B&N Cuts Ties with Vanity Press Author Solutions

dangerYesterday's story about the Nook Press platform has turned up a newsworthy detail about the platform which had so far gone unreported (I would also have missed it, had David Gaughran not brought it up).

Barnes & Noble has made major changes to its digital platform over the past year. Most were announced with fanfare, but not the changes to the Author Services part of Nook Press.

Sometime between March and August 2016 B&N shut down the part of Nook Press which had been overcharging authors for basic services like cover design, editing, and the like.

Launched in November 2014, Nook Press Author Services sold authors over-priced services bundles under the pretense that it was assisting them in publishing their work, but that was just the cover. This dept was run by the infamous vanity press Author Solutions (ASI), and in reality ASI was really interested in upselling authors by getting them to buy expensive and useless marketing packages.

ASI frequently used otherwise legit companies like Lulu, Simon & Schuster, and yes, B&N, to run front operations like the Star Trek writing contest or publishing imprints like S&S's Archway.

While B&N never came out and said that its Author Services dept was run by Author Solutions, in March 2015 a whistle blower leaked the ToS contract, proving the connection. The relationship was later confirmed during the discovery period for one of the class-action suits filed against ASI.

And now that partnership has ended, which is good news for everyone except the scammers at ASI.

This is the latest bad news for Author Solutions, which was sold off by Penguin Random House last fall for an undisclosed sum. ASI's business had dropped by half since PRH bought ASI in 2012.

About Nate Hoffelder (10605 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."

2 Comments on B&N Cuts Ties with Vanity Press Author Solutions

  1. That IS good news. I hope it spreads wide and far.

    Thanks for digging it up!

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