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Ed Williams 3
11-20-2004, 09:20 PM
...email me at:

ed3@ed-williams.com

...for it.

James D Macdonald
11-20-2004, 09:54 PM
The second part of the article wasn't as hard-hitting as the first, and didn't have an author's name on the by-line (it's listed as "Staff.")

It relies too much on what Prather has to say, without checking up on her words. I do wish they'd checked it out more completely.

DeePower
11-21-2004, 06:29 AM
It' s dated November 22 and is a summarization of the first two articles with a bit of new stuff added.

Dee
www.BrianHillAndDeePower.com (http://www.BrianHillAndDeePower.com)

CarryTheCross
11-21-2004, 08:55 AM
So the supposedly hard-hitting article we'd all hoped for basically gets turned into fluff. Incredible. These guys continue to keep winning, and it seems there's nothing for it but watch them do it. Wow.

DaveKuzminski
11-21-2004, 10:28 AM
Perhaps all that is needed is for one New York writer to get his state's Attorney General's attention. Then something just might happen.

Again, I recommend that all PA writers contact their own state Attorney Generals and ask them to apply pressure on Maryland's AG to do the right thing.

vstrauss
11-21-2004, 11:00 PM
I posted a response at PW to this article, for all the good it will do. Here 'tis:

I'm a staff member of Writer Beware (www.writerbeware.org), (http://www.writerbeware.org),) a publishing industry watchdog group that collects information and provides warnings about questionable publishers, literary agents, and others.

Writer Beware has been receiving complaints about PublishAmerica since the company (previously known as Erica House, a print vanity publisher that charged thousands of dollars to publish--it's no accident that PublishAmerica's business model is so reminiscent of vanity publishing) started its print-on-demand operation in 1999. These many complaints reflect the same issues identified by the unhappy writers quoted in this article; we're also aware of documented complaints that PublishAmerica's conduct breached its own publishing contract (despite PublishAmerica's denial that it had ever done so). We've heard from writers who've been harassed and intimidated for speaking out, and have ourselves been the subject of a PublishAmerica-sponsored smear campaign.

On its website (which is devoted less to selling the company's books to readers than to pitching the company's publishing service to writers), PublishAmerica makes numerous misleading statements designed to play on the inexperience of aspiring authors--for instance, claiming that despite its exclusive use of digital technology "PublishAmerica is NOT in any way a POD...In our world, POD is vanity publishing, and PublishAmerica is no vanity publisher, by any stretch of the imagination." Also misleading: in touting the company's "substantial retail presence", Miranda Prather fails to mention that PublishAmerica (like the POD vanities from which it tries so hard to distinguish itself) offers short discounts and doesn't allow returns. Far from being "what the market will bear", PublishAmerica's book prices are among the highest of any digitally-based publisher--sometimes two or three times more expensive than comparable books from commercial publishers, yet another disincentive for booksellers.

PublishAmerica's claims of selectiveness are also exaggerated. We know of several deliberately unpublishable manuscripts submitted to the company to test its editorial screening process that have received contract offers.

We don't have any quarrel with the business niche PublishAmerica has established for itself, as a vanity publisher that doesn't charge an upfront fee. Like Kate St. Amour, however, we'd like it to be honest about what it is and does, and to show toward its authors the basic respect and service that any responsible business offers its customers.

- Victoria Strauss

Ed Williams 3
11-23-2004, 10:20 PM
...and all I can say is, well done.

:D

CarryTheCross
11-23-2004, 10:27 PM
Ditto to what Ed said, Victoria. Sadly, though , it appears PA is unstoppable. I really thought the PW article would turn the trick and raise a furor, but these guys appear to be Teflon. Decidedly discouraging...oh well.

John R.

DeePower
11-24-2004, 05:35 AM
More later...... later next week.

I think I shall post a rebuttal to Mr. Mike Hill's post at

www.publishersweekly.com/...er_id=1307 (http://www.publishersweekly.com/index.asp?layout=talkBackCommentsFull&articleid=CA481863&talk_back_header_id=1307)

Dee
www.BrianHillAndDeePower.com (http://www.BrianHillAndDeePower.com)

James D Macdonald
11-24-2004, 07:21 AM
Over at Publishers Weekly (http://www.publishersweekly.com/index.asp?layout=talkBackCommentsFull&articleid=CA481863&talk_back_header_id=1307) Mike Hill says:
<BLOCKQUOTE>Publish America does everything they say they will do according to their contract. The authors who contacted you are nothing but a bunch of whiners who are upset that their book didn't make them rich. PA charged them nothing to publish their books and puts no pressure on them to buy books. PA has given many of these authors the rights to their book back--which they don't have to do--before their signed contracts ended. If these authors books are so great then why hasn't a major publisher picked them up? I'm sorry Mr. Zeitchik but you've been suckered by a bunch of losers. And because of your naivete you've soiled the reputation of a publisher that has published a lot of author's books that if not for them would never have seen the light of day. And again, they do it at no cost to the author. </BLOCKQUOTE>

Let's overlook the standard PublishAmerica "whiners who are upset that their book didn't make them rich" line, and concentrate on checkable facts. (Anyone who gets into writing as a get-rich-quick scheme is, well, not too observant.)

No one is saying even that these particular authors' books are great -- only that authors in general shouldn't be tricked into a vanity publishing scheme masquerading as a traditional publishing deal.

"Publish America does everything they say they will do according to their contract," Mike says, ignoring the fact that PA's contract is seriously non-standard and author-unfriendly, as documented by HapiSofi (and others) here (http://p197.ezboard.com/fabsolutewritefrm11.showMessageRange?topicID=209.t opic&start=1161&stop=1180) and here (http://p197.ezboard.com/fabsolutewritefrm11.showMessageRange?topicID=209.t opic&start=1181&stop=1200). Let's also ignore the false and misleading advertising PA does to induce authors to submit their works and sign that contract in the first place.

"PA charged them nothing to publish their books and puts no pressure on them to buy books," Mike says, even though the authors all had to buy their own copyrights for $30 each, and, in the last year alone PA has sent no less than six emails (http://p197.ezboard.com/fabsolutewritefrm11.showMessageRange?topicID=209.t opic&start=3201&stop=3203) to their authors, each one with a high-pressure sales pitch to buy their own books -- the most recent one just last Thursday (18 November).

Vantage and Dorrance also publish books that, "if not for them, would never have seen the light of day." Publishing unpublishable books isn't anything to boast about if you're a traditional publisher. It's business as usual if you're a vanity press. Mike, you've just convicted PublishAmerica out of your own mouth.

Here's the way PA's plan works: They've made production so cheap (no editing, for example) and set the cover prices so high (typically $19.95 for a slender trade-size paperback), that they can make a profit off the number of books (typically under a hundred) that authors will predictably buy themselves to sell to their families and friends.

PA books aren't shelved in physical bookstores for three main reasons:
1) No return policy
2) Short discount through distributors
3) Non-competitive cover prices.

Other reasons why they aren't shelved include:
1) No catalog
2) No salesforce
3) No advertising to the trade
4) No major reviews prior to publication
5) No Library of Congress CIP data.

Look at the total sales for the year to date on the twenty books that PA has advertised in the New York Times Book Review as their monthly best sellers:

Ingram reports that those twenty books had, on the day their ads were printed, 31 sales among them through normal trade channels (one book by itself counted for 19 of those sales). If those are PA's best-selling books, just imagine how badly their worst-selling books must be doing.

Question for you, Mike: How many of your own books have you bought? How many of your books have sold to people you don't know by name, or who you weren't looking in the eye at the moment the cash changed hands?

Folks, I rest my case.

James D Macdonald
11-24-2004, 07:39 AM
Oh -- and here's something else interesting ... if Amazon is to be believed, no one named "Mike" or "Michael" Hill is a PublishAmerica author.

If Google is to be believed, neither has anyone named "Mike" or "Michael" Hill posted on the PA message boards.

(There is a Mike Hill whose AFTER WHITENESS : UNMAKING AN AMERICAN MAJORITY came out from New York University Press in 2004, but I doubt he's the same guy.)

Can someone help me out here? Who's Mike Hill?

vstrauss
11-24-2004, 08:21 AM
>>Can someone help me out here? Who's Mike Hill?<<

We may not have heard Mike's name before, but his spiel is mysteriously familiar.

- Victoria

James D Macdonald
11-24-2004, 08:52 AM
If anyone wants to use my comments above as a basis for a post to the PW board, they have my permission to do so.

James D Macdonald
11-24-2004, 07:00 PM
Meanwhile, back at Publishers Weekly (http://www.publishersweekly.com/index.asp?layout=talkBackCommentsFull&articleid=CA481863&talk_back_header_id=1307), we read :

<Blockquote>Submitted by: Carl Ross (pistachionutlover@lycos.com)
11/23/2004 10:10:28 PM PT
Location: New York
Occupation: Publishing

I'm sure the "traditional publishers" (whatever that means) are glad these whiners have posted using their real names and emails so they will be sure to toss any manuscripts, queries or proposals they submit straight in the trash. Ignorance is too light a word to describe the garbage these whinesters are spewing. One person is upset that she spent nearly $600 to market her book yet to date has received about $100 in royalties. What kind of argument is this? What did she expect for a whopping $600? It takes hundreds of thousands to promote a book properly. If it's not stated in the contracts you whiners signed that Publish America is going to spend X amount of monies on promotion then don't expect it. Here's another clue: ALL PUBLISHERS EXPECTS ITS AUTHORS TO HELP PROMOTE. And for all you who say that PA hasn't paid proper royalties because you know your friends bought your books. Chew on this. Amazon sell books buy individual sellers on the same page that it advertises the books for purchase via them. How do you know your friends aren't buying these books, usually at a reduce price, and not the full priced books through Amazon? If they are then you won't get any royalties from these sells. Duh!!!!!!!!!!! Publish America has done nothing but give these whiners an opportunity that nobody else--until them--would give them. And for that, these so called authors whine and complain about things they know absolutely nothing about. Usually the amount of promotion is tied to the amount of an advance an author receives. Publish America gives a $1 token advance. How much promotion did they think PA was going to give them for a buck? The people who are posting here are the same whiners who post on the Mindsight Forum. A forum set up for the sole purpose of criticizing PA, despite what its owner says. </BLOCKQUOTE>

We see that "Carl" is hitting the "whiners" gong pretty hard. We also see that for someone who claims to be working in publishing in New York, "Carl" doesn't have a really good grasp of the English language. The audience for PW is publishing professionals, guy. They notice things like grammar and spelling.

"If it's not stated in the contracts you whiners signed that Publish America is going to spend X amount of monies on promotion then don't expect it."

"Carl" probably hasn't seen a real publishing contract in his life. The contract that I signed just yesterday (with a major New York publisher for a nice five-figure sum, thank you very much) didn't say a word about dollar amounts that the publisher would spend on publicity. I don't recall any publishing contract that did. That's because real publishers are assumed to want to sell their books to the public -- promotion is their lookout and goes without saying. When PublishAmerica claims to be a "traditional" publisher, they're implicitly claiming that they do the same sort of publicity and marketing that the real publishers do.

But wait! There's more!

Did you notice this particular typo? "If they are then you won't get any royalties from these sells." [Emphasis mine.]

Now where have I see that particular error recently?

Ah, yes! Here: "Those authors who are successfully marketing their ebook and acquiring sells will be referred to PublishAmerica for immediate consideration for publication." [Again, emphasis mine.] That's over at the TomeToaster (http://onlinepublishingbookstore.com/index.html) homepage.

Who or what is TomeToaster (http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2004/11/emw179548.htm)? It's a startup ebook company, run by the fellow (http://brucegoldwell.com/books/) who wrote Publish It Promote It Get Rich!

Mr. Goldwell thinks that "This is a unique opportunity for authors which allows them to test market their book at little or no cost, prove their ability to promote and market their book and open the door to a publisher that can get their book on bookshelfs across the nation." [Emphasis his, this time.]

Not that "opening the door" to PublishAmerica was particularly difficult to start with.

But I laugh, I snort, I chuckle. Here, at long last, is the guy who thinks that publishing his book with PA will make him rich. We'll see how he feels about that a year from now.

Sher2
11-24-2004, 08:26 PM
Ah, yes! Here: "Those authors who are successfully marketing their ebook and acquiring sells will be referred to PublishAmerica for immediate consideration for publication." [Again, emphasis mine.] That's over at the TomeToaster homepage.

Who or what is TomeToaster? It's a startup ebook company, run by the fellow who wrote Publish It Promote It Get Rich!

Mr. Goldwell thinks that "This is a unique opportunity for authors which allows them to test market their book at little or no cost, prove their ability to promote and market their book and open the door to a publisher that can get their book on bookshelfs across the nation." [Emphasis his, this time.]

Not that "opening the door" to PublishAmerica was particularly difficult to start with.

But I laugh, I snort, I chuckle. Here, at long last, is the guy who thinks that publishing his book with PA will make him rich. We'll see how he feels about that a year from now.

People masquerading as writers, attempting to tell others how it's done, who've sold themselves a load of manure, never cease to amaze me. A year from now, after he's received a couple of $10.00 royalty checks, he'll probably think he's hit the big time.

vstrauss
11-24-2004, 09:29 PM
Gee, given the use of capitals, exclamation points, and the word "spew", I sorta thought ol' Carl might be our good friend H.B.

- Victoria

DaveKuzminski
11-24-2004, 09:35 PM
Naw, too literate to be HB.

Zazopolis
11-24-2004, 10:58 PM
Wah hah! Thank you for morning chuckles!

James D Macdonald
11-25-2004, 08:27 PM
"Carl Ross," who claims to work in publishing in New York, continues:

<blockquote>Submitted by: Carl Ross (pistachionutlover@lycos.com)
11/24/2004 12:27:01 PM PT

How many of most publishers books can be found in bookstores across America? Not many. The major publishers pretty much own the space in bookstores because they put money behind the books they put out which draws customers into their stores. To think any small publisher is going to get your book much presence in bookstores is being both naive and dumb. There is no definition for "traditional publisher" that applies to all publishers. People can pretty much run their businesses the way they like to as long as they adhere to the law and their contracts. Only authors that can't write are concern about editing. Good writers don't want their work edited. I really don't understand this complaint. Most royalties to authors are low. Only a small percentage of writers get rich or live good off the royalties from their books. If you're looking to make a lot of money than writing books is not the best way to achieve that goal. None of you complainers and whiners has suffered any real losses. And if you had done any research or had an agent you would have known that Publish America was not Random House. Be thankful you got a royalty check from Publish America cause most authors never see one and often times never even see a statement. The royalties never seem to be enough to recoup the initial small advance. </BLOCKQUOTE>

and

<BLOCKQUOTE>Submitted by: Carl Ross (pistachionutlover@lycos.com)
11/24/2004 7:50:03 PM PT

Tim and others. A publisher do not have to aggresively market their books. All they are obligated to do is to make them available to the public unless a stated dollar amount of an author tour is detailed in the contract. It's all about the contract. Something most of you Mindsight Whiners (and that's where all these negative comments are coming from) know nothing about. If you guys where writers and not whiners you'll be writing more books instead of all this bitchin' but of course you're not. Writing books and placing them with other publishers; and when you PA contracts expired reacquiring the rights and querying that book to another publisher. You'll be surprise how fast time flies when you're busy doing something you like (writing); but you guys aren't writers. Most of you wrote one or two badly conceived and written messes and struggled to get a publisher until PA came along. It won't be any different for any of you if you found another publisher. None of your books will sell many copies. Hell, even your family and friends don't purchase and read the crappola you guys spew to paper. And most of you whiners and complainers think you're too good to do one iota of promo in your own behalf. You complain that PA don't respond fast, well a major editor at a publishing house would hang up in your face if you show yourself to be a bug. THERE IS NO DEFINITION FOR TRADITIONAL PUBLISHER. </BLOCKQUOTE>

Poor guy, unaware that he's talking to an audience of publishing professionals over there. Alas, if he were aware of his audience he'd undoubtedly be a better writer.

It strikes me that "Carl" is probably one of the happy authors somewhere between the happy day when the book is accepted and the happy day when the author's copies arrive. He hasn't yet reached the less-happy day when he enters his first bookstore to try get his book shelved, and the utterly miserable day when he gets his first royalty check. He's parroting the PA party line. What this gives us is an inside view of a PA author's impression of what exactly it is that PA is and does, and what a PA author thinks the rest of the publishing industry is. We've seen this before: <a href="http://www.prweb.com/releases/2004/8/prweb146480.htm" target="_new">All Authors Are Created Equal</a> by the indefatigable Terri Von Rieman, for example. It's good to see that they're still beating the same drum.

True enough, there is no legal definition of what a "traditional publisher" is -- that's what lets PublishAmerica describe itself as a "traditional publisher." Still, we all know what a traditional publisher is and does -- they're the guys who get books onto bookshelves in bookstores or onto wire-rack spinners down at the bus station. They're the ones who publish the books we read, who publish the authors we've heard of.

Line-by-line time.

How many of most publishers [sic] books can be found in bookstores across America? Not many.

Most publishers don't publish books. Most publish newsletters, magazines, catalogs, newspapers, and other material unsuited to bookstore distribution. Others publish textbooks, legal/medical/engineering reference books, or maps that aren't meant for bookstore distribution. Vanity publishers' books aren't found in bookstores. Among the remainder, the publishers who print trade books, the novels, the how-to books, the recipe books, the diet books ... those publishers' books are found in bookstores across America. They're out there hustling to get their books onto the shelves. They're trying to get the whole print run out there, because it isn't earning them any money sitting in a warehouse. The ones that the public buys are reprinted, the rest are replaced by others in the never-ending quest to sell authors' books to readers.

The major publishers pretty much own the space in bookstores because they put money behind the books they put out which draws customers into their stores.

The major publishers don't own the stores. But tell me, "Carl," are you claiming here that the major publishers do promote their books?

To think any small publisher is going to get your book much presence in bookstores is being both naive and dumb.

Naive and dumb? And this from "Carl"? Goodness!

Small publishers get small presence in bookstores (which is why they're small publishers). But still, they get their books onto shelves. Local and regional publishers get their books into local and regional bookstores. How do they do that? Through promotion and marketing. Is that spelled out in their contracts? No. There's no need to do it, since that's the business they're in -- selling books. They don't leave the distribution and marketing in the hands of amateurs.

There is no definition for "traditional publisher" that applies to all publishers.

This is true, and that's what's keeping Willem, Larry, and Miranda out of jail -- for now.

People can pretty much run their businesses the way they like to as long as they adhere to the law and their contracts.

Laws like the ones against false advertising? Like the ones against printing books to which you don't own the rights? Like the contractual requirement to pay royalties, however pitiable, that the contract specifies? Those laws and contracts?

Only authors that [sic] can't write are concern [sic] about editing.

!!!

Good writers don't want their work edited.

!!!!

I really don't understand this complaint.

You know, "Carl," I believe you.

Most royalties to authors are low.

I'm having a hard time understanding what you're saying here, "Carl." Are you talking about the royalty rate, or about the size of the royalty checks?

Royalty rates from traditional publishers are based on cover price. Unlike PA -- which not only has a low 8% rate, but bases it on net. The checks can range from small to quite large. And the traditional publishers have paid advances, usually in the multiple thousands of dollars, to the authors. Compare that to PublishAmerica.

Only a small percentage of writers get rich or live good [sic] off the royalties from their books.

True enough. Very few writers go into this business in order to get rich, either. For most it's a hobby that pays for itself, or a profitable second job. But tell me -- where's this obsession with "getting rich" coming from? The people who are complaining about PA aren't claiming that PA didn't make them rich -- they're claiming that PA mislead them into signing a contract based on the belief that PublishAmerica was a real publisher, a publisher with a bookstore presence, a publisher that played fair, a non-vanity press.

If you're looking to make a lot of money than [sic] writing books is not the best way to achieve that goal.

Again true, but again that isn't the complaint.

None of you complainers and whiners has [sic] suffered any real losses.

Is your argument here that it's only a small scam? Or are you claiming that PublishAmerica prints worthless books?

And if you had done any research or had an agent you would have known that Publish America was not Random House.

What, the authors would have found out that PublishAmerica is a vanity press beforehand, rather than after the fact? Legitimate agents don't send material to PA, true enough. But this is blaming the victim for falling for a professional con-artist's spiel. Con men go to jail every day, even though they too might argue that if the little old ladies had only done some research they would have found out that the stock being touted was worthless.

Be thankful you got a royalty check from Publish America cause [sic] most authors never see one and often times [sic] never even see a statement.

This is an astounding statement. Are we talking about "most authors" as in "counting all the people who've ever written a book, whether they ever submitted it, whether it was ever bought"? Or are we talking about "counting all the people whose books have been accepted by legitimate publishers," or are we talking about "folks whose books have been accepted by trade houses?"

If it's the first case, true, most will never see a royalty check because most will never sell. If it's the second case, also true, because a good part of the publishing world doesn't work on royalties at all -- those textbook writers, for example, usually don't get royalties. If we're talking about folks who write for the the trade, then nope, sorry, wrong. Even if the book never earns out, the advance is an advance against royalties.

The royalties never seem to be enough to recoup the initial small advance.

This is a nonsensical statement. I can't figure out what what "Carl" is going on about. Any help from the Peanut Gallery?

Moving right along....

Tim and others. A publisher do [sic] not have to aggresively [sic] market their books.

No, they don't have to unless they plan to stay in business. Have you ever noticed that while traditional publishers don't have to aggressively market their books, somehow they all do?


All they are obligated to do is to make them available to the public unless a stated dollar amount of an author tour is detailed in the contract.

Again, if they plan to stay in business, they will promote and market their books. If by "make them available to the public" you mean "move heaven and earth to get them onto physical bookstores," they do it -- without having it specified in the contract. If all they do is list the books with Ingram, Amazon, bn.com, and on their own website, then either a) they're a vanity press, or b) they're staring down the barrel of Chapter Eleven. Did I ever tell you about my four-state book tour? Somehow that happened, without my having to arrange it, and without it being specified in my contract. How did that happen, "Carl"?

You're paying too much attention to the contract, and not enough to the whole panoply of things assumed in the phrase "traditional publisher."

It's all about the contract.

You just go on thinkin', Butch. That's what you're good at.

Something most of you Mindsight Whiners (and that's where all these negative comments are coming from) know nothing about.

Be honest, "Carl," it's something you're pretty ignorant on too. Let me fill you in on something, though, my friend. People you'd never suspect, folks who have never posted anywhere outside of the PA boards, have told me horror stories.

If you guys where [sic] writers and not whiners you'll [sic] be writing more books instead of all this bitchin' but of course you're not.

And who's to say they aren't, "Carl"? When did complaining about wrongs done to you become a bad thing? Can I come to your house, steal your manuscript, and expect you to go write another book instead of complaining?

Writing books and placing them with other publishers; [sic] and when you [sic] PA contracts expired reacquiring the rights and querying [sic] that book to another publisher.

And let PA go on with its fraud, and let Willem suck in other, newer, writers? That would be immoral, "Carl." How about the writers whose careers have been derailed by publishing with PublishAmerica? How about the ones who, after their experience with PA, say "If this is what traditional publishing is like, I don't want any part of it"?

You'll be surprise [sic] how fast time flies when you're busy doing something you like (writing); but you guys aren't writers.

Seven years is forever in publishing, "Carl." And you know something else? These folks you're pleased to call "whiners" are acting exactly like writers.

Most of you wrote one or two badly conceived and written messes and struggled to get a publisher until PA came along. It won't be any different for any of you if you found another publisher. None of your books will sell many copies. Hell, even your family and friends don't purchase and read the crappola you guys spew to paper.

Are you claiming that PA publishes badly conceived and written messes? That PA publishes "crappola"?

And what of the PA authors who have well-written and delightful books? They aren't getting bookstore distribution or sales either.

And most of you whiners and complainers think you're too good to do one iota of promo in your own behalf.

Oh, baloney, "Carl." Have you read Molly Marx Brent's story of her adventures? Or Rebecca Easton's? Those folks went above and beyond. PublishAmerica's business plan is designed so that even if you do all the promotion that they suggest, and you do it perfectly, you'll still fail.

Let me assume that you're a PA author, "Carl." Come back in a year and tell all of us how well your promo efforts worked.

You complain that PA don't [sic] respond fast, well a major editor at a publishing house would hang up in your face if you show [sic] yourself to be a bug.

"In your ear" is what you probably mean, but ... "not respond fast" is an understatement. "Not respond at all" would be closer. And we've seen PA not respond at all to perfectly reasonable requests from perfectly polite authors.

I do wonder how many major editors you've met. Where exactly in publishing in New York did you say you work?

THERE IS NO DEFINITION FOR TRADITIONAL PUBLISHER.

And Willem, Miranda, and Larry should get down on their knees and thank God for that fact.

But like pornography, while we can't define it, we all know it when we see it. Tell me, "Carl," what do you think when you hear the phrase "traditional publisher?" Is what comes instantly to mind "vanity press"? That's what PublishAmerica would have us believe.

aka eraser
11-26-2004, 12:42 AM
The royalties never seem to be enough to recoup the initial small advance.


This is a nonsensical statement. I can't figure out what what "Carl" is going on about. Any help from the Peanut Gallery?

I think I might be able to help on this one. I believe Carl is referring to the oft-propagated myth on the Publish America boards that advances need to be paid back if the royalties don't exceed it.

It's one of the Big Lies (along with the one that Big Publishers yank unproductive books off store shelves in a matter of weeks) that makes publishing with PA so "great."

Since truth is verboten on those boards, propaganda like that spewed by Carl thrives. But I'm encouraged that day-by-day, week-by-week, more and more disenchanted PA authors are finding their way to this and similar boards and helping to spread the word to their friends at PA.

CWGranny
11-26-2004, 01:27 AM
Carl meant that most books don't sell enough copies to clear the tiny advance (since PA pays a big ol' dollar, I guess he means like 50 cents or something) and begin paying royalties. Thus, he is saying most authors never see any royalties because they never sell enough copies to begin paying royalties.

Of course, he's not exactly informed so who knows for sure?

FM St George
11-26-2004, 02:38 AM
*chuckles*

from the author's site -

"First release copies will not last long so make sure to let your bookstore know you want a copy so you don't have to wait for the second ordering."

considering this is POD publishing, he seems to be blissfully ignorant of the fact that there IS no "first release" or second or third, for that matter...

methinks either PA sold him a bill of goods or he's really, really not aware of how the system works.

*shrug*

so it goes....

CaoPaux
11-27-2004, 01:35 AM
methinks either PA sold him a bill of goods or he's really, really not aware of how the system works.
<snide> methinks the first relies upon the second </snide>

DaveKuzminski
11-27-2004, 01:36 AM
By the way, does anyone know what software PA uses to produce manuscripts that are ready to be published by Lightning Source?

DeePower
11-27-2004, 02:08 AM
The 'page proofs' and I use that term for lack of a better one, are returned as an adobe Pdf file.

Dee

DaveKuzminski
11-27-2004, 02:54 AM
They use Adobe Pagemaker to produce page proofs sent to Lightning?

I wonder if they have a legal copy for each computer that they're using? You're not allowed to just buy one copy and then install it on every computer you use. You have to have a license for each computer.

So, how many editors does PA claim to have? Thirty? If so, then a message to Adobe might be in order advising them that PA has thirty editors using Adobe Pagemaker and that they might want to check their records to see if PA purchased the correct number of licenses. After all, I can't imagine them all sharing just one computer.

CaoPaux
11-27-2004, 03:55 AM
Oh, that would be rich...PA brought down for piracy.

:rollin

James D Macdonald
12-03-2004, 11:06 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE> I'm saying that all traditional publishers don't operate the same way. A small traditional publisher can't operate in the same fashion as a large one with famous authors and millions of dollars to promote you idiot!</BLOCKQUOTE>

maestrowork
12-03-2004, 11:21 AM
Maybe ... their books are as wanted as a roach in a cup of coffee! Maybe ... if it wasn't for PA they would still be unpublished?

This makes me laugh so hard I don't even know how to respond...

DaveKuzminski
12-03-2004, 08:10 PM
Another thing that PA should keep in mind when it comes to lawsuit awards is that they induced most of their authors to register their copyrights, so that means a lawsuit from one of them is likely to give them a larger award.

James D Macdonald
12-14-2004, 12:06 AM
Posts on the PW board are easier to read if they're formatted.

<P> <blockquote> ... </blockquote> and ... all work. Hyperlinks don't.

I expect that ... probably works.

DeePower
12-16-2004, 04:02 AM
Probably shouldn't have but did it anyway.

I just posted this in response to Carl R's posts.

Carl:

Let's be blunt here, and stop the nonsense. You are, inexplicably and irresponsibly, on a war path, and it will get you nowhere. The tone of your letter is way out of place. None of it what we say is nonsense, and all of it is exactly, completely accurate. What is nonsense is your tone, your drama, and your whole escapade.

You do not need baseless jabs or drama.

Your statements are so naive, so false, and so totally baseless that it is difficult to even respond to them, but we'll make a brief attempt.

Return policy: Your statement is incorrect.

Advances and royalties: Your statement is incorrect.

Libraries: Your statement is incorrect.

Bookstore stocking: Your statement is incorrect.

Your comments are so entirely naive about the publishing industry and about PublishAmerica, that your comments come off as really nothing but comedy. Your facts are wrong, your insinuations are wrong, and you are discussing issues that you obviously do not understand. It is difficult to even respond to such nonsense.

As I have repeatedly proven, your perceptions are very far removed from reality. You're making a spectacle of yourself with this sort of language. Although it is very easy to do, I will not spend any more time refuting your arguments.

**************************

Sound familar Carl? The above statements were taken from emails and correspondence sent by PublishAmerica to several of their authors, myself included.

Dee Power

aka eraser
12-16-2004, 04:48 AM
I like it Dee. A thumb's up from this corner.

James D Macdonald
12-16-2004, 08:53 AM
That's great, Dee. It sounds just like Carl, too -- or what Carl would sound like if someone whose native language was English cleaned up his posts.

Sher2
12-16-2004, 10:18 AM
Let's be blunt here, and stop the nonsense. You are, inexplicably and irresponsibly, on a war path, and it will get you nowhere. The tone of your letter is way out of place. None of it what we say is nonsense, and all of it is exactly, completely accurate. What is nonsense is your tone, your drama, and your whole escapade.

Deja vu.;)

James D Macdonald
12-16-2004, 10:40 PM
For people who've been following that thread, here are a couple of the rebuttals to the silly "Confessions of a midlist author" (http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2004/03/22/midlist/index.html) article that "Carl" posted:

<a href="http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blosxom.cgi/2004/Mar/22#writing-59" target="_new">Charlie's Diary</a>

<a href="http://www.livejournal.com/users/nihilistic_kid/405207.html" target="_new">Nihilistic Kid</a>

DeePower
12-17-2004, 03:52 AM
There is a post on the PW board by Kat that just about sums up Carl

Begin post
***********************

Okay, let's sum up Carl's arguements for casual readers:

Believe all the PA lies and spout them to others is defined as "telling it like it is."

Believe all the PA lies and then later find out the truth is defined as being stupid and getting what you deserve for believing the lie in the first place.

Telling the truth to other writers (without ever being published by PA) is defined as Bull crap.

Telling the truth to other writers (after being published by PA) is defined as whining.

So...the key to Carl approval?

Embrace the PA lie. Believe it. Never let it go. Share it with others.

It's the only way to the light....
****************************
End of Kat's post

James D Macdonald
12-17-2004, 04:56 AM
Actually, it was kinda fun dragging "Carl" around by the nose, making him contradict himself, getting him to pile lie on top of lie, getting him to demonstrate that he didn't have a clue about legitimate publishing.

DeePower
12-18-2004, 10:48 PM
Still more. You know I think Carl/PublishAmerica is worried about legal action. Have you noticed how Carl/PA keeps fishing?

I also received an email from, well, the poster child for PublishAmerica, and among all the insults there were a couple of nuggets that lead me to believe PA asked him to see if he could find out if there is any legal action being planned.

Could PA be worried?

PA trolls:

I'm not stupid. I'm not going to tell you whether, or what, legal action is or isn't planned.

End of message to PA trolls.

Dee
www.BrianHillAndDeePower.com (http://www.BrianHillAndDeePower.com)

DaveKuzminski
12-18-2004, 10:59 PM
Personally, Dee, I think you should post HB's entire email here for all to see.

DeePower
12-18-2004, 11:10 PM
Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2004 09:50:10 -0500
From: Marcus <hbmarcus@adelphia.net>
To: authors@brianhillanddeepower.com
Subject: your stupidity

So, you've decided that the failure of your efforts couldn't possibly be your fault. Well, look at the number of authors versus the number in your gaggle of disgruntled nut-jobs. Is the world wrong and you are right? Is that how it is? Most people actually read a contract and/or negotiate it before they sign it. What did you do? Did you ever stop to think that maybe, just maybe, your writing isn't what you thought it
was or what your small circle of friends told you? Sure, that's got to hurt. But why hurt the legitimacy of thousands of other authors for your own failings? And to what end are you trying to achieve? Is it your intention to shut down Publish America? The last time I checked, the law will laugh at you since they haven't asked you for dime one. People who wanted to be released from their contracts were out within
days. I don't see a problem other than the propaganda people from a certain site dream up to whip each other into a frenzy with instead of doing something useful, like writing. But then again you have to look at that side too. How will the next publisher greet you if your name is so famous for attacking your last publisher when your sales didn't pan
out?

If you actually had a legitimate problem with PA you would include this email as the flip-side of your argument. But then again, since you have a mess of hearsay and general sour grapes wrath as your rally cry, I suspect anything a happy PA author has to say would just make your cause look rather stupid.

Don't bother replying to this. I've already heard enough nonsense to get me through the next decade. All the BBB crap, all the supposed class action law suits, and all the media convergences just make your gang look like terrorists. Considering that fact that PA never asked for any money from you, their benevolence has been greeted by anger for
POOR SALES. Live with that in a way that doesn't affect others if you don't mind. The rest of reality could use a break already.

-HB Marcus
******************************************

FM St George
12-18-2004, 11:17 PM
"their benevolence"???

sounds like PA is a charity publisher putting out works no one else will...

hmm... how close to the truth can that be, HB?

:rollin

DaveKuzminski
12-19-2004, 12:01 AM
I want to publicly thank HB for suggesting that Dee include his letter in her postings. ;)

Savannah Blue
12-19-2004, 08:03 AM
<<People who wanted to be released from their contracts were out within days.>>

Excuse me, Mr. Marcus, but this is a flat out lie. Just yesterday I mailed my third request for contract termination and in truth, am expecting nothing less than yet another variation of the very same abusive belittling e mail that I received the first time. That's fine though. Every rude e mail I receive goes into the ever growing pile of evidence against PublishAmerica. I can and will keep right on requesting as long as PublishAmerica sees fit to be rude and abusive.

And as for propaganda? You and PublishAmerica have that market cornered.

Sara

James D. Macdonald
12-24-2005, 09:02 AM
A blast from the past -- PublishAmerica and Publishers Weekly.

Time for another Alert the Media Day?

DeePower
01-05-2006, 05:48 AM
If anyone wants to volunteer, contact me. Probably need two volunteers, one for the UK and one for the US. author at brianhillanddeepower dot com

ATM about PA. Alert the Media about PublishAmerica.

Dee

mdin
01-05-2006, 06:05 AM
There should be a "request to review my royalty statements" day followed by a "Why won't you answer my emails" day followed by a "We're taking you to court" day.