For PublishAmerica read ScamAmericaWritten by Eddie Bruce
I have to admit to being readily impressed by company names. Maybe it's an age thing. You see, I was around when we had nationalised industries here in Britain, you know, British Railways, British Gas, British Steel, British Road Services, etc., etc. Those companies may have been over-staffed and under-efficient but you always knew you could trust them, and a product marked "Made in Britain" had class - in those days. Even after they became privatised word "British" in a company name still, in my subconscious at least, gave that firm a stamp of approval. Those were heady days when we had some traditional industries and workers could rely upon union protection to prevent their jobs being shipped out to third world countries.
When a company called PublishAmerica (http://www.publishamerica.com/index.asp) agreed to publish my small collection of short stories, I was delighted. This wasn't a 'tuppence ha'penny' outfit but an organisation that boasted "America" in its title. I've never been to America but I have made some good "virtual" friends there and know how patriotic Americans are. How could you not feel safe doing business with a firm that so proudly flew flag of that famous super power? When I checked out PublishAmerica's website, all red, white and blue with slogan "We treat our authors old-fashioned way - we pay them," I felt truly blessed. A publisher of high esteem (I believed testimonials) recognised reader-appeal of my stories and my potential as a writer.
Further encouragement came from "Why PublishAmerica?" page where I was told "The majority of our books that are sold retail are sold in physical brick and mortar bookstores" and "PublishAmerica can remove stigma of paying to be published. With PublishAmerica, you will have very important distinction of having your book ACCEPTED BY A TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING COMPANY."
Yet something about company name puzzled me. I mean, why not "The American Publishing Company" or similar? As it stands "PublishAmerica" could be interpreted as an ambition to publish anything and everything that was ever written in that country. Amazingly, that interpretation very much sums up their objectives.
In my enthusiasm I had been studying PA's Author's Message Board, following links to previously published author's websites and reading all reviews and book excerpts I could find (not realising that authors with anything pertinent to say are instantly barred from posting). Then I read one of their books from cover to cover. Now, my own education at an orphanage school in Highlands of Scotland was very basic, so my grasp of English Grammar left something to be desired. Nevertheless, convinced I had stories to tell and ability to tell them, I had joined Internet critique groups to learn how to present them. When I read my first PublishAmerica book my feelings were a blend of embarrassment, anger and disbelief. The writer had obviously worked hard to put story together and it had makings of an entertaining read. It reminded me so much of my own first and only attempt at writing a novel - abundant clichés, suspect word selection, contrived scenes and wooden characters existing in a plot that lacked cohesion. It was in fact a story barely at first draft stage, complete with spelling and grammatical errors. How could an ethical, self-respecting publishing house allow this to happen, I wondered?
PublishAmerica/ScamAmerica are most definitely NOT traditional publishers whatever their slogan implies. Recently interviewed by Steven Zeitchik of Publishers Weekly, PublishAmerica executive director Miranda N. Prather admits that her company DOES NOT EDIT FOR CONTENT, only for grammar and spelling. For readers and writers everywhere this has to be most worrying statement ever made on behalf of a publisher. But it gets worse. Simultaneously Ms Prather announced creation of an affiliation between PublishAmerica and Online Publishing Bookstore - Tome Toaster (http://www.onlinepublishingbookstore.com). Quote "Authors that generate sales and create a track record showing that they are able to promote as well as write a book will be referred to PublishAmerica by Tome Toaster." So we have a situation where a writer's ability to self-promote supersedes everything, including ability to pen a readable story.
Explore Paradise with Moon Handbooks FijiWritten by David Stanley
Avalon Travel Publishing announces release of 7th edition of Moon Handbooks Fiji, original travel guide to 322-island Fiji archipelago.
Since 1985, Moon Handbooks Fiji has been leading travel guidebook to Fiji. Author David Stanley began writing about South Pacific in 1979, and over years tens of thousands of Pacific travelers have used his guides to Fiji, Tahiti, Tonga, Samoa, and South Pacific.
Unlike maps in other guidebooks which contain confusing numbered keys, 53 maps in Moon Handbooks Fiji are clearly labeled. To allow for detail, three maps of Fiji's capital Suva are included, and two of gateway city Nadi.
In this 7th edition, all local telephone numbers are increased from six digits to seven, reflecting a recent change by Telecom Fiji. Internet and email addresses are now embedded in listings for ease of reference.