UPDATE: The lawsuits that resulted from this investigation were dismissed in August and September of 2015.
Authors using Author Solutions have complained of deceptive practices, including enticing authors to purchase promotional services that are not provided or are worthless, failing to pay royalties, and spamming authors and publishing blogs/sites with promotional material.
The New York law firm of Giskan Solotaroff Anderson & Stewart LLP has opened an investigation of Author Solutions Inc. (ASI), alleging deceptive practices.
They’re calling for contact from authors who believe they’ve been the victims of these and/or other deceptive practices. The contact form is here.
Giskan Solotaroff Anderson & Stewart specializes in, among other things, consumers and small businesses in class actions. Where possible, they enter into contingency fee arrangements–i.e., they take a percentage of the winnings rather than a fee. Given that Author Solutions is now owned by Pearson, there are some deep pockets here, which may make a lawsuit more feasible than it has been in the past. (To my knowledge, no lawsuit has actually been filed; this is a preliminary investigation only.)
I’ve blogged about ASI and its questionable practices a good deal over the past few years. For background, here’s a selection of my posts:
Pearson Buys Author Solutions (but questions about ASI’s business practices remain open–will Pearson address them?)
A Partridge in a Penguin Tree (ASI expands into India).
Archway Publishing: Simon & Schuster Adds a Self-Publishing Division (outsourced to ASI, and it’s eye-poppingly expensive).
Democratization or Disinformation? (ASI’s misleading “white paper” on independent” publishing).
Posts by others:
Writer and editor Emily Suess is a relentless critic of ASI, and has exposed many of its business practices and collected many complaints from unhappy authors who’ve used its services.
Mick Rooney of The Independent Publishing Magazine has a long piece on the Giskan Solotaroff investigation and related matters.
Author and blogger David Gaughran deconstructs the ASI empire.