Because of all the negative press and the lawsuits Publish America has changed it's name to American Star Books. They have not however changed their mode of operation. They still price novels 2 to 3 times higher than they should be. They still expect to make all their money from their authors. They still send out Emails with special deals saying they are going to put our books in front of important people in the publishing and movie industry. They collect the money and then do nothing about selling the books or anything else they promised they would do. Avoid this publisher at all cost.
You are better off publishing on Kindle than with this outfit.
If you are a new author trying to get something published this page is for your information.
The publishing business is just about as nasty as being a screen writer trying to break into the business. You might be a talented author with an original idea and it means nothing to those who really count when it comes to getting your book published.
Some of you may be aware that I am an author and over the past 15 years I have written 9 original published novels, 6 in print and 3 in E-book format. I'm not the average person, I'm a pilot, I've done diving salvage, construction, video production, script writing, directing, invention, welding, tower building and service, I'm a musician and yes even a rocket scientist. :-) There's no point in listing all the things I've done on here because the point is when it comes to publishing unless your name is well known in the media you are at odds with the industry. If you are famous and rich you can publish crap and the publishers will eat it up like candy because your name alone will sell your novel or book. The most famous of these printers are owned by the major book publishers. Lightning Press for example is owned by Barnes and Noble. Just because they own the press does not mean they will stock your novels.
I am currently an author and a videographer and yes I still build rockets from scratch making my own propellents. I believe everyone should have some extra skills.
My first publisher was a POD (Print On Demand) publisher and my books were selling. I received a check each quarter for my royalties. The publisher went out of business because of personal problems leaving me to find a new publisher.
Some publishers will not accept new submissions unless you have a publishing agent and agents and publishers are difficult to find for a new author. When I say "new" I mean someone who is not well known as an author. You may have been writing all your life but if they have not heard your name you might as well go somewhere else.
The next problem is even if you find a publisher who will accept your submission to at least look it over, it's going to take 12-24 months for them to even get a look at it and another two years to get it into print. Some of us don't have that kind of time. Them being flooded with new submissions from new authors is the main reason why real publishers are reluctant to take on new authors. The new publishers who will take on new authors are all ready swamped with submissions.
At one writer's convention I went to they were giving lectures about how to get your book published. A 70 year old man beside me heard it would take 2-5 years for him to get his book published he began to cry and said, "I'll be dead before I can get my book published." My heart was breaking for him but I realized the author who was speaking was likely correct.
Subsidiary publishers require an up front fee to publish your book and most of them don't care what's in the book as long as they get paid. All of these are Print On Demand publishers. This means they print your books as they are ordered in huge book printers that can print a full length novel and assemble that book in about 5 min.
I don't know of any of these POD publishers who have a return policy which means they can't put your book in the store. Any store might order your book but none of them will put a book on the shelf that they had to pay for. This means the readers in any given book store will not see your book or have any idea what it's about or who wrote it. If the reader can't browse for the book usually on a shelf or online book store you won't sell very many.
Some publishers are scams, wolves in sheep's clothing poised to take unfair advantage of the new desperate author. Publish America is one of these types of publishers. They make their money not by selling books but by fleecing their authors for every dime they can get. They do this by using a constant bombardment of "GREAT DEALS!" Some deals the author has no real way of knowing if Publish America actually did what they paid for in the first place.
They say "We treat authors the old fashion way, we pay them." Yeah, one dollar is what you get in a check from Publish America and that's all you will get from them. From that moment on they hold your book hostage for a full 7 years! In the past 3 years I've had a book with them I've not received anything but grief and that constant bombardment of GREAT deals they send while trying to get me to send them more of my hard earned cash. Yes, the deals sound good on the front-end, but they get you on the back-end with the unreasonable shipping & handling cost per book. If you are paying $4 per book for S&H, and you order 20 books, you are out $80. I really doubt it costs them $80 to ship 20 soft-bound books. If so, they need to find another freight company. So much for the good deal.
It's not slander you know, if you can prove it.
A few days ago I did a search for "Publish America Scam" and I got pages of hits, some of those websites are run by famous authors who have the goods on Publish America and they are telling their story for everyone to read. I wish like crazy I had searched for that before I signed the contract and found out the hard way. Now the only thing I can hope for is that you have not made the same mistake that myself and a few thousand other authors have made.
Our problems with PA began at the very beginning when we ordered two boxes of books we never received. After 6 months or so I began Emailing asking them where my books were and for a long time got no answer. It was like there was no one there reading the messages or perhaps they were ignoring them. Finally I began calling them and the person on the phone said they had no knowledge of my orders. They said "what's the order number" and I said "I don't have one, I placed the order over the phone, but what I have is the CC statement where I paid for the books." The person said they would look into it and get back to me. They never did.
Two or three months later I wrote a certified letter to the CEO sending my CC information and showing him we had in fact ordered books we had not received. He refused the letter and it returned unopened! Is that the kind of publisher you want to do business with? One that doesn't care what their author's concerns are? This alone should be enough to warn you away from Publish America.
The good news is about 3 days after our letter returned someone Emailed me from PA and told me they had found my mysteriously missing orders! They put us on rush order and in 8 weeks we got our first box of books and two weeks later we got the next box.
Another thing they tell you is you can have some say in their cover designs but the truth is no matter what you tell them the cover will be the way their designer wants it, once again you have no real say other than the title of your book and having your name and picture on the cover with a short description of what the book is about.
Some publishers tell you that you can set your own approximate price on your books but you have no choice on the price of books published by Publish America. They over-price the books for the purpose of "giving the authors fantastic deals" on their own books. They have no real intention of marketing your book. You mention Publish America in most book stores and they shake their heads because they don't want anything to do with PA. This has happened to me in the past and again recently when I went to a Books A Million store and asked them if they carried books by Publish America. The Manager on duty shook her head and told me feel free to contact their corporate office for information about Publish America.
I walked over to the coffee counter, autographed the novel I walked in with and gave it to the young lady working the counter. From the expression on the previous lady's face I knew there was no point in trying to get my books into a Books A Million store.
This year the E-mail notices from PA have increased substantially and if a psychologist were analyzing the message from PA's CEO Willem Meiners they would have to say the man is in some serious distress because of the decline in author's buying their own books. The messages he's sending indicate a 44% fall in the sales of printed books. Over 11,000 of their books, the authors don't want anything to do with PA, myself being one of them. In one of his messages he tells us the 4 categories of authors basically labeling those of us who refuse to do business with PA and work to sell "our own books" for them as lazy (passive/non active) authors. I would like to clarify that we lazy passive authors have realized PA is a scam and makes their money totally from the authors buying our own books. We also have realized that doing book signings in book stores who refuse to stock PA books is a HUGE waste of time and money.
Back when we were driving across the country doing book signings and even visiting schools and libraries the gas prices were high enough and despite the fact we sold quite a few books the expenses always outweighed the profits, sometimes by quite bit depending on how far we drove. Today with gas prices nearing $4 per gallon and the economy being in the crapper as it is driving as far as we had before is out of the question, unless we are in fact making a noticeable profit on the books. Therefore with PA over-pricing our books making it prohibiting to do book signings outside the city and the book stores being unwilling to stock PA books who in their right mind would go to the effort ? There comes a point in a sailors's life when he realizes the boat has too many holes in it for him to save himself by bailing. Sometimes it's best to grab the nearest price of something that floats and paddle until he finds a new boat.
This author for one has a new boat so while the CEO of PA is accusing me of not working to sell my product he's wrong. I am selling my product and working hard, I'm just not selling the book he's taken hostage for $25 book and E-book. That's right, I have written 9 novels and he's only taken one of them hostage. I promised them in an E-mail they would never get another dime or novel from me and I am a man of my word.
Publish America is sitting on a virtual gold mine. They have destroyed their own reputation though very bad business practices and now they couldn't give books away to book stores. If they had been a real publisher working with authors to market their products they would be in GREAT shape on all points. They have novels and access to all kinds of resources but instead of working with the authors and the book stores they choose to use deceptive methods to extort money from their own authors instead of actually competing in the book market and selling the books. When PA says our books won't sell because they are bad books don't believe them for a moment. Our books sold before we had a contract with PA and our other books are selling that we have with other publishers. If you would like to verify that you can buy and download my first Ember Reign - The Crown from Amazon.com now for $4.99 and read it for yourself. If you don't like it you can get a refund. If PA would do as much they would be doing well and we wouldn't be receiving piles of messages from the CEO complaining about how bad his business has become.
I wanted to post some of his messages on here for everyone to read and to see the things that PA sends us trying to make us feel guilty and trying to get us to buy our own books from them, but I'm not sure if that's necessary. If anyone wants more confirmation that Publish America is in fact a Scam all you need to do is Google search "Publish America Scam" and you will have pages of things to read from other authors, some of them famous and or popular.