When it comes to self-publishing over traditional publishing, the responsibility for details falls onto you, the author. When you take on the role of publisher, you have the option to hire other people or companies to perform specific aspects of the process for you. One of the companies that provides these self-publishing services is AuthorHouse.
According to the AuthorHouse website, they provide self-publishing services worldwide. AuthorHouse appears unsure of how many titles they have released since their own website lists 70,000 titles in one section and then later on lists it as 90,000 titles.
Their services menu indicates that they offer digital formats as well as paperback and hardback formats. AuthorHouse is, according to the (BBB) Better Business Bureau just one of the alternative names for Author Solutions, LLC. Other alternative names include:
- Xlibris, LLC
- Westbow Press
- Trafford Publishing, LLC
- Responder Media
- Partridge Singapore
- Partridge India
- Abbott Press
- Partridge Africa
- Author Learning Center
- Archway Publishing
- Balboa Press
- Content Distributors, LLC
- iUniverse, LLC
- Inspiring Voices
- LifeRich Publishing
To be honest, in my opinion, a company with this many “alternate” names just seems shady to me. I find that most companies try to be consistent with their branding and stick with one company name.
The services menu offered by AuthorHouse includes a variety of options, priced independently as well as several packages or bundles. The website also states that they use professional editors and staff. But on that same website, one section states AuthorHouse has released 70,000 titles and further down on the same page it states they have released 90,000 titles. Errors like this on their own company website, make me leery about who would be editing my novel.
- Editorial Assessment of 1st Chapter (up to 1,700 words)
- Line Editing which includes grammar, spelling, punctuation as well as addressing syntax, word choice, and overall suggestions for readability.
- Cover Copy Polish- Assessment of your book title and subtitle by marketing professionals. Copyeditor will assist in rewriting back cover text, keynote, and author bio.
- It states nothing about help with cover design and images. ($299.00)
- Content Editing-Listed as a more detailed line edit made by a content editor to check for grammar, syntax, spelling, punctuation, and word choice. Editor focus is on consistency and content accuracy.
- Content Editing Plus–Line editing as above plus a content editor will work on general accuracy and consistency of content. Focus is on more extensive sentence restructuring.
- Developmental Editing
- Preferred Editorial Package (Pre and Post publishing services all priced separately)
- Marketing Services
When reviewing their website, please be aware of the length of time it takes to complete the work. It is only 6-8 weeks roughly. Please also be aware that although AuthorHouse does offer installment plans. No work on your project is begun until you have paid in full. In my opinion, this puts the author at a distinct disadvantage because you pay in full for a large amount of work that hasn’t even begun.
AuthorHouse Review: From the Users:
For detailed user reviews, please visit the BBB website for Central Indiana and click on the Reviews & Complaints tab at the top. You will see a list of 25 Customer Reviews as well as a summary of the 227 customer complaints that have been filed with the BBB. The business profile also lists the type of complaint, and how or if the complaint was resolved. Granted, as pointed out by the BBB representative, Author Solutions, LLC, and its numerous alternate companies have thousands of customers, so you have to take that into consideration.
But there are far more negative complaints and reviews than positive. I also have to take into account that many people probably won’t take time to report to the BBB even if they do feel they have been treated unfairly. In fact, according to the Author Solutions, LLC website, they have published 250,000 books total for 200,000 authors. If each of their counted authors published at least one book, it means less than half of those published a subsequent book.
It appears from my own AuthorHouse review of customer complaints and subsequent responses by the company, Author Solutions, LLC is responsible for dealing with complaints from any of their alternative companies. There were a fair number of partial refunds made to customers, but it’s clear to me that many of the companies operate in a similar fashion. If you choose to deal with AuthorHouse, prepare for high pressure sales techniques that prey on writers who are eager to get their first book into publication. When someone complains, the companies rely on the fine print of the contract to legally justify keeping client money.
My Final Thoughts
Due to all the complaints and poor reviews I’ve read and the fact that I’ve not had first-hand experience with this company or any of its alternate company names, I can’t recommend it as a self-publishing option. If you still feel you need to consider AuthorHouse, I highly suggest you do your own research and that you utilize the services of a legal attorney to review all contracts before agreeing to anything or signing anything.
Self-publishing is a huge responsibility. As a first-time writer, we are all eager to get our work out there, to be “published” and to finally feel vindicated for all the time and labor we have put into our creation. If you choose to self-publish to make that dream come true a little sooner. You absolutely must put the time and effort into making sure that your creation is presented in the best possible light.
Self-publishing companies are in the game to make money. Some of them will make every effort to ensure you get a quality product for your money. Others may attempt to take advantage of your eagerness. Read the fine print carefully, get any promises made by staff in writing before going forward.