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Author Solutions - The spread of predatory publishing


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#1 Midnight Whimsy

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 10:10 PM

https://davidgaughra...inside-story-2/

 

 

Despite Author Solutions’ mounting legal troubles, and an unending stream of complaints against the company from both its own customers and a whole host of writers’ organizations and campaigners, companies are still queuing up to partner with Author Solutions.

 

Penguin Random House – its corporate parent – has shown no inclination towards reforming any of the deceptive and misleading practices of Author Solutions, or addressing any of the long-standing issues its customers face, handily summarized by Emily Suess as:

  • improperly reporting royalty information
  • non-payment of royalties
  • breach of contract
  • predatory and harassing sales calls
  • excessive markups on review and advertising services
  • failure to deliver marketing services as promised
  • telling customers their add-ons will only cost hundreds of dollars and then charging their credit cards thousands of dollars
  • ignoring customer complaints
  • shaming and banning customers who go public with their stories.

 

 

Below is a partial list of the publishing companies which have partnered with Author Solutions to create their own in-house “self-publishing service,” but it gives you an idea of just how many supposedly respectable publishers are willing to profit from exploiting inexperienced writers.

 

The name of the respective service – or what Author Solutions refers to as a “Partner Imprint” – is in brackets.

  • Simon & Schuster (Archway Publishing)
  • Lulu
  • Harlequin (DelleArte Press) – partnership terminated 2015
  • Hay House (Balboa US, Balboa Australia)
  • Barnes & Noble (Nook Press Author Services)
  • Crossbooks (LifeWay) – partnership terminated 2014
  • Penguin (Partridge India, Partridge Singapore, Partridge Africa)
  • HarperCollins/Thomas Nelson/Zondervan (Westbow Press)
  • Random House (MeGustaEscribir)
  • Writer’s Digest (Abbott Press) – partnership terminated 2014

Some of these companies go to great lengths to hide the Author Solutions connection (Lulu, Barnes & Noble, and Crossbooks being pretty famous examples), and customers of these platforms often aren’t aware that services are being fulfilled by Author Solutions – yet another reason, if one is needed, why victims shouldn’t be blamed.

 

 

The spread of Author Solutions is scary stuff.

 

M.W



#2 K.M. Hanson

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Posted 03 June 2015 - 01:01 PM

I am soooooo lost on the whole publishing front. Right now Abbott Press is trying to woo me over to them, but I keep seeing contradictory info on whether or not use them. Some call them a vanity press, so what exactly does that mean? 

 

This person had a good experience, I guess, and nobody slammer her for using them: http://agentquerycon...=+abbott +press

 

Here it sounds like they are being slammed. http://agentquerycon...ess#entry153853

 

Holy heck... what you pay for sounds impressive when they market it to you, but everyone makes it sound like a scam. So is it?


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#3 J. Lea Lopez

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 07:53 AM

I suppose it's possible to not have a horrible experience with a vanity publisher, but that doesn't make it ideal either. If you look at TL's book rank on Amazon (not a sole indicator of how something is selling, but a decent one to give you just an idea of it) it's not so great. So, if not sales, what has she gotten from Abbott Press? How has she benefitted? And she's still looking for a traditional deal. I took a look at Abbott's packages (and your question inspired me to write this blog post http://www.fromthewr...nt-be-vain.html ) and my gut says to drop that like a hot rock. If you want to self publish, do it. But not through them. You'll pay a minimum of $999, and that doesn't even include editing, which is the most important part of publishing. Not to mention shipping costs for all of those free copies of things they offer you. AND they still take a cut of your sales. For what? This is not a good deal for you.

#4 David Nees

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 11:17 AM

I'm also still trying to figure this out.  From what I've gleaned so far, someone looking to self publish would be well served by using Smashwords or CreateSpace.  It seems you can do much of the work yourself (they try to sell you services to make it easier).  CreateSpace allows you to market anywhere (I think), but they are owned by Amazon, so you can get on their market right away.

 

I have a friend who published a non-fiction book through Westbow.  He was not happy at all with the results after spending a lot of money (more than paying for some of the Smashwords/CreateSpace services).


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#5 mwsinclair

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 01:56 PM

I've used Smashwords and CreateSpace as well as directly on Kindle. The hassle with Smashwords is the design. Ultimately, anywhere you publish will require work on the marketing end. As writers, it's not our bread and butter, usually. But it's worth learning (and I've been increasing my homework all year) if you intend to keep publishing.

 

For what it's worth, a long time ago on a blog far, far away, I posted this: http://www.fromthewr...about-self.html which might help your current situation.



#6 Andrea Lambert

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 03:32 PM

I don't want to self-publish mainly because I don't want to pay for it. It's hella expensive.

 

At least with a small press even if they don't pay you they always cover the cost of producing the book so at least you're not gaining or losing money there, just getting precious precious exposure and publication credits.

 

I am frightened by these predatory pay-to-publish outfits, they seem like they feed on ego and dreams and hand you a bill in the end. No, thanks. But if that's working out for you, godspeed, right on. I know some people are very happy with the freedom of self-publishing. You definitely don't have to have all of the myriad gatekeeper that there are in the traditional publishing world.


Website: https://andreaklambert.com
 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndreaLamber

 

GoodReads Author bio: https://www.goodread....Andrea_Lambert

 

Amazon author bio: https://www.amazon.c...ine_cont_book_1
 
JET SET DESOLATE from Future Fiction London on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co...t/dp/0578016257

 

LORAZEPAM & THE VALLEY OF SKIN: EXTRAPOLATIONS ON LOS ANGELES from valeveil: http://www.valeveil.se/posts/196
 

HAUNTING MUSES from Bedazzled Ink on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co...e/dp/194383752X

 

WRITING THE WALLS DOWN: A CONVERGENCE OF LGBTQ VOICES from Trans-Genre Press: http://trans-genre.n...the-walls-down/
 
THE L.A. TELEPHONE BOOK, VOL. 1 from ARRAS.NET: http://www.arras.net/?page_id=658

 

 





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