My Bad Experience with PublishAmerica/America Star Books

Predatory Publisher Month at Indies UnlimitedSome of you may be familiar with PublishAmerica, who some time ago changed their name to America Star Books. I did a post on the change last year and touched on my own story then, but I want to go into a bit more detail about their racket and how I extricated myself.

My run-in with them started in the 90s. I had had five books published already, two by a New York house and three by small presses, when I stumbled across their site. Their mantra at the time was, “We don’t want your money — we want your book!” Continue reading “My Bad Experience with PublishAmerica/America Star Books”

Have You Been Scammed? The #PublishingFoul Survey

#PublishingFoul Logo Indies UnlimitedIn honor of our March Madness Predatory Publisher Month at Indies Unlimited, we’re doing a highly unscientific poll of our readers here at IU. Please give us your answers below. Even if you have not been scammed, please take one second to answer the first and second questions. For those who have been scammed, the whole thing shouldn’t take you more than five minutes. All of the responses are anonymous.

The survey will be open through the end of this month. We’ll report the results on April 2nd.

Please share with your author friends! The more responses we get, the more accurate our survey results will be. Thank you!

Have you ever placed a book with a predatory publisher?

  • No (73%, 84 Votes)
  • Yes (21%, 24 Votes)
  • I'm not sure (6%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 115

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Have you been scammed by a service provider OTHER than a publisher? (i.e., editor, agent, publicist, formatter, etc.) If you answered no to Questions 1 & 2, then you're done. Thank you!

  • No (79%, 87 Votes)
  • Yes (17%, 19 Votes)
  • I'm not sure (4%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 110

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If you answered “yes” or “I’m not sure” to Question #1, how many books did you place with this publisher?

  • 1 (76%, 26 Votes)
  • 2 (12%, 4 Votes)
  • More than 2 (12%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 34

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How much do you estimate it cost you to publish your book(s)? (If you published two or more with the same outfit, please give us a per-book average. Please see the asterisk below*)

  • Less than $500 (47%, 22 Votes)
  • Between $1000 and $4,999 (23%, 11 Votes)
  • Between $500 and $999 (21%, 10 Votes)
  • Between $5,000 and $7,499 (6%, 3 Votes)
  • Between $7,500 and $9,999 (2%, 1 Votes)
  • Over 10,000 (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 47

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Have you reported being scammed? For example, filing a report with your state attorney general, contacting Writer Beware, or a consumer organization, etc.

  • No, I just want to forget about it and move on (62%, 24 Votes)
  • Yes (28%, 11 Votes)
  • No, I’m too embarrassed to admit that it happened (5%, 2 Votes)
  • No, I’m afraid the publisher will sue me (5%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 39

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Does this publisher still have control of your book(s)?

  • No (62%, 23 Votes)
  • No, but they still owe me money (19%, 7 Votes)
  • Yes (16%, 6 Votes)
  • Yes, and they still owe me money (3%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 37

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Did you have to get a lawyer involved to get out of your contract?

  • No (87%, 33 Votes)
  • Yes (13%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 38

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*For example, if you paid $1,000 for the first book and $5,000 for the second book, your per-book average would be $3,000. So you would pick “between $1,000 and $5,000.”

What Do Book Reviewers Really, Really Want?

come hither beauty reviewer -422700_640When we submit our masterpieces to a review site or blog hoping for some feedback (and of course a 5 star review on Amazon and Goodreads), there are rules. Each site has its own submission guidelines. We have to follow these of course, but sometimes, even when we stay within those parameters we’re still unable to attract the attention of those elusive reviewers. Well, they are busy. They’re all trying to wade through the virtual piles of eBooks that are submitted to them. I wanted to know, other than following the rules and presenting a professional product, what entices professional reviewers to check out a book.

I polled a few reviewers and I asked them one question (well, two actually):

Other than being attracted to a book because it falls within your favored genre, are there other factors that sway you in picking one book over another? If so, what are they? Continue reading “What Do Book Reviewers Really, Really Want?”