrimental about PA. They wallow in their ignorance and want to remain there because it's safe and secure and they can huddle with their friends and exchange Amazon reviews and not discuss things like no-return policies (which don't exists, obviously - Infocenter said so!) or overpricing of their books. Fear is hard to get past and these people are just plain afraid.

Dodgem James
02-15-2004, 10:52 AM
"James, you have every right to your opinions, and I hope your claims of having a lit agent and all are true - it is always good to see someone move up and succeed."

And I keep moving.

"Absent more substantiated proof, however, to me you look like another PA hack who's trying to tote the leash for his masters. Meiners must be proud."

And that's exactly why PA authors stay in their stable. It has nothing to do with the arguments, but everything to do with the treatment.

You know, some of us would actually just like to have a conversation about writing.

DJ

HConn
02-15-2004, 09:28 PM
You know, some of us would actually just like to have a conversation about writing.

Those are ongoing in the writing forums. This is the "Bewares" forums. You aren't going to have a writing conversation here.

emeraldcite
02-15-2004, 09:57 PM
DJ:
break loose from your chains and come visit in the novels section. plenty of writing talk going on there. everything bewares and everything pa is on the lower levels of the board. join us...join us...

[plays hypnotic music]

And we did make you happy...

Dodgem James
02-16-2004, 09:50 AM
"break loose from your chains and come visit in the novels section. plenty of writing talk going on there."

Inevitably, due to the mentality seen above, someone learns my book is out from PA and the insults start flying.

PA authors don't venture out to these boards because those who are against PA can't see that the authors are not their enemy.

I've learned my lesson and I don't venture where I am not welcome.

DJ

darbyj
02-16-2004, 06:02 PM
Canada James,

I don't think anyone here is AGAINST the authors of PA. I think they have a problem with those who feel the need to blindly defend PA, which, personally, I never saw you as doing.

Even before I felt I was lied to, I never felt the need to "defend my publisher". I don't think a publisher or any company you work for should need defending by its people. A publisher or company should stand on its own for its people.

I love the fact that anyone who says anything bad about PA is a "naysayer". That's great. Really slams those ears shut. Now anyone who doesn't agree with PA is "bad", "wrong", "trying to bring us down," "jealous", "has sour grapes", "is probably a disgruntled PA author". Add the "non banning" policy (where authors can read but not respond or defend themselves) and PA is a perfect society. Were I inside, I wouldn't want to come to this board either.

Just great.

Lisa

Ed Williams 3
02-16-2004, 08:29 PM
....and Mr. Marcus is reprimanding them per the below posting on the PA boards:

HBMarcus

2/15/2004
21:53:44
Subject: Linda and Tracy

Message:
What is your deal girls?
I got an email today saying we were being scuttled. When I check on it I see both of you singing the praises of mindsquat. I don't care what you do. It's none of my business.

I just want you to know that what is professed over there as a free forum was proven a joke a few months back. A few months back I made a bunch of unproven claims on their board and got thrown off their board. GUESS WHAT? That's exactly what they say about PA! I did it because I knew how the host would react. WHOOPS!

So, keep in mind that there are a few authors here who don't want our books diminished by what gets said over there. Keep in mind also that it's a free forum over there unless they're called upon to practice what they preach. So why fan their flame? You're only burning yourselves and us.

I think he is referring to the Mindsight Series boards, which, in my opinion, are an excellent source of writing and publishing information. I think HB has slipped a cog, now he's patrolling other boards, giving out reprimands, etc. Meiners must be slipping him a buck or two, or else he must not have a whole lot to do. I sure hope he enjoys PA, because he will never publish anyplace else of consequence, a real publisher would be an idiot to take him on given these types of tirades.

FM St George
02-16-2004, 09:43 PM
well, now that he's decided he's the PA monitor of All That's Good About PA...

considering most of the biggest complainers here are ex-PA authors, I find DJ's claim to be rather curious...

emeraldcite
02-16-2004, 10:20 PM
well, HB is always welcome here to come and discuss the merits of PA. We won't throw him off. but of course, his position would be weakened by a place where he could actually be forced to preach to anyone but the believers. he probably won't be back to talk with us anytime soon.

DaveKuzminski
02-16-2004, 11:04 PM
Well, gee, Dodgem James, you could counter those insults by releasing your sales numbers.

Besides, I thought you came to this board to hang out with real writers. Now you don't want to talk about writing? That seems strange.

astonwest
02-17-2004, 05:58 AM
www.publishamerica.com/cg...e/2414.htm (http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/2414.htm)

For those interested in following along (at least until it gets pulled...if it does)...

I was kind of curious why he went after Tracy as well...I saw the post in question (yes, he's referring to Mindsight), and all she did was thank someone for a good review...yes, others joined in later, but her post was rather innocent, I thought.

I wonder if he means "Lynn" instead of "Linda"...I didn't see any Linda person posting around there...

It's typical HB venom, however...how dare they even step foot over there...they're a bunch of whiners and losers, etc. (both of which he's used about Mindsight in multiple instances)...how dare they leave the confines of the PA board, where all is right with the world, and no one can upset the pirate ship...after all, "there are a few authors here who don't want our books diminished by what gets said over there."

Please......

(Hopefully it will stir up a nest of "do you mean we can't visit other writing boards?" commentary from the general population, leading to (voila!) more people realizing the troubles with PA...haha)

Big Daddy West
:hat

FM St George
02-17-2004, 06:00 AM
well, at least one of them has the balls to tell HB to back off...

*chuckle*

it's funny how he feels personally slighted if anyone dares to post elsewhere... like somehow it's upon his shoulders if PA succeeds or fails...

if it were a public company, I'd say he has stock....

:D

Ed Williams 3
02-17-2004, 09:31 AM
...PAvidian, the load you carry is a heavy, heavy one.....

FM St George
02-18-2004, 12:32 AM
well, it seems that HB has pulled a disappearing trick for the moment; letting that post die. Too bad, I was hoping for him to take Lynn on about the entire "defend PA or die!" mantra...

ah, well...

*chuckles*

DaveKuzminski
02-18-2004, 02:14 AM
The follow is quoted from the PublishAmerica forum as a service to writers who may wish to discuss the claims it makes:

Subject: E-mail from PA


Message:
I recently e-mailed PA, letting them know of the guestbook slammer. Here is their response:

We will remove the thread that you mention.
Unfortunately, there will always be a disgruntled clown or two who will say, or do, anything to try to make other people's lives as miserable as their own. We do not know why someone would spread rumors known to be untrue. What we do know is that this person can never silence the mass choir of happily published author voices that they see on our message board.
The disgruntled's is a lonely voice, and never has anyone made a credible complaint about us at any time, anywhere, about any issue. Our track record is impeccable.
You want to keep in mind that PublishAmerica is revolutionizing the publishing industry. Change always comes with an occasional detractor, because such is the nature of change. The same pathetic voice that you mentioned in your message also tried to disparage PublishAmerica's authors four or five years ago, with no effect whatsoever.
Rather the opposite has been, and continues to be, the case: last year more than twelve thousand authors knocked on our doors hoping to join you as PublishAmerica authors, and roughly twenty percent of them are passing our tests.
Today, with more than 6,000 authors whose books we are making available to a nationwide audience in rapid-fire fashion, we have become America's largest traditional publisher. We are making the dreams come true of people such as yourself, at no cost to them, in numbers greater than the world has ever seen!

Ok, slammers! Slam that! Just thought ya'll might want to read PA's response to me. Isn't it grand!

Cynthia Hickey
Pursued by Evil
publishedauthors.net/cynthiahickey

FM St George
02-18-2004, 04:47 AM
well, can't be talking about me - I've only been a PA victim for a year now...

*snicker*

emeraldcite
02-18-2004, 05:06 AM
you hear speeches like that coming from all kinds of people...zealots, dictators, etc.

i'll repeat:

"and we did make you happy."

vstrauss
02-18-2004, 05:13 AM
Ah, those lonely disgruntled's. My heart goes out to them.

- Victoria

astonwest
02-18-2004, 05:44 AM
"We do not know why someone would spread rumors known to be untrue."

Unless, of course, they happen to be about people who don't follow the PA party line...