Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Publish America recently offered their authors a special deal. The deal being that Publish America would submit the authors' books to a special contest operated by Amazon called Amazon studios for $119 paid to Publish America. There is a problem in that "books" submitted by Publish America are not eligible for this contest. The contest is for original screenplays not books. The rules are very clear and both Publish America and their authors should have read the rules. I did. They are right there in plain English. Never-the-less, twenty-one Publish America authors have paid, to date, $2,499 to Publish America to have Publish America submit their stuff to Amazon Studios. There is a list of them at http://theauditorz.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/scams-and-flams/ Along with the comment: "A while back we noticed a group called “Publish America” who’s been publishing full NOVELS on the Amazon Studios site under their name, but from different authors. We really didn’t pay them any attention, but were curious as to just WTF was going on."So Publish America charged 21 authors, so far, $2,499 and just submitted a copy of their books to an original screenplay contest. I don't want to criticize authors but this was really foolish of them! We urge other Publish America authors to read the Amazon Studio rules before throwing away their money. THE BOOKS ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THE AMAZON STUDIOS CONTEST! Publish America made $2,499 on this little caper.

A PA author posted this on the PA message board: "I just want to know if anyone else paid to have their book to be turned into a screenplay / Movie Script. I saw my book on Amazon Studios and selected the scripts so I could view my movie script only to see my book was uploaded as one. Now I find this unfair because it is not what I paid for. I have emailed the person several times about this and have yet to get a response. Now you fellow authors what you would you do? Ask for a refund? Or hope that PA would be honest since they stated they would follow Amazons contest guidelines. All submissions should be script formatted. and characters centered. As if an actor was reading it to audition for a movie. Unfortunately mine is not. I don't know about any others that was sent but I am sure PA sent them the same way. Come on PA I know what a script looks like. Before my agent sends me on an audition they send me the movie script so I can rehearse my lines. So I can know the part I am auditioning for. If they sent me a book that would confuse me. I believe we should get what we pay for."

He noticed his screenplay was nothing more than a copy of his book. Amazon Studio wouldn't have accepted it for their contest even if it had been formatted as a screenplay because they only accept ORIGINAL screenplays. READ THE AMAZON RULES, NOT WHAT PA CLAIMS!"
3/15/2011 3:17 AM


Lady Esther said...

Do you have any advice for dealing with PA? I just wanted a copy of my contract and got a tone from them. I sense they are going to be hostile and especially from the comments I read here about them.
Why doesn't 20 20 do a story about them or Dateline or somebody. I would like to get out of my contracts but I misplaced them as I am very unorganized. There is probably nothing in it to give me an out, but I think I have a right to another copy of my contract.

Phil said...

Lady Esther, I'm not a good source to seek advice from because I didn't deal with them for very long. When PA violated provisions of the contract I used the arbitration clause. I won the arbitration, received compensation that was satisfactory to me and a rescission of the contract. Not a termination of the contract and not a reversion of rights but the contract was rescinded which means that it never existed.

Your contract contains a clause to resolve any dispute you have with them. It is either arbitration or action in a Maryland State court. My advice to any PA author is to take the action provided by the contract.

Almost anyone would send you a copy of your contract but this is PA. They are not legally obligated to send you a copy so if they want to they will and if they don't want to they won't.

PA is small potatoes to outfits like 20 20 and dateline, certainly not worth any effort because 99.99% of their audience has never heard of PA not will care about PA. PA is a non story, in my opinion. Perhaps you should write the programs and suggest a story.

christine tripp said...

SD, you have continued to do a lot of good in your numerous posts. Not a victim but I am sure you have saved many from becoming one.
I was fascinated by the link and info regarding Amazon Studio's pulling down all of the "Books" PA uploaded to the "Script" contest!
Just checked out PA's account, "PublishAmerica Acquisitions" and, yep, it's now empty. Zero entries.

christine tripp said...

Sadly, it looks like either PA or Amazon has gotten to your "studio" blog site link. All comments have disappeared since this morning. Their post remains but without comments, it holds no weight.
Amazing what power some people have over others.

Full Gospel said...

My Name is Cheryl Lee, author of night shifters. I was wondering how they got my comment from the PA website. Anyway yes I paid for the movie script and yes PA and I battled over the phone for a week. They will not refund my money only to send me 10 copies of my book. Even though I signed a contract for a second book. PA will not get their hands on it. I have found another publishing company so if they want to sue me for the second book go right ahead. Once I found out about what PA did I blew the whistle on them to an Amazon rep. They do not communicate with authors at all and they should be shut down permanently!

Phil said...

Christine, I'm not sure what you mean, I looked at the link a few minutes ago and everything was still there including some comments made today.

AmazonStudios did elimenate all PA submissions from their contest.

PA doesn't have any authority with anyone except their own authors and they exercise that authority with an iron fist.

You might find this amusing: http://theauditorz.wordpress.com/2011/03/12/amazon-studios-top-shitty-fifty-for-february/

Rev. Sinthyia said...

Lady Esther,

"Why doesn't 20 20 do a story about them or Dateline or somebody."

Good question. I wrote news articles in my national Examiner news column. This was my multi-part expose on PublishAmerica. The Examiner buckled under a nasty and untruthful C and D letter supposedly written by their attorney Vic Cretella. They removed my articles under fear of lawsuit. So much for freedom of the press, right? The articles were immediately re-published on my own website. Neither myself or my host ever heard from PA.

christine tripp said...

Phil, yes, I saw the site was all the same, in working order including comments and youtube video, the morning after my last post.
Sometimes iPad goes a little wonky, but on the computer everything showed up the same:)
Cheryl Lee, if you paid PA for the script conversion with a credit card, you can try contacting your credit service and they can cancel the transaction and put the money back into your account. Worth a try.

paula commerford said...

sweetsoot1@yahoo.com I WILL SEND YOU COPY.