You came across Archway Publishing on your search for a self-publishing solution…
And while the company claims to specialize in helping authors become self-published, is it for you?
Like most publishing companies, Archway offers a wide range of publishing services and packages to cater to every need authors have. But is Archway the best path to take?
In our efforts to bring the most accurate information on self-publishing companies to authors, we did all the work for you by researching and gathering all the facts on Archway.
We want you to make informed decisions when it comes to how and where to invest your money. That’s why our mission is to help educate authors on the various self-publishing companies and services that are on the market today.
Our reviews are meant to be unbiased, 3rd party reviews, but we will speak up if there is a scam or a clearly better option.
We’ve left nothing to chance by giving you everything there is to know about Archway so you can decide how to move forward and write and publish your book!
Related: How to Write a Book
Here’s what we’ll cover in this Archway Publishing Review:
- What is Archway Publishing?
- Archway Publishing Packages & Pricing
- Should I Use Archway Publishing?
- Archway Review: Pros and Cons
- Other Archway Publishing Reviews
- Alternatives to Archway Publishing
- Final Rating
What is Archway Publishing?
Archway is the joint venture between publisher Simon & Schuster and Author Solutions (AS), an umbrella company that provides self-publishing package brands to include AuthorHouse, Xlibris, and iUniverse.
As with most publishing companies, Archway offers publishing packages to authors who would rather hire a company to take care of all the heavy lifting.
We will take a closer look at these packages next, but to inform you, it is our mission to help you make the best choice when it comes to working with a professional publisher.
Is Archway that company? We will see.
Archway sets itself apart from other publishers by offering three unique services:
- AUTHOR RECEPTION AT BOOKEXPO AMERICA: This is a VIP reception at one of the most respected and highly anticipated annual publishing industry events, where authors can meet and network with publishing executives and fellow authors.
- BOOKSELLER’S CATALOGUE: Your book can be listed in a comprehensive online database that’s used by major retailers, wholesalers, libraries, bloggers and thousands of industry professionals searching for new titles.
- ARCHWAY SPEAKERS BUREAU: Archway authors who are looking to reach new audiences and share their messages can be included in the Archway Speakers Bureau database, where authors can be found and hired for speaking engagements at events and conferences.
Is Archway Publishing part of Author Solutions?
Yes. It is also worth noting that, Archway is very transparent about their relationship with Author Solutions:
“While Simon & Schuster has provided guidance and helped develop the publishing packages and programs available through Archway Publishing, the actual services are provided by Author Solutions.”Archway Publishing
We have mentioned Author Solutions in previous articles and so, to be perfectly clear on the reputation of this company, here is a brief summary:
Author Solutions is the parent company of several self-publishing companies and imprints, including: Author House, iUniverse, Trafford Publishing, and Xlibris. These companies are otherwise known in the industry as “vanity publishers.”
Why does this matter?
Author Solutions is renowned for publishing scams and being the umbrella company for the numerous vanity publishers in the market today.
And yes, Archway Publishing is a member of these companies.
It’s best we be upfront about this right now to set the stage for any decisions you are thinking about making.
Related: Self-Publishing VS Traditional Publishing
Archway does have an interesting combination of publishing packages, but we want you to know exactly what is included in these packages, and if they are worth the price, time and effort to invest.
Let’s kick it off by taking a closer look at the products and services Archway has on the market.
Archway Publishing Packages and Pricing
So what type of services does Archway offer to authors? And more importantly, how much is the expected investment?
Archway has six core packages on their platform that includes:
- Children’s Books
- Chapters Indigo Review Package
Here is a breakdown of the pricing and services included for each of these packages:
#1 – Fiction Packages ($1,999—$13,999)
The fiction publishing packages include:
For a breakdown of everything included, you can check the Archway Fiction Publishing Packages here.
#2 – Nonfiction Packages ($1,999—$13,999)
The nonfiction publishing packages include:
For a breakdown of everything included, you can check the Archway Nonfiction Publishing Packages here.
Related: How to Write a Nonfiction Book
#3 – Business Packages ($2,199—$16,999)
The business publishing packages include:
For a breakdown of everything included, you can check the Archway Business Publishing Packages here.
#4 – Children’s Book Packages ($1,699—$8,399)
The children’s publishing packages include
For a breakdown of everything included, you can check the Archway Children’s Publishing Packages here.
#5 – Color Packages ($2,499—$5,499)
The color publishing packages include:
For a breakdown of everything included, you can check the Archway Children’s Color Packages here.
#6 – Chapters Indigo Review Package ($3,799)
Exclusive for Canadian authors, Archway has a deal with Chapters Indigo (Canada’s largest book store). This deal is set up to give your book potential store stocking in Chapters. Archway’s pricing for this includes a long list of sales and promo material presented to Indigo for stocking considerations.
As they state on this page, even if you don’t get featured in the store, your book will be available in the Chapters.Indigo.ca online bookstore as well as other key online book retailers.
For a breakdown of everything included, you can check the Chapters Indigo Review Package here.
Now, we’d be doing you a disservice by not telling you what this really means.
Many vanity publishers use the bookstores as a high-end selling point to upsell expensive packages like this one. Will your book ever get into Indigo? Maybe…but highly unlikely.
Chances are, you’re paying close to $4,000 to have your book featured on their online store…right up there with thousands of other books.
If you went through a Canadian company like Kobo—one of the best publishing companies—you could get your book onto the Indigo stores without Archway.
How much is Archway Publishing?
Archway Publishing packages range from $1,699 to $16,999 depending on your book's genre and publishing needs.
The price of these publishing packages comes from the done-for-you services included. However, it's important to note that with the lowest cost option you may not get a high quality creative service, such as book design and editing.
Before you fork over thousands to have your book published with Archway, familiarize yourself with how much it costs to self-publish a book on your own.
This way, you can determine whether Archway's investment is worth it or not.
Archway Publishing Royalties
For print books, author royalties vary from 10% to 25%, depending on where the book was purchased from. For example, if the book was purchased on Amazon, you will receive 10% royalties on the book's retail price.
If you were to publish your book directly on Amazon yourself, you would receive 60% royalties for your paperback book. Think about it!
For eBooks, you will receive 50% royalties from Archway. To compare, Amazon's eBook royalty rate for self-published authors is 70%.
We strongly encourage you to use this Book Royalties Calculator to compare how much more royalties will go to you if you self-publish on your own, rather than using a vanity press like Archway Publishing.
Done For You vs. Do It Yourself
There you have it. A breakdown of the packages Archway offers. We’ve checked these packages out and for the lower priced packages, you’re going to get a crappy looking book. The value isn’t there. You’d have to invest mid-range to even get something half-decent.
Remember: You’re paying Archway (and the other vanity publishers) to put this all together. When they publish this book for you, even with all the fancy so-called marketing services and promotional materials offered, those extras won’t actually sell your books for you. You'll need to set up book funnels, grow your own email list, and promote your book by yourself. You can ignore the fancy testimonials on their site of authors getting publishing deals and selling thousands of books.
Related: Book Marketing
The biggest disadvantage to paying a company to “do it all for you” is that it strips away your power to leverage your own platform. You lose most of the control, including how much you earn from royalties.
If you learn how to publish yourself through an education program or self-publishing course, you get the know-how and support necessary to learn how to do all these things that vanity publishers simply overcharge for.
The choice is ultimately yours.
Should I Use Archway Publishing?
While we don't recommend any author use a vanity press to publish a book, you should use Archway Publishing if you feel it is a quality, valuable investment for your book.
You should possibly use Archway Publishing if you…
- Have the funds available to make an investment
- Understand what you are getting for your investment
- Need a done-for-you publishing service
- Can accept lower royalty earnings
- Understand that you will not be guaranteed book success
For everyone else, we suggest you skip Archway Publishing.
Because we advocate for the independent and self-published author that learns the process herself, builds her own platform, outsources to professionals, and retains complete creative and monetary control over their book, we don't recommend that authors go through Archway Publishing or any vanity press.
Archway Review: Pros and Cons
Let’s breakdown the good and the bad when it comes to Archway Publishing.
Remember that Archway is listed as a vanity publisher and we will soon take a look at the reviews customers have posted online about Archway. But, we believe in being fair and thorough with our reviews by exploring the pros and cons of the company. Be sure to check out the reviews that follow.
As with any vanity publisher, the biggest benefit is that they do it all for you. This looks great on the surface but, you end up paying for it in the end, and we don’t just mean financially.
Authors become frustrated with lack of communication, promises that never come true, and trying to get support following publication. While this isn't the case for every author and vanity press, it seems to be a common complaint.
- Tailored Packages. Archway offers a wide range of publishing packages and services to choose from that covers fiction, nonfiction, business and children’s books.
- Full-color Capability. customized to suit your needs, especially if you are publishing a specialty niche book, cookbook, or a photography book.
- Author Resources Center. Information and tips from publishing industry experts on writing, editing, designing, publishing, and marketing a book.
- Archway Blog. If you’re looking for additional strategies and tips, the Archway blog is a useful resource.
- Negative Reviews. Archway—similar to Xlibris—has a bad reputation as one of the companies under the umbrella of Author Solutions.
- Author Solutions (Umbrella Company). Since Author Solutions is the parent company and has a bunch of negative press, this doesn’t look good for Archway.
- Additional Publishing Costs: Even after paying thousands of dollars for their program, that is only the beginning. As with most vanity publishers, they make more by getting you to buy more and charging fees for changes.
- ALLi Advisory Warning: Listed as a company to avoid by the Alliance of Independent Authors watchdog Desk advisory.
- Weak Royalty Payout: A common complaint from authors afterwards is “Where are my royalties?” Trust us, Amazon is the much better path to publishing. You earn 70% from ebook sales and 60% from paperbacks.
Here is a snippet by author Victoria Strauss from Writer Beware, an online resource that tracks and keeps authors informed of bad publishing companies:
The major advantage to using Archway is the same as hiring any of these vanity publishers: you can pay them to publish your book, if you have the money to spend on this, and don’t mind giving up full creative control over your book production process. If you are technically challenged and have the budget, Archway’s ‘done-for-you’ packages might be the better choice.
Other Archway Publishing Reviews
As we have always stressed to authors, you must do your own research before opening your wallet and forking over big bucks for a package that gets you a poorly produced book.
This is why we strive to bring you the most current updates in publishing companies and the services they provide. By reading this article from the top, we are clear that Archway is under the umbrella of Author Solutions. This means that it is liable to fall into the same bad business practice that the parent company is renowned for.
To back up these claims, we have researched the reviews (good and bad) from authors.
First, the reviews from Glassdoor, an online resource that tracks employee reviews for companies. Let’s see what they have to say about Archway.
Overall, Archway ranks 2.5/5 stars for employee satisfaction.
Here are a mix of honest reviews from employees working for Archway:
To do your own research on the company culture at Archway, you can visit Archway Marketing Reviews here.
The reason we use Glassdoor reviews as a foundation to review the company is simple: If the people working there are not satisfied, they're not going to put out the effort to make customers happy, either.
Archway Publishing Complaints
There are several complaints against Archway Publishing, but they seem to be from 2018 and prior. We encourage you to do more research on your own.
A multiple bestselling fiction author, David Gaughran is well-known for being a voice that rises against the vanity publishers, most notably that of Author Solutions, Archway's umbrella company. You can check out his full review of the company here.
Don’t just take our word for it when deciding whether or not to work with Archway – do your own homework!
There’s an abundance of reviews online, so take a look yourself and use what you learn to make the best decision.
For more reading, check out these resources:
- Vanity Press Scams and Self Publishing Companies to Avoid
- ALLI (Alliance of Independent Authors), a highly reliable source for up-to-date facts and information on the most trusted services and publishers
Our best advice to you: Determine what your specific needs are in a self-publishing course or program before you commit to one company, and do plenty of research to make an informed choice.
Archway's ALLi rating
The Alliance for Independent Authors (ALLi) states very explicitly in an article by Ben Galley, self-publishing services Watchdog, the concern with Archway is:
“And many package providers fail to deliver in key areas, such as cover design, due to the mass-production, conveyor-belt-style way they process their customers. Often promotion and marketing promises do not follow through. And some go so far as to require exclusive rights, when instead of offering an advance on royalties, an author is being asked to pay to be published.
Given that Archway now has the power of a major trade publishing house behind them, it is more important than ever that writers are clear about what precisely is being offered in exchange for sizable fees.”Ben Galley
It appears that Archway leverages the relationship with Simon & Schuster, using the publishing conglomerate to drive traffic and sell publishing packages that—like the other vanity publishers under Author Solutions—overprice and underdeliver.
The director of ALLi, Orna Ross, sums it up very affluently with this statement:
“When Penguin’s parent company bought Author Solutions last year, ALLi hoped they would fix the editorial issues that gives the company such a poor reputation and make its activities more author-focussed and transparent. We still hope that might happen — but have yet to see any indication of it. Archway describing themselves on their website as ‘a passageway to becoming a published author’, for example, is the sort of misleading language that is very unhelpful.”
Just as ALLi stresses to authors to please do your research before making a decision to spend your money, look around and compare your options. What could you get for the same price with another self-publishing company that doesn’t have the baggage Author Solutions does (including Xlibris, iUniverse and Archway).
Compare the pricing for the publishing packages Archway is selling, and it appears that, when measured against the reviews on ALLi and additional sites mentioned, due diligence is required.
As for ALLi’s rating of Archway:
This rating is based on the collection of reviews and comments from extensive data gathering based on product quality, service, customer communication and delivering on expectations.
The ALLi watchdog desk is a reliable source for authors. The bottom line is, if the rating here is under “advisory” – you want to take it seriously.
Alternatives to Archway Publishing
We know that we’ve thrown a lot at you in this article, but we want to be totally honest in our review of what to expect if you invest in Archway Publishing (or any other company under Author Solutions).
There are other companies out there that can deliver on helping you to publish your book at a lower investment, and with more value and support.
We encourage you to continue searching the industry to find a company that fits your needs best.
Our best advice: Find a reputable self-publishing company that can show you the ropes on self-publishing at a lower investment, and add value to your life through publishing a book you control and get full compensation on. We believe in making informed choices, and to protect your investment – in terms of time, money, and your success as a reputable author.
Just to be clear, here at SelfPublishing.com we’re affiliated with Self-Publishing School, the online education company for authors and entrepreneurs.
We will always strive to provide unbiased reviews, but if we know there is a better alternative out there, we will speak up.
Archway Publishing VS Self-Publishing School
If you're interested in a complete solution to learn how to publish a book and beyond, the Self-Publishing School author education programs might be a good fit.
Our Become a Bestseller program taught by Chandler Bolt and team will walk you through the self-publishing process step-by-step, in a way that gives you total creative control over your book, and helps you write and publish the right way, while saving you lots of money so you can reinvest in your career as an author.
Here’s what Self-Publishing School offers aspiring authors for less investment than Archway Publishing (and way more value):
- Specific learning paths tailored to fit your publishing needs. Are you a first-time author ready to write and self-publish your book? Or maybe you’re a fiction writer that wants to create a bestselling author? Maybe you’re ready to sell more books, or launch an online course from your book? We have programs to fit your author style.
- Bestseller guarantee. We have helped thousands of authors become bestsellers through our proven framework.
- 1-1 high touch coaching with an expert author. All of the book coaches—successful published authors themselves—walk students through the process of self-publishing. Check out the programs for more information on this.
- Online education with step-by-step guidance for self-publishing success, so you can learn how to write and publish a book, and use those skills to continue publishing more books.
- Mastermind community access. There is a community of 2,000+ authors in the Facebook Mastermind group to support each other. You can converse with the members on topics related to your book, get instant feedback, and gain confidence in knowing you belong to a group of authors working towards a common goal: to become a successful published author!
- Weekly group coaching calls. Every week we hold weekly group coaching calls that are free for students of self-publishing school. You can join any of our online group calls to help you write, market, and publish/launch your book. You have total accountability and a solid team of supporters helping you to succeed.
- Full royalties and rights. Self-Publishing School does NOT take any of your book sales or royalty fees. You own all rights to your book.
- Lifetime access to high-quality up-to-date courses managed by industry specialists. Only the best people are hired by Self-Publishing School to research the market for current trends in publishing and marketing. Our courses are updated regularly to provide you with the best resources and current strategies for marketing your book.
The reason for this low score is based on:
- According to ALLi, Archway is on the watchdog advisory list of publishing companies to avoid. This is the only warning you really need to pay attention to.
- Operated by AuthorSolutions. Now you know the reputation of this company, with multiple lawsuits and an endless stream of complaints from authors and industry experts, we cannot endorse other companies following the same scammy business tactics.
- Overpriced Publishing Packages. Yes, you can better value elsewhere for a lower cost. These prices are too high and the return on investment is not there.
Because our mission is fully centered around helping authors find the best solution for publishing their dreams, we strongly urge you to pass on dealing with Archway as the answer to publishing your book.
Your end-goal should be to publish the book you want, your way, and have exclusive rights to everything that includes the creative process and book production.
Better yet, learn how to self-publish on your own, so you can publish multiple books without spending an arm and a leg with vanity publishers.
Have you worked with Archway Publishing? We’d love to hear your review!
Like this review? Here are some other self-publishing companies we have reviews on: