View Full Version : Thank YOU, Thank YOU Soooo Much!!!

08-06-2004, 07:16 PM
I would like to thank you on my behalf and on the behalf of many PA authors for all your interest in the article I wrote for my e-zine and sent a press release out on. You are certainly getting us a lot of extra press coverage with all your negative comments. After all the world loves controversy and you are moving us to the top!!! Have a great day and keep talking about us, we love the attention. :)

Thanks T.A. Von Reiman

James D Macdonald
08-06-2004, 07:33 PM
Hi, T.A.

Good to see you here -- hope you look around, read a couple of the threads, and educate yourself.

Your article and press release remind me of this bit from Marlowe's Dr. Faustus

Faust: Come, I think hell's a myth.

Mephistopheles: Then think so, 'til experience change your mind.

A few threads you should read to start you out:

<a href="http://p197.ezboard.com/fabsolutewritefrm11.showMessage?topicID=209.topic" target="_new">More PA Woes, straight from the PA author's mouth</a>

<a href="http://p197.ezboard.com/fabsolutewritefrm11.showMessage?topicID=190.topic" target="_new">49 copies info only</a>

<a href="http://p197.ezboard.com/fabsolutewritefrm11.showMessage?topicID=234.topic" target="_new">Did PublishAmerica reject your manuscript?</a>

I do have some specific questions for you up in the "PA Woes" thread, or I can repeat them here, if it's more convenient to you.

If you have any questions, ask away. I'll be happy to provide the best information I have.

FM St George
08-06-2004, 07:39 PM
there's "good" attention and "bad" attention...

PA seems to get the "bad" more often than not... possibly due to the amount of untruths they tell their authors.

but, hey... just wait until you get that first royalty check!

you ARE spending a lot on publicity, right?

*sound of cash register*

James D Macdonald
08-06-2004, 11:59 PM
Terri --

To save you the trouble of looking for it, here's what I posted up in the "PA Woes" thread:


All Authors Are Created Equal...

Not really. Most people can't write at all. Only a very few write books that someone other than Mom would want to read.

Publish America is the number one book publisher in the nation...

By what criterion? It's neither the oldest, nor the newest, nor does it have the greatest number of authors, nor the greatest number of titles. It doesn't have the most award winners, nor the most best-sellers. It doesn't pay the highest royalties. How is it "number one"?

They place thousands of books on the shelves of standard brick and mortar bookstores everyday.

They don't place diddly-squat. Their authors, by means of endlessly badgering individual bookstore owners, manage to place one or two copies of their individual books (often on consignment) on bookstore shelves. Since PublishAmerica has thousands of authors that works out to thousands of copies ... but hardly something for PA to be proud of. The authors could have done the same with books they printed in their basements.

These are not low cost, poorly printed, or print on demand books...

No, certainly not low cost, and no one's ever said that Lightning Source didn't do a good job of printing, but these sure as heck are Print On Demand books.

...author’s [sic] that have signed contracts and earn standard royalties from this company ...

Standard royalties are based on cover or list price. PublishAmerica's royalties are based on net price. Therefore, these are not standard royalties.

They preferred the one on one supportive treatment they receive from Publish America.

Really? We've seen examples of the "one on one supportive treatment" here. Folks banned from their message boards, the "don't take that tone with us" emails (when they can be bothered to reply at all), the lack of support for publicity, the lack of support for even such a basic act as printing and shipping books.

They are told that Publish America is a vanity publishing company, even though the authors do not pay one penny to be published and to the contrary are paid royalties that are often higher than other publishing companies.

This is because PublishAmerica is a vanity publishing company. On the day the first book is printed, the author has paid $30, and received back only $1. Every book printed thereafter has a $5 vanity press fee attached. Sales are primarily to the authors themselves, and to their families and friends. As to the royalties being higher -- yes, I suppose you can find publishers that don't pay royalties at all. I'd question the word "often."

... there are thousands of Publish America books lining the shelves of standard book stores.

There may be thousands of books (based on the efforts of thousands of authors), but that's divided by thousands of stores. Lining the shelves? No. You'd be hard-pressed to find any PublishAmerica book in any randomly selected bookstore. This is due to the high cost of the books, the non-returnable nature of the books, the lack of publisher salesforce, and (let's whisper) the poor writing of many, many PublishAmerica books. Tell me, other than your own book, how many PA books are on the shelves of your nearest standard book store? What did you have to do to get your book shelved?

But even with all of these obstacles Publish America Authors continue to submit second, third, fourth and fifth books to this company. Surely there must be a reason for such loyalty.

Many of them submit a second book before the first ever comes out, while they're still in that happy glow of pre-production wishful thinking, when they imagine that everything will go the way PA suggests it will. The rest are desperate.

Could it be that these intelligent individuals know a good deal when they see one?

Or could it be that there's a sucker born every minute, and a fool and his money are soon parted?

This is not the first time that the written word and those that write and publish it have been judged and banned from certain circles, I believe Hemmingway [sic] was one of these cases.

Well, actually, no. (Though Hemingway did self-publish his first book. It was a collection of poems.)

Wouldn’t it be a shame if the next Hemmingway was one of Publish America’s authors and couldn’t get a review or interview because of it?

It would surely be a shame if Hemingway were to be a PA author -- it would mean that his books would be read by about 75 of his family and friends.

I did not sign my contract with them because I couldn’t get published anywhere else; they were the first publisher that I sent my work into [sic].

Then how do you know that you couldn't have gotten your work published by a legitimate press?

They are my publisher of choice and not my last resort and I assure you I am not the only author that feels this way.

Yet there are others, many others, for whom PublishAmerica was the last resort. PublishAmerica is the home of the desperate, the deluded, and the naive. It looks to me like Ms. Von Reiman is one of the deluded ones. Answer honestly now, T. A. -- how many copies of your book have sold? Did any sell to someone you don't know by name? How many copies are on the shelves of bookstores? How much money have you, personally, spent on your book? Is it greater than the "royalties" you've earned? What were those royalties as a percentage of cover price? How many copies have you personally bought? Are you aware that the author buying her own copies is the vanity press model of publishing?



Wait! Late-breaking news! T. A. Von Reisman's book, Storms of Destiny, hasn't come out yet! Nevertheless, Terri Von Reisman's second book, The Eyes of Horus has been accepted by PA. So the jury is still out -- maybe she's deluded, maybe she's naive. We'll see how she feels about PA a year from now.

08-07-2004, 01:28 AM

I would believe James Macdonald on this board WAY over someone I have never heard of before and so would most other newbies on this board.

I don't know what you were trying to prove with your post T.A. but here is a towel to wipe off the egg on your face.:ha

I never even heard of PA until I found this board. But I will tell you one thing.... I would hand write ever copy of my manuscript and sell it on the roadside before I would ever consider PA as a publisher. Just my opinion though!

But still, welcome to the board, where everybody learns something everyday.


XThe NavigatorX
08-07-2004, 04:05 AM

That was the most thorough, expertly-handed-down response to an article I've ever read on this or any message board. I actually pictured you handing her the platter with her ass on it.

And I had read once on a website that scifi and fantasy writers didn't have any talent! Wow.

Miss T.A. Von Reiman-

I wish you the very best of luck, but if you believe--if you truly believe--that what you've written is true, then I fear you're on a collision course with reality.

James is a full-time publishing professional, and he knows what he's talking about. I'm not just saying that because I have something against PA (I don't and I haven't dealt with them) or because I'm love with James (I'm not. Really. ;) ) I'm saying it because he's right.

You'll find it interesting that almost every person who defends PA for longer than 6 months outside of PA's board uses "I knew what I was getting myself into" as their defense (With one very loud, obnoxious exception, but he's a special case). Your stance is that PA is superior to the major publishing houses. (In fact you believe they're the number 1 publishing company in the world!) Unless you're really, really stubborn, that opinion is going to fade, and that's a fact.

Good luck.

08-07-2004, 05:09 AM
And I won't laugh or say I told you so when I receive your email later asking me to add you into the statistics at P&E.

FM St George
08-07-2004, 05:10 AM
wonder if she's ever going to come back...

08-07-2004, 03:41 PM
Hey, T.A., thanks so much for paying attention to the giant first post on this board! You know, the only post with exclamation points and capital letters asking people to not start NEW topics about PA. But hey, I know... you're a renegade. Brave new world and all. And you gotta stand out from the crowd somehow.

08-07-2004, 09:46 PM
I've seen some of the result of the negative (accurate) PA publicity you reference: Refusal of major newspapers to review PA published books, brick-n-mortar stores hanging up on PA authors, (as reported by PA authors on PA's site, prior to the post being jerked by the Head Pirate-Wots-In-Charge) and the increasing number of PA authors who hang out in forums such as the AOL Author's Lounge and bemoan their "7 years of bad luck."

All the baseless cheerleading in your original post doesn't do much to further your cause.

Oh, and Jenna:

But hey, I know... you're a renegade. Brave new world and all. And you gotta stand out from the crowd somehow.

They're not renegades. They're pirates. You know, Jolly Rodger, yo-ho-ho and all that stuff. :lol

Ed Williams 3
09-06-2004, 07:25 PM
....shilling for PA is not going to gain you the respect of the publishing world, in fact, it will gain you just the opposite. Attend a few writer's conferences and ask industry pros, and you'll be given the same info over and over again - PA is a POD vanity press, and they make their money by extracting it from the pockets of their authors. How else can they exist, as you will not find one PA title stocked nationally in any of the large chain bookstores. A book put out by PA is a trip to nowhere, and is not considered a legitimate publishing credit. The reference threads Jim cites are excellent, you would be wise to read them.

09-06-2004, 07:55 PM
Another PA thread? :head

09-08-2004, 02:25 AM
Irony alert:

www.publishamerica.com/cg...ws/385.htm (http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/reviews/385.htm)

coffeecrampreviews.tripod.com/id36.html (http://coffeecrampreviews.tripod.com/id36.html)

(edited 'cuz CCR changed the relevant page)

James D Macdonald
12-12-2004, 10:46 PM

This game is going into extra innings. Check out Terri's columns here (http://www.tavonreiman.net/id193.html), particularly the one from 09/09/04, <a href="http://www.tavonreiman.net/id125.html" target="_new">How I Chose My Publisher</a>.

After her <a href="http://www.prweb.com/releases/2004/8/prweb146480.htm" target="_new">Press Release</a> (All Authors Are Created Equal) that started this thread, I was pretty sure she was one of the folks who was heading for a nasty surprise. I wonder if the reality has arrived yet.

It seems as though she might be one of the PA authors who could have been traditionally published. I'm sorry for her.

12-12-2004, 11:12 PM
All I can is good luck to her. But one thing she wrote bothers me: "I wanted my book out as soon as possible, to look great on the bookshelves and I needed a publisher that was willing to work with my inexperience as an author."

I think that can be a trap for many new authors. The impatience, wanting to see their work in print as soon as possible. Also, what bookshelves. Are they aware that PA books are not on bookshelves? Did she realize that after reading all the posts?

Then she mentioned, in one breath, PA being a new publisher and that they have over 9000 authors. Hmmmm, I would be VERY sketical about a new company who has more authors than Random House...

Just my thought...

12-13-2004, 05:08 AM
This thread is great fun.
Personally, I still like to use the "I knew what I was getting into" excuse, which I did, but I find myself hardly arguing with the commentary found here. But hey, if you're lazy and you want to peddle books at local bars to pay your tab, it's amazing how just being a professional bar fly with a flare for the eloquent can extract 15 bucks from an unsuspecting book shopper after a couple Jager bombs. Really, that's almost a five dollar profit. Just imagine if my PA book was actually priced like a normal paperback. I could really get drunk!

12-14-2004, 12:23 AM
Looks like Coffee Camp Reviews disappeared entirely. Oh, well.

James D Macdonald
12-14-2004, 01:31 AM
Just imagine if my PA book was actually priced like a normal paperback. I could really get drunk!

You know, if you'd just had a local short-run printer run off the same number of copies, you could have priced them like a normal paperback.

12-18-2004, 01:49 AM
I wanted my book out as soon as possible, to look great on the bookshelves
I wonder if a PA author has ever been caught reverse-shoplifting; sneaking copies of their book into a bookstore.

James D Macdonald
12-18-2004, 04:19 AM
I wonder if a PA author has ever been caught reverse-shoplifting; sneaking copies of their book into a bookstore.

I don't know if any have been caught, but I'm morally certain that some have done it. I mean, if your guest bedroom is floor-to-ceiling with cartons of books you have to do something with them.

I know that I've seen one PA author suggest to another that one way to get their book "out there" was to donate copies to the Salvation Army.


I wish to emphasis, BTW, that I hold Ms. Von Reiman in the highest personal regard. Although I regret her business decision, I'm certain that she's written a dandy book. She should get the rights back and see if Doubleday or Penguin are still interested.


Update: <a href="http://www.tavonreiman.net/id63.html" target="_new">The Writer's Den</a>. Looks like reality has arrived, bearing gifts, with a big sprig of mistletoe in its hand.

aka eraser
12-25-2004, 10:45 PM
No schadenfreude from this corner. I admire her for her honesty and ability to roll with the punch.

Wonder if she's joined the Banned Club yet? I hope she wanders back over here and gets comfy.

12-25-2004, 11:04 PM
It won't take long for her to be banned once PA learns about her article at her site. I'm sure they know by now since there's a link here to her site.

In the meantime, I'm willing to remain patient for the day that HB spills everything he knows about PA. It probably won't be too long to wait, either. He'll flip before he takes the fall with Meiners, Clopper, and Prathers.

Jon Michaels
12-26-2004, 01:15 AM

Actually everyone's been strangely quiet about it. I didn't expect too much but I thought the banning at least would happen, which is why I didn't mention PA myself until she was ready for it.

I do know a few authors have responded quite favorably, in private (where they'll remain), agreeing with what's been said. I suppose they know that, like you all here, it's not the authors with whom we have issues.


12-28-2004, 12:16 AM
*Finds some residual graciousness behind the Christmas tree.*

I'm sorry she couldn’t avoid the reality of PA. Since she has the means to reach a lot of writers who could fall into PA’s trap, I hope she will now help steer them away.

12-28-2004, 06:41 AM
Looks like Coffee Camp Reviews disappeared entirely. Oh, well.

The home page is still available at coffeecrampreviews.tripod.com/ (http://coffeecrampreviews.tripod.com/)

However, the page seems to be quite slow. And the warning link leads back to the homepage rather than to the PA warning. I hope they didn't take it down because of threats or bullies or anything like that. :(

12-30-2004, 05:51 AM
Well, there's the problem: I was searching for Coffee Camp, not Cramp. :rolleyes

But it's a relief that CCR is still alive and kicking.

James D Macdonald
12-30-2004, 11:55 AM
Coffee cramp is when you go swimming after drinking coffee at Coffee Camp.

James D. Macdonald
07-27-2005, 05:46 PM
Folks who are looking for T. A. von Reiman -- she's expanded her site. The messageboard there is decent: http://www.tavonreiman.net/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi