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squirt
12-27-2007, 08:33 PM
I'm a newbie. I've read some of the posts about Publish America. But, I'm looking for the one that gives information about how to file a lawsuit with them or any Authors out there that have filed a lawsuit with them.

I too am a victim. I've had 2 books published, Sweets and Sweeter Than Sweets by them and my royalty checks are stacking up and now total a little over 10.00! They are too embarrassing to deposit.

I know for a fact that my books are selling. They are ripping me off. When I sent a letter of concern, they responded nicely stating that the bookstores have up to 3 months to pay them. They also advised me not to read or listen to any negative comments that people have to say about them.

Since I've been an Author, I've learned quite a bit. I've learned that I need to do research before I put my trust in a company that's going to accept my work. I've learned that I need to make sure that I'm signing my name to something that is going to make me some money and not make me broke.

So, if there's an Author that has filed a lawsuit or can give me some direction, I'd appreciate it.

benbradley
12-27-2007, 10:12 PM
I haven't seen a PA contract (is there a copy online somewhere?), and furthermore, I'm not a lawyer, but from reading other threads here it's my understanding that part of it says you agree to go to arbitration if you have any dispute with PA, and you give up your right to take them to court. I don't know if that makes it flat-out impossible to sue them, but it sure makes it more of an uphill battle.

A few PA authors HAVE gone through arbitration, and you can read through the most recent case in "The Marie Pacha Thread" here:
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66307

James D. Macdonald
12-27-2007, 11:23 PM
There's a PublishAmerica contract posted in this forum (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21345), with commentary.

CatSlave
01-26-2008, 08:41 PM
Welcome, squirt! :welcome:

I'm glad you found us and hope you will find the answers to your questions on this forum.

Popeyesays
01-26-2008, 09:26 PM
I'm a newbie. I've read some of the posts about Publish America. But, I'm looking for the one that gives information about how to file a lawsuit with them or any Authors out there that have filed a lawsuit with them.

I too am a victim. I've had 2 books published, Sweets and Sweeter Than Sweets by them and my royalty checks are stacking up and now total a little over 10.00! They are too embarrassing to deposit.

I know for a fact that my books are selling. They are ripping me off. When I sent a letter of concern, they responded nicely stating that the bookstores have up to 3 months to pay them. They also advised me not to read or listen to any negative comments that people have to say about them.

Since I've been an Author, I've learned quite a bit. I've learned that I need to do research before I put my trust in a company that's going to accept my work. I've learned that I need to make sure that I'm signing my name to something that is going to make me some money and not make me broke.

So, if there's an Author that has filed a lawsuit or can give me some direction, I'd appreciate it.


While you are under contract you cannot sue. Get out of the contract, have somebody place Amazon orders for your books AFTER the contract is dead.

If they do not account for the sales, you would probably be able to sue for infringement.

Oh, register your copyright first.

Regards,
Scott

BarbJ
02-02-2008, 10:42 AM
Welcome, Squirt! :welcome:

Try to get out of the contract first, through polite requests. It may not work, since they do read these boards and appear to punish those who dare to think them less than perfect. But sometimes they release writers without a comment; it seems arbitrary. Perhaps they toss a coin.

If that doesn't work, read the boards here to figure out how to proceed. Under the contract, you can request an audit. (They allow this because you're required to go to them and to pay for the auditor, as I understand it, and few can afford it.) You can also go through arbitration. Marie Pacha just did, and I'm sure she'd give you the benefit of her experience.

Do what you can; if every unhappy PA writer did, the impact would be huge. More importantly, in the meantime keep writing while trying to wrest your brainchildren from the PA talons. You have a future; focus on that - and that PA is not allowed to be a part of it, everyone say Hallelujah!

DaveKuzminski
02-02-2008, 08:30 PM
If I'm not mistaken, there is a provision within the arbitration company rules that make it possible for authors who can't afford arbitration to still have an arbitration hearing. Check into their rules.

A coin? I thought they used an Executive Dart Board.

Marie Pacha
02-08-2008, 05:10 PM
There is a hardship provision Dave:

http://www.adr.org/sp.asp?id=22040

Ampbreia
09-16-2009, 10:03 PM
Here is a list of known complaints about Publish America. Please answer yes or no and provide any requested details as they apply to you and add to the list anything not covered that you’ve also experienced:


Discrepancies between site advertisements & actual contract?
Breaches of contract: describe
Did your book make it to "brick & mortar bookstores?" as implied by the website?
Was shoddy editing accepted?
Was the workmanship shoddy (cover, print job, binding)?
Customer / author services unsatisfactory (questions not answered, problems unresolved, snippy attitude of representatives/contacts)?
Book overpriced?
Book under marketed?
Do you have reason to suspect royalties under reported?
Do you have reason to suspect royalties not reported?
Are sales statistics on your book accessible to you?
Has your book been advertised for sale under some other name than what you wrote it under? What Name(s)? Provide links & take screenshots to keep in your records in case requested.
Were you ever asked to buy your own book (either by suggestion or actual pressure)?
We you ever asked to give publisher a list of people to announce / offer your book to?
Did you have any difficulty getting out of the contract when you wanted out?
Did you find your book continuing to be sold by PA or 3rd parties AFTER the contract ended & your rights were returned to you? Provide links.
Did you ever find the publishing credit attributed to any other than Publish America either before or after the contract end & without your specifically given approval? What publisher was it credited to? Take screen shots & provide links.

Please also provide your name, contact information, book name, & pen name written under if different from your legal name or the one you wish to be known at present.

CaoPaux
09-16-2009, 10:15 PM
And you are...?

IANAL, but I expect anyone seeking legal action would be advised against exchanging information publicly.

tlblack
09-17-2009, 05:07 AM
Debra, welcome to AW! Good to see you hear. Be sure to introduce yourself in the newbie forum or here if you prefer. This is a nice crowd of people. CaoPaux is right too, any information gathered shouldn't be done on a public forum. PA monitors this board to see what we are saying about them over there. It's all the truth but they still can't resist reading here. Grab some coffee and pull up a chair and be sure to browse around the whole site. There's a lot more to AW than the PA threads.

Ampbreia
09-18-2009, 02:26 AM
Sorry. You're right. Could be risky. So maybe if everyone could fill out the form and email it to me at ampbreia@live.com? And if PA really turns out to be as harrassing as some people are saying (not something I've directly experienced), then that can actually be useful too. *EVIL GRIN*

As to who I am. What to tell? I'm an ex-Christian, ex-Muslim, agnostic with an inclination toward all things strange, beautiful, historical, romantic, paranormal, and unusual. I'm an artist, poet, and writer. Never yet paid for the latter two (not counting PA's embarressingly little royalty checks when they came), but sometimes for my art, book covers and such. I also like to explore all over the place hiking and taking pictures. My day job is as Admin III for an aerospace calibration laboratory. I'm a wife, mother of three, and grandmother of two. My children are Javad (aka Adrian), age 27, who was taken from me by his Iranian father at 10 month so I don't really know him; Amelia, age 22 - married with kids; and Andrew age 20, still at home. Oh, and I blog a lot. I used to blog a lot at MySpace, myspace.com/ampbreias_blog, but now not so much. Now I mostly blog at Xanga but don't know how to give you a direct link to it since I accidentally put a friend's blog up and haven't figured out yet how to remove it. Thought I did it yesterday, but it was still up today. Go figure. But if you manage to get in, I'm Ampbreia there too.

How do you do?

BenPanced
09-18-2009, 05:47 AM
IANAL, either, but I wouldn't comfortable exchanging any information, if I had any, legal or otherwise, with somebody who wasn't a lawyer, either.

aspen cat
09-22-2009, 04:53 AM
I'm a newbie. I've read some of the posts about Publish America. But, I'm looking for the one that gives information about how to file a lawsuit with them or any Authors out there that have filed a lawsuit with them.

I too am a victim. I've had 2 books published, Sweets and Sweeter Than Sweets by them and my royalty checks are stacking up and now total a little over 10.00! They are too embarrassing to deposit.

I know for a fact that my books are selling. They are ripping me off. When I sent a letter of concern, they responded nicely stating that the bookstores have up to 3 months to pay them. They also advised me not to read or listen to any negative comments that people have to say about them.

Since I've been an Author, I've learned quite a bit. I've learned that I need to do research before I put my trust in a company that's going to accept my work. I've learned that I need to make sure that I'm signing my name to something that is going to make me some money and not make me broke.

So, if there's an Author that has filed a lawsuit or can give me some direction, I'd appreciate it.

This is why I am here too. Seeking info of what to do and how to do it to get my book back.
Aspen Cat

aspen cat
09-22-2009, 04:57 AM
Please guide me on the steps needed to win an early release of my book from PA.
I am saddened beyond words. I wish I had of known ALL of this before I signed the contract. Nothing showed up until it was too late. Now they are trying to tell me I have only sold 18 books when I know Amazon.com has sold out 3 times, I have signed 17, and the local bookstore is selling them on a regular basis. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

I also need a reliable literary agent.

Many thanks,
Aspen Cat

Cyia
09-22-2009, 05:08 AM
You can read some of the other PA threads and see what others have done to get their contracts terminated. It's pretty much a dice roll - sometimes PA lets them out and sometimes they don't.

Send them notice that you're not going to be able to buy or promote your book any longer because it's not financially possible at this time. Do no get antagonistic, even if they do.

As far as Amazon "selling out" - that doesn't mean much for POD. It's not like a regular book where there's a certain number in a warehouse somewhere. The books are only printed when ordered, so there's not ever any actually in stock.

The sad fact is that your book is dead, a literary agent can't help you with the book PA has already published. You've used up first rights on it and a new publisher isn't going to mess with it. Put that book away, write another one, and then look for an agent. You can find information on them here in Bewares and Background checks, as well as on Preditors and Editors.

James D. Macdonald
09-22-2009, 05:35 AM
Aspen cat, I'm very sorry to say that PA's contract (horrible as it is) is both legal and binding.

If you can prove that they aren't paying royalties, you may have the basis for a suit. Consult a lawyer.

Send your proof with names, date, times, places, and dollar amounts, to the Maryland Attorney General.

But ... forget this book. It's dead. Write another, different, better book and use what you've learned to avoid the mistakes of the past.

kaitie
09-22-2009, 03:57 PM
I just wanted to say when I was searching for agents I happened across this one:

http://www.paulslevinelit.com/

I don't really know anything about him, but I remember him specifically because he actually had a clause saying that he was interested in books that had previously been self-published, which was pretty unusual as most agents say that's a pretty big negative. He's also a lawyer. I know PA isn't quite the same as self-publishing, but if you can get out of your contract, I don't see what harm it could do to write to him and see. Of course, keep following the other advice as well. Keep writing and prepare your next story and don't even mention PA in the query letters.

Marian Perera
12-29-2009, 09:09 PM
I am a newbie. I too am an author with Publish America. My last check was $0.00..... I understand the frustrations, considering I wrote my book to help other victims of child sexual abuse and rape realize they are not alone and to help others realize what we go through. PA crushed my dreams for the book. What can I do????

Hi Shealathomas, and welcome to the board.

I'm afraid that unless PA did something illegal or breached your contract, there isn't much you can do. Do you know for certain that books were sold, books for which you haven't been paid?

It's doubly cruel when authors who have been through a situation like that, and who want to help others, are taken for a ride. Unfortunately not all companies which call themselves publishers can be trusted. You can try to get the rights for your book back, but that may be difficult. You could also work on another book (could be on the same topic) which could be submitted to a better publisher.

shealathomas
12-29-2009, 09:12 PM
I am a newbie. I too am an author with Publish America. My last check was $0.00..... I understand the frustrations, considering I wrote my book to help other victims of child sexual abuse and rape realize they are not alone and to help others realize what we go through. PA crushed my dreams for the book. What can I do????

Cyia
12-29-2009, 09:49 PM
As harsh as it sounds, all you can do is write another book and try to get it sold to a real publisher. The book with PA is locked in with them and even if you get the rights back, it's already published.

Gillhoughly
12-30-2009, 02:55 AM
Welcome to AW, shealathomas! :welcome:

It's horrible, but your book with PA is lost. You *may* be able to get your contract canceled and get the print rights back. There are others who have and they posted their experiences here on AW. Check some of the older threads.

You do need to be persistent in demanding an accurate accounting of sales. PA's bookkeeping is a joke. They're as sloppy as can be and we're all hoping the IRS stages a raid, but until then, you keep writing them.

Do not be intimidated by the "InfoMonster." That's the person who will eventually send you nasty mails demanding an apology for asking perfectly reasonable business questions. That person (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miranda_Prather)will try to bully and guilt you into silence, making the tired old claim that PA is "shouldering all expenses" but discount that.

Keep in mind that any books you bought yourself are not counted as royalties.

Books shown as "sold out" on Amazon means nothing, because PA only ever prints a copy when someone places an order for it.

Please do stick around here on AW. We're friendly, glad to help PA victims, and you will never be banned for asking questions!

DaveKuzminski
02-02-2010, 10:17 PM
According to a source of mine, PublishAmerica appears to be suing Lightning Source. Information at http://dockets.justia.com/docket/court-tnmdce/case_no-3:2010cv00108/case_id-4680 . It's in a Tennessee Middle District Court and they're suing for over $809,000.

BenPanced
02-02-2010, 11:42 PM
I found the summary but I'll need to wait until I get home. I have my PACER log in information there and can scare up some more information, if anybody wants it.

victoriastrauss
02-04-2010, 02:02 AM
Yes, please.

- Victoria

DreamWeaver
02-04-2010, 08:25 PM
I am wondering if this is related to today's news that PA has signed a deal for book fulfillment by Baker & Taylor.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
02-04-2010, 08:33 PM
If that's true, that's a little scary.

JulieB
02-04-2010, 09:35 PM
Adding linkage (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Baker-Taylor-Inks-Deal-with-prnews-4263008247.html?x=0).

veinglory
02-04-2010, 10:45 PM
http://tinyurl.com/y8c5v79
" PublishAmerica's titles – largely fiction and non-fiction stories of triumph over hardship – will also be available to Baker & Taylor's worldwide network of library and retail customers. "

(Triumph over the hardship of being published by PA, perhaps?)

Cyia
02-04-2010, 10:50 PM
In the yahoo link, they're described as both a niche publisher and a major one.

allenparker
02-11-2010, 06:57 PM
I found the summary but I'll need to wait until I get home. I have my PACER log in information there and can scare up some more information, if anybody wants it.


I'd love to know.