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The Author Exploitation Business

Penguin and Author Solutions
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We wrote in dozens of blog posts about the difference between publishers, self-publishing service companies and Vanity Publishing, recently in an article

A Must-Read for every author is David Gaughran’s article about Author Solutions, where he explains:
“Traditional publishing doesn’t talk about Penguin’s 116m purchase and ownership of Author Solutions. No-one wants to talk about how a supposedly legitimate publisher now owns the most successful author scamming organization on the planet, that has cheated 150,000 writers out of their savings.”

Unfortunately Author Solutions / Penguin also own  XLibris, Balboa, Trafford, iUniverse… ,collaborates with Lulu, and spams the internet with FindYourPublisher.com
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The good news: Three authors filed a class action complaint against Author Solutions Inc. and Penguin Group USA in US District Court for the Southern District of New York. Allegations include breach of contract, unjust enrichment, various violations of the California Business and Professional Code, and violation of New York General Business Law and request release of publishing rights for the class, and payment by the plaintiffs of restitution, court costs, and compensatory damages in excess of $5 million.
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Read David Gaughran’s extensive article and re-blog it, to warn as many writers as possible, so that they do not fall into their traps.

David Gaughran

penguin (1)Writing is a glamorous occupation – at least from the outside. Popular depictions of our profession tend to leave out all the other stuff that comes with the territory: carpal tunnel syndrome, liver failure, penury, and madness.

Okay, okay, I jest. I love being a writer. Sharing stories with the world and getting paid for it is bloody brilliant. It’s a dream job, and like any profession with a horde of neophytes seeking to break in, there are plenty of sharks waiting to chew them to bits.

Publishing is a screwed up business. The often labyrinthine path to success makes it much easier for those with nefarious intentions to scam the unsuspecting. But it doesn’t help that so many organizations who claim to help writers, to respect them, to assist them along the path to publication are actually screwing them over.

Before the digital revolution made self-publishing viable on a…

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Now: Penguin-Random

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The New York Times wrote today that Bertelsmann, the owner of Random House, and Pearson, which owns Penguin, said that they had reached an agreement to combine the two publishing houses to create the largest consumer book publisher in the world.

It is said, the deal would give the combined companies greater scale (and a global market share of more than 25 percent) to deal with the challenges arising from the growth of electronic books and the power of Internet retailers. Google? Apple? Amazon?

Together, Penguin Random House would have a book list that includes contemporary best sellers like Random House’s “Fifty Shades of Grey” and Penguin’s back list of classics from authors including George Orwell. Read the article about the book publishing industry “getting smaller to get stronger”.

According to Wickipedia Pearson has quite a few imprints:  Allen LaneAveryDialDuttonDorling, Berkley BooksGrosset & DunlapLadybirdPlumePuffinPenguinPutnam,Michael JosephRiverheadRough Guides, and Viking among others.

Among Bertelmanns some 2000 subdivisions, subsidiaries, and branches are Random HouseRTL GroupGruner + JahrArvato, and BMG Rights Management.  Bertelsmann is majority owned (77.4%) by the Bertelsmann Foundation, a non-profit organisation and political think tank founded by the Mohn family. The Mohn family owns the remaining 22.6% of the company.

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Hyper Smash

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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Publishing News

 

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