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Bartholomew
01-01-2008, 07:53 AM
Suppose I were to submit one of my older novels to PA. Something I wrote when I was 14 that really isn't publishable.

Suppose I did this until they accepted the novel.

Now suppose they send me my dollar and the two copies of my book. Isn't it two copies?

Suppose I do this all under a false name.

How much money did I just cost them?

DaveKuzminski
01-01-2008, 08:02 AM
The dollar and postage for the contract. The way I see it, they have to pay the staff regardless. Presuming they actually publish two copies, add in another six bucks or so in raw materials. Then add in postage to mail those copies to you.

The PA management probably laughs at how much they know it actually costs compared to what PA authors believe was invested in them. This is why it's important to target PA employees even though PA is doing a very good job of that for us based on the turnover we understand occurs.

Khazarkhum
01-01-2008, 08:06 AM
Dave--how much does it cost to produce a book?

I would think that a book itself -- the physical print & paper--wouldn't be all that much, maybe $5-$10. But when factoring in editing & such, what is the actual cost?

NicoleJLeBoeuf
01-01-2008, 08:07 AM
...and by "target PA employees" I think we mean "Convince them to leave their scammy employers to the extent that it's financially possible and doesn't involve them going homeless or being unable to feed their kids; and convince potential employees not to work for PA."

I don't think we actually mean "Put a bullseye on their heads."

DaveKuzminski
01-01-2008, 08:17 AM
...and by "target PA employees" I think we mean "Convince them to leave their scammy employers to the extent that it's financially possible and doesn't involve them going homeless or being unable to feed their kids; and convince potential employees not to work for PA."

I don't think we actually mean "Put a bullseye on their heads."

Only because the colors aren't fashionable and would clash. ;)

Speaking seriously, yes, we want them to leave. We don't mean shoot them. As far as the financial situation, there are plenty of honest jobs out there. It's up to them to apply for those jobs.

benbradley
01-01-2008, 09:10 AM
Suppose I were to submit one of my older novels to PA. Something I wrote when I was 14 that really isn't publishable.

Suppose I did this until they accepted the novel.

Now suppose they send me my dollar and the two copies of my book. Isn't it two copies?

Suppose I do this all under a false name.

How much money did I just cost them?
I recall seeing this very question asked and answered in recent months on one of the other PA threads here on AW. Sorry, I have no idea how to search for it, but maybe someone else remembers it better than me.

James D. Macdonald
01-01-2008, 09:12 AM
The setup with Lightning Source costs money. The employees do cost money. The ISBNs are cheap in the numbers they buy 'em, but not free. They have to subscribe to the clip-art service.

All told, I figure each book costs them around $300 to produce. They have to make that back and a profit too within 75 sales -- hence the high per-unit cost (even with author's discount).

PVish
01-01-2008, 05:53 PM
Suppose I were to submit one of my older novels to PA. Something I wrote when I was 14 that really isn't publishable.

Suppose I did this until they accepted the novel.

Now suppose they send me my dollar and the two copies of my book. Isn't it two copies?

Suppose I do this all under a false name.

How much money did I just cost them?

From my late dog's submission (http://peevishpen.blogspot.com/2007/02/doggone-literary-scams.html) of his manuscript last winter: You have to sign the contract and give them your social security number before anything happens. It cost them $1.11 to send my dog the 4-page contract, but postal rates have increased since then. You can also negotiate for more copies; the dog's contract specified four. Obviously we—er, he—couldn't actually sign or it would have been fraud.

He was asked several times via email for his phone number, even though the intro to his manuscript specified he had no phone and depended upon others for computer access. (Conclusion: No one actually read the manuscript—probably scanned it quickly, decided it looked like poetry, and accepted on the spot.)

When he didn't return the contract, we never heard from PA again.

DaveKuzminski
01-01-2008, 08:28 PM
I'm genuinely sorry to hear your dog passed away.

Still, even if PA spends only a dollar and change sending out contracts that aren't accepted, it's that much less PA gets to keep. Who knows? If PA sends enough contracts that get ignored to certain areas, they might forbid sending any more to anyone in that area. It would still be a victory because it would protect authors in that locale from PA.

Bartholomew
01-02-2008, 03:07 PM
I wonder how deep their coffers are.

Could PA afford, say, to send free copies of a book to 40 or 50 people who had absolutely no intention of buying their own books?

AndreaUKA
08-16-2009, 05:54 PM
Hi guys,

I'm new to these forums, but have known about, and read, AW for years. I'm currently in dispute with PA, having stupidly signed up with them, before I knew better, almost 7 years ago. I'm banned from their forums (as I thought I would be after my post yesterday, which lasted for a grand total of approx 6 hours) and fully expect them to block my email shortly, due to the successive bombardment I am subjecting them to :-)

Anyway, as to cost. Excluding employers wages, the cost of printing with Lightning Source is pretty low. £21 for the content upload and £21 for the cover file, making a grand total of £42. Uploading corrected files is, I think, £15 a pop. They will be buying ISBN's by the hundreds, so each individual ISBN will cost them less than £1 (I'm talking UK here, but US is probably not that much different). Printing cost depends, obviously, on the size of the book. A slim volume of, say 100-110 pages, will cost them approx £2 to print. So it's cost them, say, £43 ($71) to set up. From these figures you can clearly see that they don't need to sell very many copies at all, to cover their setup/printing costs, especially give the exorbitant RRP's they set.

Since PA don't edit worth a shit, it's far better to cut out the (in this case) middlescam and set up an account with Lightning Source yourself, buying a block of 10 ISNB's (the min you can buy) and converting and uploading your own files. And at least that way, you are listed as being the publisher, rather than PA since:

Example: (ISBN) 1-22065-024-6) The first number (1) is the group or country identifier which identifies a national or geographic grouping of publishers. The second number (22065) identifies a particular publisher. The third number (024) identifies a specific title or edition of a title. The fourth number (4) is the check digit arrived at by following a special algorithm.

From: http://www.ebookcrossroads.com/isbn.html

Okay, so you have to pay the setup fee yourself, but at least you are in control of your work. Or try one of the numerous, reputable, small independent press publishers. Or Lulu.

There seems to be huge confusion and misunderstanding, too (especially on the PA author forums), regarding the difference between POD (print-on-demand, a printing technology, which many small presses (and sometimes larger ones!) often use), and POD (publish-on-demand, meaning unscrupulous publishers who use this method to publish anything and everything submitted to them, regardless of quality or merit). But that, perhaps, is another post...

James D. Macdonald
08-16-2009, 06:08 PM
Print on demand is a business model. Publish on demand is exactly the same thing; there is no difference.

Digital printing is a printing technology.

Formerly, PA spent about $300/title (including employee pay and rent on their office). Now that they've gone to their own fancy photocopier rather than paying Lightning Source, who knows how much it costs them?

Swordswoman
08-16-2009, 06:18 PM
Welcome, Andrea! :welcome::welcome::welcome:

And congratulations on escaping! Your post on the PAMB was terrific, and gave some of the less aware members a good six hours exposure to the truth.

Getting banned after only one post is also rather impressive. Dave (above) used to have T-shirts for thiose achieving a ban from the PA boards, but you deserve a special one all your own...

Welcome to AW. We're very glad you're here.

Louise

AndreaUKA
08-16-2009, 06:21 PM
Semantics, surely? But okay, digital printing then.

Although...http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=difference+between+print+on+demand+and+pu blish+on+demand&sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1B3GGGL_enNL289NL289

However, I didn't know they no longer use LS, so thanks for the info.

AndreaUKA
08-16-2009, 06:23 PM
Oh, only just seen your post Louise, thanks very much, delighted to be here :-)

circlexranch
08-16-2009, 06:52 PM
Bartholomew - one flaw in your logic. PA no longer sends author copies. So, except for someone to press 'print' on the contract and put it in an envelope (who knows, it may come by email now), their costs to rook . . . um . . . contract you . . . are pennies. Then some minimum wage slave labor to render your words into book form and then to slap on a clipart cover. Then it sits in the computer until you make your first order. I doubt your book even goes to LS unless your order hits a certain number. But that's only after you've signed on the proverbial dotted line.

AndreaUKA
08-16-2009, 07:05 PM
Good point, Circle! Since they no longer send author copies, they have no reason to upload to LS unless an order has come in. And it won't come in from Amazon, B&N etc, until it is uploaded to LS (who send to feed automatically, so all their 'we will get you on Amazon and all the important...' as if they're doing you a huge favour, is crap). When you upload a title to LS, unless you order a proof (which I doubt PA will do, as they cost an extra £21), they are available to print in about 7-10 days. Since PA ask you to give them approx 6 weeks (!) to deliver copies, this gives them plenty of time to upload files to LS after an order has been placed. And LS send directly to the customer, so no slave employee needed there to package up and post.

James D. Macdonald
08-16-2009, 07:47 PM
And, again, PA no longer uses LS, nor have they in over a year.

CaoPaux
08-16-2009, 07:55 PM
Semantics, surely? But okay, digital printing then.

Although...http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=difference+between+print+on+demand+and+pu blish+on+demand&sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1B3GGGL_enNL289NL289

However, I didn't know they no longer use LS, so thanks for the info.Welcome!

Alas, it's semantics only in the sense that publish-on-demand -- like the phrase traditional publisher -- was invented by vanity "publishers" to sow confusion and thus disguise their nature. The only way to remove the wool of their sheep's clothing from the eyes of aspiring authors is to keeping pointing at the naked Emperor. ;)

JulieB
08-16-2009, 08:04 PM
Note that Bartholomew's post is over a year old. His information was correct at the time.

Gillhoughly
08-16-2009, 08:22 PM
Welcome AndreaUSA:welcome:

Please be sure to send written notice to PA that you do not want to renew your contract and that you want the rights of your book back. Make sure you get a reply.

Otherwise they renew them automatically and you get another 7 years of hell.

--------------------------

As for sending in a fake book, while speculating on the costs to PA is fine, I would suggest not doing it, as that would constitute fraud, with PA winning any court case.

We have no quarrel with PA employees, just the Stooges.

As stated by a former PA editor, the employment situation in Frederick, MD (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=98679&)was in a dire state early last year, and there is no reason to think it has improved.

AndreaUKA
08-16-2009, 09:15 PM
Thanks Gill,

I am sending written notice registered, of course, so they cannot claim they never received it. I have worded it (in part) thus:


Please be advised that as of ** **** **** the contract is due to expire and, as of that date, I shall consider our agreement to be terminated.

Please acknowledge, in writing, receipt of this (registered) letter, and termination agreement.


In other words, I've made it clear that, as far as I'm concerned, our 'relationship' is at an end on the date specified. I think this would hold up in a (at least UK) court of law even if they didn't reply, since their contract states:

The Author and the Publisher agree that this agreement is renewable upon the date of its expiration during an additional and successive
period of seven years, on the same terms and conditions as specified herinafter, provided that both parties to this agreement shall mutually ratify such renewal in writing at least three months prior to the date of expiration as hereabove set forth.

I have given them 8 months notice, instead of the requisite 3, plenty of time for them to reply and not my fault, surely, if they don't.

Bartholomew
08-16-2009, 10:09 PM
Whoa. Thread necromancy. I forgot all about this post. o_o

circlexranch
08-16-2009, 10:44 PM
LOL! No, I did not notice the date on the post!

But things have changed . . .

1. No author's copies anymore,
2. Authors get charged for 'galley' copies,
3. They now get a check for the buck, not the actual buck, PA knows many (most) will not cash it,
4. And no LS printing, it comes from in house.

All in just over a year . . . and what a year it has been!

Bartholomew
08-16-2009, 10:45 PM
I wonder if they made those changes because of my post. <3

DaveKuzminski
08-16-2009, 11:41 PM
Getting banned after only one post is also rather impressive. Dave (above) used to have T-shirts for thiose achieving a ban from the PA boards, but you deserve a special one all your own...

Actually, those shirts are still available at cost on Cafe Press at URL http://www.cafeshops.com/attackbutterfly. P&E makes no profit on those.

AndreaUKA
08-17-2009, 01:55 AM
Ahhh....Eds and Preds - what an excellent service, I use it a lot (especially when in doubt)

(that clobber's awfully pricey, Dave)

Marian Perera
08-18-2009, 06:51 AM
Hi Andrea, and welcome to the forum!

DaveKuzminski
08-18-2009, 04:01 PM
Ahhh....Eds and Preds - what an excellent service, I use it a lot (especially when in doubt)

(that clobber's awfully pricey, Dave)

I suspect they've changed their prices as I remember it being for less.

Swordswoman
08-18-2009, 04:24 PM
I suspect they've changed their prices as I remember it being for less.

It was less. I looked at it a while ago with longing - before reflecting I couldn't have it anyway because I hadn't earned it. I so wish PA still took UK authors so I could send them something crap just to get in my one belting Andrea-type post then get the glory of Bandom.

It's not fair! Why won't they take UK writers any more? Just because we have legislation against this kind of scam, and it's not considered business-to-business over here, and we could send the lot of them to gaol for years and years for the kind of fraud they're perpetrating against the most vulnerable in society, and... Oh, wait. I see.

Louise

DaveKuzminski
08-18-2009, 05:12 PM
Ah, that explains why they ducked out of the UK. Their fowl actions caused them to chicken out.

Tweet The Meat
08-18-2009, 07:50 PM
I don't know what particular machine PublishAmerica uses to print these books, but some years back we invested in a very large printer that produces trade-sized, perfect-bound books so we could print personalized manuals for our clients in house. We have a fairly low volume (about 200-350 a month). From what I understand our consumables cost almost exactly a penny a page.

James D. Macdonald
08-18-2009, 08:52 PM
They have an Océ POD machine.

merrihiatt
08-19-2009, 12:03 AM
:welcome: Welcome, Andrea!!! It's nice to see you here. ;)

Alphabeter
08-19-2009, 10:01 PM
PA was "thrown out" of the UK publishing game after the lawsuit regarding PublishBritannica. The UK laws are tougher regarding publishing and when, under any name, PA didn't live up to their promises, they were told not to accept any more UK writers without consequence (s?).

Anyone know how the PublishIcelandica/Publish Iceland imprint is churning? There is a lot of fiction in their banking reports alone!

DaveKuzminski
08-19-2009, 10:02 PM
Anyone know how the PublishIcelandica/Publish Iceland imprint is churning? There is a lot of fiction in their banking reports alone!

I believe that died about the same time as PB.

AndreaUKA
08-19-2009, 11:00 PM
As I recall, PubAM was taken to court (and lost the case) by UK's Encyclopedia Britannica for using their copyrighted name.

Which brings me to an interesting question - if an authors contract is signed with Publish Britannica, would that render it nul and void?

JulieB
08-20-2009, 12:06 AM
Which brings me to an interesting question - if an authors contract is signed with Publish Britannica, would that render it nul and void?

I can't imagine that a name change would make a contract void. That would have implications in all sorts of business situations. (I'm not a lawyer, etc.)