There's a scam publishing house in America called PublishAmerica. They basically publish anything from religious ramblings to doodles on toilet paper, lie and say they edit it, smack a shitty cover on it, and sell it for inflated prices. They con authors into purchasing hundreds of copies of their own books (to "promote them") and claim that they can get their books into bookstore chains when they never do and end up only available online either through their website or places like Amazon. The end result? The only real people who end up buying books through PublishAmerica are the authors themselves. Oh they also own the copyright of the books for about 7 years and if you want out of their contract they'll slap you with a fee or threaten you. I honestly do not know how anyone could ever fall for this group. How could it be more obvious that they are scam artists? What do some people need to be able to figure out out? A giant flashing billboard above their head quarters that reads "WE WILL TAKE YOUR MONEY AND LAUGH AT YOU?"
If you want more proof that these people are con artists check out this page:
Yes, that's right folks, for the tiny sum of $69.00 PublishAmerica will take your books and present them to JK Rowling so she can read them and "tell you what she thinks of them". So, basically, you're paying a large sum of money for what is basically a critique.
WHAT ARE THESE PEOPLE THINKING?!? Do they honestly think that they will be able to get away with this? Why rope JK Rowling, a woman who is richer than the queen, into their scams? Do they think she will never find out? And if she does she'll just shrug her shoulders and be all right with it?
And secondly, who in the world would pay for this? Who would believe that they will really end up getting a critique from JK Rowling? I bet what they'll get is a generic written response with their name typed in praising them on their great plot and characters without mentioning anything specific from their actual book.
The sad thing is I know alot of people would fall for this scam. It's hard to believe that people could be so stupid but it happens. I had a peek at PublishAmerica's facebook page and saw all the comments from the happy authors and it just makes my heart break to see all these dumb, star stark fools, who are so happy with their publisher, unaware they are scamming them.
One of the first things I learned about publishing is that a publisher must never charge an author for ANYTHING. Not for editing. Cover art. Promotional copies. NOTHING. I figured this out at age 14. I know how desperate the desire can be to be published. The urge to be published can drive people to make alot of stupid mistakes when choosing a publisher. They will pay for services they shouldn't. If they just stopped, took a breath, and did some research they would realise that publishers like PublishAmerica are evil and if they took their time to find the right publisher and work on becoming a better writer publication will eventually find them.