I was fired from PublishAmerica a short while ago and thought I would share my experiences with you. My first suggestion would be to NEVER PUBLISH ANYTHING WITH THEM EVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

To start with, PublishAmerica does all their job postings anonymously and only through e-mail. Your resume goes to a generic sounding yahoo.com address. I applied for a position with a "traditional book publisher" and eventually learned that it was PublishAmerica. Now, in the Frederick Maryland area PublishAmerica has an INSANELY bad reputation as an employer. I'd heard they fire people for next to nothing, fire people right before they're supposed to get a raise so they can hire someone cheaper, etc. Literally every person I'd spoken too about the company had nothing good to say about them.

Still, I was unemployed for quite a while and took the job. I figured I could just keep my head down, ignore any office drama and just get a regular paycheck for the first time since graduating college. I really didn't believe there could possibly be a work environment so bad that I couldn't just ignore it and do my work. And the first two weeks weren't bad at all. I didn't see what everyone's problem was.

Of course, I was being hired at the tail end of a mass firing where they basically gutted an entire department on the flimsiest of pretenses. Oh, and the only people that weren't fired were people who hadn't been there long enough to get raises....suspicious, eh?

Long story short, I worked there for two weeks and didn't hate it. Then, one day, I received a very angry e-mail from a justifiably disgruntled customer. My manager, Miranda Prather, composed a response (I was too new to be trusted with writing sensitive responses, I guess) that consisted of adding two sentences of personal insults to the beginning of a form response about how great PublishAmerica is. I said I was uncomfortable sending personal insults to customers and that I couldn't believe that such an unprofessional response was actually what the owners of PublishAmerica wanted sent out.

Well, apparently it was. After a few e-mails back and forth (because no one in that office communicates face to face...probably because the managers are such cowards) I stopped getting responses. Then my e-mail access went dead. Then the HR woman came up and told me I was fired.

To summarize: I was fired for refusing to insult a customer.

At any other job I'd be promoted for bringing that kind of managerial incompetence to light, but not at PublishAmerica.

Also, the process for accepting manuscripts goes something like this:

1) Underpaid desk jockey reads a few words. If you live in the USA, are 18+ years old and can write a complete sentence then your manuscript is accepted.

2) Your manuscript is edited by an underpaid recent college graduate who has to edit 17 books a week. Just imagine how much close, individual attention is being given to these manuscripts.

All in all, it was a truly impressive experience. In this area, even having PublishAmerica on your resume is a liability, so I'm glad it was only two weeks that I wasted there. It's pretty bad to be a customer of PublishAmerica, but I assure all of you, it is far, far worse to be an employee. Especially in a job market as utterly depressed as Frederick's. You just take what you can get around here, and PublishAmerica is always hiring for something, mostly because they're always firing for unprofessional, indefensible reasons.

The only good thing I can say about them is that they did pay me correctly, and promptly (this is not always the case according to other ex-employees). So there you go. Laugh at the absurdity of this company's inner workings. It really is insane that they are even still in business.