BookLocker.com, a firm that competes with Balboa Press (and many others), is the parent company of this publication. Many authors who are unhappy with other publishers have submitted their manuscripts to BookLocker for consideration. However, BookLocker.com vets manuscripts for quality and salability, and rejects a large number of manuscripts per year. When we do, we must refer those authors to different P.O.D. publishers. Unfortunately, we can NOT refer authors to Balboa Press.
Balboa Press is a division of Hay House. Both firms are in partnership with Author Solutions, which has been the subject of two class-action lawsuits by their authors. Balboa Press often flies under the radar because they haven’t published as many books as some of the larger print on demand/self-publishing service companies. However, small doesn’t necessarily mean better service…based on the complaints below.
The fact that Balboa Press charges authors such exorbitant amounts of money is bad enough but guess what they do if an author isn’t happy, and wants to move their book elsewhere? They make the author pay even more!
Balboa’s publishing packages start at $1,099 (which is WAY more than you should spend to publish a black and white interior paperback!), and run up to a whopping $14,999!! Of course, they’ll be happy to upsell you to the tune of thousands more for additional services! Since, Balboa earns money on every copy sold, and if their services were really resulting in significant book sales, wouldn’t they be offering those services for free?
Last week, we received the following email from a Balboa Press author:
“Last year I published my first self published book through Balboa Press, a Division of Hay House. It was extremely costly, plus I did a costly 4-month marketing plan with them and feel I have nothing to show for all that money spent. I’m constantly confused why no sales show up in their sales report for me because I know books have sold.”
The author was considering moving her book to BookLocker, which ALWAYS pays its authors’ royalties on time. In fact, we have paid royalties early on numerous occasions. We know how the industry works and there is absolutely NO excuse for a publisher to making late royalty payments. Please see my article, Publisher Ponzi Schemes, for an explanation on how book sales, payments from distributors/retailers, and responsible management of authors’ royalties works. Publishers who give lame excuses about late royalty payments are usually lying. Where’s that money really going? We’ll tell you next week.
So, the author above complained about not being paid by Balboa Press for sales she knew had occurred, and said she wanted to move her book to BookLocker. I told her to check the termination clause in her Balboa contract. That’s when she learned that she would have to pay $750 (!!!) to get out of her contract because she hadn’t yet been with them for 18 months. If she waits for the full 18 months, the fee drops to a (still insulting) $300.
Now, why in the world would a publisher that charges up to $15,000 to publish a book (and offers numerous add-on services as well) squeeze authors for another $300-$750 if the author is unhappy?
Boy oh boy, with those types of ridiculous fees, and based on other complaints we’ve read, it sure seems like they’re TRYING to p*ss authors off!! And, it appears to be working! Just a quick Google search results in numerous complaints about Balboa Press from their authors.
Complaints about Balboa Press:
Quotes from Victoria Strauss’ readers – More Warnings: Balboa Press/Author Solutions
“Don’t mention Balboa press to me, or Hay House, I had so much trouble that I had to threaten to sue them. As far as I am concerned they can go to hell and back before I have anything to do with them again.”
“Balboa press have been the biggest nightmare of my life!!! They don’t return calls, don’t listen to anything and have absolutely bastardized my book. Heart breaking.”
“Dubious sales figures: people I know have bought my book, yet the sales don’t appear…
“Royalties: the formula used is unattractive to an author (for example, for one of my paperbacks which was recently sold, I received 4 cents!)”
“Balboa are rubbish.. I sent a completed manuscript which was formatted perfectly.. they changed spelling incorrectly, made me take out my illustrations and then put them back in the wrong location, and are trying to bully me into only having Amazon and Balboa on the advertising which I have paid for.. and NOT my website…
“I will NEVER use them again and have formally complained to Hay House, which they ignored completely.”
“Oh nooo, I too am experiencing the total ‘no response’ from Balboa. email after email and phone call after phone call from me to them goes unanswered. I told them 3 weeks ago I had decided to cancel the publishing and under the agreement I was due to get 50% of what I’d paid back now no one will return my calls or email me!”
“I have just finished a book that I would like to publish and contacted Balboa via Google. Within 2 days I got numerous calls and finally connected to their publication consultant. She explained the publication process and then proceeded to ask me for $650 over the phone by MasterCard.”
Victoria Strauss added:
“I generally advise authors to avoid the Author Solutions self-publishing services (iUniverse, Xlibris, Trafford, AuthorHouse, BookTango, and the self-pub services Author Solutions runs for major publishers, including Thomas Nelson’s WestBow Press and Hay House’s Balboa Press), since I’ve received many complaints about quality, price, and high-pressure sales tactics.”
AND, STILL MORE COMPLAINTS ABOUT BALBOA PRESS
A Balboa Press Survivor’s Living Nightmare via Author Solutions, Inc. Management Services and Facade
“… An expose’ of how an author unwittingly becomes entrenched in unnecessary, unwarranted, unprofessional muck offered up by Author Solutions, Inc.’s management of Balboa Press, a division of Hay House.”
There’s even a Balboa Press Survivors Facebook Page!
Balboa Press was rated only 05/10 by The Independent Publishing Magazine
(Yes, that’s 1/2 of 1 out of 10!).
Recent comments from Balboa Press authors appearing under that article include:
“I am currently trying to get a refund with them.”
“I read carefully the result of your experience with Balboa Press, unfortunately I am in the same situation with them now, after paying them $ 4,400 and after spending a year of my life with them, they caused me great damage…”
“I too published with Balboa a year ago now. My experiences throughout the editing/publishing phase was not all that great. It began with an enthusiastic call to me from Balboa which made me feel that my book was indeed one that needed to be out there for people to read and I was encouraged to even do a Hay House Radio interview (at my own cost of $2000 – so I refrained on this) but after I signed on the dotted line that’s where the enthusiasm from Balboa ended and my communications with the from then on were frustrating in that I often got no replies to emails and message left on voice mail, most of the time they called me it was to get me to pay for more services. The total cost to me ended up being $7000 of which $2000 was for the ‘Google Ads’. In the year since I published I have sold 11 books and these have all been to people I actually know!”
A “watchdog advisory” was issued against Balboa Press by The Alliance of Independent Authors.
Watchdog Advisory – “Services which fail to align with our Code of Standards, have given rise to consistent complaints and, in some cases, have been subject to legal action.”
Recent comments appearing on ComplaintsBoard.com from Balboa Press’ authors:
“I assumed (my bad) that because it had Louise Hay’s name that the company would treat authors with more respect; I should have done more research.”
“What you don’t get is accurate sales reports and never ending run around. I have orders from Amazon that I have never been paid for and these are just the orders I know of. When I contacted Balboa on several occasions they tell you that you have to get proof of purchase from Amazon. When I contact Amazon they say that Balboa is the account holder and information can only be released to them.”
Complaints (“reviews”) posted directly to Balboa Press’ own Facebook page!
“My experience with Balbao Press is an extremely poor one. They choose not to answer my emails, and just got one of their legal department to ring me (I am trying to get them to admit to their false communication before I signed up, and they are trying to tell me I am cancelling the deal). I echo one of the earlier reviews, and wonder just how the individuals concerned manage to sleep at night, because how they treat people really isn’t nice in my opinion.”
“…if you joined the Author Learning Center, which is a partner of Balboa Press, cancel your membership now by calling them directly. I forgot to cancel my membership and they charged me $149 for nothing!”
“In 2013, I was a young, naive girl with a dream when I self-published with Balboa Press, and literally lit $2500 on fire. This company preys on the fantasies and dreams of aspiring authors by dangling a metaphorical carrot, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have your work presented to Hay House. They offer the “inspiring” success story of Nancy Levin, and how she got a publishing deal after self-publishing through Balboa Press. However, what is failed to be mentioned is that Levin was an EMPLOYEE of Hay House, so she already had an insider advantage.”
“Approximately 3 years ago I received a call from Balboa Press / Hay House staff and through discussions found this was not the right publisher for my work. Despite “unsubscribing” numerous times I still am inundated with spam from Balboa and Hay House. Jump forward to this week where I received a call from Balboa Press and have been flooded with emails again. I politely declined at least 4 times and asked to be removed from the list and “unsubscribed” 3 times, but the sales agent (name removed) just keeps sending email after email, each one more condescending then the last. Enough already. If there was any chance ever of me considering Balboa Press she blew that out of the water. I would never consider dealing with such an unprofessional person and organization. Further, if the ridiculous emails and calls don’t stop, I will report it to the appropriate authorities.”
“Inexcusable that all eBooks for Balboa Press authors, Division of Hay House, are “delisted” from Amazon #Kindle store for past 8 days. 2nd time in 15 months.”
“I have not been paid anything since my book went live last August. I am in debt for this book by over $4,000.00 AUD.”
“I have been begging for a pittance of my royalties… and I am told tomorrow, system change delays, will be paid on Tuesday! Have there been no more sales since January, friends tell me otherwise…… When are they ever going to pay me?????”
“I never thought that a company that belonged to my favorite publishing house, Hay House, would be of such low standards. Everything they do is all about getting authors to buy their services and once they get them, they under deliver and provide poor services. Their employees are inaccessible, they hardly respond to emails and above all, they misinform you about their services and the next thing you know, you paid a hefty amount for nothing!”
“Balboa Press is the most unprofessional company I have ever dealt with.”
“I am an author who had an extremely negative experience with Balboa Press. Sweet until the sale was closed, then became unresponsive and rude. No returned emails, promises not kept, game playing. Authors, do the research first. Once they get your money they outsource you to a third party in the Philippines which was the subject of a class action law suit brought against them by authors who weren’t getting paid. Lots of complaints.”
“From start to finish my experience with this company has been very negative, the customer service is poor, rude, promises where not kept, they became very rude and the end of my book publishing.”
There are numerous other complaints about Balboa Press appearing online as well.
Authors, if you have a book to publish, please, Please, PLEASE do NOT spend thousands and thousands of dollars with a firm that seems far more concerned about emptying your wallet than they are about selling your book. And, please do your research! It took one Google search to very easily find the complaints above. Too many authors fail to do their homework, and end up sending money to firms like Balboa Press, despite the numerous complaints that are so easily found about them online.
- Print on Demand Price Comparison – Compare the setup fees of 14 of the most popular publishers!
- CONSIDERING SELF-PUBLISHING? – How Many Book Sales Needed to Recoup Your Investment through These 14 Firms?
- BookBaby Complaints
- CreateSpace Complaints
- Lulu Complaints
- More BookBaby Complaints
- THIS PAGE includes links to complaints about Infinity Publishing, Trafford, Xlibris, CreateSpace, Lulu, iUniverse, Llumina Publishing, Dog Ear Publishing, Westbow Press, Outskirts Press, Xulon Press, and AuthorHouse
- Complaints from Employees of CreateSpace, Xlibris, Author Solutions, Infinity Publishing, Lulu, and Outskirts Press
- Complaints from Employees of CreateSpace and Lulu
- Lots of Imprints and Lots of Complaints! Could You Unwittingly Crawl into Bed with Author Solutions?
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
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Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE
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