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Thread: PublishAmerica?

  1. #1
    Richard Fulgham
    Guest

    PublishAmerica?

    Hi folks,
    Tell me, is PublishAmerica for real? I\'ve got a traditonal publisher who isn\'t about to publish my earlier works. Too \"existential\" and \"realistic\" -- about grubbing in the streets of Atlanta & Baltimore back in the 1970\'s. PublishAmerica has great ad -- I pay nothing if they like the mss. That sounds too good for a POD and they sweat they\'re not a vanity press. So what\'s the angle here? Anyone had experience with them? I have a book about \"seeking nobility in an ignoble world\" -- in which my character of course goes nutz in America -- and I\'d at least like it available to those who like my regtular books. As always I remain your respectfully, Richard Lee Fulgham.



  2. #2
    Granny
    Guest

    Re: PublishAmerica?

    Their books are incredibly expensive (since they pass the cost that a POD normally takes out of your pocket on to the comsumer in each book -- think about what an average POD would charge you, divide it by about 100 books and that is how much money will be tacked on each book price). Only you can decide if the market will bear that kind of price.

    They have other issues, too. A search of this discussion board should prove enlightening.

    Gran

  3. #3
    connybryce
    Guest

    Re: PublishAmerica?

    This discussion has been done to death...I have books with PA and will try to sum it up briefly...overpriced books ($19.95 or more for most paperbacks)...no return policy so most stores won\'t order them...they try to get authors to buy books and sell them on their own and they ask for a list of family and friends to send letters to to try to sell your books...\"real\" reviewers won\'t review them, as they consider them POD/Vanity even though they technically aren\'t (you get $1 advance!)
    But if you want to publish without paying, go for it. Beware- they do not EDIT AT ALL...what you send in is what is published...
    That said, it is a way to get a book out there at no cost...
    That's all I have!

  4. #4
    Richard Fulgham
    Guest

    Re: PublishAmerica?

    Thanks, both of you. That's what I thought, though I didn't realize the specifics until I read Connie's response. I'd rather the old mss rot in a cardboard box under my bed -- which is exactly what's happening to them. Smile, anyhow -- I got a book out, so life ain't bad. I don't need no stinking badgers, or however that line goes from that Bogey movie. :-)

  5. #5
    ACCrispin
    Guest

    Re: PublishAmerica?

    One thing Conny didn't mention: The PA contract is awful. Full of rights grabs and author unfriendly language.

    -Ann C. Crispin

  6. #6
    Brad
    Guest

    Around The Mulberry Bush

    First time we've ever discussed PA on here, right? Wonder if the board could post basic information on this outfit and spare us the endless questions on the threads about it? Hamish?

  7. #7
    Robbie Schneider
    Guest

    Re: Around The Mulberry Bush

    question about PA:
    If they published one of my books, would I retain rights? That is, could I continue to query editors about said book?
    just wondering, and sorry if this question sounds a bit daft.
    cheers, all.

  8. #8
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: Around The Mulberry Bush

    It would be useless to query editors about your PA-published book as long as PA had the print rights tied up. This will be for a number of years and would be specified in the contract. One of the reasons PA has been vilified in the past is because--I understand--their rights to the book once was for a period of seven years. I think they have modified their standard contract downward, but it probably still specifies at least three years. And it would be useless to query editors under these conditions, because, with the print rights tied up, there wouldn't be anything for the editors to buy that would be of any use to them. (PA's contract probably ties up most, if not all, of the other rights as well.)

    Beyond this, the simple reason that the book had already been published and made available for public sale would usually mean that no subsequent publisher would ever be interested in repulishing it. There have been some exceptions to this, when a whole new audience was identified for the book, but this is very rare and any author would be delusional to assume their book would be an exception.

  9. #9
    ACCrispin
    Guest

    Re: Around The Mulberry Bush

    Actually, Gary, the situation is worse than you're visualizing. If Robbie signed the OLD PA contract, the company takes ALL RIGHTS for THE DURATION OF COPYRIGHT. (Lifetime of the author plus 70 years.)

    This contract was changed going on two years ago. Currently, PA takes ALL RIGHTS for a mere SEVEN YEARS. (Still unreasonable, but much better!)

    Now, the situation is not all bleak. If a traditional, commercial publisher were to want to buy the book, a good lawyer could probably negotiate with PA to get out of the contract...but every time I've heard that this happened, the author had to PAY to get his/her rights back. Often they had to agree to buy up all of the "stock" PA had produced, too. This could easily mount up to a considerable sum, when you consider how expensive PA books are. (One author who contacted Writer Beware reported that it took about a thousand bucks to get the company to release their book.)

    I've also heard recently that PA has gotten very stubborn about releasing books...quite a few authors have left their ranks in disgust, and this has apparently angered them. But if you're willing to throw enough money at them, my guess is that they'll let you go.

    -Ann C. Crispin

  10. #10
    L Grant
    Guest

    Re: Around The Mulberry Bush

    Hi, Gary. You wrote:

    >> One of the reasons PA has been vilified in the past is because--I understand--their rights to the book once was for a period of seven years. I think they have modified their standard contract downward... <<

    I'm sure the unfortunates snared by PA wish that were so, but it's not. Seven years -- for a lousy buck 'advance' -- is still their M.O.

    >> Beyond this, the simple reason that the book had already been published and made available for public sale would usually mean that no subsequent publisher would ever be interested in repulishing it. <<

    Au Contraire. As with Hollywood these days, publishing money is more and more going to 'sure things'. One sure thing in publishing is when a self-published book has sold at or over the magic number of about 2100 copies. The deals this year alone offered to self-publishers by the very publishers who initially rejected them is quite lengthy. The latest I know of personally is an S.F. (rejected some 83 times) by a young man in his twenties, picked up last month by Random House, who coughed up six figures for it, and an additional two books to be written over the next few years. I believe the book was only out for six months before the offer, but the entire family pitched in and marketed the thing like mad. And I understand it's a good book too, which helps.

    Best to you -- and hope you had a great T-Day!

    Lisa
    The Writers' Collective
    www.writerscollective.org

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