When Pearson bough the self-pub scam experts Author Solutions last July, I hoped that it would be a sign that Author Solutions would clean up their act and rise to a higher ethical level. Sadly, it is now clear that Pearson had planned all along to get down in the muck.
Penguin India has just launched a self-pub
scam service called Partridge, and it is a sad sign of how low this once honorable publishing company has decided to sink. Like the similar Archway service that Simon & Schuster launched in the US, Partridge is actually run by Author Solutions.
Prices start at ?12,450 (about $234 USD), considerably cheaper than Archway's packages which start at $2,000. That's not a discount; Partridge is offering a much shorter list of services included in each package.
I'm not sure if that was a cost-cutting measure or simply general sloppyness, but I have noticed that the Partridge website is considerably less polished and professional than I would expect. It looks like it was slapped together and then put online with minimal planning, editing, or much thought in general. For example, if you try to find out what ebook formats they distribute and where, you will be told this:
Every Partridge India book is available in digital or electronic format. They are compatible with different e-reading devices and can be downloaded from various online bookstores, such as Google and Amazon Search Programmes.
The rest of the website is about as detailed as that excerpt. Given the millions of English speaking tech people in India, I have to wonder at the quality of the website. Did Penguin India outsource the entire project to China?
Now that would be ironic (from an American viewpoint, at least), but at a minimum I would be concerned that the work performed by Partridge will be on par with the quality of their website.
In any case, I have said it before and I'll say it again. Any self-published author is better off making their own way. Whatever services are being offered by Author Solutions can almost certainly be found cheaper elsewhere. You just have to look.