I mention this because I don't want you to start ranting that I'm anti-POD, or anti-self publishing when I tell you that PublishAmerica's latest endeavor to separate writers from their hard-earned money infuriates me.
It preys on people's hopes and dreams, and uses their lack of knowledge specifically and intentionally to make them buy something the company knows is unlikely to achieve the results implied. (Implied of course is key. They don't actually tell you it works, they let you believe the implication.)
Here's the text:
Your Book Published By Random House?
From: PublishAmerica Author Support Team (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sent: Tue 2/23/10 11:35 AM
PublishAmerica will submit your book to Random House!
(submit means something very specific in publishing parlance. They use it incorrectly, but you don't know that. They mean SEND)
Random House, the publishing company? Yes. We’re submitting your book to the world’s most famous publisher so they get a chance to read it and see if they want your book.
(see the clever implication and connection here? If they SEND it to RandomHouse, there's a chance it will be read. The chance is miniscule; they don't mention that. This kind of talk in advertising is why "your mileage may vary" is a mandated caution in ads for cars.)
Every writer dreams about becoming a published author. Once they have reached that goal, as you have, many dream of the next step up: to become a Random House author. Random House is one of the most prestigious publishing names. Their extensive operation a few miles from our own headquarters makes them virtual neighbors.
(Any Random House facility located near PublishAmerica is a warehouse or production division. Editorial decisions are made at 1745 Broadway, New York, NY. That's nowhere close to "neighbor" for a company located in Maryland.)
We will submit not one, but up to five copies of your book to Random House’s acquisition editors, so that they can also pass the book around their imprints if they want. They may do anything they choose with the books. We will alert you immediately if Random House shows interest, and in that case we will do everything we can to ensure a smooth transition. Since PublishAmerica is not affiliated with Random House or its owner Bertelsmann, we would totally share in your pride.
(They can do anything they want to with it. They can throw it away for example. Why you would PAY to send a finished copy blindly to RandomHouse when you can send it electronically at no cost boggles the mind. Why would someone advocate doing this? Oh yes, of course...that's how PublishAmerica makes money: authors buying their own books)
Here’s how we do it:
If you want to have books on hand, order now, and we will donate up to five copies to Random House. And you receive a 50 pct discount!
Go to www.publishamerica.net, find your book, click on it, then add to cart, indicate quantity, and use this coupon: Random50. Then click Recalculate and finish the transaction. Minimum volume is 10 copies.
Notice there's no verification on this. No way to monitor if PublishAmerica actually sends books to Random House. Even if they send a truck, there's no way to verify if individual books are included or not.
Even IF they do send books, and a book makes its way to an editor who finds something of interest, just exactly how do you think the editor will find the author? Maybe PublishAmerica prints contact info on the bookjackets.
By using the coupon you are authorizing us to donate the books to Random House. You may also request that we ship five FREE books to you instead.
Free means you don't pay for something. Last I checked (italicized above) you were adding books to a cart, and paying for a transaction.
Full-color and hardcovers excluded. Offer expires this weekend on Sunday night.
PublishAmerica Author Support Team
More than the specifics of why this is a crummy idea, though, this stinks because it uses lack of knowledge to make a sale.
That's a morally bankrupt way to earn money.
PublishAmerica is beneath contempt for this.
If you intend to self-publish, or use print on demand, I urge you to patronize another company.
Here's the blog post at Making Light
where I first saw the news.
where I first saw the news.