PublishAmerica - Scam or Legit?

United States
February 6, 2008 9:59pm CST
I recently submitted a manuscript to Publish America and today received an email and sample contract with them telling me that they would like to publish my book of poetry. However... After doing a bit of research, I have found MANY horrible things said about the company. This is my first attempt at getting published, and while the thought of finally having my book in print is thrilling - I will not reduce myself to getting scammed just to be in print. After reading over the contract, I have a list of things that would have to be changed before I would even consider signing it. I am a Paralegal, and work in a Global company in the Contracts department. I know what I am looking at, and refuse to sign anything I disagree with or don't understand. In my mind, I try to tell myself that if they agree to the changes, they can't be as bad as everyone says they are. Has anyone here dealt with PublishAmerica, and if so, what have your experiences been? IF you haven't dealt with them personally, but have heard things, were they positive or negative? Feel free to post all your comments here!
3 people like this
11 responses
@Myrrdin (3601)
• Canada
7 Feb 08
Stay well away from Publish America, while they do not at first glance appear to be a vanity press, that is exactly what they are. I am the publisher at the small press company www.lilleypress.com and I have also done some writing. I have done extensive research into different publishing companies and I can tell you that PA is a scam of the highest magnitude. They pretend to be a traditional press with a POD slant, while in reality they are a vanity press that will squeeze every last dollar out of you they can. Look else where first before considering a POD publisher such as this, or even Lulu. Lulu is a better option the PA, but they are still POD and you will face many hurdles if you publish through them. There are many different small presses you can look at some I would recommend are: Lilley Press (sure its my company so I am biased) www.lilleypress.com Mundania Press www.mundania.com Samhain Publishing www.samhainpublishing.com to look for more check out ralan's site at www.ralan.com there is an excellent list of publishers, or do a search for predators and editors P&E is an excellent resource site for authors, I always recommend any new author read the advice there.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45696)
7 Feb 08
I strongly advise you to go and read the forums on www.absolutewrite.com before proceeding further. I think that PA is vanity and publish on demand publishing and you would be better trying your luck at a more established publishing house. Have you ever seen a PA book in a Main St bookstore? There are some good on-line publishers too. My guess is that you will end up doing most of the hard work, and finding the marketing money for them. Do take care.
• Canada
10 Oct 10
lilac4766 It's quite obvious that you are NOT a published author. Authors DO NOT market their own books. That's the publishers job. That is if you are talking about real publishers. $24.95 for a 16 page hardcover is IMO very overpriced. I get the impression that you are affiliated with these people and are refusing to admit that they are NOT real publishers. Get the facts first before you start leading the cheerleading squad.
• United States
5 Jun 09
One thing that I found is that the people who believe they are Barbara Walters do bad with publish America. Meaning that they think that they don't have to promote themselves and that people will just do it for them. And that the people who promote themselves do well. A friend of mine actually published a book with them, and got a movie deal out of it--in the works now. So it really just depends on you. And the resources you have. I called Barnes &Noble and they said good things about Publish America and their authors.
• United States
16 Nov 08
I was scammed by PublishAmerica (PA), and I have posted the whole mess on my web site, on "The Truth About PublishAmerica" page at ChristianityForThinkers.com. They now have my book for 7 years (about 5 1/2 to go), but at least they did not get any of my money. I learned the truth not long after signing the contract, but they refused to cancel the contract. Their business plan is to sell books to the author and let the author self-market his/her own book. From what I've read on the internet, most authors experience only frustration trying to do this, and end up pouring money down a black hole until they finally wise up. Part of the problem is that PA's books are overpriced (mine, by the way, is now $24.95 for a 191-page paperback, with no pictures or illustrations, by an unknown author). I know from my own experience that PA's editing is shoddy, and that they have no qualms about lying to and deceiving their target customers--their authors. Actual documents, including many emails from PA, are posted on my web site, so anyone who cares to do so can see for themselves.
• United States
26 Feb 09
February 25, 2009 It appears that there has been no activity on this blog for a year so I may be commenting to the wind, but anyway, I will. I sent the manuscript of my book, DOVIE back in the summer of 2008 to PublishAmerica. They accepted the manuscript as written and stated that on the first inner page. I was over whelmed that I was going to be a recognized author, not only in the United States but worldwide as well. PublishAmerica promised to send a picture of the book and a brief review to over 32,000 book store computers worldwide. WOW!!! How exciting. Well, they actually did that but it's filed so deeply in the computers that a person would actually have to luckily come across it when they were looking for something else to actually find it. It certainly had made no appearance on book shelves until I decided if someone was going to promote my book, it would have to be me. I am really comfortable with this however. I am going on 82(11 year widower), with excellent health and was just drying up sitting at home, playing a little golf, working in the yard and walking four miles on my treadmill five days a week. I had been a very successful salesman all my life and missed selling something worthwhile to people I enjoyed talking with. So I felt my book was a very good and touching non-fiction book. So after the Christmas Holidays, I got out my old business suits, shined my old shoes, got out my old briefcase and started out selling my book. I quickly realized that my book was just another book among the thousands on bookshop shelves. I drew up my own plans and started. My plan has been turning out exactly as I expected it to and now I don't care if PublishAmerica offers any help at all. I am regularly getting my books on the book shelves. It is a secret plan that I may sell some day but for the moment I will just use it myself as I progress nationwide and worldwide in getting the book out on the shelves. In regard to PublishAmerica, I have been disappointed lately with their sales promotion. Just this week, they sent out an offer of 50% on the books with one free for every one bought, PLUS shipping. When I inquired by phone, the costs of shipping 300 of the books, I was given a price of $4.94 for the first book, then $2.95 for each additional book. That came out to almost three times the costs of the 200 books. I grew up in an orphanage and am a high school dropout but I certainly didn't just fall off a turnip truck. Just watch DOVIE for the next year as Dovie becomes a best seller and I will have great fun selling it. Good luck to all.
@dragon54u (31628)
• United States
8 Feb 08
I saw someone else here mention lulu dot com and if I were you I'd check them out. Clark Howard, a consumer lawyer who has a financial show dedicated to saving people money and helping them not get ripped off, recommends lulu. I hope you get published and it's very successful.
@Myrrdin (3601)
• Canada
8 Feb 08
of POD's lulu is the way to go for self publishing, however self publishing should be a last resort. You will get zero marketing support, and self publishing has a bad reputation and 90% of all bookstores will not carry self published books. Even the smallest of presses have a better shot of getting your book in a bookstore then even lulu. Its true there are one or two success stories that people will use to "prove" me wrong, but in the end traditional press is always the better deal.
@VampAmber (308)
• United States
7 Feb 08
Now I'm curious. My friend is getting her book of poetry published through them, and I have heard nothing but glowing reviews for them. What kind of bad things were in the contract? Because once I finish my novel, I was hoping to use them to publish it, as well.
• United States
30 Jun 10
All I know is that I gave them my credit card number, and then changed my mind the very same day. Even after their "shocked" response as to why I was cancelling, they went ahead and charged my card. I then sent numerous emails requesting a credit and heard nothing. Now the charges are in dispute with my credit card company. I would NEVER recommend this company to anyone!!!!!!!!!!!!
31 Jan 12
Hello, I had my first novel published by Publishamerica in 2005 and my experiences working with PA were trouble free. I have recently seen my second novel published too. PA are actually extremely generous in the work they do for their authors. I have NEVER been forced to buy books, I have NEVER been asked to pay so much as a cent towards the publication or circulation of the book and all I have been asked to do is be a pro-active author which I love anyway!!! Thank you Publishamerica for giving me a chance. Aine Harte-Kelly
@kingparker (9685)
• United States
11 Nov 10
I never been a writer, so I don't know much about publish america or anything like that. I hope that you should be careful when signing contract with those companies. The best guide, do more research before you get yourself into something like scam.
@david2005 (800)
• Canada
8 Feb 08
I know someone that got there poems published by them and they said really good things about them and that they told me that I should try it out. I am going to give it a try cause I trust them.
• United States
7 Feb 08
I collaborated on a children's novel with an educator in Virginia who'd published a book with Publish America. After looking at their information, I decided to stay away. I read lots of negative things about them, including the fact that while they are a print on demand publisher, there's some funny clause about the amount of books you sell before you actually see a profit. This is not a traditional publisher who will publish and promote your book. While it is not a vanity press, who will print your book for a price, they do seem to have one too many clauses in their contract that will cost your money. Your should try lulu.com. This is a pod as well, and you will be offered other services, such as a website presence and marketing at a price. But if you're willing to promote your own book, I think it's a better option.
• United States
7 Feb 08
I have just learned about this publisher and would love to know what you find out about them. What in their contract requires changing? In some ways this site is similar to lulu.com, but they seem to be more involved in the publication process. They make a lot of claims. Are they for real?