Friday, September 14, 2012

Author Solutions is a $116 million pile of crap

Author Solutions, Inc. ("ASI") says it is the "world leader in the fastest growing segment of publishing," "the leader in self-publishing," "the world’s leading provider of professional self-publishing services," and that it publishes "one of every 15 book titles published in the US every year."

ASI was recently sold to Pearson PLC, the parent of 'traditional' publisher Penguin Group, for $116 million. The seller was  Bertram Capital Management LLC, a private equity company.

ASI has become the colossus of self-publishing by combining former competitors including AuthorHouse, Xlibris, iUniverse, Wordclay and Trafford. ASI is the "private-label" self-pub service provider for traditional publishers Hay House, Thomas Nelson and Harlequin. ASI also operates Abbott Press for Writer's Digest magazine.

Publishing and business observers aware of the price and the purchaser said that the deal showed that self-publishing has become legitimate and respectable. 

I have zero respect for ASI, and am losing respect for Penguin.

I criticized the Xlibris brand of Author Solutions for producing a crappy book, with no screening or editing. I also slammed the idots at the AuthorHouse imprint for producing a terrible press release.

I found the following on the home page of the Author Solutions website. It's a promo for a couple who are apparently happy with their publishing experience.
It's too bad that no one in the support team of "experienced professionals" noticed the unnecessary apostrophe in "The Wormley's."

A corporate website intended to win new business -- especially for a book company -- should not have bad grammar. If the company can't get its own website right, can you trust them with your book?

1 comment:

  1. This may be a trend to broaden offerings beyond merely creating ebooks and physical copies to providing some hope of actual distribution to an author, however slim that hope may be. LightningSource creates perceived value by including self pub in its parent company Ingram's catalogue that they show to B & N and indies. Never mind whether any of those categories have ever actually BOUGHT anything from a LightningSource author.
    We could also look at this as the bigger houses using self pub as a "farm team." Considering some of the recent jumps from self pub to big imprints, the publishers may see that it makes sense to have an in-house pipeline for new material that didn't come through the literary agent channel.
    The bad news is that I don't see any immediate way that any of this helps the struggling self published or unpublished author.