Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Yet another first: Authorhouse loses libel case.

Attention PublishAmerica goofballs: Authorhouse was just ordered, by a jury, to pay $230,000 in damages to a popular romance author whose husband (and new wife) wrote a book full of libelous garbage.

Authorhouse was ordered to pay the hefty sum (roughly equal to a year's worth of royalty checks for their stable of authors (that's a joke (sort of))) despite the fact that their contract said they would not be liable:

The Kansas jury ruled for Brandewyne even though AuthorHouse’s contracts state that the publisher assumes no legal responsibility or liability “for any loss, damage, injury, or claim to any kind or character to any person or property” in publishing the works of its clients. Jay Fowler, an attorney for Brandewyne, maintained that the “contract does not absolve AuthorHouse of their responsibility. AuthorHouse published the book, put it on the Internet, did everything a publisher does. They’re responsible for publishing this book without vetting it first.”

Sweet fancy moses!

Sounds like the tell-all (tell-nothing) book was really flying up the bestseller lists:

Fowler said that AuthorHouse claims 74 copies of Paperback Poison in total were printed, 21 were given to the author, three were sold, and the company destroyed the 50 copies they had remaining in stock after receiving complaints about the book from Brandewyne and others.

Not exactly the Opal recall.

If in fact, Authorhouse loses on appeal (I'm not a lawyer; I'm just assuming), imagine what that would do to the world of POD?

S-l-o-w i-t d-o-w-n.

And you thought regular publishing was slow! Guess what will happen if (for lack of a better term) non-publishing professionals have to vet these books? PublishAmerica may actually have to get in to the dry cleaning business (not a bad idea; they're good at sucking things dry.)