AuthorHouse.com – Unprofessional and dishonest from the get go

fish-hook-bookI was shopping around for online businesses that help authors self-publish. I had questions related to: print on demand, ISBNs, text formatting services, book cover design, etc.

Many sites showed in my search results and in particular Authorhouse.com. I went to their website and they offered to send a free starter guide if I fill in my information. No harm there. I fill my information: name, email and phone number.

After I filled the form, I received the PDF file. That PDF was really nothing more a flyer containing the services they offer. Not as much tips as they promised. Anyway, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Let me continue with my story.

So the next day, I get a phone call from an individual by the name of “Eric Lundy”, a senior author consultant. He seemed friendly on the phone. He was in a hurry while delivering his “we don’t need you, you need us” pitch. He also made sure he gets off the phone as soon as he can while telling me to continue the conversation by email if I have more questions.

In fact, I had questions already and I needed real answers. I did not really benefit much from his generic sales pitch:

  • I asked him: “Are you in a hurry? I mean you are on the phone and I have the questions now. Can you answer me?”
  • E.L: “Yes, I can”.
  • Me: “So, I said I am looking for the self-publishing experience and I was wondering if I can buy services from you.”
  • E.L: “Yes sure.”
  • Me: “So, do you have text formatting service?”
  • E.L: “Yes, we will format the document and send it back to you for review.”
  • Me: “Great. So, I would to get this service and go my own way afterwards.”
  • E.L: “No, you have to order the books from us.”

I was puzzled here.

  • Me: “What do you mean? I paid you for your service and now I don’t want anything to do with AuthorHouse”
  • E.L: “No, we put all the hard work. You have to order the books from us.”
  • Me: “But I paid you for your services. What more do you want?”

Here, I can start to see his ANGRY and AGGRESSIVE tone starting to build up. I was never disrespectful at all, I had genuine questions. After all, he’s a “Senior Author Consultant”. His job is to be professional, conduct himself properly since he represents his company and answer all questions.

  • Me: “So what does it take to keep the ownership of my book and just use your services.”
  • E.L: “Well, you have to buy your own ISBN so we remove our name from your book.”
  • Me: “But you did not tell me you will put the AuthorHouse name / brand on the book. I don’t want that. I am looking for the self-publishing experience. How can we go about that?”
  • E.L: “You know what!”, he said in a more angry tone. “I don’t think we are good for you. I am going to hang up on you.”

Notice how he did not answer me and avoided that questions. The more I ask, the more I expose things he was not willing to tell me.

  • Me: “Hey, take it easy there. Why the aggressive tone? We are talking here. Take it easy.”

His aggressiveness seemed to be coming out of nowhere. Only later I learned why he was getting pissed off, so it is not inexplicable after all. Let me finish this account and I will explain what happens when you eat the bait and work with Authorhouse.

He replied with even more aggressiveness but I cannot recall what he said because the whole conversation became so tense.  At that point, I could no longer take his aggressiveness, so I said to him:

  • Me: “You know what?! I agree with you. Let’s just hang up.”

That phone conversation left a bitter taste in my mouth. I was really pissed off at his manners or their lack thereof. I decided to search the internet and see if I am the only person who had a negative experience with AuthorHouse. Lo and behold. There are lots of negative accounts about the shady, dishonest and misleading practices lead by this company.

That Eric person was getting angry because I was asking the right questions and I was not a gullible client that he could easily hook. The more important questions I asked, the less comfortable and angry he became.

After all, what is the need of a scammer to waste his time if the victim is not going to take the bait?

I emailed their media@authorhouse.com complaining about their “senior” consultant’s behavior. I received a phone call the next business day and they apologized. They wanted to have another more mannered consultant contact me again, but unfortunately I refused, especially after I researched more about the company and found more negative reviews than positive reviews.

Negative reviews from the web

To my surprise, there’s a complete Blog site by an ex-employee dedicated to exposing the scams committed by AuthorHouse.com:

http://authorhouse-publishing-scam.blogspot.com

Here’s an excerpt from Marcus’ WFHW blog about their dishonest business conduct:

Here’s how it works…

You are the author of a book and want it published, you choose a package and will pay the publishing house to take all the necessary steps on your behalf. They register the book in their name because, unfortunately, that’s what you have paid them to do.

Now since they own the ISBN they can give this out to any store that they see fit and make money from your hard work. Naturally just doing this would definitely seem to be a complete rip-off but the promise of receiving royalties on your publication doesn’t usually sound any alarm bells.

As to the exact amount of sales you are going to make…nobody knows except for the publishing house because they are not going to reveal the real figures. All they have to do is pay a minimum amount every quarter.

Let me quote some experiences from pissed consumers:

Before Author House merged with iUniverse I chose iUniverse, not knowing this was going to be the future of this company. I regret choosing iUniverse now, as I’ve had problems with them and fear that if they do ever get a book done I won’t get paid from sales, as others are complaining about. The number of times this company has contradicted itself and changed personnel it has just not gone well and I’d never use them again or recommend them. Also, their editing was amateur, definitely not worth what I paid for it. I could’ve done it myself better but thought by paying them I was saving myself time. Wrong! Redoing their job was very time consuming. It has made me suspicious of the entire self publishing industry.

— http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/authorhouse-bloomington-indiana-c123477.html

Here’s another one:

Author House keeps the royalties (in which I’m now gathering receipts from some buyers) and they also have the problem of losing everything including a royalty check from a year ago. They won’t re-issue it because they have said for months it’s still live. I told them to cancel the check and just issue another one. They avoid answering that with blaming the post office to even me. They motto is “We didn’t do it – you did.” I’m still waiting for the check for the 4th quarter of 2011. The stupid part about it is the check is only $7.26. We are fighting over chump change. Do they need money that bad? The losing of items, began the first few months when they lost a picture. Then checks from me to them with tracking devices on them.

— http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/author-house-lack-of-royalties-and-lose-everything-c639484.html

And another one:

The Dark Connection Between PublishAmerica and The AuthorHouse Publishing Scam

Vanity Press, PublishAmerica, has been provably receiving illegal down payments from AuthorHouse to underwrite some of the exposure the company would have otherwise received from angry writers who have had their royalties stolen by the AuthorHouse Publishing Scam. This blog tells the story of AuthorHouse, a publishing scam based in Bloomington Indiana that is riddled with corporate corruption and faces a pending Wall Street SEC investigation for securities fraud.

And another one:

The rogue, predatory, fraudulent publishing company called Author House based in Indiana will steal your money and not publish your work. Please, do not deal with them for your peace of mind., They collected money from me and refused to honor the contract and all I did is contact the Indiana Attorney Generals Office (The Consumer Protection Division) – 1800-382-5516. They refunded my money in full. I wonder wow or why these thieves continue to stay in business in a lawful country like the US. It is terrible. I am willing to join anyone to file a class action suit.

— http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/authorhouse-rip-off-publishing-compnay-c713929.html

And another one:

I’ve discovered some interesting things about my books in the meantime: one of my publications was being advertised (and possibly distributed) by Authorhouse with a cover I never authorized, while covers I did authorise were sold on other sites. Ho couls this be when we must okay all covers before they are released? Could this be proof of thier own unauthorized pirate copies being sold without my knowledge? Like I said, Possibly!

I also found out Authorhouse was operating their own cut rate Marketplace seller on Amazon called “Adelightfulbook”, selling books for half the price on Amazon! I repeat, they were selling practically all their authors’ books for half the price for a couple of years before this “seller” mysteriously disppeared offline a few months before I lodged this complaint. How where they paying us authors and Amazon at the same time? Not possible I say, another way to cut us authors out without us knowing by using a front shop on the Internet. They could be doing this again, but there is no way of knowing unless they slip and give the name out on their private statements like they did in my case.

Stay away from Authorhouse!

— http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/authorhouse-bloomington-indiana-c371645.html

What other pissed consumers are saying:

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10 thoughts on “AuthorHouse.com – Unprofessional and dishonest from the get go

  1. Wow. I asked them to stop selling my book yet when I search for it by title it keeps coming up on some type of Google books with quotes and it is very embarrassing. Then I discovered that my books were still on sale on Amazon. So I sent them a cease-and-desist letter as it is competing with the same book that I published through somewhere else. I publish through the other company because I had to retain all of the rights to my book. I decide where it’s published and who it’s published with. I monitor all of my sales in real time as they have it this publishing company does all of the work but doesn’t collect royalties on the book at all. So when I saw that authorhouse had made my books available again after the cease-and-desist letter I was extremely pissed. I have had to contact them twice and threaten legal action to get them to stop selling my book which I took elsewhere because they wanted to charge me to correct some grammatical errors in the book. Do not use authorhouse. Half the stuff on their list of marketing are things you can do for free yet they pretend that they are giving you something for the thousands of dollars you are paying for it. I should mention that the other company I used and am currently very happy with after publishing my second book is newbookauthors.com . At least I don’t have to worry about giving anyone my royalties or having someone else control my bucks. The author of this blog is so right about them and it made me mad just reading about it, i felt like I was going through it all over again.

  2. I used AH and felt raped. What a nightmare. I should have known better, but I thought as big as they were, that was the right way to go. WRONG. I provided them with a professionally formatted manuscript and they destroyed it and I had to pay even more money just to get it back to looking somewhat professional. They unjustified my text – what were they thinking? After round and round and no recourse, I changed my title and went to First Edition Design Publishing. It was like night and day. That was when I realized just how bad AH really was. I bet you could go to any publishing house outside of AH and see the difference in just one phone call.

  3. I published this book in 2014 .Knowingly i sensed being hustled ..But i went along for the ride anyway..
    If their illegally taking my royalties which is half the sales.Then they should be investigated and a law suit.
    Should be slapped on them..Otherwise I’m only into it as an artist too..But i should be compensated for my work .
    So lets keep the wolves& sharks @ Bay! Call them on their greed corrupt practices and force them to make a honest $buck.
    Thank you, Guitar Jim Bourke

  4. I had to write this to AH today after more harassments: I had gone along with it so far to see if there was any free prompting tools. But lets face it in 30 days how could anyone know if it is going to be any use. Surely if they were genuine promoting tools for their authors should be free, as it would be AH that stands to make the most money from it. Here is my note to their customer service team. (I’m forwarding a link I was sent by person claiming to be one of their sales consultants:

    Hi Authorhouse can you please confirm this message is from you?

    I received phone call from Will Bartola, asking me to log on for a free trail. I was asked to get my bank card ready to give details over the phone.

    I replied I prefer to do so on-line.

    He sent below link.

    I was put forward to young lady that gave me a password to enter;

    Phillip1B in order to register.

    But instead of following the link Will gave I went on Google and opened your author house learning centre.

    I submitted the password I was given and then again to confirm, but was not able to log on. A message came up explain their was a problem.

    The young lady was polite but then I had a knock on my door so had to end the call. I said I would try and log on myself later.

    I had explained to Will Bartola, I had already looked at every video on your learning centre, Fiction, Films and poetry for adults and children, I had left positive comments and took notes, and bought various author’s books. So felt I didn’t need any more tuition.

    He explained the learning centre has promote your book tools, that was what he wanted me to learn how to reach big readership. That after the trail period I could cancel if I felt it was not working out OK.

    The lady I spoke with gave me this number to cancel if I need to do so: 1866 697 5312 extension 5061

    I went on Google pasted in the phone number afterwards to check it out, but nothing came up?

    Yours sincerely
    Anthony Phillips
    Author of Rossetti novel

    Are you surprised I got no reply back from AH

    I think too AH is a SCAM

    Since I joined them over 3 years ago only sold about 20 books. But if you go on Amazon or EBay they are always getting offers. People also been selling used copies. I wish I would have continued as I was doing. I had found a printing company that printed my books for £1.80 each. I was selling them at fair price £5.99 free postage. Although not in big quantities they were selling every months. I was far better off therefore without Author House interference. They are like Robots programmed not to listen to word you say they don’t hear any questions. Stay clear of them. Just say No and hand up. Even though they will continue to talk just hang up, save your hard earned cash. May God Curse their company may it collapse. Such dishonesty should be punished. How could it happen in America?

  5. A.H. got me major, starting with Mr. E.L., same idiot they are talking about. called me up saying A.H. wanted my book so bad that they’d pay to publish it. Offered me $10 per sale up front, promised editing and the works, and then talked me into spending over a grand for Red tag insurance saying that with that even if books were sent back I’d still get paid. when editing came due he tells me it’s $500, which I didn’t have so I ended up doing it myself. Then they couldn’t get the format right to save their a$$ for ages. finally the cover goes to press with my step by step instructions, it comes back looking like a first grader did it, so now I’m told to get a do-over it’s another few hundred bucks, which i didn’t have so i fought it. They couldn’t get it right no matter what and had no idea I’m a graphic artist so when they handed me “Difference in the programs” I begged to differ. I ended up designing the entire thing, even tubed out all images and then gave them step by step instructions on how to do it, and they still couldn’t get it right. After a while I just settled for the closest they seemed to get to it. My book no longer hits the shelves and I find Amazon made a major goof up when they posted it for sale. instead of them posting the first chapter for review they had posted my entire manuscript. I called A.H. with a “WTF and how did amazon get my manuscript?” I then get told Amazon bought the print rights. so now I’m saying “I never gave permission for anybody to sell off my print rights.” Then I hear “Just look at as Amazon being that 900 pound gorilla that will get your book out there.” so now I’m saying “And how am I supposed to make any money with Amazon controlling the print out and sales, i have no contract with them?” I got no answer, just double talk from my book consultant. When i talked to E.L. again I went ballistic about him lying to me from the git go, and he had the gall to get pi$$y with me and deny telling me anything. then I learn my royalties will not be $10 per sale, but more like pennies. To date I’ve earned maybe $3 with them claiming my book has only sold two copies in over 5 years now. Generally a book runs good a year or two before the price drops and sales slack off, but my book is still being sold everywhere for prices marked up anywhere from $35 to seeing them selling for over $3,000 a copy. As for A.H. saying they haven’t sold any…then how and where is everybody getting them to sell? Amazon? i even took the measures and contacted several sellers anonymously saying that I wanted to buy bulk, but that I couldn’t wait for print on demand and got answers like “I have over 5,000 copies in my warehouse right now” or “I have 500 copies, but they sell so fast you’ll need to put in an order now.” A.H. robbed me of the scant savings I had, sold me out and now everybody is getting rich off my hard work but me. Do not trust them, they are 100% scamming people!

  6. I say to all who have been scammed by A.H. that we ban together and begin a Civil suit against them. I will be more than happy to do the leg work. they have taken advantage of far too many of us and have got rich off not just us personally by selling us a falsehood, but getting rich off our hard work and talents. as long as nobody takes a stand they will continue to rip people off. E-mail me if you’d like to get a Class Action lawsuit against them..JacqueD52@aol.com

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