It's a good thing I decided to let this post ride, because if I'd written last night, when I originally planned, smoke would probably rise directly from the monitor. I was steamed - and that's putting it mildly. Heck, smoke was actually rising from my head, if you want to know the truth.
A writer I know had recently signed a contract with the sleaziest of all vanity publishers - our old friend PublishAmerica. However, within days of signing said contract, upon doing a little more research, he realized what kind of mistake he made. Sure, he should have done the research first, but hey, anyone can make a mistake, right? The important thing is that he realized it before PA got their grubby, sleazy hands on his book.
So, long story short, he's been fighting with PA to get his rights back - and he's got a whole cheering section supporting him, by the way.
Well, that sounds relatively simple, right? But again, we are dealing with PA here - there isn't a trick in their sleazy little playbook they won't try.
Writer X (as my friend will henceforth be known as) e mailed very polite letters to the asshats in Frederick. Said asshats refused to answer his very specific and very important questions about such things as, oh... placement in bookstores, why are PA books so obscenely priced compared to comparable works put out by REAL publishers, how many authors have actually earned a royalty check that wouldn't make a bank clerk laugh at them when trying to cash it. That sort of thing. Nothing nosy, but hey, has anyone aside from one "author" actually earned more than $1.85 in royalties. (Rumor has it that the one author who has cleared over $1,000.00 in royalties is none other than the King Snake himself - PA owner Willem Meiners.)
Writer X posted on the PA boards, asking his fellow PA authors about their books being placed in bookstores, about the obscenely, outrageously high prices for their sloppily-put-together and poorly edited book with their laughable clip-art covers. Of course, he didn't phrase it quite the same. Just wanted a little information to be a bit more informed.
Well, the other "happy PA authors" jumped on this guy like you wouldn't believe. Writer X wasn't surprised, of course. He'd been warned. He knew. He has guts. A lot of them.
Okay, it's bad enough that these people tore him to shreds on the PA boards. Mob mentality rules over there. I'd suggest seeing it for yourself, but PA censors their messageboard. Anything raising the slightest question about PA gets wiped away - never happened. CENSORSHIP IN ORDER TO KEEP NEW PROSPECTS FROM BEING ALERTED TO THE FACT THAT PUBLISHAMERICA IS A SLEAZY VANITY PUBLISHER.
What is even more disgusting is that one "happy" author, who doesn't have the stones to come into an educated debate, took it a step further and bashed Writer X on his MySpace page. How's that for courage. Doesn't have the balls to face facts and prove his argument, but hides like a sniveling coward in the safety of the PA boards and by leaving nauseating comments on Writer X's MySpace blog. I'm not going to name names, but I almost wish he'd see this. He is a pathetic excuse for a human. Weak. Coward. He knows who he is and it's sad to see how low a person will sink just to make someone else feel lousy.
I suspect he knows what a HUGE mistake he made, falling into the PA trap, and instead of fighting to free himself, he's given up and allowed himself to be fully indoctrinated in the cult that is PublishAmerica. I would assumed that, since he obviously has no self-respect anymore, no self-esteem, and probably really hates himself, that the only way to feel better about himself is to try to pull others down to his level. Sad. Not only are you not an author, sir, but you are hardly fit to call yourself a man.