Trafford Publishing

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Trafford Publishing
Parent company Author Solutions
Founded 1995 (1995) (Victoria, British Columbia)
Founder Bruce Batchelor, Marsha Batchelor, John Norris and Steve Fisher
Country of origin United States
Headquarters location Bloomington, Indiana
Publication types Books
Official website www.trafford.com

Trafford Publishing is a publisher using print on demand technology, formerly based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and now based in Bloomington, Indiana, USA.[1]

History[edit]

The company was founded in 1995, by Bruce and Marsha Batchelor, John Norris and Steve Fisher. Bruce Batchelor served as CEO until 2006. According to Trafford, they were the first company in the world to offer print-on-demand ("POD") publishing, which means they print shorter runs or even one copy at a time, in response to orders from the author or from retail customers. Trafford's service is being used by authors from more than 100 countries.

In 2005, Trafford announced a pledge of $1.6 million to help preserve endangered indigenous languages around the world.

At its peak size, Trafford had about 150 employees working at offices in Canada, USA, UK and Ireland, and was grossing over $1 million per month in sales. Trafford's self-publishing service was sold to Author Solutions Inc. in 2009.

Trafford requires payment from the author to cover set-up costs, and the author has to do most of his or her own marketing. Unlike most other POD publishing services, Trafford owned its own large printing plant, located in Victoria. Book printing was also done through Lightning Source Inc. (LSI), a subsidiary of Ingram Books distributors, in Tennessee and Milton Keynes as well as at BookSurge LLC's plant in South Carolina.[2]

Some titles have been converted to e-books and are distributed via Powells.com and Lightning Source Inc. (LSI).

According to their publishing guide, a number of packages are available. They range from a basic publishing service for those just wishing to be able to order printed copies (for family histories, etc.), an intermediate package for those only needing basic online ordering capability, to an inclusive package with full internet distribution. All of the packages include an ISBN number and full color cover. Trafford also offers a line of packages for publishing full-color children's books.

The company has distribution options in Europe and claims to have the widest distribution of any independent publisher.

According to the Wall Street Journal, April 6, 2009, Trafford was purchased by Author Solutions, which operates AuthorHouse and iUniverse and is owned by the San Mateo, Calif., private-equity firm Bertram Capital Management LLC. Previously, in January 2009, the Bloomington, Ind., publisher acquired another competitor, Xlibris.

Kevin Weiss, chief executive of Author Solutions, said the deal will enable his company to offer Trafford authors a wider array of services, including social networking. "We're seeing a lot of growth on the marketing side as authors seek to grow their sales," he added. The deal included a guarantee that Author Solutions would print a minimum number of books at the Victoria printing plant of the company (formerly called Trafford Publishing) now known as Morriss Printing.

On November 28, 2009, the Victoria Times Colonist reported that Morriss Printing had filed for bankruptcy protection and a receiver would be selling off all assets.[3]

Complaints and lawsuit[edit]

Trafford Publishing has complaints - old and recent - related to its practices and products at the Better Business Bureau (BBB)[4] who presents "Trafford Publishing" as only one of very many names Authors Solutions operates under. As of this writing (April 27, 2014), the BBB had "355 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 110 closed in last 12 months".

The BBB also lists the following as "alternate business names" for Author Solutions LLC: "Abbott Press", "Author Learning Center", "AuthorHouse LLC", "Balboa Press", "Booktango", "Content Distributors LLC", "Inspiring Voices", "iUniverse, LLC", "Legacy Keeper", "LifeRich Publishing", "Palibrio", "Responder Media", "Trafford Publishing, LLC", "Westbow Press", "Wordclay, LLC", "Xlibris, LLC".

Author Solutions LLC also operates under other business names all over the world that are not (yet) listed with the BBB, such as Partridge Publishing aka Partridge Singapore [5]

In 2013 a group of authors launched a lawsuit against Author Solutions and Penguin.[6]

According to MBS Press [7] "Three authors have begun a federal class action suit against Penguin and its self-publishing services provider, Author Solutions, seeking damages of more than $5 mn." and they seek class action status, alleging that "Author Solutions misrepresents itself" (...) "The company then profits from “fraudulent” practices, the complaint alleges, including “delaying publication, publishing manuscripts with errors to generate fees, and selling worthless services, or services that fail to accomplish what they promise.” The suit also alleges that Author Solutions fails to pay its authors the royalties they are due."

References[edit]

External links[edit]