When everyone out there, and I do mean everyone advises against doing something, then perhaps the wisest move would be to pay heed to their advice.
Yep, I signed with PublishAmerica. That was in late 2010. Why? ‘Cause they said they take care of everything. I read the bad press. I saw the myriad of pages all damning the foolish for trusting PA with their books. In order to justify my agreeing to sign with them, I kept telling myself they will be able to market my book to more people than I ever could.
My logic was sound, only PA wanted $$$ for everything. “We have a book expo in Portugal. Pay us $$$ and your book will be included. Next week we will be at another expo where our booth is right next to Disney. Pay us $99 and we’ll bring your book to their attention!”
Bring to their attention? They word their services in such a way that it keeps them safe in case nothing happens. Royalties are horrible. 8% of a super-overpriced paperback book (mine was set to $29.95). Same royalties for their ebooks, which they wanted $69 to “convert” your book to ebook so that they could set a minimum price of $9.95, guaranteeing no sales. Thankfully I didn’t fall for that.
So how does PA manage to stay in business? How do they avoid getting their keesters thrown in jail? Simple. They know how far they can push the system. They have good lawyers. They simply know what they can get away with.
I had more than 5 years to go on my contract (which would auto-renew unless you told them otherwise – I informed them I wouldn’t renew within one month of them receiving my signed contract). I couldn’t handle another day of them let alone 5 years. And, much to my (mock) horror, sales of book I and book II took off! I was afraid PA would see the increased sales of the books and then hold my book even further in ransom. So now I had to get out of my contract and do so immediately.
I contacted them. Told them I wanted to terminate my contract. They responded (with a snarky message) that the only way they’d even consider this if I could prove that I had grounds for termination. Hoo boy, where do I start? I gave em:
1. Book price too high; no sales.
2. Constant barrage of daily emails trying to get me to buy my own book.
3. Lousy royalties
4. No marketing unless I pay for it.
5. Horrible customer service.
6. Lousy book cover.
Trust me, I could go on, and that’s what I told them. They responded with, “We’d prefer to keep your book under contract because we feel it is marketable.” Long story short, I was finally able to get them to terminate the contract. From what I read on the Internet, I’m one of the lucky few. It was finaiized yesterday when I received the final termination paperwork informing me my book was no longer available to online retailers and I had “lost my published author status”. LOL. Nice try, paco, but I’ve already published and released book II. Still a published author. So there! (gives rasperry sound)
No more f-ugly grey cover. The gorgeous picture of an open portal has become the new cover. I’ve already created the book with CreateSpace and have ordered a proof. Should get it today. Might have to make a few more minor tweaks, but I’m all ready to go! As soon as it is officially available I’ll list one or two copies on a Goodreads giveaway!!!
Woo-hoo! Suck it, PublishAmerica!!!!