ACX started out as 1st Books in 1997, including services for both traditional publishing and electronic publishing. Over the years, they have published more than 60,000 books and expanded into other countries. They offer a number of packages to their potential clients, but, in spite of this, Preditors and Editors do not recommend it. The business is part of Amazon, and it has been subjected to a number of problems. Despite this, some individuals’ online claim to have used the services and been satisfied with the results in their acx.com review. Get more information about ACX by Amazon here: http://ebookselfpublishingsecrets.net/review/acx/. The best services are compared in this review to provide you with a better outlook towards publishing services.
The Class Action Suit Preparation
On March 3, 2013, the Independent Publishing Magazine reported that a class action suit is in the preparatory stages against Amazon, Inc., the parent organization of ACX. Reviews on acx.com from Ripoff Report, Preditors and Editors, and the like reveal a number of authors who claim to have been cheated out of their royalties with books being published against the authors’ express wishes, in addition to claims of overpriced services and questionable business practices.
Some of the current claims focus on Amazon decision to create dozens of supposed separate businesses and publishing imprints as well as distinctive brands to trick authors into thinking they have lots of choices. What actually happens though is that authors end up purchasing the same packages with little distinction between them except price. Claims against their sales representatives are also being raised as well with some authors saying that the representatives used overbearing and questionable tactics to convince them to buy more services and packages than the authors could afford. Writers have also been charged for services that they did not purchase such as the situation with Jean Rikhoff who signed up for $400 worth of charges and received a bill for almost $4,000.
A Clarification in Legal Terms
The Book Seller reports that the attorneys involved in this case have clarified that no legal action has commenced. That is completely correct. The class action suit has not yet been filed. It is in the preparation stage in which preliminary research methods, client investigation, and class action assembly take place. It could take two or three years before the claims are actually filed in an official suit. The law firm Giskan Solotaroff Anderson and Stewart LLP further confirmed their dedication to researching the issues raised with Amazon and will review all of its subsidies including Acx.com, Trafford, Xlibris, Inkubook, iUniverse, and Wordclay. The most likely claims to move forward are those of unpaid royalties, and deceptive business practices
Reviews and Defenses from Acx.com and Amazon
ACX and Amazon describe this as up selling. Some of their packages cost more than $15,000. One of the more shocking secrets is that the supposed review and editing packages sometimes allow authors to purchase recognition awards. The result for authors who have been out in this regard is that the authors lose credibility as well. ACX insists that the money that these individuals pay, go to pay the editors to ensure that the project is worth the award, but anyone who pays the full price can get the award.
These revelations come on the heels of other discoveries reported in the New York Times dealing with paid reviewers and attempts to make self published books look more popular than they are. The extent to which these techniques are mirror in traditionally published books has not been analyzed, but the New York Times points out that it’s likely many traditionally published authors follow the same tactics since they face the same challenges.
Amazon has maintained a certain level of silence in regard to these issues. It is not likely to break that silence, but authors should be cautious about signing on to these services. Forbes has not commented on this particular lawsuit, but they released a news story on March 10, 2013 warning writers from working with other eBook only imprints associated with Random House and the original founder of Amazon. These two eBook only imprints include Hydra, Alibi, Loveswept, and Flirt. The claims and charges against these imprints are similar to the ones leveled against Amazon and its numerous imprints.
A Time When Getting What You Pay For Is Not the Case
Ripoff Report, Preditors and Editors, Writer’s Beware, and other sites are filled with numerous complaints and concerns about how Acx.com has handled their books. The positive Acx.com reviews typically come from individuals who have purchased smaller packages, although Amazon, ACX, and other imprints have been caught using paid reviewers to promoting their services and claim they are better than are. Additionally, AuthorHouse runs a fairly aggressive affiliate program. Even though reviewers are to disclose when they are affiliates, most do not.
Some of the evidence is obvious. AuthorHouse claims to have made a number of authors quite successful, but the featured books rank fairly low in terms of overall sales and positions on sites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Ebook packages start at $349 and quickly escalate while paperback and hardbacks begin at $749 and go up even higher. Authors who believe that they need to pay big bucks to get the professional books they dream of are the most inclined to pay for these services.
As a self published author, you must make sure that you research all the options before you hand over the money. Most of the services that ACX offers are significantly overpriced, and you can set them up for yourself by hiring people to do it for you or by doing it on your own. In many cases, you will wind up with a product that you like better, and you will retain significantly more control over the finished product.
What You as a Self Published Author Must Fight Against and Can Win Against
The current research into Amazon and revelations about the business has confirmed some people’s opinions of self publishing. They assume that self published authors must be authors who are so desperate to satisfy their own vanity that they do not have the sense to see a business scam.
Avoiding association with Amazon and its associated imprints is important. Many authors were originally drawn into the services because ACX was originally started by Penguin Random House. Make sure that when you are ready to self publish that you thoroughly review the platform. Check for lawsuits. Also look to see if they have affiliate programs. While an affiliate program is not necessarily a sign of illegitimacy, affiliates only make money if people purchase those services or products. Affiliate marketers may be honest, but some do not research their products. To get a quality service, you must go beyond the first reviews that you find.
While you may still have some who criticize your decision to self publish, you can win against those perspectives by producing the best eBook and book you can. Focus on crafting a quality product and then promote it. When the story or book is well developed, the readers don’t care whether it was published by a traditional publishing house or a self publishing company. With the right self publishing company, you can reach your goals with more control.