Tuesday, November 27

Simon & Schuster Partners With Author House To Create Archway Publishing


Simon & Schuster Creates A Self-Publishing Portal


Just today Simon & Schuster announced it's partnering with Author Solutions to create Archway Publishing.
[Archway Publishing] will focus on self-published fiction, nonfiction, business and children's books. Digital technology has helped lead to the proliferation of self-published books, with Sylvia Day and Amanda Hocking among those becoming bestselling authors.
Archway will offer a range of services to budding authors beginning at $1,599.
Archway will offer a range of services, from a basic $1,599 package that includes "editorial assessment" and "cover copy review" to a $24,999 "Outreach" program for business books that features an "author profile video" and a reception at BookExpo America, the industry's annual national convention.

Why this is NOT good news for authors


I wrote about 1,000 words on this subject and then came across Carla King's article on Penguin's purchase of Author Solutions earlier this year: Why Self-Publishers Should Care That Penguin Bought Author Solutions. Yes, the article is about Penguin rather than Simon & Schuster but the same objections apply. Carla writes:
Smashwords founder Mark Coker is a longtime critic of Author Solutions, pointing out in his blog that they make more money from selling services to authors than selling authors' books: "Author Solutions is one of the companies that put the 'V' in vanity.  Author Solutions earns two-thirds or more of their income selling services and books to authors, not selling authors' books to readers ..."
Add to that Jane Friedman's comments:
Jane Friedman, in her Writer Unboxed blog, notes that ASI's acquisitions are "appearing more and more like a huge scramble to squeeze a few more profitable dollars out of a service that is no longer needed, that is incredibly overpriced when compared to the new and growing competition, and has less to recommend it with each passing day ..."
In my view this isn't a win for self-publishers, this is just another shark in already crowded waters.

Writer beware.

Other articles you might like:

- Editing: Make Sure Your Story's Bones Are Strong
- 11 Steps To Edit Your Manuscript. Edit Ruthlessly & Kill Your Darlings
- NaNoWriMo: The Homestretch & Kindling The Will To Write

Reference links:

- Writer Beware: The Return Of The Vanity Press
- Indie Authors: Don't Give Anyone Ownership Of Your Work
- Snake Oil Salesmen And The Indie Author
- Why Self-Publishers Should Care That Penguin Bought Author Solutions
- How a Traditional Publisher Could Harm a Writer's Career
- A Step-By-Step Guide to U.S. Copyright Registration for Self-Publishers
- Bookbaby: Get published Now! (Bookbaby does NOT take a royalty)

Photo credit: "Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)" by mikebaird under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.

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