Author Solutions and Friends: The Inside Story

New authors, beware. If you’re about to self-publish, have no idea how to go about it and are considering paying for a service like Author Solutions to do it for you, please join one of the many free author groups online first. Or heck, just email me. I’d be glad to help you figure out how to get started.

David Gaughran

ASandfriendsweboptAuthor Solutions has forged partnerships with a long list of famous names in publishing – from Simon & Schuster and Hay House to Barnes & Noble and Reader’s Digest.

Recent disclosures in various lawsuits, along with information sent to me by a Penguin Random House source, detail for the very first time exactly how these partnerships work and the damage they are causing.

Since a second suit was filed at the end of March, Author Solutions is now facing two class actions, with the new complaint alleging unjust enrichment and exploitation of seniors on top of the usual claims of fraud and deceptive practices. It also has a wonderfully precise summary of Author Solutions’ operations:

Author Solutions operates more like a telemarketing company whose customer base is the Authors themselves. In other words, unlike a traditional publisher, Author Solutions makes money from its Authors, not for them. It does so…

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Book Review: Core Punch (Future Cops)

October 5, 2014,

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Core Punch
Series: A Baker & Ban!drn Adventure
By: Pauline Baird Jones
Sub-Genres: Crime Investigation / Futuristic Cops

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Rating: I loved it!  (?)

Review

It was a dark and stormy night….

Actually, it was a category-five hurricane named Wu Tamika Felipe (yes, WTF) baring down on a futuristic New Orleans. Oh, and I should probably mention that New Orleans was a floating city, although the majority of the novel takes place in the old, ‘dirt-side’ New Orleans instead of the new floating city. This is a series, so I hope that the next book spends more time exploring the floating city.

That’s not to say that the dirt-side atmosphere wasn’t just as interesting. The author paints an easy to visualize picture of the old, abandoned city – falling into ruin, flooding as nature took back over and the few stubborn folk who refuse to leave. The hurricane adds to the atmosphere-building, which is a bit heavy-handed at times. We are reminded again and again how hot Louisiana can get and how windy a cat-five hurricane is.  I think that, along with the pacing, kept me from reaching the OMG MORE level.

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Gamebreak: J.U.L.I.A. Among The Stars, a sci-fi adventure #VideoGame review

October 9, 2014,

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Today, I’m taking a quick look at a game recently released by CBE Software through Steam’s Greenlight program. J.U.L.I.A. Among The Stars is a point-click adventure / found objects and puzzle game with a science fiction exploration theme. It was released Sept. 27th for $19.99.

I love puzzle adventure / exploration type games, and for $20 with a sci-fi theme, I figured I could give it a try. I usually don’t buy new releases on Steam, because sooner or later they tend to go on sale. I also don’t like being a ‘first wave’ gamer – forking out 60$ only to find out the game totally sucks ass *coughDestinycough*. I’ve been burned too many times before. But, I decided to give JULIA the benefit of the doubt due to its early review metascore.

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Book Review: Outside (LGBT SciFi)

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Outside
Series: None
By: Lucy Kemnizer
Sub-Genres: M/M Romance, LGBT, Deep Space

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Rating: I liked it  (?)

Review

Overall, I liked this book. The story and themes were enjoyable. The worldbuilding was well done and unique. It felt familiar enough to be graspable, yet alien in a way that makes for good futuristic science fiction. The issues came down to style and author voice, both of which kept me from loving it.

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Graphic Novel Review: Star Trek: City on the Edge of Forever #startrek

I was recently provided a pre-release copy of a new graphic novel that portrays a classic, fan-favorite Star Trek (OSG) episode. Luck me!

Star Trek: City on the Edge of Forever
by Harlan Ellison
via Diamond Book Distributors

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Wonderful artistry vividly captures this classic Star Trek fan favorite, uncut and how it was intended. The renderings are all well done, and the story flows nicely from panel to panel. Some of the dialogue or exposition is a bit long for comic, but fine if viewed as more of a graphic novel, It’s necessary to truly grasp the points the episode story was attempting to make. I think this book would best be enjoyed in print format. Adobe Digital Editions made it a slow, painful process to scroll through the pages. I think full-print pages would make this an exceptional experience for any Star Trek or science fiction fan.

This book is available for pre-order, and I do highly recommend the print version. It’s even on sale: 19$ at the time of this post instead of list price of 25$ atAmazon right now for pre-order. Click here.