Random House Gives Author Solutions AKA AuthorHouse The Chop
Penguin Random House has booted Author Solutions.
Media reports have confirmed the sale of Author Solutions by Penguin Random House.
It will abandon its venture into expensive self-publishing and concentrate on traditional publishing in the future.
This article is now dated but remains online for reference value.
Author Solutions is infamous
For those who may not know, Author Solutions is the parent company of vanity publishing companies and imprints, including AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Trafford Publishing, Xlibris, 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The world’s largest publisher has withdrawn from the self-publishing business, in effect admitting defeat in its controversial attempt to compete with Amazon’s own platform.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.
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.
Annoying business practices
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 did not need their services, they continued to hound me.
All I can say after reading that Penguin Random House has shed Author Solutions is goodbye and good riddance.
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, you may want to read our newer article about vanity publishers.
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.
22 thoughts on “Random House Gives Author Solutions AKA AuthorHouse The Chop”
I sent my manuscript and cover design to AH. I never received my galley proofs or cover design for approval. The other day I received my author copies. AH published my book without my approval. Now they want me to resubmit my manuscript and cover design and call it a resubmission that costs hundreds more on top of original costs. Has anyone dealt with an exec in Bloomington or do I have fight the folks in the Philippines?Does anyone work in Bloomington or is it just a front org?
These people need to be thrown out of the country! They stole 30g’s from me and sold 0 books. They sat on un-launched campaigns for almost a year until I threatened legal action. Now they are sending bogus excuses that prove nothing. I will make it a mission to shut these lying thieving parasites down and send them back to the Philippines
I agree with the preceding complainant that persisting in using Author House Publishing is equivalent to certifying yourself as having ‘lost your mind’. Me too.
I hooked up with them because although — as I confided to them — I was becoming
severely unwell in Oxford UK where I live — I was attracted by their claim to serve English writers as well as American writers and readers, Author Solutions’ advertising claims to have facilities in London as well as apparently in Bloomington, Indiana. Both my children, with their families, reside in USA.
So I trusted them to treat me as decently as friends in publishing believe that English publishers would have done.
I continued (and still am) extremely ill (from what our government which is at this time solicitous to forward women’s catch-up welfare) terms the ‘Long Covid’. I am 86 and lack digital skills.
Author House was lying when it claimed to have a branch or connections in England. Apart from having currency exchange rates skills, they are as ignorant of Britain as they are about the many other nations in the world whose concerns my book addresses. From USA they got me to pay many thousands of pounds/dollars for trickily duplicated and irrelevant services –, and issued my book in much the same poor shape as they’d mentally reduced me to. I’ve never had much money and don’t hang out with rich people as AHse assumes I do. It declines to give me data on numbers of my book’s sales and possible returns — while it appears to have purchased access to ‘Pegasus’, the phone hacking tool that the editor of one of Britain’s leading newspaper, ‘The Guardian’ ,is campaigning to expose. AHse appears to have joined certain governments and corporations, and perhaps banks, that use this privacy-shattering tool. After telling AHse that I was terminating my payments to AHse and its subsidiaries, it harassed me with phone calls. I did what I could to block these calls, but it or they or Pegasus found some way — at their choice of spying-gained significant moments — to negate my blockage. Even now it persists in trying to renew its harassment efforts.
I feel you. They got me too. Even Amazon told me to sue them. They want me to prove how many copies have sold. An impossible task since there are numerous distributors and only they know the true number
Yes. I have had a horrible experience with author solutions iuniverse. They tried telling me my book sold 31 copies. But thrift books bought 50 to sell as did barnes and noble and many other distributors. It is presently featured by thrift books online worldwide. Y would they feature my book if it is not selling? I am out 8,000$+ And these people tell outright lies when confronted. I am going with a traditional publishing company this go around. Macmillan.
Where to turn if you hav complaints with Autorhouse?
Try the Better Business Bureau.
To even consider them as being legitimate means you have lost your mind. Ignore them. Your peace of mind is more important. They are a rip off, plain and simple. I have received pennies although I. Tracked down hundreds of sales. My book was very popular in the Netherlands. It sold very well on Bol. com. Move on. C Mahan Clarke. Author of The Witch of the Bones. Also the editing was terrible. One good thing they accomplished was the Art Wor.k. Good luck.
Yes author is s ripped off
I just recieved a cold call from Author Solutions today and then the email below. I XXX the man’s name out. I was wondering if this was legit and did a search and found your article here and I am glad I did!
Hi Robert Deloyd,
Are you still interested to publish your book with Xlibris Publishing?
The first extensive article above is mine, and I completely agree with the comments of other comment providers that came before. The Vanity Press is a needed feature in our society but they most be ,kept honest with contributors who are their bread and butter, Thanks for your reportage on this subject that has been neglected for a very long time.
Greetings Writers and the Public;
In 2011, after review of several vanity press publishers noted AuthorHouse was rated as number two, as being recommended as a publisher, so I contacted them from my home on Batam Island, Indonesia and signed for a package. Within a few weeks I submitted my bio work, Rogue Journey, Asia, 1935-1975. After submission it took a couple of months of correspondence over errors I and they had made in spelling, etc. which were not extensive, but never completely corrected by the House but was charged quite a bit for their haphazard editing.
I believe I spent nearly $2000 to have the work published with still a dozen plus errors appearing in the book. I avoided any pressure on purchasing additional assistance. Some of it appeared ridiculous, i. e. completely editing the volume for six cents a word. So, I sat back and published. Was surprised the book was published and printed in the U. K. first as I waited for a couple of months and received a few royalties, $36, $50, and I believe $69.oo and then over the next severa quarters peanuts and then it stopped and silence. I inquired, was told it was early and must have patience, Shortly with a busy schedule I forgot about the book hoping and trusting for the best, but the best never came; yet, the book was appearing in second-hand outlets and am certain consistently while on Amazon Kindle. I wrote again, and again ,and then dropped my limited campaign thinking well I have published a book foe the world to see and it was enough and had a few copies not realizing the book lived on. Finally after years I realized the book’s title would sell more or less by itself, and made other inquiries, Actually it’s a darn good archive work of personal experience covering Japan, Korea, the U. S. and ten years with my family in Vietnam. Still There was No adequate feedback from the House.
I withdrew the book from AuthorHouse in 2016 after making inquiries in the U, S. and U.K. Was told by the outlets (2-3) that by agreement they could not furnish the volume of its sales per the agreement with AuthorHouse, by then Author Solutions, and later incorporated with a couple dozen other vanity publishers, taking them over and forming a profitable monopoly of the entire vanity publishing industry. (There are rumors of Mafia interests, only rumors?)
(It’ a very profitable business folks, when authors sleep)
I wrote again, and complained asking what are the sales figures of the book, and got a firm letter with no explanation for my question. The figures? No explanation at all, So, the figures for sales are known only to the corporate organization, realizing negligent naive people, non-professional writers like me, and grandmas writing about their children and family matters have and would forget about their work submitted in good faith, of which many did. But, the sales continued with no reporting of the sales or royalties due to agreements with outlets, and perhaps on the internet with corporations like the giants Amazon, B & N, and individual outlets as in foreign countries, U.K, Canada, etc, Amazon must have made a significant amount of money by keeping quiet and I assume was cooperative with the House and others, but ignored the inquiries and complaints received by folks like me the undersigned. Amazon was along with the U, K. branch of Author Solutions may be culpable.
A few of my complaints and threats are on Pissed Off Consumer, and with the BBB in Indiana which sided with the House in 2015-16, (Very early-on the AuthorHouses corporation was awarded a commendation for their services to the Bloomington community. (Nice building) By letting this matter go, I in probability have lost thousands of dollars over the years just like the other folks. I can name names of course because I have a few email letters in my files including the Terns and Agreement but these are underlying staff and not the executives.
I a year ago phoned an attorney but when questioned, he asked me how many copies of the book were printed and I said initially I think 1,ooo or so, Well with that was enough he lost interest as too small a case for recovery, but I neglected to mention the internet, and telling him it could have been thousands more printed and unknown to me, (I was with them for nearly six years)
Join a class action suit,…certainly, That’s my regrettable story, and am sticking to it.
PS: JUST TWO MONTHS AGO I REPUBLISHED ROGUE JOURNEY WORK ON AMAZON, I BELIEVE ONE CAN CAPTURE IT FOR ABOUT TEN DOLLARS OR LESS ON THE NET. I HAVE NOT SEEN IT BECAUSE IT IS PROHIBITED FROM APPEARING IN MOSLEM COUNTRIES DUE TO CONTENT, HAVE NOT HELD A COPY OF IT EITHER ALTHOUGH IT MAY APPEAR LATER AS A PAPERBACK. AMATEUR WRITERS DON’T GET STARY EYED ABOUT AMAZON EITHER, THE OWNER DURING A CONGRESSIONAL INVERVIEW STATED ON THE NET AMAZON GETS 70% OF THE FEE FOR READINGS THE AVERAGE, UNNEGOTIATED BOOK AND THE AUTHOR AND AGENTS INVOLVED SIMILAR TO THE HOUSE, ETC SPLIT THE 30%. I ASSUME THAT OKAY, AT LEAST IT’S SOMETHING.
Author House debiting me £810 for publishing, then a week later phoned wanting another £810 for marketing! When will it end?
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.
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.
Hi, RTDrozek, thanks for your comment. I have the same issue and would like to know how you found out how many copies of your book had been sold. I need to find out how many books have been sold also. Please reply using this site or shoot me a personal email.
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……
Let’s start another class action lawsuit, please.
Agree that should like to see clear up of Author House and share of damages.. Spent too much for my title “Plotting to stop the British Slave Trade: James Bruce and his secret mission in Africa.” I hurried to finish it while I was ill and able to keep a check on proofing proceedings and fulfilment of marketing.
I am sure that they should be proven illegal on at least ground that they claim to have a London branch but do not. They have no office here — and cannot even digitally follow British usage and spelling conventions.
If anyone is still trying joint law suit I’d be glad to support, discuss, help.
I would also like to be informed and join up in lawsuit.
My daughter got lost a lot of money from them I’m in for lawsuit
Lawsuit sounds good let me know also!
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