Class-action suit launched against Penquin and Author Solutions

Penguin and Author Solutions sued for deceptive practices in a class-action case, according to an article in Forbes.

“The suit, which seeks class action status, alleges that Author Solutions misrepresents itself, luring authors in with claims that its books can compete with “traditional publishers,” offering “greater speed, higher royalties, and more control for its authors.” The company then profits from “fraudulent” practices, the complaint alleges, including “delaying publication, publishing manuscripts with errors to generate fees, and selling worthless services, or services that fail to accomplish what they promise.” The suit also alleges that Author Solutions fails to pay its authors the royalties they are due.

Publishers Weekly reports that the suit has been filed in the Southern District of New York and will be heard by Judge Denise Cote, who is current hearing the ebook price-fixing case.

These are serious allegations and it seems very likely that this class suit will grow as more authors hear about it. In a ‘prepared statement’ quoted by Publishers Weekly, Author Solutions says that it has worked with 170,000 authors, a large pool from which to draw more aggrieved writers. But with the Science Fiction Writers of America one of the most vocal critics of Author Solutions, this can’t just be written off as the whinings of a few disgruntled amateurs.

Authors who have had or have works published by Author Solutions or one of its many publishing arms such as iUniverse, AuthorHouse, Xlibris, Trafford and Palibrio as well as media companies FuseFrame, PitchFest, Author Learning Center and BookTango and wish to join the class-action lawsuit may contact the lawyers representing authors.

Link to Forbes article.

Lawsuit complaint, in PDF.

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