Monday, January 31, 2005


As Jim Macdonald says:

"PA is a vanity press that lies about itself, pretending to be a legitimate press.

Whatever business they're in, regardless of what they tell the people they've suckered, they aren't in the business of selling books to the general public. They're in the business of selling unedited slush, at full price, to their own authors."

That about sums it up. That's why Publishamerica is a lying scam and not a legitimate anything including a vanity press. They're lower.


A quick check of the Technorati rundown on PA has me at the top. I went about three pages in but found this poor soul from one day ago. Another one to the debriefing tank, step right this way. Some bloggers claim we're attacking PA authors and always have, especially the PA authors themselves, but this isn't true. This is about reality and publishing. It's not relative.

Another one

More 'he said she said' journalism on Publishamerica. Friendly business or nightmare? We can't tell as a news source. With framing like this PA will march on to friendly scammer well into the future. I mean it's 11,000 to 20 right? Hell, that's the same ratio as the Iraqi vote. Even when the aggrieved authors can't get out of the contract the reporter and editors allowed Clopper to frame the us=good them=bad in the classic propangadist fashion we've come to expect from this shyster. Co-opted again.

Friday, January 28, 2005


"For instance, deforestation of the United States, rampant in the 19th century, has stopped: forested acreage of the country began rising during the 20th century, and is still rising. Why? Wood is no longer a primary fuel, while high-yield agriculture allowed millions of acres to be retired from farming and returned to trees."

Greg Esterbrook in this review of Jared Diamond's new book Collapse succumbs to the untrained theme here. However, these tree farms are managed, and are quite unlike the primordial forests they replaced. More people live in cites, yet more development takes place in rural areas simultaneously. These overgeneralizations are insidious.

From what I've read and as conservation biologist, I agree with Diamond: you can extrapolate island biogeography to the mainland by degrees. The numbers are larger to be sure. But so are the losses we face. Esterbrook is wrong.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Good Advice

"Should I e-publish or go POD?
I wouldn't. I've heard all the arguments, but to me, it's still vanity publishing. And that means no respect, no legitimacy, and no press."

I was amazed to see this linked at mindsightseries. Ironic as it is, Hartinger's message mirrors mine to the letter.

Notice this response from a two time vanity writer: "Just because we have a couple books floating around, it does not guarantee eternal success with our next and our next."

Newsflash: you don't have two books floating around now. Not in the real sense anyway.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Well, I just got the word. I'm now a college graduate of Cal State Northridge. Yippee-yio-kyay. BA Journalism and Environmental Biology. Now it's on to getting that last book (Patriot) published, a newspaper job and who knows what else I can find.

Atlanta Knights

The folks at the Science Fiction Writers'Association pulled this stunt to prove that Publishamericawill offer a contract on anything and this spoof was accepted. Of course once the ruse was revealed on absolutewrite the offer was pulled. Oops.

The author Travis Tea, "You Sir, have assaulted my Honor. But it appears I'm surrounded. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain I am the great and ah...po..werful OZ."

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

And this isn't publishing either

And while we're at it with publishers stay away from these two Publishamerica spin-offs: Winterwolf and Behler. Aside from calling me a truth juggler on mindightseries, part of the truth I'm juggling right now is how one week an author duped by Publishamerica is waving pom poms and attending conventions of PA and the next is starting their own publishing company based on a print-on-demand vanity model. And signing fellow duped PA writers. Hello? Circle-jerk-o-rama continued.

Need Publisher?

Looking for a book publisher? Don't get a scam publisher. If you want to publish America don't sign up with PublishAmerica!" The real publishers are there. And here.

Publishing Chat

Nice effort by Paula Span of the Washington Post and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, the follow up to the PA story.

My question from LA concerned infringement, but she declined to cover it being it is a legal matter. Publishamerica has responded by trashing with ad hominem attacks and fallacious misinformation. Classic PA. While some are calling for a response she has refused to give one. It's different matter for Dee Power, Rebecca Easton and the lead of her story Kate St. Amour. PA called Easton a mental case, Span a liar and Dee Power a fraud and a liar. This is libelous but the proof of damges is the killer for such online slams.

I wonder what the "fringe lawyer" will say?

Not surprisingly PA is touting the AP article by Hillel Italie as an endorsement. That's what faux objectivity makes room for.


And only an initial 2 million investment. Unbelievable. Treasure.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Compost Bin

Scrivener states the case against Publishamerica well. Neither of us had everything printed, and none made it into the story in my case. The bottom line is they're a scam vanity press and claim otherwise. Deception in business advertising is the only way to fight them, since only one party can benefit financially. And that certainly isn't what is portrayed in the ads.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Journalism Standards

As author Dee Power had to explain today at absolutewrite these two stories on Publishamerica have been in the making for months. Lot's of interviews and vetted research of the kind most folks don't realize goes into every story they read in the papers. Both are decent jobs with a bizarre and ticklish subject bordering on criminal on the part of the company in question. Legal at the Washington Post knows where the line is.

As former legendary editor Ben Bradlee said of Carl Bernstein, "he frequently gets out ahead of the facts, but we don't want to discourage him."

By the time they're boiled down, a solid story is left in the wake.

Illusion of Balance

As Eric Sorensen of Resource-Media says, "Your opponents also know the value of science and scientists, and will use them against you. For example, it is still possible, in light of an unusual degree of consensus that human-caused climate change is bad and accelerating, to find scientists who dismiss the concept. Reporters bent on creating an illusion of balance in a story will find them."

You have facts, and the closest version of the truth we can know, yet a bald-faced liar zeros in on the absolute ultimate doubt and substitutes fantasy in place of sound scientific theory. The PA/AP story lends too much credence to 11,000 happy authors (happily duped for sure but happy now) and 25 disgruntled moaning minnies who thought they'd be famous with a Publishamerica POD book. That's bad framing.

The logline is that many more are disgruntled by the reality of the marketplace treatment of PA authors via the product i.e. not ready for publication, maybe ever, and the basic facts of the publishing industry that PA's vanity/hybrid model is designed to fail. For the authors that is.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

There's a debate

Unbelievably "he said she said who know's what's true?" faux objective article on PA by the AP. Once again, my testimony wasn't used. Find the biggest dupes and play them off Clopper. What a waste of my time. After this, the company will flourish even more than before. Christ on a cracker I'm starting to really hate journalism. They're nothing but legitimate enablers for crooks.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Everyone is doing it

Substitute vanity press authors like the Publishamerica wannabes and this Esquire ca.1980 cover still works.

Making Books

Yeah here it is: Washpost. Naturally, I'm disappointed that my efforts weren't even mentioned, as usual. What Ms. Span needed was the most pathetic examples of aggrieved mislead authors. That isn't me since I told them I knew right after I submitted that it was obvious to me it was all a ruse. Nothing on infringement either, and Larry Clopper seemed to get away with the same platitudes he hands out on the website.

Still, it's a good feature that paints PA in the negative light they deserve. The kicker from Charlie Petit was a nice touch too. That's who I would have closed with.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Theocracy Watch

What scrivener said.

Journo's Reward

For daring to expose the Bushes is to be demoted and accused of indiscretions on the job. In this case the Portland Press Herald. Yeah, there's a big future in journalism as long as one is an in-the-tank-hack for the establishment. Whoopee looks like another great career choice I've made.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Here's a New York Times letter of mine posted on the Sierra Activist website. Not a creditable clip but nice just the same.

SSI Debacle

Increase the funding from wealthy retirees. e.g. over the 87K payroll cap. Subtracting three trillion from a diminishing revenue pool calls up the old saw "I cut this board twice and it's still too short." Duh.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Faux Novelists

This one of those jobs that everyone wants yet thinks they can do it sans training. Oy Vey as a former acquaintance from my Hollywood days would say. Most use the POD vanity presses because "elitist" and literary snobs hold sway over mainstream publishing and they don't want to go that route. Good idea because that road is tough. Consider this advertisement for a reporter in South Florida. Get a load of who you'd be replacing. Oy Vey indeed.

Crime Reporter - The reporter chosen for this assignment at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel will cover the major law enforcement and emergency response agencies in our area. So, we're looking for a reporter with the proven ability to respond competitively to major breaking news, but who also can spot and develop trend pieces and in-depth takeouts of front-page and Sunday caliber. Two of our former police reporters have gone on to become successful crime novelists. One is award-winning author Michael Connelly. To apply, send a letter of interest, resume and 8-10 work samples to:

Yet, an ex-auto worker in Michigan (born into a show business family mind you) thinks he's a crime novelist, because he 'feels' he is. People like this don't get what it takes to do this job and be accepted by a real agent and publisher for commercial fiction. This is the kind of dupe that Publishamerica exploits, yet novice writers like this won't even question the company as it pillages their fellow naive friends all sans writing training of any kind. The irony is that should you learn the craft on your own and write a publishable book, mainstream publishing is open to it, but because of this elitist myth they don't try.

Like this star trooper for instance. He goes by astonwest and on my first visit to mindsightseries forum a haven for PA rejects, or the next waiting room to nowhere, he threatened me with his "blaster" for asking questions of the other members, all PA authors. I wasn't amused. Apparently this thing could take a man's head right off. That sounded like a shotgun to a Mainer, but then, I had the idea I wasn't exactly among adults. MO is typical PA: buy a truckload of your own books and peddle them to the heartland. Lose money, never catch on because it's "your book."

Even when ex-PA authors do leave they have of late taken to starting their own POD vanity presses. Then they happily vanity publish all their friends books and give each a ..well, it's a circle jerk all over again. The standard practice is to ban anyone who dares tell the truth about POD vanity presses because all of the moderators are published by vanity presses. Upcoming mainstream press stories on Publishamerica will shed new light on that.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


Bring in the clowns. No political bias confirmed in the CBS report, but Dick Thornburgh was champing at the bit to call it that. Overzealousness? Certainly. The producers should have tracked down the source, but didn't. That's the journalistic flaw.

Here's the deal on the press: when the hammer a president they're called biased for their perceived voting party affiliation. When they reverently affirm his agenda sans criticism they're PR hacks. What we want is something in between where the merits and facts of the story take us as reporters. Bush did all of the things cited in the story, They destroyed the real memos and someone recreated them, but even this can't be determined from copies as the mob-bloggers claim.

Find the source.

Friday, January 07, 2005


I agree with this Cory Pein piece in Columbia Journalism Review 100 percent and have made the same argument with blog triumphalists for months.

Blog-mob rule led by conservative bloggers using skewed wingnut faulty logic in a fierce defense of Bush, is nothing more than that. The evidence doesn't support forgeries in memogate. The same crowd used these tactics on John Kerry. The mainstrream press, easily coopted by the limited time frame in between entertainment committments simply reports the trainwreck giving equal credence to lies and factual conclusions. Or status short of conclusion from either side.

The "he said, she said" we don't know, view from nowhere, allows lies and rumormill conclusions to get equal billing. The truth is the cost of such blatant innuendo propaganda campaigns.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Publishamerica Tale

I've done two inteviews for major stories on Publishamerica. While I succcessfully got my "sting" book back, unlike some unfortunate trapped authors, news stories to date have been clueless as to the deception the company uses. Poor schmuck wites book is the angle and no paper with one of these stories would ever review a PA book.

I have them infringing my copyright too but this is costly to fight. Most likely a judge would claim it was inadvertant on PA's part. What is needed is a blackmailed author that has printed receipts from Lightning Source for the 49 copies of stock scam. There is one I know of that didn't sign the gag order.

Calling "JD." Time to come forward again.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Forest Mischief

As the NY Times notes the new year comes in with the continued unzipping of forest rules. This, as some are quick to point out with reporters, albeit unfounded on their part, is an agenda by Bush to strafe the public lands. That is the conclusion the facts support. We must remain vigilant in the quest for good ecological management.
The Environmental Webring
The Environmental Webring
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