I'm sure you all remember the notorious J.K. Rowling Incident, in which PublishAmerica tied Rowling's name to one of its numerous author promotions. Rowling was not amused; through a spokesman, she made it clear that she had no relationship with PublishAmerica. Subsequently, her legal team sent PA a cease and desist demand, which occasioned a truly jawdropping "tone" response from PA.
Given how annoying or embarrassing this was for everyone involved, you might think there wouldn't be a repeat.
PublishAmerica authors report receiving the following solicitation:
Dear author:The cost: anywhere from $49 to $99, depending on which option you choose.
There are 1,100 Christian bookstores. in the United States. That's a lot of bookshelves they need to keep filled.
The week after next is Christian Store Week!
The CBA, formerly known as the Christian Booksellers Association, is encouraging authors to schedule an in-store event in their area Christian bookstores. We'll be happy to submit your name.
Your book in a full-color Fall sales/marketing catalog will go next week to the Association for Christian Retail. We will also contact each Christian bookstore separately!
We're making a high quality, full-color, attention grabbing, easy-to-order presentation next week for the Christian bookstores association. They need to know about America's lowest retail priced book: your book.
Secure your book's spot in this high quality full-color 8 x 11 presentation for the Christian bookstores. Go to www.publishamerica.net/ChristianStores.html to activate. Your book and your name will be promoted in prominent and beautiful full-color. We'll also tell them in what town/state you live, so that area stores know you're there!
Must choose a shipping option to activate. No use of coupons allowed. Mention your book title(s).
DISCLAIMER: PublishAmerica has no affiliation with the CBA and/or individual Christian bookstores beyond that of a regular publisher/bookseller relationship, without preferential access or other special treatment. No specific result from PublishAmerica's best efforts to represent and promote its authors and their books is suggested or guaranteed.
Note the disclaimer. Clearly, PA doesn't want another Rowling situation on its hands. However, disclaimers aren't always enough.
The solicitation was forwarded to CBA--and like Rowling, they are not amused. I learned this evening that CBA has sent a warning to the Operating Board of American Christian Fiction Writers, which has been passed on to ACFW members. CBA has also posted the following alert in their e-news feed:
WARNING TO CHRISTIAN AUTHORSEric Grimm, CBA Manager of Strategic Partnerships, confirmed for me in email that this information has also been forwarded to Christian Retailing, the trade journal for Christian and church bookstores.
CBA has been informed that Christian authors are being contacted by an organization called PublishAmerica that¹s soliciting for authors to submit their books to a sales/marketing catalog that they claim will be going to CBA. Please be aware that CBA has no knowledge of PublishAmerica; that PublishAmerica is not connected to Christian Store Week; and that CBA has no agreement of any kind with PublishAmerica, nor is CBA affiliated in any way, shape, or form with that organization.