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Publish America

Posted:    

Awful company

Complaint Rating:  94 % with 80 votes
94% 80
4.7
Contact information:
Publish America
United States
publishamerica.com
In 2007 I contacted publish america with regard to publishing my poetry books. After looking one book over they sent me a 7 year contract that would automatically renew for another 7 years. I couldn't alter the contract to my specifications so I emaiiled them informing them that after the 1st 7 years the contract is to end. When proofreading got a hold of my book it took 2 months for them to proofread it. they said they weren't accepting any new manuscripts, but they sent the new manuscript that I sent them, back to me for proofreading; and of course they couldn't find the errors that I suggested. They then forwarded my book to another department and they sent me a copy of the cover which the name was spelled wrong. My voice is unique and they tried to proofread my book changing the name from Black As I Ever Was keeping' It real Rapoetry to Black As I ever was Keeping it real rapoetry. They said it was too late to change it and I said forget it. 2 months later December 2008 I get 2 final proofs of my book. I look it over and there are several formatting errors. They also changed some of the words in my poems which altered the meaning of my poems. I emailed one department after another and yet nobody is taking responsibility, they can't tell me whether they've actually received the Email or not, wouldn't tell me where corporate was, and they want me to order 50 copies of my book before they can make any changes. I said again, forget it. I plan on suing them for defamation of character and false advertising. They should be stopped immediately. They take aspiring writers and change and alter their works which is not in the contract. Then they want you to spend money on buying your own book from them, that is not correct.
Complaint comments Comments (69) Complaint country United States Complaint category Books

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N  4th of Mar, 2011 by    0 Votes
If anyone has received notice that you have sold ZERO books in the 6 month selling period, and has proof that you have sold books, it is imperative that you contact this attorney. I don't care if it's 1 or 100. This is a strong case and we need as many participants as possible to keep our costs down. It's an investment that will pay off. PLEASE contact Jan (pro. Yon) Berlage,
410-752-1261
A  6th of Mar, 2011 by    0 Votes
"Publish America" has carried my book for over five years and I have yet to be paid "royalties" that remotely represent the sales for which I have provided them ample documentation.

The last straw for me was receiving their "royalty" statement today reflecting zero sales that included no compensation for any of the many sales I have documented in 20-30 emails over the last year, but instead claimed I owe them money because "books were returned" from stores. I have no idea why they consider me liable for what a bookstore orders.

It's impossible to reach anyone at "Publish America" by phone, and emails are met with boilerplate or incoherent replies that rarely address the issue.

I'm fed up with this unscrupulous company, and intend to be part of the proposed class action lawsuit.
N  8th of Mar, 2011 by    0 Votes
I want to set up a class action suit against Publish America, but so many people have told me it is useless to do this. They scammed my manuscript and are holding it "hostage". The thing is, I don't have a copy of a contract, they never sent me one, and it is worthless any way as it is a "cut and paste" document anyway. They are also in violation of several US Postal Laws as well as Interstate Commerce Commission laws, International laws and others. Most are all felonies, most are federal laws, and we could indict and send to court the owners of the company as well as all employees they ever had that helped to perpetrate the crimes they have done.

The problem is we need to unite and organize to form a body of plaintiffs large enough to be worthwhile.
If you are interested contact me at dwasche@live.com
N  8th of Mar, 2011 by    0 Votes
I'm afraid private citizens cannot indict anyone. Only a grand jury can indict someone on criminal charges, and the grand jurors only consider charges brought to them by a prosecutor, such as U.S. Attorney. The most a private citizen can do is to file a complaint. It is then up to law enforcement to investigate and then turn it over to a prosecuting attorney, who decides whether or not to file criminal charges.
N  8th of Mar, 2011 by    0 Votes
Don Davidson is correct. However, if enough people with enough evidence files charges, the Attorney general and the FBI will have to pay attention. it's up to everyone that Publish America has broken the law against to step forward and file the complaint. Don't let them get you becasue you think it will do no good. One voice might not be enough, although it should...but get enough people filing complaints and they'll have to listen. Also, I recommend that you talk to your local senator and let them know that you have filed a complaint against Publish America to trya nd get their help in the matter.
N  29th of Mar, 2011 by    0 Votes
I agree with you all as well. I am very disgusted with PA and their professionalism. Although I have two books published back to back by PA (big mistake) they both have been handled incorrectly by the publisher, the most recent incident involves my second book, A Sinner's Prayer, in which the manuscript was sent to me for proofing. I proofed and sent back the publisher's errors to be corrected. Ryan, employer of PA stated that it was his mistake and will fix it. Time goes by and a free copy is mailed to me with the same publishing errors! I emailed Ryan, yet again, advising him of the error and he apologized again and said he'll fix it. Two months goes by and I email him for an update and he says "Oh, yeah that has been taking care of." My response was WELL WHEN WERE YOU GOING TO TELL ME! I order a large sum of books ready to sell and promote for the people who have been waiting patiently. Seven weeks goes by before I call PA to find out what's taking so long and they tell me it's due to 'text changes'. I asked Carrie (another PA rep) what text changes were being made because Ryan stated everything was taking care of besides there wasn't any problems taking my money on the order! There was nothing stating on the order screen that the book was still being reviewed for text changes before accepting my payment! I forward Carrie all my emails from Ryan stating that it was his fault, everything's taking care of and guess what...I received poor customer service from Carrie as if it was my fault that I'm calling messing up HER day! The moral to this people is if you have a dream of becoming an author...you do better by RUNNING somewhere else...these people are dream crushers. You will have to be a child of God with ample patience to handle these people! They are a bootleg, rip off company and you'll probably have better luck having Big Bird publish you on Sesame Street!
A  29th of Mar, 2011 by    0 Votes
Your story is not unusual. PA added about 35 errors to my book through their "editing" process, which seems to be nothing more than running it through a spell/grammar check and approving all changes (even those that don't make any sense). I wonder if the delay in sending you the books isn't to allow the credit card charge to clear and get paid so that you will have trouble disputing it if (when?) you are not satisfied with what you receive. I have refused to purchase any books from PA after learning what they really are and how they really operate. You have no chance of achieving any real success as an author through PA because they stack the deck against you, through their absurdly high prices, lack of marketing and distribution, embarrassingly low discounts for bookstores, no-return policy for most of their books, and the generally poor quality of their books. I understand that PA books sell an average of about 75 copies per book--and most of those are sold to the author. They are simply a vanity press dressed up to look like something else, but they cleverly hide that fact until after you sign the contract--and then you are stuck for 7 long years.
N  12th of May, 2011 by    0 Votes
I sent a letter to Publish America wanting to discontinue our contract. God's Wrath Postponed was published with them over seven years ago. Although I see used books available all over the internet, I've never received compensation for the sale of them. I was disappointed with the marketing, editing, etc. My complaint was received with the following response. How professional is this? Instead of promoting my views in this book, the company has hindered my ability to share them. You should be able to determine the content of my initial letter from his response.

Dear David Turner:

No, what you say is simply false. Nothing is being terminated, at all. Please consult an attorney prior to sending us such nonsense. Your attorney will tell you that you do not have the right to cancel your contract.

>>I have been disappointed with the marketing by Publish America.

No, apparently you have not been disappointed. If you had been, you wouldn't have signed up for an additional seven years. As you know, as for promotion, we have gone above what is required of us by contract, which states very plainly: "Sales promotion, advertising and publicity shall be at the Publisher's election and discretion as to the extent, scope and character thereof and in all matters pertaining thereto."

>>I've had a significant number of people tell me they had purchased the
>>book, yet I've received no compensation for these purchases.

As for the additional sales that you say were made, that is good news because you will certainly be able to show us some evidence of these sales from a "significant number of people ". If you can provide us with even the faintest shred of evidence that a sale was made for which you were not compensated, we will be happy to thoroughly investigate the matter and ensure that you are paid all that you are owed. Practically any evidence will do, such as a receipt, order number, name of person ordering, etc.

Also, the statements will only show sales from that royalty period for which we have been paid. Some retailers and distributors have a grace period of 30, 60, or even 90 days. Any sales not shown on one statement should certainly be included on the next.

Thank you and have a good day,
PublishAmerica Support
Support@publishamerica.com
N  12th of May, 2011 by    0 Votes
Of course they won't terminate the contract--unless you are willing to pay for the privilege (the going price now is, I believe, about $300). They hold your book hostage for 7 long years in the hope that you will break down, buy some books, and try the self-marketing route--which will almost certainly not work out well for you, by the way. And if you do not send them a written notice of non-renewal at least 3 months before the end of the 7-year period, the contract automatically renews for an additional 7 years!!! PublishAmerica does no marketing, publicity, or distribution because their business model is to sell books to the author, not the public. They are a vanity publisher, plain and simple. They simply don't ask for money up front--instead, they get it by overpricing the book on the back end. (Mine, for example, is $24.95 for a softback version, with no illustrations, less than 200 pages, and an unknown author. Who in their right mind would pay that, or anything close to that?) And since when should the author have to prove how many books were sold? It's normally the publisher who sells the books, after all, without any involvement by the author. But I've heard this complaint before, that PublishAmerica's record-keeping is really messed up, if not outright dishonest. I went with PublishAmerica because I fell for their lies and deceit. In my opinion, they are a scam, because they are not honest and upfront about their business model, which is to sell books to the author, period.
N  15th of Aug, 2011 by    0 Votes

Publish America - They do not respond
United States

I changed my e-mail address. Publish American is impossible to reach by phone. I called after hours to leave a message and the mailbox was full once again. They have a form you can send to them on your site and it never takes and gives a "Page Error". Now how am I suppose to contact them about an important change in information?
A  15th of Aug, 2011 by    0 Votes
Yes, I have been cheated out of money due me for books not paid. But try to get them to listen to you. Good luck. They have made it impossible to contact them.
A  15th of Aug, 2011 by    0 Votes
What class action suit? I want in on it! I am in the same boat as every author who has used them.
N  18th of Aug, 2011 by    0 Votes
I'm a publishamerica who apparently fell victim to their trap. I'm the author of sworn not to betray and a silent killer within inwhich I just only signed a contract for the second book. I don't understand how they are being allowed to get away with what they are doing to so many of us aspiring authors. There should be predatory law against what they are getting away with, cause that's what they are doing is preying on people who aspire to fulfill a dream. I live in a homeless shelter and this has been one of the most agonizing six months of my life, waiting for the day I would hopefully get a check which would enable me to begin to turn my life around and make something of myself. But it doesn't appear that I will be recieving anything such as what I've read from other authors who say they never recieved any royalty check from publishamerica. I"m surprised there hasn't been some sort of federal investgation into this rogue company and what tactics they are using to destroy peoples lives, who have put so much into their work in hopes of fulfilling a life long dream.
A  17th of Sep, 2011 by    0 Votes
I have the exact same complaint
A  21st of Nov, 2011 by    0 Votes
Yes, I'm another author taken in by Publishamerica and yet they still are in existence scamming authors with no one having the power and ability to finally drive these people out of business., Am I pissed? YES! I suggest we all band together and once and for all bring a class action suit against these SOB's. I'm open for suggestions including sending letters to programs like "60 Minutes" in the hope that they will expose them once and for all. If any of you would like to have me attach your letter and experiences to a letter that I am going to send to the networks, please do so by sending it to me and I will follow through with a letter to CBS and other networks. I believe you can contact me via this site.
N  12th of Dec, 2011 by    0 Votes
Yes. I am another author with a bad experience with Publish America. There is strength in numbers and we all need to band together to bring this company down. ANY suggestions. You can reach me at parvitt@sbcglobal.net
N  11th of Jan, 2012 by    0 Votes
I too, have been screwed by Publish America, after countless times of sending in the paper work, four times of sending in an Illustrator/Artist release form the book comes to us, without the Illustrators name on it, and five pictures blurred in the book.
After writing them, their reply was that this was not their fault, they made the corrections by printing the Illustrators name, but would not refund us with ten copies of the correct print. On top of all of this, they sent a email with a no-reply. There is no way to contact this Company, they will not correct the bad doings. So I contacted a local printer and can have my Children's Picture book printed for$1.79-250 copies, because its local, they are not charging me $5.99 S&H per book.
PA is nothing but a scam
N  12th of Jan, 2012 by    0 Votes
I have waited before filing a complaint against Publish America. My complaint is not unique as - everything I've read I could ditto. I'm sorry I did not do more research before signing a contract with them. I worked with them on their deadline, feeling rushed. When my book was published (in record time i might add) it was filled with errors, the cover was not the one I submitted and thus the troubles began. The clincher is this: I was in ICU for 17 days of January last year, when they sent an e-mail giving me 3 days to answer or my manuscript would go to printer. I saw the e-mails about 5 days too late, and even though I called to tell them, "NO NO NO" there was too many errors for printing, they ignored me. Eventually they were corrected, only to start another problem. I received orders that belonged to someone else whom I did not know - it wasn't my book - I was told to sell them if I wanted to (which I didn't). Two orders were delivered to me by this author who is probably still wondering where her books are. I've called, sent e-mails and now a year later I still have the books.
I paid for their help in getting book signings. NOTHING, NADA, ZERO, yet they will not return my money which was the only reason I signed up with them, it was a guarantee.
I made an order in November for an upcoming book signing in early December. The books have not arrived and we are nearing February. They have my money; I want a refund of the book tour fee, and my order to be sent with some kind of explanation. I want to join the club of complaints on this company so no other senior will be scammed. It was supposed to be a long time dream come true, only to turn into a nightmare and embarrassment.
Dt1958


N  10th of Feb, 2012 by    0 Votes
Newest promo fraud just put out by Publish America.
Dear Ms Commerford,


Thank you for your email. The U.S. Consulate Leipzig is not aware of the company you wrote about, nor do we request companies or organizations to solicit books for a fee on our behalf.


Kind regards,


U.S. Consulate General
- Public Affairs -
Wilhelm Seyfferth-Str. 4
D - 04107 Leipzig
Tel.: 0341 / 213 84-0

Please visit us on the Internet at http://leipzig.usconsulate.gov/

and follow us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/USConGenLeipzig

and/or Twitter http://twitter.com/USConsLeipzig


This e-mail is unclassified based on the definitions provided in E.O. 12958.


This email is UNCLASSIFIED.


From: Leipzig US Consulate
Sent: Thursday, February 09, 2012 7:05 AM
To: Moehs, Teta M; Hoelker, Mechthild M
Subject: FW: US State Department wants your book


From: PAULA COMMERFORD [mailto:sweetsoot1@yahoo.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 09, 2012 1:34 AM
To: leipzig@usconsulate.de
Subject: Fw: US State Department wants your book


Please respond !

--- On Mon, 2/6/12, PAULA COMMERFORD wrote:


From: PAULA COMMERFORD
Subject: Fw: US State Department wants your book
To: leipzig@usconsulate.de
Date: Monday, February 6, 2012, 2:01 PM

This promo is being sent out to hundreds of authors in the us and abroad ! This is the same publisher that has sent out promo frauds to Edinberg International Book Fest, JK Rowlings and many others. Do you know about this ? Please advise as I need to contact many authors as to any truth to this promo . Thank you Paula Commerford


From: PublishAmerica Bookstore
Sent: Monday, February 6, 2012 7:56 AM
Subject: US State Department wants your book


Is this email not displaying correctly?View it in your browser.


http://www.publishamerica.com/images/palogo2.jpg

Dear author:


The U.S. State Department wants your book.

They promote American literature abroad.


We have been contacted by the U.S. Consulate General in Leipzig, Germany. They want to present our best books during the Leipzig Book Fair next month. Last time around PublishAmerica also promoted its best books in Leipzig, together with the American consulate.


Activate today if you want your book to be sent to the U.S. Consul General.


Go to www.publishamerica.net/service/StateDept.html to activate for $39. Your book will upon being selected be sent to Leipzig for promotion and display during the Leipzig Book Fair in the U.S. Consulate General's booth. After the event it will be donated to a public or university library. If for whatever reason your book doesn't pass the selection process, you will receive a full refund of your activation fee.


Must choose a shipping option to activate. No use of coupons allowed. Valid for one title at a time. Mention your book title.


Thank you,

--PublishAmerica Bookstore
N  10th of Feb, 2012 by    0 Votes
Dear Ms Commerford,


Thank you for your email. The U.S. Consulate Leipzig is not aware of the company you wrote about, nor do we request companies or organizations to solicit books for a fee on our behalf.


Kind regards,


U.S. Consulate General
- Public Affairs -
Wilhelm Seyfferth-Str. 4
D - 04107 Leipzig
Tel.: 0341 / 213 84-0

Please visit us on the Internet at http://leipzig.usconsulate.gov/

and follow us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/USConGenLeipzig

and/or Twitter http://twitter.com/USConsLeipzig


This e-mail is unclassified based on the definitions provided in E.O. 12958.


This email is UNCLASSIFIED.


From: Leipzig US Consulate
Sent: Thursday, February 09, 2012 7:05 AM
To: Moehs, Teta M; Hoelker, Mechthild M
Subject: FW: US State Department wants your book


From: PAULA COMMERFORD [mailto:sweetsoot1@yahoo.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 09, 2012 1:34 AM
To: leipzig@usconsulate.de
Subject: Fw: US State Department wants your book


Please respond !

--- On Mon, 2/6/12, PAULA COMMERFORD wrote:


From: PAULA COMMERFORD
Subject: Fw: US State Department wants your book
To: leipzig@usconsulate.de
Date: Monday, February 6, 2012, 2:01 PM

This promo is being sent out to hundreds of authors in the us and abroad ! This is the same publisher that has sent out promo frauds to Edinberg International Book Fest, JK Rowlings and many others. Do you know about this ? Please advise as I need to contact many authors as to any truth to this promo . Thank you Paula Commerford


From: PublishAmerica Bookstore
Sent: Monday, February 6, 2012 7:56 AM
Subject: US State Department wants your book


Is this email not displaying correctly?View it in your browser.


http://www.publishamerica.com/images/palogo2.jpg

Dear author:


The U.S. State Department wants your book.

They promote American literature abroad.


We have been contacted by the U.S. Consulate General in Leipzig, Germany. They want to present our best books during the Leipzig Book Fair next month. Last time around PublishAmerica also promoted its best books in Leipzig, together with the American consulate.


Activate today if you want your book to be sent to the U.S. Consul General.


Go to www.publishamerica.net/service/StateDept.html to activate for $39. Your book will upon being selected be sent to Leipzig for promotion and display during the Leipzig Book Fair in the U.S. Consulate General's booth. After the event it will be donated to a public or university library. If for whatever reason your book doesn't pass the selection process, you will receive a full refund of your activation fee.


Must choose a shipping option to activate. No use of coupons allowed. Valid for one title at a time. Mention your book title.


Thank you,

--PublishAmerica Bookstore

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