Publish Anything: The Saga of a PublishAmerica Author

Written by Lisa Maliga

Publish Anything: The Saga of a PublishAmerica Author By Lisa Maliga

My story is that an author who’d done online writing for such dot gones as Themestream, Written By Me, and The Vines, someone trying hard to have fiction, poetry and nonfiction in print for real, recommended PublishAmerica. She claimed it was a traditional book publisher. I was struck with their slogan, “We treat writersrepparttar old fashioned way – we pay them.” Wasn’t that what publishers were supposed to do?

But since my novel was just sitting onrepparttar 105804 DiskUs Publishing site and doing nothing but supplying me with enough money to buy a pair of skate laces every three months, I thought maybe it would have a better chance over at PublishAmerica where it would be available as a trade size paperback both on and off-line.

So this author, Ellen Du Bois, had a big thing on her Geocities site about books being available in brick & mortar bookstores & they’d have ISBN numbers and be online and all that stuff. Also had her full size book cover up so I sat there for 5 minutes waiting forrepparttar 105805 damn thing to appear. Not impressive, but she liked it. Ellen was a cheerleader for her book and sent reviews from a weekly community rag and she bulk e-mailed several pieces of correspondence during those heady days when her book was in prerelease, then release stage inrepparttar 105806 summer of ’03. I broke down and bought a copy from Amazon – took almost 3 weeks to get. And I struggled to read all 176 pages. Tripe. Clichés abounded. Spelling/grammatical errors weren’t there at least. Butrepparttar 105807 writing was thin. The story moved too quickly. The main character wasrepparttar 105808 most realistic as it was most likely based onrepparttar 105809 author. The dialogue was okay. The descriptions were minimal. Had there been a real editor,repparttar 105810 book could’ve been very good. I wrote to Ellen and told herrepparttar 105811 positive things aboutrepparttar 105812 story, avoidingrepparttar 105813 negativities. She’d been an online correspondent for almost two years, yet after I didn’t review her book on and Barnes & Noble she didn’t contact me. Almost a year later she sent me another e-mail – to promote a book of her poetry. I was just someone to sell a book to and she was only interested inrepparttar 105814 sale and hopefully a glowing write up.

A Future PublishAmerica Author Since I’d already signedrepparttar 105815 contract with PublishAmerica, I wanted to cancel it after reading that trash. Now my book would be affiliated with a company that put out just about any piece of writing that came its way. I wasn’t expecting much what with my dealings withrepparttar 105816 extinct eNovel and RJ’s eBooks, along with a tiny eBook publisher named Crafts Across America where I wasn’t paid monthly as promised. And my novel and short story collection languished at DiskUs, home ofrepparttar 105817 alleged Number One Best selling eBook author of all time, Leta Nolan Childers.

PublishAmerica sent me an author’s questionnaire where they asked for basic biographical information; cover art suggestions, and a long list of people who might want to read my forthcoming novel.

“Please prepare a list (names, and addresses,) of people who know you well enough to be interested in your success as a writer: personal friends, colleagues, relatives, etc., to receive a book announcement…Please limit your list and your labels to a maximum of 100 contacts. Also, please do not include businesses or organizations of any kind, including bookstores, media contacts, or government organizations. Include friends and associates only.”

The editing process of my manuscript took two weeks overrepparttar 105818 Christmas holidays. I was able to ascertain thatrepparttar 105819 first few pages had been read as some minor alterations had been made, but no changes followed for another 50 or so pages. One ofrepparttar 105820 errors that occurred was clearlyrepparttar 105821 result of a spellchecker onrepparttar 105822 part of PublishAmerica as a question mark appeared afterrepparttar 105823 end of a statement. I’d read of real authors receiving instructions to change chapters, alter endings, delete numerous pages, in other words, really struggle to rewrite a book. Why so much effort? Names. Reputation. The publisher wanted to put their name onrepparttar 105824 best quality book that they had invested in. The author wanted a book that was saleable but also well written and something they were proud of. PublishAmerica’s editing comprised neither ideal as all they did was putrepparttar 105825 computer program’s spelling/grammar checker into action.

My two free author’s copies arrived in early March and it was nice to see my trade paperback book in print sans a cheesy cover and stapled spine. ‘North of Sunset’ actually had decent looking stock cover art of a few silhouetted palm trees, a noticeable font, and a spine whererepparttar 105826 book title, publisher and author’s name was apparent. It would look good on bookstore shelves, I imagined.

Reviews – What Reviews? What was Publish America doing to make sure my book was reviewed? Nothing. I decided to contact local daily and weekly newspapers by e-mailing a press release. The only responses I got were two e-mail autoresponders announcingrepparttar 105827 editors were on vacation.

I spent $40 on copies of my book’s galley and mailed them to three national newspapers andrepparttar 105828 Library Journal magazine. Then I phoned a book reviewer atrepparttar 105829 ‘San Diego Union-Tribune’ and asked if he’d be interested in reviewing my book but before I could even describe what it was about, he asked who my publisher was. I told him. “We don’t review books by that publisher,” he stated.

I called allrepparttar 105830 local bookstores and spoke torepparttar 105831 managers and/ or community relations people about my book, including a couple of stores who were physically located onrepparttar 105832 street I’d written about. An independent bookstore owner told me that since PA didn’t have a return policy she was unable to stock my novel. Another said that I could sell my book on consignment. The chain stores of Borders and Barnes & Noble said my book would be available through Ingram if anyone chose to order it.

Tried getting PublishAmerica to send review copies out and it took them weeks to do so. Had to call and make sure on two occasions thatrepparttar 105833 books had been mailed. Maybe quoting one of their enthusiastic promoters onrepparttar 105834 message board, a guy with a natural genius for marketing andrepparttar 105835 budget to back it up, got three books sent to reviewers.

Then I sent my book to Piers Anthony, noted sci-fi and fantasy author of more than 100 books. I’d been in touch with him since 2000 when I alerted him torepparttar 105836 fact that eNovel was a rip-off. Althoughrepparttar 105837 action in his books usually took place in alternate time periods/universes, he didn’t mind reading a mainstream Hollywood novel. He did so. "North of Sunset by Lisa Maliga. She'srepparttar 105838 one listed in my Survey as I'm a Published Novelist Ha Ha! Ha!, a pertinent warning for starry-eyed aspiring writers. Her web site is worth checking similarly; she tells it as it is. If you took a few decades off my age and changed my gender,repparttar 105839 result might resemble Lisa. North of Sunset is fun, about a Hollywood producer and his temporary secretary, showing a good deal of what I presume is reality. It is written withrepparttar 105840 omniscient viewpoint, which I dislike, but it held my interest regardless. "

Before you spend that money, let's talk about history.

Written by Kathy Burns-Millyard

Have you noticed all ofrepparttar advertisements onrepparttar 105803 Internet from "gurus" and people who have "made it" with their Internet business? You knowrepparttar 105804 ones, they tell you how in demand they are. They tell you how they get several thousand dollars for each seminar they give. They tell you how they've made hundreds of thousands of dollars online. And they tell you they'll give you their secrets and formulas forrepparttar 105805 "ridiculously low price of $99.95"!

These characters are all really slick. Their one page web site is designed to draw you in, convince you, and take your hard earned money. Some of them are written really well andrepparttar 105806 product is very tempting to buy. But does a little doubt linger somewhere atrepparttar 105807 back of your mind? Is there something holding you back but you just can't quite put your finger on it? There might be a valid reason for that.

Let's travel through history a bit and see if we can figure out why you get those tiny doubts....

Orson Wells. Heard of him? War ofrepparttar 105808 Worlds. Heard of that? I think almost anyone inrepparttar 105809 U.S. knows both names, but for amusement I'll summarizerepparttar 105810 story. The War ofrepparttar 105811 Worlds was a fiction radio story. I think it was broadcast inrepparttar 105812 1940's or 1950's era but I don't rememberrepparttar 105813 exact date. This story happened to be science fiction, and happened to involve aliens landing on Earth and starting a war. Nowrepparttar 105814 story was put on in full production mode -- just likerepparttar 105815 fiction movies you see on TV today with professional actors. The only problem is, many people tuned intorepparttar 105816 radio show while it was in progress, and they had no idea it was a fictional story! Panic and chaos ensued.

Jump torepparttar 105817 1960's era. Did you know there was a book that was put on to best seller lists, even thoughrepparttar 105818 book didn't actually exist? Yep. A radio DJ cooked up a plot to "fool" some people. He arranged to have listeners go to bookstores and request a specific book. The book didn't actually exist, and this was part ofrepparttar 105819 prank. To his and his listener's surprise: Their requests for this book stirred up interest acrossrepparttar 105820 world. People were talking aboutrepparttar 105821 book everywhere -- reviews were even written about it! And soon enough it showed up on a bestseller list. Butrepparttar 105822 book did not even exist. The non-existent book was called "I' Libertine", and due torepparttar 105823 furor created fromrepparttar 105824 prank,repparttar 105825 radio DJ went on to write a real book by that name later in life.

Now let's jump ahead about 30 years. Inrepparttar 105826 1990's, some of you may remember computer communities called a "BBS". BBS stands for bulletin board system, and back then this was a computer that you dialed in to. Once connected, you could download files, chat with other members and play games. The public Internet was not available back then, so this was as close as you could get. One BBS was having a difficult time getting itself offrepparttar 105827 ground. They had one major competitor, and they couldn't seem to win customers away from that competitor. Sorepparttar 105828 owners decided to enticerepparttar 105829 customers. The customers were almost 100% male back then, and one thing they were all looking for was a friendly female. So one ofrepparttar 105830 owners ofrepparttar 105831 new BBS -- a man -- took on a BBS personality of a female. They set up a charade basically, with allrepparttar 105832 trimmings. This man would pretend to be female and chat with allrepparttar 105833 guys onrepparttar 105834 competitor's BBS. Duringrepparttar 105835 chats, "she" would make sure they all understood that she could be found more often on this other, newer BBS. So, if they wanted to talk to her more, they would have to go over there. And they did.

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