PROS / This firm has a great service to help you create a video trailer to post at your website and an email campaign linking your video to hundreds of thousands of potential buyers.
CONS / There were a number of online customer complaints about customer service issues.
VERDICT / Author House sells thousands of books, publishes big names along with their new authors, provides solid basic features to authors and offers a long list of extra paid services.
Author House, a powerhouse in the world of publishing companies, services, provides some services that are rare when compared to the competition. Among these is the ability to have a say in setting the price of your book, which offers a level of freedom that many authors desire. The company also has an extraordinary book reach through commonly used services like Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com and a healthy set of extra, paid services to help you tailor your book just the way you want it.
Among book publishing companies we have reviewed, Author House has the largest number of titles in print, an extraordinary distribution reach and an impressive set of extra services, all of which earns it our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award.
Publishing your book through Author House’s Standard Paperback Publishing package typically takes between 12 and 18 weeks from start to finish. The royalties for this package are self-set, which means that Author House sets a minimum cost for your book and you get to set the list price, based upon the royalties that you want to earn. In addition, the minimum price for a book differs depending on whether it is sold through Author House's online bookstore or through a third-party retailer.
In addition, the Standard Package gives you many basic publishing services for a paperback book including manuscript layout and formatting, ISBN number assignment, barcode creation, original cover design, placement of images inside the book, and images for its cover art. One disappointing aspect of this otherwise helpful and versatile package is the fact that you get only one free author's copy of your book after investing so much time and cash into publishing it.
The company assists you by making copies of your book available for review and offers you discounts if you choose to buy extra copies of your book to sell at book fairs, conventions, trade shows and other events. You also have access to articles that teach you effective steps to take to successfully promote and sell your book.
Additional Paid Services
Author House presents an attractive set of extra services from which you can pick and choose according to what you think your book needs. Each comes with an extra fee, but for many authors, these additional services are well worth the extra cost.
Among the services you can get for an extra fee are copyediting and proofreading, expedited publishing, copyright registration, custom illustration, cover art design and OCR (optical character recognition) text scanning, which is a computerized form of document scanning to convert them into a different format.
When it comes to book promotion, depending on how skilled you are at marketing, you might want to seek assistance from a personal publicist, pay for professionally written press releases and have notices sent to media outlets to hopefully catch the eyes of book reviewers.
It also could be useful to get the company’s help with arranging personal appearances as you make yourself and your written work known to potential buyers. In the same vein, you might want to avail yourself of some traditional marketing tools such as Author House’s business cards, post cards and bookmarks. If you do any book selling on your own, these could come in handy.
However, nothing has quite the titanic power of the internet for selling just about anything. Given this fact, you are in luck with Author House. This company will format and publish an eBook for an extra charge, which is becoming a monumental trend that may easily overtake physical copies of books. Even dedicated bibliophiles who love the tactile sensation of holding a good book in their hands are being won over to reading books electronically. It is not unusual for true book lovers to enjoy both types of reading media.
Author House also can get your book positioned with Amazon.com and get it ready for reading on a Kindle. Since these eReaders are selling like hotcakes, this is an approach you might want to pursue because it could widen your audience dramatically. We were somewhat disappointed that this company does not offer Amazon's See Inside the Book feature that is so compelling for book lovers everywhere. However, you can get that capability for BarnesandNoble.com.
Another new and modern tool you can use to promote your book, for an extra cost, is to have Author House create a custom-made video trailer for your book. This will be provided to such outlets as YouTube, Metacafe, Daily Motion and Blip.tv. The About the Author section of your book in Author House’s online bookstore will also contain a link to this video. In addition, you will get web-streaming capabilities and an email campaign that will distribute a link to your book’s video to 200,000 possible buyers.
Author House also offers a personal publicist service to help you improve your online presence, communicate with the media and act as a spokesperson on your behalf. Such a service could turn a modest success into a significant one with the right marketing and publicity.
Unfortunately, Author House does not provide ghostwriting services, which some book publishers offer to help authors who have trouble writing or expressing themselves in written form and need help organizing their ideas and the flow of their manuscript.
With more than 60,000 titles in print, it is abundantly clear that Author House can get books published and out there to the public. Once your book goes through the editing and publication process, it can be made available to Ingram Book Group and Baker & Taylor, Inc., which are two giant book wholesalers. Your book also can be sold through venues such as Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Buy.com, Powells.com, Alibris.com, Alibris.com and Abebooks.com.
In addition, your book will be available on Author House’s online bookstore. With its 14-year history and firmly established reputation for getting books in print, this puts you at a real advantage.
Help & Support
Author House has all of the support options you need to answer your questions and make the experience of publishing your book a seamless one. While they generally do fine job of providing the support their paid customers need, they could be more consistent.
While we did find a number of satisfied authors who used Author House’s service, we saw more customer complaints online then we were comfortable with. Author House publishes a mix of books by brand new authors and known celebrities. You can obtain answers to questions through a toll-free phone number, email support, a list of FAQs, and online forums and discussions. At their main webpage you can also order a free book publishing guide to get detailed information about how the process works and get a better idea which services you want to employ in the publishing of your book.
This firm is well established among publishing companies and offers so many features and ways to assist authors that you would be wise to investigate what it has to offer. With the right content and the right services, your book could really take off and become a bestseller through Author House. Some of the paid services you can opt for are hiring a personal publicist or create a custom-made trailer of your book to get the word out on popular venues like YouTube.