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

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

About Nate Hoffelder (11226 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

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

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

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

  3. 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.

    • 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.” 🙂

      • 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.

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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.!!

  7. Ruth Watson-Morris // 2 May, 2013 at 4:09 am // Reply

    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.

  8. Incredible!
    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

  9. 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.

  10. 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’

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

    • I paid well over six thousand dollars for my true life story book. ( I was told that the platinum package included editing). t was during a family tragedy therefore I had to move to Italy in 2009. Since then the book was translated in Italian. In 2012 I paid several hundred dollars to have the English version corrected, and it was not. I am to blame since I was busy taking care of my dying husband and trusted them. Since, the book is ready in English, French and Italian. I was contacted by Xlibris and tried to give them another chance. I requested that the english should substitute editing no necessary for the other two language. Explained that they never did any of it and yet willing to give them another chance. I then have also requested an explanation about royalties not received . I have yet to get an answer. This time I decided to investigate before sending them money . That is how I found that there is an action suit against them-. I have no idea how to join that action suite. I am Italian therefore English is not my mother language.

      • File a complaint with the BBB for misrepresentation of services. That’s what I did and made them do my entire edit over from scratch. A signed disclaimer can not be enforced if the one providing the service is not up to par with industry standards. What Xlibris tries to do is take advantage of excited new authors. Join me at my site iurban.org and share your experience on our members blog so that people can be warned and help one another. Yes it is primarily an urban site but all are welcome.

  13. 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 Authors..at 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! !

  14. 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

  15. 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!!!

  16. 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!!!

  17. author solution, wrong Author Problems is a more suitable name

    • Lydia Naadu Tawiah // 15 August, 2016 at 6:22 am // Reply

      In 2013 i published my first book with Author House the editing was very poor,i spent couple ,i was also asks to pay for the holly wood coverage so i paid nearly six hundred pounds, all my payments was in UK pounds which was very expensive for me,in six months later i received my royalties which was one pound thirty five pence,the second one ninety pence,the third one was one pound twenty pence, all my money was gone,thank you.

  18. 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!!

  19. Does any one have any recent new updates about the class action suite, since there are no current daily updates; inquiring minds what to know??

  20. margaret talley // 18 May, 2014 at 11:54 am // Reply

    I poblished a poetry book with Authorhouse and paid an enormous price then they continued calling wanting money for promotions I told them I would not pay until I started receiving royalty checks. I have checked websites and they are o posted . Therre is supposed to be thirty thousand websites they said. As of todqay they have not sent a royqlty check The book has been on the market over a year. I cannot call o5r writ or go online and get information about the sell or royalties they clam up and act dumb. if I question them farther they keep repeating their first answer we pay quartwerly. These people are supposed to be working for us not against ussorry my hand is mwsses messed up and I cannot type well.

    • Mam, I’m sorry to tell ya, join the club, this is what dishonest corporations..do, call the law firm..In this Blog, Everyone’s, feed up with anything to do with author house and it’s many affiliates. …..shame..If they can’t do good business right, then don’t do Business at all !!!!!

  21. I would like to file a law suit against Xlibris Publishing Company, I paid them over $6,600.00 and 114 months later, I had received $360.00 in royalties . They did not edit, advertise and or market my book as they had stated. When I read the book it wasn’t the same numerical order that I had sent to them, and everytime, I was in touch with a different person van E mail.
    There was duplicate stories, duplicate photo’s duplicate articles and in one case they had stated the incident four times thru out the book instead of the numerical order that I had corrected. I wish to have an attorney to file a law suit against xlibris, if you send me your address I will send to you a copy of the book that I wrote and was so badly published, and edited. I doubt if they did any editing, and or advertising or marketing , and I paid them over ^6,600.00 could you advise an attorney if you are not interested, I will mail you a copy of the book that Xlibris published you would not believe how a company could print a book with so many mistakes. I cancelled my contrat and am currently working with Outskirts Press Publishing Company. Please be interested. and Thank you. The title of my book is History of Street Cops by Greg Zito the history of my Police career from the U . S . Army Military Police to a Chicago Transit Authority Police Officer protecting the riders on the transit systems, then finally as a Chicago Police Officer, involved in six shootings with Armed Robbery Suspects. Promoted to Detective then Gang Crimes Specialist, fighting the Gangs of Chicago, the Cabrini Green Snipers. I will mail you a copy of this book with so many mistakes and how they can print it is unbelievable Thank you ! Greg Zito

  22. I have one book published by Xlibris and I haven’t seen any royalties for months now.

5 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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  4. Multi-Million Dollar Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Penguin, Author Solutions | The Digital Reader
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