It feels like the good guys are winning the self-publishing battle of good vs evil.
Does it feel like that to anyone else? First the Big Five publishers were slugged with $160m in damages for anti-competitive price-fixing in the US, then Apple got the same treatment from the US Department of Justice, now the unconscionable practices of self-publishing “services” company Author Solutions are being seen for what they are – a play for the precious cash of vulnerable self-publishing author in return for – well, very little, it seems to me.
Self-publishing blogger and author David Gaughran writes:
Abbott Press – the imprint launched by Writer’s Digest, parent company F+W Media, and white-label vanity press provider Author Solutions – is still operational, but all ties to Writer’s Digest have been cut…
Abbott Press has removed “A Writer’s Digest Company” from its masthead and logo, and Writer’s Digest is in the process of scrubbing links between its site and Abbott Press, although you can still find several older articles touting the vanity imprint’s virtues – like this shill piece from Writer’s Digest staffer Chuck Sambuchino.
Author Solutions skates along and across the line between service and web scam, offering vanity publishing services. The worth of those services are (ahem) open to debate, but it’s how they hook their customers that really pushes the boundaries of moral bankruptcy.
Fake social media profiles and “independent” consultants’ websites that are merely fronts for the business, spambots and shady SEO practices – Author Solutions has no qualms in delving into the waters of web scammers to gain new leads. David has a wrap here.
Needless to say, don’t ever, ever, give these people money, or even waste your time on them. And yes, they’re a Penguin Random House company. Did we need another reason to dislike the Big Five, people?
Anyway, it’s gratifying that companies are seeing these types of practices for what they are, or at least listening to the public and/or self-publishers decrying them.
Down with The Empire!