Random House Gives Author Solutions AKA AuthorHouse The Chop

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The world’s largest publisher has withdrawn from the self-publishing business, in effect admitting defeat in its controversial attempt to compete with Amazon’s own platform.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

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.

Derek Haines

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

Avatar for Derek Haines

21 thoughts on “Random House Gives Author Solutions AKA AuthorHouse The Chop

  • Avatar for Jane Aptekar Reeve
    July 23, 2021 at 11:21 pm

    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.

  • Avatar for Douglas snodgrass
    July 8, 2021 at 5:19 pm

    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

  • Avatar for Douglas snodgrass
    July 8, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    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.

  • Avatar for Carl-Evert Jonsson
    July 6, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    Where to turn if you hav complaints with Autorhouse?

  • Avatar for Chris Clarke
    March 17, 2021 at 8:06 am

    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.

  • Avatar for a
    November 27, 2020 at 1:27 am

    Yes author is s ripped off


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