The Old Neverending PublishAmerica Thread (Publish America)

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

Not open for further replies.


Re: My favorite suggestion in PA discussion of the articles.

That's just what I was figuring, and I am SO offended not to have been included 'cause I think we chatted about the idea many months ago, but I shall hope it's only because I'm not a SFWA member.

Meanwhile, glad my genuinely impassioned anguish and potentially deadly sleep deprivation brought you a chuckle, C! :b

I shall (somehow) bear the next 24 hours until the whole beautiful plot unfolds.

(Note: If it takes more than 24 hours, I'm going to whip out the truly menacing punctuation. I may even make Hapi teach me how to make it flash.)



How coincidental can this be? There's a book coming out at PA with the title of Expatriate. I guess PA hasn't seen the teeshirt yet. Otherwise, I doubt that they would have okayed that title. ;)

literary lola

Re: My favorite suggestion in PA discussion of the articles.

Jenna, I don't know you, but I'd like to think that should we both bump up against Willem, Larry and Miranda in a loaded warehouse full of unread manuscripts, we'd punctuate them to death. You crack me up. <img border=0 src="" />


Re: Favorite of PA discussions

Oh, the sweet irony of it all! Larry, a misplaced apostrophe sticking out from betwixt his temples. Miranda, her eye impaled by a renegade exclamation point. Meiners... his kneecaps shattered by an inappropriate semi-colon...


Re: Favorite of PA discussions

Dear Jim,

I thought it only fair to warn you of what madness might befall this forum if you do not return and post all within the next 23 hours. A rogue member has tipped me off about how to use the flash function. Consider this just a small sampling of what's to come if you miss my deadline.

<font color=fuchsia face=verdana size=7><blink>!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</blink></font>

<font color=green face=verdana size=7>GO AHEAD,</font> <font color=purple face=georgia size=7>TRY TO AVERT YOUR EYES</font><font color=green face=verdana size=7>!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</font>

<font color=fuchsia face=comic sans ms size=7><blink>THERE'S MORE WHERE THIS CAME FROM!!!!!!!!!!</blink></font>

literary lola

Re: Favorite of PA discussions

<blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>Meiners... his kneecaps shattered by an inappropriate semi-colon...<hr></blockquote>
And HB can follow up the group with a dangling participle delicately lodged beneath his nose.

Ed Williams 3

Y'all are just wearing me out...

...with all this, Uncle Jim had better get back and unveil the goods quickly! Sounds like an A bomb headed straight for PA's heart!

:evil :evil :evil :evil

XThe NavigatorX

Re: Duh, another poster

I did a paper on _Naked Came a Stranger_ in college. I think I still have my copy of it.

You have to take it through the publication stage, especially since Cloppers insists Dee's and Kevin's tricks would've been discovered. :lol

Just the thought of them going through 2,000+ manuscripts looking for the purposely-bad one is just precious.


Re: and HB says...

What happens if PA publishes something still under copyright to another? Can they claim "we don't read, we line-edit" as a legal excuse? :lol

Andrea 0]

Ed Williams 3

Andrea, they would just say...

...that it was a plot engineered by the traditional literary world to keep 'em down, then PA would assign a crack editor to the manuscript and you wouldn't recognize the finished product anyway...


Re: Excuses

What happens if PA publishes something still under copyright to another? Can they claim "we don't read, we line-edit" as a legal excuse?

...that it was a plot engineered by the traditional literary world to keep 'em down, then PA would assign a crack editor to the manuscript and you wouldn't recognize the finished product anyway...

One will use the first excuse, another will use the second excuse. A few more and we'll have them all covered.

... the editor had never read that book and didn't recognize it as a previously published book.

FM St George

Re: PA Cheerleaders

folks, the cold hard fact is that there's NO way to put a positive spin on these two articles, no matter how the PA supporters want to think of it.

even now the articles are hitting Google and search engines and when you search for PublishAmerica these two articles are going to hit you in the face - and unlike what they say on the PA boards, not ALL publicity is GOOD publicity.

the conspiracies are already proliferating on the boards about how Ingrams is in cahoots with the major publishers to skew the NYT bestseller list and so forth - so while they may be lost to the monster that is PA, there's a VERY good chance that their numbers will begin to drop thanks to the efforts to get the truth out there. TWO major news articles to start with!

and while the AP article wasn't as condemning as the WP one, they both did NOT exactly recommend PA as a new and exciting way to break into the publishing world.



Re: and HB says...

What happens if PA publishes something still under copyright to another? Can they claim "we don't read, we line-edit" as a legal excuse?
I would expect that their contract has the industry-standard (for once) clause that the author warrants the work is his own. No matter how closely you edit, you won't necessarily know a plagiarism, so the publisher is off the hook.


Re: lawsuits and HB

"since Cloppers insists Dee's and Kevin's tricks would've been discovered."

The point is not whether the bogus manuscript would be discovered, the point is that they offered a contract on a bogus manuscript.

BTW, PA trolls, my bogus manuscript was not submitted under the title "Overtime."


The Real Joe Shmoe

That's funny!

"I always wondered if some of those editors were on crack." ..or some of their writers....


re: HB, lawsuits, the sting, etc

To me it's all the same... Every little thing done provides more proof that this company is one BIG LIE. No matter what excuses they come up with, they are not doing what they state on their website which seems to be their main means of communication with everyone... not just the wannabe published.

First there was Kevin's "book", then Dee's, now there is another sting in operation that we have yet to hear about... I hope it's good one because the suspense is killing me.

First paragraph on PA's about us page(keywords bolded):
"PublishAmerica, a traditional advance and royalty paying book publisher, launches authors in the best tradition of old-fashioned quality publishing. The Maryland based publishing company is fundamentally opposed to charging any author fees. Its founders decided that a well-written book is worth publication if the author can convince a publishing company that there are at least the seeds of a market out there, and that the author's talent holds a promise for the future."

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my understanding that a book must carry it's story through stages to a satisfying conclusion, typically a beginning, a middle,and an end.

If they don't read the whole manuscript, how do they know it's a well written book? The last claim via the AP article ( I think) was that the editor may not read the whole manuscript. A book could flounder in any one of those stages and consequently be poorly written.

If I went into every argument against PA I'd be repeating this whole thread. I just wanted to highlight the importance of this repeated pattern of accepting books willy-nilly.


If you want your PublishAmerica contract terminated

Now might be a good time to send a letter to PA asking for your rights back. You could include references to:

The AP says

"He (Clopper) said more than 1,000 PublishAmerica titles have not a sold a copy; PublishAmerica released those books at a loss.

In the Publishers Weekly article Miranda said:

"She also said that the house was open to renegotiating contracts..."

Even if you requested your book rights back before, I would guess the probability is a lot higher now.



RE: If you want your PublishAmerica contract terminated

Good idea, Dee. I know there's one author we both know and love who might finally have a chance at getting hers terminated.

FM St George

Back to the questions...

so, from a late lamented poster at PA (who was probably banned)

"What percent of manuscripts are rejected?
What is the average royalty's check paid to authors?
Who decides if a manuscript will be published or not and why?
Have any Author's made it big, by startting out with PA?
Has PA sold any of its rights to film makers?
How do other publisher's view PA?"

well, let's see... the first three weren't disclosed in either article, so either Clopper and Co. didn't have the figures or didn't want to give them out.

the third... hmm... guess no one found anyone to name.

any film rights gone?

and I think it's pretty well announced how other publishers AND author guilds AND Barnes&Noble (among other bookstores) view PublishAmerica.

so, PA authors - why was this post deleted if the questions were so easy to answer?

and now that you've gotten the answers, how do you feel?

... other than HB still bleeping about his cigarette money quote being totally fictional and all...


Re: RE: The AP Article

I was gratified and slightly disappointed by both articles. The only moment where someone addresses the all-important issue of getting read is a quote from Ann Crispin. Otherwise you could get the idea that the entire industry consists of writers wanting publication and publishers bestowing or withholding it.

I gnashed my teeth when one story let Larry Clopper get away with saying PA had made a tremendous monetary investment in its books.

However, there were many useful bits of information. We now know that there are 35 PA "editors," and that they work in-house. Since we know how many books PA publishes per week -- roughly 70 -- we can see that each editor spends about 2.0 - 2.5 days total per book. I've been waiting a long time for solid information on that question.

Does anyone else here have experience prepping electronic manuscripts for reproduction as books? I've done a fair amount of it. Starting from scratch, two days is enough time for one person to: <blockquote>1. Clean all the glitches out of the file -- three different mechanisms used for paragraph indentations, em-dashes variously represented by two, three, four, or five hyphens, weird extra characters and formatting commands between chapters, hard-to-kill sectional running heads, et cetera.

2. Pour the file into a template, tidy up its chapter starts, and set up frontmatter, backmatter, running heads, and folios.

3. Kill off widows and orphans, and tighten up excessively loose lines and paragraphs.

4. Do a spellcheck and a perfunctory grammar check.</blockquote>Two observations on that. First, it may be editing, but it isn't an edit. In fact, what that is is the absolute minimum required to take an author's electronic file and turn it into an artifact that can pass for a book. If PA promised no editing at all, they'd still have to do all that work. Since they can't avoid it, they misrepresent it as an edit and make it a selling point.

Second, unless the person doing that work is very good, very fast, and very motivated, and the book isn't very long, there's no way they're going to have time to read it; and even if they can do that, they're going to burn out if they have to do it every day. I'm certain that there are PA titles which no PA employee has ever read straight through, and I strongly suspect that the majority of their books are in that category.

There's only one sense in which the following is true:<blockquote>"Clopper said those "flaws" would have been discovered before publication, but acknowledged the works had initially been accepted. "People make mistakes," he said. "When somebody views a manuscript, they may not read the whole thing line by line."</blockquote>If you're running through the process I described, you will spot the fact that a book consists of the same thirty or forty pages repeated over and over again. However, there's no guarantee that you're going to spot anything that's smaller-gauge and doesn't repeat. If a character's name changes partway through the book, or the calendar jumps from February to May in two weeks, it can go right past you.


Re: RE: The AP Article

Though 70 books a week seems plausible, how does anyone explain those weeks when PA released over 200 books each week? They let 170+ go to publication without any editing?


Re: Another lawsuit...

170 books released this week...where did the 70 come from, I can't remember a week PA only put out 70 books...
Not open for further replies.

Elizabeth George's book Write Away