A recent inquiry in a group I belong to prompted me to do some investigating into Authoright, a company with offices in both the U.S. and U.K, which offers publishing and marketing services to Indie writers and authors.
My first stop was to their website. They listed the services they offer, from various levels of editing, book covers and web design to marketing package choices that range from regional to international (North America and the U.K.). The first red flag for me was that they did not publish any prices on the site.
Next, I searched Amazon.com for the books they list on the site. The covers are, for the most part, original, although a little simplistic for my taste. From the “look inside”, the books that had that feature appeared to be well edited and produced. However, of the books listed on their site that I pulled up, only half utilized the “look inside” feature. Since that feature is so easy to get and is a good way to garner sales, this was another red flag for me.
Authoright has been in business for seven years. I tried to find references to them on the internet and could find nothing of consequence – good or bad. An inquiry via LinkedIn produced no results. My research hit a wall.
So I went undercover, into the lion’s den, so to speak. I filled out their online request for a personal consultation. I received a reply within 24 hours requesting to speak to me by telephone. I sent him my number. (The things I do for the cause.) In my reply I also asked for a price list. To his credit, “Ed” sent the price list almost immediately and we set a time to speak.
The list gave me sticker shock. Here are a few examples: proofread (light polish) – $15.00 per 1000 words; copy edit – $25 per 1000 words; publisher’s edit (full) – $37 per 1000 words; cover design – $850; press release (U. S. or U.K. only) – $850; social media campaign (Facebook and Twitter – with their “expert” techniques) – $1600. And it goes up from there for larger marketing packages. The “Atlantic Publicist” – their two continent package – is $6000, a book trailer – $2000. Need I go on?
In my e-mail I was honest, insofar as I included all my links – to my website, Facebook, Amazon, etc. I was also up-front about my lack of funds.
Ed was prompt and affable. We spoke mainly about their marketing packages as the publishing ones were fairly standard and easy to gauge. He neatly dodged the only pointed question I tried to press him on. I asked what the odds were of my making back my money if I bought one of their packages. As I expected, he told me that varied with each author and could not be predicted. When I tried to press a bit on averages or stats he simply repeated his earlier answer. I do understand that it is not possible to tell me whether I would be successful, but I had hoped for some indicator, such as a percentage of clients that made money – anything at all. I know it’s a tricky question because my chance of success has no relationship to anyone else’s, but surely they can provide some statistics after seven years in business.
By chance, one person I reached out to remembered touching base with Victoria Strauss (of Writer Beware) about her experience with Authoright. I contacted Victoria and she was kind enough to allow me to quote her as follows:
“This was about a year ago, and it was for LitFactor, Authoright’s agent-matching service. To test it, I signed up as an agent (which I’m not) and they accepted me without questions or background checks. LitFactor was live as of last October, but I just checked and it’s now a placeholder page. So I guess that didn’t work out too well.
In addition to LitFactor, Authoright runs something called The International Author Fair series, which appears to have been established in 2013 or 2014 to run author events in various cities. They did a London Author Fair in early 2014 (http://www.londonauthorfair.com/ ) but the New York Author Fair, scheduled for September 2014, doesn’t appear to have come off; its URL (http://www.newyorkauthorfair.com ) defaults to London Author Fair.”
Authoright’s current publishing arm “Clink Street Publishing” shows only 14 books in its catalog – another red flag.
With the lack of negative reviews and only one personal story, I really cannot pass judgment on the quality of the work or the satisfaction level of their customers. However, I find their prices exorbitant and their bookstore lacking in numbers. With no stats to back up their claims of success I would have to say that this is yet another questionable enterprise. Buyer beware.