Your content is here. The verification ID will NOT be detected if you put it here.

Pin It

Writer Beware: Publish America and the big “bad book” sting

There’s a new twist in publishing lore that involves a group of science fiction authors and nonauthors and the infamous publishing house, Publish America (PA), and chronicled by Critters Workshop, the on-line workshop/critique group for serious Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror writers. Now, Publish America promotes itself as a legitimate publisher in the manner of the traditional publishers and insists it is not a vanity press despite the widespread hue and cry that disputed the claim. Still the controversy about PA’s legitimacy continues. (See my January 22 post last month.)

Enter author James D. Macdonald and the "bad book" sting. With a clear intention to reveal the true nature of Publish America, this merry band of "bad writers" took aim and served PA with a mish mash of bad writing and faulty narrative that would have brought about a swift rejection by any other respectable publishing house. Not so at Publish America. The book, Atlanta Nights, garnered a contract.  Click through and read all about it.   

For more information on PA, check out the Baltimore Sun’s article "Publisher causing hubbub". As with most online newspapers, you’ll have to register (free) but will then be taken to the article. 


Enjoy these posts



Share
  • http://www.writers-edge.info Georganna Hancock

    Just plug the name into the search engine at the Warnings section of Writers Weekly (http://www.writersweekly.com/whispers_and_warnings.php) for an eyeful!

  • http://www.writers-edge.info Georganna Hancock

    Just plug the name into the search engine at the Warnings section of Writers Weekly (http://www.writersweekly.com/whispers_and_warnings.php) for an eyeful!

  • Margaret Marr

    You say Publish America is not a traditional publisher because they accept bad books and pay a very small advance? Does that mean a small press publisher who doesn’t pay an advance is also a vanity publisher? Personally I don’t know of any small press who pays an advance, and a lot of them have published some pretty bad novels. According to your way of thinking, all small press publishers are vanity publishers, which just isn’t true. I have a novel placed with Publish America, and they did NOT charge me a dime to publish my book. Therefore, they are not a vanity publisher.

  • Margaret Marr

    You say Publish America is not a traditional publisher because they accept bad books and pay a very small advance? Does that mean a small press publisher who doesn’t pay an advance is also a vanity publisher? Personally I don’t know of any small press who pays an advance, and a lot of them have published some pretty bad novels. According to your way of thinking, all small press publishers are vanity publishers, which just isn’t true. I have a novel placed with Publish America, and they did NOT charge me a dime to publish my book. Therefore, they are not a vanity publisher.

  • Morgon

    NO! PUBLISHAMERICA IS NOT A TRADITIONAL PUBLISHER!
    Unsuspecting, I submitted a lengthy manuscript to PublishAmerica. Within a few day after receiving the manuscript, Claudia, representing PublishAmerica, sent me an acceptance email. I was also emailed a sample publishing contract. Upon reading the contract, I realized that Publish-America is nothing more than a self publishing outfit, of the shameful kind.
    In the contract it states that books will be ‘printed to order’,up to 2,000 copies on a first run. PublishAmerica will NOT distribute the books, so guess who gets that responsibility? If the books don’t sell, the publisher will notify the author that all unsold books remaining in stock, will be disroyed. However, PublishAmerica will offer to sell all unsold copies of the books to the author at a discount price. Hummmmm . . . in other words,PublishAmerica dosen’t have to print any books at all, then offer to sell the inaginary books to the author at a discount to keep them from being distroyed. If the author agrees to buy some of the books, the publisher will print ‘on demand’ only the amount of books the author can afford to purchase.
    PublishAmerica also states that editing is free. But according to some authors, no matter how much editing is needed, authors are still charged for the service. However, PublishAmerica is still printing unedited books that they already charged editing services for. Hummmmm . . .
    After reading the contract and, checking the publisher out on the net, I emailed Meg Phillips at PublishAmerica that I was declining their contract. I requested Meg to send my manuscript back in the return, stamped box I had provided.
    Meg Philips emailed me back, stating that she would not send the manuscript back because I didn’t send return postage. Is this a brassy attenpt at blackmail? Why did she want more postage than I had already sent? Or, perhaps, she might have destroyed or lost the manuscript, or, last but not least, she was holding my manuscript as ransom because I refused to sign the contract. Who knows? Judging from all the clues, she lost the return/stamped manuscript box, and won’t admit it.
    I emailed Meg, again, stating that the local Postal worker, on my side of the country, attached return postage on the lid of the return mailer box in which the manuscript rested. He sealed that box inside the outer box and mailed the whole the thing for me. He stated that when the manuscript arrived at PublishAmerica — in care of Claudia — she or her rep. would have to sign for it. The signed receipt was delivered back to me in the mail.
    Meg continues to say that I didn’t send any return postage. This silly woman also stated that she was handed the manuscript without any boxes. So, now Meg has the United States Postal Service delivering over 500 loose pages of SciFi manuscript to publishers without have postage on the cover page. My what a wonderful service.
    If the Postal Service would not deliver an unboxed manuscript then, how did it get into Meg’s infamous hands? I can just see it all now. Over 500 loose manuscript pages riding the global jetstreams like migrating Canadian Geese, all coming in for a landing on the doorsetp of PublishAmerica. How amazing is that?
    Sorry, Meg, but I have all the postage receipts and the signed delivery acceptance.
    Now, I ask for the kindness of all you writers out there, both published and nonpublished, including traditional publishers and editors. Please, send an email to Publish-America requesting that they send my manuscript back. We have to stick together, least we remain uncomplaining publishing victims. Now is your chance to fight back, and pass the word on to others.
    “Never gove up your literary dreams!”

  • Morgon

    NO! PUBLISHAMERICA IS NOT A TRADITIONAL PUBLISHER!
    Unsuspecting, I submitted a lengthy manuscript to PublishAmerica. Within a few day after receiving the manuscript, Claudia, representing PublishAmerica, sent me an acceptance email. I was also emailed a sample publishing contract. Upon reading the contract, I realized that Publish-America is nothing more than a self publishing outfit, of the shameful kind.
    In the contract it states that books will be ‘printed to order’,up to 2,000 copies on a first run. PublishAmerica will NOT distribute the books, so guess who gets that responsibility? If the books don’t sell, the publisher will notify the author that all unsold books remaining in stock, will be disroyed. However, PublishAmerica will offer to sell all unsold copies of the books to the author at a discount price. Hummmmm . . . in other words,PublishAmerica dosen’t have to print any books at all, then offer to sell the inaginary books to the author at a discount to keep them from being distroyed. If the author agrees to buy some of the books, the publisher will print ‘on demand’ only the amount of books the author can afford to purchase.
    PublishAmerica also states that editing is free. But according to some authors, no matter how much editing is needed, authors are still charged for the service. However, PublishAmerica is still printing unedited books that they already charged editing services for. Hummmmm . . .
    After reading the contract and, checking the publisher out on the net, I emailed Meg Phillips at PublishAmerica that I was declining their contract. I requested Meg to send my manuscript back in the return, stamped box I had provided.
    Meg Philips emailed me back, stating that she would not send the manuscript back because I didn’t send return postage. Is this a brassy attenpt at blackmail? Why did she want more postage than I had already sent? Or, perhaps, she might have destroyed or lost the manuscript, or, last but not least, she was holding my manuscript as ransom because I refused to sign the contract. Who knows? Judging from all the clues, she lost the return/stamped manuscript box, and won’t admit it.
    I emailed Meg, again, stating that the local Postal worker, on my side of the country, attached return postage on the lid of the return mailer box in which the manuscript rested. He sealed that box inside the outer box and mailed the whole the thing for me. He stated that when the manuscript arrived at PublishAmerica — in care of Claudia — she or her rep. would have to sign for it. The signed receipt was delivered back to me in the mail.
    Meg continues to say that I didn’t send any return postage. This silly woman also stated that she was handed the manuscript without any boxes. So, now Meg has the United States Postal Service delivering over 500 loose pages of SciFi manuscript to publishers without have postage on the cover page. My what a wonderful service.
    If the Postal Service would not deliver an unboxed manuscript then, how did it get into Meg’s infamous hands? I can just see it all now. Over 500 loose manuscript pages riding the global jetstreams like migrating Canadian Geese, all coming in for a landing on the doorsetp of PublishAmerica. How amazing is that?
    Sorry, Meg, but I have all the postage receipts and the signed delivery acceptance.
    Now, I ask for the kindness of all you writers out there, both published and nonpublished, including traditional publishers and editors. Please, send an email to Publish-America requesting that they send my manuscript back. We have to stick together, least we remain uncomplaining publishing victims. Now is your chance to fight back, and pass the word on to others.
    “Never gove up your literary dreams!”