THE WORSE BOOK EVER WRITTEN?

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THE WORSE BOOK EVER WRITTEN?

Postby keltora » Fri Feb 04, 2005 11:09 am

It's just not smart to take on professional writers, but Publish America thought they could. When repeated warnings from such groups as "Predators & Editors" and SFWA's own "Writers Beware" caused new authors to have second thoughts about signing with the company, Publisher America went on the attack. They chastised science fiction writers as incapable of writing real fiction, and reusing old fairy tales. They told their readers that they should never listen to science fiction and fantasy authors because they were just trying to keep the market small and exclusive.

Historically, Publish American seeks out new authors with promises of paying an advance (that amounts to no more than $1.00), and a promise of putting books into "brick and mortar" stores (in spite of the fact that the majority of booksellers refuse to order them because Publish America does not accept returns and offers a piddling discount even to booksellers). In truth, it ties up author's rights for seven years (real publishers never ask for more than two years of exclusive rights) and encourages authors to purchase their own books to sell to readers and stores, and asks for a list of friends and family. Its whole model is not that of a "traditional" publisher as it claims, but of a "vanity publisher" that gets the major portion of its profits selling to its own authors.

Sadly, a lot of dreams of a lot of writers have been shattered by authors making the mistake of signing with Publish America. Professional writing organizations such as SFWA, HWA, RWA, MWA and The Writer's Guild refuse to accept Publish America books as legitimate publishing credits. Authors caught in the Publish America web began to complain privately, then publicly. And their complaints were being heard by SFWA who started warning others to steer clear of this publisher at all costs.

And thus the war began. Tired of the harassment and accusations made by Publish America, Jim MacDonald of SFWA decided that it was time to test the theory that Publish America rejected 70-80% of the books they received. A sting was born. MacDonald recruited over thirty professional authors, and some friends and family members, and concocted a plot. Each author was assigned to write an excruciatingly terrible chapter, using every new writer faux pas they knew.

The result was ATLANTA NIGHTS, a novel so bad it is now being touted as the new EYE OF ARGON--only more fun to read. The novel was duly submitted to Publish America. Within a very short time, Publish America sent a glowing acceptance email, along with a contract for consideration. Clear proof that they did not even bother to read the first page, let alone the book.

MacDonald then made public the sting, shooting the manuscript, the contract and the letter out on the web. As soon as the story broke, Publish America withdrew its offer. This information, along with several expository articles in the Washington Post Book World and on the AP Wire Service has taken the country by storm. Fans as far away as Japan have been cheering SFWA for this blow, because it revealed that Publish America was lying through its teeth about its acceptance policy.

Publish America has written countless articles on their website trying to remove the stigma, but it has served them ill. More new authors recently accepted by Publish America are now desperately trying to break their contracts (for more information, visit the boards at http://www.absolutewrite.com and check out the forums on scammers). Publish America claims it has 11,000 happy authors, but as other investigators continue to delve into the company's back files, they are finding more and more unhappy authors by the minute.

As for ATLANTA NIGHTS, MacDonald was getting so many requests for copies of the manuscript he gave it an author (Travis Tea--say it as one word) and uploaded it to Lulu.com and offered to sell it for only $11.95. The proceeds from these sales go to the SFWA Emergency Medical Fund.

The manuscript, however, is available for free. Those who really want to see what good writers do to bad fiction may download a copy from Embiid.net by opening a free account and using their software. Or, better still, potential readers can go to one of the following to see the manuscript, the letter of acceptance and the contract.

You can read the manuscript at
ftp://ftp.sff.net/pub/people/doylemacdo ... script.rtf

You can read the acceptance letter at
ftp://ftp.sff.net/pub/people/doylemacdo ... ptance.rtf

You can read the sample contract at
ftp://ftp.sff.net/pub/people/doylemacdo ... ntract.pdf

Fans love it. The blurbs alone are worth reading.

But be warned. Reading ATLANTA NIGHTS could be mind numbing and cause your eyes to bleed.

It's a cult classic in the making. A book that tells new writers what "not" to do to become a published author.

Laura J. Underwood
Black Hunters, Demons and Bogies--Oh, MY!
ChRONICLES OF THE LAST WAR available from Yard Dog Press
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Postby keltora » Mon Feb 07, 2005 3:59 pm

And now we have made the LA Times.

Laura J. Underwood
Black Hunters, Demons and Bogies--Oh, MY!
ChRONICLES OF THE LAST WAR available from Yard Dog Press
keltora
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2003 9:15 am
Location: East Tennessee

Postby JaNell » Thu Aug 18, 2005 3:10 pm

Sorry that I wasn't paying attention to all of this.
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Postby keltora » Fri Aug 19, 2005 1:57 pm

Nae Problem.

I've been so busy, between battling debt collectors in court, finishing edits on HOUNDS OF ARDAGH and other stuff, I've not had much time to be out here either.

Though I did learn that I had sold a short story to Farthing Magazine called "The Eyes Have It" (a humorous tale of kitchen wenches, wizards and potatoes), and Jintsu eBooks is releasing a previously printed novella "The Dancing Stones of Nevermhor" next year, and has asked me for a couple more in that series.

DRAGON'S TONGUE's release by Meisha Merlin is set now for April 2006, HOUNDS is due out in October 2006 from Five Star Press, and WANDERING LARK (which I just turned in a month ago) will see the print of day in 2007.

And I am supposed to provide a story for an invitation only anthology, and Aoife's Kiss will have my story "Like the Night" Modern Vampires in Atlanta) in their September print issue, and Yard Dog Press recently released a chapbook collection of my East Tennessee dark fantasy under the title MARKING THE SIGNS AND OTHER TALES OF MISCHIEF. It includes "Nice Truck," a story people around here have heard me reading before.

Yeah, I'm sorta busy... ;)

Laura J. Underwood
Black Hunters, Demons and Bogies--Oh, MY!
ChRONICLES OF THE LAST WAR available from Yard Dog Press
keltora
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2003 9:15 am
Location: East Tennessee

Postby Jack » Fri Sep 02, 2005 4:23 pm

What are you talking about? Eye of Argon rules!
I was born a bastard - and then I just got worse.
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Postby keltora » Thu Sep 15, 2005 8:11 am

Jack wrote:What are you talking about? Eye of Argon rules!


Nah...ATLANTA NIGHTS can poke out the EYE OF ARGON any day. :freak:

Laura J. Underwood
Black Hunters, Demons and Bogies--Oh, MY!
ChRONICLES OF THE LAST WAR available from Yard Dog Press
keltora
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2003 9:15 am
Location: East Tennessee


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