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A Victory Against Author Solutions

14 February 2014

From David Gaughran:

It should be clear to everyone now that Penguin Random House has no intention of cleaning up Author Solutions.

. . . .

I’ve been covering the Author Solutions story for a while now – particularly since the Penguin purchase, which was met with disbelief in the author community.  It’s a frustrating beat, especially when faced with a wall of silence from the many companies and organizations in traditional publishing who have links to Author Solutions and its subsidiaries.

Documenting the links between Author Solutions and the rest of the publishing world is depressing work. The list reads like a Who’s Who of traditional publishing. Getting them to discuss their links to Author Solutions has been near-impossible, let alone taking any action with regard to those links.

One exception has been The Bookseller.

criticized The Bookseller when I learned it was carrying advertising from Author Solutions. Those ads were being re-sold by Author Solutions to its customers at insane mark-ups (prices up to $10,500). Price-gouging aside, I felt that Author Solutions being able to offer such advertising to its customers bestowed legitimacy on its scammy operations.

That post led to a dialogue with Philip Jones, the editor of The Bookseller. Last week, he told me that The Bookseller is no longer accepting such ads. Here’s the money quote, reproduced with permission:

The Bookseller is no longer taking advertising from Author Solutions or its subsidiary companies. We’ve previously asked them to update the information they display about us on their websites, and have now asked them to remove it entirely.

. . . .

This week I discovered another prestigious literary festival which has been welcoming Author Solutions for several years. From figures in their own press release regarding the 2013 LA Times Book Fair, Author Solutions hosted 80 book signings and showcased 1,100 titles.

By their own price list – where they charge $3,999 for the former and $599 for the latter – this netted Author Solutions $658,900 for “showcasing” those books and a further $319,920 for the book signings. That’s a total of almost one million dollars. From one event!

It’s great to get a victory against Author Solutions, but it’s time to increase the pressure on the companies and organisations which still have links with the company. I’ve been asked by readers to compile a list of such links, and I’ve copied that below.

Link to the rest at Let’s Get Visible

David Gaughran, Self-Publishing Warnings

12 Comments to “A Victory Against Author Solutions”

  1. It’s great to get a victory against Author Solutions, but it’s time to increase the pressure on the companies and organisations which still have links with the company.

    Shouldn’t Penguin Random House be one of them? I mean, it’s great The Bookseller cut the ads to them, but maybe they should also refuse to run ads for or reviews of Penguin Random House books.

  2. Nice. Good work, David! Thank you!

  3. David is really to be lauded for his tireless efforts on this issue. Author Solutions is about as morally bankrupt a company in publishing as one can imagine, and it’s to the eternal shame of Penguin Random House that they are active participants in this kind of predatory business.
    Although it’s a small step, Philip Jones at The Bookseller deserves a good deal of credit.

    • Although it’s a small step, Philip Jones at The Bookseller deserves a good deal of credit.

      Hear, hear. Good for Mr. Jones and good for The Bookseller. Class.

      And Mr. Gaughran, what the hell? You knocked this piece of author activism out on the side, while writing a novel? Jiminy, man, do you sleep?

      Beers. Multiple beers.

  4. And just think. The publishers that will be slamming Hugh’s Author Earnings data are the same ones that have crawled into bed with Author Solutions..

  5. Kudos to David.

  6. Bravo, David! Your tireless advocacy is paying off – thanks from the heart!

  7. One line to mark off on my “Have they no shame?” list. It’s still too long…

  8. Publishers Weekly even mention David and The Bookseller this morning. Times they are a-changing. (With due respect to Bob Dylan.)

  9. Big Traditional Publisher

    Arrrrrrrrrrgh! You guys weren’t supposed to know what Author Solutions is really about! Now you’ve spoiled the surprise! One borne out looove for you writers to show you how much we care about and cherish you.

    Great! Valentine’s Day is ruined thanks a lot David and the rest of you @#$&! writers.

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