By Ian Mackenzie (14th August, 2014) Author of Clouds In The Wind Beware the Ides of Vanity Publishing Author House, Xibris, I.Universe and Partridge are all part of the Author Solutions stable and as a victim of their extortionist tactics and unethical business practices, I reserve the right to share my experience with authors on a global scale. I was assisted in publishing my first book by Author House. I was mega impressed by the speed and efficiency with which the whole process came together. I had paid them a fee, which I considered fair and believed that I had received value. It took some time for the dawn of reality to emerge and by then I had been suckered in like sheep to the slaughter. Reality being that they're crooks. Firstly, the ink was barely dry and I got a call from the "marketing" department telling me what a wonderful book I had written and that it was destined for best seller status, but like any new product. it needed promoting. I was given a glowing resume' of how they had helped obscure authors out of obscurity and into the spotlight of publishing fame. Skeptical I was, but when presented with what they had in mind, I had to admit that it sounded pretty *** good. I invested $ 5,000.00 in the package they offered me and received in return about $ 200.00 in value. What they delivered was planets away from the package I had paid for. What surprised me was the speed with which they offered me a 50% refund when I finally got one of their directors on the phone. They still made a packet out of me without delivering anything that remotely resembled a marketing package. I guess the rapid refund was a gesture designed to shut me up. Before the dawning of reality, their "sales" department was onto me.."This book is best seller material" they said. "You just have to have it printed for distribution in the States. It will fly off the shelves and we will actively promote it".. Yeah right!!.. I paid $ 9,500.00 to have 3,000 books printed and immediately the money left my account they went into silent mode. It took me 3 months to get answers as to the status of the books and discovered that they were in a warehouse in Ohio awaiting orders from online booksellers. No active promotion, no flying off shelves, no intention to honour their undertaking. ROYATY TIME! I received my first royalty statement a month later than it was due, which understated sales that I was aware of by 52 books. When I queried that, I was told to provide evidence of the sales that I was claiming. But the account with online booksellers was in the name of Author House and I could not gain access to the records without the authority of the account holder.. Author House. Would Author House provide me with the required access?. No chance! And the check for the royalties due against the understated sales?.. "Oh thats in the post... We posted it on 30th May"... Well August is nearly over and I still don't have the check. The books that have been gathering dust in Ohio are now supposed to be shipped to me in South Africa, but they cannot find a carrier to handle the shipment. (30 boxes of books??,. C’mon!) only a half wit would believe that. I don't even know if the books were ever printed and I suspect not. After having demanded that they send them to me so that I could take control, one delay has followed another and after two months of wrangling I'm told they're on the way, but guess what?.. They can't find a copy of the waybill or any reference to the consignment. . They also keep ducking my request to provide evidence of their print run.. I wonder why? Oh YES!!!... I'm angry. I reserve the right to be. I can categorically state without fear of reprisal that the Author Solutions group are publishing predators. They prey on the vulnerability and inexperience of first time authors who are duped into believing their falsehoods. I would strongly recommend that anyone about to publish, stay very clear of these institutions. I wish I had.