AuthorSolutions, Inc., affiliation with Random House ended as fast as it began. On January 5, 2016, Random House announced that it sold its stake in AuthorSolutions, Inc. An Indian outfit, Najafi, became the new shareholder. This firm has been buying up political hot potatoes for some time. It will remain to be seen if any of the investors in Najafi remain affiliated in any way with Random House.
At least Random House executives have distanced the firm from the AuthorSolutions, Inc., stigma. The widely publicized lawsuit by the Indiana couple in 2015, while it didn’t attain class-action status, must have held sway. I have to believe the publicity became more than Random House wanted to contend with on a daily basis.
My opinion is that the damage inflicted by AuthorsSolutions, Inc., carries a deep literary-industry scar. In fact, a gash that no amount of makeup can ever cover up. To be clear, via foreign entities, ASI has it’s mitts in the fire with most of the legacy houses. But at least the blatant Random House relationship appears severed for good.
As of 2016, every one of the Big 5 publishing conglomerates owns or affiliates in some manner with a vanity printing outfit. The unwitting soul trying to get a foothold as an author continues to swim with the sharks. And it requires a scorecard to keep up with what transpires behind the bushes. All any writer starting out can hope for is that people like Mick Rooney with “The Independent Publishing Magazine” will continue to serve as writers’ advocates.
For those of us who need to make a living, it’s impossible to devote the necessary time to consistently keep writers abreast of who’s lurking in sheep’s clothing. Still, many of us do what we can, and collectively I have to hope it makes a difference.