Wednesday, March 14, 2012

An angry publishamerica author's exchange with Attorney Cretella

Mr. Cretella, since I responded to your e-mail dated 03-06-12, I have heard nothing more from you regarding releasing me from my contract and returning my publishing rights. I have in good faith removed my website as well as all negative comments or information on my website I would like to know PA's intentions as soon as possible.
Also, I learned this morning that my book is being sold on E-Bay. I contacted the E-Bay seller to ask how many copies of my book he has in stock or if he plans to order the books once an order has been placed through his account. The reply I received was he purchased three copes and that if I had further questions I should contact my publisher. The last three royalty statements I have received stated I have sold zero books. Something is incorrect somewhere. This is yet another reason I seek to be released from my contract.
I look forward to hearing your decision soon.

Cretella resonded with:
Dear (author): There are still negative statements about PA on this website: PA would be more willing to consider settlement of course if you removed all negativity.

Unfortunately, even if you remove the remaining negativity, your contentious behavior has made it very difficult to settle. Not only have you posted negative statements on your websites, but you have posted disparaging statements about PA on other websites, recruited third parties like Jan Starks to join your crusade, and have actively tried to interfere with PA's business relationships. We're just not sure that we can trust you to cease this harmful behavior. What's to stop you from helping Mr. Starks spread false statements about PA after any settlement?

Furthermore, as a matter of principle, PA objects to negotiating with somebody who has completely distorted the facts. Below, you suggest that PA shorted you royalties, i.e. by selling 3 copies of your book to an ebay seller without paying royalties to you. But your claims are just no different than the baseless accusations raised by two other authors.

For example, Linda Oness, relentlessly accused PA of selling her books after the contract was terminated. In support of that argument she pointed to the fact that book sellers were advertising NEW copies of her book after the contract was terminated. She deduced that if these third party retailers were still selling her book then PA must have been still selling them too. In order to investigate her claim, I decided to buy a copy of the book from an online retailer. The copy I received had the author's signature, making it unlikely that PA had sold the book directly to the dealer. Instead, the author probably purchased a copy herself before the contract was terminated, signed it, and then injected it into the market herself, e.g. through a bookstore. How do I know that this is not true for the copies of your book which are now allegedly being sold on ebay? You bought 73 copies of the book yourself. As far as PA is concerned, three of those copies could have made their way to an ebay seller.

In another case, Marie Pacha accused PA of shorting her royalties. She a bought a copy of her book from a bookstore, waited until the royalty period ended and then cried foul when a sale did not show up on her royalty report. However, as it turned out, the bookstore sold a copy of her book that had been purchased by the distributor Ingram years earlier and kept in stock. PA paid Ms. Pacha for royalties on that sale when INGRAM purchased it. Of course, when Ingram resold that book to the bookstore two years later, PA did not owe a royalty for that sale because the royalty had already been paid when Ingram bought it. Again, how do we know that this is not true for the books being sold on ebay? How do we know that PA didn't sell those copies (and account for those sales) in 2011? There were 4 books identified on your August 2011 royalty statement, right? Perhaps three of those books made it to the ebay seller.

As you can probably guess, PA is extremely frustrated by your baseless innuendo and conjecture. None of the evidence that you have identified proves that PA breached the contract by withholding royalties. In fact, it would not even be admissible in a court of law. Furthermore, PA has no way to even research your claims further. The ebay seller could have bought the books anywhere. Unless it reveals that seller, PA has no way to investigate this further. PA is, however, confident, that the copies purchased by the ebay seller were included on one of the past royalty statements. In many respects, PA would like this matter to go to Court because it would serve as example for other authors to actually learn how the publishing industry works before making accusations. Nevertheless, PA might be willing to settle this matter and return your rights if you are truly willing to retract the false statements already published and refrain from doing so in the future. Please let me know if you have something in mind.
Victor Cretella

Author's reply:

Mr. Cretella:

I feel this e-mail is just another stall tactic on behalf of Publish America to release me from my contract and return my publishing rights.
What you consider baseless accusations, I consider honesty. I notice you failed to answer the question as to why I did not receive credit for the books that the seller on E-Bay has available. The E-Bay seller stated to me that he purchased the books direct from Publish America, so your theory that they could have been purchased in another manner and made their way to him is incorrect. You are quick to say my accusations are baseless yet you refuse to prove otherwise.

As far as other people's claims; do you actually believe revealing another author's statements is professional conduct? Whatever happened to right of privacy? As a legal "professional" I assume you are aware of privacy laws? A good example is in the cease and desist letter you mailed to me. You use the name of David Kuzminski as well as the information on the legal action in a letter to me. I did send Mr. Kuzminski a copy of the letter to make him aware you are spreading this information to every available source. You also did the same in other correspondence to other authors. I have copies.
As far as Mr. Starks is concerned, he contacted me and yes I did join forces with him as well as a few others.

At this point in time, I will no longer be attempting to negotiate the release of my contract nor the return of my publishing rights with you or Publish America staff. I welcome any legal action you wish to bring against me on behalf of Publish America. Last but not least, I will continue to make new and hopeful authors aware of the unethical practices of Publish America and the arrogant and demeaning manner in which your staff speaks to your authors.

I will also make known the fact that Publish America takes advantage of their authors in every way possible. I just received an e-mail from an author asking that his book price be lowered. In a reply from author support (which I might add is an ironic name for that unit) the author was advised PA will reduce the price of his book for the cost of 199.00 or 399.00, depending on how low he wants the book priced. This is a shame and if PA had any self respect as a company as a whole they would not take advantage of an author like this. If you have the audacity say this is a baseless claim, I will send you a copy of the e-mail from your Author Support unit.

Be assured, Sir, that I have NEVR distorted the facts in any comment I have made about Publish America. As far as authors learning how the publishing industry works…..PA is not a publisher, they are a print on demand company who makes their money selling books to the authors who have written them, and then adding shipping charges on each book purchased. This is nothing more than another way to take advantage because the books that are ordered could easily be shipped at one flat rate price.
I shall not be intimidated by Publish America.

1 comment:

  1. PA is most certainly a print on demand company. rev. Sinthyia Darkness' reports on this company prove with their own articles of encorporation what they are and what they are not. Their own articles establish them as a vanity press.


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