Author Solutions AKA AuthorHouse Gets The Chop

Author Solutions Gets The Chop

Penguin Random House has booted Author Solutions.

Media reports have confirmed the sale of Author Solutions, and that Penguin Random House will abandon their venture into expensive self-publishing and concentrate on traditional publishing in the future.

For those who may not know, Author Solutions is the parent company of the self-publishing companies/imprints AuthorHouseiUniverseTrafford PublishingXlibris, Palibrio, and Booktango.

The following article in the Financial Times, explains the reasons for the sale.

Penguin Random exits self-publishing

The world’s largest publisher has withdrawn from the self-publishing business, in effect admitting defeat in its controversial attempt to compete with Amazon’s own platform.

Penguin Random House said on Tuesday that it had sold Author Solutions, which allowed writers direct access to publishing tools, to an unnamed affiliate of US private equity firm, Najafi Companies. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but analysts said the price was likely to be a fraction of the $116m that Penguin paid for Author Solutions in 2012.

Penguin, owned by Pearson, merged with Random House, owned by German media group Bertelsmann, in 2013. Pearson sold the Financial Times in November.

Self-publishing has been growing rapidly, with more authors designing and selling their books without the backing of a traditional publishing house. Author Solutions has sought to capitalise by offering a variety of services to independent authors, including “web-optimised” press releases for $1,299 each.

The company was subject to frequent complaints from authors. Two class action lawsuits against Author Solutions were settled last September without the company admitting responsibility.

Orna Ross, the founder of the Alliance of Independent Authors, said that Author Solutions’ business practices were “problematic”, contrasting them with those of Amazon-owned CreateSpace. “The lesson for publishers is to be more author-centric, rather than trying to sell expensive and unnecessary services,” she said.

Author Solutions says it has worked with “more than 200,000 authors, helping them publish more than 250,000 titles” — suggesting that few customers use its services more than once. Its best-selling books to date include Andrea Perron’s ebook House of Darkness House of Light and Don Failla’s print title The 45 Second Presentation That Will Change Your Life.

Penguin Random House will limit itself to traditional publishing. “With this sale, we reaffirm our focus on consumer book publishing through our 250 imprints worldwide,” its chief executive Markus Dohle said.

Read the full article here.

It is no surprise that Author Solutions, aka Author House, has been sold off.

Their business model has often been called into question, and from my own experience, they used high-pressure selling techniques.

On three occasions, a representative from AuthorHouse pestered me for weeks on end, by phone and email, trying to get me to pay to publish my books with them.

At around $4,000 per book, why would I bother?

Even when I explained that it cost me nothing to self-publish my books, so I had no need for their services, they still continued to hound me.

All I can say after reading that Penguin Random House has shed Author Solutions is goodbye and good riddance.


Note: While this article is now a little aged, it is still a timely warning to new authors to avoid vanity publishers such as AuthorHouse.

Why spend, and waste, thousands of dollars for something that you can now by yourself, for free. Never confuse vanity publishing with self-publishing.


For more information regarding AuthorHouse and Author Solutions, you may want to read our newer article about vanity publishers.


Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent teaching English and writing, as well as testing and taming new technology.

5 thoughts on “Author Solutions AKA AuthorHouse Gets The Chop

  • May 5, 2020 at 10:57 pm

    Author House debiting me £810 for publishing, then a week later phoned wanting another £810 for marketing! When will it end?

  • May 16, 2019 at 11:22 pm

    I paid, I get no royalties, I finished the manuscript and then they created all types of road blocks from their Manila outsourced call center. $7,000 and NO SUPPORT no follow up. Even the President and his Operations person just ignores my certified letters asking for response. This is my 2nd NOVEL and I can not even get it published. The first novel after I paid to get it published, they sent me a check for $10.00 after 1,000 sold through wholesalers.

    • May 20, 2020 at 10:10 pm

      Sir, I had the same experience as my sales weren’t posted by Author Solutions. How did you find out your sales record. I’m already aware of Amazon so please don’t send Amazon ranking record.

  • June 7, 2018 at 11:41 pm

    Author Ripoff is most suitable for the so called company I am a victim as many others not getting any royaties for our book after paying Authorhouse thousands of pounds May they reap what they sow……

    • May 20, 2020 at 10:12 pm

      Let’s start another class action lawsuit, please.


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