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View Full Version : PublishAmerica breached my contract with them.



authorX
01-28-2007, 11:46 AM
I was going to be published by them, but at the last moment they emailed me and told me my novella was beyond editorial repair. when they state that they will edit your work if it is needed or at least help you in doing so. I sort of figured they were a scam. Can I do something about them breaching a signed contract?

Mac H.
01-28-2007, 12:03 PM
Don't worry.

1. You figured out they were a scam.
2. They made an excuse and stopped dealing with you.

It is well known from past employees that bad writing is NOT a valid reason fro refusing to publish. So their claim that your work is 'beyond editorial repair' is nonsense ... they just want an excuse to not work with you, now that they know that they won't get any money from you.

You don't want their help.

Good luck,

Mac

Saundra Julian
01-28-2007, 12:25 PM
OMG, just be thrilled at how it all turned out!

Arkie
01-28-2007, 06:34 PM
I expect they calculated for some reason that you would not take advantage of their initial discount offer once the book came out. That is the offer where the author buys 50 or 60 books, or whatever the number they have now set, for $500-$600 dollars. Your purchase would have assured them of having gotten a return on their initial investment of setting up the book and printing cost. The author's purchase combined with the initial sale to the "family and friends" listing the author provides is how they make their money. It has nothing to do with editing, which in their case is running a grammar/spell checker, if that.

MMo
01-28-2007, 06:44 PM
Do you have the signed contract in hand? Or just an e-mail offer?

Frankly, I'd be overjoyed to be out, but a signed contract _is_ binding.
At the very least, I'd make them give me a signed release if in fact the contract has been signed.

MMcC
01-28-2007, 10:58 PM
It would certainly be lovely to see them sued for breech of contract.

James D. Macdonald
01-28-2007, 11:01 PM
Check to see if they have a "we reserve the right to unilaterally cancel this contract at any time" clause in there.

Maybe what happened is that Miranda came flaming out of her office, her ratty old sneakers flying, and screeched, "There's a sting manuscript out there! Cancel every book we have under contract! Right now!"

Bartholomew
01-28-2007, 11:35 PM
Check to see if they have a "we reserve the right to unilaterally cancel this contract at any time" clause in there.

Maybe what happened is that Miranda came flaming out of her office, her ratty old sneakers flying, and screeched, "There's a sting manuscript out there! Cancel every book we have under contract! Right now!"

Do the sting manuscripts actually hurt publish america?

Silver King
01-29-2007, 12:04 AM
Can I do something about them breaching a signed contract?
You should be thanking your lucky stars. Seeking retribution now is like chasing a truck that narrowly missed striking you while you ran wildly in the middle of the road.

rihannsu
01-29-2007, 12:18 AM
Maybe what happened is that Miranda came flaming out of her office, her ratty old sneakers flying, and screeched, "There's a sting manuscript out there! Cancel every book we have under contract! Right now!"

Followed by the sound of 25 paper shredders going off at once? :ROFL:

Tsu Dho Nimh
01-29-2007, 01:25 AM
I was going to be published by them, but at the last moment they emailed me and told me my novella was beyond editorial repair. when they state that they will edit your work if it is needed or at least help you in doing so. I sort of figured they were a scam. Can I do something about them breaching a signed contract?

Count your blessings!

James D. Macdonald
01-29-2007, 07:04 PM
Do the sting manuscripts actually hurt publish america?

I'm sure they must. Perhaps they still get the same number of manuscripts, but I have to believe that the number of actually-readable manuscripts has gone down, down, down.

Ken Schneider
01-29-2007, 09:26 PM
when they state that they will edit your work if it is needed or at least help you in doing so. I sort of figured they were a scam.

Every publisher worth their salt will assign an editor to a writer's work.

That in no way make a publisher a scam if they promise to edit, it's a given.

Now, PA more than likely decided to end their relationship with you because they didn't want to spend an inordinate amount of time looking through the work.

That being said, and the recent sting ms/s, it may be that they have been forced to take a closer look at what is submitted. That makes me smile. Though, I'm not happy for the poor saps that work at PA, and must read the submissions, and whose eyeballs will roll on the floor.

Time is money for PA, and spending too much time on one work means they can't run as many ms's through the mill as they'd like.

spike
01-29-2007, 10:33 PM
Every publisher worth their salt will assign an editor to a writer's work.

That in no way make a publisher a scam if they promise to edit, it's a given.

Now, PA more than likely decided to end their relationship with you because they didn't want to spend an inordinate amount of time looking through the work.

That being said, and the recent sting ms/s, it may be that they have been forced to take a closer look at what is submitted. That makes me smile. Though, I'm not happy for the poor saps that work at PA, and must read the submissions, and whose eyeballs will roll on the floor.

Time is money for PA, and spending too much time on one work means they can't run as many ms's through the mill as they'd like.

And that's what makes the sting mss worthwhile. I think once a quarter we should announce a new sting, even if there isn't one. Keep them looking over their shoulders.

rihannsu
01-29-2007, 11:07 PM
And that's what makes the sting mss worthwhile. I think once a quarter we should announce a new sting, even if there isn't one. Keep them looking over their shoulders.

I think announcing a sting will get them scared, but if there isn't an acutal submission that they can check they'll know at once that it's a scam and the whole idea could lose credibility.

Arkie
01-29-2007, 11:28 PM
I see desperation in this weeks' new offerings. They listed 87 down from 90 last week. Fifteen were poetry running at $12.95 and up. (They seem to be running a lot more poetry than they used to.)

Interestingly enough, one was 165 pages of receipes for $16.95, (sounds like a steal),and there was one with 154 pages of "dirty jokes," for $16.95 (I didn't think they accepted off-color material.)

They listed five Sci-Fi, and I didn't think they did that genre.

The rest was a mixture of Christian/spiritual, childrens, young adults, a few military and a couple of memoirs, and the rest might be classified as popular fiction. I would say commericial fiction, but PA doesn't do commericial fiction--no market.

Tina
01-30-2007, 01:04 AM
I think announcing a sting will get them scared, but if there isn't an acutal submission that they can check they'll know at once that it's a scam and the whole idea could lose credibility.

Apparently, because PA's acceptance standards are soooo low they have no way of knowing which manuscripts are just plain bad and which might be a sting. Ha ha.

Tsu Dho Nimh
01-30-2007, 01:08 AM
I think announcing a sting will get them scared, but if there isn't an acutal submission that they can check they'll know at once that it's a scam and the whole idea could lose credibility.

The whole idea is to keep them off-balance. Sometime's there's a sting, sometimes there isn't ... like Russian roulette.

rihannsu
01-30-2007, 02:54 AM
I'm all for torturing PA, but if the bluff is made and called so many times they'll just shrug off any threats about stings already sitting in their offices.

And where's the fun in that. ;)

Ol' Fashioned Girl
01-30-2007, 03:00 AM
I'm all for torturing PA, but if the bluff is made and called so many times they'll just shrug off any threats about stings already sitting in their offices.

And where's the fun in that. ;)

As soon as they let their guard down, we hit 'em with ten stings all at once and they accept them all. ;)

Patricia
01-30-2007, 04:00 AM
Maybe what happened is that Miranda came flaming out of her office, her ratty old sneakers flying, and screeched, "There's a sting manuscript out there! Cancel every book we have under contract! Right now!"

I think you got it just right, Jim. I got the visual. :)

We've been pretty vocal about stings before the fact, lately. If nothing else, it will perhaps make them "read" some of the submission--maybe.

Personally, I think we should be quiet about any stings untill they are a done deal. Then we can make them wet their pants by making the announcement.

PVish
01-30-2007, 04:35 AM
I just visited the PA New Releases, and—while a couple of them sounded pretty good—several sounded like stings to me. For instance, some of jokes quoted from the "Fun and Filthy Jokebook, Part II" have appeared on the Internet, so the author sure as heck didn't write all of them. Could this be another copy and paste book?

"A Bittersweet Nirvana of Love and Disdain in Poetic Form" sure sounds like a sting title. According to the author, "Basically it’s thoughtless thoughts in my timeless stupidity. Hopefully someone might actually read and enjoy it. Only time will tell." (Couldn't this blurb also apply to "Atlanta Nights" and "Crack of Death"?

Another poetry book: "The poems inside will show you just how lonely, depraved, hurt and mad people really are on the inside. Take the journey and discover your life is not so far from the lives of the people in the poems."

How does PA tell the stings from the non-stings?

CatSlave
01-30-2007, 04:46 AM
How does PA tell the stings from the non-stings?

With poetry, it seems that just about anything goes, as long as you don't repeat yourself.
How can you define a poem?
One man's poem could be another man's psychobabble.

tlblack
01-30-2007, 04:51 AM
How does PA tell the stings from the non-stings?


I don't imagine they can unless they actually read the manuscripts. It would be interesting to see one "sting" manuscript make it all the way to book form and the author copies received. Then there would be proof of it other than just a signed contract. PA can always say... "we changed our minds right before the print." Once there is a sting manuscript in book form, there would be no denying they published it.

Silver King
01-30-2007, 04:57 AM
I think Atlanta Nights made it to book form. In fact, I'm pretty sure a copy was auctioned off on AW recently.

Oh, here (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=51958) it is.

Thump
01-30-2007, 04:59 AM
Good for you!

Now, your real writing career can begin without having gone through any of the bad stuff! Go get it, tiger! :D

Oh! I so want to buy Atlanta Nights. Don't know if I'd go as far as reading it but I sure wanna buy it :D I read the first chapter or so and it was hilarious. Pity I can't buy on the internet -_-*

Tsu Dho Nimh
01-30-2007, 05:11 AM
I think Atlanta Nights made it to book form. In fact, I'm pretty sure a copy was auctioned off on AW recently.

Oh, here (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=51958) it is.

It did make it to book form ... on LuLu

tlblack
01-30-2007, 05:27 AM
I've seen Atlanta Nights on lulu.com and read an excerpt from it on another website. (lmao) What I meant was to let PA publish one into book form. A signed contract tells a lot, but seeing a sting manuscript through to it's publication would just add frosting to the cake.

PA can make up any lie they want to if a manuscript gets contracted and then is shown to have been a sting. They could say they fired the editor or any other lie they could make sound good. After it is in book form there would be no way they could deny having published it. Just MHO. Worth about $.02.

James D. Macdonald
01-30-2007, 06:57 AM
The hardcopy Atlanta Nights (http://www.lulu.com/content/102550) is from Lulu.com.

Leva
01-30-2007, 07:43 AM
The whole idea is to keep them off-balance. Sometime's there's a sting, sometimes there isn't ... like Russian roulette.

Given the quality of the submissions to PA, they may have trouble figuring out which story is the scam even if they know there's one out there.

(My .02 is that you guys ought to see what happens if you take Atlanta Nights, slap a different first chapter on it, and resubmit it. Bet they accept it again.)

Ken Schneider
01-31-2007, 05:10 PM
I think Atlanta Nights made it to book form. In fact, I'm pretty sure a copy was auctioned off on AW recently.

Oh, here (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=51958) it is.

Atalanta Nights wan't published through PA, but Lulu. You don't want to follow through fully on a sting script. The letter of acceptance and contract in the mail is good enough.

Patricia
01-31-2007, 05:48 PM
Given the quality of the submissions to PA, they may have trouble figuring out which story is the scam even if they know there's one out there.


That isn’t necessarily true. There have been, and are some very good submissions to PA. I’ve read some of them. The truth is PA never read the submissions. At most, they just scan over the first few pages. The result being that some very good works were lost and got flushed down the tubes of the ex-pa not a real publisher super slush pile

brainstorm77
01-31-2007, 06:24 PM
I'd say you lucked out!

James D. Macdonald
01-31-2007, 06:51 PM
That isn’t necessarily true. There have been, and are some very good submissions to PA. I’ve read some of them.

Not every book that PA publishes is unreadable. It's just that most of them are. They don't screen for quality, and they treat a good book the same as they treat any other.