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Tuesday, January 25, 2005
More Proof That Publish America Is Bad News for Writers

People who have seen me natter on in chat know that I am no fan of Publish America. While authors don't have to pay a fee to get published with Publish America, I think that in many cases, they would be better served by self-publishing, or yes, even going with a reputable vanity publisher, as that would give them more control over their book. Also, I think that a large number of their authors would be better served by working on their writing until it's just right and submitting it to legitimate agents or publishers instead.

On Sunday, the Washington Post published an article on Publish America. This article appeared in their Bookworld section. While the article did include quotes from people on all sides of the issue, Publish America did not exactly come out smelling like roses.

If you're even considering signing up with Publish America, read the Washington Post article first. And after that experience, if you're still considering signing up with this company, read the rebuttal and ask yourself if you want to trust your book to these people. If that doesn't work, go out for a long walk to clear your head. Also, make yourself familiar with the PA thread on the Absolute Write message board.

Oh, there was also a somewhat more "pro-PA" (relatively speaking) article by AP reporter Hillel Italie, available here. Even though this article was (in comparison) more positive, Publish America put up a rebuttal, which had publishing industry professionals rolling in the aisles and some people calling their lawyers.

PA also put up a rebuttal to the Washington Post article, which you can read here. They decided to title their rebuttal "Thank you for the national press attention!" Riiiight. This same weekend, a blizzard got national press attention, but I don't think many people equate blizzards with positive news! It should go without saying that this rebuttal is full of doo-doo.

Just a hint in case you misunderstand what PA is claiming about some of these authors. Their concept of "fraud" involves submitting a purposely bad manuscript to a publisher. This is not fraud. If it were, I and several of my coworkers would be in jail now because of the wretched poem we submitted to Poetry.com. (It was so bad we would've gotten 20 years!) Publishers get bad manuscripts in the mail all the time. Real publishers bother reading those submissions to find out which ones suck eggs.
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