PublishAmerica / America Star Books Lawsuit Against Writer Beware Settled

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware

I'm finally getting to post about something I've been keeping under my hat for quite some time.

On March 18, 2014, America Star Books, formerly PublishAmerica, filed suit against me, Michael Capobianco, Rich White, and Writer Beware in the Circuit Court for Charles County, MD.

The lawsuit alleged defamation per se on the basis of two posts from this blog: one from March 2013 covering the second class action lawsuit filed against PublishAmerica, and one from January 2014 covering PublishAmerica's new name and services as America Star Books. A total of $800,000 in punitive and compensatory damages was demanded, plus interest and attorneys' fees.

The lawsuit also alleged a conspiracy by me, Michael, and Rich to disparage PA and ASB. However, both of the allegedly defamatory posts were written by me, with no input from anyone else--and despite Rich's and Michael's inclusion in the suit, I was the only one ever served with a summons and complaint.

After a long delay by the Maryland court, the case reached the discovery stage. Shortly after my attorneys sent interrogatories and discovery requests to ASB, ASB's attorney, Victor Cretella, contacted us to discuss the possibility of a settlement.

A final settlement was signed by all parties in January of this year. In exchange for agreement by myself, Michael, and Rich not to seek recovery of legal fees, ASB agreed to release all claims asserted against me, Michael, Rich, and Writer Beware, and to stipulate to Dismissal With Prejudice. ASB does not admit any lack of merit, nor do I and the other defendants admit any liability.

There you have it. I hope you'll all forgive this very dry recital--as well as my decision to close comments on this post.

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Writer Beware is a service of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), run by SFWA's all-volunteer Committee on Writing Scams, chaired by Victoria Strauss. SFWA aggressively defends the mission of Writer Beware and its volunteers.

3 comments to PublishAmerica / America Star Books Lawsuit Against Writer Beware Settled

  • Dennis

    Thank you for your advice. I have a manuscript that I wanted to send to a agent to look at, and everyone wants money. I started to laugh on the phone when I kept getting better price offers. Honestly I have been shy to send my manuscript to others because I keep getting request from other agents. I never contacted someone and they offer me a deal if I pay money. Today I started to look again and it’s been four months since I first started this journey. I stumbled on your website and I truly am great foul for people like you guys. I hope to try again sending my book out.
    Thanks again for thinking of others
    Sincerely Dennis

  • [...] opinion? Sure seems to me like PublishAmerica/America Star Books didn’t have a case! PublishAmerica / America Star Books Lawsuit Against Writer Beware Settled “I’m finally getting to post about something I’ve been keeping under my hat for [...]

  • [...] I’m enormously pleased to see Victoria, and Writer Beware, prevail in this suit. Read Victoria’s complete announcement here. [...]