Originally called 1stBooks, the company was founded in Bloomington, Indiana, USA, in January 1997. Its first e-book appeared in June of that year. In January 1999, it started using print on demand technology to produce paper books. AuthorHouse's website states the company has published 60,000 books by 40,000 authors. The company opened an office in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom in May 2004. In December 2005, AuthorHouse was 'nominated' by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce for the Small Business of the Year Award.
The California based investment group Bertram Capital purchased AuthorHouse in 2007 from Gazelle TechVentures, which had owned AuthorHouse since 2002. Later that year, Bertram established Author Solutions and acquired one of AuthorHouse's competitors - iUniverse - before relocating iUniverse's operations to Indiana in early 2008.
In August 2006, a U.S. Court ordered AuthorHouse to pay $240,000 in punitive damage as well as $230,000 in actual damage to romance author Rebecca Brandewyne and her parents for publishing a book by her ex-husband that was 'harmful' and libelous of them. AuthorHouse was also ordered to pay $20,000 each to Brandewyne's parents for the damage. Although the court acknowledged that AuthorHouse employed a business model that placed a degree of responsibility for the content of works upon the authors, in this case they found that AuthorHouse had failed to act when it was informed that the book might include libelous content.
^Rich, Motoko (January 27, 2009). "Self-Publishers Flourish as Writers Pay the Tab". New York Times. Archived from the original on 30 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-28. "In 2008, Author Solutions, which is based in Bloomington, Ind., and operates iUniverse as well as other print-on-demand imprints including AuthorHouse and Wordclay, published 13,000 titles, up 12 percent from the previous year."