I don't blog a lot about the inner workings of publishing because who wants to read about that? But this topic needs to be blogged about, talked about, and even taken to court -- which is happening now.
The Penguin-owned (yes, the huge and previously respected Penguin Publishing) Author Solutions, one of the scummiest, rip off, vanity publishing companies in the US, is now going world-wide under PENGUIN guidance, so as to rip off even more authors.
If you are new to self-publishing and thinking of joining in that crowded field, do NOT, I beg you, go to Author Solutions or any of the companies they own such as Trafford, AuthorHouse, Xlibris, or iUniverse. They are all nothing but vanity presses, all owned by Author Solutions.
I have a lot to say about that, but fortunately for me a writer I highly respect, David Gaughran, has already said it on his blog, so I am going to ask you to go there and read his blog that discusses this rip-off and how Publisher's Weekly, the NYT and others are giving them a pass (because Penguin has big advertising dollars).
Take it away, David: The Author Exploitation Business
All I can add to David's comments is, "Ditto!"