Over the weekend an Author Solutions representative, attempting to comment incognito, left a response to my post “Calling Bullshit.” Initially, my plan was to ignore the comment. After all, it’s not my style to pander to trolls or idiots. But after sitting on the information over the weekend, I concluded that letting this kind of deception slide does a disservice to the writers I’ve been trying to help the past couple of months.
So here’s one more item to add to the litany of iniquities committed by Author Solutions: its employees leave supposedly anonymous comments on blog posts and lie about their credentials in half-assed attempts to defend the company’s business model.
At first glance, you might think Julsbug2k is just some anonymous commenter with a soft-hearted view of the company and ludicrous notions about what “self-publishing” means. However, Julsbug2k is actually AN EMPLOYEE of Author Solutions. And not only does he not disclose this information, he also claims to be “a business journalist who follows, among other things, acquisitions.” There isn’t even the tiniest speck of truth in that statement. The author of the comment is an outright liar.
So, I’m asking everyone to read the comment again, this time with the knowledge that it was written by an ASI employee:
This is truly and interesting post. Corporations that manage a portfolio of brands is nothing new. For example, GM does this. Each brand is targeted to a specific demographic. As a business journalist who follows, among other things, acquisitions — will Author Solution’s roll its imprints into one over times. No. That wouldn’t make good business sense. I would bet each imprint, like GM’s brands, target a different group of people. Contrary to your assessment, this approach brings more choice to the market.
You also misunderstand self-publishing as an industry. I would argue that not even independent artists are truly independent because they rely on supplies from other manufacturing firms. Paint from the paint makers, canvas from the canvas makers, etc. Musicians are the same, they rely on audio equipment from audio manufacturing firms, etc.
So publishing independently is really assisted publishing. Companies like Author Solutions, LuLu and dozens of smaller publishing houses bring together services that authors can use to bring their work to print. Just like a mechanic brings together parts from other vendors to repair your car, or a builder brings together building materials from vendors to build a house. Or, how independent musicians use equipment not of their making to record, distribution and market their work to the public.
Following the announcement of the sale, I offered Penguin an opportunity to make an official comment, and they chose not to respond. I think it was a stupid call, but it was their stupid call to make. However, that doesn’t mean I’ll stand by while one of their newly purchased twits pretends to have credentials as a business journalist and tries to con my readers into believing that the Penguin and Author Solutions so-many-imprints-you-can’t-keep-track-of-which-ones-we-own business model “brings more choice to the market.”
If someone at Penguin or Author Solutions has the intestinal fortitude to answer my questions for real, you know where to find me.