Publish America is a well-known business that promises to help authors bring their written work to life, but there are many negative reports online regarding how the service operates.
Having had some experience with author-related resources here at WFHW, I decided to take a closer look and see if there’s anything about Publish America that makes it stand out from the other similar services that we’ve reviewed.
Right from the start, Publish America states on their website that they “treat authors the old-fashioned way by paying them” and that you can become a published author for free.
They also state that you get the following:
- Free Layout
- Free Amazon Listing
- Free Cover Design
- Free Illustrations for Children’s Books
- Free Press Releases
- Free ISBN
- Free Ingram Listing
- Plus Your Book is Available to All Bookstores
However, all is not as it seems from what Publish America states on its website.
Ingram is a book wholesaler and they will NOT stock Publish America books. Barnes and Noble will also NOT stock Publish America Books either.
Publish America are what is termed as “print-on-demand”, or in other words, they only print when an order has been placed and paid for.
Unfortunately, the prices are well above what is deemed normal and if you are an unknown author nobody is going to pay a high price for your book.
Here’s how this all works…
You have a book that you have written and would like to have it printed. Anyone reading the list above of what you get for free at Publish America would think it’s the perfect site to satisfy their needs.
But in reality, you will be purchasing copies to sell to your family and friends which might at first seem not such a bad idea. However, you will make virtually nothing doing this.
To get any Bookstore to stock your book you will have to go around and visit in person and more than likely have to ask them to stock it for you.
This I can say they will not do because the book will be un-edited, overpriced, and non-returnable.
Also, you will notice that it says above, ‘Your Book is Available to All Bookstores’.
Being available to all bookstores is a lot different than being available in all bookstores because your book is not in any store at all.
The only way someone can purchase your book is to “special order” it, but because Ingram or Barnes and Noble will not stock Publish America books, there will be very little chance that the bookstore can order it.
I also discovered that the free Press Releases were again not what you would think.
Instead of a properly written review of your book posted to any number of press release sites, it was instead an ad placed in a newspaper.
Publish America does not currently do the following:
- Print a catalog.
- Have distributors/sales reps go to bookstores.
- Send personalized press releases.
- Generate sales from book clubs.
The author has to do all of the distribution, publicity, and marketing for the book.
I am concerned by what I have discovered about Publish America.
At Work From Home Watchdog, we have been looking into how difficult and costly it is just to get something into print.
Most of the reviews I have written really have put me off ever trying to do this. Still, I do believe there must be a worthwhile company out there…somewhere.
Do you have any experience with Publish America? Let us know using the comments section below.
Neil – WFHW