The Old Neverending PublishAmerica Thread (Publish America)

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AnnaWhite

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James D. Macdonald said:
Let's make one thing clear: I'm not against publishers making money.
I have nothing against publishers or anybody else making an honest profit, either. In fact, the publishing industry needs to be a profitable one, if writers want to be published and the public wants to read books.

But I like to see people earn their profit, by providing a service that benefits other people.

PA makes its profits through deception. It claims to be a 'traditional' publisher, and not a vanity publisher. Yet it makes its money from selling books to its authors, and to the authors' friends and family - not to the public. Nobody but PA benefits.

Thanks to PA's deception, I ended up paying more than if I'd gone with a real vanity publisher. But the fact is, I didn't want a vanity publisher. I never would have wanted a vanity publisher. Having a dead book that friends and relatives bought at an embarrassingly high price was not my idea of being published.

I hate it and I cringe when I realise that my money, and the money of my friends and family, has gone to line the pockets of PA. Because all I gained from the exercise was the loss of my book for seven years, wasted money, more anger than I've felt for decades, and a load of frustration, shame, impotence, and disgust.

I hope that this thread will stop a few others from ever being duped by PA's lies.
 

PVish

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Lady of Prose said:
I believe this to be true of the majority of PA authors, if we are very honest. If it isn't true, we were, and they are, "hoping" that it is true and somehow the book would/will make it regardless of the pitfalls. Not going to happen with the current business model. I don't care how many "up-in-lights, possible movie deals, or any other antics the authors can come up with--it will not happen.


Many PA authors (at least many who post on the PAMB) seem to be incredibly optimistic. They believe in their dreams and encourage others to believe in their dreams. They seem incredibly good-hearted. They're the ones, for instance, who get upset when a fellow PAer "dies" during Easter weekend. They write books to "help" others. (Well, CancerBoy is the exception.)

These nice people are the very ones PA wants to lure into its evil web— because these folks believe in their dreams. Too bad PA turns their dreams into nightmares.
 

Andrew Jameson

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egem said:
PA may not be upfront about their model, but if writers protected themselves PA wouldn't be able to do as well as they are doing.
Sheryl Nantus said:
ah, the classic "blame the victim" scenario...

:rant:
No it is NOT.

That's an incredibly unfair statement. What's this thread for if not to help writers protect themselves against vultures like PA? Any effort to educate people about scammers is "blame the victim"? Any recognition that forewarned writers are less likely to give money to PA is "blame the victim"? That's crap.

Christine N. said:
Yeah, that's like the old 'If she didn't dress that way, I wouldn't have raped her' crap. Sorry if that's blunt, but that's the way it is.
That's way, way, over the top. First of all, the recognition that writers should be educated is *not* a "blame the victim" scenario. Second of all, having one's book printed by a scammer is in no way comparable to being dragged into an alley, beaten senseless, sexually violated, and having to deal with the trauma for the rest of one's life. The comparison is insulting.
 

Christine N.

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You're right, it is insulting. It was meant to be. Some people (not you, Andrew, that was pretty much directed at egem) need a bucket of ice water thrown over their head. Can you hear me now? (and I apologize to anyone who was insulted by it, it was a knee-jerk reaction.)

If writers protected themselves... they wouldn't be writers. Writers, by and large, I think, are very sensitive people. Artistic, creative people usually are. They believe in something- their work. Some also happen to be very pragmagtic people too - they do have one foot in reality at least. Some don't - they ride in the clouds. They know nothing of this business and they don't know where to begin, or, like UJ says, they believe their book is different.

So does that give PA the right to prey on them, just because they may not be so very business savvy? No more than it gives someone else a right to violate another person because she wears a short skirt, who's read all the literature about 'no means no'. Do you see the connection there?

It's not a bad analogy, but it was a bit harsh. Sorry.
 

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Andrew Jameson said:
No it is NOT.
Andrew, you may not be aware that egem has similar things in several threads, and they all boil down to, "Well, it's your own silly fault. You should have known." Those of us who responded to this quote of his were doing so in that context.

Yes, writers stand a better chance of avoiding scams if they educate themselves. This neither excuses those who prey on inexperience and naivite, nor means those taken in by scams are to blame for being taken.

The comparison is insulting.
Easy, friend. I hear your outrage. I'd be that mad, too, if I thought that's what she said. But note she didn't say they were equivalent. She was pointing out that the reasoning is the same in both cases: You did something to make your victimization possible, therefore you are responsible for it.
 

DaveKuzminski

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If anyone has a copy still on file in their email program of any previous PA special offers like the one that PA just sent around to its authors, would you forward a copy to me? I want to build a display of all the offers in one place so writers can see what kind of real promotion PA performs as opposed to what they ought to do. In other words, I want to showcase each of those offers that always arrive just before royalties are due.

By the way, do you think that the actual royalties PA pays is dependent upon how much they collect during the pre-royalty payment schedule? That would explain why their records are so shoddy and don't actually reflect real sales. I mean, you don't suppose they spent all their other money already and need the quick sales to pay the authors kind of like a Ponsi scheme?
 

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Andrew Jameson said:
Second of all, having one's book printed by a scammer is in no way comparable to being dragged into an alley, beaten senseless, sexually violated, and having to deal with the trauma for the rest of one's life.

It's not the same, but in a way it is. I feel like I was dragged into a back alley, psychologically abused and then raped by these people. Now I have to wait seven years until I'm a virgin again.

It's no where close to the pain that women and men feel when they get raped but what PA does is what I like to call "Mental Rape".
 

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Dave...

I have a copy of every single one of PA's "inducements to buy" since 2003, but I do not want to inundate you. If you do not receive a copy of what you are looking for from anyone else, PM me with your e-mail address.

postshy/Roberta
 

Lady of Prose

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Violation takes many forms and I definitely feel violated by PublishAmerica.
 

TwentyFour

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A PA author unhappy with the situation posted this and has decided to leave the PAMB. I think she made the best decision and should be commended, but there is a problem...the gag order for having her rights to her work back...read this:


We asked for our contract to be voided and all rights returned to us...
PA sent us a form to sign ...however there was a GAG order included...




3. Confidentiality and Non-Disparagement Provision
Each party acknowledges and agrees, promises, covenants and warrants that from this time forward they will not at any time exhibit, reveal or show this Agreement (including drafts) or its contents to a third party, or another publisher, unless compelled to do so by a court of competent jurisdiction or to the party’s attorney, who may only show Paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Agreement to another publisher as proof that the Author is in full possession of all rights to the Work. Author agrees that he, his agents, attorneys, employees or family members will only represent that the relationship between Author and Publisher was “dissolved amicably” and will not disparage Publisher in any manner whatsoever, or host, maintain and/or post a message to any Internet web sites and/or message boards in which the content disparages Publisher in any manner whatsoever. Publisher agrees that it, its agents, attorneys, and employees will only represent that the relationship between Author and Publisher was “dissolved amicably” and will not disparage Author in any manner whatsoever, or host, maintain and/or post a message to any Internet web sites and/or message boards in which the content disparages Author in any manner whatsoever.
If suit is filed to enforce any part of this Confidentiality and Non-Disparagement Provision, or otherwise seek redress for breach of this Provision, the prevailing Party or Parties shall be entitled to recover all his/her/their attorneys’ fees relating to the dispute as well as liquidated damages of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) for each instance.


How would you feel about signing something like this?
Kinda one sided, isn't it? Like ALL PA contracts!

Emails to and from PA...



>From:[email protected]
>To: [email protected]
>Subject: Settlement Agreement and Release
>Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2006 01:14:17 +0000


>Dear Jessica,
>
>We received the Settlement and Release forms from your office last week and have a problem with Paragraph 3 therein.
>
>In this provision, you have asked us to sign away the First Amendment Rights of attorneys, agents, and family members. That is something we are not willing to do and question if it is even legal.
>
>As far as the two of us, we would agree to the Confidentiality and Non-Disparagement Provision, but do not feel that we can control the actions of
other people nor are we willing to police these people to ensure compliance with something they are not even aware exists.
>
>We would gladly return the signed contract to you, if Provision 3 can be amended or removed entirely.
>
>Sincerely,
>
>XXXXXXXXXX


-------------- Forwarded Message: --------------
From: Jessica <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]
Subject: XXXXXXXX: Settlement Agreement and Release
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2006 16:18:43 +0000

Dear Ms. XXXXXXXXX,

It appears that you have been given false information. Our amendment is actually quite standard, not only in the publishing industry, but in other industries as
well. We will not alter it at all, and we recommend that you seek competent legal council to ensure your understanding of the amendment.

You are certainly free to not sign the document, with the contract then remaining fully in effect.

Thank You,
Jessica
Author Support Team
[email protected]
 
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CaoPaux

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IANAL, but as you'll read in other discussions of the "gag" clause, it's inherently unenforceable because not all named parties are party to the contract. That is, unless the author had all her family members, etc., sign the contract, they cannot be held to it.

Also, a revision of rights is useless if you can't show it to your next publisher as proof the rights have been reverted. :Headbang:

Bottom line: they're full of it.
 
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James D. Macdonald

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DaveKuzminski said:
If anyone has a copy still on file in their email program of any previous PA special offers like the one that PA just sent around to its authors, would you forward a copy to me?

Most of them since this thread started are right here in this thread.

Earlier ones (we'll sell your book in Korea (depending on whether your book sells enough in the next two weeks (books you buy yourself count!)) and we'll recommend your book to Oprah (depending on whether your book sells enough in the next two weeks (books you buy yourself count!)) and we'll make your book a hardcover (depending on how many you sell in the next two weeks (books you buy yourself count!)) may be scattered around the Take It Outside board.

The Index to this thread (now sadly outdated -- it doesn't include the last year) should help you get started.
 

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Jo Scott said:
It appears that you have been given false information. Our amendment is actually quite standard, not only in the publishing industry, but in other industries as well.

I don't know about other industries, but this is a mouth-gapingly false statement about the publishing industry. Their amendement is utterly non-standard. Publishing professionals who hear about it universally say, "They want you to sign what?!"
 

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Aconite said:
Andrew, you may not be aware that egem has similar things in several threads, and they all boil down to, "Well, it's your own silly fault. You should have known."

He also says this thread should not exist, because it "could hurt writers who choose to go with PA." So apparently, he thinks that writers should be expected to "protect themselves" without the information contained here, and in other websites that warn writers about PA's bad practices. How is that fair?
 

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Jo Scott said:
A PA author unhappy with the situation posted this and has decided to leave the PAMB. I think she made the best decision and should be commended, but there is a problem...the gag order for having her rights to her work back...read this:
Anyone who can get information to this person may want to suggest contacting their local branch of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts for help.
 

Christine N.

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It seems they've amended that gag clause to allow the first paragraphs to another publisher in order to prove the author is in full possession of the rights. I don't remember that being in there before, but it's been awhile since I've seen it.
 

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Peggy said:
I think this is probably true. I just hope that the latest PA email doesn't make current authors reach for their wallets. I really appreciate the current (and former) PublishAmerica authors who are willing to share their experiences and emails here at AW. Without that inside view, most of us wouldn't know how ridiculous PA really is. And for all the non-critical thinkers out there: you don't have to do the math, we've done it for you.



The one thing most authors do not think about is:
1. If they pay with a credit card, the publisher will automatically get their money.
2. If an author is like the majority of citizens, their bank card is dramatically maxed out or near maxed out.
3. The interest rate on a credit card, when the total amount is not paid in full each month, will increase the purchase price of any book well over its original price and don't forget shipping!
4. To purchase 60 books and finance them through a credit card, paying only minimum payments each month...YOU WILL BE PAYING OFF THESE BOOKS TILL YOU ARE VERY OLD. You WILL NOT see any profits whatsoever and be in the hole...big time.


Bee
 

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James D. Macdonald said:
Surely Jessica meant "legal counsel."

LMAO Uncle Jim,

Unprofessional until the very end. I just can't get over the "Tone" 'get competent legal council...'

Go suck a stale twinkie, Jessica.
 

BeeBomb

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It just goes to show they don't edit or proof read or do a comparative spell check. Her paragraph was a small thing, easy enough to grab a dictionary for correct "counsel."

SEE, PA lurkers, CLASSIC EXAMPLE OF WHAT AW IS TRYING TO TELL YOU--> nuff said about the editing portion of what they don't do for themselves! If they can't get it right in a simple on paragraph, rest assured, they won't get it right in your books!


Bee
 

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Aconite said:
Anyone who can get information to this person may want to suggest contacting their local branch of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts for help.

And anyone considering publishing with Publish America (or whatever they are called over here these days) in the UK should contact the Society of Authors and ask for their opinion.

The SoA offers a totally free contract checking service to all of its members. It costs around £70 to join but the benefits are enormous: the free contract check is excellent and would cost many hundreds of pounds if paid for (I've used it myself and was sent seven tightly-typed pages of comments, including suggested amendments and why the amendments were necessary); they also provide access to all their research and archives, and get information out to you the same day; and they run a wonderful series of talks on all aspects of writing and publishing. Fabulous.

www.societyofauthors.org
 

TwentyFour

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From the PAMB:

Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 12:50 am Post subject:

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

Hi XXXX,

Go to the online bookstore on the PA website and if you read the list of genres you will find a selection of hardcover books.

I am a member of an author group. Our president has 40 books in print and all of them are paperback books. They are easier and cheaper to produce than hardback books are.

I can promise you that any other publisher that you publish with will publish your first book in a paperback edition, unless of course, you have a well known name. Just go to your local bookstore and you will find more paperbacks than hardback books. Generally the hardback books will be written by famous people or established authors who sell.

OK...I am new at this, that is why I am reading all I can on Publishing and what they do and don't do. It isn't true...this cannot be true...is it? I find most on the PAMB board to be as "ignorant" on publishing as I am, so it just makes me wonder.:Shrug:
 
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MacAllister

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Jo,
Ask Liam Jackson. He posts here. He's a first-time novelist. He recently signed a 6-book hardback deal with St. Martin's press, on the strength of that first novel.

It really is a case of writing a great book that people want to read.
 
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