Disclaimer: The author of this article owns a competing firm, BookLocker.com. However, BookLocker does not publish every manuscript. They reject many, and must refer those authors to a quality competitor with a good reputation. BookLocker never refers authors to Author Solutions. Read the “related” links under the article to see why.
Author Solutions is the owner of AuthorHouse, Xlibris, iUniverse, Trafford, and several other publishing services firms.
Back in April, we posted this article:
Uh Oh! What are the Employees of Author Solutions Saying Since the Firm was Sold?! (a.k.a. AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Xlibris, Trafford, etc.)
After signing up for that site, we started getting email notifications each time an employee of Author Solutions posted a review about that firm. One employee review of Author Solutions, posted just last week, was pretty eye opening.
Here are a few snippets from the review:
1 out of 5 stars
“In March 2016 the firm was acquired by Najafi Companies. The new ownership promptly cut the hourly pay by $4 per hour. The base pay went from $15.41/hour to $11.41 per hour.”
The commissions for their sales team seem woefully low. Detailed percentages based on dollar figures are in the post.
Call metrics maintenance and inadequate sign-ups for Author Learning Center subscriptions can lead to the sales team having their pay docked.
“Tenured reps are estimating a $30,000 loss in pay annually.”
If an author cancels on an $8,000 publishing package (why in the world are authors paying that much to get published when they can do it for soooo much less?!?!), Author Solutions keeps $800 of the author’s money, yet it appears the sales team loses their entire commission.
“…the author may become scared or annoyed with their marketing consultant and decide to refund.”
“Perhaps the biggest concern from a sales perspective is a complete lack of new leads. New leads have been stagnant for months. Without new leads it is difficult to maintain quota on a consistent basis.”
- They dropped their hourly pay $4 per hour.
- Their commission plan was recently modified.
- Tenured reps are estimating a $30K loss per year in income.
- New leads have been stagnant for months.
Other snippets from recent employee reviews of Author Solutions, published since our previous article:
“The CEO, Daniel Shum runs a ship of fear.”
Unethical, terrible pay and very expensive benefits–avoid – “Terrible pay, expensive and mediocre insurance, poorly treated employees, apparently gives fake employee reviews (under no circumstances is this a five-star employer).”
“The pay is fine if you’re right out of college and don’t mind having a roomie. You cannot survive on the pay otherwise.”
GREEDY owners/Terrible work Environment – “Good reviews written are by HR, not real employees, company is embarrassed by too many neg reviews. Clients hate us and refund. Look at ripoffreport.com, writersbeware.com, writersweekly.com, huffingtonpost.com, etc. Many peers looking to get out…”
“Author Learning Center is a joke, authors signing up under pressure…”
Over the past few years, we’ve seen many publishing services firms nosedive, and then go completely under. Many of them started showing signs of impending failure months or even years before they closed their doors.
What do you think? Do the reviews above from Author Solutions’ employees show signs of a stable company? Should authors send thousands of dollars to a firm like this? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Please comment below.
NEW QUOTES FROM REVIEWS POSTED IN SEPTEMBER, 2017:
“You literally feel like you are robbing people. The customer satisfaction is terrible so you are constantly talking to people that are mad at the company.”
“Somewhat relaxed environment, but questionable ethics and pressure to perform made it stressful.”
“The worst place – Anyone that works there is a number. Even those that have been at the company for many years have said this. Co-workers have often mentioned feeling like cattle. ”
Read more columns by Angela HERE!
Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, 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).
Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises.
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.
ANGELA ON TWITTER https://twitter.com/AngelaHoy
BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!
ANGELA ON FACEBOOK
ANGELA ON LINKEDIN
Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE
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