Friday, March 09, 2007

PA - Will It Ever End???

OK - I know I said I was going to end my fascination withe PublishAmerica, but I can't. It's like watching a car accident. I want to look away, but I keep going back. It's all Writer Beware's fault - they got me hooked. Hee hee... I'm just kidding - I've learned a lot through them and the other watchdog groups I've been turned on to. Anyone aspiring to write for publication needs to check out their blog here and check out P&E here.

So now, why am I posting that, you might ask. Well, I was checking out the public PA boards and it seems someone else is waking up to sniff the java where PA is concerned. Aha! So, this person posted a warning for the other PA writers. A noble action, to say the least.

And it had exactly the same response as the others who've come before to warn about the vanity mill that is PublishAmerica.

The cult mentality strikes again.

Let me ask this, anyone who dares call PA what it is, (self-publishing!!) is automatically labeled a PA basher. Ok- that's not a question, but this is.

Have you ever heard of any other publisher being bashed?

Yes, authors will gripe and complain about print runs, or shelf positioning. Maybe they'll complain about advances or whatever. But are there sites dedicated to warning people away from Avon, or Dorchester, or Harlequin? If so, I have yet to see them. Sure, Writer Beware and other sites might warn a writer to have a lawyer who specializes in publishing contracts look over any author agreement before being signed, but that's just common sense.

Yet there are at least three sites that I visit on a regular occasion that warn about the lies and deceits of PublishAmerica. And for some reason, those who are foolish enough, naive enough, or dumb enough, to fall for the PA scam (yes, it IS a scam) are so quick to leap to the defense and label such sites as bashers. If they would simply stop and think for themselves, they would probably ask that same question. Why are there so many warnings where PA is concerned? Go to P&E and see for yourself. There are pages of reasons why to avoid them.

I've pointed out before that it seems like people on those PA boards are all gung-ho at first, but then, little by little, they fade from view. I know some get banned, I don't know if all of them do. But I think that they wise up and see what horrible mistake they've made.

PA can defend all they like, but they can't deny the facts. Their books are at least $5 higher than the average trade paperback, they are NOT automatically stocked in ANY brick and mortar bookstore. They can claim availability in said stores only because the book can be special ordered. Not the same thing. PA makes their money off of the people submitting to them. They want their authors to buy up the books and resell them, they count on author's friends and families to cough up $20 for a 150 page paperback. And when their authors don't or can't, voila! A subsequent book may be rejected.

Thier contract is seven years long. SEVEN YEARS! They offer up almost zilch in the way of marketing or promotions. Their discounts to bookstores are absymal and their return policy pretty much sucks. Most chain bookstores want nothing to do with PA books. Almost no respectable literary ageny considers a PA book a legitimate publishing credit (in fact, using a PA book as a credit can actually harm a writer by making them look like a clueless amatuer. And that is not the impression an author should want to give any true publishing professional!) and yet anyone who speaks out against PA is a basher. Go figure.

I fail to see what Writer Beware, P&E, and Absolute Write have to gain by playing watchdog. Nothing. Except to keep people from being suckered.

Some people who have spoken out on various blogs and boards have been hit with threatening letters from PA. I wonder if I will be. They don't scare me. I'm not speaking out on anything that can't be found anywhere in those forums above. I support these guys and what they do. I only wish more PA authors would open their eyes and realize what sort of damage they are doing to themselves and their potential writing careers. I'm sure there are plenty of truly talented writers there who were either too lazy or too naive to do their homework. I just hope that, by the time they realize what a mistake they've made, it isn't too late to rectify it.

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