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February 1, 2014

PublishAmerica Is Now America Star Books

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware

This post has been updated.


As a result of this post, I'm getting many emails from authors who believe they are contacting PublishAmerica/America Star Books. Writer Beware is not connected in any way with PublishAmerica or America Star Books (in fact, they sued us, unsuccessfully, for defamation in 2014).
PublishAmerica has a new name: America Star Books. The PublishAmerica URL ( now defaults to the America Star Books website.

The changeover is acknowledged on America Star's website, on the About Us page:
America Star Books used to be known as PublishAmerica, the no-nonsense, hard driving pioneer that changed the American publishing landscape for good when in 1999 it forced an opening for tens of thousands of American authors to join what was until then an elite status of being published for free.
The name change is recent: sometime after January 4, 2014, which is the last date the old PublishAmerica website was archived by the Internet Archive. The America Star Books URL is registered to PublishAmerica's co-founder, Willem Meiners; since I first put this post online, the registration has been anonymized, but here's how it originally looked:

Some of the material from the PA website has been ported over, such as the Facts and Figures page, but overall the new site is much leaner than the former one.

The business model also appears to have changed:
Not only do we continue to publish, for free, tens of thousands of American and Canadian authors, but to that we add a unique mission.

It is our mission to translate into English books that Americans have never heard of, from languages that most Americans don't speak. America Star Books gives foreign authors an English voice, and publishes their work in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain.
A Dutch self-publishing service called Free Musketeers appears to have already entered into an arrangement with America Star to publish English versions of its books. (The link is to the Google translation of the page, which is why the English is a bit wonky.)

For more information about PublishAmerica, see Writer Beware's Alert.

UPDATE 3/23/16: In May 2014, America Star Books/PublishAmerica sued me for defamation, in part on the basis of this post (the complaint named Writer Beware and two additional WB staff members, but I was the only one who was ever served). After my lawyers submitted interrogatories and discovery requests, ASB contacted us to ask if we'd consider settling. A final settlement was signed in January 2016, in which ASB agreed to stipulate to Dismissal With Prejudice. A full report is here.

UPDATE 8/14/17: Mired in lawsuits, liens, and management shifts, America Star Books now appears to be defunct. See my blog post for a full report.


Anonymous said...

So they revamped their web page added "translation services" but pretty much remain the same.

Steve MC said...

Thanks for the tip. My cousin put out a book with PA, thinking it was an actual publisher and he was lucky to have his work accepted.

Richard C. White said...

I was wondering how PA was going to stay afloat with so many authors turning to self-publishing as it becomes easier and cheaper to produce the books for themselves, (and since PA books were not being distributed, they get the same distribution benefits doing themselves too).

However, I guess they found another untapped vein to try mining again. Trouble is, I hope they're not salting it for others who follow.

I'll be sure to update my workshop to include this new info, Victoria.

Unknown said...

Hmm, put on a new coat, feel like a new person. But underneath, the same old same old.

widdershins said...

Cockroaches and PublishAmerica will be all that remains after the zombie apocalypse!

Anonymous said...

First of all, do you know how many books are published each day, month, YEAR??? Thousands and thousands!!! The chance that an unknown author is going to write a best-seller,is slim to none! Instead of blaming PA or America Star Books for your lack of sales, look in the mirror! That's where the blame should be. If you want to self-publish your book, feel free to do it. PA/AmericaStar Books does it for free. Do you honestly think that they make money, if your books don't sell? Of course not! You're all ridiculous!!!

Anonymous said...

Well, anonymous, there is a big deal about this warning. PA has been sued and LOST for terrible practices that were misleading and down right fraudulent. Such as, putting mistakes into their publications and then turning around and offering to sell editing services. (They wouldn't allow the author to edit the book without charging an enormous fee to do so.) They sold deals where they would send big celebs copies of books with the vague promises of blockbuster deals, then barely followed through after taking the money. They claim to be in Barnes and Noble, and no B&N store carries a scarp of PA works. Yes, they are creeps and they are only changing their names because they fouled up the last one so badly and want to continue suckering people into bad deals.

Tzivia at said...

Sheesh... I guess as long as there are newbie writers out there to be fleeced. :-(
Good thing there's a site like this. I've linked up to you from my blog so legit writers can steer clear of sketchy marketers of all kinds.
@widdershins, I'm with you on that zombie apocalypse thing.

agent11421 said...

Publish America does not publish books for free. They charge money for the books especially to the authors. They have no distributor which is their down fall. Also, their contract is air tight for 7 years.

Anonymous said...

Check your facts and read your contracts. All PA and America Star authors are given a deadline to submit their final manuscripts. FINAL! It is up to the author to read over their work and correct any errors that they see. PA and ASB never claimed that they will edit your books. If an author isn't smart enough to read over their own work before submitting their final copy, then whose fault is that? Do unknown authors really think that their books are going to be the next best seller? Ridiculous! For all of you on here who want to bash this company, you're just mad because you didn't get everything for free. Would you run a business and give everything away for free? Of course not! Do you really expect them to publish your books for free AND go out and promote your book at a hundred venues? Your books aren't any good, which is why they don't sell. Just like any other business, this company has to make money too. The reason you don't get paid royalties is because, no matter how you calculate it, 8% of $0 is still $0. Also, I looked up the court rulings about this company and only once did PA lose a case. All other cases were thrown out, because they had no basis!

Jim Hartley said...

Back when I foolishly signed a book with RubbishAmerica, they didn't charge for editing, but simply said that editing delayed publishing by six months. This put the fear in the hearts of naive newbies that six months would give them a chance to cancel (Hah! Not bloody likely). And besides we really wanted to see our glorious books in our hot little hands.

Once the book was published, it was offered at an outrageously high price, just so they could offer huge discounts on sales to the authors, with really cheesy incentives (buy 14 copies at 50% off and we'll send 2 review copies to Oprah!!!!). Of course they never claimed Oprah was going to even look at those books ...

I finally paid their extortion fee to cancel the contract and get my rights back (the book is now published by a different publisher, a real publisher). Giving themselves a new name, and adding a translation scam, isn't going to change them even a tiny bit.

Anonymous said...

"Do you really expect them to publish your books for free AND go out and promote your book at a hundred venues?"

My publisher, Booktrope, is a micro press in Seattle and they do just that.

Anonymous said...

Jim Hartley, you are so right, but you get what you pay for. I paid nothing to get published and PA's service was nothing. They do no more than print the book for you. You must pay for any and everything else. They price the books so ridiculously that your own relatives won't purchase it. I bought and sold every single copy. I've written an second book and will look to someone else.

Unknown said...

I've had a book published through Rubbish America only to find it a joke. It had errors all throughout the book that I did not put in there in the first place. I saved a copy of my manuscript and compared the two and it was not the same. They offered me editorial support but was charging $300 for the service. I told them that the errors did not exist in the first place and that no one should have changed the words around. The person replied that I signed a contract stating that I agree to the necessary changes if needed. Pretty much screwing me. Be careful of the new name change its the same trap. Anyone heard of this scam out there called "Maverick Money Makers"? run by one named Mack Michaels. Its like Mack changing his name to Mike Mackies. Don't be fooled by the wolf in sheep clothing!

Unknown said...

Anonymous said...on 2/05/2014 5:50 PM
Should have posted as Publish America's Editor and Chief of rip-off. Clearly it is someone in house at Rubbish America. I know this because it is the only defense of P.A on all of the internet. Both of his post try to legitimize a the illegitimate. No name no credit! F-off.

wolfspeare said...

I submitted a book through PA in 2010 and found them rude and difficult to deal with, although luckily I didn't have some of the issues that other authors have complained of. I never fell for those bogus e-mails like having Oprah review my book. I just rolled my eyes and deleted the e-mails. So far I haven't spent a cent.

Recently, I have noticed that they've changed some of their policies. For instance, my children's biography was selling for the ridiculous price of $19.99 (only 75 pages) and they have dropped the price to $9.99. They told me I could purchase my own copies for $8.00 with free shipping. (They used to charge $4.95 for each book shipped!) The two people I have dealt with recently have been very pleasant and accommodating. For instance, they originally promised to make some changes in the final draft, then later told me they'd charge me for it. I refused to pay. Just in the last 6 months I talked to someone there who agreed to make the changes I had initially asked for at no charge, and that has happened.

Maybe my expectations weren't that high to begin with, and, perhaps they have become more agreeable and hired pleasant employees because of the lawsuit. I still wish I'd used Amazon or some other POD company, but at least things have improved since 2010.

Susan Ethridge said...

I too published a book threw PA many years ago. In fact being a silly uninformed person that I was I sent them another one, which I have gotten released from their grimy hands. Now, since I never got the fist one released, I keep receiving these email wanting to promote my book for pennies on the dollar. WHAT!?? I kept deleting the messages then a few days back I get this phone call from that company and found out they once was Publish America. I thanked the lady but said no thanks and cut the phone call short. I still keep getting these emails from them and I keep deleting them unread.

I have learned from my mistake with Publish America and have no intentions of making another one. I must admit I haven't written in several years due to my auto-immune reeking havoc with my thinking process. Things has gotten better now and after I have my knee replacement surgery I think I will try once again at writing. However, I will NOT submit to Star Books.

Keep writing for yourself and hopefully one day someone in the publishing world will want to publish your book, a real publisher.

RLL said...

Just done a blog post about vanity/subsidy presses.

William1 said...

Willem Meiners.
Look for that name on Facebook!!! Send that scum bag as many threats as you can. Get the rights to your books back! Let the world know that this bastard has been stealing from us authors for too long!
And to the one who 'praises' PA, I know for a fact that my two books, (I'm a two time loser with PA) have indeed sold.
PA and now America Star is reaping my royalties! They ARE making money off of you suckers!!!
I'll continue to spread the word about these crooks!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am wondering if Anonymous realizes they have been sued and lost over just the way their contracts are written....I know I am one of those that sued and one...funny thing was they didn't even try to settle out of court (like they usually do)

Anonymous said...

PA, and now the new boss, same as the old a ripoff. I had six books published by PA, which was great for my ego, I guess, but the absurd high prices they put on them didn't work as a selling point. Their most recent contract sucks, too. With my first novel, I got six complimentary copies. For the last three, NONE and no royalties paid to the author until 45 copies are sold. I am making more money putting my books on Amazon for Kindles and other readers. Go there!

Anonymous said...

My books (NEW) are also appearing with other booksellers but no royalties are showing up in my mailbox. Where are they getting these copies if not from PA...or maybe Lightning Source is making money on the side. Glad I'm done with these crooks.

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymouse 7:54: do you know of anyone who has actually bought those books? Most online vendor listings are digital listings only--the vendors don't have the book in stock. They wait for an order, and then get hold f a copy.

Jim Hartley said...

Wow, I thought the PA contract was bad when I did a book, "Teen Angel," with them in 2007 ... I got two free copies and token advance of ONE DOLLAR! Sounds like they have gotten a lot worse. And then they grossly overpriced this skinny paperback at $24.95!!!
Eventually I paid their extortion fee to terminate the contract early and get my rights back. Sent it to my e-book publisher where it is selling for $5.50. And they didn't want print rights, so I now have a CreateSpace paperback priced at $8.95 ... much more reasonable.

Jim Hartley said...

Victoria -

They must have sold a few copies of my book ... after it was published in 2007, I got royalties of $21.13 in 2007 and 2008. Then, nothing, absolutely nothing, until I cancelled in 2011 when they sent me $1.12 (!!!) to close out the account.

But I have been having fun with their corporate logo. Since I can't put pictures here, go to my blog at to see my versions of their logos ... both old and new.

LB said...

I had the misfortune of falling prey to Publish America with my first novel. After a couple of rejections, I found PA listed in the Writer's Digest Market guide and foolishly assumed that because it was in that venerable tomb it had been vetted and was accordingly a "legitimate" publisher. After all, it was listed right there along with the likes of Random House, Simon and Schuster, Tor, etc. Anyway, the long and the short of it was that PA accepted my novel without hesitation, and thus began a trek down the road to bitter disappointment.

First off, believing them to be a legitimate publisher (as they claimed), I thought my book would receive some serious editorial guidance. Much to my dismay, none was forthcoming. Nada. Zip. In fact PA basically boasted that they published a writer's work untouched--as if to suggest that editing ruined a work and distorted a writer's vision, typos and all. Suffice it to say, my first "published" work did not end up being the book I wanted it to be.

My misery was compounded by the fact that the novel was given an outrageous cover price. I would never have paid the price they were asking for a trade paperback, so I'm not surprised nobody else wanted to either. I spent a great deal of time promoting the work on line and in various other ways, but I could never overcome that mind-blowing sticker shock.

Of course, like many who were suckered by PA, I soon began to understand just how the business model for the enterprise worked. Basically it tapped into the vanity of would-be writers, ceaselessly cajoling "clients" with a plethora of e-mails that presented various schemes in which an author's work might be promoted. These almost always involved purchasing several copies of one's own book, and featured ridiculous and outlandish assertions, such as: buying a given number of copies of one's own work would assure representation at a major book fair, or accord one the opportunity to be read by Oprah, Tom Hanks, etc.

Needless to say, I was never insane enough to avail myself of any of these chicanery. And for those who say that an unknown writer shouldn't expect to get his/her work published for free and have it sell in book stores and the like (and actually make the author a reasonable income), I just have to wonder how much such people know about publishing. The fact is, I'm getting my next book published "for free," and it will be distributed in bookstores, and the publisher will actually promote it. Imagine that. Moreover, I'm being paid for this privilege, and have, indeed, received a respectable advance. Of course, this probably wouldn't have happened if I hadn't got myself a good agent, and I suppose in an indirect way I can thank PA for that. Had my experience with them not been so truly awful and crushing (to the point that I almost gave up writing), I'd not have learned some invaluable lessons--not least of which (as far as I'm concerned) is that you really need an agent if you hope to have an actual writing career. My agent has made me a much better writer in all respects, and without her I can honestly say I'd not have found a home for my second novel.

Sam said...

I submitted my novel to PA - they accepted and gave me a dollar for my efforts.
Several of my friends have purchased copies - hundreds - have I been compensated NOPE.
After being scammed for over $1,000, I'm now thinkinga bout PAYING $99 to have the privilage of getting my intellectual property back.
PA is a scam - trust me on that folks.
Whomever this "Anonymous" is that works for PA / America Star Books has a sad life indeed. Seriously, how bad does your life have to be when you are paid to scour the internet and defend scumbags like PA. I mean, when ya go to bed at night, realizing that your company preys on the hopes of writers then takes them for everything they ya look in the mirror and say, "Great Job, I made a difference today!"
Do everyone that is trying to create a good story a favor, send them far, far away from these crooks!

Anonymous said...

I submitted a book a few years ago, Book came out really nice. Just too expensive to buy and ship to Canada. Special online deals have stopped. Real scam, never any royalties and they keep saying no books have been sold in months, not true, I bought some even via Amazon. NEVER use them again

Don Davidson said...

They got my book almost 7 years ago. The contract finally runs out in July 2014. In all that time they've sold 3 copies, because I won't buy it myself. You can read my story, with complete documentation to back up everything I say, on the PublishAmerica page of my web site,

Dreamer24 said...

Everyone who says they are not renewing their contract or ended it prematurely, please read over your contract. Better yet, go to america star website and see if they are still selling your book. I think this clause means they have rights forever to your first edition print of the book: 19. Whereas this agreement refers to a First Edition of the said literary work, as designated, the
Publisher may produce as many editions thereof, consisting of as many copies as Publisher shall
deem advisable, at any time after it ceases to produce copies of the First Edition. On all such
subsequent editions that the Publisher may produce, the Author shall receive a return as specified
in Provision # 3 of this agreement of the sales price of every copy that may be sold and for which
the Publisher shall receive payment in money.... I hope I'm wrong. Can someone interpret this?

Jim Hartley said...

Well, they don't edit the books they publish for readability, why should they do any better for their contracts?

I don't know about non-renewable (I didn't let it get that far), but when I paid their extortion fee to cancel early, the letter I got clearly stated they would not produce any more copies of my book, but they did reserve the right to sell copies on hand (big laugh, it's a POD operation, anybody think they really have a warehouse full?). Of course I'm really worried, they were listing my book for $24.95, you can now buy an e-book for $5.50 or a CreateSpace paperback for $8.95 (and possibly discounted). Who would want to shell out $24.95 if they did have some left?

Anonymous said...

PA is the worst. I have a best selling novel with a ranking number under 10000 yet they told me I sold seven copies. I wonder how much money they have made off of every author through them. I never expected to get rich but it would be nice to receive more than one dollar for my effort. Thankfully I got picked up by a huge publisher that actually respects my work and pays me for my time. I will save you all time. Don't ever consider PA for a publisher you'll just spend more time and money trying to get rid of them.

Nonnie S said...

Publish America AKA America Star DOES make changes in your script for correction, and then tell you that you can get at most 15 mistakes changed free of charge. Any after that you have to pay for. Contrary to what I just read here, they leave you with nothing, but a downloaded manuscript that is covered and given to you as completed with their disclaimer on the second page. Their new contract is for 10 years of publishing rights opposed to 7 previously. I was one of those who was excitedly flim -flammed. If I die before the contract ends I have left in writing that I do not want to renew and hope my work can be redone correctly.

Robert said...

Do not trust this company. I did and was a pain to get my rights back. Write your book and Google: tools to publish a book, and use it for free. I do recommend to have a professional editor.

J.M. Poole said...

Independence Books, aka PubliSHAMErica, aka America Star Books should be avoided like the plague.

Traditional publishers my eye. I don't need to go into details. I was misinformed, like everyone else. I fell for their scam but was one of the lucky few to break out of their grip. How? I made myself a downright nuisance to them. Hourly calls, asking about unpaid royalties. Daily emails announcing I wouldn't be renewing my contract. I looked up the email addresses to everyone I could and fired off message after message, stating they were in violation of their precious contract.

Once I said that they fired back INSTANTLY, stating I was being rude and if I kept talking like that then I needed to get a lawyer. That didn't bother me. What upset me was knowing they have been in business for so long that they clearly knew how to write a solid contract.

I was screwed for 7 years. I switched tactics. I now demanded they return me my rights. I renewed my efforts and increased the phone calls. I copied & pasted emails. The end result?

After a year and a half of harassment, they returned my rights and told me "You have lost your status as a 'published author'. Your book is no longer available. Have a nice life."

I framed that letter. I have since released my book through Createspace, along with its sequels. Guess what? I'm making sales! I have accurate reporting at my fingertips. I have a responsive support staff waiting to help if I have any questions.

It was the difference between night and day. Someone had asked about publishing rights for first editions, thinking PubliSHAMErica retained the rights to sell it? Not for me. The only thing they told me was that I couldn't use the cover they created (it sucked - why would I want to??) and that their formatted text of my book's interior was theirs, meaning I couldn't leave the book's interior as they created it. Again, not a problem. A 4th grader could have done a better job.

Sorry for prattling on. I've sold thousands of my books and I did it as an Indie author. If I can do it, so can everyone else. Just do me a favor. Steer clear of those creeps in Maryland. If I can prevent another author from getting sucked into that hellhole then it would make my day.

Have any questions about self publishing? Look me up on Facebook. I'd be more than happy to give a helping hand.

J.M. Poole
Bakkian Chronicles trilogy
Tales of Lentari fantasy series

Jim Hartley said...

Gee, I wish I had known I could get shut of RubbishAmerica by just making a nuisance of myself. I ended up paying their Danegeld to cancel the contract. But you can be sure I tell everyone I know to stay away from them. Once I was free I managed to get my book published as an e-book by a small indie press who had done some of my other work, and then, since they left me the print rights, as a CreateSpace paperback.

LB said...

As a follow-up to an earlier comment I made, I'd like to suggest that anyone with a Publish America or America Star Books contract review it very carefully--particularly if you're approaching the termination date. Foolishly, I had not read mine since I signed it back in October of 2006 and had assumed that when the seven year term of the contract expired my rights would revert to me. Alas, it turns out that Publish America/America Star Books employs a version of what we in Canada used to refer to as "negative billing"--which is to say unless you notify PA/America Star Books(at least three months before the end of your contract) that you wish to terminate the relationship, you will automatically be renewed for seven more years.

As a consequence, I now find that my book remains in America Star Books' hands unless I fork over a larcenous $299 to reclaim my rights. I was informed of this after I recently received an e-mail from them suggesting I buy copies of my book (which I have never done). I replied that my contract had ended in October of 2013 and that I wanted them to strike my book from their catalog and all other listings. The response was an e-mail with a rather nasty and threatening undertone that told me the contract had been renewed and the only way I was getting my rights back was to fork over the dough. They implied they had invested considerable money in publishing my book and had a right to expect to recoup those costs. I have to assume this was a joke on their part because I can't see that they invested anything. No editing. No proof-reading. I did my own cover. I did my own back cover blurb. I wrote the announcement they were supposed to mail to people on a list I gave them--a service they maintained they provided but never actually did. I did all my own marketing.

The fact is, about the only thing PA did was format the book, and I could have done a better job of that than they did. Oh, and they listed on various sites, which must have taken someone all of a few minutes and cost them nothing.

Well, tough beans America Star. You can keep that book in your catalog. I hope you choke on it. Oh, and enjoy watching as the money doesn't roll in--since it never has. As for me, I've moved on to bigger and better things and that novel is a thing of the past. It was never what I wanted it to be (largely because I got no editorial guidance) and I couldn't care less if it sits gathering dust. I won't be paying an exorbitant fee to a bunch of scam artists to get back what is mine. I'll wait out the next six and half years.

Meanwhile I've signed a deal with Capstone Books, and instead of the one dollar advance PA gave me I'm getting a five figure one from Capstone. My book, Becoming Darkness, will be published through their new YA imprint, Switch Press, and should be available sometime in the latter half of 2015.

Even if you don't want to go the more traditional route of publishing (i.e. getting an agent and signing with a traditional publisher) there are so many better, safer, and more profitable ways by which to publish rather than getting sucked into the execrable black hole of America Star Books and falling victim to their odious practices. My advice to anyone who cares about his/her work is to steer well clear of this company.

Anonymous said...

Star America Books and Publish America whoever they call themselves treat their customers like crap. I don't care if it is a free service it doesn't mean that people should be treated like trash. I really hope this company goes down the drain. I really hope someone gets them out of business. If you are a person who loves to write and has a dream of being a author don't go with this company. There are so many other resources to choose from. Even if you have to pay a little it is better than being treated like crap.

Unknown said...

It would appear you haven't dealt with this company. They DON'T do it for free. And no bookstore will carry books published by them for 2 reasons, they have a no return policy and they're overpriced. They also lie and say they're going to give your book to Oprah, big name magazines, state Dept.'s, and other companies, all who have never agreed to such a thing or haven't even heard of the company. They mislead people who are new to writing and want to get started with little or no money. Basically they rob the poor who are wanting to fulfill their dreams. They recently, after about 6 yes of no contact with them as I just said fug it, emailed me stating if I pay $99 now I can terminate my contract. Reducing their $299 termination fee they said. Problem is, I never signed a contract. And even after numerous emails requesting a copy of a contract I signed, I have no copy and they are still saying its legally binding.. really? Then show me what I'm blinded to. Send me a copy. And still nothing. They are rude, classless and unprofessional. They don't answer the phone and they don't use their names in emails. That's because they're crooks. And honest company has no issue using their names as employees. An honest company answers the phone. This company does nothing for free. They rob people that have a dream. I. Good though because my book was an autobiography and I decided against publishing it. So they can want a termination fee until this supposed contract is up...they won't get one from me. For all their wrong, God will make right. They won't be around too much longer. More and more people are self publishing. As a matter of fact, I have a cousin who does ebooks with amazon and another ebook site and she does very well. No publisher needed. Publish America can change their name but they're still the same crooks. Bankruptcy isn't far off for them....and many will be over joyed for the wrong they've done.

Anonymous said...

LM, does paragraph 23 in your contract contain the language that you authorize PA the right to re-assign the copyright to another publisher/name? If I look to the calendar, I see you should have signed your contract around the time where they did not include that clause. Guess what, it's bordering on copyright infringement if not. Let us know.

Anonymous said...

I live in the United Kingdom and finished my PhD in 2010. My PhD supervisor suggested that I get it published as soon as possible. Sadly I went with Publish America because I trusted their 'traditional methods' blurb on their website. How I deeply regret this move. I will not repeat grievances already stated on this site but suffice to say that email correspondence with them would be justifiable with court action in the UK. They were threatening/menacing and downright insulting! I tried hard not to let their aggressive and bullying approach tarnish my opinion of American citizens they certainly do not represent anything good about America and this is extremely sad. Glad that I have moved on and do not care what they do with my work as they will certainly not receive another penny from me.
Doubtless this posting will receive an anonymous and aggressive post from them - they are bullies and that label is a kindness to them.

Anonymous said...

All they do is print your book and then they expect you to buy it. They do nothing to promote it or assist with sales of your book. One of the stupidest thigs I ever did was to deal with them.

Anonymous said...

I published my first 2 books with PA but after a few years (and before my contract was up) I republished through CreatSpace whom I LOVE. I changed the cover and altered the title. I give not a hoot if they sue me....IF they had charged a reasonable price for the books it would not have mattered so much but who the heck wants to pay so much for a SOFT covered book? I totally agree that they are just legal crooks!

Unknown said...

I placed a book with PA over 2 years ago and it was the worst nightmare of my life. I was expecting probably too much but I was a first time author trying to get into the publishing arena. This book is called 'The Ole Candy Shoppe'. There were supposed to change the mistakes I saw in the printing. I sent them all the changes withing the time requirements but still they did not change the mistakes. Month after month they sent me emails to buy copies at 1 cent all the way up to 1.99 but the shipping costs made the books at 20.00 dollars apiece. The book can't sell at that price any where. Now I have found that they are selling my book on Amazon and other places. If I pay them $100.00 US I can buy the rights back. I have not done that and probably won't.

Anonymous said...

I too had a book published with PA....and what a fool I was. Some of you were lucky enough to receive 2 copies of your book. Wow, I was lucky enough to get one. And it was sent to the wrong address.

PA did nothing to promote my book. Nothing. I was forced to publish with errors THEY made as I did not want to pay the 250 bucks they wanted to charge me to fix THEIR mistakes.

I even tried to contact the CEO of the company and they flatly refused to do so. I asked for copies of the promotional material they reportedly sent out and received no answer. I was offered time and time again to have my book rights returned, with a varying rate between 100 and 250 dollars.

As for the emails ...yes, I got them to. They'll promote your book if you pay them to do so. That is NOT what their contract implies. They are liars. Period. The absolute worse publishing company on this planet.

I will patiently wait for my contract to expire and then republish my book. In the mean time, I am currently writing a second book and after this experience, I have learned to do some research before I choose a publisher next time.

When I received and email from Starbooks, I was hoping that PA had gone out of business or was sued so many times that they had to sale out. Pity it is still them. Thanks for the information on this company. I wrote to them to find out more about them, but they, like PA, never replied to my inquiries. Amazing.

Anonymous said...

There must be more than one "Anonymous" here because the remarks don't seem to match...but this is addressed to the one who seems to think the authors are to blame for being ripped off. PA is/was an "on demand" publisher, so it's not like they published 100's of books for each author... and every book was over priced so you were bound to fail... even though my books sold and had excellent reviews, it's like paying $100 for a carton of eggs. I think that particular "anonymous is a company snitch ...And to the later Anonymous (with the PHD) I would hope your education would have at least given you enough sense to not judge a whole country by a few scoundrels....pretty cheeky I dare say!!

Anonymous said...

Obvously you are employed by them. They are diseptive scam artists.

Grace Monet said...

PA published my first book in 1999, then the second in 2004. They fulfilled their contract about online posting. It was up to the author to do the publicity and marketing. Unfortunately, my subject does not lend itself to that.

America Star Books now offers lots of marketing services for very reasonable fees; most are between $25 and $75

Jim Hartley said...

I find it hard to believe that America Star Books (formerly Rubbish America) is doing ANYTHING reasonable. They brought out my book in 2007 at an outrageously high price (around $25 for a 170 page paperback), and then did nothing but send me offers to send review copies to Oprah, Steven King, or whoever if I would buy 14 copies at a 40% discount. Eventually I paid their $100 Danegeld to get my rights back and published elsewhere ... $5.50 as an e-book, $8.95 as a CreateSpace paperback ... MUCH more reasonable. My advice, don't ever go near that outfit!

author nikki noffsinger said...

Let me tell you why you should care-why everyone should care. In 2009, I wrote a book and I was rather green and signed with Publish America. I was thrilled and it had been what seemed like a dream come true to me. I over looked the generic cover and began promoting my book to everyone. When I got my author's copy I was horrified. A perfect manuscript was chopped and put together as if someone had copied and pasted and done a poor job doing it. Whole sentences were cut in two or incomplete. Not only that but my books were priced so high, at 35.99 plus shipping that no one would buy them but lo, I did sell copies. I sold almost 4o copies of my book but when the royalty statement came in it had over half were ineligible for royalties due to they were held for promotion. I thought, okay well maybe that's a good thing? I began getting offers to participate for a fee to book fairs and what not and I nearly sent them $400 dollars only to find out (and I still have the phone bill to show the international calls that I made) that Publish America was not even listed as a vendor at the Frankfurt Book Fair or even the UCLA Book Expo and again at the AARP they were not listed as vendors or sponsors. When I inquired about it I was rudely (and I still have almost every E-Mail correspondence with them) told that I was lying and my facts were untrue and all I did was ask why they were not listed. I began to find sites like Writer's Beware and the Author's Den and it was astounding at just how many people had been with them for years and had sold books and still were not getting money. Some had paid into the offers that Publish America had flooded their inboxes with and all were like me-not making a dime and some didn't even renew their contracts but their books were still on the website. The books they showcased as being made into movies or made for television shows on channels such as Lifetime Network and The Hallmark Channel were fictitious. I contacted the BBB and the Attorney State's General and they all gave no help. Publish America knew their loopholes but a few years ago they made a huge mistake by offering for x amount of dollars having a book reviewed by JK Rowling at the Edinborough Book Fair in Scotland and then offering book reviews by Nora Roberts and James Patterson. JK Rowling came out swinging when she heard and it made the news. Nora Roberts publishing house along with James Patterson's Hatchet Books both refuted Publish America's claims and Hatchet even sent me free books since I had personally brought it to their attention. About a year ago a law firm sued Publish America in a class action suit and I was lucky enough to get my book and rights back. They still will not take my novel off Amazon even though I have sent them proof that Publish America no longer has ties to it but at least it is mine to do with and re-publish it through a reputable publisher or self publish-whichever comes first. These vanity presses have to be stopped and Publish America aka American Star Books is a predator in the publishing world. They don't want to make money for you-they want to make money OFF you. Don't fall for this and speak up because while you may not be an author-it is WRONG to do this to authors and consumers as well. Do not fall for the scam. Jim Hartley at least you got out with 100 dollars. They wanted $300 to get mine back. Luckily I got to be part of a class action law suit. That is when they closed shop but opened under a new name. The owner of this company uses your hard earned money to fund his own pocket. They hire a few temps to answer the phones and that is it. They have no experience whatsoever in the publishing world and if you sign with them you are signing a scam-a pyramid scheme that you may not ever get out of.

Anonymous said...

The fact that these bloodsuckers are still in business is beyond me. They abuse the hopes and dreams of writers and make other money off the backs of those they publish. I have been fighting these bastards for 6 years to get my rights back. Run away from this publisher as fast as you can.

Anonymous said...

I have sent a book to be published by America Star and until now they have been fair with me. The contrac is for 3 years and i don't expect to make money with my book, just to get it printed as a paper book. I accept that America Star makes money with my book as they take a lot of risks by publishing me and after all they must make money to survive as a business. I am happy if America Star publishes my book . If it doesn't sell, it will be my fault.If they ask me to pay money for editing, corrections or else, I will forget the subject, as I don't have money to spend on it.

Christine Tripp said...

>I accept that America Star makes money with my book as they take a lot of risks by publishing me and after all they must make money to survive as a business.<

If you aren't prepared to give them money for editing, cover, shipping books to Oprah, Obama, some other crazy idea they come up with, then you won't need to accept that they will make money on your book, because they won't. They don't sell your book unless it's copies to you. Their business survives by make money on selling the services and "special deals" to you, the writer and by selling your books to you. The only book you will ever see in your hands is the one you buy from them. You could have had one copy printed and bound at staples if it's all you truly wanted.

I suppose they decided it was getting too hard to overcome the bad press about them and North American Writers that hadn't heard of them were running low, so PA changed their name and turned their attentions to foreign writers. Those for whom English is a second language and who will not know there are spelling and grammar mistakes in their books translated into English. The risks are much less, being sued by foreign writers.
It's pretty much perfect for PA/ASB

Anonymous said...

Good deal, I just had a really bad conversation with someone there about 15 minutes ago. sent my book in 2 months ago to be revised. had a deadline to meet, August 9th. now they want to rip me off for charges to get it here before then, the lady was very rude and abrupt. I actually thought I was in the military instead of doing business with a book company. she was very nasty! and all of that she could think about was how she could rip me off by adding almost fees to get my book shipped. no remorse not apologetic are sympathetic. just plain rude. I got about 10 more books to publish but they won't get one. and I know out of those 10 I got six bestsellers. God has something for all nasty people! you can get my money but you can be a little bit more diplomatic and professional about it

Anonymous said...

everyone should report them to the Better Business Bureau! ASAP

Anonymous said...

Too late for me :-(

Anonymous said...

Still, I say customer service is horrible and unprofessional, and they are nasty to you when you want spend your money like they want you too. They have no comparison about time or deadlines. For what they have done to other's and myself, I want to see them out of business. They are cruel bulldogs in the business world of high class rip off artists!

Tom Proffitt said...

I still don't know the out-come of the last class-action suit, Would somebody please let me know. I don't know if they still have a contract for my book. I haven't got a royalties statement for over two years.

Victoria Strauss said...


That lawsuit was settled out of court. See the addendum at the top of my post about the lawsuit.

Check your contract to see the effective date (on Page 1) and how long the contract extends (I've seen PA contracts for both seven and ten years). If you're still within that timeframe, then PA still has exclusive claim on your rights.

With PA, I'd never exclude the possibility of confusion and inefficiency--but I believe PA has a payment threshold for royalties. I.e., if your royalties are less than a stated amount, they don't issue a check or a statement. That could be why you haven't received a statement in so long.

Anonymous said...

I Have realized that these people are thieves that have robbed tons of authors as well as defamated their characters, for an author to receive their book(s) and to have run-on sentences, misspelled words etc is an embarrassment, gives them a poor reputation and it hinders them. They should be ashamed knowing these kinds of books are being published from their company, but they DON"T CARE all they'll do is change their name, just like they've done. What gets me the most is that I have bought about 7 of my own books to see hoe loyal they are when it came to royalty time, but GUESS WHAT!0 sold, that allowed me to know they have gotten RICH off us. What a shame. Can we contact ELLEN, Or Oprah, Perhaps THE NEWS in every CITY. Let's expose them world-wide.

RWMasters said...

I got tired of reading the same old, same old comments (with which I mostly agree. I have now published (paperbacks and far better quality than I received in the two books I allowed Publish America to 'publish') and it has cost me exactly NOTHING! I have my own artist do the covers (my wife) and they have been great. And my publisher, CreateSpace (subsidiary of Amazon) distributes and sells the books. Oh, yes, royalties are paid promptly and there is no jazz about selling 48 or so books before they send you the check. Service has been great and I even get to review the book (as it will look when printed) before giving them the go-ahead to print. Finally, I have had complaints from would-be readers that when they tried to order one of the two books PA had 'published' PA claimed they had never heard of me! Yes, I bought a carload of books at PA's 'discount prices' and sold them in shopping centers (you pay for a space and table in the central area and it works, folks!). I don't have to do that anymore, thank you CreateSpace and Amazon.

H. Quinn Bellwright said...

I have had much the same experience with PA (Now America Star Books) and my contract is up in about another year. I've recently had a series of emails from them that are, quite frankly, offensive and belligerent in tone. They have done nothing to promote my book, have not sent it to B&N or Ingram like they promised, have continued to try to get me to pay $99 to cancel the contract, and recently had the temerity to offer me my original PDF of the book for $500, when the PDF they generated was based on the PDF I originally sent them. I declined their typesetting and layout service, having done that work myself, and yet they claim that the book layout is theirs, and proprietary. How can a business charge money for something they did not originate? Here is a snippet of an email I just received:

"...the "long chain" of emails that you mention contain some of the most bizarre and wacky false accusations that we have encountered. All of it was reputed, and if impolitely, and rightly so. We never received an apology from you for the weird, wacky, false nonsense that you casually through our way.
So, you accuse us of wacky nonsense.
It is all refuted.
Then, you make no apology, like a child would do.
Then you're asking us for a favor, for advice, for legal reasons.
No, the world does not work that way.
Please pay your lawyer to answer your questions."

So, they're suggesting I hire a lawyer, and call me wacky in the same email? Probably a good idea.

People with complaints about this company need to band together and launch a formal class action suit, if only to be an annoyance to them. I refuse to be labelled a child, and wacky, by a company that insists on maintaining a contract with me to publish my book and yet not distribute it.

Good luck, everyone!

Matthew said...

I just received the following email from PA/ASB. Now, correct me if I am wrong, but isn't referring to a lawsuit against a third party a subtle way of attempting to intimidate and threaten me? I am posting this email in it's entirety to let people see what "tone" PA/ASB likes to take with their authors when they ask question/raise concerns:

We see (below) that you have posted statements on the internet that you know to be false. Your statements are also very easily proven false. You may be interested to know the facts concerning the former leader of that site's organization. He posted false statements on the internet that are very similar to yours. His statements were shown to be false, he was summoned to trial, his paychecks were garnished, and he paid thousands of dollars.

The one-man "leader" of the one-man, widely-mocked, Preditors & Editors "organization" lost credibility long ago, and was sued by PublishAmerica's attorney. He was served a summons to attend trial and testify, and a judgement was entered by a jury. What he said was found to be simply, plainly, false. He was ordered to pay $53,000 in damages. His paychecks were garnished. He has paid thousands of dollars so far.

Again, his paychecks were garnished.
He paid thousands of dollars so far.

We will expect your prompt apology.
We recommend you remove the false statements that you posted publicly.

>>People with complaints about this company need to
>>band together and launch a formal class action suit

They already did that.
A judge dismissed ALL CLAIMS because they had no validity.

>>They have done nothing to promote my book

No, that is false.
Yes, we did.

>>have not sent it to B&N

No, that is false.
Yes, we did.

>>or Ingram

No, that is false.
Yes, we did.

>>like they promised,

No, that is false.
We did not promise to do so.
We are not contractually bound to do so.
But, we did so anyway.

>>have continued to try to get me
>>to pay $99 to cancel the contract

No, we did not. As you know, rights purchases are our decision. As you know, if offered, you are under no obligation to purchase.

>>I declined their typesetting and layout service,
>>having done that work myself

No, as you know, that is false.
No, you did not "decline" it.
You happily accepted it.

As you know, all material presented must be re-typeset by our team of professionals due to proprietary formatting required by our printers. We refuted your false statement before. Yes, it was your design. But, it was our files, that were professionally created by our staff.

>>they claim that the book layout is theirs, and proprietary

No, as you know, that is false.
No, as you know, we did not claim any such thing.
As you know, the files are ours.
As you know, the design is yours.
You have the right to do as you please with your own work. You have rights to your own art, of course, in the form that it was in when you supplied it to us.

Unknown said...

I published my book through them; biggest mistake of my life "The Joys and Disappointments of My Life So Far" by Joylene Miller-Rios is being sold around the world in different languages and I have not seen any royalties. On top of that, they are still trying to get money from me by trying to get me to pay them to put my book on Amazon, Barn&Noble, etc. despite the fact that they are already doing that. America Star Books are crooks.

Anonymous said...

I helped an author with his book and he used Publish America. We had no trouble with them. We were allowed and encouraged to edit the book. All we did was write and edit it. We did our own cover because they allowed us to do that. It ended up on No one is going to become a millionaire today in the book writing business, unless they get an upfront check for telling of their sleazy past. My author was satisfied with his results. The success was that he had a good story to tell, he told it in a very readable way, and people bought it. We had no problem with Publish America. I think people misunderstand that they can't possibly market it as one of the big publishing houses do. But another thing authors need to understand is that you have to be able to write so that your book isn't a chore to read. Your first page is important. If people pick up your book and check the first page and it doesn't interest them, they won't buy it. Good grammar counts, too.

Anonymous said...

I am a new author and I have a friend that had a book published with this company. We are fighting to get the rights to the book back now. What I've found online is unacceptable. This 'publisher' needs to be shut down. BBB has horrible ratings, 128 complaints, and when you Google them, what you find are mostly complaints. I think a class action lawsuit is in order and I will gladly handle this lawsuit if I can get enough of you to sign up and send me a narrative of your experience with this sham publisher. If you are interested in joining the class action lawsuit, please contact me at

Victoria Strauss said...


There've been two class actions against PA already. The first was dismissed, the second was settled. I've written about both of them. Do a search on this blog for PublishAmerica, and my posts should come up.

Apostle P.E.C said...

This company is bogus and God will deal with them I published a book with them in 2012 and have yet to get any funds and books did sale .But it's ok I have learneda valuable lessons just do my homework next time I allowed a pastor to trick me into thinking this was her publishing company until I sign the papers do to all the excitement and being young we make bad choices that we learn from ..But GOD "


wolfspeare said...

Can I get out from under the contract so I can publish on Amazon Kindle? Or, can I publish on Amazon using a different title and hope that America Star Books won't see it?
Has anyone tried either method?

Victoria Strauss said...


PublishAmerica/America Star will sometimes let writers out of their contracts if they pay a fee. Some writers have chosen to go that route.

As to changing the title and hoping no one notices...don't do it. Like other self-publishing platforms, KDP's Terms require you to warrant that you have the unencumbered right to publish--and you don't, unless PA, to which you've exclusively granted publishing rights, releases you.

Anonymous said...

I'm a publish America author and I want to be aware of what is taking place

Raven said...

Unfortunately I have many books with them, my latest book is not ready I got a call congratulationing me on my book, and America star books wanting to take my order for a book I haven't seen! They wouldn't give me a complimentary copy however wanted me to purchase in bulk. when I questioned the fact that I have paid for advertising on my other book with no success having lots ofpp my own books on had to what sell on a street corner? The congraulator lol became rude and angery. I told her that they wouldn't get another dime from me, asked her why I should keep spending money to support their book shows or pay for their hotel accommodations! She reminded me if a contract that I never did see or receive and that the have the rights to my book. My adulation was in telling her that maybe they do however it is in my best interest that no company will deal with them being a POD and they they are a shame not respected in any area and that they therefore have nothing, so nothing from nothing leaves nothing. I hung up the phone.minute later I received emails lol stating how much they have done for me and how no one wants my book is why its not selling. Lol my reply was hmmm could it be because my book lay at the boo boo end of the stick and no one know which end to touch! I haven't gotten anymore emails not even the bulk one losing about them visiting Disney or USA today or Oprah lol all emails have stopped. Guess there goes that movie deal with Pixar! Oh snap!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the warning. Publish America published two of my books before. I am one of those who got scammed by this publisher. Both my books publisher's contracts had reached the expiration period. Despite, without my permission they still continually producing and distributing copies of my books, which in violation to agreement stated in both contracts.

For those first time author, DO NOT submit your work to Publish America or America Stars Books (their new name). They shuttered my dream to be an author. I don't want that to happen to you.

If some of you worried how PA going to stay afloat if cheaper to self-publish your own, that's their problem. Use your judgment after you access this link

Linda Hays-Gibbs said...

Crooks ! Plain and simple ! Crooks do not let these monsters near your books ever !

Anonymous said...

I published with Publish America in 2007. My books are selling on Amazon and I have never received any royalties. I also am unable to reach anyone by phone

Unknown said...

I cannot comment on most of the criticisms, but PublishAmerica put both my poetry books on Barnes & Noble without me paying anything. In their favor, it is commendable that they publish poetry, even though they cannot expect to gain much from it.

H. McAlendin said...

PA now America Star is a company to stay away from unless you want your pocket book and soul sucked dry. They have had so many lawsuits against them I am surprised they are allowed to exist in any form. BBB complaints etc. My contract is now up with them and they still refuse to return my rights as they say I was auto renewed with America Star. Never gave anyone permission to do so and have in fact been fighting with them for 5 years to get out of my contract.
Do the research before you sign up with this sham of a publisher. They are using and abusing their authors.They force you buy your own work and then charge you as well if you want to leave. It's insane.

John said...

It IS a self-publish press. I got my book into and paid them no money. For a fee of $25 or so I got the ebook version also available on This was BEFORE amazon started their publishing offer. You expected to be a NY Times bestselling author through PA? You are idiots. It is what it is. I got published. That was my goal. My second book, I am going to a traditional publisher.

Eleanore Ferranti Whitaker (pen name) said...

Doesn't anyone else realize that America Star is using your books to make a profit and then telling authors there are zero sold?

They are pretty stupid if they think authors won't be contacted if the books are picked up by a TV or movie company who wants them.

What's America Star going to do? Extort money from authors if this happens so they can get in on the money? America Star's job is to publish. If they are a genuine publisher why does every single email have a price tag on some offer?

Anonymous said...

I don't get how people are still defending PA or AS as it's now called. (only needs one more S to be perfect!)
The only thing they do is pounce on the newbies and the uninformed. As for the name change - You can call a pile of dog crap a cookie, but it's still a pile of dog crap.

Anonymous said...

You must work for the America star book crooks.....haha...I can be anonymous too!

Unknown said...

I agree and disagree. Yes, it is not an honest company. Yes, I know of sales of my book that were not reported. My point is as follows: 1) Getting published with traditional publishers (I am doing this for book two) is extremely difficult. You have to be a good marketer and be active in selling your book. (This is required with PA) 2) At the time I had the book done it was impossible to get a traditional publisher, not accepting manuscripts in any case from unknown authors. I got published. I got my goal. I AM an author. I got paid for copies of my book. It is still available at Amazon and B&N. 3) Now perhaps because of PA there are a lot of options that did not exist before. Vanity publishers charged a fortune. Now even Amazon has a service to get your book published. Now there are options for new authors, so PA is not a good choice. It was at the time and it got me what I wanted. 4) Now that I am published, perhaps it will be much easier to get attention of an agent and/or publisher. Now there are people on the Internet that offer help in getting published. There were none before. You are evaluating PA in the current context. Will I ever go back to PA or star to get a book published? No. Was it worth what I spent? Yes. I got published and spent zero dollars to get there. The book is online and I got a Kindle version of it too. Did they make more money than I did? Yes. I don't care. I got published. This was my only goal. Now I have another goal and a traditional publisher is what is needed now, but I have a leg up on other new authors. I have been published!

Victoria Swanson said...

America Star Books has published 2 beautiful books for me. They do exactly what the contract says they will do, nothing more and nothing less. The paper used in my books is high grade paper and the full color covers are very professional as well as nice to look at. They work hard to make the authors happy. I believe the complaints are misunderstandings because the people have not read their contracts. I give America Star Books a five star rating. Victoria Swanson

Anonymous said...

They prey on the authors being gullible. They make their money from the author buying his or her books. The name change came about because if you boggled the old name the word scam came up. That is what the company is. One big con job.

N. S. said...

Hmmm...experience tells me that at least 1 anonymous is Mr. Mieners defending his indefensible targeting and destruction of the dreams of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people who trusted his company with their hopes. I know from personal experience that he trolls these boards and will not hesitate to stoop to making a personal character assassination when it suits him. Beware folks. He and his company(s) whatever the name might be cannot be trusted. He will take your dream of being published chew it up and spit out garbage.He did it to me in 2002, and it took me 13 years to build up the courage to start writing again.

Matilda O'Riley said...

I am glad you are doing something to warn authors about the former Publish America, which is now America Star Books. Many of us have been taken advantage of by them. I spent $1000 in alleged "publicity" with them and $2000 for editing services to meet a deadline. I received no royalties except for the initial dollar and no information on sales, even when I specifically requested it. I received no financial compensation from a class action lawsuit but got the rights to my work back. I'm now looking for a legitimate publisher to publish my book: My First Lawsuit As A Non-Attorney.

Anonymous said...

I published a book with Publish America. They did not pay me all my royalties owed. They then sent me a cancellation letter by email. When they were suppose to send me one by mail.

Anonymous said...

America Star Books is a scam. They will accept anything anyone wants to publish for free. They will deliberately make the price of the book extremely expensive so no one online will buy it. They count on milking the author for as much money as they can by getting them to buy as many of their own books and by offering "opportunities" that costs money to promote and market the book -- all lies! I think we all need to get a new class action lawsuit against them like the one two years ago with their old name. They are nothing but hardcore lying salespeople. I wonder how they sleep at night.

Penny Espinoza said...

I too, was suckered in by Publish America over seven years ago. As far as I'm concerned, my contract was void the minute they took-on a new name. My contract clearly states it's for 7 years with Publish America. Not until 2 to 3 months ago, was I aware of the name change. I found out when a representative of America Star named Sarah called me up (tracking down my new phone number somehow) and was offering marketing services (for a fee) for my book 'Sophi's Shoe Fetish'; which was published in September of 2008.

In that conversation, I had told her I did not need marketing services for my book since my contract was almost up with them anyway. She informed me that it was up for automatic renewal. What?! That's the first I'd heard of any auto-renewal of my contract, which wasn't even with them in the first place.

I quickly informed her that I would NOT be renewing any contract with PA, AS...or any other publisher associated with them. So I asked Sarah to update my new address information for any royalties they might've been trying to send. It was funny to me that they were able to track me to 'sell' me something, but couldn't track my address to 'send' me my money.

That was about 3 months or so ago when I last talked to Sarah. Until today, when I called and confirmed, once again, that I would not want them to renew my contract. According to Sarah, it had already been RENEWED. ): I Not by my hand, I told her. As well, I informed her that I had a lawyer, and I was recording the conversation (which I was).

Since that conversation, which ended when she had-not a leg to stand on...and hung up in my ear, I have contacted the same law office which handled the last class action law Suit against Publish America. I'm not sure what will happen next, but I do know that those #$%^#'s won't get away with forging a renewal of contract.

As I asked Sarah, why would you want to renew a contract with an author who hadn't sold any books? *Being smart...of course* Also, as she kept saying she couldn't view my contract because it was in the 'vault', I told her I had read my contract...and how would she know when it expired if she had no access to it? It's no wonder she bailed out in a hurry!

So...I'm writing this little ditty to see who would like to join me in a Class Action Suit against those CROOKS?! I won't take this lying down. And...I'll be republishing my book through Create Space, as I had planned to do once my contract expired. I just DARE them to try and stop me! My rights! My hard work deserves a better chance! And I know I've sold books because there are too many used copies out there to say different.

Besides, I have already caught them in a lie before...way back in 2009. After a series of book-signings in major book stores, I tracked down the phone number to Ingram's, called and received my number of sales. Once PA found out I could PROVE my sales, I actually received a triple digit check in the mail. Go figure!

Either way, these frauds are on a downward spiral! It'll be a celebratory day when all of us authors can shout "Ding dong, the witch is dead!!!"

Anonymous said...

I sold one book through PA and the contract ended in 2011. Yet somehow NEW copies of my book are still being sold on websites like Amazon and Barnes and Nobles. Since they no longer have a right to print anymore of my books, just where are these New Copies coming from? And when they first sold my book it was listed on the above websites at $12.95, since the contract ended the price has changed to $20.00 a copy??? Should I sue???

Anonymous said...

If the contract ended in 2011 and you can still order the book via an online outlet, and it has PA listed as the publisher, PA may be in violation of your copyright. Get an attorney, have them subpeona PA's records for your book, have them send a cease and desist letter, and maybe sue them for copyright infringement. Certainly you should order a copy of the book as proof. IF PA is still printing and shipping your book, they are breaking the law. I am not an attorney, and am not giving legal advice, but it looks like you might need one.

Unknown said...

Hi all, yes I was sucked into using PA too in Nov/10/2010 I sent them my first book and was so proud that it was going to really be published too. then sadly I found out as an disabled person from the US Army that was not making an whole lot on disability because my files are sealed and get my rights from the VA, that I had to market my book myself-(I said what) I should have known better and read the contract little better two friends of mine said, and they are millionaires- they just laughed and said we told you so, in which i was dumb and did not listen because I just got so excited that my work was out there finally: but it is funny I have sold only one copy of it even trying to sell it, only because they told me when they took my book it was so great that most of the time it takes them 6 months to decide whether their going to take one, and they called me and emailed me in just two weeks they said it was so good: but here is the good part i talked to my friends as I told you, they said they intentionally priced it too high so it would not sell so they would have to have me market my own book even tho it might have been so great because they both have read it and too said it is outstanding, and the best part is this your going to love this-one of my friend is very well know Author and does movies and so-on used to cook as chef for him, then the other owns her own publishing company too and is very well know Author too-just not real famous yet like other one, but why would two different people that do not even know each other say exactly the same things about my book and what they did to it too, then on top of that I have to pay to get my rights back- why is that I own the damn thing-i wrote it, even have draft too-and all the others i am writing too on my PC, but if I do not pay their price I can not get it back till 2017 so I can send it to another publisher to even know if it was any good because their not doing an damn thing with it like I thought all publishing companies suppose to do for you in life_ personally I will never use them again and will tell everyone as Dr.Richard----not going to put whole name on here so they can find an reason to sue me so they will get some money like they have been trying so hard all these years----------all I can say do not use them and do not believe anything they say-they are just cons------!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and yes I made up an woman's name hoping my book even would sell better then too, because it's romance/fiction/action about an veteran in the army that tells his whole life's story it is great I know because it was about me, but I could not get my releases I needed to made it an Autobiography the way I wanted in life but I was just happy I made an book in my life even if it does not sell-just one copy- right guys and ladies---some people have not even done that in their lives-- lol so thank god for he has given me in my life and my life is great thanks to him!!!!(God- Allah or whoever you want to call him in life he still there when we need him tho)if anyone wants to look up my book it's the only book with an purple cover and red rose on it-lol ok so you can see I really did do an book but my ghost name ok so yes I do have the origanal copies of all my books just not sending any more to them-them lazy asses---it's also in the fiction section too this will help you find it little more too-but if I say too much they might hold me in court for writing my opion on here about them and their crappy company too!!!!

Anonymous said...

like countless other authors, i, too, was sucked into the notion that instant fame and riches would be mine, once my book was published! i received $2.00 from PUBLISH AMERICA. i have framed both checks that now hang above my bed. thinking that, as a neophyte zillionaire, i would putter around my chateau and, perhaps, while drinking a glass of wine, chuckle at those framed checks that served as a pathway to riches. yesterday, and this is the honest truth, i thought of deframing those to buy a hamburger at the SONIC drive-in on half-price night. i retired a few months ago, and even part-time jobs are hard to find;a job in a church nursery would be an excellent way to make extra money to supplement my SOCIAL SECURITY benefits. is anyone familiar with a class action lawsuit brought against PUBLISHAMERICA? one of the plaintants' last name is "hoos".

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous--there've been two class action lawsuits against PA. The first was dismissed, and the second was settled. I've blogged about both--if you type "PublishAmerica" into the search box the posts should come up.

Unknown said...

I published with them some years ago and my contract was suppose to end in 2011. But I have reason to believe they are still printing and selling my book. Is there some way of proving that new copies of my book have been printed and sold? And if there is, can they tell me how many?
How can I find this information out? My book is still being offered on line New and Old copies. Funny thing is, before my contract ended they were selling it for $12.95 the day after my contract ended it went to $19.95 for a New copy.
I know they didn't pay me all my royalties either. I just don't know how to prove my side. If anyone can help me please do. I am thinking of suing them for selling my book without a contract and for breach of the original contract.
Angela Sachs

H. Quinn Bellwright said...

Spend the $19.95 to order a copy of the book directly from them. When you get it, contact a lawyer, as you will have proof of them violating your copyright.

Victoria Strauss said...


If your concern is based on seeing "new" copies available from independent sellers on the websites of retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, please know that these are just listings, not actual copies of your book. Independent sellers list collections of ISBNs, and if someone orders something they then try to get hold of a copy--they don't actually have any books on hand, and the "new" designations don't mean anything.

If this doesn't answer your concern, please contact me with more info, and I'll try to help: beware [at]

Victoria Strauss said...


That would only be the case if you could prove that PA had printed the copy after the contract expired. Publishers have the right to sell off existing inventory even if those sales post-date contract termination and rights reversion. Granted, it's unlikely that PA maintains inventory. But simply being able to obtain the book directly from PA (assuming that's even possible) wouldn't automatically prove copyright violation.

H. Quinn Bellwright said...

Since they are a "Print-on-demand" company, a good case could be made on this basis, leaving PA open to subpoena to produce records proving that the book was printed prior to the contract expiration?

Victoria Strauss said...

If someone brought legal action against PA, they could certainly demand discovery of printing records. But that's an expensive route to take, and does not guarantee success.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I have the displeasure of adding a story to this long list. This company is distasteful to say the least. They were actually polite when pitching the process to me. They told me everything would be taken care without a dime. It was my fault for not asking what that meant. I am two years into a five year contract and cant say the experience has been good. They gave me a stock cover and later complained that the book didn't sell because of its length. The part they didn't like was me reminding them they said they would handle everything. I do intend to hold them to this and know it is expensive to keep a book on file that doesn't sell. So for me since they only have a book I wrote in my free time they can hang onto it until the contract expires. Enjoy PA.

Anonymous said...

So many of these comments are so familiar with my "ordeal" with them. I had a book published through them and so many things in the book were changed by them. Much of the book was edited by them and was not like the copy I sent them. I am under a contract for seven years with them and have two years left. Under their own contract, it said if there were not any sales of the book (which they tell everyone that their book didn't sell) they had the option to cancel the contract. According to them, mine didn't sell anything, which is remarkable because I had numerous friends and relatives alone buying them, so why would they not want to just void the contract and give me my rights back? Now, they are asking me if I want my rights back for $99. I find it ironic that I go on many many different odd book sites, and I see used copies of my book for sale, but I never sold any according to them and earned no royalties. How can you have used copies for sale, if the book didn't sell originally? They changed their named because they were embarrassed because they are a rip off company and they figured by using a new name, they could lure more people and rip them off too. If you are such a great company, then give the people who want their rights back because you claim their books don't sell at no cost. I would think that that would be the honorable thing to do, but you can't even respect your authors enough to do that.

H. Quinn Bellwright said...

When are we going to get the lawyers involved?

Jeanette Bennett said...

I just received an email from American Star Books. I did a search and found your blog (thank God for the Internet) Apparently they have a new scam. Here is the email in its entirety:


My name is Jackie Velnoskey. I saw that you have written Walking a Fine Timeline. My question for you is: may I promote the book at the American Library Association's Midwinter Meeting & Exhibition in Boston, early January? Is costs you nothing. All I'm asking you in return is if we may add you to our book marketing email list.

I'm giving you two ALA Exhibition promotion options to choose from: 1: you may forward a copy of your book to our address (see below), and we'll display it in Boston, or 2: we'll include your work in the Hot Indy Author Guide that we're displaying and distributing during the ALA event. Either option is free. Check out our Facebook page when we report live from Boston where over 7,000 librarians are expected.

At America Star Books we have a book promotion department that does nothing but offering book promotion at the lowest fees in the nation. We attend all of the big fairs and festivals: Book Expo America, London Book Fair, Frankfurt Book Fair, Miami Book Fair International, Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, the American Library Association mid-winter and annual Conferences, Baltimore Book Festival, and so on.

All I am asking you at this time is if we may add you to our email list when we issue our next book promotion offers. You may at any time unsubscribe, and we will promptly cease sending you any further emails. America Star Books has been around for more than fifteen years, serving over 60,000authors. Participating in book promotion is entirely optional.

Thank you for considering this opportunity. I am looking forward to hearing back from you.

—Jackie Velnoskey
America Star Books Special Services, manager

I also noted she posted this same message on some poor writer's blog back in August. What's going on here?

Rick Barry said...

Thanks for the warning. One run-in with PA was enough for one lifetime.

Unknown said...

I have self published and been very successful. I wouldn't have been able to reach all my readers with Publish America/America Star Books.

Secondly the quality of their books - The spelling and grammar is a disgrace to themselves and the authors... There is no editing which can affect the quality of the story.

Most of the authors haven't exposed themselves to test readers before publishing.

The company has been under fire many times for false clams.

The business is not interested in publishing your book... There main concern is selling your book back to you.

Your local bookstore will not be able to order your book.

You best option is to publish on Amazon and promote using paid advertising on Twitter and other social media sites. Twitter works really well for me costs and hardly any thing.


Toby Whaymand


Chibers said...

How do you cancel contract with them?

Tamara Narayan said...

I received an email from this company a few days ago, got excited for a moment about having a promotional opportunity, and then checked them out here. Now I know to stay away. Thanks everyone in the Writer Beware community. You are doing a wonderful thing.

Christine Tripp said...

Jeanette, it's one of their newest scams. Seems everyone either listed on Amazon or Goodreads etc who has ever published or self published a book is getting these poorly worded emails from "Jackie". If you google her, she's a very busy lady, placing this same ad all over any blog or site that remotely smacks of a new writer visiting it to view and perhaps get caught in the net.
An Illustrator/Author friend just got one of these Jackie emails a few weeks back for his book (title) that was put out by one of the big 5. Is she INSANE, published Authors don't do promo like this, their PUBLISHERS go to the these shows with the books. So, just to show she doesn't research who she is sending to, just grabs any and all book titles/author names.

The point of the scam is getting you to say yes, you want that "free promotion" (HA!:) because they know most new writers would agree to FREE and then start bombarding you to sign up to pay for "book promotion department that does nothing but offering book promotion at the LOWEST FEES IN THE NATION" (my bolding)
You can just tell that's where that email is going, easy peasy!!!:)

Christine Tripp said...

Just saw an American Star POD paperback priced at $34.95

Everyone knows no one will by a paperback at that price, let alone one by someone you've never heard of with a cheap stock photo of a man and a woman embracing on it!!!
Now before anyone says but, if no one will buy at that price, why would AS price it like that and how could AS make money, here you go.... AS/PA knows the Author WILL buy their own books back, and they hope in large quantities so if you come up with a ridiculously high retail price of $35, then even with the Author discount they "offer", AS is making a fortune per POD copy. If the books were priced normally, say $11, the author discounted price wouldn't come to nearly enough for AS. Then there's the mark up on the shipping, ca-ching!

Unknown said...

i would like to know how to get in on this lawsuit , they say they are free , yeah right they publish you for free but, they don't give you books or help you with your tour for free , i really got screwed over by them and they didn't edit the book or anything they barely put it out on the net they just posted it on barnsandnoble and amazon and that's about it , they barely did anything they would give you discounts i figured as they author they would atleast would give you one or two free copies of your book but, no you had to buy your own book i was lucky to sell one book for 5 dollars at the flea market near to my house and i spent 7 dollars on a box of books but, i had to buy 7 of the books to get that price even i mean seriously we need to sue them .... they need to have a lawsuit against them , they only pay you a dollar as a new author , i am telling you , we need to suit them . so if your still wanting to put a lawsuit out against them , i will tell you all the bullshit they put me through .

H. Quinn Bellwright said...

My contract with Publish America expired today. I received an email from them:

I am informing you that, as per your request for allow your contract to expire, we are discontinuing the publication of your book From Under Eyelids as of this day. All rights under the copyright are herewith returned to you.

Your book has been pulled from the market today. No new copies will be printed by America Star Books or made available by America Star Books to individuals, wholesalers or retailers. It has been removed from America Star Books' website. We have also sent notice to retailers that no new copies will be printed. Please note, however, that we have no control over any other online vendors' listing policies, including Amazon's and Barnes and Noble's. Books that are out of print may remain listed there for years on end, even though the industry has now been informed that America Star Books has ceased making any new copies available. Furthermore, retailers and wholesalers may continue to sell used copies, as well as new copies that they had stocked prior to the termination of your agreement with America Star Books. Of course, America Star Books has no control over the sale of your book by third parties.

You own the unformatted text only, and you can do as you choose with that alone. Any materials that you had supplied for the book (photographs, illustrations, cover images) you are welcome to use again in future publications. Anything created by the publisher would remain with America Star Books. America Star Books continues to own the ISBN number, the cover design, and the layout design of the text. Any use of any of these items would be a serious and very clear case of infringement. Therefore, you can use the same design only if we transfer the rights to you, or to your new publishing company.

If you would like to use the cover or layout design, we would transfer the rights to your cover design and/or text layout, and provide you with a high resolution pdf file of the cover, and a clean, publishable version of the PDF text file. The cover design would cost $500, and/or the text layout would cost $250.

Again, you own the unformatted text only, and you can do as you choose with that alone.


Caroline Inabinett
America Star Books, LLLP

I replied with the following email:

Hello Caroline,

I am in receipt of your correspondence to me, and I need to clear one item up that this letter is mistaken about: When Publish America received the book, it was already typeset and laid out exactly the way your firm published it. I received a letter asking me to confirm that there was no need to typeset the book, and to confirm that my typeset and layout were to be unchanged. Thus, the rights to the text layout are already mine, as I originated the text layout, typographical design and all of the look and feel of the book. If I were to publish this book using the layout that I originated, and you claim layout design rights and that there would be an infringement, please know that I have in my files the original PDF that I sent you, showing my origination of the layout.

This being said, please acknowledge that you do not have any rights to represent my layout, typographic design or look and feel of the book, beyond the cover design. This will save a great deal of hassle in the future.

In closing, please know that it has been less than a pleasure in dealing with representatives from your firm, that I have been lied to, misrepresented to, and in general defrauded by Publish America, for the last 7 years, and I am very glad to know that I will never have to do business with your firm ever again; I will be recommending against your firm to anyone who asks.


Matthew Wright

Of note: I just checked the website. My book is still listed. I'm going to order a copy, see if they print and send it. Then I am going to call my attorney.

Unknown said...

Wow. Just wow. Thank you so much for making this webpage, first and foremost. I received an email via my author website just like the one Jeannette Bennett posted above, and thought it seemed like a win-win opportunity for some free promotion because hey, sometimes, good opportunities that don't cost anything do come along from time to time; I had hopes that this would be one of them ... but I felt suspicious and then I came across this gem of a forum on the company's unsavory dealings.

To each author who has come on this page and shared your experiences, thank you. You've saved me (and countless others) unpleasantness, vexation and disappointment.

I appreciate you.

On a high note, if anyone has had lucrative dealings with a PR firm that knows how to successfully promote authors, please let me know. - I have a contact form on my website and would love to hear what has been helpful to you. Thank you for sharing.

Wishing you all the best with your literary endeavors,

Maxximillian Dafoe, author of the Mollyville Series and Bedtime Stories for the Intellectually Adventurous

AmyShojai said...

FWIW, today I received the same copied letter from "Jackie" offering the free promo of my book "The First-Aid Companion for Dogs & Cats." This is my currently best selling title, published by Rodale Press, and often top of the pet nonfiction lists. While I'm also a hybrid publisher with my own titles, singling out this book with it's 150+ positive reviews, suggests to me the company may actually be seeking to include these types of titles in their marketing lists as examples of "successes." Their template letter doesn't specify how they would promote/use the information, only that they seek permission to add the book to their marketing list (and of course, add me to their promo scheme list).

I'll be sharing their letter, along with the link to this thread, with my various author lists. Happy writing, folks--and beware of the sharks!

Anonymous said...

I have never had an issue with america star books. Published on time and make money.

William1 said...

I agree! I was duped into using them. I was so deceived by them. Are they also owners of 'LightSwitch' publishing?

William1 said...

I do know for a fact that both my books have sold....lots. But the crooks at PA always said that no sales at all. My books sold, I researched them all over. I will continue to tell everyone what CONS PA and AmericaScam publishing are!

oude man said...

I had a book published by ASB, From time to time I got a chance to promote my book (Modern Folly) by paying some €19 for Jimmy Fallon show; distributing the book in Germany, Austria Russia, etc. When a friend in Germany couldn't find my book I askerd about the distributor, so that the bookseller might inquire. I had to give the number of the specific offer, so I suggested it might be easier for the to look into the map with my data they have. No, I had to give the number. I suggested someone of my family in the US might help them looking onto my data, or someone more officially qualified. My contract waqs immediately cancelled. My book is no longer for sale kin the US or any other country.

Anonymous said...

oude man - If they cancelled your contract, contact an attorney. Their contract with you cannot be cancelled by them, or you, without legal cause. Enquiring about their distribution is not sufficient cause. They have been playing people for suckers for years, but any actually illegal act, like breaking a contract, has potential legal consequences.

Shawn said...

They ripped me off I spent hundreds of bucks a month on their promotions only to get the reports that I sold no books.. finally I bought a bunch of them off to boost my ratings on there and guess what? I sold no books.. in fact after I've bought all kinds of books and people in my family have bought books only to relieve no royalties.. I even paid for them to be displayed and sold in cracker bartell for a while costing a couple hundred bucks.. but guess what when I traveled I never saw them in there. I order what Opera did with her copies.?
They are a rip off and my book is still for sale everywhere and I haven't had royalties for years.. I think I've gotten 5 bucks since 2009..

Molly Daniels said...

I also received an email today:
Dear Molly Daniels:
My name is Jackie Velnoskey. I saw that you have written Love Finds A Way. My question for you is: may I promote the book at the Miami Book Fair International in November? It costs you nothing. All I'm asking you in return is if we may add you to our book marketing email list.
We would like to include your work in the Hot Indy Author Guide that we're displaying and distributing during the Miami event. This option is free. Check out our Facebook page when we report live from Miami where over 150,000+ are expected to attend. You can also check us out at our website
At America Star Books we have a book promotion department that does nothing but offering book promotion at the lowest fees in the nation. We attend all of the big fairs and festivals: Book Expo America, London Book Fair, Frankfurt Book Fair, Miami Book Fair International, the American Library Association mid-winter and annual Conferences, and so on.
All I am asking you at this time is if we may add you to our email list when we issue our next book promotion offers. You may at any time unsubscribe, and we will promptly cease sending you any further emails. America Star Books has been around for more than fifteen years, serving over 60,000 authors. Participating in book promotion is entirely optional.

Thank you for considering this opportunity. I am looking forward to hearing back from you.
--Jackie Velnoskey
America Star Books Special Services, manager
P.O. Box 151
Frederick, MD 21705

I was also excited, then decided to google the company and found this thread. So I think I'll be deleting that email now....

Victoria Strauss said...

They've been sending these out since at least last summer, with [insert name of book fair or conference here]. Clearly they're looking to expand their customer base beyond their own authors.

Anonymous said...

So, let me get this straight: a known scam-artist vanity-press is soliciting authors that it DOESN'T represent in order to claim to represent them at various book fairs? This is known as poaching. Contact your publisher, because your publisher is going to want to protect their rights. I sense some cease and desist letters are pending...

Victoria Strauss said...

ASB isn't soliciting writers to switch--just trying to get them on its mailing list for paid promotions like these.

Unknown said...

I was one of the authors they tried scamming but no matter the name they suck

Marris-Ray said...

August 9, 2016
Publish/America is now American Star Books. My Novel: Sheryl, Lost In Ecstasy - By MRL is being sold on e-Bay and other sights although my three year contract ended with that Publishing company many years ago. I am now looking into taking action in both Civil and Federal courts.
Attention Authors: Although your manuscripts were submitted to Publish/America and continue unlawfully being used by American Star there is an answer waiting for you.
Contact: Ladies-night Publishing by writing to MRL Enterprises, Inc. at:
561 Keystone Ave. Suite # 685
Reno, Nevada 89503-4304 USA

Victoria Strauss said...


No publisher, including PublishAmerica, should be selling a book if the contract has expired. However, if there's an automatic renewal clause in the contract, and the author fails to terminate the contract prior to renewal, the publisher can continue publishing. I wonder if that's why your book is still being sold as new.

PublishAmerica and America Star Books are one and the same. The name change does not invalidate previous contracts.

papa nick said...

I'm author papa nick I have 5 kid bed time stories books that where Published by them. The books turned out fine but trying to get them in the stores is very hard. They have them for sale on all on line book sellers but that is it. I have been trying to get a new publisher to look at them but so far I have not found one. I'm working on getting my books rights back to me and then see what I can do with them. I'm getting very old and are in bad heath. The books are NEVER ENDING STORIES PART 1 TO PART 5 by papa nick. They have 40 long bed time stories in them. ALL THE KIDS IN MY HOME TOWN AND TOWNS AROUND ME LOVES THEM. I HAVE HAD READING TIMES AT THE SCHOOLS. I know I have sold a lot of books over the years but still have not see any cash from them. That is way I would just like to get a new Publisher to look at them and take them to the top. You should have seen the looks in the kids eyes even the mom's and dad's like the books. Will all I can say about them is they can do good work, They did check my books over, and they did work with me on getting the books out to the on line sellers. BUT THAT IS IT. so if you know a publisher that is willing to take over books that where done by them tell us now.

Unknown said...

So i was an author they scamed. I signed a seven year contract on my book "House of Love".They messed up.the back cover of my book,wrote a bunch if redicouse unrelated stuff,and told me i needed to pay them hundreds of dollars for them to fix THIER MISTAKE! I have been watchingmy book sell,and they tell me it is not selling at all, a lie,they have not paid me a penny of the royalties..please save yourself some not go with these scammers!

Unknown said...

Funny how all these "anonymous peoe have a great experience with the company..obviously they work there. This company is a HUGE SCAM!

Unknown said...

Yup i went through this very same thing...

Anonymous said...

I contacted the Consumer Protection Advocate in Hagerstown, MD at 301-791-4780 and as soon as I said I had a complaint about a publisher they knew who I was referring to. They confirmed that the company is a scam and advised me to ignore their e-mails.

Unknown said...

I saw/heard there's a class action lawsuit against this company, how do I add myself to this cause I'm a victim as well... :(

Unknown said...

I can't even find a copy of my contract, they say I signed. And I wanna know how to get involved in this new class action lawsuit, cause I'm a victim as well. :( maybe try there atty. General consumer protection dept.

Anonymous said...

"The paper used in my books is high grade paper...."

Marketing much, "Victoria"?

Out of all the complaints here (and elsewhere) about these people, I don't think I've seen one saying they printed on poor paper. And when compared to one-sided contracts, refusal to pay royalties, and all the rest, the kind of paper used pales to insignificance.

Christina Paoluzzi said...

I just want to say that I published with them, haven't paid a dime to them, and my book is actually on the Barnes and Noble website, as well as Amazon, etc. I don't know how other books are selling, I just know what mine is doing and what my contract said. Just thought I'd share that.

Alexia Gordon said...

A legit publisher DOES edit your book. Several times (4 rounds of edits by my pub). For FREE. A legit publisher markets your book. For FREE. Even a book by a new author. A legit publisher charges the author NOTHING. Beware: I just got a spam/scam email from Jackie Velnoskey of America Star Books offering to include me in the Hot Indy Publisher Guide which they'll distribute at the 2017 LA Times Festival of Books, even though my book is not independently published. I'm published by a traditional publisher. Ms. Velnoskey tells me about the "low cost" book promotion services I can buy and says "All I am asking you at this time is if we may add you to our email list when we issue our next book promotion offers." This company is still around looking for people to take advantage of

Unknown said...

I had my novel Shadows and secrets published by PA in 2008. Contract was supposed to have ended in 2014. I revamped the book, all new edits, editions, and omissions, so that I could query an agent. Well, that is out. Apparently they renewed my contract and I was never notified.
James M. Watts

Anonymous said...

Without a signature, and without your permission, no contract can be extended. Get a lawyer, pursue them under copyright law. If they still have your book up on their site, take a screenshot, order a copy, establish evidence that they are publishing your book. They cannot legitimately claim that they extended the contract with you without your signature. If they claim their original contract allowed them to do this, challenge them on it.

Victoria Strauss said...

"Without a signature, and without your permission, no contract can be extended."

Unfortunately, that isn't true. Many publishing contracts have automatic renewal provisions, whereby the contract automatically renews for a stated period of time unless the author cancels before the termination date. I always warn against auto-renew clauses--not so much because they're predatory, but because it's really easy to forget whatever date you're supposed to cancel by.

Most PA/ASB contracts I've seen do not have auto-renew clauses, but I have seen a few that do. James Watts, I'll be glad to take a look at your contract and give you non-legal (I'm not a lawyer) advice. Contact me at beware [at]

Richard Bradley said...

I dealt with these folks back in 2009 when they still called themselves Publish America. They spent more time trying to sell my book to me rather than anyone else. I bought my contract back for cash, edited the book, and it appears as a Kindle e-book. I sold more the first month with Amazon than I ever did with these guys. It still sells. They are not a traditional publisher. They provide nothing but on-demand printing. They do not in any way help with marketing, nor do they edit the manuscript. Both are services one goes to a publisher to obtain. Beware.

Anonymous said...

I published my first book through Publish America in MArch of 2010. I was so excited to finally see my work in print. I was constantly told that my book was not selling well, but I knew something was not right because my friends and family purchased the book. After continually trying to contact them about the issue, or to get the rights to my work I just gave up.

Then one day I received an email from Publish America telling me that if I paid them a certain amount of money they would send me my contract and all rights, so I paid the money. To this day I have yet to receive my contract and my rights from them. I cropped it up to a lesson learned and if I ever decided to self-publish again it would never be through their company. Thank you for letting me know they had changed their name.

I pray that everyone that they have wronged will be vindicated some day.

Frustrating!!! said...

I too am one they have scamed, I paid them to change the ridiculous priceing of my 5 childrens books A year ago and they said it would only take 2 months. Im still getting the run around and my prices have still not changed. So sick of these guys. But they charge an arm and leg to buy the rights back to get out from under them. All they do is send me more stuff and be rude to me on the phone for not buying more stuff for them to do nothing. So frustrating!!!! Anyone have any ideas what to do?

Anonymous said...

I had a 7-year contact on each of two novels. I did not renew the contracts because I came to dislike their marketing more with each passing month. I also doubted the accounting accuracy on number of books I 'sold.' I found statements on other sites about the typos in books being actually added by the publisher. While I found that idea shocking, it did answer a question I had about my own editing acumen. I was horrified by some things I found when reading my own books. Yes, I did the editing. And 'someone' at PA changed things and built in errors, particularly with possessives, in places changing the meaning of the line. One day I will rewrite both books and produce ebooks from them, as well as the third of the trilogy which has never been published. I'm now busy with screenwriting and producing, but after discovering one of my books offered for download 'free' from a site in the UK, I'm mad enough to get back on the stick. Copyright infringement, bogus site, etc., on top of the annoyance and mistrust related to PublishAmerica.

Unknown said...

I'm Alazae who wrote "Cooking with a Diva" and I to was trick by this company PublishAmerica and they told me all kind of lies about my book then sent me countless emails about my book trying to get me to by back My rights to my book for $15,000 and I emailed them back and told them they can have the Damn book and Lord knows I will be very careful next time I put out any of my material. I hope and pray that all writers stay away from Publish America.

Quncy said...

Hey, I had a book published with PA then they changed to America Star....even though I know my book has been selling, I cannot seem to reach anyone from America Star. I have not heard from them in 2 year !! I had the same problems and issues with PA as many of you did. Luckily I chose to wait out the contract, unbeknownst to me, the book was selling and I've recieved nothing from them. And yes, they wanted me to buy my own book....and buy out my own contract. I was even involved in a class action suit with PA. To no avail. Does anyone on here have any ideas how to reach anyone at America Star ?
I'll put my email on here for any information. Thanks. Maybe we can help each other.

Quncy said...

I posted a comment on here yesterday but I do not see it. Not sure what happened to it. I finally heard from America Star Books, (Publish America ) and unbenknownst to me...after hearing nothing for 2 years, they extended my contract for another 7 years. I am battling with them right now. What a bunch of P.O.S we are dealing with.

Anonymous said...

I had my novel released from PA in 2004. However, they continue to sell it and America Star is now selling it. I have contacted two attorneys in Frederick, MD but both have 'conflicts of interest' and cannot represent me. Anyone have any ideas as to an attorney that I can get to sue them? By law they cannot sell or otherwise print or provide my book...but yet they are.

The Bloggers Journey said...

I signed a contract with them in 2008 they said I didnt sell any books so some of my friends and family bought books at they are lying cheats don't be fooled I later found out that my book was being at a local school as required reading these are crooks run don't walk get away from them

Anonymous said...

A lot of you people really don't know what the hell you are talking about; I am an author for Publish America and I was never charged a damn thing. It just sounds like a lot of you are either jealous or stupid. First of all, you don't just get a best seller it takes hard work to get yourself out there. It's not just the publisher because the author has to promote themselves even with a big company.

The ones who are making this bullshit line of how bad Publish America is sound really annoying.

And if this website was sued for slander serves you right.

H. Quinn Bellwright said...

Notice that every prp-PA comment is left by Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

I just finished my seven year hitch with this company. I made the mistake of paying for an agent for two years. She allegedly was sending my manuscript to other publishers. I got a real agent for my second book and I am negotiating a legitimate deal. Guess what? None of the publishers who are considering my work have ever heard of my first book. Pretty good indication that the agent for whom I paid never actually submitted my work anywhere. They kept trying to sell me an early buy-out to get my rights back. I told them to stuff it and just waited them out. I also know that a school where I once taught bought about thirty copies of my book and that several of my former colleagues bought copies also. According to them, I didn't sell any books. No wonder they can publish for free. They keep the royalties. My book is still listed with several distributors. I wonder who will get the royalties if any of those books sell in the future?

Shawn said...

They are selling my book world wide in several languages and formats. I got a check once for $3.00 and one for a few cents. I was paying them hundreds of bucks a month for promotions and not getting any checks. It was always the same thing, "you sold no books in the past 6 months." So I went to multiple websites and bought several copies, in 6 months, guess What? I sold no books.
I quit giving them money every month for their promotion scam. I even went to multiple Cracker Barrels and Wal-Mart's to see of my book was there in various states. I'm sure the money I paid for the New York, London, and Paris Book Expos went into their scam and my booths were not really there.
Their rights to publish my book expired Jan 2017, but it is still on Amazon.
Ameristar Books is nothing more than a scam. I have tried to get in on other law suits against them but haven't been able to. We need one with authors going after them. If they lie about a few books being sold how do we know they are not lieing about 100's or even 1000's?

Max M. Power said...

Thank you. I was contacted by them as well, after falling for their scam the first time.
They screwed me over with the prices but I used it as a learning tool.

Max M. Power said...

I promoted the hell oit of my book, got my own book signings, even one in Barnes and Noble, but everyone else said the same thing, overpriced. I wouldn't even pay what they wanted for my own book.
Once my contracted ended I did self publish by other means and have had greater sales than I ever did under PA. I've even gone international.

Unknown said...

I had three books published by the then Publish America now America Star Books and was very happy to be published by them. I researched the company beforehand and though I saw some complaints listed in comparison with the 10,000 authors they have thought that had little bearing on other works or success rates. For five years I networked and promoted thinking this was good as an author to do because I could not afford their marketing plans. I worked hard, did local tv interview, an international radio interview, three book signings, contacted over 700 bookstores myself and got my books listed many online venues besides the ones that they provide. I have approximately. 7000 networking contacts also. My books have been ordered by local bookstores, library, friends and family and people I don't know have given me feedback on my books - I have received no royalties at all in five years and they have recently discontinued my books, cancelling the contract for "no sales." This is not only breach of contract it is clearly publishing fraud. I think they just don;t believe that anyone will bother suing them. I have every intention of suing them and if anyone is in the process of civil litigation currently please get in touch with me.

Anonymous said...

I wish I would have read the above comments before I agreed to work with them. I'm very dissatisfied with their so call promotions. Had my first book signing yesterday and it was a total flop. The booth was stuck in a corner with very little foot traffic. Looking for better results at BookExpo America in May 2017. We have spent a pretty penny to attend the NY BookExpo.
Once all of our promotions have been fullfieled I will no longer counduct business with them. They didn't even have the correct title of my book. Who does that?

Anonymous said...

American Star Books is a joke. I keep getting emails from some annoying twit named jackie velnoskey who keeps telling me she loves my work, even though she's never read any of it, and wants to help me become famous through her garbage company. I keep sending them notes reminding them that I have no interest in their company, but the same person keeps sending me new emails as if they aren't even reading my previous ones. They are a nightmare. DO NOT USE THEM EVER!

Leona Hong said...

I had a book publish (There is Healing in His Hands a Cancer Story) with Publish America in 2011 and paid hundreds of dollars to get my book publish. It was out in several books stores across the US and several countries, but never receive any royalty for it. I had to pay hundreds of dollars to get copies of my book. Now I cant even get copies of it. It upsets me so much that they would take advantage of people like this. Now I will never be able to share my book with anyone else.

Anonymous said...

word on the street is that Publish America dba America Star Books dba Paperback Radio is claiming bankruptcy and employees have been let go.....

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 7/20, please contact me in confidence. beware [at]

Anonymous said...

I published in 2009 and my contract was for 7 years... I want to republish it somewhere else... is that possible??

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 7/22,

If your contract wasn't renewed--either by you or an auto-renewal clause--you should be free and clear to publish elsewhere. However, you should check your book's listing on Amazon and other retailers to make sure it's no longer available new from PA/ASB. I've heard from a number of writers whose books should have been taken off the market, but weren't.

Anonymous said...

I have a contract with them, family and friends bought my book, but I have not received any royalties. Is there anything that anyone can do, these people are getting with everybody's money and we are helpless.

Unknown said...

Can anyone tell me for sure if PSB has filed bankruptcy and if so wouldn't that release authors from their contract with them? You figure bankruptcy would close the doors to a company like they.

Victoria Strauss said...

I know there are bankruptcy rumors, but I haven't been able to confirm them.

Unfortunately, bankruptcy clauses in publishing contracts are not enforceable; the contracts are considered an asset that could potentially be sold to help pay off creditors. If there were an ASB bankruptcy, contracts would be frozen until they were either sold or voided by the court.

Unknown said...

Can anyone tell me if PSB has filed bankruptcy. I have an attorney in my family and I just spoke with him, he says that if the conpeny files and closes then any contract a author signed with them has, is no longer valid. As An author how has a work with PSB I would realy like to know if they have filed or not.

Victoria Strauss said...

Justin, see my comment above. I'm afraid your family member is mistaken. Things often work differently in publishing than they do elsewhere.

I'm going to be publishing a post on ASB this week.

R. Region Arrington said...

I'm still finding my books in stores some ten years after publishing them. I've never received a penny in royalties off my three books.

Anonymous said...

from a very reliable source i just heard that America star books no longer exist.

Unknown said...

I can't promote my book, then. I don't know if it will be printed and sold to anyone who purchases it on Amazon. The same situation as everyone else, buying the promotional activities when I could, understanding that promo costs are expected. Now, how do I get the rights of my book? I can't even find another publisher, can I?

Victoria Strauss said...

Mary Dyer,

Please see my latest blog post on America Star Books, which includes some advice for authors who are caught up in this mess. ASB/PA books are still for sale new on Amazon, and there's been no official announcement of closing or any sign of bankruptcy filings. One of my concerns is that ASB might find a way to sell or transfer its contracts to another entity.

For the moment--at least until we know more about what's going on or can conclude that ASB has definitely vanished--authors should consider their books still under contract, and can't take their rights elsewhere.

kats blog said...

I myself have been screwed over by publish america as well they made me pay for my own books and its funny how these companies like light switch and publish america likes to dupe their clients and screw them over

John Manahan said...

I had my book published by PA in 2006. Most of the sales I promoted myself and people purchased through me. I paid to have my book on Kindle, and E-books. It was put on Amazon and kindle...never showed up on E-books. I paid for other promotions as I could afford and never received any feed back. I did not contact them three months prior to the end of the 7 year period so it rolled over. Now I am stuck waiting out another three years. Does anyone know how to determine the status of the contract since they no longer exist? I can only find used copies of my book for sale and the prices range from $200 to over $300! Thanks for this venue, continue with the good work.

Victoria Strauss said...

John Manahan,

Please see my recent blog post on ASB/PA, which has a number of updates and lot of comments discussing the issues you're asking about:

There doesn't seem to be any doubt that ASB is gone. However, there's been no official announcement, no return of authors' rights, and while most ASB/PA print books seem to be out of stock or unavailable, ebooks are still for sale. So I think that authors have to assume that their rights are still encumbered at this point. The issue isn't that ASB/PA would go after you if you tried to publish elsewhere, but that another publisher or self-publishing service won't want a book whose rights aren't unambiguously free and clear. That's especially true as long as ASB/PA ebooks are still for sale.

I think that if six months or so goes by and there's still no sign of ASB re-appearing--or selling its catalog to another company, which I'm guessing is at least a possibility--then authors may be able to make a better case to Amazon and other retailers to get their books listings taken down. For now, though, I think you need to wait.

Unknown said...


Unknown said...

Please do not give them any more money.look up their reviews. Also look them up on the BBB website. You, just like myself, have been scammed. In all the years of my contract years with them I have received one dollar. They have messed up my book and told me I could fix it for $250. I was also offered my rights for a further $90. It is a horrid scam that preys in new authors. I'm sorry you got caught up too..

Frustrating!!! said...

Any new updates on whats going on with America star books?

Anonymous said...

Per 2013 contract with Publish America, now is the time to cancel their book publishing rights, otherwise their rights would be renewed for another 5 years. I have found no way to contact them or America Star Books or whoever now owns the rights, if anyone. I need a different publisher. Comments anyone, please.

Anonymous said...

I want to state this to you, I believe I found America Star books, thier name is Apple Grass Book Publishing and the reason of my founding is that I called thier number and the voice machine came on and started that this is "America Star Books".
I found it on Facebook:

Thier phone number is: 240-285-9638

IF I am wrong I am sorry, but I want to let all know that America Star books maybe back and they are now, "Apple Grass Book Publishing" We don't need a bad company that scams and rip off authors and readers anymore

Matthew Wright said...

Apple Grass Book Publishing on Facebook has this listed:


Business Details
Price Range

Founded on January 1, 2016


Mariatu Kargbo
Mariatu Kargbo
Mariatu Kargbo Mariatu Kargbo. Please buy my books. Kerrin Wuchter. ASB Promotions and Events Manager. Kerrin@americastarbo

Bookstores. Drugstore.

Company Overview
Company printing press


Mariatu Kargbo
Mariatu Kargbo
Mariatu Kargbo Mariatu Kargbo. Please buy my books. Kerrin Wuchter. ASB Promotions and Events Manager. See More
Bookstore · Publisher

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 10/10,

This is very interesting, and I appreciate you posting it here. It doesn't seem to be a re-start of ASB, but a project of a former ASB author. Apple Grass Book Publishing appears to be run by Mariatu Kargbo, a suspended lawyer who published at least two books with PA/ASB. It doesn't actually seem to be a publisher--the FB page doesn't show any books it has published, and it has no books listed on Amazon or other retail websites.

From what I can determine on a websearch, that phone number did belong to ASB--I found it listed on the websites of a number of other ASB authors. I think that when ASB shut down, they never bothered to discontinue the phone number (like so many other things they didn't bother to discontinue). Kargbo may not be aware that ASB is dead, and is using the number because she thinks it's still viable.

Thaison said...

I myself have been screwed over by publish america as well they made me pay for my own books and its funny how these companies like light switch and publish america likes to dupe their clients and screw them over cây thuốc quý.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the warning; however, Publish America at least said YES to me, and they put my book in print. Doing so, many people were able to read the important message that my book carried, which was hope for the hopeless and uplifting for the down trodden. Before Publish America, I ran into the problem of big publishers not wanting to work with anyone other than agents. So you try to find a good agent and not only do you not have success in trying to pick a good and trustworthy agent from a list of hundreds perhaps thousands of names, but the big publishers inform you that they are not taking on any new agents. Your only other choice is self publishing companies or print on demand publishers. I found these publishers to be of no help to me because they either charged money and/or left too much work for me to do. I am not lazy, I am simply an author who just want to write and help people, who are suffering in the world in one way or another. Sure I would have loved for Publish America to be fair and hones with me; I really could have used the money. Nevertheless I must say once again...THEY SAID YES, and I would work with them again in a heart beat if they were still in business. It is more important to me for me and others to have access to my literary works, than worry about something that I can't control and that I leave to God. I welcome your suggestion of another book publisher who will publish my book for free. Thanks again for the warning and may God bless us all. By the way, I have a new email address.

Denise Smale said...

How do we get in touch with this company? I have been trying for years. Now my contracts are up and I am seeing my books being sold at an astronomical amount of money!

Victoria Strauss said...

Denise Smale,

You can't get in touch with them because the company is gone. If your contracts have expired, your rights are yours again and you can do whatever you want with them.

Those crazy prices you see are from third-party sellers (on Amazon, for instance) who are using automatic pricing algorithms that, for reasons too complicated to get into here, sometimes produce ridiculously high prices. This is a fairly common phenomenon. Most of these sellers don't even have the books in stock--they are just listing ISBNs harvested from the internet. In any case, used book sales are legal and authors don't get paid for them.

Unknown said...

I have never seen so much negativity on anyting but it's all true everywhere that they said it is true and words. I put out three books in one year all through them and as everyone says they always say you didn't sell any books I've found my used books all over the world I know. They are truly bottom feeders if anyone has any information about the class action lawsuit please let me know.

Unknown said...

I'm horrified that this is happening I have sold 72000 copies and have not got any of the royalty don't know what to do though or contact my book was published in 2005

Anonymous said...

Larry Pope, publish america scammed me as well, Stanley the Frog, never a penny,2011. Any recourse I can do, email, , 9187404801,7365 hectorville Rd, mounds,ok, 74047. Thx !

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