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Barnes and Noble’s Dirty Little Secret: Author Solutions and Nook Press


Author Beware:  Notorious AUTHOR SOLUTIONS increased future revenue by closing a deal with … You won’t believe it: Nook Press / Barnes & Noble! who offer now Print-on-Demand services through Author Solutions.
David Gauthran explains one of the most frightening points for authors, who sell their books through Barnes & Noble – even if they don’t use any of the POD services:
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“If you think you are safe because you have never used Nook Press Author Services, and don’t plan to, I am afraid that’s not the case. I am not a lawyer, but under my reading of the terms of the Nook Press Privacy Policy, Barnes & Noble already has the right to share the personal information of all Nook Press users with third party suppliers like Author Solutions.”
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Read the whole story (peppered with documents for proof) at David’s blog, including responses of writers – and after please, do share it, re-blog it, and spread the word so that all authors get informed and be warned about this new scam. Many authors already pulled their books from B&N… as one can see on the many comments to blog articles regarding Author Solutions and Barnes & Noble.
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“Dear Barnes & Noble:
Why on earth contracting with Author Solutions?  And trick authors?  Why not making money from selling books – instead of making money from selling (often useless) services at inflated prices to AUTHORS?  And even giving personal data about authors – who commission their books on your online platform – to Author Solutions?”
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A BIG thanks to David Gaughran, who works hard,
investigates and helps everyone in the writing community
to stay away from these unethical practices.
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David Gaughran

NookPressAuthorSolutionsNook Press – Barnes & Noble’s self-publishing platform – launched a selection of author services last October including editing, cover design, and (limited) print-on-demand.

Immediate speculation surrounded who exactly was providing these services, with many – including Nate Hoffelder, Passive Guy, and myself – speculating it could be Author Solutions. However, there was no proof.

Until now.

A source at Penguin Random House has provided me with a document which shows that Author Solutions is secretly operating Nook Press Author Services. The following screenshot is taken from the agreement between Barnes & Noble and writers using the service.

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You will see that the postal address highlighted above for physical submission of manuscripts is “Nook Press Author Services, 1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, Indiana.”

Author Solutions, Bloomington, Indiana. Image courtesy of Wikimedia, uploaded by Vmenkov, CC BY-SA 3.0 Author Solutions, Bloomington, IN. Image from Wikimedia, by Vmenkov, CC BY-SA 3.0

There’s something else located at that address: Author Solutions US headquarters in Bloomington…

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Posted by on March 3, 2015 in All things Legal

 

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How New Writers are Taken in by Author Solutions and Penguin

How Author Solutions / Penguin Squeezes Newbie Writers
Customers are captured through a variety of deceptive means – such as

  • fake “independent” websites which purport to review all the self-publishing options available to writers (but only compare the various Author Solutions imprints);
  • fake social media profiles pretending to be writers or “publishing consultants” (who only recommend Author Solutions companies); and,
  • a “bounty” to various unscrupulous parties to deliver Author Solutions fresh blood.

Once Author Solutions has a writer’s contact details, it moves fast – endlessly harassing them by phone and email until they cave and purchase an overpriced publishing package. Obviously, Author Solutions needs to use such deceptive measures because authors who have used its services aren’t recommending it to their fellow writers. Instead, they are warning them away. … read more:

David Gaughran

PRHGrupoASIPenguin Random House is speeding up the international expansion of its vanity press operations, while also seeking to integrate them more closely with the traditional side of the business – hoping to counteract flat growth for Author Solutions at a time when self-publishing is booming.

Author Solutions launches a new self-publishing service company for the Spanish market next Tuesday – MeGustaEscribir – which contains the usual mix of crappy publishing packages and ineffective, overpriced marketing services, as well as some extremely questionable practices such as reading fees (more on that below).

The way the Author Solutions scam typically operates is detailed exhaustively in this post, but here’s a brief summary.

How Author Solutions Squeezes Newbie Writers

Customers are captured through a variety of deceptive means – such as fake “independent” websites which purport to review all the self-publishing options available to writers (but only compare the various Author Solutions…

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Posted by on December 16, 2014 in Writer Beware

 

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Author Beware: Why Trusting Literary Agents…

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costly-error
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Since the advent of self-publishing not only trade publishers, but also agents got into hard times. Desperate, literary agencies suddenly started to ride on the self-publishing wagon. However without having a clue about the business of self-publishing – or publishing for that matter.
For some of them the solution was to turn to Argo Navis, who call their services: “Agent-Curated Self-Publishing”. They don’t work with authors directly and accept only manuscripts that are submitted to them by contracted literary agents.

Read more:
http://www.savvybookwriters.com/why-trusting-literary-agents-can-be-a-bad-idea/

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We moved this blog over to http://savvybookwriters.com/blog

 

 

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MUST READ for Authors to Avoid Pitfalls

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Writing is an art. Publishing is a business. If you want to sell your book(s) and not just write for your own fun, better get a thorough understanding of the publishing business and what to look out for when making decisions how to get your book to readers.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch wrote a fantastic blog – a warning to all authors, who are thinking about having a service provider (who call themselves publisher) to handle e-book formatting and posting the e-book to all online retailers – for 10 – 15% of your royalties.

Seems convenient to the author… So convenient that they don’t even bother to read the agreement, which can be VERY COSTLY in the long term.

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The essence of her warning: “If you don’t have the time to self-publish and you don’t have the
money to pay someone up front, then don’t do it. That’s so much better than signing with one of
these scam artists.”

Please, please, people. Be smart. Don’t sign with any company to design your e-books and handle
your social media for a percentage of royalties. And please, please, read all the agreements that concern your books before you sign or click “agree” on anything.

Make sure you understand what you’re agreeing to, and if you don’t understand it, ask an
un-involved third party like a lawyer to help you understand. Don’t call the e-service and ask them to
explain their agreement to you. They’ll tell you not to worry your pretty little head about it. And if you
listen to them, the mistake is yours.”

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Read her blog post and if you have signed up with any of these “service” companies, take out your contract (if you printed it out) or go to their website and read it line for line to learn what you gave con sense to – and self-publish your next book by yourself – real self-publishing by you, the author!  Get more help in reading publishing contracts from us in individual book marketing sessions with you.
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Kristine wrote a lot more articles, each one giving authors insights into the publishing world, along
with lots of warnings:

Trust me – Whenever you hear this – RUN

Royalty Statements

Use common sense

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $159 for three months! Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/  to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 970 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
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Author Beware of Scams !!!

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The reason I started https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com initially, was to warn authors of traps they can fall in, after a friend of mine has been deceived by a so-called vanity publisher. Well, she was very naive and did not seek the help of a lawyer, specialized in contract law, nor the advice of her well-meaning author friends or her writer’s group. After having her manuscript sent out to several dozens of publishers and receiving only rejections, she was so eager to get published, that she did not want to hear any warnings and signed her rights away for 70 years after her death! Not only this, she also paid more than $6.000 to have her print book published. Until now (3 years past the initial launch) the vanity “publisher” failed to format it into an e-book, despite his many promises.
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Vanity Publishing
For those who do not know what a “vanity publisher” is: These companies take on almost every book authors pitch to them, without concerns if the book is marketable, they charge authors outrageous amounts for editing, book cover and printing or e-book formatting.  Many of these companies are printers who get their machines running this way. Others are just agents for author services, who receive healthy commissions from their sub contractors.

“Vanity publishers” don’t make money selling a book, they only make money producing it!

Now it seems that reputable, traditional publishers step into the foot prints of these “vanity publishers” and go into the business of deceiving authors.  Many jumped on the bandwagon of the success of e-books and created imprints for digital books, such as “Hydra”, “Flirt” or “Alibi”an imprint of Random House, or “Blackfriars” an imprint of Little&Brown in the UK.
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They ask writers for a life-of-copyright contract that includes both, primary and subsidiary rights! (See the story of my friend above).  No advance. Only the NET proceeds (means, after all costs of the “vanity publisher” is deducted) will be split between both sides. Deductions for e-books include, among others: the overhead and administrative costs of the “publisher”, costs for editing, cover art, formatting plus a publicity fee of 10% etc. – so the author pays for all these in the end.
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Publishing – but not under these conditions!
And if there is a print version, printing and binding costs,” plus 6% of GROSS sales revenue (NOT the NET sales!) to cover freight and warehousing costs.  One has to do the math, calculate all this and realize that it makes absolutely no sense to sign up such an unfavorable contract. There is only one who makes money with the authors work: The “vanity publisher”.
Yes, the authors don’t have to pay upfront costs, on the other hand they don’t know what they will earn per book, while the publisher is assured that their expenses will be paid for as soon as the book sells.
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See what John Scalzi wrote in an open letter to Random House on his blog:

“Dear Random House: It’s clear you’re targeting new, un-agented authors here because no agent who is not manifestly incompetent would allow his or her client to sign such a terrible contract. But here’s the thing: New authors don’t actually need you to sell their work online. They can do it themselves — and are, and some of them are doing quite well at it. You are working under the assumption that these newer authors are so eager to be with a “real” publisher that they will suddenly forget that publishers are no longer a bottleneck to being published, or that you are offering nothing they can’t do themselves (or have done for them) and offering them nothing for the service — indeed your business model appears predicated on sucking as much as possible from them in fees and charges while offering as little as possible in way of compensation. Hydra is a vanity publisher, in sum.
Do you genuinely believe these new authors are that stupid? And if so, do you genuinely want an entire imprint of your publishing empire populated by such people?”
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We will cover more examples of unfavorable ways of publishing in the next days – and can only warn you: Author beware, beware, and beware even more.  What’s the benefit of Google?  You can type in the name of a company and the words  “complaint” or “complaints” and see what comes up. Read these posts carefully!

Find out more about this topic in our former blogs, and spread the word, re-blog the articles, so that other writers can learn about the publishing industry and make informed decisions:

First Penguin – now Simon & Schuster Wants Your Money

Victims of Vanity Publishers

Comparison of Vanity Presses

10 Signs, Showing You Vanity Publishing TRAPS

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If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are almost 700 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

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Don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks

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Posted by on March 10, 2013 in Marketing

 

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