Publish America β€” Breach of Contract, poor printing quality...deserve a refund!

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$1064.97 is what I paid for very poor quality books.

In light of the lack of quality in the printing and in considering the abnormally high price of the books, I got ripped off! PA is in breach of the contract. They have breached the contract in the following ways:
FIRSTLY, for failing to produce “attractive and substantial-looking” copies of the books. To quote the contract, paragraph 2,
“2. The Publisher agrees to produce the said literary work in book form, in such format, type and style of paper, jacket and binding as will make the volume attractive and substantial-looking. It is specifically understood and agreed, furthermore, that the said volume will contain all manuscript pages as submitted by the Author (unless otherwise designated hereinafter), and will be printed on good quality paper with the bound size to be, approximately, 5½ x 8½ or 6 x 9 inches, or any other size as the market demands.”
My books are NOT attractive and substantial looking; instead they are cheap and ugly looking! Readers can't even see the pictures clearly. The first few copies of the book did not have this problem. What happened, did they run out of ink and think my readers and I would not notice?
The black and white pictures inside the book were very poorly reproduced, looking more like faint gray and white pictures. The quality is getting worse and worse with every order I make. The books are not worth paying for. In addition, the latest run of the books does not appear attractive and substantial looking on the covers, which are very faded compared to the first run of books. The colors are not at all like the proofs or the very first few books.

SECONDLY, for including advertisements for other Publish America books at the end of my books. The contract also does not anywhere give Publish America permission to place an ad for other Publish America books in the back of mine. I did not submit those ads to be published, nor did you ask my permission to do so. If they had asked, I would have denied them permission. You cannot put things I did not write, by authors unknown to me and perhaps not acceptable to me, in my books without permission and without any mention of ads in the contract. The contract says PA will print “all manuscript pages as submitted by the Author, ” and as I stated, I did NOT submit advertisements for other people’s books to PA.
In addition, I notice that the photos and words found on the two ads were very dark and clear and crisp, unlike the faint, poor job PA did on the interiors and covers of my books! How can they justify good quality printing on the advertisements while simultaneously cheating me out of the good quality that PA legally promised to me in the contract?

THIRDLY, PA has failed to report all sales and collections there from to me. The contract clearly states that “11. The Publisher agrees to keep and maintain true and accurate records relating to the distribution of copies of the said literary work, including reports of all sales and collections therefrom.” In addition, the contract also says,
“The Publisher shall pay to the Author the following royalties:
A royalty upon the regular edition sold in the United States and elsewhere of:
8 percent of the sales price thereof on the first 2, 000 copies sold;
10 percent on the next 8, 000 copies sold;
12.5 percent on all copies sold in excess of 10, 000 .”
I have personally sold hundreds of books at the HIGH prices PA charges and PA has only paid me royalties for a few. I find this very questionable. I would like a copy of these records that PA is required to keep, including reports of all sales and collections, because I do not believe that PA is keeping and maintaining true and accurate records. I would also like to see the sales upon which PA is awaiting payment as well as completed sales. I dispute PA's figures on the royalties they have already paid, and I suspect that they are withholding royalties due and payable to me.

In conclusion, I am a Christian and am careful to be honest in all my dealings. I am very disappointed that PA has not been honest with me and has cheated me out of money that, for my husband and me who live on disability, is very hard to come by. The $1064.97 that I paid for the latest order, plus the money I have paid for previous orders, represents a substantial percentage of our annual income. We cannot make this money back because no one will buy the books in such poor quality that PA has printed them, for the prices that PA charges. I would not demand the refund if they had been honest all along with the royalties and if they had not cheated me out of the very ink on the pages and printed such fa


  • Sy
    Symm H. McCord Nov 13, 2008
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    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I have written an Author Alert on my home page which describes my relationship with PublishAmerica. It is terminated with "It is my opinion based on my experiences and with the experiences of several other PA authors with whom I have been in communication". I believe my experience is well described.

    If you wish to link to my book's web page from yours please do so. I hate seeing anyone succumb to this greedy group.

    Symm H. McCord
    Waynesville, NC

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  • Wr
    writergal Mar 20, 2009
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    Not to say that Publish America isn't a huge scam (because it is), but it's fairly common for publishers to include ad's for other books in the back of books.

    0 Votes
  • shoelady2oo Jun 02, 2009

    I used PA for my first book to be published. Well, you can say that they did not help me with advertising, editing (said that was my responsibility as I'm the author), paragraphs repeating, and refused to even publish the second novel I've written too. They told me due to lack of sales of the first novel, the second novel cannot be published. Just because the first book flopped doesn't mean the next one is going to flop. I spent two years before canceling the contract and three years re-editing the first novel, second, and third. It's hard work, but the quality of the book did not look good even though it stated in the contract. I liked the cover art.

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  • Ed
    ED BUHRER Jun 12, 2009

    I have published five with PA and have seen my books offered by many different booksellers who list the publisher as Lightning Source (who PA contracts to have them print the books) and believe that either Lightning Source is selling my books on the side or that PA is selling the books to these lesser-known booksellers who offer my books as being able to ship within five royalty checks show NO evidence of these sales...PA has repeatedly told me that these booksellers' listings are "virtual" listings and that they do not actually have any copies...then how can they offer to ship within five days? I believe PA is as shady and corrupt as all the complaints available of the Internet are screaming...when I contacted both Lightning Source and these booksellers as to how they got copies of my works, guess what the response was? Correct: NOTHING!

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  • Te
    temper Jul 26, 2009

    I wrote to PA and asked if I could get out of my contract. They refused of course. They sold two books last year. I was devastated. They have not communicated with me at all except to offer my books for sale to me. The contract states they had over fifteen thousand 'brick and mortar' stores. I would love to know the name of these stores and why my book is being obviously refused. Everyone that I have lent copies to says it is a wonderful read. I didn't mind doing the editing. The cover was wonderful! The cover alone could sell mega books so I know they just aren't getting marketed the way they should. I am in a wheelchair and find it very hard to get around. The sad part of all this is, I wrote two more 'series' books that would have done very well, I am sure of it.
    I don't know what to do. Is this because I am Canadian? Why would they accept the book if they didn't want to make money also?
    At this point, I really don't know what to do.
    Thanks for hearing me out.

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  • No
    notfeelingsodandy Jul 31, 2009

    I was recently published, actually in April. It was a dream come true for me. I wrote an autobiography, thus meaning I would have to have permissions from immediate family members. I abided by the contract taking it very seriously, sent out my permissions along with the manuscript so family could review it to see if they wanted anything changed. Well, my brother neglected to do so. He called PublishAmerica, told them I lied and he never recieved the permission or manuscript, then said I lied in my book. In my contract it says that if they decide to stop production, they MUST NOTIFY ME. Of course they didn't. Now I am amidst the chaos of deciding to sue them for breach of contract. Superbly pissed, it just happened yesterday.

    1 Votes
  • Da
    David Sanguine Jan 15, 2010

    This is an email I sent to PA:

    To whom it may concern:

    My name is Harry Hubbard and PA has just published my book Screaming at the Top of my Mind.
    ISBN#: [protected]. However, I never received a proof of the cover and several problems have been noticed. The Title and subtitle problems have been corrected, however there is no printing on the spine and on a bookshelf the book it shows as just a blank white strip.

    I don't see how this can be marketed in a bookstore as most of their books are put on the shelf with only the spine exposed. My book is supposed to be able to be marketed in bookstores, yes?

    I have sent several emails to Author Support and even put in an official request that the cover be corrected. This was on January 13th, and I have yet to hear from anyone regarding the matter.

    I was sent a proposition that if I ordered at least 12 of my books ( I ordered 15) I would receive them at 50% off, which I did. Now, I have 15 books without spines and with the wrong cover on them. I can not market or sell them myself because of this error. Plus, I was to receive a copy of a book on self-marketing which I have not received.

    I have requested that my order be refilled with the corrected copies. Still, I have not heard from anyone from PA.

    I realize that PA is a POD publisher and I can not see why there is a problem with correcting these errors and doing the right thing in replacing my books, so I can market them.

    Please, someone in charge, answer this plea.

    Thank you,

    Harry Hubbard, Jr.

    Their response is to do nothing!!!

    0 Votes
  • Fr
    Frustrated to Tears Jan 25, 2010

    I spent years writing and months of checking for a publisher to work on my project. Sadly I chose PublishAmerica.
    Their salesman lied to me! "I asked if my graphic-artist son could do my cover without charging me. Quote, "Yes, we love it when the author's have their own covers because our graphic department is so busy and it's cheaper for us." If he hadn't lied to me I never would have signed the contract with them. I'm now stuck with a book that has the ugliest joke of a cover that PublishAmerica did for my book and they won't let me put my son's cover on it saying it will cost me money. I agreed to pay the fee to have his cover, and then they said that it was to dark. I have to tell you now that my son is a professional Graphic-artist who does this sort of work for a living. He sent it to them in the size and format they asked for. They then said it was too dark, so he sent them links to 5 other books that they did with even darker, blacker covers than mine. My son even offered to lighten it a little, but they still refuse to do anything. My son and I have spent many hours trying to resolve this problem with them, but they won't give us a truthful answer to save them. This is not to say anything about the corrections department who didn't fix any mistakes and refuse to even let me, (Without a hefty fee). They have sent threatening e-mails, rude e-mails, and they don't even read your e-mails because if they did they wouldn't answer them with cut and paste threatening e-mails they've sent to anyone who disagrees with them. The nasty e-mail had nothing to do with what we were asking. We wanted to know what they wanted to resolve this situation.
    We have been really trying to be nice here because it is against everything we believe to be rude and hateful towards others, but I can say that PublishAmerica has push us beyond nice.
    I have never felt so angry, frustrated, and sick in my life, and that's saying something because I have 9 children. All the time we've put in trying to resolve the problems has amounted to nothing, we are still at a stand off! I've even asked them to let me out of this contract if they don't care about me at all.
    I'm praying for a miracle here, so if there is anyone who can help me I would sure appreciate it.

    Unhappy author,
    S.K. Briggs, Author of Quade 2400 series.

    0 Votes
  • Jw
    Jwendy Jones Jan 28, 2010

    I have not been told by Publish America how many of my books were sold. I have had many people to tell me they bought books. They put my books on and they will not tell me either how many books sold through I ask to take my book off there list to be sold they refused to do so. If you know of anyone who has a class action sue against Publish America please let me know.

    0 Votes
  • Di
    dirtydog Mar 22, 2010

    Why does'nt any one start a class action suit againist them instead of complaining. Do something, all I have read is bad crap about PA, the put some action in your words, like your books you wrote with action and deatils, get a lawyer NOW. You have enough proof with all these comments about how horrible PA is. Authors, you have work to do and that is to SUE.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    MartinG2020 Jun 13, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Hi people,
    I am a partially disabled senior. I was duped by PA. In their contract, there was no mention of any prerequisite of purchasing my own books before PA follows through in publicizing my books. At the end of every 'offer' you are hit with "HERE IS HOW WE DO IT". You must make a minimum purchase. Meaning that you are in fact paying for the 'free donations' to whomsoever.
    The PA website is dishonest and misleading.

    0 Votes
  • Ca
    CaptMark Dec 21, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I, too, am a victim of their lies. They published my book in March of 2009. After sending me an email stating they had sold ZERO books, after my first six months, I complained. It was only then that I received a check from them for $170. I have not seen a check since. We need to compile a list of us that are experiencing this rip-off, pool our monies together, and take legal action. Please feel free to contact me [protected]

    0 Votes
  • An
    Antoinne Evans Dec 26, 2010

    PA are the worst of worst thieves. They published my book, Welcome Back To Self, Feb. 2005, and my lawyer has traced my book around the world and I can't reveal all their tricks but if you really use your imagination you will know how they sell books under many ruses that totally disconnects with your original account. "To steal Mankind's dream is to deny their right to die by natural causes..." A. Evans

    0 Votes
  • Hi
    Highlndr Jul 19, 2012

    I ran for Congress and wrote a book using PA, I loved the cover work and the contract was acceptable. In August of 2011 I received my first accounting, No books sold, no disbursement. I had not heard of anyone buying my book, but then again I am deaf. In march 2012, I received but an e-mail from PA, Not enough books sold for a disbursement. I had friends buy my book and talked to several twitter followers that told me my ideas in the book were promising and they would send copies to our representatives. I am a poverty level disabled veteran, so i cannot afford but 5 books a month, but only every other month if i am lucky, so I wonder about what is going on. August in just a month away and time for a royalty, we will see if it all works out, if not, I will take action.
    P.S. there is currently copies of my book in the Whitehouse and one has been submitted to the Nobel org. on literature;-)=
    John W Hargis Sr

    0 Votes
  • St
    Stacy Baggett Jan 26, 2014
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I signed a contract with Publish America in 2007. After seven long years of dealing with my dreams of being a "published author" dashed, and not receiving a dime in royalties for the past three of those years (despite family and friends claiming to have purchased copies of my book, ) my contract finally ended, and the rights to my work have been reverted back to me.
    And yet the book that Publish America put out is still listed on all the major book retailer websites. It has not been removed from, Barnes and Noble, and there are multiple copies being sold on eBay. PA no longer has the right to distribute or sell my work - what they are doing is copyright infringement.
    Publish America are thieves. I wish I had done better research before signing with them!

    0 Votes

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