The Authors Guild — a US-based organisation that supports working writers — has become the latest in a growing group of publishers and organisations to end its partnership with Author Solutions (currently the subject of a proposed class action lawsuit). The Authors Guild formed a partnership with iUniverse in 1999 to offer publishing services to its membership as part of its Back in Print program. This was before the publishing services provider was bought by Author Solutions in 2007. However, despite Author Solutions’ deteriorating reputation in the indie author community, the Authors Guild continued to renew its partnership repeatedly for the next eight years. For an organisation purporting to support writers and advocate for rights, it was always a curious and troubling partnership once Author Solutions took over iUniverse.
This partnership ended with the Authors Guild’s announcement at Book Expo America that it had formed a new partnership with Open Road Media to support its Back in Print program. It’s notable that the announcement published on the Authors Guild website makes no mention of Author Solutions, though previously published authors in the program may opt to continue with iUniverse.
Today, the Authors Guild and Open Road Integrated Media announced a new partnership for the Authors Guild’s Back in Print program, one of the Guild’s most popular services. Through Open Road, Authors Guild members will be able to distribute print-on-demand, e-book, and audiobook editions of their out-of-print titles. The e-books and audio book options are new to the program.
Titles currently enrolled in the existing Back in Print program will be available as early as summer 2015. The Guild will begin accepting new titles into the program this fall. Existing Back in Print users were given the option of continuing with the original vendor, iUniverse.
“We’re excited to work with Open Road,” the Guild’s Executive Director, Mary Rasenberger, said in the press release, “and to offer our members their best-in-class digitization and tremendous breadth of distribution.”
The Authors Guild’s decision to switch to using the services of Open Road Media instead of iUniverse means this is another partnership Author Solutions has lost, which included ones with Bowker, Crossbooks, Harlequin and Writers’ Digest. Just this week UK publisher Bloomsbury announced it planned to remove all Author Solutions’ imprints from its service comparison database.