I discovered yesterday that Author Solutions was sponsoring the inaugural Bay Area Book Festival – something at odds with the breathless verbiage on the event’s site:
A new kind of book fair… the largest, most innovative, and most inclusive… [we will] create the nation’s leading book festival.
The event doesn’t take place until June, so I thought it was a good time to try and stage an intervention.
After I sent that tweet I felt a little bad.
Maybe the organizers didn’t know the full history of Author Solutions. Maybe they weren’t aware of the specific scam that Author Solutions runs at events like this. Deciding to give them the benefit of the doubt, I emailed the Executive Director of the festival, Cherilyn Parsons.
According to her bio, Cherilyn Parsons has “visited book festivals around the world to bring best practices to the Bay Area Book Festival.” Great, I thought. Surely those “best practices” don’t involve accepting sponsorship from a known scammer. Right?
I sent Parsons an email giving her the full background. I explained how Author Solutions was universally reviled in the writing community, why every major writers’ organization and watchdog group warned authors against using the company, and that Author Solutions was facing a class action for deceptive practices.
I also detailed the way Author Solutions uses its presence at events like this to ensnare new customers and milk existing ones – a common ploy being to sell off one-hour book signing slots for prices up to $4,000 (or up to $10,000 via Archway).
And it was a complete waste of my time.
In their response, The Bay Area Book Festival explained the “logic” behind accepting Author Solutions as a sponsor. The reasons presented were threefold: Continue reading