I just helped an old friend out, giving her what I’d call a narrow escape. I had just gotten back in touch with someone I hadn’t seen in years…when catching up, I learned she was working on her first three chapters of a novel that PublishAmerica expressed an interest in.
This set off warning bells as I’ve read many negative things about PublishAmerica–not the least of which includes an author testing PA by sending them a manuscript, reportedly containing the same 30 pages repeated ten times. PublishAmerica has gotten bad ink in respected places including Absolute Write.
I warned my friend about the controversy–lucky her, as she was about to submit chapters for review. Which just goes to show you that it’s urgent to do your Google homework on any publishing house you might be about to do business with. Never consider entering into a binding contract with ANYONE until you’ve Googled them extensively. My advice? Always use the name of the company in combination with several keywords, including “scam”, “lawsuit” and “fines”. You might be surprised to learn a few things.
Perhaps I do this to the extreme–I Google potential clients, landlords and even the subjects of some of my articles in this way. Sometimes it is just to see what comes up, other times it’s to make sure I’m not associating myself with people who might give me trouble later. I’m pleased to report that I’ve not discovered anything heinous about anyone I currently work with or for. How about you?