Talk:AuthorHouse

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Untitled[edit]

I have removed the reference to vanity press, because an extensive search of news archives on Ebscohost Research Databases showed only mentions of print on demand being different from a vanity press, and does not refer to this publisher as a vanity press. Kevin 03:36, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Proposed Change: Disputing Qworty's sources for reinstating "Vanity Press"[edit]

Qworty reinserted the term "vanity press" after removal by Kevin1243.

Qworty cited two sources. The first is a WBJB radio page. First off, Qworty cites the source of the term "vanity press" as Bryan Smith, CEO of AuthorHouse. This is blatantly incorrect. That source page itself, in the "program highlights" of Smith's interview, says "Say they are not a Vanity Press." Bryan Smith says they are not a vanity press. In addition, the only evidence on this page of the usage of the term "vanity press" refers to paid ads on google keywords. Google AdWords are not a primary source of anything, and AuthorHouse can target users searching for the term "vanity press" beacuse they provide an alternative to vanity presses. Furthermore, this entire site, WBJBradio.com is blatantly advertised as "sponsored by SelfPublishing.com," which is a direct competitor with AuthorHouse, so there is an inherent conflict of interest for citing any of the material on this page. Due to these issues, this citation should be removed.

Qworty's second source is Patricia Fry. AuthorHouse is only mentioned one time on this page: "AuthorHouse, Tate Publishing, Dorrance and other FB PODs." In this case, Fry is clearly labeling AuthorHouse as a FB POD (fee-based Print On Demand publisher) and not a "vanity press." In addition, there is only one mention of the term "vanity press" on the page: "a vanity press or one of the 75 or so FB POD publishing services." In this case, Fry is actually saying that AuthorHouse is NOT a vanity press, and is instead classifying them as a FB POD. Since Qworty's source material in this case actually refutes the claim, this citation should be removed.

These revisions and citations are in direct contradiction to the posting made by Kevin1243 above, who performed an "extensive search of news archives on Ebscohost Research Databases" for legitimate sources for this citation and found none.

With both citations removed, this article should be restored to pre-Qworty edits. Crskees 15:24, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree completely. Kevin 21:43, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

I've removed the vanity press claim again - the New York Times in How to Be Your Own Publisher distinguishes POD/Self-Publishing from vanity press, with specific reference to AuthorHouse, and that seems reasonable enough, especially given the other comments above. - Bilby (talk) 10:38, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

That's not what the source says at all. About AuthorHouse and the other companies mentioned, the source says all of the following: "companies like AuthorHouse and iUniverse say they will accept pretty much anything for publication," "displacing old-style vanity presses" (meaning that the companies are the NEW-STYLE vanity presses), "The difference between traditional vanity presses and modern print-on-demand publishing is essentially technology" (this says that the only difference is the technology--writers still have to PAY). AuthorHouse is clearly a vanity press. They don't pay an advance, they have no editorial standards whatsoever, and they CHARGE people for publication. That is the definition of a vanity press. Qworty (talk) 18:52, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Here's one of their own books that admits it's a vanity press. [1]. I'll be adding this source to the article soon. Qworty (talk) 19:25, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
First, it seems that you may be you are misreading the reference. The article makes a distinction between POD and vanity press, and refers to them constantly as "Self-publishing companies" or "POD companies". It never states that AuthorHouse is a vanity press, but uses vanity presses as a point of comparison. I feel that it is reasonable to use the language and terminology of the New York Times. That aside, if it will make you feel better, I'll add some ofthers as additional support. The articles I've found by searching for AuthorHouse and "vanity press" are contrasting them to vanity presses, rather than stating that they are one. Second, your counter-reference comes form a self-published source, and cannot be regarded as reliable, according to Wikipedia's policies. - 22:15, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

I am just curious here, is this service legit?[edit]

Can anyone attest to this being a legitimate service for writers? Piercetp (talk) 23:43, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

- It's legitimate, but not recommended by the resource site Preditors and Editors, which incidentally lists it as a vanity publisher (http://anotherealm.com/prededitors/peba.htm). However, if you do a quick search on Google, there are a lot of authors who claim that AuthorHouse has been brilliant for them. I've got a friend (actually a friend of a friend) who has had a book published with them but only sold 30 copies. You might also want to read this thread: http://209.85.229.132/search?q=cache:mJklqcMWhkEJ:nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/007836.html+authorhouse&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=7&client=safari

Further discussion is on my talk page[edit]

Further discussion is available here: [2]. I have no idea why the other user chose to divert the discussion to my personal talk page. In the interest of honesty and openness, however, the discussion should be available to everyone. I suggest the discussion be moved back to the talk page for the article itself. Qworty (talk) 23:59, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Sorry if I acted incorrectly there - my original comment on your talk page was in regard to the nature of primary sources, rather than this article as such. I'd be more than happy to move it back here. - Bilby (talk) 00:04, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Should AuthorHouse be described as a vanity press (revisited)[edit]

Hi! As the discussion on talk page went a bit further afield than intended, I was hoping to bring it back here so that other editors could follow it and chime in. If I may summarize (and Qworty is more than welcome to correct me), Qworty argues that AuthorHouse is a vanity press because the services they offer, including editing, cover design, distribution, and ISBN, are all part of the publication process. So when AuthorHouse charges for these services they become a vanity press, whether or not they also require authors to purchase copies of the book. I dispute this on two grounds - the first is that that they still don't charge for printing, which is part of the standard model of "traditional" vanity presses, and the second is that I'd prefer to use the language employed in most the the reliable sources, including the New York Times, which describe them as a "self-publishing company" or as a "Print on demand publisher" instead, as per previous discussion. - Bilby (talk) 00:19, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Calling it a vanity press without a reliable source that says that explicitly is pure OR. I've removed the self-published ref, as that is not acceptable as a reliable source. NYT of course is and we go with that. Same discussion taking place on Talk:Trafford Publishing. Ty 06:33, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
We went trough the same issue at Lulu (publisher), and it is ongoing at iUniverse and Xlibris - in short all of the major POD publishers. There's also currently a request at WP:RS/N regarding using the source, as that has been disputed. The issue concerns whether or not it constitutes a primary source, but my feeling is still no - and even if it was it would be trumped by other primary sources and secondary sources. In general, my feeling is that even if they are vanity presses, the vast majority of reliable sources describe them otherwise, and typically distinguish them from vanity press. - Bilby (talk) 06:44, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

I guess I'll just have to keep stating it over and over again, so here goes: About AuthorHouse and the other companies mentioned, the New York Times says all of the following: "companies like AuthorHouse and iUniverse say they will accept pretty much anything for publication," "displacing old-style vanity presses" (meaning that the companies are the NEW-STYLE vanity presses), "The difference between traditional vanity presses and modern print-on-demand publishing is essentially technology" (this says that the only difference is the technology--writers still have to PAY). AuthorHouse is clearly a vanity press. They don't pay an advance, they have no editorial standards whatsoever, and they CHARGE people for publication. That is the definition of a vanity press. Qworty (talk) 06:45, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

The full quote is "Self-publishing companies like iUniverse have been growing rapidly in recent years, displacing old-style vanity presses and competing with the number of titles produced by traditional houses. AuthorHouse in Bloomington, Ind., which leads the pack ..." In short, they state that iUniverse and AuthorHouse are self-publishing companies. They leave open the interpretation that they may be vanity press, but never state that they are. The same line is viable here: it is possible that they are vanity presses, depending on how one defines the term, but we state that they are self-publishing companies or POD publishers (which I accept is a term you dispute), in order to stick with the wording used in the reliable sources and to avoid POV pushing with the use of pejorative terms. That aside, this just gets heated every time the issue arises, so again I'm happy to stand aside for a bit to let other voices speak. - Bilby (talk) 06:52, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Though of course things shouldn't get heated here, in terms of AfD it doesn't matter if this particular talk page gets heated or not, or if this article admits that AuthorHouse is a vanity press or not. The plain fact of the matter is that every time some non-notable person pays AuthorHouse for publication and then comes to Wikipedia to write a vanity article about him/herself, there is not a single WP guideline that will save that article from deletion. Wikipedia explicitly, implicitly, and in practice already recognizes that the vanity-press people who try to force themselves onto the project in that way are not notable and that their articles merit deletion. Qworty (talk) 07:02, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
That is irrelevant to the topic being discussed. They are being deleted not because it is anything to do with the nature of the publishing, but because of lack of notability,which can apply equally to someone published by a traditional publishing house. Also if vanity press/POD/self-published author has sufficient secondary sources about him/her to merit notability, then the article will be kept. Ty 07:05, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
There is a distinct correlation between vanity publication and lack of WP notability. By all means come participate in the debates and observe consensus. Qworty (talk) 07:10, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I said I'd sit this out for a bit here, but this isn't really related to the article: I agree that most self-published authors aren't notable, with a few exceptions. But this isn't about self-published authors, but about the publishers themselves. And it doesn't relate to the notability of the publishers, (as that has been established), but to how they should be described based on the language used in the majority of reliable sources. - Bilby (talk) 07:14, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Sorry for this being possibly the most pointless post here, but everything I've read on the net seems to confirm Authorhouse as a vanity publisher. Preditors and Editors lists it as vanity publishing as well. (I mentioned this briefly earlier in this Discussion page.)

Well, Wikipedia's own article on Vanity press begins, "A vanity press or vanity publisher is a term describing a publishing house in which authors pay to have their books published", and the AuthorHouse web site offers prominently on its home page, "Paperback and Harcover publishing Starting at $749 ..." and other fees for publishing a book. And the Merriam-Webster New Collegiate Dictionary, widely considered definitive in the publishing and academic worlds, defines "Vanity Press" as "a publishing house that publishes books at the author's expense." And in fact, the Wikipedia page cited specifically lists AuthorHouse as a vanity press. Putting all this together, it seems hard to find a better example of a vanity press than AuthorHouse, both according to Wikipedia and according to the standard accepted definition. Now no doubt someone will object, "Ah, but the dictionary doesn't say specifically in its definition that AuthorHouse is a vanity press so there ! ..." Sigh ... Littlewindow (talk) 20:34, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

AuthorHouse books[edit]

AuthorHouse books can't be used to apply for a NEA grant or a Guggenheim or any other major prize, can't be used on a CV to get a teaching job at any college or university, can't even be stocked in bookstores because no returns are allowed, can't get reviewed in major newspapers or Publishers Weekly or Kirkus (though Kirkus will review them for a fee, thus soaking the writers twice), can't be used in an application to a conference, can't be admitted to the Library of Congress, it's just a list of can't can't can't can't can't. And why is this? Because it's a vanity preAuthorss. There's no need to suppress any of this. Qworty (talk) 07:17, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Your statements may be true, but your conclusion is not acceptable for use in an article unless there verifiable sources state it. That is wiki policy. Editors' own opinions are original research. Ty 07:22, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
The irony is that you yourself think so little of AuthorHouse that you won't even let one of their own books be used as a source. That closes the case right there on the merit of their products. You are now on record as being against the use of AuthorHouse books as sources in Wikipedia articles. Qworty (talk) 07:26, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
See WP:SPS and WP:SELFPUB to brush up on wikipedia policy on the matter. Ty 07:32, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
As I understand it, Authorhouse does provide ISBN numbers (for a fee), their books can be sold through Amazon, etc. These may be real issues and they may or may not be so for a number of reasons, not the least of which the rest of the world is catching up to a new business model. Academia is terribly conservative in its attitudes and practices, so the fact that Authorhouse books are not accepted in an application at a conference may say more about conferences then Authorhouse 142.36.170.138 (talk) 16:30, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) WP:SPS and WP:SELFPUB are the proof that Wikipedia does not acknowledge AuthorHouse products as legitimate books. Keep digging. The more you dig, the more you make my argument for me! And here you were the one who was concerned that the term "vanity" was pejorative. Looks like you have some pejorative views against AuthorHouse yourself. But since these views are strictly in line with WP policy, we can all agree to be friends about it as we note together just how non-notable an AuthorHouse book is. Qworty (talk) 07:41, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Don't attribute views to me that I haven't stated. If I want to make a point, I will do it myself. No book by itself is notable in wiki terms. It is only notable if covered by secondary sources. But that is yet another irrelevance as far as use of the term "vanity press" is concerned. Ty 07:47, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Again, just to clarify: we don't dispute the notability of self-published books. They can be notable, but almost always aren't. The issue here is about the correct choice of terms to describe a company. That is a completely separate issue. If it would help, maybe an RfC would be handy? - Bilby (talk) 07:44, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
What, an RfC to determine whether material in an article needs a verifiable source or not? Let's not waste other people's time on that. Ty 07:48, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Fair enough - it is probably overkill. - Bilby (talk) 07:50, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Assume that "Vanity preAuthorss" (above) is a cut-and paste error into the words "vanity press". As regards the discussion on categories "self publisher", "subsidy press" or "vanity press". The test is in how they make money, not what they choose to call it. We suggest the following definitions:

SELF PUBLISHER: A business which provides at a minimal cost, a platform for authors who wish to do most of the book marketing them selves. No marketing services are offered by the publisher.

SUBSIDY PRESS: A publisher whose principle business is selling books in which the costs are subsidized or partially subsidized by the author. Most of the revenue is derived from post publication book sales.

VANITY PRESS: A publisher whose principle business is selling services to authors.

I suggest the following definition: "VANITY PRESS: "a publishing house that publishes books at the author's expense." That's the definition in the dictionary generally considered standard and authoritative for American English, the Merriam-Webster Collegiate. Littlewindow (talk) 18:23, 14 December 2012 (UTC)


AuthorHouse does allow for bookstore returns. Its an option to Authors, $699 in our case. Under this program, royalties are paid on all books ordered, and are not debited back to the author on returns. In out experience (Charles Martel and the Lance of Destiny - AuthorHouse 2008) the ordering process was cumbersome and some loose ends were not immediately adressed. (Lou deMartelly)

—Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.49.221.85 (talkcontribs)

Material needing sourcing[edit]

Removed from the article (by Qworty) as unsourced:

Authorhouse has accepted payment from over 27,000 writers worldwide, and enjoyed success with Legally Blonde by Amanda Brown, which became a best-selling novel and a Hollywood box-office smash, starring Reese Witherspoon. AuthorHouse also published Thomas Hargrove's Long March to Freedom, which helped inspire the movie Proof of Life, starring Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe. Authorhouse has also published "Snatched From The Fire" By Patricia Amis, which is selling really well at her speaking engagements. There is also going to be a film produced based on this story...

Ty 07:52, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

I'll add some sources. Shouldn't be too tricky to confirm. - Bilby (talk) 07:57, 28 April 2008 (UTC)


Why is there no mention of the court cases in this Wikipedia article?[edit]

This seems like a blatantly obvious question, but we all know about the court cases, so why haven't they been mentioned? To me, they are essential news for anyone who wants to know the full story about this publishing house -- to exclude it from the Wikipedia entry seems like favouritism, or at least a positive bias, and that is not what Wikipedia should be about. "Just the facts, ma'am."