My darling sister sent me an email, explaining how someone she corresponds with through work has just published a novel. Something about the phrasing of "Googling his name" and "it's available on Amazon" made me suspicious -- and so I looked up his book. The publisher is iUniverse. If you Google "iUniverse", you find:
iUniverse, the leading book publisher, offers the best book publishing services in the self publishing industry. Chosen as the leading print on demand book ...
This guy's book is self-published. He didn't find a publishing house and an editor willing to pay him and publish his book -- he paid someone else to put his book out there. Amazon will sell them, too -- they don't care. But this isn't proper publishing.
I will say that as a business, iUniverse gets higher marks than PublishAmerica. See the Wikipedia entry on "Atlanta Nights".
And there are times that printing a book or producing a POD (Print On Demand) from iUniverse or LuLu is useful -- a previously published best-selling author I know recently used LuLu to produce a handful of draft copies of one of his novels to hand around to people before it was published. I might try that myself sometime. But claiming you are a published author when you did it yourself... sorry. Not Kosher.
(laughing out loud so much it's a good thing I wasn't eating at the time)
What I hadn't read before were the blurbs for Atlanta Nights.
Oh my. (wipes eyes)