November 1st, 2006 03:00 EST
Publishamerica.com is a Scam - Beware!
Publishamerica.com advertises itself as a traditional publisher. They offer you the chance to publish your work at no cost at all. They say they are promoting you; all they need is your manuscript (which you send via email). They claim to have very experienced editors who make sure what is produced is of high quality.
John Mwaura, a young man desperate to see his work published, a few months ago submitted his work with a local publisher here in Kenya; after weeks of communication with the publisher it became evident that his manuscript had been rejected. Faced with stiff opposition from home because of the career path he was taking, Johns thought of looking for a publisher away from home and see what they could offer him, and he had great expectations because he knows the West (in this case the USA) churns out quality stuff.
Using the Internet for the first time, he quickly learned about Google. And when he searched for "fiction publishers", Publishamerica.com popped up among the search results. He followed the link, and what he found dazzled him. In the testimonials from already published people to the wide selection of books in the online store, plus the very elegant cover designs... all this could happen to him. All he had to do was contact the publishers. He did do so, and in a few days was told to send his manuscript to them so that they could look it over. What luck!!
He thought, if only he knew about this God-sent publishers earlier. After looking it over, his publishers told him they had decided to give his work a chance-- in short they were going to publish his book. But when the deal is too good, think twice. We did just that through this writer and what we have discovered is that all that Publishamerica is a offering is a perfect scam covered by all the sweetest words every aspiring authors wants to hear: $1000 advance (which translates to around 72,000 Kenya shillings), no hidden costs, publish on demand, free marketing, and interviews with top media personalities.
According to P&E (PREDITORS AND EDITORS), the company is being investigated for fraud. The Company has no permanent address and the one they offer in Maryland USA belongs to a lighting company.
Those in the UK have searched for their offices to no avail. One lady who heard about them and gave them a chance to publish her book says that they don`t even have editors, she said she expected them to at least change the wordings or even the page layout, but nothing. She practically got her manuscript back as she submitted it, but with a hard cover and a fancy cover design. Most of the people published by the company thought all the books were overpriced. One of them says the publisher priced his book at $16.89 and it only had 136 pages, and frankly speaking, it was way too expensive for people. And other books in the same category which he thought were better than his didn`t even cost half of what his was priced; it was even made harder for him to sell the books to his local bookstore, as the publisher allows no discount and they have a no return policy. He ended up keeping all the books he had asked for. Those who had the courage to talk about their books being overpriced in the publisher`s writers forum soon found it hard to access their account because their passwords became invalid, that is how Publishamerica handles criticism (can`t wait to see how they react to this).
According to P&E, a website that traces fake publishers, they strongly recommend you don`t use Publishamerica to further yourself. Most people interviewed by P&E suspected the firm of something they couldn`t quite pin down, but all the promises they made overrode the suspicions. But they now feel it`s about time the owners of Publishamerica.com faces the law, though the company denies all allegations leveled against them (like they all do).
Although my friend is happy he won`t be signing the contract, he`s worried because they have his manuscript, which is not copyrighted. He wishes someone would act fast.
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