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Old 11-20-2003, 08:04 AM   #1
Ed Williams 3
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Arrow The Old Neverending PublishAmerica Thread (Publish America)

Editor's note: For those new to this PublishAmerica discussion, it may interest you to see the index to it created by James Macdonald: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=526

----

More PA woes, straight from a PA author's mouth...

HBMarcus

11/18/2003
10:52:39
Subject: OHIO BOOK SIGNING


Message:
Well the manager finally got word. The corporate office CANCELLED THE ENTIRE BOOK ORDER! He can reorder on his own for Ohio authors only on his own authority. But he won't know until later today if he can get the books here on time.

This is not my fault folks. This is idiotic and I've tried pretty hard to make this work. I'll know more later today. In the meantime I'm going to see what else I can put togther to accomodate everyone on the Saturday date.

As far as scheduling anything for December with them, I simply have no trust in them at this point. I'll try getting another book store to host this for Saturday though. At this point I don't care if he gets the books in or not if I can get another place.

I'm sorry everyone. That's all I can say. This was supposed to be a done deal back in September. Waiting until now to NOT get the books is rediculous!

Last edited by JennaGlatzer; 09-28-2005 at 01:06 PM.
 
Old 11-20-2003, 09:37 AM   #2
emeraldcite
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point of reference

is there a point of reference for this post? i think i have an idea of what's going on, but is there a background story?
 
Old 11-20-2003, 10:31 AM   #3
marky48
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Re: point of reference

It's a PA post em. Here's the skinny: Marcus has been setting up a Ohio signing for PA authors from several mid-western states since September. PA or lightning or both can't supply the books, although they've said they could.

There may be a Waldenbooks veto of an advance order for that many PA books at once; undoubtably rare, but suspicious from the pro-PA POV at any rate.

That's all I have at the moment.
 
Old 11-20-2003, 11:04 AM   #4
James D Macdonald
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This probably belongs in the Take It Outside Board

First, get to know HB Marcus:

<a href="http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/main/7174.htm" target="_new">http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/main/7174.htm</a>

Now, see him in happier times:

<a href="http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/1167.htm" target="_new">www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/1167.htm</a>

Then, watch the sad conclusion:

<a href="http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/1489.htm" target="_new">www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/1489.htm</a>

Google advanced search will show you more individual posts in various threads, such as <a href="http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/1124.htm" target="_new">http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/1124.htm</a> and <a href="http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/1175.htm" target="_new">www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/1175.htm</a>

Hope this helps.

It brings me no joy to report that I'm not surprised by the way it looks like this is turning out.
 
Old 11-20-2003, 11:08 AM   #5
emeraldcite
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thanks!

i have no stake in this, but i like to follow it nonetheless...
 
Old 11-20-2003, 11:16 AM   #6
emeraldcite
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i thought...

gee, i thought POD meant print on demand....there's demand, where're the books? lol
 
Old 11-20-2003, 08:28 PM   #7
dogpile
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Re: i thought...

It's the return policy that's killing this. I called WaldenBooks and inquired. I told them that I was planning on attending. I was told that they "cannot justify ordering non-returnable books that have no guarantee of selling...". Basically, WaldenBooks doesn't want to get stuck with a bunch of books that they have to pay for, and can't be sure of anyone buying them. Once again...the bane of PublishAmerica and their lack of faith in their authors. IF they had ANY faith...they would accept returns at least.
 
Old 11-20-2003, 08:48 PM   #8
Ed Williams 3
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The sad thing is...

...that PA doesn't need to have faith in their authors. They turn a profit cause they sign tons of authors, and then reap the sales that they produce from relatives and friends. No need to take a risk on returns when there is guaranteed easy money up front. This is the basis of their whole business model.
 
Old 11-20-2003, 11:05 PM   #9
James D Macdonald
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Not just the no-returns

It isn't just the no-returns policy, whereby bookstores can't return books that don't sell -- PA also has a non-standard discount on its books, meaning that bookstores get less profit on the books that do sell.

Combine those two and it's a wonder that any PA books make it into bookstores at all.
 
Old 11-21-2003, 12:20 AM   #10
marky48
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Re: Not just the no-returns

What is the non-standard discount again? 8% of the net price is the author-killer for royalities.

I had been reading those threads save the one back in June. Mr. Amaroso featured in the last was grumbling about my little visit to the board for several days in August. It brought me no pleasure then, and still doesn't, to address these sad details concerning this company. But believers still fall daily.
 
Old 11-21-2003, 12:28 AM   #11
James D Macdonald
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Discount

The PA discount, when the books are ordered through a distributor, is 20%. Bookstores expect at least 40%.
 
Old 11-21-2003, 03:26 AM   #12
marky48
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Re: Discount

Thanks James.
 
Old 11-21-2003, 05:09 AM   #13
James D Macdonald
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News on the Signings

The game's going into extra innings -- <a href="http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/1520.htm" target="_new">www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/1520.htm</a> -- thanks to heroic efforts by the authors. But look at the numbers of books they're getting shipped in for the signing. One copy. Three copies. Five copies. If they sell 100% of the books it won't pay them for their gas to drive to the mall.

And they're overjoyed by it.
 
Old 11-21-2003, 06:08 AM   #14
marky48
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Overjoyed

Boy, if I was pirate I'd opt for a lifeboat at this point. That really is sad.
 
Old 11-23-2003, 01:12 AM   #15
Dancre
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the moral of the story is:

tis better to wait for a legitimate publisher and climb up the ladder of success than to take the easy way and be stuck with nothing.
and it is sad.
kim
 
Old 11-23-2003, 01:57 PM   #16
Ed Williams 3
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The first reviews are in...

Jennifer M



11/23/2003
00:01:30
Subject: Thanks HB and Claudette


Message:
I just wanted to thank HB and Claudette for all their hard work for Saturday's book signing. It wasn't as we had planned but it was still a great event and all the thanks goes to you two. Many blessings in your direction. Also I want to add that I truelly enjoyed meeting all the other authors as well....Paula, Tim, Rich, Ann all of you it was a real pleasure!!!! If I don't see you in December Than I'll see you in Feb. I'm working really hard for the december thing........It was too much fun to have to wait!!!

Jennifer Milo
Twist of Fate
 
Old 11-23-2003, 11:12 PM   #17
Ed Williams 3
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Get it straight from the planner's mouth...

HBMarcus

11/23/2003
10:45:09

H. B. Marcus
CRISPY
The Joe Schmoe Show
RE: Thanks HB and Claudette


Message:
Jennifer, I'm glad that in the face of INCREDIBLE STUPIDITY you still stayed there and acted as a representative of PA in a calm non-killing fashion. (By the way, my wife and I think you should change your message post photo because you're a little more drop-dead-gorgeous in person.)

Anyway, you missed the lady who won that electric guitar we gave away. That had my eyes well up for an instant until I remembered I was HB. Of course I brought a camera that said: "Please insert non-bleeding batteries here." Rich and I hung out until the last dog was hung. I still can't get over how the two of you mugged people walking by.

"Hey Rich, have I mentioned what a great job you're doing?"

Thanks for catching me outside by the way and keeping me from turning the manager into a stain. Walking it off was a really good idea when we found out the books were NOT THERE! But after the rather loud receiving of the guitar in the drawing, the store manager was going: "Wow, I've never done anything like this before."
I said: "We're PA people. We do this all the time. See what you've been missing?"

I can't believe all Ann had was a review and she sold a freaking book while she was there. That's just wrong on so many levels! I was there all freaking day and I sold one book. Claudette is going: "Hey HB, I just hit the twenty book goal I wanted!" I SOLD ONE FREAKING BOOK! Oh well, I had a lot of fun.

I still can't believe Tim (the guy who called me a sociopath) is still hanging tough with me. He's got something planning for his neck of the woods and I am so there. It was great to see a familiar face. I'm just sorry he missed the breakfast thingy.

Claudette...TWENTY FREAKING BOOKS! Oh, I'm sorry, let me rephrase that; TWENTY FREAKING BOOKS! That's just sick. But hey, you put a lot of work into this thing that I didn't ask for but I really appreciated. I can't thank you enough. I really mean that. Folks, if you set up something like this, GET HER. All I am is hung-over psychotic comedy relief. She made the difference with a really bad situation. You people have no idea how glad I am this is over.

By the way, my new buddy at Walden's wants to do this again in a couple weeks. I told him point blank: "Well golly gee whillickers Steve, I'm still waiting for the books to show up for this one." But, I did resist the urge to turn the little weasel's face into a crime scene. That looks good for PA.

YO HO HO!
 
Old 11-23-2003, 11:20 PM   #18
James D Macdonald
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Re: Get it straight from the planner's mouth...

The thread Ed is quoting from is <a href="http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/1545.htm" target="_new">here</a>.

Poor HB. I feel his pain. He hasn't figured out who the pirates are, yet, and who it is who's been yelling "YO HO HO!"

PA swept his deck with grapeshot and boarded him in the smoke.
 
Old 11-25-2003, 01:17 AM   #19
DaveKuzminski
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Another PA forum topic worth pointing out

It's at PublishAmerica and contains this one particular posting which I find interesting since it was one of their member authors who earlier suggested this very tactic for getting their books into bookstores. Here's the posting:

Begin quote:
Message:
I somehow doubt it...

most of the big stores seem to have changed their policies so that they refuse to order ANY POD books unless asked for specifically for by a single customer.

I suspect it's probably from a rash of POD authors "special ordering" in tons of books for imaginary customers and then the bookstore swallowing the books sitting on their shelves when the person never returns to pick up their special order.

sure, it's a great trick to get your book on the shelves, but now they've caught on and now won't stock any PODs - if you thought it was hard before to get onto the shelves, it's worse now.

End of quote.

So, did they really believe that the bookstores wouldn't catch onto that tactic and create their own response? After all, isn't that why "return policies" were developed many years ago? Wasn't it to prevent publishers from taking advantage of dealers with imaginary orders?
 
Old 11-25-2003, 02:13 AM   #20
XThe NavigatorX
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re:

I still think the future looks great for POD, but not until they get the actual POD machines affordable enough to sit in the stores themselves. Order a book. Three minutes later it's in your hand, literally hot off the press.

Personally, I don't think it's a good idea , but I see it coming.
 
Old 11-25-2003, 05:55 AM   #21
Ed Williams 3
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What's so sad about all this is...

....that these people are working so hard to create a demand for their books, yet their publishing situation negates their efforts before they even get out of the gate. Bookstores were already leary of POD books, now they are even more so based on stunts like the one Dave has just pointed out in his previous post. Think about it - PA, right now on Amazon, lists 3043 books. Ponder that for a moment - with the most well staffed publicity department in the publishing industry PA couldn't properly promote that many books. What PA is doing is simple - they sign up lots of authors, count on those 10-100 unit sales they'll each produce to relatives/friends, and that's as much as they need to do. Much easier to keep signing new authors than to continue to work with the existing ones. The saddest thing about all this is that PA is trading on people's dreams, luring them in by holding the title of "Published Author" out in front of them, then snatching the carpet from underneath their feet when its too late for them to do too anything about it. The PA author ends up with no real reviews, no library placement to speak of, no national chain stocking of their title(s), no true publishing credit, and minimal sales. Very, very sad.
 
Old 01-14-2004, 02:43 AM   #22
HBMarcus
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REALITY CHECK

Well golly gee whillickers.
I'm surfing around I find people going to a lot of trouble collecting my quotes to bash my publisher. The word 'context' means nothing I see.

Where to begin?

The big author signing was screwed up by the manager of the Waldens book store. He spent months telling me lies and telling his corporate office the other half of the lies. All because he figured he could manipulate me into doing what suited the purposes he had cooked up to please the corporate office.

I had one chance early that week for my publisher to get the books to me on time. The manager of the Waldens told me they were on the way and everything was fine. Then when his corporate office was contacted I found out that he lied. They never got any order and they did what they could to get books there at the last minute. They tried really hard for us. It wasn't their fault. They even drop shipped books ordered that day and they continue to sell out of my books.

In fact the one author who had no books there stayed for about 45 minutes and sold a book anyway.

Libraries? The libraries around me all have copies of both my books. In fact when a friend asked about them they were more than happy to buy two copies of each.

Reviews? Check the Midwest Book Review, which most libraries around the country use as a buying guide. The January issue has a review of my latest book.

The pathetic bashing from authors who thought publishers do everything for you when you sit on your hands is so ten minutes ago. I've met quite a few authors who had an offer on the board with one of the moldy established publishers and went with mine instead. You can arrange the quotes any way you want and I'll still be connected to one of the fastest growing publishers ever. Check your facts. You bought Microsoft stock out of Bill Gates' garage on the day it went public and you traded it for a handful of sour grapes.
 
Old 01-14-2004, 02:54 AM   #23
FM St George
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Re: REALITY CHECK

wow...

just a little wired on coffee, HB?

let's just say that some of us want to spend more time writing than begging bookstores to order copies of overpriced PA books and dealing with the no-returns policy... believe it or not, there is a world outside of the PA cult and those of us who have turned our backs on it may, just may, have a point.

btw, I've been banned from the PA boards, in case you were wondering... must have been my posts just after the Ohio debacle...

but, as Lisa found out - no one's ever been banned at PA - so enjoy your freedom of speech here, since it seems that a lot of us don't have it over there.

Sheryl Nantus
 
Old 01-14-2004, 03:16 AM   #24
James D Macdonald
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Re: REALITY CHECK

You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time.

HB, how many books, total, have you sold? What kind of profit have you made (gross income - cost of goods sold)?

You are aware that the Midwest Book Review is a joke, right?
 
Old 01-14-2004, 04:43 AM   #25
HConn
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everything

Quote:
... authors who thought publishers do everything for you when you sit on your hands...
I've never heard of nor met this author. This person is a myth created by vanity presses.
 
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