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