by Jacqueline Hopkins
Back in 2010, I was living in Alaska, and editing my niece’s book. Shana Gentry told me she had a publisher and they were waiting for her to finish it. I asked her who it was. Proudly, she said, “Why it’s Publish America, of course.” I had never heard of them. Back when I’d tried to get my novel published, I’d gone the traditional route – and Publish America wasn’t one of them. After all the rejections I received, I got discouraged and quit writing, shelving over a dozen books I had started.
In any case, I asked Shana about PA and she said she’d found them online and had already signed a contract with them. When she first contacted them, their response and interest in her book was immediate and very over the top, telling her she had a bestseller and that they would make her a famous author. PA was very prompt in their responses; however, their contract spoke of many charges to come out of her pocket. In fact, she wouldn’t see a profit from sales until they recouped their costs. Only then would get any royalties. Shana also told me she was to pay them around $200 for startup fees and contact placement in the company, and for a front cover and back panel of the book. They also told her an editor would call her and keep in touch with her as she wrote, and that she didn’t need to seek the copyrights as they handled that as well. She told me she had her doubts right away and stopped correspondence with them after about two weeks of back and forth emails and harassing phones calls, pushing her to send the manuscript. Continue reading