It's called a conflict of interests...

By Katharine Swan On Wednesday, April 29, 2009 At 12:19 PM

I just want to pass on a quick warning from this week's Writer'sWeekly.com.

Apparently, Author Solutions, Inc. — the owner of three POD publishers, AuthorHouse, iUniverse, and Xlibris — has started up a supposedly independent website for the purpose of helping would-be authors choose a POD publisher that is right for them. However, Angela Hoy did a little investigating, and discovered that the only three publishers the site would recommend to her were the ones affiliated with the parent company.

I think this is more than just deceptive — it feels to me like something that ought to be illegal. I think disclosing the relationship to the parent company ought to be a requirement, don't you?

To make matters worse, the website likens POD publishing with the "indie" movement. So now you've got a website advising wannabe authors under false pretenses, implying that paying to publish their books puts them right up there with the cool, artsy folk who film indie movies and release indie music? Talk about taking advantage of people...

Now, I have nothing against POD, and I've thought pretty seriously about using Booklocker (Angela Hoy's company) if and when I have a novel ready for publication. But I also have no illusions about what POD means. I know it requires your own money and a lot of work to promote your book, but it's worth it to me because — IF you go with an honest publisher — the author retains the rights to their own work and all the files for the finished book.

I think it's shameful that Author Solutions and FindYourPublisher.com are misleading wannabe writers in this manner. Talk about a conflict of interests!

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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