Publishamerica CEO: No other publisher in the whole wide world ignores an author's wallet more than we do.
The negative comments on the PA facebook page increase with every letter that CEO Meiners sends out. Of course, they are deleted from said page and the posters are banned just as they are over at the PublishAmerica message board. Again. PublishAmerica drops the name of JK Rowling. We all remember what happened last time.
Letter from PublishAmerica's CEO:If an author is unsuccessf ul, it's for one reason only
Open mic for David Kaas, Farm Physics: A New Cure and More!, (firstname.lastname@example.org): "The New "South Spun Fluid Concept" dovetails with the now famous "7 Year Cellular Rebuild Theory" in your own body!"
Many authors contacted me after yesterday's letter. I wrote about two different groups of authors: those who make things happen directly, and those who seek to make things happen indirectly. I also mentioned a third group: authors who lean back and wait passively while nothing happens at all.
There's a fourth group, I was reminded by responding authors. It's those who would love to be able to invest in success, but they have no money to spare. Low income, fixed income, no job, etcetera. They can't spend money on books or on promotion.
It's true. There are low-income authors. And I was wrong not to mention them. But I was right at the same time.
Ed Boyd takes us on a personal journey through the past 70-plus years of his life. Recalling his childhood in Massachusetts, he ignites nostalgia. From the sandlot to the torn-down church and school of his upbringing, to being discharged from the Navy and pursuing a career as a director of schools and centers, he touches every facet of a life filled with opportunity, lessons, medical challenges, and contentment. Looking back on his teenage years Ed wonders why he felt compelled to leave home so quickly, now longing for those moments of youth.
Interspersed with his history are his reviews and criticisms of books and essays he has read over the years. It makes you understand how he became the man that he is, and why he enjoyed those novels. Inevitably, there's the loss of friends, and Ed mentions them fondly with that combination of sadness and resignation that only age can bestow. I like how Ed Boyd has made his necessary trip back in time to some of the most glorious decades of our history, because his are the eyes of an everyday American. There's no way that you can not relate to this man.
What I was writing about yesterday was basic consumer psychology: why we buy. It's a hobby of mine and, obviously, I also take a professional interest in it. When we know why some people, authors included, buy something, and why other people buy something else, well, then we know what to sell to whom. I connected our findings to attitudes and incentives, and I'm fairly confident that I was, and am, right.
A shortcoming in yesterday's letter was that I limited "investment" to money spent on books or services. By leaving out that one can also invest, quite heavily so, sweat, blood and tears, also known as time and effort, I led some of you to conclude that we don't value authors who have little or no money to spend.
That's a wrong conclusion. No other publisher in the whole wide world ignores an author's wallet more than we do. We never ask an author if they have any money to spend before we agree to publish their book. We accept a book and go right ahead and produce it. We're not interested in knowing if an author has any disposable income. That's because we know that the answer to that question is meaningless. Attitude determines an author's success. Their wallet doesn't.
What applies to people with money applies equally to people without: some approach a challenge directly, others do it indirectly, and a third group caves altogether. We have seen multiple examples of successful authors who never spent a penny on their own book. If they had no dollars to spend, at least they had time and hard work to invest. So they sat in bookstores, weekend after weekend, promoting and signing books that the bookstore had provided. Their books sold. Or they knocked on doors asking if they could give a presentation in front of an audience, and one day somebody said yes to them. They became known as a local expert on their book's topic. That's also success.
I should have mentioned the widespread investment of commodities other than money (aka hard work), but then again, it was implied and it would have made no difference anyway. There is no such thing as a fourth group of poor authors whose books fail because they have no money. JK Rowling was poor. If an author is unsuccessful, it's for one reason only. They're passive, and no fortune in the world can help them succeed. They may have a very good reason for being passive, and I'm not judging that. But if they're pro-active and determined, some measure of success will always follow. Always!
If you don't believe that, come to one of our regional authors conventions, and listen to dozens of other authors who stand up and talk into our open microphone. They tell you exactly what I am telling you, often more eloquently than I can.
And if you can't afford the $29 registration fee, let me know and I'll waive it. We'll have you registered for your area's convention in a heartbeat!
I invite you to talk back to me. I don't guarantee a response, but I do guarantee that we listen. You can reach me by email at email@example.com. In the subject line write Attn. Willem.