I have been looking around the Publish America site, as I said in my previous post, and have (to my horror) come across some works in need of serious editing.
I have decided, I think, not to go with PA for a few reasons.
1) I borrowed a PA book from the library (yes, I know 1 book doesn't speak for all books) and found so many errors in the first five pages that it was painful for me to go much farther than that. Because I met the author at a local book signing event in December I tried to read the entire thing. It was an intriguing story... I think. Anyway, I did not make it. As I turned the page to Chapter 3 I placed the book on the sofa and let out an exasperated sigh. It was impossible for me to finish. There were FAR too many errors for the story to make sense, too many "tense" changes, and not enough research. I understand that PA is a vanity press and that an author is left to their own. I also know, as a self-published author, that it is impossible to catch every mistake you've made before printing. I myself have gone back through my book and found several. It kills me to see them there. The difference between me and the authors at PA is that I can go back into my file and make those corrections.
2) Many authors on the message board at PA have mentioned their books being out of stock on Amazon.com. So, being me, I made my way to Amazon and they were right! I do not want to publish with a company that claims my book will be available when, in fact, it is not.
3) PA prices. The average price I am willing to pay for a paper back is $6.99 and the most I will pay is $15.00. If I am paying $15.00 that book had better be spectacular! Books on the PA site are consistently $16 and up. I have seen many 200 page novels on the site for $29. I WILL NOT pay $29 for a softcover book. If I am not going to why should I assume my readers will?
4) Again on the message board (now one of my favorite haunts) there are numerous authors having communication problems with PA. They have emailed them about a problem weeks and weeks ago and have heard nothing. There is almost this "fear" on the board to say what one feels. One post even began with "I know this will probably be deleted..." It was a complaint thread. I am happy that PA did not delete it.
5) Why be under contract with a company for 7 years that does not make sure the work you are putting out is of a good quality. My feelings from being on the PA message board is that these are people (not all, mind you) who have written a manuscript (no matter the length) and they want it published (of course), but a normal publisher will not look at it twice. There are reasons for this that are covered in my Writing Pet Peeves post.
So there you have it, my 5 reasons for not going with Publish America.
Sure they give you an ISBN, but then they publish a raw and largely unedited piece of work, jack up the price of your book to an amount any sane person or non-relation would refuse to pay, make YOU buy your own books, and do not have your books readily available on major websites.
I will pay my $130 for an ISBN and stick with Lulu.com thank you VERY much!