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FF Sparks (Casual)

[Writing] PublishAmerica Exposed

Some of you out there who like to write may have heard of PublishAmerica, a publisher who supposedly are good at getting first-time authors published. Of course, some authors feel they were scammed.

The SFWA authors, and the Author's Guild and others have warned that PA is a vanity press, though PA denies it; PA claims they vet books carefully before accepting them. SFWA has been skeptical.

So, under the leadership of James MacDonald, a bunch of SFWA folks got together to try something. He wrote up a list of character names, a bunch of short one-line summaries of chapters, and gave them to different SFWA members. Each had nothing else to go on -- time of year, where in the book the chapter was, etc. -- and was to write as terrible a chapter as they could. When received, the chapters were put together into a manuscript which was submitted to PA, as 'Atlanta Nights.'

It was accepted. At the page shown, you can find the entire manuscript of Atlanta Nights, as well as the acceptance letter and suchnot. In addition, notice that the initials of the cast have a secret message:

The main characters in this book are:

Penelope Urbain
Bruce Lucent
Isaac Stevens
Henry Archer
Margaret Eastman
Richard Isaacs
Callie Archer
Irene Stevens
Andrew Venice
Arthur Nance
Isadore Trent
Yvonne Perrin
Rory Edward
Steven Suffern

Note that their initials spell out:
PUBLISHAMERICA IS A VANITY PRESS.

Of course, the amusing part is that literally only hours after James MacDonald and others posted this and asked folks on the SFWA groups to spread it to all the writing forums they could, a letter from PublishAmerica arrived withdrawing the acceptance, because on second examination, there are portions of the novel 'not yet ready for publication.' But, helpful souls that they are, they suggested Atlanta Nights could be published by a vanity press, for a fee.

Funny; one has to wonder if the letter would've been sent if the sting wasn't posted far and wide... :)

Comments

Yeesh. Just yeesh.
I think I've heard about this (or things like this) before. One, I think they had every other page in spanish, and it was accepted. Not sure if it was PublishAmerica, but some press.