I just received the email from Author Identity (a division of West Publishing) this morning into my junk mail folder. It is strange that it happened today as I have just submitted nine short stories to Amazon shorts.
Interesting.A person using the name Michael Evers, who is a character in a Publish America novel by Kevin Fabiano, who is also a contributor to SHORT CUT, AIP's current offering, has placed phantom orders with at least two mystery bookstores for this book, giving a disconnected phone number and a phony credit card with the order. The book, which is available from Ingram on a non-returnable basis, does contain stories by well-known authors--Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne--all in the public domain, as well as unknowns. The Independent Mystery Booksellers Association is looking into the matter. Fabiano is also a lawyer who lives in Pennsylvania and whose address & phone number are listed. It would be interesting to know if he not only is a contributor to the book but perhaps the owner of AIP.
Question: Do I need an agent?
Answer: Not if you decide to submit your work here. We select our authors without being represented by agents, no matter how hard they sometimes try. There is not much an agent can do for most new authors, other than try to locate a publisher. If you have already signed up with an agent, tell them to contact us with your work, and we will gladly study their proposal. But it will be no different than when you contact us yourself.
I'm not sure any publisher will hire a publicist for new authors, however, one is a great idea. I hired one on my own and my book reached best seller status on Amazon.com. It has rally fallen off, but for that short period of time it felt great, not to mention I can now call myself a Best Selling author forever.