The Old Neverending PublishAmerica Thread (Publish America)

Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

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Don't you just wanna get drunk and forget?

I mean it happened to us. We all know that. But don't you just want a beer or two to take away the memory of even being associated with such a disreputable company. Late at night when you're feeling absolutely stupidly exhausted, don't ya just feel like tilting your glass and shouting, "Yeah you lied to me!!!”

I mean really, what can we really say? We're not stupid people and yet hundreds if not thousands of us are out there disappointed, deceived and downright miserable that we got zipped up in something so incredibly un-credible. It's just plain sad isn't it. No matter what anyone says, what PA does to its authors with its false and misleading representation is just plainly unjust. Come on man! What's it gonna take for some of you to get off your tuckus and do something about it??? What the heck are you waiting for? A signed affidavit? I'm doin all I can, but I tell ya, even I am absolutely amazed at the number of people who would rather be idle and say nothing then stop being victimized and stand for their rights. It just amazes me. I reach out, I pay for the preliminary data, I organize everything, I stand and say I will fight for you, and still authors do not send me their name for the petition. What are you so afraid of? It's confidential. I promised that and I WILL keep my word. That you can take to the bank! God bless each of you who might be afraid to take a stand against what you think might be unjust. Email me with your name; your story and I promise you, this one time in your whole life, you will be counted.



Re: Don't you just wanna get drunk and forget?

Beck -

I admire your tenacity, your drive and your determination.

I think I saw a post from you somewhere that you have gotten out of your PA contract. Congratulations to you. I know that is not nearly enough for you. That you seek a justice that goes beyond just your contract. It appears that getting that justice requires the actions of others besides yourself.

I think you are wrong when you assume that fear is keeping people from stepping up. The plain truth is that many out there who would rather CRY in their beer and complain than take action. They would rather feel victimized than do something about it.

Please do not get too upset about this. You have done what you can to get justice for all. You cannot help those who will not help themselves.

The most important thing is that you take care of yourself. And you are doing that. YOU stopped being a victim. You've gotten out of your contract. It is not selfish for you to focus on your own writing future instead of your bad experience in the past. Put your passions and energies and focus into getting a good agent and writing your next book.

The good folks here like Jim and Dave and Anne and Victoria will spread the word to keep others from making the same mistake you did.

As for those who have already made the mistake, but choose not to sign your petition - they deserve what they got.


Re: Call to Action

Wow, aren't we big on judging people? What if it's not beer crying or fear? I'm not a PA author but I can see a number of reasons why a PA author who was not happy with the experience might not cry in their beer OR sign a petition.

Suppose someone isn't happy with PA and *if asked* tells folks about their experience -- but they've personally moved on to other things. Yes, they feel they got involved in a crappy deal but they take a bit of the responsibility (whether they deserve it or not) and they don't want to be dragged back into the slough of despond over the whole thing. See --no fear or beer!

Suppose someone isn't happy with PA and has said so whenever the topic comes up but doesn't usually originate such discussions. Again, the person is looking toward their next book which they will not hand over to vultures. They have seen the "screw PA" zealots come and go with no real result and -- quite honestly -- some of those people seem a little scary. They don't know Beck, but they wonder if she might be about to go all MarkY on them since she's starting to throw around accusations (and since the stupid remarks of others -- like the beer thing -- are going to start clinging to Beck, guilt by association, and make her seem MORE like MarkY.)

Some of the most extreme of the anti-PA camp (not watchdog types but some of the look-at-me, look-at-me tirades that compare PA to all sorts of human attrocities) make folks uncomfortable. They don't want to be linked with people who seem to be going insane over this. PA has taught them that hooking up with the wrong folks (like PA for example) doesn't do your reputation as a professional any good at all. These folks are just gun shy -- they've been burned by PA, now they don't want to be burned by anti-PA. They understand that the extreme opposite end of any issue isn't likely to be a lot more sane or acceptable than the end you loathe. They may not know Beck but each time she comes on strong, these folks back away a little more. They aren't afraid of PA...they are concerned about doing their reputation MORE harm by linking up with a list of folks they don't know and don't know how far it's going to go and don't know whether all the things linked to their name are things they would agree with.

If I were a PA person, I honestly don't know if I would sign the petition. Probably I would but I don't know. However, the more you ascribe motives to those you don't know, the more you're going to make the gun-shy feel more nervous of you -- not less. They've already dealt with irrational people ascribing motive to them (if they've ever gotten fun mail from author support) -- they aren't interested in getting involved with folks like THAT again.

My advice -- don't go so PETA on folks.



You took me wrong Gran...

I absolutely agree with you that if people have "moved on" as you call it they have every right not to want to sign this petition. But they have every reason to sign it too.

My comments were made from my heart, not a judgement. I get hundreds of emails every single day with people who "consistantly" have told me what PA has done to them. These are the emails, or people that I referenced. I think I was pretty clear on that.

It's like seeing a woman being abused by a husband and not being able to do anything about it. She has to make a stand on her own. I see the abuse all day long and no, I am no troll who wines and judges. I believe that we all have the "right" to seek justice without fear. I'm seeing a whole lot of people say they want to but they are afraid. That's why I posted that, and whether or not you beleive it, I am spending about 8 hours a day compiling this data. You were way off the mark when you thought you could analyze what I wrote. Remember, there is no tone or sentiment in text. What I do I do because it is the right thing to do. I want to encourage those who are fearful, not judge them. For some doing nothing is tantamount to saying being victimized was their fault. It's simply not so.


Trust Violated

Good points CWGranny.


Insert from letter sent by one author awhile back to me on another screen name.

"Thanks again and I will leave you out of it, anonymous."

Inserts from another letter sent recently to that screen name.

"I've received your name confidentially from an undisclosed author. We are attempting to gather a petition for authors who have been mislead by doing business with Publish America in Maryland."

"Please send a private email to me that no one will see but me and my lawyer"

How can I trust signing anything when my trust was violated from the undisclosed author as you can see who said "I'll leave you out of it, anonymous".

Now, I know at least one person who is a player behind the petition. Is this player also looking at the names on the petition? Tell me it isn't so, Rebecca!

No reason to name the author. I don't like the violation of trust right off the bat. Is this petition really confidential as stated?

Violation of trust puts that author on the same level as that deceiving publishing company called PA. Maybe that trick was learned from the biggest cheerleader at PA.

Rebecca, that person needs to be kicked off your team. If that person will do it to me, it can happen to you if that person someday gets mad at you.


Re: Don't you just wanna get drunk and forget?

Rebecca's asking people to sign her petition is a lot like our presidential candidates asking Americans to vote. Should they vote - absolutely, after all, voting is a privilege, not a right. But there are many Americans who won't vote - why? Because they don't believe their vote will matter.

It's the same with this petition - will it matter? Who knows, it might or it might not. I have both signed Rebecca's petition and voted early, because I'm one of those people who chose to believe that some things in this country/world DO matter.

Although Rebecca's intentions are extremely honorable and admirable, she -- nor anyone else for that matter, can force people to fight for their rights. All she can do is let them know she is willing to fight beside them. She's certainly done that. Those of us who have signed her petition, and in all likelihood those who haven't, appreciate Rebecca's actions. We wish her well and hope for the best.


Oh my goodness...

Well, I have told authors to post on message board that they might visit often. Maybe it was one of those authors who posted "Anonymously?" I don't know. Hopefully they put my email. I think everyone is trying very hard to assist in any way they can. I can't be angry with them for that. BUT, I will ask if anyone does post, please use a name. I think it's right. I have no humiliation for posting this message and although I don't think others do, an anonymous post isn't right either. Thanks for the info, I appreciate your help!


Re: Don't you just wanna get drunk and forget?

I agree that Becca can't force people to fight for their rights.

That's why I suggested that if she can't get enough people to join her in the big fight to force PA to change, that she focus on her own writing career instead of justice for all.

And yes, many people don't believe their vote matters, but if they aren't going to raise their voice in the voting booth, then they should stop raising their voice by griping and complaining about taxes, the war, the economy, etc. And when you look at how evenly split the polls are, it's clear that every vote can matter.

It is also clear, that numbers matter with a situation like this, because no government agency is going to invest the time, money and resources investigating when they receive a couple dozen complaints about a company with thousands of customers. They receive complaints about lots of legit companies as well, there's always people who are unsatisfied with the products, service, etc. provided by even the best and biggest co's. They cannot investigate each and every company that is complained about. And because PA does not take any money from their victims, or endanger their health or safety, it is even more important that there is a high number of complaints.

I do have a question for those of you who believe that some may not be coming forward to sign Becca's petition because they are afraid. And that question is: Exactly what are they afraid of?

What power does PA have over them? What can PA do to them?

Throw them off their bulletin board? There are many other bulletin boards where they can tell their story and get support.

Stop promoting and distributing their books? PA isn't promoting or distributing their books as it is. That's WHY they're unhappy with PA.

Not pay them royalties? What royalties - they're not selling any books.

Not let them out of their contract? They don't let you out of your contract unless forced to anyway.


Call to action...

Becca, are you consulting counsel about this petition? IANAL, but one has mentioned that under Maryland law "a nonlawyer is not privileged to solicit individuals for potential legal action". I'd hate to see all your efforts come to naught.


Yes I am...

No worries. Cannot say too much at this point. Suffice it to say that your concern is noted. I appreciate the heads up that you offer. Cannot go in to it more than that. Wish us luck.


add mine

I signed it. My book is as dead as Kelsey's...well, just say it's dead. What could it hurt?


Re: Don't you just wanna get drunk and forget?

I don't think everyone who isn't signing the petition is afraid. I have two friend who don't frequent any of the boards. So there may be many PA authors out there who are upset with PA yet they don't know what to do because they don't know about or lurk on the different forums.

Both my friends signed the petition. I also gave one of them Becca's email address so she could get help in getting her rights back- which she did but she signed the gag order. She believes if she changes the title, the names of the main characters, and adds a few chapters to the manuscript PA print, she doesn't have to show any other publisher the book has been in print before and that she has her rights. Is she correct in thinking this?

I applaud both :clap Dave and :clap Becca for sending out the email concerning the petition. I've signed it and I'm not afraid. If I knew any other PA author personally, I'd tell them about it too.

I've just sent PA my second letter asking for them to terminate my contract. This letter isn't as friendly as the first.



Re: Up to their old tricks...

I received an email from PA on 10/18/04 telling me they had agreed to release me from my contract for my book Death by Bad Magic and that the papers would arrive soon. As of today those papers has not arrived, sent and email to PA today telling them I had not received anything, and I did not want a release with the gag order attached to it. Not heard a word as of this afternoon from PA.

Oh, yes, since I don't know what to expect from PA, I too signed the petition.

Violet :grin

James D Macdonald

Re: Up to their old tricks...

I'd be very surprised if more than a tiny fraction of PA authors were even aware of this (and similar) boards.

Of those 12,000 happy authors, how many are expert web researchers? And how many have been ground down by a "don't take that tone with us" email?

You know, if you really wanted to reach PA authors, you'd take out an ad in Writers Digest.


Some clarification

I wish to point out that I have contacted many authors asking them to join in the petition. I signed my name to the contact email and I made each contact individually by handwriting each email rather than posting in bulk to an email list that might disclose identities to others. I included Rebecca's name and email address so those authors could decide on their own whether to involved themselves.

Then again, I think you all know that I speak out in the open and I stick by my words. Still, in view of what's happening, I felt it wouldn't hurt to point out that I and P&E have not disclosed anyone's confidentiality.


Thank you Dave

I too have not disclosed anyone's identity. I thought about that article James. I sent you a private message.

Ed Williams 3

HB is going into stand up comedy!

God, when you think it can't get worse...

"Okay folks, I'm going to do it.

My friend Mark Wirtz has talked me into it. I'm going to be marketing my books at comedy shops. WHY? Because ladies and gentlemen H.B. IS GOING ON THE ROAD!!! I'm going to give this stand up @#%$ a try. In a half hour I came up with a ten minute set that made my wife have to pee. I've never tried it before and I'm sick of people begging me to do it. I do it over the phone with people all over the world for free every freakin' week, so why not? I did the seminar(after promising PA I would be good and stick to the subject)and it didn't even make me nervous really.

So, I'm going to go do open mike night at some local comedy clubs and see how it goes. There are just too many things I can't put in books because of the visuals and voices.(yes, I do a few voices) But the deal is, I can't write certain things that would be funnier if I said them. It's an excellant way to sell books in the lobby!

So start watching your local club scenes and I promise to make you feel the need to pee.

Okay, calm down." :rofl

I think a couple of months ago he was going to write screenplays or for TV or something, and now this. Anyone that would follow this boob is in need of some serious counseling, yet amazingly, there are some that do. Wonder when the gigs will start pouring in?


HB is going into stand up comedy!

In all fairness, I hope he does well. I haven't read HB's works but if he thinks he can take his act on the road, more power to him. I've seen him give a seminar and my heart bled for him because he was either suffering from severe stage fright or low blood sugar. We were all prepared for the HB that people read on the boards, ascerbic and in your face. None of those showed up and I finally had to leave.

From what I've seen of him in person, he's not at all the verbal daredevil when he's not around his posse of friends. He's painfully shy and extremely introverted. Considering the things he's said to me on the boards, I was expecting a huge tongue lashing when we came face to face. Instead he couldn't even look at me.

It takes a huge amount of guts to get up in front of a group of people, doesn't it, Ed? You're lucky to have an amazing amount of experience and a very easy and genuinly hysterical manner. This could be a real tough road to reality for HB and despite the achingly cruel and rude lies he's spread about me in the past, I do wish him well.

Ed Williams 3

Lynn, it took years...

...for me to develop a routine I was comfortable with, and still I get tremendously scared before I go out in front of an audience. You never know what their reaction may be, and you can leave in any emotional state ranging from exhilaration to depression. I probably am too hard on HB, but what really bothers me is how he leads innocent writers to the slaughter with PA. If he wants to do it, that's fine, but to encourage others to follow his path forward is criminal, the trail of broken promises, hearts, and legacies he'll leave behind is not something I would want on my head.


Ed, you da man as always

Yes, Ed, I know you worked very diligently on your speeches before you got it right. What I'd give to hear you. I'm certain my abs would get a workout.

And yes, I know exactly what your reasoning is with HB. Everyone on this board realizes HB is the leader of the PA pack. He may be a vitriolic mouthpiece for his publisher, but normal thinking people aren’t sucked in by his diatribe.

In my short tenure there, I never bought his schtick for a minute. I saw him as a frustrated man who would give his life over to be more than he perceives himself to be now. That he isn’t creates this big fish in a small pond mentality and he struts around lending sage words of advice to those who admire him. Don't forget, it takes a willing audience for a bully to rule the roost.

Even though he is the most spiteful, rancorous, and malicious person I’ve ever known, my compassion runs deeper and I end up pitying him. A happy, well-adjusted individual simply does not act the way he does.

AC Crispin

The Petition

Since I am not a Publish America author, and have not had personal experience with PA -- except for PA trolls calling me and Victoria "whores" and claiming we plagiarize our books...whoopie! -- I didn't think it was appropriate for me to sign the petition as an individual. And, since the petition is not under my control (and I'm not suggesting it should be, it's Beck's project!) Writer Beware can't sign it, either.

However, that doesn't mean WB is remaining inactive. We have something in the works, but I cannot say more than that publicly.

I do urge all unhappy PA authors to not only sign the petition, but to write an individual, hardcopy letter to the Maryland Attorney General's office, the IRS, and any other agencies that you think will be interested in what PA is doing.

-Ann C. Crispin


Main PA Cheerleader

"And yes, I know exactly what your reasoning is with HB. Everyone on this board realizes HB is the leader of the PA pack."


He might be the leader of a few weak minded authors or a** kissers over there but for the most part he does not represent the majority of the authors at PA.

He does create a fake grandeur that I see some of the newbies fall for all the time. They lose their self identity in fear of facing his wrath when they don't agree with him. Fortunately some PA authors don't care for his method of intimidation and will tell him where to get off.

What I'm waiting from him next is the excuse for his new book not selling well. I see already him saying "I was so tied up moving I didn't have a chance to promote my book".

Tomorrow's NYT ad should be interesting. You already have the guy that had 500 pre-orders asking the female author, who said she received an email from PA informing her of being in the ad, exactly how many books did she sell. If he bought 500 books and didn't receive PA notification of being listed in the ad which seems to be the case, he sure is scratching his head wondering why he did not make the ad.

If the head cheerleader is selected for the NYT ad for his new probably not so funny book, the author with 500 presales will probably be seen crying on the boards or at least his Hail to PA speeches will change.

PA must have made enough on the first announcement of the ad because it wasn't advertised on the PA board this time to announce the on going ad.

A present PA author staying put at PA to keep my enemy closer to me
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