Author Solutions Trap

Signs You’re Falling into an Author Support Solutions Trap

Lately, there have been a couple of client tales about the neverending saga of BP. Let’s just say BP, for legal reasons… they of the permanent Google advertising. So I want to talk about how to spot the signs before you fall into an author support solutions trap. In case you’re unaware, many of those holding top spots of Google for “book publishing support Australia” or “author support services Australia” are actually American companies with Australian sales machines. (Except for me, ha ha!) These provide a publishing package but then if you want editing, that’s more. If you want help with marketing, that’s more. Then some of them take in 50% of the author royalties…

This split is not a given as there are perfectly reliable author support businesses on our Australian coastline who provide a service without taking royalties.

Read more about Author Solutions Inc and Warning Signs in Penny C Sansivieri’s Huffpost article.

Small Publisher Lists

In addition, there are some approachable small publishers or alternatively partial vanity publishers (e.g. Vivid Publishing) who subsidise the basic publishing costs — and these do share royalties. These will probably not provide the broad-ranging promotion and book posters of a big name, but at least check out all registered publishers of any size here: https://www.publishers.asn.au/. In the Directory, you can look under “Associate Members – Small Publisher” in the 2nd drop-down, or just search by your genre for all related listings.

The Small Press Network, offer associate membership for $90 to self-publishers if you want to make new connections and develop. Or perhaps scour the SPN directory for small publishers.

10 Signs You’re Falling into Author Support Solutions Trap

  1. Their website refers to some authors being offered a publishing contract with a legitimate publishing ‘partner’ of theirs. If you’re paying, you’re not likely to just pick up a contract this way.
  2. Their packages (on application) don’t mention who your print on demand partner might be or alternatively, how your distribution takes place.
  3. Author print copies are still unreasonable, even though they have partners in print to make it cheaper. Check with the Print on Demand calculators yourself and also check with offset printers for the larger runs, e.g. over 300 copies.
  4. The creative services, like line editing, are hard to find out about and you have no idea who will be advising you on your book.
  5. Editing price comes as quite a shock.
  6. Editing service is rubbish quality (i.e. fixing things that were a colloquialism or changing Australian/British spelling to U.S. spelling).
  7. They offer to help with your blurb then practically reprint what you wrote.
  8. When you Google “XXX company scams” it has warnings and lots of complaints from authors.
  9. The RRP of the book is much too high for its kind – not only genre, but quality, colour or not, and length.
  10. Can’t find mention of their recently published books anywhere in the usual book distributors.


Tip:  If you want to know if a Self-Publishing Support/Publisher’s books have good distribution, pick 3 recent titles out. Copy their ISBN and paste it into Booko.com.au. Then you will see where the book is listed and for what prices. (Sometimes this is beyond the author’s control; some book online retailers are cheeky monkies and boost the price).

Well, I did some research on a Vivid 2015 title: “How to get a job in the 21st Century”. It does not show up on Booko, but it still has its own website. It is priced at $29.95 and you can buy it at Vivid’s website. I find this price too high for an A5 book of 112 pages (Trove says 102). It should be around $19 – $25 max. Now, I am not saying that Vivid is poor, they seem to offer acceptable quality, but keep on doing your due diligence on each self-publishing supporter you investigate.

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