There are many traps out there for the unwary aspiring writer. Publish America has long been luring authors into ‘publication’ at their own expense. When I was at Worldcon in Glasgow in 2005 there was a panel on this topic. Half a dozen well known authors had all written a chapter of a book,without consulting with eachother, and sent the book to PA, which made them an offer of publication. To give you an idea how bad this book was, not only did the main character’s eye colour change, but the gender also changed.
The point the panel was making was that many authors were almost ready to be accepted yet they went with PA and ended up with a garage full of books. Of course, in the 6 years since the Glasgow Worldcon the paradigm of publishing has changed and writers can self publish and get distribution which used to be the killer. But the hard part is still getting your book noticed.
Now PA are up to their old tricks with variations. Apparently they are approaching authors, offering to send copies of their books directly to famous people such as JK Rowling, or to put their books in promotional material which will be presented at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
For more detail on the JK Rowling scam see Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware.
For more detail on the Edinburgh International Book Festival see SF Writers of America.