Cat’s out of the bag, this is how agents do it


And here you thought agents actually read query letters and manuscripts and signed clients based on quality and talent…for shame. Here’s how it’s really done. You simply add your agent to your shopping cart and fork over $199.

27 Responses to Cat’s out of the bag, this is how agents do it

  1. kimkircher says:

    Eeek! There’s an entire universe of information out there now about the evil of Publish America. Hopefully new writers will not be duped by these guys. Thanks for the information.

  2. Meh, there will always be victims, and I can see many who have swallowed the Koolaid and will jump on board only to become $200 poorer.

  3. Dang! I only have $194. Shucks. Hey Lynn, can I borrow five bucks? I’ll pay you back as soon as my book sells its first million. 😀

  4. Digital Dame says:

    I have to wonder what exactly they mean by ‘agent.’ I need to go check the site and see what they claim this alleged ‘agent’ will do for the writer.

    The only people who I can see falling for this are complete n00bs to the writing world, maybe in remote places without internet access, like, I don’t know, the steppes of Siberia? At least that is my hope. I say we all bust out our voodoo dolls and do a number on PA.

  5. I love the ‘we pay them’ tagline under their name whilst they’re asking for your money.

  6. Digi, I have a nervous feeling that the same people who “edit” their books will also be the ones responsible for “marketing” manuscripts. I’ve seen some incredible things in this industry, but this one really takes the cake. Are they the Costco of the agent world? Beagle, fire up the blender…

  7. THAT’s what I’ve been doing wrong. Instead of slipping $20 bills inbetween sample pages when I query everyone, I should have been dropping $200 in for my agent of choice. *headslap* And to think I’m already down $300. Had I only known sooner…

  8. NinjaFingers says:

    I had to save somebody from Publish America not that long ago…she lives in Nowhere, TX and only has dial-up internet access, making it much harder to do the kind of research that protects people from scams like this.

  9. Digital Dame says:

    I’m on dial-up, and I’ve known about these bozos since about the time of the great “Publish America Hoax.” (chuckling even now thinking about “Atlanta Nights,” funniest thing I ever read). Luckily that was probably my first encounter with the name so I was never in danger. Dial-up may be slow, but it can still access the same Web sites. Some people just don’t want to believe it’s true. I had a friend whose son was a decent photographer, and try as I might to convince her he should not pay a publisher to have his photos included in a book, he did it anyway. You can guess the rest.

  10. Lauren says:

    It’s not just $199. Remember that you have to add shipping.

    Shipping what??? Margaritas? Twinkies? The author to the agent?

  11. Holy smokes, Lauren, you’re right! I hit the Buy button, and it does charge shipping. That said, I think a $3.99 shipping fee to ship the author to the agent is a good deal.

    Dearie me, I’m not sure my heart can take this grab bag of mirth and incredulity.

  12. NinjaFingers says:

    Digital, though, that’s assuming somebody has TIME to go through a ton of web sites a day on dial-up.

  13. Digital Dame says:

    You mean they don’t ship the agent to your house? No house calls? Nuts. Forget that.

  14. Becky Mushko says:

    Just when you think PublishAmerica has hit bottom, there’s another bottom.

  15. pattizo says:

    what is wrong with paying a little up front? As a famous person once said, you gotta put up some money to make some money. First rights, plus a bonus, and network contacts. Now that these things are available to the public, all of a sudden self-publishing is bad. This is a democracy people…

  16. NinjaFingers says:

    Nobody here has ever said self publishing is bad. What Publish America ‘offers’ has nothing to do with properly done self publishing.

  17. Pattizo, did you read my post? Tell me you’re joking. This has nothing to do with DIY but rather, everything to do with charging authors $200 to “market” their manuscripts to editors.

    And that “marketing” will consist of nothing more than a query letter, which I’m certain will be summarily tossed because it’s doubtful PA even knows how to write a proper query. There is no standard here for excellence or talent – only the naivite of the author.

    It’s a great idea for the likes of PA because it’s free money – just like how they make their money from selling to their authors. There’s no proof they’ll send out a query letter to editors. And when authors begin to ask questions, PA will simply shrug and say that no one wanted to the book. And what do you want to bet that they’ll extend a contract to that poor author?

    That is why you never, NEVER pay an agent. They make their money off sales, not authors’ checkbooks. And this is also why you never EVER hook up with a publisher who offers literary management…it’s a huge conflict of interest.

  18. Can’t help laughing at their mission statement: “We treat authors the old fashioned way . . . we pay them.”

    That’s after the authors pay them a whole heap up front first?

  19. Digital Dame says:

    I’d bet real money pattizo is a PA flack.

  20. Cat says:

    Oh, you mean this is all I had to do? You mean I did not need to carefully arrange the cat hairs and send off a query to an agent? It is this easy? Is the beagle wrong? She tells me it is much more difficult than this! I think I will trust the beagle.

  21. AstonWest says:

    They finally figured out a way to take away another 15% of what little the author made (above the $200+)…

    I wonder if self-purchases earn the “agent” a commission, too…

  22. Pattizo : “As a famous person once said, you gotta put up some money to make some money.”

    Then why does my publisher keep sending me royalty checks when I never put up any money?

  23. pattizo says:

    With Publish America there what you see is what you get. There is no hidden agenda; there is no risk of a publisher going belly-up and not paying their authors as has been reported in the news. You pay a fee and a service is provided. It is that easy.

    No I am not a “PA flack”, but a believer in you get what you pay for, in writing and in life.

  24. NinjaFingers says:

    With PA, what you see is what you…maybe get. If they think they can get away not giving it to you they will. You’re obviously either working for them or utterly naive and have no clue about their reputation.

    For everyone’s edifaction:

    http://www.wizardessbooks.com/html/PA_stories.htm

  25. pattizo says:

    You have every right to believe or not believe what you read. Misleading information is just that-misleading. To besmirch an organization that only seeks to advance the author’s cause is just plan wrong. This will be my last post on this blog as reading these comments are extremely upsetting, and I need to place myself in my writer’s persona to write.

  26. How does PA “advance the author’s cause” by (over)charging them for books, editing, expedited processing, donations, literary agents, etc?

    Do these authors need to lose a lot of money quickly?

    Since you can’t actually address any of these points, though, good-bye and good luck.

  27. penpusher1 says:

    No these guys, but I can remember being an aspiring writer on Staten Island in the late eighties and submitting my manuscript to a publisher’s ad. Their letter said they loved it and would be happy to publish such a fine piece of literature, for a mere $4,000. The contract was enclosed. At least it saved me some toilet paper….

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