I don’t believe there’s much dispute that the countless “imprints” under the Author Solutions umbrella are among the most negatively regarded of all writer-services companies. Unfortunately, whatever difference AS’s contraction has generated has been loaded by a slew of imitators. Why not, when hoodwinking writers is really as easy as setting up a website and opening an account with Ingram?
Like AS, the clones rely on misleading hype, hard-sell sales strategies, and a lucrative catalog of junk marketing services. Even if writers actually have the services they’ve paid for (and judging by the problems I’ve gotten, there’s no guarantee of that), they are receiving stiffed. These are not businesses operating in good trust, but greedy opportunists wanting to profit from authors’ inexperience, ignorance, and food cravings for recognition.
They are exploitative, dishonest, and predatory. On the top, the clones don’t look that different from other, definitely not disreputable author services companies offering posting packages and marketing add-ons. However, they share a distinctive cluster of characteristics that can help they are discovered by you. 1. Solicitation. Like the Author Solutions imprints, the clones are big on out-of-the-blue telephone email messages and phone calls asking their services.
Often they’ll claim your reserve has been recommended to them or found out by one of their book scouts. The phone solicitors frequently have international accents (most are located in the Philippines). The e-mail lawyers use a repeating group of job titles: book scout, literary agent, Senior Marketing & Publishing Consultant (, or Senior Publishing & Marketing Consultant), Executive Marketing Consultant.
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2. Offers to re-publish authors’ books. A big focus for the clones is poaching authors who already are released or self-published (often with Author Solutions imprints). They declare they can do a much better job or provide higher credibility, or get authors before traditional publishers even. 3. Elaborate promises of skills and experience that don’t check out.
A clone may say it’s been running a business since 2006 or 2008, even though its domain name was registered only this past year. It could claim to be staffed by publishing and marketing experts with years or even decades of “combined experience”, but provide no names or bios to allow you to verify this. 4. Poor or tortured English.
The clones have US addresses and purport to be US-based companies. Many have US business registrations. Yet their email messages and websites frequently contain numerous (and sometimes laughable) sentence structure and syntax errors (see below for illustrations). Their mobile phone solicitors appear to be phoning from US figures, but have international accents commonly, and could get authors’ brands or book game titles wrong.