The Truth about PublishAmerica

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q.  What does "POD" mean?

A.  In the most commonly used context, POD indicates "Print on Demand."  PublishAmerica, obviously, is a Print-on-Demand (POD) publisher.

Q. What is the difference between "Print on Demand" and "Publish on Demand"?
A. There is no difference.  The two terms are completely equivalent.

Q. Is it true that standard royalties are paid on the list or cover price of a book?
A. Yes.

Q. Does PublishAmerica pay royalties on the list or cover price of a book?
A. No.  PublishAmerica pays royalties on the "net" price of a book.  PublishAmerica pays no royalties on books the author buys him/her self.

Q. Is it true that PublishAmerica only pays a one-dollar advance?
A. In the majority of cases, yes.  While PublishAmerica claims to pay advances up to one thousand dollars, no one seems to know who that lucky person might have been. (Given, though, that PublishAmerica's founder, Willem Meiners, has published two books through his own company there's a real strong suspiscion as to who might have gotten those thousand-dollar advances.)

Q. Is it true that PublishAmerica expects authors to pay that dollar advance back?
A. Yes. The dollar is deducted from the first royalty check (if any).

Q. How many copies of his or her book does the average PublishAmerica author sell?
A. About seventy-five copies.

Q.  What is the average price of a trade paperback book in America?
A. $14.95.

Q.  What is the average price of a  trade paperback book from PublishAmerica?
A. $19.95.

Q. When bookstores order PublishAmerica books through their normal distributors, do they get the same discount they get from other publishers?
A. No.  PublishAmerica's discount is worse.

Q. When bookstores order directly from PublishAmerica, are the books reliably shipped in a timely manner?
A. No.

Q. Is it normal for bookstores to return books that don't sell?
A. Yes.

Q. Can  PublishAmerica books be  returned by bookstores if they don't sell?
A. No.

Q. Has PublishAmerica managed to get any of its books stocked nationally by any bookstore chain?
A. No.

Q. Are PublishAmerica books normally found on the shelves of brick-and-mortar bookstores?
A. No.

Q. Is non-returnability the only reason PublishAmerica books aren't stocked by brick-and-mortar bookstores?
A. No.  Other reasons include high cover prices, low discounts, poor production values, and lack of selectivity/lack of editing.

Q.  Have any PublishAmerica books ever been found on the shelves of any brick-and-mortar bookstore?
A. Some authors have managed to get some books on the shelves of some local bookstores, by appealing to the manager in person.

Q. What is the minimum level of promotion/marketing that commercial trade publishers provide to all of their books?
A. The book is listed in the publisher's catalog that is sent to bookstores and libraries in advance of publication; the book is presented to bookstore/library buyers by the publisher's sales force in advance of publication; review copies are sent to major review venues in advance of publication; the publisher puts ads in trade magazines in advance of publication.

Q. How many of those things does PublishAmerica do for its books?
A. None of them.

Q. Has any PublishAmerica book ever been on any recognized  bestseller list (e.g., New York Times, USA Today, etc.)?
A. No.

Q. Does PublishAmerica claim that one or more of their books has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize?
A. Yes.

Q. Has any PublishAmerica book ever been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize?
A. No.

Q. Did PublishAmerica claim that Robert Bly, the award-winning poet, had sold a book to them?
A. Yes.

Q. Had Robert Bly, the award-winning poet, actually sold a book to them?
A. No.

Q. Does PublishAmerica directly solicit writers to submit manuscripts?
A. Yes.

Q. Does PublishAmerica admit that they directly solicit writers to submit manuscripts?
A. No.

Q. What are PublishIcelandica and PublishBritannica?
A. "Daughter companies" of PublishAmerica.

Q. Is there any evidence that either PublishIcelandica or PublishBritannica have any separate existence?
A. No.

Q. Where does PublishBritannica claim to be headquartered?
A. "The company is headquartered in Milton Keynes, midway between Birmingham and London."

Q. Where is PublishBritannica actually headquartered?
A. In Frederick, Maryland, USA.

Q. How are royalties paid to PublishBritannica authors?
A. In checks written in US dollars drawn on an American bank.

Q. How can British authors cash those checks?
A. With great difficulty.

Q.  How do the Encyclopedia Britannica people feel about PublishBritannica?
A. They are suing PublishAmerica for trademark infringement.

Q. Is that the first or only trademark that PublishAmerica has violated?
A. No.

Q. Is it possible that the only reason PublishAmerica created PublishIcelandica and PublishBritannica was to allow Willem Meiners to visit Europe and write it off on his taxes as a business expense?
A. It's possible.

Q.  Wouldn't that be tax fraud?
A. It would.

Q. Would this be the first or only time that Willem Meiners has been accused of fraud?
A. No.

Q. Does PublishAmerica use false and misleading advertising on their webpage and in other communications to induce writers to sign their contracts?
A. Yes.

Q. Isn't  false and misleading advertising illegal?
A. It is.

Q. Does PublishAmerica actually pay all the royalties due to their writers?
A. No.

Q. Isn't that fraud?
A. Perhaps.  It may be theft.

Q. Does PublishAmerica allow a writer's accountant to examine that writer's records?
A. No.

Q. Does PublishAmerica continue to print and offer for sale books for which they no longer have publishing rights?
A. They do.

Q. Doesn't that violate copyright?
A. It does.

Q. Do any major writers' organizations (e.g. Authors Guild) accept PublishAmerica books as qualifications for membership?
A. No.

Q. What are the RITA Awards?
A. The RITA Awards are presented annually by the Romance Writers of America to the best novels in romantic fiction. RITA Award entrants are judged by fellow romance writers for quality in writing and overall excellence.

Q. What does it take to become a RITA award-eligible publisher?
A. A RITA-eligible publisher is defined as a non-subsidy, non-vanity publisher that has released books on a regular basis via national distribution for a minimum of  one year and has sold a minimum of 1,500 hardcover/trade paperback copies or 5,000 copies of any other format of a single fiction book or a novella or collection of  novellas in book form.

Q. Is PublishAmerica a RITA award-eligible publisher?
A. No.

Q. What is Barnes & Noble's corporate policy toward PublishAmerica books?
A.  Not to stock them.

Q. Do  PublishAmerica books get catalogued by the Library of Congress?
A. No.

Q. Why doesn't the Library of Congress catalogue PublishAmerica books?
A. Because the Library of Congress doesn't catalogue vanity books.

Q. What effect does this have on PublishAmerica books?
A.  It makes it less likely that any library will buy or shelve them.

Q. If PublishAmerica's business model is so ground-breaking and certain to  prevail in the world of publishing, why hasn't anyone else followed suit?

A. Because it's neither ground-breaking nor certain to prevail.

Q. What is PublishAmerica's business model, anyway?
A. Selling cheaply-produced, overpriced, poorly edited books directly to their authors and the authors' families and friends.

Q. What's so ground-breaking and innovative about that?
A. Nothing.  Other vanity presses have been doing the same thing for decades.

Q. Why are folks upset with PublishAmerican and not with the other vanity presses?
A. The other vanity presses don't use false advertising to mislead authors into thinking that they're real publishers.

Q. Of the three original partners of PublishAmerica, how many are failed authors?
A. Three.

Q. Is it true that Willem Meiners ran another vanity press before he founded PublishAmerica?
A.  Yes. It was called "Erica House," which later changed its name to "AmErica House."  Many PublishAmerica books are still listed as being published by "AmErica House."

Q. What are Larry Clopper's qualifications for running a publishing house?
A. None.

Q. Why isn't Miranda Prather in jail?
A. She copped a plea.

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PublishAmerica Jokes

Q. What's the difference between a PublishAmerica "booster" and a PublishAmerica "basher"?
A. About six months.

Q. How is PublishAmerica like an electric fan?
A. If you stand behind it, it sucks.  If you get out in front, it blows.  If you stand beside it, it won't do a thing for you.  And if you get into it, it'll cut you to pieces.

Q. How many PublishAmerica partners does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A. Three.  Two to hold down the author....

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