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I find it a frightening fact that PublishAmerica already have 10,000 published books in marketplace (recent announcement). Since they don't edit for content it is safe to assume that bulk of these are badly written at best. By choosing PublishAmerica, genuine AUTHORS who have worked hard at sharpening their writing and storytelling skills find their works irretrievably associated with some of most inane rubbish ever written, for period of their contract - SEVEN YEARS! Meanwhile READERS have dilemma of finding a readable piece of fiction (or non-fiction) in an environment awash with literary garbage.
The scam is brilliant in its simplicity. Instead of asking for money up front, PublishAmerica solicit a list of up to 100 of author's friends and family whom they bombard with pre-publication flyers offering discounted copies. The sting is in book's cover price - anything from 25-50% above going rate for a similar book - ensuring that friends-and-family discount does not effect publisher's profit. My own 136 page "tome" was originally priced at $19.95 then reduced to still prohibitive cover price of $16.95 when I expressed my disgust. Print-on-demand format allows publisher to recoup publishing costs almost immediately on just a few such sales which are followed up by a "special" bulk purchase offer, irresistible to author who has received only two free copies for review purposes. I invested three to four hundred pounds sterling and countless frustrating hours that I could ill afford on a marketing project that was doomed to failure from start. PublishAmerica's lack of author support, only answering phone calls for book orders and ignoring almost all email complaints, is legend, as is nigh impossible task of finding a bookseller willing to stock PublishAmerica non-returnable titles.
PublishAmerica have a branch called PublishBritannica and I now realise how naïve I have been to believe that a company would necessarily show respect to country whose name they cynically exploit. Maybe such business practices are par for course in today's dog-eat-dog, winner-take-all world. I know there are "authors" prepared to buy huge quantities of their books then sell them on to sympathetic, unsuspecting acquaintances, mug gullible punters at book fairs and like or just sell them to each other. I just enjoy writing stories, being neither a super salesman nor a confidence trickster. Is it too much to expect that a writer's work might succeed on merit rather than misrepresentation and deceit? If companies like PublishAmerica are allowed to legally flourish while exploiting new authors, deceiving reading public and stifling writing talent, apart from GENUINE TRADITIONAL HOUSES, book publishing industry will surely drown in a dumbed-down literary quagmire of its own making.
NOTE: Many authors who value their work and who have fallen victim to this disreputable company are campaigning to have sole rights to their material restored. To those who threaten legal action PublishAmerica offer a release agreement containing a gagging clause. Authors who feel that they have been misled or defrauded by this company are advised to write to -
Office of Attorney General Consumer Protection Division-Beth Silverman 200 St. Paul Place Baltimore, MD 21202
BBB of Greater Maryland 1414 Key Highway, Suite 100 Baltimore, MD 21230 -5189 WWW: www.baltimore.bbb.org Email: email@example.com Phone: (410)347-3992 Fax: (410)347-3936
Eddie Bruce © 23.11.2004.
Eddie Bruce is retired and writes Scottish and English short fiction. A recovering alcoholic, his works reflect the ordinary man's eternal struggle to find a niche in life. Some of his acclaimed stories can be read at http://www.adrifterslegacy.co.uk