How PublishAmerica Works

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Before I start explaining how PublishAmerica works, I must indicate now that I have never been an author held with their yoke or associated with them in any way.  This article is merely to serve as a warning to those considering PublishAmerica or any similar service.  (Note:  This is not a self-endorsement of any kind, either.  At the present time, Late Nite Books only publishes one author – Brian Kittrell.)

So, let’s get started, shall we?  Do you have the courage to walk with me down this long, arduous, unscrupulous path of betrayal?  Or, do you want to hear some juicy details of how authors are being scammed every single day?

Everybody Wants to Make a Buck

Let’s face facts:  everybody wants to make a buck or two in this life.  If there’s an easier way to do it, people become more interested in it.  PublishAmerica, in my opinion and experience (with publishing in general), have located the shortest possible route to the almighty dollar.

I want to make something perfectly clear before we continue, and this forms the basis of this article:  anyone can do what I do.  Anyone can write a book, edit it, proofread, get people to help with editing and proofreading, design the cover, and submit the book to Ingram.  This is no secret; thousands upon thousands of people do it every day.  Just like me, they have their own account at Ingram and pay the fees to upload and start distribution.

It costs me (and others) about $105.00 to publish a book.  This includes receiving a proof copy of the book overnighted to your residence.  (It’s $75.00 without the proof; I recommend everyone get a proof copy of each book made to make sure it’s right before it goes to full distribution.)  So, for $105.00, I have full control over my titles, their availability, the price, returnability, and sales reports.  I also have direct contact with the printer if anything goes wrong.

The Meat of the Issue

With PublishAmerica, they are basically “being me”.  They submit to Ingram for you, they control the pricing, the returnability, the sales reports, and availability.  It is something that anyone can do themselves if they explore Ingram’s Lightning Source website.

They take your work, follow the exact same steps I follow of turning it into a print-ready file, and submit it to Ingram.  The only difference is that you are signing a contract with them that is very restrictive to your rights.  Always remember: a legitimate publisher will have it clearly stated that you can decide to go with another publisher at any time and that you retain all rights to your work (as if it even needed to be stated).

Now, for some people, all of these technicalities and work is perhaps too much to bare.  They may not have the time or inclination to design their own covers or edit their work.  They may not want to deal with Ingram directly or manage their own affairs.  To that, I say, get out while you can or find a publisher that doesn’t deal in one-sided contracts.  The field of self-publishing is not for the lazy or unmotivated.  Even those who are interested only in generating a small side income or just being able to say, “I’m published!”, this is not the place for corner cutting or apathy.

Numerous people have reported problems with their books getting published, with getting any measure of exposure or sales, and many other negative things about the company.

So why are you bothering with any of this?

Sometimes people come to this page to read about the self-publishing articles.  Any way these people can be warned is good.  (One of the self-publishing articles had over 80,000 views in December.)  So, I decided to warn people about major ones that I know about.

So, if not PublishAmerica, then what?

As of this writing, for people who want to be in the middle area between technical work and not having to do everything themselves, I’d recommend CreateSpace or Lulu.  They both have cover creators and help files for people who don’t want to mess with Photoshop or the GIMP.  You will still have to do some formatting, but that’s really one of the easier parts.

The moral of the story is:  don’t sign loaded contracts and don’t deal with shady folks.  Always remember: Google is your friend.  A common practice of mine has become searching for “(CompanyName, Product, etc.) Scam” before buying or considering anything!  Have a great day!


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