month we are discussing options for making money with your book through
self-publishing. This is no doubt a daunting task for some, but there are
resources out there to make self-publishing your work just a little easier and
affordable. With that in mind, I wanted to share some thoughts on a very
popular and prolific self-publishing company called AuthorHouse®.
Being a born skeptic and lover of
controversy myself, when I was doing a little extra research on AuthorHouse®, I
thought it would be a good idea to look at some negative reviews scattered
across the web. I won’t lie to you,
there were several.
One individual called it a flat-out scam. Another said that
somehow AuthorHouse® had been responsible for releasing his book to major
online bookselling companies without him receiving any royalties. One man even
claimed that AuthorHouse® was responsible for him pouring about $10 000 US into
his book because of all these changes and recommendations they were making.
I want to just preface what is about
to follow by saying that I believe that everyone is entitled to their opinion,
but when you are reading the opinions of others it is important to be critical
and take an active role in evaluating claims before you accept them as fact.
The first individual called AuthorHouse®
a scam. His argument was that the
assistants helping him with his book would not give him an estimate on book
price or royalties until after formatting was complete.
But upon better reading
the contract he discovered that after formatting, the author is responsible for
75% of the financial burden of the book, even if it doesn’t end up doing well
following publishing. The first point that was made is really just a result of
the individual’s own laziness. AuthorHouse® has a book price and royalty
estimator that is easily accessible on their website.
The reality is, however,
that no book can be guaranteed a particular price point until after formatting
has been completed. So it really was the author’s job to take the time to best
estimate the format of his book. If that fails, there is a phone number in bold
in the footer on every page of the website for any and all inquiries. The
second argument is yet another result of laziness.
As a general rule, don’t
sign a contract if you haven’t read it thoroughly. Remember that these are the
terms of an agreement, all explicitly stated, even when publishing with this company. If there are parts you don’t
understand, call and ask questions before signing. But it is YOUR
responsibility as the author to make sure that you understand the terms because
if either side breaches that contract in any way, it is the breacher’s
responsibility. We all feel silly and upset when we forget to read and
understand an agreement, but that doesn’t mean we can shuck the responsibility
onto someone else.
The second individual’s claim is
hardly worth mentioning. In this digital age, we know how easily things become
accessible. With over 40 000 authors publishing with AuthorHouse®, is it really
likely that only ONE person (that I could find in half an hour of searching)
had a complaint about their book being stolen and sold under a different
author? Logic tells us, “Not likely…” As an author, you have to make sure that you protect your work to the best of your ability to make sure that your
ideas stay guarded.
Avoid just letting a huge number of people proofread or
share opinions on your book before you publishing it. Or, if you want to go through
an extensive review process, make hard copies instead of emailing files. You
never know whose computer could be hacked or what information can be stolen,
but again, it’s always easier to blame someone else than take the
responsibility onto yourself.
The final individual I wanted to
discuss claimed that AuthorHouse® made him spend $10 000 on his book. That’s like
me saying AuthorHouse® made me write my book, or get up in the morning, or eat
dinner last night.
Why is this claim absurd? Because with AuthorHouse®, you have
a hand in every process from the format to the cover design and even somewhat in the pricing and royalties. There are people along the way to advise and assist
you, but ultimately it is your own decision.
Things like pricing often come
down to, and can be revised at the discretion of, any publisher because they
understand the demand and actual monetary worth of your book in the consumer
world, likely better than you do (especially considering the obvious bias you
There are plenty other negative
reviews of AuthorHouse® and other self-publishing companies, but there are also
plenty of positive ones (in fact, more from what I can tell). Just try not to
forget that it is called “self-publishing” for a reason: you have decided to
take responsibility for your work and putting it out there. So if you want
control of each step along the way, AuthorHouse® is a supportive and easily
accessible tool for investing to make sure your voice is heard the way you want
it to be.