Tuesday, 8 September 2009

PublishAmerica Twitters!

The infamous vanity publisher PublishAmerica has joined Twitter! This delights me because while PublishAmerica can (and apparently does) delete all critical comments or difficult questions from its own message board, it doesn't have the same power on Twitter; and while it can block people from following it there (and yes, it's already blocked me: I twitter as HPRW) it can't prevent the people it blocks from reading its tweets via a simple search.

If you twitter too and would like to help inform people of the truth about PublishAmerica, here are a few preformed tweets for you. All you have to do is copy-and-paste them into your tweet-box exactly as they are, and send them into the twitterverse. Here we go:

"Traditional" (commercial) publishers don't ask their authors to buy their own books. #PublishAmerica does.

#PublishAmerica on Writer Beware's "Two Thumbs down" list of publishers to avoid: http://bit.ly/2DUZ63 Please retweet!

#PublishAmerica should name bookstores which are buying its books + give titles too. Otherwise, PA is promoting PA and not its books. Right?

@PublishAmerica wrote, "203 new authors knocked on our door today": how many PA authors have to buy their own books to make any sales?

@PublishAmerica, you claim to be "america's number one book publisher": what's your authors' average royalty payment? How many get $0.00?

@PublishAmerica, you claim to be "america's number one book publisher": how many copies do each of your titles sell, on average?

@PublishAmerica, you claim to be "america's number one book publisher": how many PA books have reached the New York Times Best Seller list?

@PublishAmerica: how many sales make a bestselling #PublishAmerica book? And how many of those copies does the author pay for?

Anyone considering submitting to #PublishAmerica read this first: http://bit.ly/LULLc Please retweet!

Anyone want to know more about #PublishAmerica? Read "Bewares and Background Checks" at the AbsoluteWrite.com forum.

Are your #PublishAmerica royalty statements wrong? Contact the Maryland Attorney General. Please retweet!

Atlanta Nights by Travis Tea: deliberately terrible, #PublishAmerica still offered to publish despite claims to select the best. Please RT!

Before signing with #PublishAmerica, go to book store and ask if they stock PA books. If not, ask why, and LISTEN CAREFULLY.

Check out AbsoluteWrite.com forum, "Bewares and Background Checks". #PublishAmerica has its own section due to hundreds of complaints.

Check out how #PublishAmerica talks to its authors on the PA message board: http://bit.ly/1sMEwt

Considering submitting to #PublishAmerica? Google "Atlanta Nights" by Travis Tea, and "Crack of Death" by Sharla Tann. Please retweet!

Crack of Death by Sharla Tann: deliberately awful, and still #PublishAmerica offered to publish it. Please retweet!

Look here for accurate info about #PublishAmerica from professional writers and editors. http://bit.ly/1wRmoK

RT @HPRW How Publishing Really Works: PublishAmerica Twitters! http://bit.ly/ga2Qdb

RT @LJHatton: How #publishamerica treats authors who question PA's service. http://tinyurl.com/o6z98m Professionals DO NOT act this way.

RT: @P_N_Elrod: How PublishAmerica deals with its writers: http://bit.ly/11niR4

RT: @P_N_Elrod: How PublishAmerica editors deal with the books: http://bit.ly/p3nm3

RT: @P_N_Elrod: With Publishamerica accepting SO MANY new writers each week, [they can't] possibly give each a proper edit.

This from a pro editor: RT: @skyladawn: At the risk of being blasted...if you're a #PublishAmerica author, just don't query me. Please.

Try to find a story of someone being successfully published by #PublishAmerica. Let me know if you find one.

Vanity publishers make most of their money from their authors, not from readers. Guess where #PublishAmerica makes most of its money from?

What #PublishAmerica authors have to do to get booksignings: http://bit.ly/f8GDf Please retweet!

What professional writers, editors and agents say about #PublishAmerica: http://bit.ly/YAa2A Please retweet!

Why does #PublishAmerica ignore its authors questions on PA messageboard and delete all those which show PA in a bad light?
I'm sure there are plenty more that you can think of, but make sure that you don't get yourself into trouble: don't make any libellous comments, or confront or upset any of the authors who have already signed up with PublishAmerica: it won't help, and it could cause hurt and harm. Remember to include a #PublishAmerica hashtag in your tweets, and do copy them into the comments section below so that we can all use them if we want to.

Get twittering!

Edited to add: I've added lots more more useful tweets to the list (with the permission of the original twitterers, obviously) so you now have more to choose from. PublishAmerica has now started to block people from following them, and has hidden its tweets from anyone but those following it; but all that does is stop its efforts to use Twitter to publicise its business, while "our" tweets will remain visible to all who search for PublishAmerica.


Nicola Morgan said...

Fascinating post! Must tweet before going for lunch. So they blocked you, Jane - they must be scared.

Unknown said...

Excellent idea! They can't silence the twitterverse :)

Quillers said...

Yes, be careful folks. PA are quite litigious and even threatened to take Preditors and editors to court. I'm not sure how that panned out.

I've read novels published by PA, and whilst I don't want to be unkind to the authors, PA did them no favours whatsoever. My proudest moment was in directing those same authors to lulu.com, where self-publishing is much cheaper.

none said...

I think you got carried away! This one:

Atlanta Nights by Travis Tea: deliberately terrible but #PublishAmerica still offered to publish it despite claims to select only the best. Please retweet!

is 15 characters too long for Twitter :). Bless.

Philip Sington said...

I can't think of any organisation I'd rather be blocked by... an honour indeed.

Jane Smith said...

Thank you, Buffy: it was that "please retweet" that scuppered it! I've fixed it now, and tidied up a bit.

The twittering's going well: just search for "publishamerica" there, and you'll be amazed by how many times those tweets have been repeated.

Cindy R. Wilson said...

I've heard so many frustrating stories about PublishAmerica and I am happy people are trying to get the word out about them.

Dan Holloway said...

I'm sure you all know, and I'm sure Jane is too polite/modest to say, but HPRW HAS MADE THE EDITORUNLEASHED BEST BOOK BLOG SHORTLIST WOOT WOOT!

Erm, yes, Publish America. Personally I wouldn't use any outfit that sounded like it was the geeky love child of a comic book superhero.

Jane Smith said...

Really? REALLY?

I wasn't being modest, I just didn't know: but I had an email shortly after Dan commented here. I shall go and check, and might well come back all smug and insufferable. Make the most of Humble Me, because I might well shortly be back as the new, unimproved, Show-Off Me form.

catdownunder said...

If I twittered I would twitter on this! Well done Jane! Come on Nicola!

none said...

Jane, maybe put a link to this post in the sidebar? PA aren't going away any time soon, and this post is very useful :).

sarah mccarry said...

Yes! Fight the good fight! We salute you!

Derek said...

I think their market consists entirely of people who can't be bothered to Google them.

Maggie Dana said...

Jane ... yes, please put this as a sidebar link. Makes it easier for us to harass the hell out of the PA bloodsuckers.

And, WELL DONE on making the best-dressed list in publishing. Now get out of those scruffy jeans and put on your sequins ... and that feather boa that's hanging on the back of your bedroom door; that is, if the sheep haven't eaten it by now.

Nicola? Can you please loan her some shoes. Those grubby pink slippers she insists on just won't do.

none said...

I cannot believe PA actually tweeted an admission that they are a vanity press!

'insiders say avg vanity pub author pays $1400 in fees. with almost 40,000 authors pub'd for free, PA has saved its writers over $50 million!'

Marian Perera said...

Congrats, Jane! And let's keep spreading the word about PA. The busier they are on Twitter, the less time they have to bully and browbeat their own authors.

Jane Smith said...

I've added some more tweets to the list, which you can use as you like--no need to attribute them to anyone, just get them out there.

PublishAmerica has now blocked me, and most of the other people who were tweeting these messages; and yesterday it set its tweets to "private", so only its followers could read them. This means that anyone who isn't following PA but who searches Twitter for its name will now see only "our" tweets, and the few which have been made by its followers. So it's had the effect of concentrating "our" messages very nicely.

Incidentally, if you have been blocked from following PA on Twitter, do remember that it's possible to sign up for more than one Twitter account.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a great post about PA! I got blocked, too. I was AEMFS on there, "stormie" on AW. The more people who tell the truth about PA, the better. Good work, Jane!

Sandra Cormier said...

I have a PublishAmerica author following me. What should I tell her without scaring her? I'm hesitant to be the bearer of bad news.

Jane Smith said...

Anne, you did a brilliant job with your tweets while you were still in there; I had a good laugh about a few of them.

Sandra, I'm not sure there's much you can do. Perhaps steer her towards Absolute Write? Or point her in my direction at Twitter, and let me help her out? What ever you do she's likely to blame you rather than thank you, so brace yourself.

Betsy Markman said...

Please feel free to direct people to my site, "Meet the Real PublishAmerica" at http://www.freewebs.com/meet_real_pa . (I get no money from this site. I just want to spread the word.)
What I think makes my site so different is that it just contains correspondence between myself and PA. No rhetoric whatsoever. I just reproduce, word-for-word, my correspondences with PA, in which I am excruciatingly polite (except for the last one, after they cancel my contract). I give them the rope very sweetly, and they very obligingly hang themselves with it. It's a beautiful thing...

Anonymous said...

Hire a Professional Editor Before You Submit Work to a Publisher -
I have previously talked to staff at Publish America; I have read the Washington Post article; I have read several of the comments posted on this site about Publish America; and I have discussed the topic of self-publishing with other professional editors and writers.

I make no further comments about Publish America. However, nearly everyone who has posted on this site, whether an author for or against publishing with Publish America or for or against self-publishing, has errors in his or her postings on this site.

Self-publishing companies vary in their services, quality, procedures, contracts, and distribution, if that is included in the contract. It is important to make comparisons of what self-publishing companies offer before signing their contracts, which you should also read carefully before you sign them.

Nevertheless, as many writing centers and instructors always recommend – and as a professional writer and editor I will recommend – that you seek and pay a professional editor to edit your work before you ever submit it to a publisher for consideration. This way, you are assured of having 1) a second set of eyes to be sure your work is a good copy without typographical, spelling, or grammatical errors; 2) a professional read-through to give you feedback on your plot, characters, or layout, etc.; 3) perhaps assistance with styles and graphics layout; 4) possibly a recommendation or comparison of what various self-publishing houses can offer an author so he or she can make an informed decision before signing a contract; and 5) for first-time authors with less experience, honest, constructive, and supportive feedback – without “put-down” – that might enable you to interest a publishing house willing to pay your for your book. You would have to go out and buy Writer's Market and do the footwork!

Now, I am not an agent for any publisher; however, I am a professional writer and editor who can help you do exactly what I have suggested. Moreover, there are hundreds of editors across the country who are ready and waiting to help you make your book a success.

I strongly suggest that you go to your local bookstore and purchase the first ever National Directory of Editors and Writers, collected by Elizabeth Lyon and published by M. Evans of New York in March 2005. Ms. Lyon has listed over 600 editors in all parts of the U.S. I'm sure you will find one near to you or you can work with him or her remotely from another part of the country. In late 2005, M. Evans was purchased by Roman & Littlefield, but the books can still be ordered through any bookstore.

I too am in the directory and would be pleased to assist authors in editing their creative works. You may contact me at poeteire@yahoo.com to discuss your particulars and so that I can give you my rates, procedures, expertise, and limitations.

Success to all authors!

Jane Smith said...

Anon, you write that "nearly everyone who has posted on this site, whether an author for or against publishing with Publish America or for or against self-publishing, has errors in his or her postings on this site", and yet you make a major error when you imply that publishing with PublishAmerica is self-publishing. It isn't: it's vanity publishing. There is no question about it.

You then comment, "Nevertheless, as many writing centers and instructors always recommend – and as a professional writer and editor I will recommend – that you seek and pay a professional editor to edit your work before you ever submit it to a publisher for consideration." Actually, a lot of publishers and agents recomment that you DON'T hire a professional editor to work on your book before you start submitting: you're going to have to learn to edit your own work eventually, so why not do so right from the start? And it's your work, not that of a pro editor, that publishers and agents want to see: without your paid-for editor you might not be able to repeat your success, which isn't what they want at all.

I can't help feeling that your comment was intended to drive potential customers towards your services. Well, I wouldn't even consider using your services and can't recommend you to my readers: I don't know who you are, I have no idea of your expertise or ability: all I know is that you don't understand the differences between vanity- and self-publication, and you imply that it's necessary for writers to pay for editing before they have a hope of publication. Which is, as I've said, completely wrong.