News

S&S to launch self-publishing service with Author Solutions

Simon & Schuster has teamed up with Author Solutions to launch a self-publishing service called Archway Publishing.

Archway Publishing will offer self-publishing services in fiction, non-fiction and children’s categories.It will operate in the US, UK, Australia and India.

Author Solutions was bought by Pearson in July for $116m (£74m), with Penguin c.e.o. John Makinson at the time saying "self-publishing has moved into the mainstream of our industry".

Today (27th November) Carolyn Reidy, president and c.e.o. of Simon & Schuster, said: “Through Archway Publishing, Simon & Schuster is pleased to be part of the rapidly expanding self-publishing segment of our industry. Self-publishing has become a viable and popular route to publication for many authors, and increasingly a source of content for traditional publishers, including Simon & Schuster.”

She added: “We’re excited that we’ll be able to help more authors find their own path to publication and at the same time create a more direct connection to those self-published authors ready to make the leap to traditional publishing.”

The publisher will be offering “concierge services” where authors will have the option of working with a dedicated publishing guide who will coordinate each step of the book production process; a “Bookseller’s Catalogue”, with Archway titles included in Edelweiss, the online catalogue available to major retailers; and an “Archway Speakers Bureau”, where authors will have the opportunity to create high-quality videos and book trailers.

Kevin Weiss, c.e.o. of Author Solutions, said: “The collaboration between Simon & Schuster and Author Solutions brings an entirely new level of expertise, experience and opportunity to the marketplace. It truly is the best time in history to be an author.”

Author Solutions has previously formed partnerships with Hay House and Thomas Nelson.
 

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Looks like another couple of tolls in the road for authors who want to self publish. Now S&S will take their cut and ASI will take theirs. What will be left for the author?

The release is very vague. This is very costly for authors the way it is set up and I don't see what S&S is committing to do for the self published authors.

Passing off services like this is the exact opposite of what publishers should be doing. Instead of being in the game it looks like they are sitting on the sidelines and passing the ball off. They need to invest as opposed to outsourcing. After all they have the financial means to make it work. The desire has to be in place, though. In the S&S and ASI scenario they both have to get paid before the author see his or her share of the royalties.

Trident's ebook services charges a 15% commission in North America and 20% outside the U.S. Our authors have a team of professionals working on their behalf. The same as all our clients pay. Trident provides wide range of services for our authors who wish to self publish.

The first front list ebook our team worked on was a novella by May Banks entitled SOFTLY AT SUNRISE (A KGI Novella) and it went on to the New York Times ebook bestsellers list as one example.

Robert Gottlieb
Chairman
Trident Media Group, LLC
See us on Facebook
http://www.tridentmediagroup.com

There are so many disturbing elements to this news its hard to know where to begin. Thankfully, the writer David Gaughran has helpfully summarised several of the more distasteful aspects into an excellent blog post which everyone needs to read.

Some immediate issues for me:

--- Setting aside that the pricing for these 'services' would make all but the most hard-nosed of publishing executives blush, how can any of the companies involved be comfortable with the requirement that authors will only receive 50% of NET sales (ie after everyone else has taken their cut)?

--- this effectively places 100% of the risk onto the author, yet still means the publisher (after already making profit on the ill-informed and desparate writer who has likely been upsold on a suite of services that are charged at ever more eye-watering levels), is then set to make even MORE money than they are arguably entitled to - on the off-chance that they are one of that tiny percentage of the 100s (1000s?) of writers who use these services who are actually ready for their book to be published, and then end up selling copies

--- I have to wonder where exactly do Penguin or Simon & Schuster figure in the full equation? From what I can tell - they've effectively distance themselves from the whole thing in all but name - and profit. What that means for writers is: you may think you're coughing up for a reputable service with high-quality editing and marketing and all the rest from a REAL publisher, who - whisper it, may end up publishing you for REAL once they've identified your hitherto undiscovered writing talents. However, the reality is that S&S explicity distance themselves from anything to do with the process. Oh - apart from the important part where they have 'provided guidance' to help develop the over-priced publishing packages. Oh, sorry I nearly forgot - Archway will alert S&S to writers who 'perform well in the market', presumably so that S&S commissioning editors won't have to bother with the unnecessary and tiresome effort of predicting an untested writer - just wait for them to become a success at their own expense and then - hey presto! - you can then publish the now successfully established writer and make even more money from them.

Authors who bother to look up Author Solutions' abysmal report card via the internet will in most cases give these kind of services a comfortably wide berth. But sadly, judging by the company's 100's of $millions in annual turnover - and with the disingenuous (but now legally correct) claim to authors that, for a price, 'you too can be published by Penguin' - this kind of shameless ripping off is only going to become even more commonplace.

The onus is on all of us to educate, inform, and do our best to prevent authors desperate to see their book in print and become rich and famous and all that from falling into a trap which - with Penguin soon to be aligned side-by-side with Random House - could disturbingly turn into an acceptable industry-wide trend.

Looks like another couple of tolls in the road for authors who want to self publish. Now S&S will take their cut and ASI will take theirs. What will be left for the author?

The release is very vague. This is very costly for authors the way it is set up and I don't see what S&S is committing to do for the self published authors.

Passing off services like this is the exact opposite of what publishers should be doing. Instead of being in the game it looks like they are sitting on the sidelines and passing the ball off. They need to invest as opposed to outsourcing. After all they have the financial means to make it work. The desire has to be in place, though. In the S&S and ASI scenario they both have to get paid before the author see his or her share of the royalties.

Trident's ebook services charges a 15% commission in North America and 20% outside the U.S. Our authors have a team of professionals working on their behalf. The same as all our clients pay. Trident provides wide range of services for our authors who wish to self publish.

The first front list ebook our team worked on was a novella by May Banks entitled SOFTLY AT SUNRISE (A KGI Novella) and it went on to the New York Times ebook bestsellers list as one example.

Robert Gottlieb
Chairman
Trident Media Group, LLC
See us on Facebook
http://www.tridentmediagroup.com

There are so many disturbing elements to this news its hard to know where to begin. Thankfully, the writer David Gaughran has helpfully summarised several of the more distasteful aspects into an excellent blog post which everyone needs to read.

Some immediate issues for me:

--- Setting aside that the pricing for these 'services' would make all but the most hard-nosed of publishing executives blush, how can any of the companies involved be comfortable with the requirement that authors will only receive 50% of NET sales (ie after everyone else has taken their cut)?

--- this effectively places 100% of the risk onto the author, yet still means the publisher (after already making profit on the ill-informed and desparate writer who has likely been upsold on a suite of services that are charged at ever more eye-watering levels), is then set to make even MORE money than they are arguably entitled to - on the off-chance that they are one of that tiny percentage of the 100s (1000s?) of writers who use these services who are actually ready for their book to be published, and then end up selling copies

--- I have to wonder where exactly do Penguin or Simon & Schuster figure in the full equation? From what I can tell - they've effectively distance themselves from the whole thing in all but name - and profit. What that means for writers is: you may think you're coughing up for a reputable service with high-quality editing and marketing and all the rest from a REAL publisher, who - whisper it, may end up publishing you for REAL once they've identified your hitherto undiscovered writing talents. However, the reality is that S&S explicity distance themselves from anything to do with the process. Oh - apart from the important part where they have 'provided guidance' to help develop the over-priced publishing packages. Oh, sorry I nearly forgot - Archway will alert S&S to writers who 'perform well in the market', presumably so that S&S commissioning editors won't have to bother with the unnecessary and tiresome effort of predicting an untested writer - just wait for them to become a success at their own expense and then - hey presto! - you can then publish the now successfully established writer and make even more money from them.

Authors who bother to look up Author Solutions' abysmal report card via the internet will in most cases give these kind of services a comfortably wide berth. But sadly, judging by the company's 100's of $millions in annual turnover - and with the disingenuous (but now legally correct) claim to authors that, for a price, 'you too can be published by Penguin' - this kind of shameless ripping off is only going to become even more commonplace.

The onus is on all of us to educate, inform, and do our best to prevent authors desperate to see their book in print and become rich and famous and all that from falling into a trap which - with Penguin soon to be aligned side-by-side with Random House - could disturbingly turn into an acceptable industry-wide trend.