Penguin-owned Author Solutions Under Investigation for ‘Deceptive Practices’

Author Solutions under ‘investigation’

In the last 24 hours, speculation has been running rife that Penguin’s self-publishing service, Author Solutions, is headed for the courts after it was revealed that New York law firm Giskan Solotaroff Anderson & Stewart is investigating claims that the company hasn’t been meeting it’s obligations, or worse.

Giskan Solotaroff Anderson & Stewart LLP is currently investigating the practices of Author Solutions and all of its brands (AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Trafford, Xlibris, Inkubook, and Wordclay). Authors using Author Solutions have complained of deceptive practices, including enticing authors to purchase promotional services that are not provided or are worthless, failing to pay royalties, and spamming authors and publishing blogs/sites with promotional material.

The company was acquired in the middle of last year by Pearson for $115 million as part of a redesign and restructuring of Penguin’s own self-publishing imprint, Book Country, and was a key part of the new self-publishing business launched in November with Simon & Schuster called Archway Publishing.

But the company’s questionable practices have been going on for some time: a Google search turns up loads of negative experiences with the company and its subsidiaries. Described by one poster as “a class-action lawsuit waiting to happen” and with plenty evidence to support this, I don’t think Giskan, et al. will have much trouble finding people who have had bad experiences — or in getting them to come forward.

Have you used Author Solutions or one of it’s subsidiaries? How was it for you, if that’s not too personal?

If you would like to get involved with the investigation, you can provide information to Giskan Solotaroff Anderson & Stewart via their website.

Dean Fetzer

News by Dean Fetzer

Dean Fetzer is originally from a small town in eastern Colorado, but has lived in London, England, for the past 21 years. After a career in graphic design, he started a pub review website in the late 90’s; He left that in 2011 to concentrate on his thriller writing, as well as offering publishing services for authors, poets and artists. When not writing - or in the pub - he can be found in the theatre, live music venues and travelling.

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Rob's picture
Class Director
Rob from New York City is reading at a fast enough pace it would be cumbersome to update this March 5, 2013 - 8:00am

Good! These fuckers are pure evil and I hope they get sued out of existence.

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break March 5, 2013 - 9:25am

I made my formal report.

I went with iUniverse back in 2008. Terrible experience...every step of it. My "publishing professional" changed three times. The edit (both content and line) was virtually non-existent. I was constantly spammed to buy more shit. Nothing really turned out the way I wanted it to. It was Murphy's Law relative to publishing. Even the books themselves were shit...paperbacks specifically would come unglued at the spine and fall apart. 

I'm quite thankful that someone is finally taking some legal action on this. It's gone on far too long. 

jmp111959's picture
jmp111959 September 17, 2015 - 4:48pm

I paid very good money to have my book put into the Ingram catalog. This a year ago and I haven't heard a damn thing about it since. I think I am being decieved by Xlibirs.