Yes, it’s that time of year again, when the Watchdog desk here at ALLi Towers (otherwise known as Jim Giammatteo and Mick Rooney) scan the self-publishing scene and analyse the good, the bad and the definitely-to-be-avoided.
Authors still have to make their self-publishing choices in an unregulated environment where the same service can cost $500 against $15,000, for pretty much the same thing, depending on where you shop; where services that are absolutely useless are sold at inflated prices; and where one large operation with many imprints dominates the information stream, including Google Ads/search.
Prior to launching our guide to services at Book Expo America at the end of May, we wanted to alert you to that company, the world’s largest self-publishing service, Author Solutions (ASI), acquired by Penguin-Random House in 2012, and trading under a number of brand names including Trafford, XLibris and iUniverse.
The Watchdog Warning issued last year about this company is still in place.
Our hope that Penguin would clean up ASI’s practices, notorious in self-publishing circles for over-promising and under-delivering has not, as yet, materialised — and ASI imprints score a very poor rating in our guide again this year.