Back in March TIPM reported that US attorney firm Giskan Solataroff, Anderson and Stewart LLP was carrying out an investigation into practices of the publishing industry’s largest self-publishing service, Author Solutions Inc. based in Bloomington, Indiana. Giskan Solotaroff Anderson & Stewart represent employees in employment and civil rights matters, consumers and small businesses in class actions, individuals and small businesses in commercial litigation, and individuals in white collar criminal defence matters.
Well, that investigation has now become a law suit seeking class action status in the US courts. Giskan Solotaroff Anderson & Stewart has filed the law suit on behalf of three former Author Solutions’ authors against the company, and significantly also names new parent company Penguin. The law suit alleges that Author Solutions misrepresents its company and services with the intention of luring authors in with claims that its books can compete with “traditional publishers,” offering “greater speed, higher royalties, and more control for its authors.” The suit also alleges that Author Solutions profit from “fraudulent” practices, fail to pay royalties due, and engage in activities like “delaying publication, publishing manuscripts with errors to generate fees, and selling worthless services, or services that fail to accomplish what they promise.”
The three authors are claiming damages of $5 million (ahem, don’t ask me where this figure was dreamt up!) and will be heard by Judge Denise Cote who is still presiding over the e-book price-fixing case.
Author Solutions, commenting after the case was filed by Giskan Solotaroff Anderson & Stewart in New York, said it “will correct the false and misleading claims made about Author Solutions in the appropriate legal forum.”