Writer Beware’s Self-Publishing Page Renovated and Updated

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware

I've completely re-worked the Self-Publishing page of Writer Beware, to better reflect the rapid changes in the self-publishing marketplace.

New features include an introduction that provides an overview of how technology has transformed self-publishing, pointers on making the decision to self-publish (or not), an expanded list of cautions for self-publishers (including common scams), and many new links to articles, experts, and statistics.

Comments and suggestions are welcome. Please post them here, or email me.

3 comments to Writer Beware’s Self-Publishing Page Renovated and Updated

  • Hi Victoria.
    Thank you for your comments and suggestions.
    Unfortunately, school fees in this business can be a tad on the astronomical side. It seems that Author Solutions may have added another loop to the knot with their “sales department”
    I cannot be held blameless in this sorry saga. I should have done my homework more thouroughly, but hindsight is littered with the superfluous cliche’s of should have, would have and could have.
    Another warning to authors with no experience would be to do the research rather than learn by being led down a blind alley on the basis of promises that cannot be substantiated.
    But the more relevant warning would be to advise anyone with a book to publish, to stay well clear of these blood suckers. It is now obvious to me that their entire operation is run on deceipt and the rich pickings that are onstream from the endless flow of first time authors eager to have their work published.
    The evidence is there that Author Solutions with their multitude of “sub-publishers” run their business with the sole intention of fleecing the authors who are naive enough to fall into their well laid trap.
    I’m not done yet. I may have walked into a minefield, but I intened to prevent as many authors as I can reach out to from making the same mistake.

    Kind regards
    Ian Mackenzie

  • Victoria Strauss

    Thanks for commenting, Ian. I’m sorry you’ve had such an unsatisfactory experience–but as I’m sure you know, you’re not alone.

    I’m shocked at the sales pitch you got for buying printed books. Author Solutions’ whole business model is built on print on demand, so there’s no need whatsoever to print books in advance of orders–unless you are going to sell the books personally on your own, which doesn’t sound like what you intended (or what was pitched to you). If I were in your situation, I’d probably forget about getting the shipment, and demand my money be refunded.

  • Author House, Xibris, I.Universe and Partridge are all part of the Author Solutions stable and as a victim of their extortionist tactics and unethical business practices, I reserve the right to share my experience with authors on a global scale..
    I was assisted in publishing my first book by Author House. I was mega impressed by the speed and efficiency with which the whole process came together. I had paid them a fee, which I considered fair and believed that I had received value.
    It took some time for the dawn of reality to emerge and by then I had been suckered in like sheep to the slaughter. Reality being that a produced book is their access to your wallet.
    Firstly, the ink was barely dry and I got a call from the “marketing” department telling me what a wonderful book I had written and that it was destined for best seller status, but like any new product. it needed promoting. I was given a glowing resume’ of how they had helped obscure authors out of obscurity and into the spotlight of publishing fame. Skeptical I was, but when presented with what they had in mind, I had to admit that it sounded pretty damn good. I invested $ 5,000.00 in the package they offered me and received in return about $ 200.00 in value. What they delivered was vastly different from the package I had paid for…. What surprised me was the speed with which they offered me a 50% refund when I finally got one of their directors on the phone. They still made a packet out of me without delivering anything that remotely resembled a marketing package. I guess the rapid refund was a gesture designed to shut me up.
    Before the dawning of reality, their “sales” department was onto me..”This book is best seller material” they said. “You just have to have it printed for distribution in the States. It will fly off the shelves and we will actively promote it”… Yeah right!!…. I paid $ 9,500.00 to have 3,000 books printed and immediately the money left my account they went into silent mode. It took me 3 months to get answers as to the status of the books and discovered that they were in a warehouse in Ohio awaiting orders from online booksellers .. No active promotion, no flying off shelves, no enthusiasm to honour their undertaking.
    ROYATY TIME!!.. I received my first royalty statement a month later than it was due, which understated sales that I was aware of by 52 books. When I queried that, I was told to provide evidence of the sales that I was claiming. But the account with online booksellers was in the name of Author House and I could not gain access to the records without the authority of the account holder… Author House. Would Author House provide me with the required access?. No chance!
    And the check for the royalties due against the understated sales?… “Oh thats in the post… We posted it on 30th May”… Well August is nearly over and I still don’t have the check. The books that have been gathering dust in Ohio are now supposed to be shipped to me in South Africa, but they cannot find a carrier to handle the shipment. (30 boxes of books??,. C’mon!) only a half wit would believe that. I don’t even know if the books were ever printed and I suspect not. After having demanded that they send them to me so that I could take control, one delay has followed another and after two months of wrangling I’m told they’re on the way, but guess what?.. They can’t find a copy of the waybill or any reference to the consignment. . They also keep ducking my request to provide evidence of their print run.. I wonder why?

    Oh YES!!!… I’m angry. I reserve the right to be. I can categorically state without fear of reprisal that the Author Solutions group are publishing predators. They prey on the vulnerability and inexperience of first time authors who are duped into believing their falsehoods.
    I would strongly recommend that anyone thinking about publishing their work, steer very clear of these institutions.
    I wish I had.

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