Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Urgent Question: Author House

Hey, yo: Can you mice please chime in on the following question before Thursday? We need to help this dude figure out what to do re: self-publishing.
     Dear Writer Rejected: I received an offer for a potential discount (~ 200 pounds) if I sign up for a self-publishing package by this Thursday (29th July). Is this really a wise idea for me? I want to be published; I've read of success stories, but I don't want to spend money, not receive any profit, and particularly not have any sort of exposure. I don't want to be swept in amongst the waves of nameless authors. This UK company has an impressive reputation (AuthorHouse). I was just about to send my synopsis and query letter to the Caroline Sheldon Agency. What's your advice? I've got until Thursday to take advantage of a very generous discount. Thanks, Anony-mouse


@RChazzChute said...

A pressure tactic is a bad sign. I'd hold back. If other options don't pan out, the discount will be back. There are lots of options and I don't get the feeling the person with the question has explored them.

Anonymous said...

A quick search of AuthorHouse reveals some puffy success stories and so on, but also numerous complaints, blog entries and articles about how it's a total scam. Personally I would stay away from self-publishing "deals" in any form.

for the love of jeebus said...

Run, do not walk, away from this deal.

Editor Mouse said...

If the anony-mouse is planning on submitting to an agency, I would recommend he/she wouldn't take the self-publishing deal.

It may take longer to get the same book published by a non-self-publisher, but then the anony-mouse has spent much less money in sending it out to agencies, than self-publishing it and perhaps not earning any money back at all. Also, it smells like a scam of shoddy work for still a high cost.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely pass on this.

From the Predators and Editors site:
AuthorHouse (formerly 1st Books): Not recommended. A vanity publisher. A division of Author Solutions.

5/17/06 - If you don't know by now, AuthorHouse lost a libel suit in court. It seems that the courts and jury decided a publisher couldn't disavow itself of what it published. In other words, AuthorHouse should have vetted what it accepted before publishing. Now they owe several hundred thousand dollars and may have to pay even more in punitive damages.

Native Ink said...

I recently saw an AuthorHouse writer sitting outside the entrance of my local Wal-Mart promoting her book. It was obvious she'd been told she had to sit at a distance from the front door. As far as I could tell, no one walking by was interested in buying one of the stack of books she had on her card table. In short, it was all the sorrow of rejection condensed into one sad afternoon. Personally, I'd rather be rejected in the privacy of my own home, and at no cost.

Anonymous said...

I suspect this poster is having us on.

Authorhouse is a known scammer (or at least not one of the more reputable self publishers.)

Don't make a huge, huge mistake because they are offering a time-sensitive "discount."

Anonymouse Girl said...

Thanks for publishing my question, WriterRejected. You're so kind. And actually, I'm not a dude. :)

Thanks everyone for their advice. It's a good thing I checked here. the rep at AuthorHouse replied to my email twice this morning with a lot of info regarding how much better it would be for me to self-publishing. I'll be paying 595 pounds, with an option to pay in 3 instalments.

He sounded sincere & did make some good points, like personalized attention, getting my book published quickly & avoiding it being "cookie-cuttered" by mainstream publishers etc. I did receive the offer late, so I'm a bit suspicious, but unsure what to do.

I don't want to spend months being rejected, only to get minimal exposure with a traditional publisher who will retain all rights to my novel, but at least I'll get paid for it upfront. On the other hand, with self-publishing, I'll keep the rights, get published quickly, & there might be a chance to make money if they promote it well. And I get to set the royalties...

I'm so confused....And they've never had an offer like this before.

Anonymouse Girl said...

OKAY....just saw the other comments & did a bit of research & detective work.

Thanks guys. Made up my mind. Good point of being rejected in your home better than in public. I noticed the agent sounded a bit off, including several spelling errors in both his emails. Glad I didn't send him my contact no. I'll just reply & tell him I got accepted by a literary agent.

WHilst I can certainly afford it, I'd rather keep my money for taking care of my mom & my charity causes. If/when I get signed, at least I'll receive money instead of paying it, & be properly promoted with a legitimate publisher.

Thanks again, everyone & WriterRejected.

Me said...

As someone myself who was always very desirous of "getting published right away" let me offer this bit of insight some kind-hearted people offered me: screw that. The work that you do when you are writing--focus on that. Focus on the world, the characters, the pathos of the story. If you give it your undivided attention, your love and care, the final project will be something that you'll have to beat agents off of with a stick. Or else, well, you'll have tried and failed, and there is no shame in that. Most of us who set out to write something will do the same. In other words, what I'm talking about here is the price of your integrity.

Anonymous said...

This UK company has an impressive reputation (AussorHorse).

WR, I'm pretty sure you are being duped by someone who represents ArthurHoose, and just wanted you to make a blog post about them. The fake urgency and naivete is giving it away.

Now that their name has been written over an over on this post, I'm sure this tale of their awesome discount will show up high in search engine results pages.

ANon Girl said...

@ anon 10:53 pm:

It's not a PR stunt. Or else I would've revealed the name of the agent who contacted me.

And the discount isn't being advertised on their site, from what I saw. Not sure how they obtained my email address, but I've heard little about them, so was unaware at first of their rep. That's been rectified.