THIS IS A REPORT FROM A WHISTLE BLOWER FROM WITHIN THE RANKS OF THE STAFF AT AUTHOR SOLUTIONS:-
Please permit me to give you an overview of the sales and production process- the way I know it best.
To be clear, let's start with a little bit of history.
Before it became as Author Solutions, it started as Xlibris Publishing as later acquired when Authorhouse and iUniverse merged and "transfered" some of their operations to the Philippines.
When I first joined the team, some years ago, the hiring and recruitment was excellent to say the least. There were criteria that needed to be met before one will be considered as a candidate for production/sales/marketing/support position.
Management and senior staff were directly involved in the training and development of the staff and morale was high. The AIM at that stage really was to find books and help authors.
It was a happy and content environment until the changes started.
Changes in leadership took the company in a different direction and the mission moved from being a profitable avenue for authors to use, to being a scam to MAKE MONEY- NO MATTER THE COST. The order was to "make Author Solution look profitable at least on paper. Two years later the company was acquired by Penguin Random House
EVERYONE was pushed to sell. THE NEW MOTTO became SELL SELL SELL ! Publishing and marketing consultants were given sales targets to be met or be FIRED. This was the start of their FALL
DIRTY TRICKS WERE EMPLOYED with TACIT APPROVAL from the management. Those who could not stomach duping and lying to their authors were encouraged to leave the company. We were encouraged to “work with the author’s aspirations.” That means let the authors live his or her dream. It is a known fact that first time authors are gullible and want to have their egos boosted. They easily believe lies about the quality of their writing and can be duped to go beyond their personal budgets with just the right amount of flattery. Sales agents and marketing consultants are trained and encouraged to capitalize on that mind set.
We continuously hear of VALID complaints from the authors- from unpaid royalties, to overpriced books, to unfulfilled marketing material deliveries...TO USELESS AND WORTHLESS marketing packages. All at the expense of the author, by taking advantage of the level of vulnerability. It has been psychologically calculated and tested. Instructions in training, is to “Get as much out of the author as you can. It’s easy pickings”.. These are instructions and given to staff in training. If they show signs of resistance or reluctance to become part of this fleecing process (for which they are well paid), they fail the training course and consequently will not be employed.
DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH IT COST TO PRINT BOOK?
for a black and white book- it is just under 3USD ( 90- 900 pages softbound ) and we sell it for staggering 15USD- 23USD per book? Sales staff are instructed to sell printing deals to authors on the pretence that they will be distributed and marketed in the massive American market. But once the books are printed they go into storage and the irate author usually demands that the bo
Now the sad part. They are just hiring "sales people" even those who have no interest in books, or publishing and with no experience in the industry. They are good salespeople used by the evil management. BLAME it on the leaders. Some directors...try to talk to a director- and definitely- she will show you how in adept the knowledge is about publishing. VP's left the company, directors, managers because they feel guilty....
Authorhouse, Trafford, X.Libris, iUniverse, AuthorLearning Center, WordClay, Balboa Press, - same thing...same people.
Product or Service Mentioned: Authorhouse Publishing Service.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Monetary Loss: $20000.
Preferred solution: They do not deserve to be in business. Close them down.
Authorhouse Pros: Were very nice to me before i sent the manuscript in, Seemingly professional and expert approach.
Authorhouse Cons: Misled me, Total lack of information and follow-up, Delaying royalties as part of a new policy, Aggressive marketing services associates, Harassment.