A group of authors have filed a class action lawsuit against a publishing company they claim misled them. According to The L.A. Times, three authors are suing PublishAmerica, a company which maintains it is a traditional publishing house (it doesn’t charge author fees) with untraditional aspects (it is print on-demand, similar to self-publishing). There are number of issues the authors are claiming, as Carolyn Kellogg explains.
The Frederick [Maryland] News Post reports:
The plaintiffs claim the company misrepresents its services in its contracts with authors, which gives PublishAmerica the rights to their work for between seven and 10 years. Fees that authors paid ranged from less than $30 to several hundred dollars.
They allege that the publisher, among other things, charges for services that traditional publishers perform at no cost to promote and sell books, misrepresents the company’s ability to get writers’ work on bookstore shelves or into the hands of larger publishers or celebrities, and publishes books with little or no editing and then charges the authors to have corrections made.
A total of 267 complaints have been filed against PublishAmerica with the local Better Business Bureau in Maryland over the last three years. The BBB gave it an F rating.
But PublishAmerica claims it has happily served 47,000 authors in the last 12 years, almost 15,000 of whom have decided to publish their next books through the company. PublishAmerica intends to keep litigation within the courtroom, rather than sharing it with the media. So anyone planning to report what’s happening must cover the case as it heads to court.
What do you guys think about the suit?