PublishAmerica Is Now America Star Books


As a result of this post, I’m getting many emails from authors who believe they are contacting PublishAmerica/America Star Books. Writer Beware is not connected in any way with PublishAmerica or America Star Books (in fact, they sued us, unsuccessfully, for defamation in 2014).

PublishAmerica has a new name: America Star Books. The PublishAmerica URL ( 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.

UPDATE 3/23/16: In May 2014, America Star Books/PublishAmerica sued me for defamation, in part on the basis of this post (the complaint named Writer Beware and two additional WB staff members, but I was the only one who was ever served). After my lawyers submitted interrogatories and discovery requests, ASB contacted us to ask if we’d consider settling. A final settlement was signed in January 2016, in which ASB agreed to stipulate to Dismissal With Prejudice. A full report is here.

UPDATE 8/14/17: Mired in lawsuits, liens, and management shifts, America Star Books now appears to be defunct. See my blog post for a full report.


    1. I am another author who was scammed by PublishAmerica. I understand they went out of business, but I want to be sure my contract is voided and whether there’s anything else in it I should be aware of. Unfortunately, my copy was lost in a flood. I wondered if you would be willing to send me (redacted if necessary) a copy of your contract with PA. I published my books with them between 2008 and 2013. I want to be sure there’s nothing else in the contract that I should be aware of. Thank you. Peggy Dickson,

  1. I'm horrified that this is happening I have sold 72000 copies and have not got any of the royalty don't know what to do though or contact my book was published in 2005

  2. I have never seen so much negativity on anyting but it's all true everywhere that they said it is true and words. I put out three books in one year all through them and as everyone says they always say you didn't sell any books I've found my used books all over the world I know. They are truly bottom feeders if anyone has any information about the class action lawsuit please let me know.

  3. Denise Smale,

    You can't get in touch with them because the company is gone. If your contracts have expired, your rights are yours again and you can do whatever you want with them.

    Those crazy prices you see are from third-party sellers (on Amazon, for instance) who are using automatic pricing algorithms that, for reasons too complicated to get into here, sometimes produce ridiculously high prices. This is a fairly common phenomenon. Most of these sellers don't even have the books in stock–they are just listing ISBNs harvested from the internet. In any case, used book sales are legal and authors don't get paid for them.

  4. How do we get in touch with this company? I have been trying for years. Now my contracts are up and I am seeing my books being sold at an astronomical amount of money!

  5. Thanks for the warning; however, Publish America at least said YES to me, and they put my book in print. Doing so, many people were able to read the important message that my book carried, which was hope for the hopeless and uplifting for the down trodden. Before Publish America, I ran into the problem of big publishers not wanting to work with anyone other than agents. So you try to find a good agent and not only do you not have success in trying to pick a good and trustworthy agent from a list of hundreds perhaps thousands of names, but the big publishers inform you that they are not taking on any new agents. Your only other choice is self publishing companies or print on demand publishers. I found these publishers to be of no help to me because they either charged money and/or left too much work for me to do. I am not lazy, I am simply an author who just want to write and help people, who are suffering in the world in one way or another. Sure I would have loved for Publish America to be fair and hones with me; I really could have used the money. Nevertheless I must say once again…THEY SAID YES, and I would work with them again in a heart beat if they were still in business. It is more important to me for me and others to have access to my literary works, than worry about something that I can't control and that I leave to God. I welcome your suggestion of another book publisher who will publish my book for free. Thanks again for the warning and may God bless us all. By the way, I have a new email address.

  6. I myself have been screwed over by publish america as well they made me pay for my own books and its funny how these companies like light switch and publish america likes to dupe their clients and screw them over cây thuốc quý.

  7. Anonymous 10/10,

    This is very interesting, and I appreciate you posting it here. It doesn't seem to be a re-start of ASB, but a project of a former ASB author. Apple Grass Book Publishing appears to be run by Mariatu Kargbo, a suspended lawyer who published at least two books with PA/ASB. It doesn't actually seem to be a publisher–the FB page doesn't show any books it has published, and it has no books listed on Amazon or other retail websites.

    From what I can determine on a websearch, that phone number did belong to ASB–I found it listed on the websites of a number of other ASB authors. I think that when ASB shut down, they never bothered to discontinue the phone number (like so many other things they didn't bother to discontinue). Kargbo may not be aware that ASB is dead, and is using the number because she thinks it's still viable.

    1. How do you or anyone KNOW for sure that ASB (or its parent company PublishAmerica) is “shut down”? I have cointacted the Maryland government office where businesses are registered and “de-registered” when they in fact shut down. Waiting to hear back from them.

        1. I don’t give them ANY credit, but it’s exactly BECAUSE they’re grifters that I think they’re capable of anything. From what I could find, they’re STILL out there doing some kind of business transactions, presumably with an eye to making money. I wouldn’t put it past them to call someone out who has violated the terms of their contract. They are still capable of filing lawsuits… Let’s wait until I hear from the Maryland business registration office. I, for one, don’t want to put myself in jeopardy until/unless I have proof they are “officially” out of business! I think the business model was good – in the beginning – and then greed took over.

          1. There is nothing left of ASB. It fell apart under the stress of mutual lawsuits between the founders and multiple business liens, and after it shut down its website and terminated its Ingram account in the fall of 2017, Larry Clopper vanished and Willem Meiners absconded to Maine, where, as far as I know, he is still living. Even PA’s pet lawyer, Victor Cretella, has moved on, and now works for a law firm in Hagarstown.

            Here’s a quick way for you to confirm this. Go to the business entity search function: . Type in either PublishAmerica or America Star Books. You’ll see that these business names are designated “Forfeited”, which means that “the right of the entity to conduct business in the State of Maryland has been relinquished and it has no right to use its name. For domestic corporations, this also means that the business has no existence under the laws of the State of Maryland.”

        2. You are a lovely person for sharing your knowledge with us (not only this post). I did research the link you provided and there was exactly the information I’ve been searching for! If they HAD dissolved the companies legally, they would have been called to the carpet and forced to pay creditors, authors, etc. No wonder they went on the lamb. I thank you for your help and will continue to follow you as an invaluable resource and expert. May you receive threefold in return for all you give and are.

        3. The ONLY caveat in all of this can be found on the MD gov website. There it gives a remedy (“option”) for reactivating the company by paying taxes, filing returns, etc. for the 4 years in question. Technically, they haven’t earned any money during that time, so the back taxes would be minimal. If someone decides to reactivate, they could, along with author files. Like a horror film where the “thing” never dies. I don’t think it’s a likely scenario, because they’ve made a mess of things and it would cost them more to go after contract infringements then to, say, buy Manhattan.

        4. Greetings, VIctoria:

          As an author, I continuously reference the Writer Beware blog for guidance on many different issues. It’s a goldmine of much appreciated information!

          I have written before on the WB blog about PublishAmerica/America Star Books. I visited that page again today to post another message and noticed that the last post was in 2021. I wrote to Debbie Dunn who posted there in 2021, but I don’t know if my message will get through to her. Here is my post to Debbie which explains the reason I am reaching out (I need a copy of a PA contract – anyone’s contract dated between 2008-2013):

          Dear Debbie: I am another author who was scammed by PublishAmerica. I understand they went out of business, but I want to be sure my contract is voided and whether there’s anything else in it I should be aware of. Unfortunately, my copy was lost in a flood. I wondered if you would be so kind as to send me (redacted if necessary) a copy of your contract with them, since I published my books at about the same time you did. I want to be sure there’s nothing else in the contract that I should be aware of. I hope you get this email. Peggy Dickson,

          I am wondering if you could help me, Victoria, by asking members if they would be willing to provide a copy of their contract to me.

          Thank you again, Victoria!
          Peggy Dickson

  8. Apple Grass Book Publishing on Facebook has this listed:


    Business Details
    Price Range

    Founded on January 1, 2016


    Mariatu Kargbo
    Mariatu Kargbo
    Mariatu Kargbo Mariatu Kargbo. Please buy my books. Kerrin Wuchter. ASB Promotions and Events Manager. Kerrin@americastarbo

    Bookstores. Drugstore.

    Company Overview
    Company printing press


    Mariatu Kargbo
    Mariatu Kargbo
    Mariatu Kargbo Mariatu Kargbo. Please buy my books. Kerrin Wuchter. ASB Promotions and Events Manager.… See More
    Bookstore · Publisher

  9. I want to state this to you, I believe I found America Star books, thier name is Apple Grass Book Publishing and the reason of my founding is that I called thier number and the voice machine came on and started that this is "America Star Books".
    I found it on Facebook:

    Thier phone number is: 240-285-9638

    IF I am wrong I am sorry, but I want to let all know that America Star books maybe back and they are now, "Apple Grass Book Publishing" We don't need a bad company that scams and rip off authors and readers anymore

    1. Apple Grass Book Publishing seems to be a stand-alone business with no ties, mergers, etc. with ASB or PublishAmerica. Please go to the business entity search function: to confirm this. The information was provided to me by Victoria Strauss who is very generous in sharing her knowledge and research. I know yours is an old post, but I hope it was resolved to your satisfaction.

  10. Per 2013 contract with Publish America, now is the time to cancel their book publishing rights, otherwise their rights would be renewed for another 5 years. I have found no way to contact them or America Star Books or whoever now owns the rights, if anyone. I need a different publisher. Comments anyone, please.

  11. Please do not give them any more money.look up their reviews. Also look them up on the BBB website. You, just like myself, have been scammed. In all the years of my contract years with them I have received one dollar. They have messed up my book and told me I could fix it for $250. I was also offered my rights for a further $90. It is a horrid scam that preys in new authors. I'm sorry you got caught up too..


  13. John Manahan,

    Please see my recent blog post on ASB/PA, which has a number of updates and lot of comments discussing the issues you're asking about:

    There doesn't seem to be any doubt that ASB is gone. However, there's been no official announcement, no return of authors' rights, and while most ASB/PA print books seem to be out of stock or unavailable, ebooks are still for sale. So I think that authors have to assume that their rights are still encumbered at this point. The issue isn't that ASB/PA would go after you if you tried to publish elsewhere, but that another publisher or self-publishing service won't want a book whose rights aren't unambiguously free and clear. That's especially true as long as ASB/PA ebooks are still for sale.

    I think that if six months or so goes by and there's still no sign of ASB re-appearing–or selling its catalog to another company, which I'm guessing is at least a possibility–then authors may be able to make a better case to Amazon and other retailers to get their books listings taken down. For now, though, I think you need to wait.

  14. I had my book published by PA in 2006. Most of the sales I promoted myself and people purchased through me. I paid to have my book on Kindle, and E-books. It was put on Amazon and kindle…never showed up on E-books. I paid for other promotions as I could afford and never received any feed back. I did not contact them three months prior to the end of the 7 year period so it rolled over. Now I am stuck waiting out another three years. Does anyone know how to determine the status of the contract since they no longer exist? I can only find used copies of my book for sale and the prices range from $200 to over $300! Thanks for this venue, continue with the good work.

  15. I myself have been screwed over by publish america as well they made me pay for my own books and its funny how these companies like light switch and publish america likes to dupe their clients and screw them over

  16. Mary Dyer,

    Please see my latest blog post on America Star Books, which includes some advice for authors who are caught up in this mess. ASB/PA books are still for sale new on Amazon, and there's been no official announcement of closing or any sign of bankruptcy filings. One of my concerns is that ASB might find a way to sell or transfer its contracts to another entity.

    For the moment–at least until we know more about what's going on or can conclude that ASB has definitely vanished–authors should consider their books still under contract, and can't take their rights elsewhere.

  17. I can't promote my book, then. I don't know if it will be printed and sold to anyone who purchases it on Amazon. The same situation as everyone else, buying the promotional activities when I could, understanding that promo costs are expected. Now, how do I get the rights of my book? I can't even find another publisher, can I?

  18. I'm still finding my books in stores some ten years after publishing them. I've never received a penny in royalties off my three books.

  19. Justin, see my comment above. I'm afraid your family member is mistaken. Things often work differently in publishing than they do elsewhere.

    I'm going to be publishing a post on ASB this week.

  20. Can anyone tell me if PSB has filed bankruptcy. I have an attorney in my family and I just spoke with him, he says that if the conpeny files and closes then any contract a author signed with them has, is no longer valid. As An author how has a work with PSB I would realy like to know if they have filed or not.

  21. I know there are bankruptcy rumors, but I haven't been able to confirm them.

    Unfortunately, bankruptcy clauses in publishing contracts are not enforceable; the contracts are considered an asset that could potentially be sold to help pay off creditors. If there were an ASB bankruptcy, contracts would be frozen until they were either sold or voided by the court.

  22. Can anyone tell me for sure if PSB has filed bankruptcy and if so wouldn't that release authors from their contract with them? You figure bankruptcy would close the doors to a company like they.

  23. I have a contract with them, family and friends bought my book, but I have not received any royalties. Is there anything that anyone can do, these people are getting with everybody's money and we are helpless.

  24. Anonymous 7/22,

    If your contract wasn't renewed–either by you or an auto-renewal clause–you should be free and clear to publish elsewhere. However, you should check your book's listing on Amazon and other retailers to make sure it's no longer available new from PA/ASB. I've heard from a number of writers whose books should have been taken off the market, but weren't.

  25. I published in 2009 and my contract was for 7 years… I want to republish it somewhere else… is that possible??

  26. word on the street is that Publish America dba America Star Books dba Paperback Radio is claiming bankruptcy and employees have been let go…..

  27. I had a book publish (There is Healing in His Hands a Cancer Story) with Publish America in 2011 and paid hundreds of dollars to get my book publish. It was out in several books stores across the US and several countries, but never receive any royalty for it. I had to pay hundreds of dollars to get copies of my book. Now I cant even get copies of it. It upsets me so much that they would take advantage of people like this. Now I will never be able to share my book with anyone else.

  28. American Star Books is a joke. I keep getting emails from some annoying twit named jackie velnoskey who keeps telling me she loves my work, even though she's never read any of it, and wants to help me become famous through her garbage company. I keep sending them notes reminding them that I have no interest in their company, but the same person keeps sending me new emails as if they aren't even reading my previous ones. They are a nightmare. DO NOT USE THEM EVER!

  29. I wish I would have read the above comments before I agreed to work with them. I'm very dissatisfied with their so call promotions. Had my first book signing yesterday and it was a total flop. The booth was stuck in a corner with very little foot traffic. Looking for better results at BookExpo America in May 2017. We have spent a pretty penny to attend the NY BookExpo.
    Once all of our promotions have been fullfieled I will no longer counduct business with them. They didn't even have the correct title of my book. Who does that?

  30. I had three books published by the then Publish America now America Star Books and was very happy to be published by them. I researched the company beforehand and though I saw some complaints listed in comparison with the 10,000 authors they have thought that had little bearing on other works or success rates. For five years I networked and promoted thinking this was good as an author to do because I could not afford their marketing plans. I worked hard, did local tv interview, an international radio interview, three book signings, contacted over 700 bookstores myself and got my books listed many online venues besides the ones that they provide. I have approximately. 7000 networking contacts also. My books have been ordered by local bookstores, library, friends and family and people I don't know have given me feedback on my books – I have received no royalties at all in five years and they have recently discontinued my books, cancelling the contract for "no sales." This is not only breach of contract it is clearly publishing fraud. I think they just don;t believe that anyone will bother suing them. I have every intention of suing them and if anyone is in the process of civil litigation currently please get in touch with me.

  31. I promoted the hell oit of my book, got my own book signings, even one in Barnes and Noble, but everyone else said the same thing, overpriced. I wouldn't even pay what they wanted for my own book.
    Once my contracted ended I did self publish by other means and have had greater sales than I ever did under PA. I've even gone international.

  32. Thank you. I was contacted by them as well, after falling for their scam the first time.
    They screwed me over with the prices but I used it as a learning tool.

  33. They are selling my book world wide in several languages and formats. I got a check once for $3.00 and one for a few cents. I was paying them hundreds of bucks a month for promotions and not getting any checks. It was always the same thing, "you sold no books in the past 6 months." So I went to multiple websites and bought several copies, in 6 months, guess What? I sold no books.
    I quit giving them money every month for their promotion scam. I even went to multiple Cracker Barrels and Wal-Mart's to see of my book was there in various states. I'm sure the money I paid for the New York, London, and Paris Book Expos went into their scam and my booths were not really there.
    Their rights to publish my book expired Jan 2017, but it is still on Amazon.
    Ameristar Books is nothing more than a scam. I have tried to get in on other law suits against them but haven't been able to. We need one with authors going after them. If they lie about a few books being sold how do we know they are not lieing about 100's or even 1000's?

  34. I just finished my seven year hitch with this company. I made the mistake of paying for an agent for two years. She allegedly was sending my manuscript to other publishers. I got a real agent for my second book and I am negotiating a legitimate deal. Guess what? None of the publishers who are considering my work have ever heard of my first book. Pretty good indication that the agent for whom I paid never actually submitted my work anywhere. They kept trying to sell me an early buy-out to get my rights back. I told them to stuff it and just waited them out. I also know that a school where I once taught bought about thirty copies of my book and that several of my former colleagues bought copies also. According to them, I didn't sell any books. No wonder they can publish for free. They keep the royalties. My book is still listed with several distributors. I wonder who will get the royalties if any of those books sell in the future?

  35. A lot of you people really don't know what the hell you are talking about; I am an author for Publish America and I was never charged a damn thing. It just sounds like a lot of you are either jealous or stupid. First of all, you don't just get a best seller it takes hard work to get yourself out there. It's not just the publisher because the author has to promote themselves even with a big company.

    The ones who are making this bullshit line of how bad Publish America is sound really annoying.

    And if this website was sued for slander serves you right.

  36. I signed a contract with them in 2008 they said I didnt sell any books so some of my friends and family bought books at they are lying cheats don't be fooled I later found out that my book was being at a local school as required reading these are crooks run don't walk get away from them

    1. I am in the same boat – published a book with PA in 2008 and was never paid any royalties. My contract got lost in a flood. Would you be willing to send me a copy of yours (redacted if necessary)? I want to be sure there are no other provisions, after termination, that PA may be entitled to. Thank you, Peggy Dickson.

  37. I had my novel released from PA in 2004. However, they continue to sell it and America Star is now selling it. I have contacted two attorneys in Frederick, MD but both have 'conflicts of interest' and cannot represent me. Anyone have any ideas as to an attorney that I can get to sue them? By law they cannot sell or otherwise print or provide my book…but yet they are.

  38. I posted a comment on here yesterday but I do not see it. Not sure what happened to it. I finally heard from America Star Books, (Publish America ) and unbenknownst to me…after hearing nothing for 2 years, they extended my contract for another 7 years. I am battling with them right now. What a bunch of P.O.S we are dealing with.

  39. Hey, I had a book published with PA then they changed to America Star….even though I know my book has been selling, I cannot seem to reach anyone from America Star. I have not heard from them in 2 year !! I had the same problems and issues with PA as many of you did. Luckily I chose to wait out the contract, unbeknownst to me, the book was selling and I've recieved nothing from them. And yes, they wanted me to buy my own book….and buy out my own contract. I was even involved in a class action suit with PA. To no avail. Does anyone on here have any ideas how to reach anyone at America Star ?
    I'll put my email on here for any information. Thanks. Maybe we can help each other.

  40. I'm Alazae who wrote "Cooking with a Diva" and I to was trick by this company PublishAmerica and they told me all kind of lies about my book then sent me countless emails about my book trying to get me to by back My rights to my book for $15,000 and I emailed them back and told them they can have the Damn book and Lord knows I will be very careful next time I put out any of my material. I hope and pray that all writers stay away from Publish America.

  41. I had a 7-year contact on each of two novels. I did not renew the contracts because I came to dislike their marketing more with each passing month. I also doubted the accounting accuracy on number of books I 'sold.' I found statements on other sites about the typos in books being actually added by the publisher. While I found that idea shocking, it did answer a question I had about my own editing acumen. I was horrified by some things I found when reading my own books. Yes, I did the editing. And 'someone' at PA changed things and built in errors, particularly with possessives, in places changing the meaning of the line. One day I will rewrite both books and produce ebooks from them, as well as the third of the trilogy which has never been published. I'm now busy with screenwriting and producing, but after discovering one of my books offered for download 'free' from a site in the UK, I'm mad enough to get back on the stick. Copyright infringement, bogus site, etc., on top of the annoyance and mistrust related to PublishAmerica.

  42. I too am one they have scamed, I paid them to change the ridiculous priceing of my 5 childrens books A year ago and they said it would only take 2 months. Im still getting the run around and my prices have still not changed. So sick of these guys. But they charge an arm and leg to buy the rights back to get out from under them. All they do is send me more stuff and be rude to me on the phone for not buying more stuff for them to do nothing. So frustrating!!!! Anyone have any ideas what to do?

  43. I published my first book through Publish America in MArch of 2010. I was so excited to finally see my work in print. I was constantly told that my book was not selling well, but I knew something was not right because my friends and family purchased the book. After continually trying to contact them about the issue, or to get the rights to my work I just gave up.

    Then one day I received an email from Publish America telling me that if I paid them a certain amount of money they would send me my contract and all rights, so I paid the money. To this day I have yet to receive my contract and my rights from them. I cropped it up to a lesson learned and if I ever decided to self-publish again it would never be through their company. Thank you for letting me know they had changed their name.

    I pray that everyone that they have wronged will be vindicated some day.

  44. I dealt with these folks back in 2009 when they still called themselves Publish America. They spent more time trying to sell my book to me rather than anyone else. I bought my contract back for cash, edited the book, and it appears as a Kindle e-book. I sold more the first month with Amazon than I ever did with these guys. It still sells. They are not a traditional publisher. They provide nothing but on-demand printing. They do not in any way help with marketing, nor do they edit the manuscript. Both are services one goes to a publisher to obtain. Beware.

  45. "Without a signature, and without your permission, no contract can be extended."

    Unfortunately, that isn't true. Many publishing contracts have automatic renewal provisions, whereby the contract automatically renews for a stated period of time unless the author cancels before the termination date. I always warn against auto-renew clauses–not so much because they're predatory, but because it's really easy to forget whatever date you're supposed to cancel by.

    Most PA/ASB contracts I've seen do not have auto-renew clauses, but I have seen a few that do. James Watts, I'll be glad to take a look at your contract and give you non-legal (I'm not a lawyer) advice. Contact me at beware [at]

  46. Without a signature, and without your permission, no contract can be extended. Get a lawyer, pursue them under copyright law. If they still have your book up on their site, take a screenshot, order a copy, establish evidence that they are publishing your book. They cannot legitimately claim that they extended the contract with you without your signature. If they claim their original contract allowed them to do this, challenge them on it.

  47. I had my novel Shadows and secrets published by PA in 2008. Contract was supposed to have ended in 2014. I revamped the book, all new edits, editions, and omissions, so that I could query an agent. Well, that is out. Apparently they renewed my contract and I was never notified.
    James M. Watts

  48. A legit publisher DOES edit your book. Several times (4 rounds of edits by my pub). For FREE. A legit publisher markets your book. For FREE. Even a book by a new author. A legit publisher charges the author NOTHING. Beware: I just got a spam/scam email from Jackie Velnoskey of America Star Books offering to include me in the Hot Indy Publisher Guide which they'll distribute at the 2017 LA Times Festival of Books, even though my book is not independently published. I'm published by a traditional publisher. Ms. Velnoskey tells me about the "low cost" book promotion services I can buy and says "All I am asking you at this time is if we may add you to our email list when we issue our next book promotion offers." This company is still around looking for people to take advantage of

  49. I just want to say that I published with them, haven't paid a dime to them, and my book is actually on the Barnes and Noble website, as well as Amazon, etc. I don't know how other books are selling, I just know what mine is doing and what my contract said. Just thought I'd share that.

  50. "The paper used in my books is high grade paper…."

    Marketing much, "Victoria"?

    Out of all the complaints here (and elsewhere) about these people, I don't think I've seen one saying they printed on poor paper. And when compared to one-sided contracts, refusal to pay royalties, and all the rest, the kind of paper used pales to insignificance.

  51. I can't even find a copy of my contract, they say I signed. And I wanna know how to get involved in this new class action lawsuit, cause I'm a victim as well. 🙁 maybe try there atty. General consumer protection dept.

  52. I saw/heard there's a class action lawsuit against this company, how do I add myself to this cause I'm a victim as well… 🙁

  53. I contacted the Consumer Protection Advocate in Hagerstown, MD at 301-791-4780 and as soon as I said I had a complaint about a publisher they knew who I was referring to. They confirmed that the company is a scam and advised me to ignore their e-mails.

  54. Funny how all these "anonymous peoe have a great experience with the company..obviously they work there. This company is a HUGE SCAM!

  55. So i was an author they scamed. I signed a seven year contract on my book "House of Love".They messed up.the back cover of my book,wrote a bunch if redicouse unrelated stuff,and told me i needed to pay them hundreds of dollars for them to fix THIER MISTAKE! I have been watchingmy book sell,and they tell me it is not selling at all, a lie,they have not paid me a penny of the royalties..please save yourself some not go with these scammers!

  56. I'm author papa nick I have 5 kid bed time stories books that where Published by them. The books turned out fine but trying to get them in the stores is very hard. They have them for sale on all on line book sellers but that is it. I have been trying to get a new publisher to look at them but so far I have not found one. I'm working on getting my books rights back to me and then see what I can do with them. I'm getting very old and are in bad heath. The books are NEVER ENDING STORIES PART 1 TO PART 5 by papa nick. They have 40 long bed time stories in them. ALL THE KIDS IN MY HOME TOWN AND TOWNS AROUND ME LOVES THEM. I HAVE HAD READING TIMES AT THE SCHOOLS. I know I have sold a lot of books over the years but still have not see any cash from them. That is way I would just like to get a new Publisher to look at them and take them to the top. You should have seen the looks in the kids eyes even the mom's and dad's like the books. Will all I can say about them is they can do good work, They did check my books over, and they did work with me on getting the books out to the on line sellers. BUT THAT IS IT. so if you know a publisher that is willing to take over books that where done by them tell us now.

  57. Marris-Ray,

    No publisher, including PublishAmerica, should be selling a book if the contract has expired. However, if there's an automatic renewal clause in the contract, and the author fails to terminate the contract prior to renewal, the publisher can continue publishing. I wonder if that's why your book is still being sold as new.

    PublishAmerica and America Star Books are one and the same. The name change does not invalidate previous contracts.

  58. August 9, 2016
    Publish/America is now American Star Books. My Novel: Sheryl, Lost In Ecstasy – By MRL is being sold on e-Bay and other sights although my three year contract ended with that Publishing company many years ago. I am now looking into taking action in both Civil and Federal courts.
    Attention Authors: Although your manuscripts were submitted to Publish/America and continue unlawfully being used by American Star there is an answer waiting for you.
    Contact: Ladies-night Publishing by writing to MRL Enterprises, Inc. at:
    561 Keystone Ave. Suite # 685
    Reno, Nevada 89503-4304 USA

  59. So, let me get this straight: a known scam-artist vanity-press is soliciting authors that it DOESN'T represent in order to claim to represent them at various book fairs? This is known as poaching. Contact your publisher, because your publisher is going to want to protect their rights. I sense some cease and desist letters are pending…

  60. They've been sending these out since at least last summer, with [insert name of book fair or conference here]. Clearly they're looking to expand their customer base beyond their own authors.

  61. I also received an email today:
    Dear Molly Daniels:
    My name is Jackie Velnoskey. I saw that you have written Love Finds A Way. My question for you is: may I promote the book at the Miami Book Fair International in November? It costs you nothing. All I'm asking you in return is if we may add you to our book marketing email list.
    We would like to include your work in the Hot Indy Author Guide that we're displaying and distributing during the Miami event. This option is free. Check out our Facebook page when we report live from Miami where over 150,000+ are expected to attend. You can also check us out at our website
    At America Star Books we have a book promotion department that does nothing but offering book promotion at the lowest fees in the nation. We attend all of the big fairs and festivals: Book Expo America, London Book Fair, Frankfurt Book Fair, Miami Book Fair International, the American Library Association mid-winter and annual Conferences, and so on.
    All I am asking you at this time is if we may add you to our email list when we issue our next book promotion offers. You may at any time unsubscribe, and we will promptly cease sending you any further emails. America Star Books has been around for more than fifteen years, serving over 60,000 authors. Participating in book promotion is entirely optional.

    Thank you for considering this opportunity. I am looking forward to hearing back from you.
    –Jackie Velnoskey
    America Star Books Special Services, manager
    P.O. Box 151
    Frederick, MD 21705

    I was also excited, then decided to google the company and found this thread. So I think I'll be deleting that email now….

  62. They ripped me off I spent hundreds of bucks a month on their promotions only to get the reports that I sold no books.. finally I bought a bunch of them off to boost my ratings on there and guess what? I sold no books.. in fact after I've bought all kinds of books and people in my family have bought books only to relieve no royalties.. I even paid for them to be displayed and sold in cracker bartell for a while costing a couple hundred bucks.. but guess what when I traveled I never saw them in there. I order what Opera did with her copies.?
    They are a rip off and my book is still for sale everywhere and I haven't had royalties for years.. I think I've gotten 5 bucks since 2009..

  63. oude man – If they cancelled your contract, contact an attorney. Their contract with you cannot be cancelled by them, or you, without legal cause. Enquiring about their distribution is not sufficient cause. They have been playing people for suckers for years, but any actually illegal act, like breaking a contract, has potential legal consequences.

  64. I had a book published by ASB, From time to time I got a chance to promote my book (Modern Folly) by paying some €19 for Jimmy Fallon show; distributing the book in Germany, Austria Russia, etc. When a friend in Germany couldn't find my book I askerd about the distributor, so that the bookseller might inquire. I had to give the number of the specific offer, so I suggested it might be easier for the to look into the map with my data they have. No, I had to give the number. I suggested someone of my family in the US might help them looking onto my data, or someone more officially qualified. My contract waqs immediately cancelled. My book is no longer for sale kin the US or any other country.

  65. I do know for a fact that both my books have sold….lots. But the crooks at PA always said that no sales at all. My books sold, I researched them all over. I will continue to tell everyone what CONS PA and AmericaScam publishing are!

  66. I agree! I was duped into using them. I was so deceived by them. Are they also owners of 'LightSwitch' publishing?

  67. FWIW, today I received the same copied letter from "Jackie" offering the free promo of my book "The First-Aid Companion for Dogs & Cats." This is my currently best selling title, published by Rodale Press, and often top of the pet nonfiction lists. While I'm also a hybrid publisher with my own titles, singling out this book with it's 150+ positive reviews, suggests to me the company may actually be seeking to include these types of titles in their marketing lists as examples of "successes." Their template letter doesn't specify how they would promote/use the information, only that they seek permission to add the book to their marketing list (and of course, add me to their promo scheme list).

    I'll be sharing their letter, along with the link to this thread, with my various author lists. Happy writing, folks–and beware of the sharks!

  68. Wow. Just wow. Thank you so much for making this webpage, first and foremost. I received an email via my author website just like the one Jeannette Bennett posted above, and thought it seemed like a win-win opportunity for some free promotion because hey, sometimes, good opportunities that don't cost anything do come along from time to time; I had hopes that this would be one of them … but I felt suspicious and then I came across this gem of a forum on the company's unsavory dealings.

    To each author who has come on this page and shared your experiences, thank you. You've saved me (and countless others) unpleasantness, vexation and disappointment.

    I appreciate you.

    On a high note, if anyone has had lucrative dealings with a PR firm that knows how to successfully promote authors, please let me know. – I have a contact form on my website and would love to hear what has been helpful to you. Thank you for sharing.

    Wishing you all the best with your literary endeavors,

    Maxximillian Dafoe, author of the Mollyville Series and Bedtime Stories for the Intellectually Adventurous

  69. My contract with Publish America expired today. I received an email from them:

    I am informing you that, as per your request for allow your contract to expire, we are discontinuing the publication of your book From Under Eyelids as of this day. All rights under the copyright are herewith returned to you.

    Your book has been pulled from the market today. No new copies will be printed by America Star Books or made available by America Star Books to individuals, wholesalers or retailers. It has been removed from America Star Books' website. We have also sent notice to retailers that no new copies will be printed. Please note, however, that we have no control over any other online vendors' listing policies, including Amazon's and Barnes and Noble's. Books that are out of print may remain listed there for years on end, even though the industry has now been informed that America Star Books has ceased making any new copies available. Furthermore, retailers and wholesalers may continue to sell used copies, as well as new copies that they had stocked prior to the termination of your agreement with America Star Books. Of course, America Star Books has no control over the sale of your book by third parties.

    You own the unformatted text only, and you can do as you choose with that alone. Any materials that you had supplied for the book (photographs, illustrations, cover images) you are welcome to use again in future publications. Anything created by the publisher would remain with America Star Books. America Star Books continues to own the ISBN number, the cover design, and the layout design of the text. Any use of any of these items would be a serious and very clear case of infringement. Therefore, you can use the same design only if we transfer the rights to you, or to your new publishing company.

    If you would like to use the cover or layout design, we would transfer the rights to your cover design and/or text layout, and provide you with a high resolution pdf file of the cover, and a clean, publishable version of the PDF text file. The cover design would cost $500, and/or the text layout would cost $250.

    Again, you own the unformatted text only, and you can do as you choose with that alone.


    Caroline Inabinett
    America Star Books, LLLP

    I replied with the following email:

    Hello Caroline,

    I am in receipt of your correspondence to me, and I need to clear one item up that this letter is mistaken about: When Publish America received the book, it was already typeset and laid out exactly the way your firm published it. I received a letter asking me to confirm that there was no need to typeset the book, and to confirm that my typeset and layout were to be unchanged. Thus, the rights to the text layout are already mine, as I originated the text layout, typographical design and all of the look and feel of the book. If I were to publish this book using the layout that I originated, and you claim layout design rights and that there would be an infringement, please know that I have in my files the original PDF that I sent you, showing my origination of the layout.

    This being said, please acknowledge that you do not have any rights to represent my layout, typographic design or look and feel of the book, beyond the cover design. This will save a great deal of hassle in the future.

    In closing, please know that it has been less than a pleasure in dealing with representatives from your firm, that I have been lied to, misrepresented to, and in general defrauded by Publish America, for the last 7 years, and I am very glad to know that I will never have to do business with your firm ever again; I will be recommending against your firm to anyone who asks.


    Matthew Wright

    Of note: I just checked the website. My book is still listed. I'm going to order a copy, see if they print and send it. Then I am going to call my attorney.

  70. i would like to know how to get in on this lawsuit , they say they are free , yeah right they publish you for free but, they don't give you books or help you with your tour for free , i really got screwed over by them and they didn't edit the book or anything they barely put it out on the net they just posted it on barnsandnoble and amazon and that's about it , they barely did anything they would give you discounts i figured as they author they would atleast would give you one or two free copies of your book but, no you had to buy your own book i was lucky to sell one book for 5 dollars at the flea market near to my house and i spent 7 dollars on a box of books but, i had to buy 7 of the books to get that price even i mean seriously we need to sue them …. they need to have a lawsuit against them , they only pay you a dollar as a new author , i am telling you , we need to suit them . so if your still wanting to put a lawsuit out against them , i will tell you all the bullshit they put me through .

  71. Just saw an American Star POD paperback priced at $34.95

    Everyone knows no one will by a paperback at that price, let alone one by someone you've never heard of with a cheap stock photo of a man and a woman embracing on it!!!
    Now before anyone says but, if no one will buy at that price, why would AS price it like that and how could AS make money, here you go…. AS/PA knows the Author WILL buy their own books back, and they hope in large quantities so if you come up with a ridiculously high retail price of $35, then even with the Author discount they "offer", AS is making a fortune per POD copy. If the books were priced normally, say $11, the author discounted price wouldn't come to nearly enough for AS. Then there's the mark up on the shipping, ca-ching!

  72. Jeanette, it's one of their newest scams. Seems everyone either listed on Amazon or Goodreads etc who has ever published or self published a book is getting these poorly worded emails from "Jackie". If you google her, she's a very busy lady, placing this same ad all over any blog or site that remotely smacks of a new writer visiting it to view and perhaps get caught in the net.
    An Illustrator/Author friend just got one of these Jackie emails a few weeks back for his book (title) that was put out by one of the big 5. Is she INSANE, published Authors don't do promo like this, their PUBLISHERS go to the these shows with the books. So, just to show she doesn't research who she is sending to, just grabs any and all book titles/author names.

    The point of the scam is getting you to say yes, you want that "free promotion" (HA!:) because they know most new writers would agree to FREE and then start bombarding you to sign up to pay for "book promotion department that does nothing but offering book promotion at the LOWEST FEES IN THE NATION" (my bolding)
    You can just tell that's where that email is going, easy peasy!!!:)

  73. I received an email from this company a few days ago, got excited for a moment about having a promotional opportunity, and then checked them out here. Now I know to stay away. Thanks everyone in the Writer Beware community. You are doing a wonderful thing.

  74. I have self published and been very successful. I wouldn't have been able to reach all my readers with Publish America/America Star Books.

    Secondly the quality of their books – The spelling and grammar is a disgrace to themselves and the authors… There is no editing which can affect the quality of the story.

    Most of the authors haven't exposed themselves to test readers before publishing.

    The company has been under fire many times for false clams.

    The business is not interested in publishing your book… There main concern is selling your book back to you.

    Your local bookstore will not be able to order your book.

    You best option is to publish on Amazon and promote using paid advertising on Twitter and other social media sites. Twitter works really well for me costs and hardly any thing.


    Toby Whaymand


  75. I just received an email from American Star Books. I did a search and found your blog (thank God for the Internet) Apparently they have a new scam. Here is the email in its entirety:


    My name is Jackie Velnoskey. I saw that you have written Walking a Fine Timeline. My question for you is: may I promote the book at the American Library Association's Midwinter Meeting & Exhibition in Boston, early January? Is costs you nothing. All I'm asking you in return is if we may add you to our book marketing email list.

    I'm giving you two ALA Exhibition promotion options to choose from: 1: you may forward a copy of your book to our address (see below), and we'll display it in Boston, or 2: we'll include your work in the Hot Indy Author Guide that we're displaying and distributing during the ALA event. Either option is free. Check out our Facebook page when we report live from Boston where over 7,000 librarians are expected.

    At America Star Books we have a book promotion department that does nothing but offering book promotion at the lowest fees in the nation. We attend all of the big fairs and festivals: Book Expo America, London Book Fair, Frankfurt Book Fair, Miami Book Fair International, Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, the American Library Association mid-winter and annual Conferences, Baltimore Book Festival, and so on.

    All I am asking you at this time is if we may add you to our email list when we issue our next book promotion offers. You may at any time unsubscribe, and we will promptly cease sending you any further emails. America Star Books has been around for more than fifteen years, serving over 60,000authors. Participating in book promotion is entirely optional.

    Thank you for considering this opportunity. I am looking forward to hearing back from you.

    —Jackie Velnoskey
    America Star Books Special Services, manager

    I also noted she posted this same message on some poor writer's blog back in August. What's going on here?

  76. So many of these comments are so familiar with my "ordeal" with them. I had a book published through them and so many things in the book were changed by them. Much of the book was edited by them and was not like the copy I sent them. I am under a contract for seven years with them and have two years left. Under their own contract, it said if there were not any sales of the book (which they tell everyone that their book didn't sell) they had the option to cancel the contract. According to them, mine didn't sell anything, which is remarkable because I had numerous friends and relatives alone buying them, so why would they not want to just void the contract and give me my rights back? Now, they are asking me if I want my rights back for $99. I find it ironic that I go on many many different odd book sites, and I see used copies of my book for sale, but I never sold any according to them and earned no royalties. How can you have used copies for sale, if the book didn't sell originally? They changed their named because they were embarrassed because they are a rip off company and they figured by using a new name, they could lure more people and rip them off too. If you are such a great company, then give the people who want their rights back because you claim their books don't sell at no cost. I would think that that would be the honorable thing to do, but you can't even respect your authors enough to do that.

  77. Unfortunately I have the displeasure of adding a story to this long list. This company is distasteful to say the least. They were actually polite when pitching the process to me. They told me everything would be taken care without a dime. It was my fault for not asking what that meant. I am two years into a five year contract and cant say the experience has been good. They gave me a stock cover and later complained that the book didn't sell because of its length. The part they didn't like was me reminding them they said they would handle everything. I do intend to hold them to this and know it is expensive to keep a book on file that doesn't sell. So for me since they only have a book I wrote in my free time they can hang onto it until the contract expires. Enjoy PA.

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JANUARY 31, 2014

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