Does AuthorHouse Charge Authors for Production Files? Yep! And the Amount is Ridiculous!

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I messed up. I published my book with 1st Books, now named AuthorHouse. I want to have an ebook to sell, but not thru AuthorHouse. Do they own publishing rights? I know they have sold some books, but I have not received any money from them in years.

AuthorHouse (owned by Author Solutions) only asks for non-exclusive rights so you are free to publish your book elsewhere…but there’s a catch!

They DO claim rights to an authors’ production files, meaning any file AuthorHouse created/edited…and you have to PAY THEM $500 if you want to use those files elsewhere. Yes, you must PAY AUTHORHOUSE $500 for files that YOU ALREADY PAID THEM to create! Ridiculous, isn’t it?! It costs them virtually nothing to send copies of files to an author! We call this a forced marriage with a greedy divorce penalty.

So, if you hired one of their editors, you can’t use the edited file elsewhere unless you pay them more money. If you paid them to create your cover, illustrate your book, or many of the other services AuthorHouse upsells authors on, you can’t use the files elsewhere, again, unless you pay them more money.

In our opinion, this is one of the worst clauses in their contract. It forces some authors to stay with AuthorHouse because they either have to pay AuthorHouse all over again for their production files or they have to pay someone else to do the formatting/design/editing, etc. from scratch. If an author can’t afford to do this, but wants to keep selling their book, they are forced to stick with AuthorHouse.

So, to proceed with publishing an ebook, you would need to use the files you originally submitted to AuthorHouse, or pay AuthorHouse $500 for the interior and cover files…or risk being sued by AuthorHouse later for a contract violation.

And, by the way, the other Author Solutions properties have similar contract clauses. BookLocker.com does not. All BookLocker.com authors own all rights to all their production files – period.

One extra piece of advice: You should leave the AuthorHouse version of your book on the market until your new edition (print, or ebook, or both) is up for sale. That way, you won’t lose any interim book sales.

Have a question for Angela? Contact: angela@writersweekly.com

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