Monday, October 01, 2012

There's Publishers And Then There's Publishers

You've written a manuscript but you don't know the first thing about getting it published.

So you turn to the wealth of knowledge that is the Internet and you come away more confused than every.

But chances are good that one of the first items to pop up in your Google search is PublishAmerica.

And one of the second things to pop up is a collection of links that warn you of the scam that is PublishAmerica.

Several authors who fell for the vanity publisher's snake oil took the firm to court, claiming that they were defrauded. They went into the deal thinking they had made a connection with a real publisher like St. Martin's Press or Knopf, only to learn that they'd signed a contract that cost them money in the end. 

The court in Maryland that heard the case dismissed it without prejudice, and allowed the plaintiffs to refile and try again, but make the matter at hand more clear. In the opinion of the judge, the lawsuit did not demonstrate that the plaintiff was a consumer suing a business. It could have been a business, i.e. the author, suing another business, which is a different sort of tort. The Maryland Attorney General handles consumer fraud, but were there consumers, or were the authors individual businesses?

Those authors could have avoided the disaster they wandered into if they had been forewarned about what PublishAmerica is and is not.

A Google search will turn up all sorts of complaints about the vanity press. There is an entire forum dedicated to PublishAmerica fraud over at, and all you as the writer with manuscript would have to do is read some of it.

If more writers did so, how long would PublishAmerica be able to stay in business?

Getting published is not as easy as turning to a company that touts itself on a website. And if all you're after is a place to create a few copies of something for family and friends, it couldn't be easier at which is run by Amazon. For free.

You've written a manuscript and you want to get published. It isn't an easy process. Don't get taken. You'll end up losing, and it's PublishAmerica that stands to gain.

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