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AuthorHouse / WordClay / Words of Belief / Author Solutions, Inc.


okay, I'm giving these people a thumbs down. I just got a shipment of books and the quality of the covers is much worse than the initial "courtesy copy." The image is so dark, you can hardly read parts of the title, let alone see the graphics.

Also, they supposedly do a "professional press release"- not only was it poorly written, but it had actual spelling, syntax, and grammar errors!!

They were also bad about making mistakes and trying to charge me for them.


First Books is LOUSY

I have been going through hell with this company for 5 months. All the mistakes they have made are their own but yes, they do love to charge you for them at the tune of $75 per hour. The cover proof they sent me was amazingly bad. They assured me that it would not really look like that and the printer was "tired" ?!?!


Unique Alternative

I just want to say that half of the authors that are published through 1stBooks shouldn't be! If there were not such establishments as 1stBooks then these so called authors wouldn't even have a published book. So those who complain about service charges and sometimes variable print quality should stop and think "I'm just glad that someone FINALLY published my book". My final point here is....in the end your book is published, isn't it?:)


Re: Unique Alternative

Yes, their books are published. However, these writers paid for a service and should receive a quality product. 1stBooks is a business, and to stay in business they need to give their customers what they want. And what they want is a well printed book devoid of obvious errors and mistakes.


What are you thinking "1stBookspal".


How could you say something so idiotic. If someone pays for a service they should get what they paid for.

1stBooks claims to use "quality trade" meaning they offer the highest quality paper to print your book and "top notch" binding to put it all together. They also claim your cover will be beautifully designed with a glossy cover in full color.

You say "half of the authors that are published through 1stBooks shouldn't be!"

If they pay their money they are entitled to good service. They would be stupid to except less than what 1stBooks promised. And even more stupid to just say "I'm just glad that someone FINALLY published my book"

What you posted does not make COMMON sense.


Its Not About Being Published, It's About Honesty

I dissagree with your comment. It is not merely about getting a book published. Its about getting an audience to read a book you worked hard on and paid for a service you thought was promising. I sincerely hope you don't think writers only write to get published. No, we write to share our book, with hopes, to everyone. You could go to any printer to get a book printed, but if it sits silently on you bookshelf or hiden in bookstore websites, it is not meeting your fullfilment. I sympathize with those who have paid for inadequate services.



It would seem the old adage..."You get what you pay for!"...doesn't ring true in this case. I've seen their fee schedule and it scares me, being a retired military and living on a fixed income I can ill afford their "services".:rolleyes


I can't believe that stance

I just read the statement down there in support of 1st books. There's no way that you can be, or ever were a professional. If you are in the employ of that company, you should be fired for even supporting such a claim that, "half the books that they published, shouldn't be." I did not have a book published by this company, but I am a professional writer. If a company cannot provide the services that they advertise, then they should not be in business. There are plenty of other places their clients can turn to. However, they paid a company to do the job right, so it should be done right.


1st Books

The problem here is not necessarily 1st Books. Let me explain. The quality control issues that 1st Books have, comes directly from Lightning Source--they are the printer for 1st Books. Lay most all the blame at the feet of LSI.


i beg to differ...

the publisher [NOT the writer] contracts with the printer for turning out the finished product... if the product is substandard and/or not what the publisher promised to the writer in their contract, it's the publisher who bears the brunt of 'blame' not to mention legal liability...

the publisher can pass said blame on down to the printer and sue to recover losses, but it's the publisher who was responsible for accepting the bad work on behalf of his client, the writer...

to excuse the publisher from even a portion of this blame would be both wrong and adding insult to injury...

love and hugs, maia


1st Books

Of course 1st Books shares responsibility, but since they contract their printing with LSI, once orders go into the wholesale distribution system, 1st Books does not see each of those books--the bookstores and end users do. And this is LSI's achilles heel: their abysmal quality control.

I am not apologizing for 1st Books. I am an author and publisher of three books printed at LSI. I am moving all my printing to another place. LSI has been nothing but a pain in the rear on quality control.

Until POD printing gets better, count me out.

Love To Love You Baby

Traditional Publishing Author

I am being published by a traditional publisher. I received a contract in June 2002 and I barely remembered 1st books until I came to this site. About 1st Books I got contacted by them two years ago. I ran like diarrhea from them as fast as my legs could carry me! I knew what a lot of writers don't...NEVER go with a publisher
( or in this case, a mere printer ) that looks for writers. It's not smart. No reputable publisher is going to seek a writer out. They are too busy going through that junk pile from two months earlier, trying to find a star. I read over the thing because I was curious, than I threw it in the trash with the quickness! All that BS in the packet they said about getting authors reviews and websites and book signings. Where, at the local fish market? I already knew POD books didn't get respect and neither did the authors. They weren't fooling me for a minute and I never found out how they got my address. Anyway, I knew all the horror stories about POD companies. Authors clogged writers' websites galore sobbing about the raw deal they had gotten from these companies. One lady said a POD company lied and told her she'd be in book stores. A woman from 1st Books said that they sold in book stores. ( I am almost positive that's a big lie ). If you think of going POD again...don't do it. If your momma begs for you to...don't do it. If your dog needs a transplant and this is your only way...don't do it! From the words of Chris Rock " Just don't do it. "

Love To Love You Baby

Oh...One More Thing

:lol I don't know what that big five hundred dollar fee they give authors goes to. Because from what I heard Stevie Wonder could do a better job printing those books and editing them than the people ( if anyone )hired to do it. I wouldn't be surprised if they had little kids in their printing the books. You never know these days right? Well at least with Stevie you'd get publicity. The only publicity I see for POD authors are legal matters and lawsuits. I agree with someone who mentioned that these companies should be banned. Goodbye!


POD Publicity

Regarding this statement:
" The only publicity I see for POD authors are legal matters and lawsuits."

You have not been looking hard enough.

Delights from the Garden of Eden
By Nawal Nasrallah
New York Times 4/2/03

My Three Years Working for Michael Jackson
by Robert W. Wegner
Featured on NBC's The Today Show, Extra, CNN American Morning with Paula Zahn, and Inside Edition

The Guide to Identity Theft Prevention
by Johnny R. May, CPP
Featured on NBC's Nightly News with Tom Brokaw

Terrific Wedding Tips: For a Joyful and Stress-free Celebration
by Judy Sangregorio and Yvonne Hemsey Tepper
As seen on The Early Show (CBS)

Saturday Night Live - Equal Opportunity Offender: The Uncensored Censor
by William G. Clotworthy
"[Bill's] sense of humor and creativity are in full evidence in this beautifully written book."
—Jerry Stiller, actor/comedian (King of Queens, Seinfeld)

Undercover White Trash
by David L. Kilpatrick
Featured in Fort Worth, Texas magazine and won 2nd place in ForeWord Magazine's humor category
Movie rights just optioned by Remarkable of Los Angeles

Golf for the People: Bethpage and the Black
by Philip Young
Reviewed in Newsday and other national newspapers. Author interviewed on CNN's "Business Unusual."

Bad Blood: A Long Island Mystery
by David E. Feldman
Featured in The New York Times (Long Island Section)

Spiritual Marketing
by Joe Vitale
Author is an Amazon.com Bestseller.

Grampas Are For All Seasons
by Richard J. Ward
Featured in Harvard Magazine, The Dartmouth Chronicle (c. 5,600+), and The New Bedford Standard-Times (c. 39,000+)

The Little Guide to Happiness: How to Smile Again
by Michael Kevin Naselli
Featured on WCNY-TV, in the The Syracuse Post-Standard (c. 90,000+) and Central New York's Table Hopper (c. 60,000).

Anthrax: The Game
by Dwan G. Hightower
Featured in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (c. 408,000+)

Practical Home Theater
by Mark Fleischmann
Featured in The Hartford Courant (c. 207,000+) and The Baltimore Sun (c. 314,000+)

Alpine Achievement
by Lori J. Batcheller
Featured on CNN International (viewership 150,000,000+)

From the Attic to Military Museums
by Robert Parker Fondes
Featured in The Bradenton Herald (c. 60,000+), The Port Charlotte Herald-Tribune (c. 30,000+) and recognized by United States Secretary of State Colin Powell

Gut Check
by Dr. Jeffrey M. Aron
Featured in The San Francisco Chronicle (c. 456,000+)

by F.P. Dorchak
Featured on the Internet's paranormal radio broadcast Nightsearch.net

Rez Dogs Eat Beans
by Gordon Johnson
Featured in Riverside, CA's The Press-Enterprise (c. 173,000+)

A Gathering of Souls
by Christopher Taylor
Featured on ABC News and The Los Angeles Daily News

Catalina Hideaway
by Holly Brugman
Featured in The San Diego Union-Tribune (c. 381,000+).

I'm Gonna Teach
by Kenneth S. Karcinell
Interview by The Nassau Herald (c. 750,000+).

This Bo Peep Ain't No Fairy Tale!
by Murray Silver
Interviewed on WSAV-TV (viewership 100,000+) in Savannah, Georgia

Six Days in January...
by Frederick Cooper
Book of the Month selection for AA Online book club

The Shadow of The Succubus
by John Condenzio
Nominated for one of the best horror books of the past year by Blood Moon Rising Magazine

Auto Accident Personal Injury Insurance Claim
by Dan Baldyga
Featured in The Wall Street Journal

The New Gorgon
by Byron R. Bufkin
Featured in The Cleveland The Plain Dealer (c. 378,000+)

The Essential Legal Guide for the Professional Wrestler
by Eric C. Perkins, Esq.
Featured in The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel (c. 274,963+)

Full Circle on the Mountain
by Linda Gardner
Selected as book of the month Woman's Day magazine

Real Fatherhood
by Bob Kamm
As seen on CNN and featured in The Washington Post (c. 762,000+)

Patrick Gilligan Says Be Your Own Boss!
by Patrick Gilligan
Featured on Entrepreneur.com

Growing Season
by T. Jensen Lacey
Native American freelance journalist and contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul series

HEROES or Something
by Brad Kennedy
Reviewed in The Star-Ledger (c. 407,000+) and featured in New Jersey's Daily Record (c.50,000+)

Secrets Men Have Told Me: What Turns Men On & What Turns Them Off!
by JoAnna Nicholson
Highlighted in September issue of Cosmopolitan magazine

Celia, Army Nurse and Mother Remembered
by Pamela McLaughlin
Featured in the Boston Herald (c. 265,000+).

The Ugly Carrot
by Ann Marfey
Featured in Albany's The Times Union (c. 100,000+)

Internal Accounting
by Emanuel F. Schwartz
Featured in Raleigh, NC's The News and Observer (c. 159,000+)

Boston's Blues
by Art Simas
Featured in Worcester's Telegram & Gazette (c. 100,000+)

The Arbiter
by Charles Jackson
Featured in The Hartford Courant (c. 207,000+)

All My Love, Forever
by Dale Stephen Lane
Featured in The Indianapolis Star (c. 226,000+)

Let's review:

Today Show, Extra, CNN, Inside Edition, NBC Nightly News, The Early Show etc..

New York Times, San Fran Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Womans Day, Cosmo etc..

I bet every traditionally published authors would like to see the same media coverage the above POD author's have received.

How many of YOU have been an Amazon best seller? You may not be Joe Vitale, but if you published with a traditional publisher would it not be easier for you to make the best seller's list? He did it and his book is with 1stBooks Library. Strange hun? A POD book selling in large enough quantities to be an Amazon.com best seller. How is that possible? Maybe it's a good book.

Here's a good article written by MJ Rose you all might find very interesting.


Fred L Volz

POD stuff

Wow! 1st Books rakes some folks over the coals so that means all POD's are evil? Hey folks, first of all POD is a printing technology, not a publisher. POD providers are basically a self publishing assistance and services.You can have twelve POD service providers and each would have its own way of doing things, its own level of quality and its own share of customers who think they've been snookered. There are some good POD service providers out there and some not so good ones. 1st books, Iuniverse and Xlibris rate poorly as far as I am concerned. The smaller ones like Aventine Press, PageFree and virtualbookworm.com are easier to deal with, offer better deals and are more honest with their ads. There is a reason the larger ones have the top spaces in the search engines. It's because they spend your money getting there!If you want an honest assessment of POD, go to Clea Saal's booksandtales.com. She has done far more research than most folks and has a good line on the POD experience. Have Fun!8)

Anonymous me

1st Books

I tried to get 1st books to understand that the typical 100 page humor book at Barnes and Noble sells for $4.95 and their price of nearly $8 for the same genre of book would make make mine overpriced. Even worse, that version of book wouldn't even have a printed spine.

Right here in LA, I can get a 100 page humor book printed by a quality printer for about $1.50 each with a nominal run of a few hundred books.

1st Books has more work to do.


Re: 1st Books

I asked 1stBooks for an information package and received a coloring book of how their process works. They even included crayons!


Re: POD Publicity

Let's do some homework. I plugged in the newspaper articles into Lexis-Nexus search for the past five years. I also verified that all the sources listed are included in Lexis-Nexus.

>Delights from the Garden of Eden
>By Nawal Nasrallah
>New York Times 4/2/03

No such review exists.

>Bad Blood: A Long Island Mystery
>by David E. Feldman
>Featured in The New York Times (Long Island Section)

No such review found in Lexis-Nexus

>Anthrax: The Game
>by Dwan G. Hightower
>Featured in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (c. 408,000+)

No such review.

>Gut Check
>by Dr. Jeffrey M. Aron
>Featured in The San Francisco Chronicle (c. 456,000+)

No mention

>Real Fatherhood
>by Bob Kamm
>As seen on CNN and featured in The Washington Post (c. 762,000+)

No mention in the Post.

>Celia, Army Nurse and Mother Remembered
>by Pamela McLaughlin
>Featured in the Boston Herald (c. 265,000+).

No mention.

>The Arbiter
>by Charles Jackson
>Featured in The Hartford Courant (c. 207,000+)

You guessed it -- no mention.

Let's review: Seven supposed articles, none verified.

Sounds like that list is pure fiction.



Maybe, I am just one of the lucky ones. I have had success with 1stbooks. I know several other people that I have had the pleasure of partnering with on book signings who feel the same. First of all, with POD, it is the writer's responsibility to send in well written and edited work. They warn you of that from the get go. Any issues I had have been responded to and fixed immediately. I was not charged extra. POD was my first choice. I am not some writer who had their manuscript rejected time after time and then decided to go POD. I never submitted it to anyone. I do not use their marketing package because I have the know how to do it myself and I do it well. I also know writers who use their marketing kit and are doing well. In addition, the writers' I know who use 1stbooks are not people who saw them as a last result just to say "thank goodness I'm published". My cover is great. 1stbooks did what I asked in regards to my cover and it works well with the story. Sorry to hear that so many of you have had trouble with 1stbooks. However, I can not agree with you.


1stBooks was OK

When 1stBooks handled my book, they only charged me for correcting mistakes I'd made. They made a few small ones also but didn't charge for correcting those. I designed the cover and they reproduced it quite well. One batch was not done properly and they replaced it without charge. This was all in November, 2001. I was basically pleased with their service:) :)


Re: 1stBooks Library-POD

Why should someone have too pay a publisher to publish a book. I rather someone appreciate my work on its own merit.


1stBooks Library-POD

The answer: sometimes you have a book you believe in that "falls between the cracks" of traditional publishing, and you want to give it a chance. My POD book is doing quite well -- getting good reviews (see www.agikissfiction.com), and has sold over 800 copies so far. I'm doing the marketing myself, to specialty markets to which I have access. Published friends tell me their publishers don't do much for them and lose interest quickly after the book is out, and some are considering POD next time. Sure, I hope to get my next book published by a regular publishing house, but I'm not sorry I took the initiative and did POD.


1stBooks Experience

I thought I'd add my experience to the mix as I just received a copy of my book "Deco Tech: Designs for Coloring" which I published through 1stBooks.

I chose them primarily because I had received a copy of one of their books as a sample from a printer who was quoting a run of 1000 books that I'd be publishing myself, and it was a nicely produced book. Having self-published before I knew that connections were the key to succeeding with any book and I had none. I researched the cost of 1stBooks and a few other POD's and realized that for the same cost of my initial run of 1000 (on my lowest quote) I'd be able to have 1stBooks publish it and also take advantage of some of their advertising options, as well as benefit from a direct line into the book industry. So I submitted my book and began the process.

These are the problems I had:

1 - I was told my images could be their original 7.5 x 10 inch size which wasn't true
2 - I was told I could submit my files in Adobe Illustrator EPS format - also not true
3 - Some designer re-designed my gorgeous cover for no reason and made it look goofy
4 - I was supposedly able to buy my book at "wholesale" but it turns out that in the information I was sent "wholesale" was meant to be the discounted price on their website which was $11.95 (instead of the retail price of $12.95). The most common wholesale rate in the industry is %45 of retail so I thought I be getting my books for really cheap.

The solutions:

1. The images were shrunk to 6 x 8 inches. I'm only cool with this alteration because now the images will fit well into a matted 8 x 10 inch frame - giving me an added feature for marketing. 1stBooks did offer to refund my money when this mistake was discovered - but I figured it was a good publishing opportunity before and it still was.
2. Turns out I needed pdf pages in one file - as the free Adobe Acrobat program allows you to save only one page files I couldn't provide this and I wasn't about to go buy the program. I was informed that it would normally cost over $200.00 to have them "merge the files" but they would waive the fee as it was their mistake.
3. I re-submitted my original cover and told them to use it instead of the re-designed one which they did.
4. I re-read their information and it states I can buy the book for "the wholesale price (as shown on our website)." As I didn't know the book would be listed at a lower price than retail I had no way of knowing that this wholesale cost would be more than the industry standard - I essentially feel that this was a mistake in my expectations and I could've figured out the cost (within range anyway) had I bothered to ask or research their site. I don't intend to buy a lot of copies of my book anyway - I'm trying to sell it!

The "payment schedule" is a way for you to choose the price for your book (on the web and retail), not a fluctuating royalty rate. You're given a selection of prices and told what you will get from each sale - both from their site and in retail/online stores. I felt that the average price was reasonable and that's what I chose. I feel that this system is a way for them to please each authors individual preferences while still giving 1stBooks some control over the books price and I'd rather have a selection to choose from than just be told what it will be. I could have used the "schedule" to bring my books cost to me down by making the 1stBooks website price lower, but this would inhibit in-store sales of my book - again I believe this was a well thought out way to maintain some control while providing options that would appeal to authors and I think it's better to have a choice in the matter so I appreciate this system.
As to the quality of the book - the colors are bright and the black is solid on the cover. the inside pages have solid black headers and footers which came out a little faded but with text this wouldn't be a problem; the lines for the images are crisp and clear...

I'm satisfied with 1stBooks. I'm planning another volume of coloring designs and I intend to go with them again - unless another publisher decides to publish my series of books and makes a good offer... I do retain the rights to my work so I'm free to approach other publishers and I can remain open in regards to the future of my book. In the meantime I have a professional (though not perfect) copy of my book on the market that I'm free to promote/sell which comes naturally to me as I like my book! I won't know what the sales are like for a few months, but people seem to like Deco Tech so far and I've only just started promoting it...

I'd suggest that if you choose 1stBooks address any concerns you have via email so you will have a record of their response should any problems or discrepencies arise.
I'd also suggest that you have a good idea of what you want for your cover in your mind before you approach them - a professional cover will help sell your book and the more it reflects what you've written the happier you will be. Think of symbolism you think is important, what style and colors you'd like it to be, maybe browse the web for covers you like - not to copy but for as a reference for the designer...

I hope this is valuable to someone - remember - you can spend years trying to get your book published the usual way. With 1stBooks (or some other POD's) I can still look for other options while my book is on the market. Maybe your book won't sell but at the very least it's a great promotional tool that can be used to advertise your skills in a convenient way. Plus it's in print and it's unlikely to be cancelled (some publishers will cancel a book that sells ONLY 100,000 copies - I would pesonally consider my book sucessful if it sold that many!) There are also a lot of grants for writers out there and it's the authors initiative as well as his/her talent that will win these grants and open doors for the future. POD is a way for you to pry these doors open and whether POD publishing is respected or not is irrelevent if you have a solid book - then all it takes is for your book to be available and be promoted in the right way.

Anyway - good luck in whichever path you choose!
+ If you're interested you can learn more about my book Deco Tech: Designs for Coloring here:


1st Books and Booklocker

I see a host of complaints about the quality of the books from 1st Books. Do you know that 1st Books and Booklocker both use the same printer, Lightning Source, to produce their books?
They both have the same poor quality, but it stems from a poor choice of printer rather than an indictment of Print On Demand technology.
I was at a conference recently and saw a POD printer test where the same title was produced digitally, and offset. Out of twelve people who tried to pick which book was offset, and which was digital, while I was there, only two got it right.
I was one of the ones who got it wrong, and it showed me that when done right POD is every bit as good as offset.
Maybe companies like 1st Books and Booklocker will spend less time trying to dupe authors, and more time improving the quality of their product.


any problems with 1stbook fees?

Hey there fellow authors,
i'm considering hiring 1stbooks as my POD. Have you experienced any problems and/or hang-ups with there fees?
John "G" Allen