That’s right, our favorite “traditional” publisher is in the news again. In the latest embarassing (to PublishAmerica) coverage, we learn about the successful arbitration conducted by one of PA’s less-than-happy authors, Philip Dolan, which resulted in financial compensation, including the expense of arbitration, and would have resulted in the reimbursement of attorney’s fees if Mr. Dolan hadn’t represented himself at the hearing. According to Mr. Dolan’s lawyer, an award of attorney fees indicates, almost without exception, that the side receiving reimbursement was the prevailing side.
In other words…PA lost.
The article contains two classic examples of PA-speak.
“We are very proud to have a lenient acceptance threshhold,” said Danielle McDonald, a spokeswoman for PA.
Yes, folks, according to PA, that’s a good thing (kinda like “[being able to] afford to sell all copies of a book on a non-returnable basis” is a good thing).
So what’s “lenient?” Let’s be kind and assume it doesn’t mean “everything we get this week till we reach our quota.” Or “everything we get that isn’t written in crayon on cocktail napkins.” Let’s assume it means what PA has claimed elsewhere: variously, a 70% rejection rate or an 80% rejection rate. Invoking Sturgeon’s Law (90% of everything is crap)–not to mention the rejection rates of commercial publishers, which accept maybe 2% or 3% of all available manuscripts–not to mention the reality of the average slush pile, in which a lot more than 90% of everything is crap–it’s clear that PA’s bar is set way too low to ensure quality.
So lenient isn’t anything to be proud of. Unless you’re a vanity publisher, of course.
When asked about the arbitration with Mr. Dolan, Ms. McDonald, the PA spokeswoman, said, “Both parties are required to keep the details of the arbitration confidential, and the true outcome has not been divulged, so you could not possibly have learned the outcome.”
The article, of course, demonstrates exactly how the outcome not only could be, but was, learned.
La, la, la, la, la, mean PA-bashers. My fingers are in my ears. I don’t heeeeeear yooooooou!