Publish AmericaConsumerAffairs Unaccredited Brand
On October 10, 2008, with reasons to believe that I was losing my eight-year battle with breast cancer, I foolishly signed on to an 8% (only) royalty contract with Publish America for a book that I was penning as a written legacy for my four sons. It was titled, Land of Our Fathers: An Odyssey of Hope. To date, I have received from the publishing house $1.00 as advance payment, and $3.14 in royalty payments, for a grand total of $4.14 even though the book seemed to have been doing very well at home and abroad, and have been translated into different foreign languages. I have previous Internet printouts where there were at least ten sellers on this Amazon site alone, and printouts of bookstores in India, the UK, Italy (translated) that had the book in stock.
Publish America, LLC purports to be a "Free" publishing house-- free indeed. This publisher practices the rankest form of deceptive trade practices, using unfair contracts as umbrellas to shield itself from the law. Although the contract does stipulate that the author will only be paid royalty on full priced books, the publisher mendaciously made no mention that at least 95% of the time, 95% of books would be sold at a discount, hence, not giving an author a fighting chance in sharing any gainful profit from the book sales.
Moreover, they craftily failed to mention in the contract that "galley" copies would be published and sold at a discount before the final copy of the book was released. The galley copy is the author's exact book without the decorative cover. Had I known about the galley copy, I would not have rallied every family member, friend, or co-worker that I know to buy the first printing of the book for which I would have received no compensation.
Also, Publish American claimed that they had expert editors to proofread the books--the only reason why I elected to use their services in the first place. However, in my case, I had to proofread the entire work by myself, and when I was a little late in December 2008 to submit the final copy because of poor health, the "editor" threatened to print the book in its then grievously faulty condition without any further editing. His contract was the banner he waved over my head. Sick as I was, I had many oversights, and the book was published with more than forty-two errors. Embarrassed by that unprofessional representation of me, I pled for a reprint. They eventually agreed, and 12 additional corrections were submitted by me. Still, the book continues to be sold with many more grammatical and typographical errors therein.
Under the pressure of meeting the deadline for the final manuscript submission, and the fear of being sued for breach of contract, I left my teaching job to pursue my final dream--becoming an author. Now, not only am I unemployed, broke, depressed, and living only on child support, I have a finished manuscript of Book 2, and a Book 3 in the making, which I am afraid to submit to any other publisher. I can't help but lament over the grave injustice Publish America has meted out to me.
Publish America is the biggest scam in the publishing industry! This Publish on demand (POD) company has been misleading authors for years. They claim to be traditional publishers, which is a total LIE. This company has made bundles of money off new gullible authors by publishing their books and selling them back at discounted rates to the authors. They do no conduct any promotions or distributions, even if the authors facilitate it. The alleged promotions are paid for by the authors when they buy their own books. No one will actually ever know if these promotions have actually taken place. PA's representatives are only addressed by first name or anonymously as "Publish America support". It takes miracle for them to get back to you with the simplest question. Most book stores will not carry Publish America books, because they equate PA to any other self-publishing house or worse. It also takes over two months to receive a book after you order it from Publish America.
Their royalty statements are vague and inaccurate. You will never know how many books your book has sold, unless you hire a private investigator. They can basically do whatever they want. This is an unethical and integrity free company. You are better off being unpublished than being stuck with this alleged publisher. Review the innumerable complaints against this company on the internet. It is truly a publishing mill that will publish anything they receive. They actually have an electronic editor that will keep your book filled with mistakes. You better hire an editor before you approve your final transcript assuming that you will decide to go with this scandalous company. Ironically, their representatives are taught to defend their scams, and they pretend to have pride and ethics. Publish America is truly the biggest scam in publishing history! It's so big that many other scam artists have started their own POD publishing houses. Beware! Research this publisher before you submit your transcript.
I kept buying copies of my book and they never promoted it. The whole thing is a lie. Most of the companies have to go through their corporate offices before they display any books, whether it is Borders or Walmart, etc. but PA makes promises that if you buy enough of your book they will match it and send it to your local store to be displayed (that's a big lie). I got international distributors interested in buying and distributing the book, Publish America blew them off and never contacted them. I never knew who I was dealing with at PA, because they only contact me by email and the representatives are always either anonymous or on first name basis, and you can never reach them again. The book would've sold a lot of copies with the Distributor I found, but PA was not interested in promoting the book, but they were only interested in selling it to me at a discounted price. They wouldn't even send copies to book reviewers that were willing to review my book. I am amazed that this company is still in business. This is one of the biggest scams in the industry. With every complaint, they have learned to cover themselves better. They have no editors, my book was never edited and was filled with mistakes. That was a humiliating and stressful experience, especially when I found out that they published anything that was scribbled on a piece of paper.
Breach of contract: Publish America refused to send me residuals for sold copies of books. I have shown them a Nielsen report which at that time showed that 55 books were sold. They adjusted its number to say numerous copies were returned. That is why payment was not made. However, these returned copies never showed as sold. I never got any of the payments that they claimed to have paid. I did once receive a set of blank checks. Both of them were blank with the same check numbers even though they were not carbons. This shows very poor accounting.
I have asked them to send copies of these supposed payments, but they have ignored my request. I have been tracking the movement of my books on the internet and have found an increasing amount of copies that are now being sold; however, Publish America shows me no sales. So how can there be so many books out there? I have contacted numerous sellers of my book and they do indeed have these copies in stock. I have also found out that recently my work is still being sold at a printing company in United Kingdom. I have contacted them and they refuse to email me back. I have asked while under contract for proof of sales of these so-called returns but they refused to reply.
Amazon, UK and USA, all have a total of 25 copies of my work still for sale. Yet, I have not received payment for any of these copies. Just recently, Amazon started reselling my book and had it as being in stock and ready to ship. Yet ,this book is out of print and Publish America and Ingram's Distribution show me as no books sold. I can prove that they are not paying for books sold. I would love a lawyer who would help me take them to court.
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I signed the contract with them only to read countless articles about the faux publishing company. I didn't give them my work yet, as they have given me until Oct.1 to finish it and hand it in. I was told I couldn't get out of their contract unless I paid them $300.00. What can I do to get out of this contract?
When I contacted publishamerica they had said and stated in there contract about a team of editors and format. How they will have me in 42 bookstores database, and christian database bookstores. For me to send in a list for them to contact people when my book is ready for publishing, To send my home town newspaper email so they can contact them also. None of this was done. When I recieved my two copies of the book it had so many errors in the spelling the text wasn't done nor was the format.I had to do it all myself with help of a friend and it took them four attempts to get it right still It was so bad very unprofessional.
Then they tell me they can't make no more changes because the book is in print.They didn't explain that the book was print on demand order. Whereas they gave me the impression that the book would be in bookstores across the country. And being as though I live in a majority french population i can't get them to publish in french unless a foreign publishing co gets in touch with them only. It's a great story but very bad formatting. The name of the book is called THE CYCLE CAN BE BROKEN
It really [upset] me that they told so many lies. it's a book about my dealings with drug addiction one that is needed to be told across the country for all those that believe that there is no end to the cycle od addiction. I put a lot of hard work into this project and had to relive experiences that were pretty rough at times talking about over and over again. and for them to just treat it as un-important is rude and dishonest. I am quite sure that the book would of sold more if they had stocked it in bookstores as they said. My main reason was not to get rich on the book but to get the word out on ways and means of breaking the cycle of addiction. I feel as though they have let me down big-time with false promises.
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