As if Penguin’s legal battles in the Department of Justice anti-trust lawsuit involving several major publishing houses and Apple wasn’t bothersome enough, a whole new litigation has cropped up. Three self-published authors are suing the publisher over the business practices of its self-publishing platform Author Solutions.
According to an article in Courthouse News Service, Kelvin James, Jodi Foster and Terry Hardy are suing the platform and its parent company for profiting from errors that it made to authors’ manuscripts during the upload process. They allege that Author Solutions’ team makes errors during the publishing process then charges authors sometimes hundreds of dollars to correct those mistakes.
The complaint filed on behalf of the plaintiffs states: “Most of Author Solutions’ earnings are derived from its publishing and marketing services. These services, which can cost authors tens of thousands of dollars, likewise fail to deliver what they promise: more book sales and more opportunities for authors.
“Therefore, even while Defendant Author Solutions prominently markets itself on its website as ‘[t]he leading indie publishing company in the world,’ authors often discover, once it is too late, that Author Solutions it is not an ‘indie publisher’ at all. It is a printing service that fails to maintain even the most rudimentary standards of book publishing, profiting not for its authors but from them.”
A federal class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of residents in California and New York who sought Author Solutions’ services for self-publishing, and is seeking $5 million in damages.