Remember this: Publish America
Apparently Publish America became America Star Books. After that, they went defunct. The previous owner, Miranda Prather gave way to co-owners Lawrence Clopper & Willem Meiners. After a lawsuit, multiple BBB complaints, Writer Beware\SFWA blogging about multiple warnings and Absolute Write members posting thread upon thread about them – they disappeared.
I’m, as a publishing industry professional and a writer, very grateful to people like Victoria Strauss and groups like SFWA for the deep dive research that they do. It’s amazing what some companies go to at length for to prey on others. What is it exactly that they prey on? The deep desire for a new author to be “legit published”. That feeling of someone wants and likes my work. That exhilarating high of “send us your manuscript, we want to publish you”.
There is one thing that I do disagree with about Publish America\America Star Books. They are not, were never and well… will never be a true “POD publisher”. Not in the sense that I and many others see the definition as today because POD is a tool and not just a “type of publishing”. POD publishing then and now are very different. POD or publish on demand is now a main staple and huge market tool (thanks Amazon) both to smaller publishing houses such as The Real Saga Press and Indie authors alike.
Publish America\America Star Books only used the tool as a vanity, pay to play publisher to line their silver pockets. There should be a distinction between what a publisher is and what publishing tools they use are. Just like InDesign, POD is a tool not a type of publisher, of course this is my opinion, I don’t expect others to agree with it and some will, some won’t and some will say explain further.
Keep your eye on the blogs at The Real Saga Press for an expose on how our experiences a few months ago went with other traditional publishers and retrieval of publishing rights. We will be talking about how the publishing industry reacts to a request of publication rights back, what the difference between copyrights and publication rights are, what you can possibly do when dealing with a belligerent publishing house who is refusing to cooperate or how to track down a literary agent when the agency has folded (that one was fun – note sarcasm). We, Larisa and I, will both be writing about this experience and probably vlogging\pod casting about it in the future as well.
For now, I applaud you Victoria ET AL for the job well done and helping to inform the writing community to keep them safer than they might have been navigating this crazy little publishing world we all live in. I appreciate the hard work that you folks do.