The thing on the left is one of our power meters. It's been COLD out here, too.
Nope, those publishers are not for us.
But there’s one, very successful, publisher who makes our skin crawl. If you’ve swung past their website, you’ll wonder why. Their line-up includes celebrities, Hollywood scriptwriters, even a Pulitzer Prize winner if the website is to be believed, and why shouldn’t it be? They say they’ve got 50,000 authors under their banner and it’s probably true.
The only reason we talk about ‘em today is because we recently met one of their writers. We’ll call this writer, “Aly”, which isn’t her real name. Aly is about 30-years old, well-spoken, and was working a bookstore when we met her. Aly’s very bright and the bookstore is her part-time gig. She earns the better part of her paycheck as an English professor. When she told us she’d had two books published, we were impressed. On the way home, Renée said, “Let’s hope the publisher isn’t PublishAmerica.” Then we laughed, ‘cause we knew Aly was intelligent enough to know better.
We shouldn’t have laughed.
Look, it’s possible Aly knew all about PA when she signed the contract. PA did the gruntwork, packaging her novels, providing attractive cover art, and putting the books up for sale. We can’t speak for their editing -- Kevin Yarbrough wrote 30 pages, sent in a manuscript that repeated the same 30 pages over and over again, and PA published this embarrassment as a book; and several members of the SFWA famously sent in a purposefully horrible novel, Atlanta Nights, written over a weekend and filled with awfulness, which PA also published – but Aly can tell people she’s a published author. She received an advance (for us little fish, the advance is usually $1). And if her books are a bit more expensive than expected -- $29.95 for a paperback – well, Mom probably bought a few copies, anyway.
We just think there are so many better ways to go. Other folks agree with us, too, offering their thoughts here and here and here and here. If Aly did her research, knew what others thought, understood the game going in...then that's fine. Best of luck to her.
Somehow, we don't think that's the case.