PublishAmerica Is Now America Star Books

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware

PublishAmerica has a new name: America Star Books. The PublishAmerica URL (www.publishamerica.com) 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.

34 comments to PublishAmerica Is Now America Star Books

  • One of my author friends today received a phone call from a company called Starbucks America–they said they had bought out Publish America and wanted to know if wanted to order some of his two books—Mike advised them his contracted was canceled with PA and he never had two books under contract. She said she was not aware of that–Do you know what is going on ???? I am trying to get the phone number at this time , there is nothing on the net about this.I called star bucks corp headquarters and they have no clue except to say P A is not in there computer system and they do not go by Starbucks America.

  • Victoria Strauss

    I think your friend must have mis-heard. PublishAmerica is now America Star Books. It’s really just a name change (the new America Star website is registered to PublishAmerica founder Willem Meiners) but they seem to be trying to convince people that there was a buyout and it’s now a new company.

    I think what’s happening here is that the new PA–as America Star Books–is leveraging the name change to (what else is new) get authors to buy their own books–but underneath it all it’s still the old PA, so its recordkeeping sucks. Hence the phone solicitation of an author who is no longer with PA.

    I’d love to hear from your friend, if you’d give him my contact information: beware [at] sfwa.org. All information shared with Writer Beware is held in confidence.

  • You can contact Mike at this email—–midoyle@telusplanet.net
    Paula;

    Received a phone call this afternoon from Star Bucks America. The female on the phone explained that they had bought out PA and wanted to know if I wanted to order copies of my books. Yes according to them I wrote two books with PA. I corrected her. I also told her as far as I knew our contract was terminated. She said she had no record of that. Did PA just change their name to another company to hide the past? Their records are obviously incorrect. I did not write two books. What’s going on? Do you know?

  • Just recieved a e-mail from Phil—-said that Star Book America at 208 crestview dr is Alice and Willem Meiners residence they live there—they plus Clopper are the new owners,So my question is —is it American Star Books or Star Book America ? plus how can they be calling authors promoting a books sale and infering to the public that this new company what ever its name is—has bought out Publish America.

  • Victoria Strauss

    It’s America Star Books. Have a look at my post; there’s a link to it there.

    I highly doubt that there’s been any change of ownership or staff. Meiners and Clopper owned PublishAmerica. Now they own America Star Books. It’s a name change, nothing more, probably done as an attempt to escape PublishAmerica’s extremely negative online profile.

  • Bonnie Dilger

    Re: Guatemala: “Blood In The Cornfields,” “Guatemala: Her Pain And Her Triumph”,” Forgive Me If I Don’t Cry” and “Guatemala: Sangre En La Milpa, a Spanish translation of the first book on Guatemala. These books are already in print by Publish America, beginning in 2005. It is my wish to order more of these books and I would like to know your new policy, if any, regarding the ordering and promotion of these books. There are several posts displaying these books by various book sellers on the internet, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble. They can be found by google under the names of the books, or simply by typing my name, Bonnie Dilger For the most part, as you will note, the reviews by the readers are favorable.

    I look forward to a renewed and fruitful author/publisher relationship with you.

    Thank you

    Very kind regards

    Bonnie Dilger

  • Bonnie Dilger

    Please see above message

  • Bonnie Dilger

    I’ve written my request above. I wish to re-order my books that have been published by Publish America. My relationship with this company dates back t 2005. The books I desire to order copies of three of these. (Please see my message as above. are as documented above

  • Kenneth P. Nash

    Just this month I placed an order for 2ea of the for books I have published. It was with the
    same person that I have ordered from before. I received an order # by email.

  • Wendy Culver

    I was just going to ask how PA authors can get copies of their books? I was disgusted with PA when I was expected to pay retail price for copies of my own work, and the prices only go up everywhere I search for my book. How can I get copies? And do I still have to pay retail?

  • RippedOffByPA

    PA OR WHATEVER NAME CHANGE TO IS BECAUSE THEY ARE TRYING TO HIDE THAT THEY ARE COMPLETE THIEVES AND HELL AWAITS ALL OF THEM A PA

  • Jeremy Taylor

    I became published under Publish America in 2012 my book was priced at retail for $24.95, upon ordering copies prices in shipping increased. I had a full promotional concept established to promote my book Strength of Love, upon learning the rights I gave away upon signing the contract I had to delete all aspects of promotion. I lot all aspects for promoting my book Strength of Love.

    Due to no sales I was offered an opportunity to purchase my rights back for $99 and in expression by Publish America no said record was reported. I expressed my interest that I expected Publish America to honor this agreement. Upon sensing proof of payment the action was still denied. I sought out my local news to help me get my rights back and or the fee of $99.00. Upon contact I received a threatening email that I had lied to the TV Station and I needed to express an apology or be sued.

    Upon researching the status of my book I found that my books post no longer is on the Barns-noble website, on Amazon.com my book is set at a retail of $169.20 significantly up from $24.95. I searched the ISBN for my book and seemingly it doesn’t exist except in form on both the Amazon and barns – nobel sites,

  • Lovebay

    With all these things being said about PA and American Star. Why are authors still publishing with them? Or is there a success story which others are not sharing? Surely if this company was all bad, they should have gone out of business by now…

  • Yes, they should be out of business—But alas they are protected by some comsumer protection law in the state of Maryland. I have heard of some success stories but I think they only come from their employees.Even under the new name they are still doing a bad business. It is only a matter of time before it all catches up with them.I get emails everyday from angry authors– no communication, no royalities, alot of rudeness ect.

  • C Castillo

    They treat their customers like trash. I wouldn’t recommend this company to anyone. Published a book in 2012. I contacted the company a couple of months and got some rude responses. The responses I got back are below:

    If a legitimate publisher should express interest in your work, which is doubtful, please let us know, and we will be happy to arrange a rights transfer. Remember:

    No other publishers wanted your book.
    No other publishers would give you anything at all.
    No other publishers would publish your book free of charge.
    We gave you what no other publisher would give you.

    If you want more free stuff, please do some research and let us know what other publishing company will give it to you.

    Can you find one?
    Thank you,
    America Star Books Support Team
    support@americastarbooks.com

    and this :

    Yes, thank you; we’re proud of our customer service. We actually tell the truth. Just as we thought; we were right, no other publisher wanted your book, and now you’re going to pay someone to publish your book. Someone who cares because YOU pay them.

    And, no, we do NOT have “a lot of law suits[sic].”
    And, no, we have not had “a lot of law suits[sic].”
    In fact, we don’t have ANY!

    Would you please let us know how much you’re paying?
    We’d like to tell you what you would get from us for that amount.
    Thank you,
    America Star Books Support Team
    support@americastarbooks.com

  • Victoria Strauss

    C Castillo,

    The emails you received are par for the course with PublishAmerica/America Star. They specialize in sending out incredibly rude, bullying, and abusive emails to authors who question or complain. Among PA veterans, these are known as “tone” letters (because of the frequent use of the phrase, “don’t take that tone with us.”) I know it’s upsetting–but you aren’t alone. The best course of action is not to respond.

  • Does anyone have a physical mailing address for America Star Books/Publish America? Thank you.

  • Here are three ,who knows witch ones are for real
    230 E Patrick St
    Fredicks, Md 21701

    4510 Metropolition Ct

    111 Church St

  • Victoria Strauss

    According to my most recent information, the street address is:

    America Star Books LLLP
    230 East Patrick Street
    Frederick MD 21701

  • I am very interested in american star books. As a new aspiring author i need someone to help with publising, and i have heard rave reveiws from friends who have had positive experiences with american star books and i hope to be contacted soon. my number is 3232408864. I anxiously await your contact. Thanking you in advance Richard hiolmes.

  • C Castillo

    I would not go with America Star Books. They are a scam. I would do my research if I was you. I would use this company http://outskirtspress.com/index.html or find another company. Please do yourself a favor and look up America Star Books on the Better Business Bureau. Here goes their report on the BBB website http://www.bbb.org/greater-maryland/business-reviews/publishers-book/america-star-books-in-frederick-md-32010985 I would also go to this website and check out the reviews http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Publish-America-/Baltimore-Maryland/Publish-America-America-Star-Books-Author-Housepublish-America-companies-and-sister-com-1120048

    This company ” America Star Books” was previously named ” Publish America” please do your research before you decide to publish your book for any company. I publish my book through Publish America and it was the worst decision I have made in my life….Please look at the reviews and this page it says it all. Your friends must work for company or they must not have read reviews.

  • Vincenzo

    Hi, I am an italian author. On may 15th I received the ABS proposal of translating my books from italian to english. Foolishly I signed the contract and then discovered all that bad things about ABS and the former PA.
    Now, what if I do not send them my works? Do you think they could take legal action against me?
    I hoped to translate my works in english but it is not so important for me if it comes real or not.
    So: I signed the contract for 3 books. I did not send them the works yet, nor my phone number or my address.
    What, in your opinion, is the best way for me to escape this threat?
    Thanks in advance (and sorry for my poor english)
    vincenzo

  • Vincenzo

    …continues…
    Italian law gives the customer the “right of withdrawal”, that is the possibility for one of the two contracting parts to get out of a contract unilaterally, without penalties, within 7 days from the signing of the contract. Is there a similar law in US?
    I am still in time to write to ASB requesting to get out of the contract (by 05/22/14).

    Thank you again
    vincenzo

  • Contact this publisher—–tell them you have decided it was a a error to have signed contracts with them due to the bad reports on the internet. Do not sent them anything. They will respond with threats and try to scare you.
    If you like you can send me copies of their response –sweetsoot1@yahoo.com–I will help you handle them. I have been doing this for four years now , I know all their tricks

  • Victoria Strauss

    Vicenzo,

    As far as I know, there’s no right of withdrawal in the USA.

    Unfortunately, I suspect that since you signed the contract, you’re stuck. Unless the ASB contracts are radically different from the PA contracts I’ve seen, you’ve granted exclusive publication rights for between seven and ten years. You could refuse to send them the manuscript, in which case they wouldn’t be able to publish it–nor would they be able to take legal action against you–but you wouldn’t be able to publish or self-publish anywhere else.

    If you’d be willing to share your contract with me, I’d glad to give you a non-legal (I’m not a lawyer) analysis. Email me at beware [at] sfwa.org. All information shared with Writer Beware are held in confidence.

  • Paul Klein

    My first novel was published by PA in 2007. Over time I bought (at discount) over 100 books, which I have sold at signings and through independent booksellers. A few (not many) have sold directly from PA and on Amazon. But I had to stop resupplying local outlets because PA stopped selling them to me at less than list, plus what is now nearly $6/book shipping, regardless of the number I would order. I published a second book with them three years later and it doesn’t even come up on the PA website now! It is still available from Ingram, as is the first one, at a slight discount (and no shipping) to retailers. I missed the window to cancel the contract on the first book, but you can be sure I will not on the second one. And my newest book is on Amazon, via CreateSpace, and a realistic price that has a shipping cost that goes down the more I order. I figured that since I have to do all the work, I might as well do it and reap the rewards. Regardless of who publishes your work, you will still be responsible for promoting and selling it, unless you already have a “name.”

  • I wrote s book Broken but Repairable by Priscilla Lockhart. I would like to purchase my book.I thought I would get a free copy but didn’t. So can I get information on how to purchase my book please.

  • Please send information about how to purchase my book that I wrote title Broken but Repairable by Priscilla Lockhart. I would like purchase 3 copies of my book.

  • Victoria Strauss

    Priscilla,

    This website isn’t connected with PublishAmerica / America Star Books. If you want to buy books from this company, you’ll need to contact it directly.

  • UPDATE: I was recently contacted by America Star, seeking to update my records. Turns out they have had an incorrect email address (I had submitted a change two years ago), and had been sending information to the old email. We corrected that. I also discovered that they had my author name two ways, which accounted for their not having any record of me in part of the data base. MOST IMPORTANTLY: I can buy copies of my own books for $5.55 cents, with free shipping! Now that is a major step toward reality. They still have a high price if you buy directly from them and are not the author, but at the price I can pay now, I can afford to resupply the few independent bookstores that carry my books and sell them at a reasonable price. The $5.55 price tracks well with my CreateSpace-published book, Unusual Suspects:Four Stories, that I recently released as both a paperback and a Kindle. I’m not promoting the revised company, only suggesting that perhaps some reality has crept into their business model. At this point, I’m more than pleased with being my own publisher.

  • Matthew

    I have been a PA author since 2008, and have had repeated emails with them concerning their non-performance. The tone of their responses has been threatening, abusive, in denial, and generally very evil. I have made repeated demands to be released from the contract because of the fraudulent nature of their business, and have gotten nowhere. I am planning to wait until the day my contract ends in 2016, and then see if they actually take my book down from their website and from Amazon.com. If, after a few days, it doesn’t disappear, I will see them in court.

    I’ve submitted a RipOffReport recently on them, quoting their emails, and requesting assistance from an attorney. Hopefully something will come of that.

    I’ve never been more insulted in my entire life, and, thankfully, have kept every abusive email they’ve ever sent me. They even offered me my own book back to me for $500. I originally sent them the PDF with my own typesetting and layout, declined their re-typesetting, and now they claim it is their own and that, when my contract ends, I will only have the rights to the raw text (word content) of the book, but NOT the PDF that I originated. They have no right to sell me my own content.

  • The “new” company doesn’t seem to have a new business plan, but it does have people who work the phones. After about two years of hearing nothing from them, and looking on the website to find deals for authors to buy our own books, I had a call a week or so ago from them. The purpose of the call was to sell me a “deal” to make the last (in every way) book I did with them into an e-book. Somehow, it turns out, they never recorded the change of email address I put in two years ago. And more importantly, the business office hadn’t read the contract or the email exchanges I had at the time (2010), in which I asked for (and got) all electronic rights. I subsequently went on to put the book up on Kindle myself. It also turns out that they had been sending royalty reports to my old email. The royalty department contacted me and said the last reports, and as many as they could go back to, would be along in a short time. Hasn’t happened yet, but that was only last week.

    More than that, after saying I thought that the books were too expensive now, and that with no incentive, I couldn’t afford to buy them (paying list price for every copy plus nearly $6 per copy to ship), and resell them at even list price (I have a few independent bookstores that carry my books). I was offered what I was told was an author’s incentive of $5.55 per book for ten or more, any mix of titles, and no shipping. Well, that allows me to resell them and equates well with my costs for my newest book published using CreateSpace and Kindle. If indeed they have a business plan that works to my advantage, that’s fine, but the list prices are still, in my mind, too high for a paperback of 150-250 pages. My CreateSpace-published book retails for $9.95, and I am moving them. I won’t go back to PA/ASB because the CreateSPace program works well, and I have in-house graphics and cover design capability. But I do find it interesting that there is an awareness that some things need changing at the new/old company.

  • They have not changed thier business tactics even with the new name change, They are a bad company, I have been at them with every resourse I can come up with. Just now I have two new complaints from Ireland and Spain.Hopefully in time there will be another lawsuit. They have to be put out of business,if ypu are receiving promos from them, could you send them to me ? I investigate them fully and have caught them in quite a few scams—like The JK Rollings thing,Disney, and manybooks fairs. sweetsoot1@yahoo.com

  • I work alone, But I will support anyone who is fighting PA/America Star Books.My maine blog is http://www.td23proffitt.blogspot.com
    I have blogs and post all over the internet.

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