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Authorhouse / authorhouse — self-publishing rip off

1 United States Review updated:

AuthorHouse is a rip off. It makes all its money off it authors, not sales to readers. It makes money off the author during the publishing process, and it makes most of the money when the book is sold. I have a paperback book with AuthorHouse that sells for $20, no photos, just text. I earn about a dollar per book.

The problem is because AuthorHouse makes so much money from production that the books are priced beyond what customers will pay for them, so the books don't sell. But AuthorHouse doesn't care because it makes its money from the author, from high production profits and sales to the author. Also, AuthorHouse keeps the rights to the final PDF format of the book and the cover art--though I selected the designs for my books. Thus if you want to go to a different publisher, you have to start the process all over again.

I published three books with AuthorHouse for over $10, 000 (much more if the costs of the books I bought is included) and have earned about a $100--that right one hundred dollars. Why did I do so? Because I was uninformed and just assumed self-published authors can't expect to make money. Then I read Mark Levne's The Fine Print of Self-Publishing. I'm not being paid to plug his book, but I do feel an obligation to Mr. Levine for preventing me from making the same mistake again. I was totally depressed when I read that AuthorHouse falls into his PUBLISHERS TO AVOID category and wished I had read his book years, but it wasn't available then.

If you are an author who is about to self-publish your book, first read Levine's book. I bought it used on

Good Luck.

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  • Br
      10th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    Author House merged with iUniverse and one of the reasons I chose iUniverse was fewer complaints and nothing serious that I could find, compared to some publishers. I didn't know then that they'd eventually become Author House which had serious problems. If I knew I would never have chosen them. Older complaints about Author House indicate their sleazy tactics have become the M.O. of iUniverse. I would not use them again nor recommend them to anyone.

  • Li
      11th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    Thank you so much! I was about to sign with them and thought I better check them out first. But they have so many books in the major bookstores, so I thought they couldn't be that bad.
    Lisa Vaughn
    Please check out my book at

  • Ne
      2nd of Feb, 2011
    0 Votes

    OMG! i am soo glad i read this thread, i just talked to someone from authorhouse and he really sold me on their packages. I'm glad i saw this before signing on the dotted line. Thanks for the warning guys.

  • Lo
      11th of Aug, 2011
    0 Votes

    Thanks for the complaints about the self-publishing companies I had already read that iunverse and trafford were brought by Author olutions. I think everyone should read this blog before self-publishing.

  • Up
      19th of Nov, 2011
    0 Votes

    I agree that publishers are banking in on writers who self-publish. You live and learn. The good thing is that the lesson is learned by most people who complained.

  • Ry
      15th of Jul, 2013
    0 Votes

    I'm British, and a person called Marie Castro has contacted me via saying she works for and claims can help publish my book even on a half-a-grand (£) budget. Up until I read all this rip-off stuff I assumed she/he was British herself (as we also have a company with this name), then I read under her sign-off the words 'bloomington' and IA (which I'm sure is short for Indiana). The weird thing is I actually contacted Authorhouse UK a few years back, which means this is probably how she/he has spotted my contact details.
    Surely, the site of the same name in Britain can't also be as bad? Or am I just being naïve?

  • Rd
      26th of Aug, 2013
    0 Votes

    I also published with Authorhouse with the draw of special offers for publishing my books, three in all, until I realised that the only sales made where ones I made, I soon put a stop to that. I also paid £500 pounds to go onto the Hollywood data base, and a advert in Writers Forum though I doubt if anything will happen from either. I have now removed my books and am listing them directly onto Amazon. I have also been introduced to a book printing firm where I can get 25 books for £4.50 each (it depends on the number of pages) post paid, whereas to buy from Authorhouse I also had to pay postage making each book over £12 each.

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