The world of publishing can be a minefield for aspiring writers when seeking to have their work published.
Whilst the widespread uptake of the internet and freedom of information as a result has of course been a net positive, it has resulted in an astonishing amount of options available which can be difficult for writers to wade through in determining which is the best path.
A writer now has three primary options at their disposal when seeking to publish their book; making a submission to a publisher, self publishing and finally hybrid publishing.
On top of this, there is also some overlap with companies offering services aimed at helping writers to get published, but it is not immediately clear exactly what is entailed.
In this review, we will aim to help simplify this process by giving an explainer of some of these options, as well as taking a detailed look at one company writers may wish to consider; AuthorHouse.
This AuthorHouse review contains:
- What is Authorhouse?
- What does AuthorHouse offer?
- AuthorHouse Books
- AuthorHouse reviews
- What are the alternatives to AuthorHouse
- AuthorHouse review – final thoughts
What is AuthorHouse?
AuthorHouse aims to help writers become published authors as well as establishing their presence within the market. Founded in 1997 by an aspiring author who recognized the need for a simple and effective self-publishing process, AuthorHouse claims to have grown into the world's largest self-publisher, providing premier book publishing and marketing services to authors.
AuthorHouse states that they are committed to providing the highest level of customer service available in publishing. Each of the authors they work with is assigned a publishing consultant, who guides them through each step of the publishing process.
By choosing a combination of tools and services that best suits their goals, authors retain all rights and maintain editorial control.
The end goal for AuthorHouse is to educate writers on how to self publish but allow them to maintain control of their publishing destiny.
Since inception AuthorHouse has been operational for 26 years, published 96,000 books and worked with 70,000 authors showcasing a longevity that is admirable in an industry that is notorious for its state of flux.
What does AuthorHouse offer?
AuthorHouse has a variety of packages available for writers, details of which can be found below.
- Paperback publishing
- Digital formatting and distribution
- ISBN assignment
- Cover and interior design
- Social media guide
- Worldwide online distribution
- 50 promotional digital bookstubs
- Everything in starter
- Hardcover publishing
- Editorial assessment
- Press release
- Booksellers return programme
- Everything in essential
- Set your own book price
- Video and podcast interview on The Book Connection
- Cover copy polish
- Sell sheet
- Everything in plus
- Unlimited interior image insertions
- Concierge service
- Author advantage royalty programme
- Online book launch
- Bookstore pitch campaign
- Standard book video
For each of the above packages it is worth stating that there may be value added taxes which will increase the total amount to be paid by the author, as well as individual add on prices for extra services.
For example, if an author selected the Starter package, but wished to add on the Hardcover publishing, that would cost an extra $350.
Full details of all the available add ons and their prices for each package can be found on the AuthorHouse website.
On top of this, AuthorHouse also has what they call the Hollywood Book to Screen pathway, which allows authors to pitch their book to film and TV executives.
The example they give which demonstrates the success of this pathway, is an author who worked with them called Amanda Brown who in 2000 did just this and sold the movie rights to her book into a film which went on to have great success; Legally Blonde.
Their website also has a bookstore section which allows anyone to browse and purchase books that have been published through AuthorHouse. A selection of these can be found below to provide further insight into the type of work they have published.
- Gyprock, Breaking Dangerous Habits by Brian Echenberg
- Unbalanced Behavior by Martin Pelloquin
- The Maiden Maverick by Todd Daley
- Assassin by David P McCullan
- Notes From The Dockside by Mike Yurk
- Jesus’s God And Father by James Masterson
- Poison River by Modesto McClean
- The Book Of Images by Alias
- The Culture Of Critique by Kevin MacDonald
- Murder On The Wheel Of Fortune by Michelle Sauer
As one can see, the variety in titles and genres suggest that there is scope for any writer and any genre to work with AuthorHouse. Having said that, it could be said that AuthorHouse operates as a ‘vanity press’ which is prepared to publish anything so long as the author pays them the necessary fee.
There are a few quotes on the AuthorHouse website from authors they have worked with speaking highly of the company and their services.
Naturally however, these are cherry picked to reflect the best experiences that authors have had which is not necessarily a criticism of AuthorHouse but it does not provide full insight in the same way as independent review platforms such as Google reviews.
Indeed, a quick internet search reveals decidedly mixed results. There are even claims that some authors who have used their services have filed legal claims against them, so it is certainly worth exercising caution.
What are the alternatives to AuthorHouse
As mentioned at the top of this article, authors in today's market seeking to have their work published have three main options at their disposal.
Making a submission to a traditional publisher has the upsides of literary prestige and the potential for financial gains, as well as not having to pay any amount up front. The competition is so fierce however that it can be difficult to make any headway and authors will likely have to make lots of submissions which can be time consuming and demoralizing.
Using a hybrid publisher such as AuthorHouse, guarantees that the work will be published, but as we have touched on, it is hard to guarantee quality control or the success that the work will achieve.
Finally, authors can self publish entirely, and go through the process without using a third party. This can take some time, but retains autonomy over the process and can still lead to great success with a number of notable authors in recent years using this route.
AuthorHouse review – final thoughts
Ultimately, AuthorHouse operates firmly within the hybrid publishing model and the fact they have been in business for such a long time indicates that success can be had for writers who work with them.
But there are a number of things that provide some cause for concern. Namely, the fact that so many reviews online are negative as well as the fact that one of the things they champion about their business, Hollywood book to screen, has one example which is from 2000.
Away from their work as a company, the hybrid publishing model always requires fees up front which as we have listed can be extortionate and create a financial burden for aspiring writers which may simply not be viable.
AuthorHouse should be considered an option, but not a certainty and writers wishing to publish their work may well be better placed to utilize the services of another company or even to pursue their goals through the means of self publishing.