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NY Law Firm Now Investigating Author Solutions, Class Action Lawsuit to Follow?

March 4th, 2013 by · 27 Comments · lawsuit

6177431501_34d33b503a[1]Have you been cheated by Author Solutions or one of their many subsidiaries? There’s a New York law firm that wants to talk to you.

Update: And now that firm has filed their lawsuit.

I’ve just been given a link to a new notice posted on the website of Giskan, Solotaroff, Anderson, & Stewart, a Manhattan-based law firm that specializes in class action and commercial litigation. The law firm:

is currently investigating the practices of Author Solutions and all of its brands (AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Trafford, Xlibris, Inkubook, and Wordclay). Authors using Author Solutions have complained of deceptive practices, including enticing authors to purchase promotional services that are not provided or are worthless, failing to pay royalties, and spamming authors and publishing blogs/sites with promotional material.

logo_authorsolutions[1]They are seeking authors who have had negative encounters with Author Solutions. (Gee, I don’t think they’ll have much trouble finding them.) There’s no evidence yet that the law firm intends to file suit, but given Author Solution’s infamous reputation in the self-pub community I should think that a class-action lawsuit is inevitable.

This, folks, is what I had been waiting for ever since Pearson made it clear that they weren’t going to reform Author Solutions. That fly-by-night firm and their various brands have a history of questionable business practices that goes back for at least a decade, with some of the brands having been in operation since the late 1990s. Pearson acquired Author Solutions in mid-2012 for $115 million and have since used it to launch new self-pub services in partnership with Penguin India (Partridge) and S&S (Archway).

That firm has always been a class-action lawsuit waiting to happen but now that it is owned by Pearson there are some very deep pockets to go after. In fact, I would bet that this is just the first of many lawsuits currently in the works. This is just one firm that posted a public notice; I would bet that the rest are quietly reaching out to disgruntled ex-ASI customers via complaint boards and forums.

In the next few months we are probably going to hear about other firms which are also working towards filing class action lawsuits against Pearson/ASI. I have to say that I am looking forward to it; the lawsuits will be entertaining and stand as a warning to any of the other major publishers that are thinking about following in Pearson’s footsteps.

image by Ana Paula Hirama


27 Comments so far ↓

  • fjtorres

    RE: the headline…
    One should hope so. It’s way overdue…
    And the Random Penguin has the deep pockets to make it worthwhile.

    • Ms. Lee Allen

      In mid-2012, I started “dealing” with Xlibris to publish my book, which they did (sort of), but with a serious error in the first chapter. I paid them well over $600.00 (out of my SSI/SSD), tried to get the glitch corrected and was told I’d have to pay ewxtra for that! I’m 75+, disabled and trying to use my linguistic skills to make some “extra” money. So far, I’ve received 98 CENTS in “royalties” for my novel, and nothing better in sight.
      P.S. I’m still working on getting published, but not by scam artists like Xlibris!
      Thank you for your attention. (2d user name)

  • Angela

    We have heard from SO many unhappy Author Solutions authors over the years. It’s about time someone takes action against their horrible practices.

  • rdlecoeur

    The Bookseller has just posted a kinda non article stating that Author Solutions has had no legal proceedings lodged against it-DUH! The law firm clearly intimated that it was gathering sufficient clients to launch a class action.

    • fjtorres

      If they’re going to succeed, first they need to build a case on billing irregularities and other easy to document stuff so they can file and start discovery. Once discovery starts they might find evidence of the intent to fleece their customers.
      IF the AS crowd have any brains there’s a lot of shreading and hard drive replacement going on right now. Not that it’ll get rid of the online records but it might block the deep discovery that would lead to them.
      I’m sure Penguin staff can advise them on how *they* got caught.
      “Do as I say, not as I did.” :)

      • Nate Hoffelder

        I’m not sure that HD shredding will help any. Don’t businesses have to maintain 7 years worth of emails and other communications?

        And if nothing else the authors will be able to submit their copies and make statements. There will be ASI internal docs to verify at least some of the allegations so the rest will probably look plausible when placed in front of a jury.

  • Richard Levik

    I have a book which I just finalized with Author House. I’m waiting, as I write this, for my first copy of my first book. Thus far they have been fine. Yeah they offered my high priced marketing tools and I said, “No thank you.” The only thing I’m reading the last few days, now that I’m aware of these alleged problems, is not getting paid my due royalties. That will be very screwed up. I don’t know if I should just ask them about this at Author House or just keep quiet. My book is entitled, OFF MY CHEST: Letters to the Editor…+ so it’s unlikely that I’ll keep quiet for long. How does one monitor sales of one’s book independently? Something I read yesterday said that someone had requested this and were refused this information.

    Since a large established company such as Pearson purchased them, they must consider these complaints bogus. Can someone give an objective, unbiased answer based upon actual evidence?

    Thank You in Advance,
    Richard L.

  • J W

    Has anyone had dealings/nightmare situe’s with Balboa Press? Thank you.

  • john b

    Yes..Its about time!! Thank you jesus!! ..Iuniverse and Author Solutions have ripped me off ..I believe out of millions dollars having the #1 racing book for about 3 and half years. .having pennies&nickles to show for it..these people are so deceptive, they put live people on author royalties pages to switch documents once they see your own there. ..But Thank god I had chance to see the real royalties statement. .It was 10’000′s of thousands of dollars before the page went into a tailspin corrupting the data page..thats when there live internet person puts in the fraudulent document. .the old swith a roo technic. .Robbing me out of tens of thousands of dollars in which they keep in there pockets through deception. .and dishonesty cheating authors..THIS IS THE BIGGEST PONZEY SCHEME SINCE BERNIE MADHOFF , with them pocketing millions off a web of lies and decit.!!

  • Ruth Watson-Morris

    I get email after email from these people, I also used to get phone calls, they drove me crazy, but that to me would be a reason NOT to go with these companies. You dont need them! I am self published, I have a fabulous editor, and I believe that Authors who go with these companies are well and truly ripped off anyway. Most people complain that the editing is bad, I have seen evidence of this.
    Why are people paying extortionate amounts of money? They should use it on buying good editing and producing the work themselves.

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  • Lisa Neumann

    Thank you for this article. I have a long list of documented infractions against Author Solution, whom I was referred to via Balboa Press (aka Hay House). I have never been treated more poorly by any company. If your looking for additional documentation I’m your girl. After torching me for 10 of thousands in marketing fees and producing minimal marketing I still can’t get a royalty report or royalty check that is accurate.

    Best of luck as they pursue. I will persevere but many will not.

    Lisa Neumann
    Author, Sober Identity

  • fjtorres

    Nate linked to this a couple days ago:

    Every writer/aspiring writer and reader should read it to see just who is behind all those Predatory Presses out there.

  • john b

    To Richard levick..the paint is peeling there “CROOKS Rippoff artist..thats your unbiased answer. SWITCHING ROYALTY PAGES …PUTTING IN FRAUDULENT. .ONES IS FRAUD& MONEY LAUNDERING. PLUS ITS.. TAX INVASION..!!…”STEALING’

  • Daniel P Quinn

    My experience w/AH since 2005 has been a nightmare, having had 2 books published w/them. I have yet to recover even 25% of the charges I paid of about $6,000 for both books. Both books received good press that AH sat on and did nothing except a single PRelease to promote either book. I hired PRweb to work w/me trying to increase sales, but I have no idea if the statements AH sends me are accurate or not. I would be thrilled to take part in this suit. Their web sites list wildly divergent prices from $3.99 to $95.00 a copy. Other books are listed on websites in India, Australia, Europe, Canada and the UK via their subsidiary. It seems like a book sized ponzi scheme to me.

  • Dion Cheese

    Can someone please inbox me on Facebook under Dion Cheeze. I just got my book released under them with a bad edit job… I would love to join in on a class action lawsuit against Xlibris…

  • john b

    I wonder what’s been going on the case…has anyone..heard anything new??….Because I’m still not getting “Royalties still to this date…this firm should “Sue them all in with small groups..of 5 a time. .like Aron.Brokovich did this way everybodys happy..and getting the Right justice…..Because some Authors books..could be bestsellers and the Crooked crooks in the Complaint. .isnt saying anything. .but ripping people at will..Robbing ..peter to pay Paul..keeping Authors in the blind..when some Authors books are front page and Dead Center
    ..that usually means the book is selling..and there being lied to..about Royalties. …I kinda like this Idea I mention..that way penguin suffers for its Greed…and it will send a Clear Message to others Thou Shall not Steal. ..or cook your books to turn a profit! !

  • Dion Cheese

    Dear John,
    You can reach out to Jodi Foster, who is one of the plaintiffs. She has been very helpful to me in my ongoing situation.
    Also, you can have the company audited by filing a complaint with the IRS, or make a complaint with the BBB.
    In order for you or anyone else to get anything accomplished you have to take the initiative and create a record. Trust me, Uncle Sam wants his money. If the company is withholding royalties from you that means Uncle Sam is not getting his full due.
    I hope this helps… Cheezie

  • john b

    Thank you!..but some how I geather …if this case goes to court. ..they will owe the irs and Authors..millions in some cases and thousands in other cases. .thanks again you’ve been a great help..deon cheese!!!

  • john b

    Now I see all the era’s and mistakes IUniverse and Author Solutions did purposely in Books.. so they could robb Authors out of more fee’s..thats a shame and its low down..I Wouldn’t recommend these people to count sheep or do dog poultry! !…I hope all of there offices get shut down. .I hope this judge seizes all of there Assets..until every Author gets ..”justice..what a fucking shame. .if you can’t trust your publisher than..who can you trust!!!

  • Anthony S.Phillander

    author solution, wrong Author Problems is a more suitable name

  • john b

    U know who this is..
    I Dont have to put a Real Name. My books are front page everywhere. .U god damed”Bastered “Crooks..u wouldnt satisfy..a sheep fucking a Billy Goat..even after..Authors take you, to the AtG, office..&the BBB You, just come up with more& more lies to defend your stealing from Authors..Iuniverse &Authorhouse..tell more lies than a “Cat licks” his own “Ass ..Im not tolerating it anymore..”Get my God Damed Money!!

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