Penguin India Launches Partridge – a Self-Publishing Service for Suckers

Partridge_logo_header_012913[1]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.


Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. […] Penguin India Launches Partridge – a Self-Publishing Service for Suckers ( […]

  2. akhilesh17 February, 2013

    Hi Nate, you must be a complete self-publishing hater, I suppose. I’ve been working as a fiction editor for an Independent publisher for past 3 years, and it has been great. We get a lot of unknown writing stuffs which are interesting and challenging to edit. In the near future, I bet you that the editorial quality will rise in self-publishing industry and difference between trade and self-publisher will definitely diminish. The future is bright for self-publishing industry, and there is no looking back.

    1. Nate Hoffelder17 February, 2013

      No, I get pissed off at major publishers taking advantage of self-published authors. I’m all for authors going their own way; what i don’t like is how a major publisher like Penguin has expanded their exploitation of authors in going after self-pub.

      1. fjtorres17 February, 2013

        As if it weren’t bad enough they prey on the naive and unwary who think they need the validation of a traditionalist contract, they are now looking to prey on the naive and unwary who get into self-publishing without doing their full homework.
        They’re just sharks looking for prey wherever they can find it.

  3. sudisha12 April, 2013

    i thought of going for self publishing with patridge since its my first story so publishers are not willing to work with i got two rejection as of now. but after reading your comments i am in delima..
    please suggest something good for ,me..

    1. Rosita Khan24 November, 2014

      I’ve been contacted by their rep, and giving promises but instantly asking for my credit card no. When I said I prefer to pay thro on-line services they started wanting to give me discounts etc., but kept asking me to reveal credit card number. Then I saw this msg, small wonder my university blocked this website.

      Look at the partridge India one almost the same, but without the ‘Indian’ looks.

  4. Ashish25 June, 2013

    Hi. My major worry with Partridge or Penguin is that – A writer needs to run from pillar to post just to get their work published with a brand name in publishing. Here Penguin is lending its name to any and everyone who is ready to pay a price!!! So even if one has sub-standard writing, one can be a Penguin Author???!!!

  5. Anusha18 December, 2013

    I published a book with Partridge and had a disappointing experience. They are pretty upfront about the fact that they don’t care what you write or how you write. They also don’t care if your grammar is bad or your content is terrible. They will simply publish whatever material you give them. Their copy editing services are very expensive if one would like to avail of them. Also it’s not worth asking their design dept to do the cover as they do a very bad job. But if you have the material copy edited and cover designed by yourself then there is no problem. The only issue is that they price the book very very high. That is not all, they claim that they will ensure that the book is sold through amazon and flipcart but even after six months after the book was published it was not listed on either. Finally it was listed on Amazon and flipcart at twice the price that was promised and partridge simply said they have no control over how much the retailer chooses to sell the book for. There was simply no way for buyers to buy my book at all. (I was promised that my book would be priced at Rs 550 for a 350 page book but it was listed at Rs 975, absurd pricing considering even celebrated established authors of fiction sell for no more than 450 maximum). hardly any books sold and I decided to go to another publisher, so the entire exercise with partridge was a waste and I just ended up spending a lot of money to sell about 10 copies. Also regardless of what they claim they never help in any sort of publicity and once you pay the money their only interest is in shipping you an author copy and claim that their job is done.

  6. Chetan5 January, 2014

    Hi Anusha,

    Reading all the comments, I feel I’ve made a major mistake in choosing partridge.
    But just as a help, would request you to share with me, how did you get the ITIN… or you didnt .

    1. Anusha26 February, 2014

      Hi Chetan,
      I never did bother to get the ITIN. With the price being so high I was certain not too many would buy it and I was right. Also even after a a few of my friends and acquaintances in the usa bought the book (paperback and kindle) partridge’s my-account-information said no books had been sold, so I didn’t see any point in getting the itin when it was obvious they were not acknowledging the number of copies sold.

  7. Mohan25 February, 2014

    Have any one published CORAL package? how was it.. pls suggest

    1. Anusha28 February, 2014

      Hi Mohan,
      Most people are dissatisfied with Partridge regardless of the package they have chosen. Visit Partridge India page on face book and read the comments (not the page comments but the members comments, I hope they have not deleted it yet) Its obvious from the posts that a lot of people feel unhappy about having gone to partridge. Its a bit like going to a local printer and getting a few copies of your book printed and then wondering how to get readers to buy it.

      1. Mohan28 February, 2014

        Thanks Anusha

  8. […] of otherwise respectable companies, including Simon & Schuster (Archway), Lulu, Penguin India (Partridge), F+W Media (Writers Digest), and Harlequin (DellArte […]

  9. Adlina31 July, 2014

    Thank you for the warning. I did buy a package but was worried about the additional cost for `marketing’ of the book. My e-book it seems cannot be downloaded by people who want to buy it and now they want another 573 Singapore dollars for another round of `marketing’ for the hard copy. Why hasn’t anyone sued them yet???

  10. Rosita Khan24 November, 2014

    Thanks for the tips, I’d rather wait but get satisfactory results then publish now and not get anything at all or half-baked books.

    Yeah they promised a lot of things…….but I became suspicious after they kept asking for my credit card and requesting me to pay there and then. Also I sent a sample chapter over and there was no comment at all, just asking me to pay to get the CORAL PACKAGE.

  11. rahul10 December, 2014

    I want to work with Partridge India…
    But observing the comments here so far, especially from Anusha, I am
    in great dilemma too to publish my first book by Partridge…
    Will anybody suggest me anything???

  12. Jasmine28 January, 2015

    Oh my God..!! I almost got the purchase done. thank you so much Anusha for posting your comment. It really helped me. They are calling me again and again just to buy their package and kept on saying …this is your first novel, so this the best place for you.. blah! blah!
    So I googled the reviews and I got here. Now I am in a great dilemma too like others. Can you please suggest some of good publishers?

  13. niki11 March, 2015

    I wish I read the comments before buying amethyst package. But im already on my way to publish within two weeks it will be in market. Now I have already done the mistake. Is there a way of out. Solutions please !!!!

  14. ashish malviya8 August, 2015

    Hi Anusha,

    Thanks for your review regarding Partridge. Unfortunately it was too late for us, we read your comments very late. Our expericen is Word to word same that you had mentioned.
    We have now ended our Contract with Partridge but all our money and efforts had been wasted. Please can you suggest which Publication house you went to after cancelling your contract with Partridge or which Publication house is best suited for Debutant Author. Our requirement is more on the Marketing and Publicity side apart for publication eBook and Paperbook copy. Also which publication house can help to get Paperback copy at a nominal price that can be affordable by the Indian audience.


  15. uddhav16 August, 2015

    Hey guys I have paid partridge the first installment and paying the second tomorrow. I have a feeling that I have made a mistake choosing them after look at the comments here. Help!!

  16. Vijay jain >31 August, 2015

    Partridge india
    Has given me the new shot of confidence along with encouragement for writing a new book after written one in the launched internationally on 25 july 2015 on

  17. Mishal14 September, 2015

    Thank you so much Anusha. Your comments have saved me 30,000 rupees. God bless you

  18. David16 September, 2015

    I almost agreed to do business with them I noticed I can’t donload their link probably because it has been identified as a fraudulent website. On the message they sent me to me. A message popped up that they didn’t pass fraudulent detection. They are obviously on the black list. After you pay them and they do agree to a signed contract of services, they could be sued. ho the hell is going to go all the way to India and sue when you loose a few thousand. When you get there they will be gone. Thanks everyone for your feedback Namaste

  19. Sebastian16 October, 2015

    Lol the “editor” at the vanity publisher can’t even speak English. Leaves out the word “the” and says “writing stuffs”. Lol what is “writing stuffs”.

    Author Solutiosn isn’t self publishing, it’s a vanity publishing SCAM. Smashwords is real self publishing,and it’s free.

  20. […] million and have since used it to launch new self-pub services in partnership with Penguin India (Partridge) and S&S […]

  21. […] Solutions with several of its divisions, including launching vanity press operations in Spain and India, as well as forging a partnership between ASI and a for-profit university owned by PRH parent […]

  22. Susan16 June, 2016

    Wow…holy sht. I just got off the phone with them. I am glad I didn’t give them my card after reading all the comments. I didn’t know who was calling or I wouldn’t have answered the phone. I will definitely not be going with them now. And now I noticed they are being sued as well. Wow. Thanks for the comments…you saved my ass from deveatation, I am sure.

  23. Varun Goyal15 July, 2016

    Well, Thanks Anusha !

    I have published my book with a local India based publisher, but again the experience was total waste.

    I thought of trying for Partridge.! But now.. I believe, I should waste more of my money.

    Then.. What is the solution to the problem. Do we have to go for Penguin only.. or should now, every author should open their own publisher house, provided we have our own marketing channels now.!

  24. M.L.Bhat27 July, 2016

    I would like to have a copy of the book titled “DODI’S INDIA” authored by Dr. Fraser Cameron . Suggest a way so that I can order a copy thereof.

  25. […] subs, namely the Penguin divisions in India and Spain, have also partnered with Author Solutions to fleece unsuspecting […]

  26. Antony Matthew17 August, 2018

    Patridge is pestering me. Luckly, i didn’t get into a contract. Mow i wonder who can I approach.

    antony Matthew

  27. Vikram Singh24 December, 2018

    To all those who have tasted the services and terms of Partridge India, and to the ones who are willing to. Here is my experience (Author of Tied Hearts).

    1. Packages are of no use irrespective of their inclusions and price. “THEY LACK MARKETING SKILLS!”

    2. Once the payment is done, you cannot make them move even a single step, as technically, the authors give them all rights to have monopoly via the contract. “The author can keep on requesting, pleading and begging, but they will not buzz AT ALL!” Even if the author pays the money, he cannot and will not have any say.

    3. Online sales is absolutely untraceable. Besides, its not transparent. PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.

    4. All those who think the books are printed out of India (for which the books are quoted at a higher price) are mistaken as they are printed very much in India thanks to their channel Partner, Penguin Publishers. So basically, they FOOL the authors.

    5. Your content will be at their mercy for approval, as per their writing guidelines. So there’s a huge possibility of changing your manuscript altogether. That is taking your child through “PLASTIC SURGERY” for no reason.

    As per my experience, I will never-ever promote PARTRIDGE India and PENGUIN. Wherever possible, I will rather advise the authors not to use their services AT ALL.

    Hopefully, this helps someone before he falls prey to this publishing house.

    1. Nate Hoffelder24 December, 2018

      Thank you for the update. It is disappointing that they are still like this, but not a surprise.

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