Shining a bright light into the dark corners of the shadow-world of literary scams, schemes, and pitfalls. Also providing advice for writers, industry news and commentary, and a focus on the weird and wacky things that happen at the fringes of the publishing world.

February 14, 2013

A Partridge in a Penguin Tree

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware

India is a vast book market, and print is still king. So it only makes sense that Penguin (whose parent company, Pearson, acquired self-publishing giant Author Solutions Inc. last year) has just announced the expansion of ASI into India via its new "imprint," Partridge.

According to the official Penguin press release,
Through this imprint, Indian authors now have access to the widest range of professional publishing and marketing services that meet the best publishing industry standards, but are appropriately priced for the Indian market.
The press release emphasizes--not once, but twice--that "Penguin Books India will be watching key Partridge titles with hopes of picking up authors for the Penguin list." This claim is prominent also on the Partridge website:
Penguin is watching Partridge India

Penguin Books India has established itself as the country's largest English language book publisher over the past twenty-five years. Its authors are regarded as India's literary royalty, having won Nobel Prizes, Magsaysay Awards, Jnanpith Awards, Sahitya Akademi Awards, and Commonwealth Writers Prizes, to name a few. Now Penguin will also be watching Partridge India titles that have sales velocity and authors who have a platform for possible acquisition.
Who could resist such a juicy carrot? Whether it is a real or phantom carrot remains to be seen.

Partridge offers a familiar ASI-style range of fetchingly-named publishing packages, starting with the "Coral" (Rs 12,450, around $240) and running all the way up to the "Diamond" (Rs 149,950, around $2,775). Prices are in the low range for ASI services (compare with AuthorHouse, which runs from $749 to $4,249, or Trafford, which runs from $599 to $10,999).

There's also a small (by the standards of the American ASI brands) suite of "marketing" services, some of which are cheaper than the same services offered elsewhere in the ASI universe. Compare Partridge's standard book video, at Rs 86,500 ($1,600) to the $2,699 charged by for this service by ASI's American brands. (Perhaps production costs in India are lower?) A press release blast is also cheaper--Rs 16,200 ($299) for Partridge's Essential Press Release, compared with $429 for the American version.

Other marketing services, however, will cost Indian authors more. For example, Partridge's website creation service will set an Indian author back Rs 25,400 ($470), whereas American ASI brands charge $379. A DIY audiobook from Partridge costs Rs 37,800 ($699), not so very much more than the American version of this service at $649--but that's only if the book is 300 pages or less. For 300-600 pages, an Indian author must hand over Rs 48,600, or $899.

And check out the markup on the Kirkus Indie Review. You can buy one of these yourself, directly from Kirkus, for $425 (or $575, if you want it faster). But if Partridge facilitates your Kirkus Indie Review, prepare to surrender Rs 86,500 ($1,600).

Indian authors should also be aware that unless they obtain a foreign tax number, Partridge must withhold 30% of their royalty earnings. Partridge's FAQ also provides US copyright information only, possibly encouraging Indian authors to incorrectly believe they must register copyright in the US in order to have legal standing to sue for infringement elsewhere.


JeffO said...

Last week, agent Rachelle Gardner asked, "Are Self-Pub Books the New Slush Pile?" ( She listed a number of reasons why this was not likely to be the case, but it certainly looks like Penguin is promoting that idea, doesn't it? As a person who currently has no desire to self-publish, this disturbs me.

Shona Patel said...

I just got back from India. I took a good hard look at the publishing scene there. There is a HUGE market for books. Indians are voracious readers but there is a glut of authors, both good and bad. Most of them are traditionally published, with beautiful looking books but they are all lost in the slush pile of book stores because marketing is zilch. Editing is zilch as well. So there are tons and tons of mediocre books and it is hard to tell the wheat from the chaff. One of my friends, a published author got an advance of $1,000 most of which she had to spend on her own PR and marketing and she hardly has any traction in the book market. If you think selling books is tough in the US, go take a look at India. I think self publishing is just going to add to a bigger landfill. In most cases books do well first in the US before they find a market in India. It rarely works the other way around. I am glad my agent convinced me to find a publisher here first. My novel "Teatime for the Firefly" is being published by Mira Books (October 2013) We are now in the market for foreign rights.

Victoria Strauss said...

Shona, that's really interesting--thanks for your comment. It sounds as if the pipe dream aspect of a service like Partridge will find an especially receptive audience in India.

JeffO--Talk about a pipe dream. For all the services ASI has set up for publishers (such as West Bow Press for Thomas Nelson), the idea that the pay-to-play division is a sort of proving ground for the big leagues is at least implicit. Partridge's "promise" is the most direct I've seen--but it's a marketing tool designed to draw in customers, nothing more. I believe Nelson has picked up a couple of books from West Bow, but I haven't heard about that happening with any of the other ASI-run pay-to-play divisions.

Anonymous said...

Shame on Penguin for publishing some of the cyberbullies who frequent this blog!!! For shame!!!

The Observing Author said...

..i have been writing for a while now..and i m still unpublished..why..well..i can write,maybe but absolutely cannot get my head around how to go about approaching a publisher..the myriad of link leading to another..i write because i love writing but publishing has become so complicated a business i feel like a caveman..Dickens and Twain would have probably been stuck in an office job had they known that witing is just not about finding the right words anymore..:-)..agree with Shona Patel..all of it..

Maia said...

I do not understand why anyone would think it's a good idea to pay for press releases or anything else related to publicity. If someone is self-publishing and not planning to do any of the marketing themselves, it just makes no sense at all-- unless it's strictly a book for family and friends. It certainly isn't a better idea in India than it is anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

This is all so confusing. To self publish or not...The contracts that traditional publishing houses have nowadays seems enslaving and completely binding for the rest of your literary life...On the other hand, self publishing may make one's book an 'illegitimate child' in a world of 'blue-bloods'...

Sunday said...

So which one is better? To wait in queue forever to get your book published and read by the world or just ditch the queue outright and self-publish? Please advice as I am confused myself....

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to read all the eager comments say the least.....there are writers who have been looking to breakaway from traditional publishing houses.....also why is it that all the literary agents in India are conflicting in nature with most of them having a title or two published under their after a knowing that a book is like a any vintage wine that takes years to mature ......least of all be rejected by a 5 top publishing houses as they deem it not fit to be served to the readers.......all this with a waiting of 6 months for a decent reply ....then self publishing is the next stop and what better way to do it than with people who are providing a platform for taking your work and putting it out there in a way that will come to shame the old Penguin might be milking it .....but must say they are the visionaries......least to say.......

Ashish said...

Hi. My major worry with Partridge or Penguin is that – A writer needs to run from pillar to post just to get their work published with a brand name in publishing. Here Penguin is lending its name to any and everyone who is ready to pay a price!!! So even if one has sub-standard writing, one can be a Penguin Author???!!!

Anonymous said...

Partridge is the second publishing house to contact me claiming affiliations to penguin India. I had contacted Penguin thinking that they were a very well known and reputed publishing house and lent their names only to genuine authors. These guys offer their services without even going through your work. It looks like penguin is ready to attach their name for a few bucks, talent aside.

disappointed author

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous--Pearson, Penguin's parent company, owns Author Solutions Inc., of which Partridge, a self-publishing service, is part. Author Solutions exists under the Penguin umbrella, but is run separately in another location by different people. So while Partridge can legitimately claim to be "a Penguin company," it's a completely different operation, and there's no crossover in terms of acquiring books and authors.

That said, Partridge and other Author Solutions imprints are aggressively using the Penguin name to sell their services, in a way that encourages authors to think there's more of a connection than there is. As a result, at least some authors are buying Author Solutions services in the mistaken belief that it will somehow get them closer to publication by Penguin. It won't.

Rahabby said...

From last two months partridge customer care people are in touch with me regarding the publishing of a book.
But i am not sure what to do,they are only bothered for their charges leaving all the challenges aside.they are taking zero responsibilities and boasting a big success dream yet at the cost of their immense shameless speeches . I had a very good story for the world of imaginations ,but i am not finding the acual way how to put the manuscript in the right hands,please any one help me.

Anonymous said...

To Victoria Strauss and JeffO, submitting your work to publishers and waiting for indefinite period of time for feedback, not to mention writers will be competing to be chosen by a publisher, self-publishing can be an alternative. At the end of the day, its the quality of book and the market that will determine the success of the book. There are plenty of talented writers out there, but the problem is the opportunity. I don't see anything wrong in creating your own opportunity by self publishing. For me, for as long as the services are delivered, as a customer, I would be satisfied. It takes risk to be engage in business, the same thing in self-publishing. The real problem here is pride by some authors who regarded self-publishing undermines the writing craft. It's never a crime if someone believes or feels that she/he has something to share with the readers. Self publishing is a better option than to wait for years and waste my time and resources submitting to traditional publishers. If I decide to create my own opportunity, i would take the risk in self publishing. The readers and the market will be the judge of my book.

Victoria Strauss said...

Rahabby, Partridge is a self-publishing service, not a publisher. It will make your book available for sale, but it won't distribute or market it in any meaningful way, nor edit it unless you pay extra for editing services.

If you want to publish traditionally, you need to approach publishers whose books you can find on bookstore or library shelves. This may mean seeking a legitimate literary agent (with a verifiable history of placing books with reputable publsihers) to market your manuscript for you.

Have a look at the Writer Beware website. There's lots of information to help you there.

Anonymous said...

I was approached by a Patridge publisher(God knows how did he get my name}to publish my novel in 2 formats_____ e book and print.He has takled over the phone many times, for which he must have spent some money, but I am confused as to whether I pay Rs 66950/= to get published.Will I be able to at least recover my money?

Anonymous said...

I was wondering regarding the issue about withholding 30% of the earnings by ASI. I do not believe this will be applicable in India. Since you enter into contract with Partridge India which is an Indian company and this service is aimed at Indian authors who presumably pay Income Tax in India and not the USA. I cannot imagine how ASI, a US based company, can withhold 30% of an Indian taxpayer earnings collected by their Indian subsidiary on behalf of its client in India in accordance with US Tax rules. I think an Indian taxpayer will have to declare any such income to the Indian Authorities with their Annual Tax Returns and pay tax in accordance with Indian law. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Arun Chatterjee said...

My problem has to do with where Partriudge get the books published? ki have recently paid nearly Rs. 100,000/- to get my book "A Red Red Rose - Search for an Identity". The print copies priced in US dollars are way too costly for an avid book reader to buy in India. For example, my book is priced at USD 26 on Amazon. Indian editors of the print and electronic media never approach the publisher to obtain copies of the book for review purposes. The author has to arrange sending the book copies to them for review. Why cannot Partridge India (?) get the book printed in India so that I can buy my book at say, Rs. 500-700 and send copies for review?

Recently, at my request, Partridge agreed to have the book printed in India. their mail is reproduced below:
From: Partridge Publishing
Sent: Friday, 23 August 2013 1:40 PM
Subject: Notice to Partridge India Authors
Dear Arun,

Some of you have expressed concern regarding the availability of your recently published books. We would like to assure you that we are working very closely with our local partners to resolve this as quickly as possible.

We at Partridge India will fulfil our commitment to making your books available to booksellers all over the world. We will be doing this through the Ingram Book Network that distributes hundreds of thousands of titles to local and international booksellers.

The print version of your book that is currently available for purchase in India has to be imported; that is why your book price appears to be higher than you might have expected. The locally-printed versions of your book will be available within the next few days and will be priced based on the amount originally quoted by Partridge India.

We apologize for any confusion and inconvenience this may have caused, and we assure you that we are working towards a resolution as soon as possible. If you need any more information, please do not hesitate to contact your publishing consultant, who will be happy to help.

It has been a privilege to help you share your stories with the world.


Your Partridge India Team

Despite numerous follow up, nothing has happened. In these past 3 months I have orders for 200-300 copies of my book but as the Indian print is not avalaible, I am losing out on sales.
Partridge seems to be a mere Vanity Publisher with lots of hype but no results all at the cost of the poor author!
Arun Chatterjee
India, Bangalore

Victoria Strauss said...

Thanks for your comment, Arun. I'm sorry for the problems you're experiencing.

Books printed by services like Partridge use print-on-demand (POD) technology, which can't benefit from economies of scale (since the books are produced one or a few at a time), and thus is more costly per unit than traditional offset printing. POD-printed books tend to be quite a bit more expensive than their offset-printed counterparts--particularly at longer lengths. In hardcover format (as opposed to the more typical trade paperback format) they can be astronomically expensive. Also, Author Solutions is known for inflating its print prices more than other self-publishing service providers.

I took the liberty of looking your book up on Amazon. I see that you have it available in hardcover format only, and that it's over 250 pages in length. Based on similar books from Author Solutions imprints, the print list price of $27.95 is not bad at all. Compare, for instance, to this book from Xlibris, which like Partridge is an Author Solutions imprint, though based in the USA. It's hardcover and a similar length to your book, and its list price is $29.99 (discounted by Amazon to $26.99).

Even if Author Solutions can fix its printing issues and set up book printing in India, I very much doubt that this will reduce your book's list price.

Sorry--I wish I could give you a more positive assessment.

Anonymous said...

Is Partridge publishing a fake? I mean, I got a call from this guy, whom I sent a mail myself first. I have a manuscript, but not sure if even buy the services of partridge publishing. I am in India, book'll be available in U.S., and India. That's awesome. But I wonder whether this company is real? Need some suggestions please.

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous--Partridge isn't a "fake", in that, if you pay for a package, you'll get a book. Whether it's a good publishing option, or a good use of your money, is a different question.

Partridge is NOT a publisher. It's a self-publishing service that sells book production services to authors. That's a crucial difference. A publisher selects and curates its list of books, to ensure a quality product. A self-publishing service accepts anyone who can pay, and may or may not deliver good value for the money.

Partridge is run by Author Solutions Inc., which runs a large number of other, similar self-publishing "imprints". Author Solutions generally has a poor reputation for quality, and that's borne out by the frequent complaints Writer Beware receives about badly-produced books, poor customer service, and relentless upselling pressure (i.e., constant solicitations to buy more and more services).

Most recently, I received a complaint from a Partridge author whose picture book was printed with the illustrations on the wrong pages. The author didn't catch the mistake because she didn't know how to evaluate the proofs she received, but the blame belongs to Partridge, since it made no effort to produce the book properly in the first place.

Anjali Roongta said...

So in the end, how will a book published by partridge come into the market? And how will people get to know about it? And last off all should we try it? I mean let them publish our work?

Victoria Strauss said...


Partridge is a self-publishing service. It will make your book available for purchase through online vendors such as Amazon, but it won't have any physical presence in the marketplace. Companies like Partridge do no marketing, unless you pay extra (and the marketing services they offer aren't worth the money). Any and all marketing will be up to you.

Self-publishing can be a good option, depending on your book and your goals, but if you do want to self-publish, it's better to choose a serviced that will cost you less and will offer a greater degree of control (and also has a better reputation than Patridge and other Author Solutions "imprints"). See Writer Beware's Self-Publishing page for more.

shashikant gunjal said...

Hi I am a emerging writer I just finished my first book and now found that writing is easier than publishing. I am not understanding how to approach with publishers and how to get my book in market. there is traditional book publishing and other is self publishing which way I should go? self publishing is much more costly and traditional requires more time and and less chance to new writers. there are lots of things eating my brain please someone help me and show me a right track so I can get my book in front of world.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I got my book published with PARTRIDGE INDIA, and i am still will ZERO sales and when I tryto contact them they say that WEARE JUST DISTRIBURTORS while before publication they used to tell me that WE CAN BE YOUR PLATFORM.

Anonymous said...

Partridge offered me three packages for the cost of one for the three books I wrote. A very tempting discount for a Bangalore based unpublished author.When I raised questions about the one sided contract drafted totally in their favor they lost interest in me. I asked questions about merchandising rights, foreign rights, audio book rights, film rights,book club edition, large print edition, library edition, translations etc etc they vanished.Please make sure what you are signing or else you may become a slave for life to the publishing company.

Anonymous said...

If a new author wants to publish a book one can either go to a local printer get a large quantity of books published at a small expense and then spend time and energy wondering how to make people but it OR one can go to Partridge Publication pay them a lot of money for which they will send a few author copies that one can distribute to friends, then tell others that its available on Amazon for a ridiculously expensive price and that it is likely to be available on flipcart "soon" (meaning like in a hundred light years) and forget all about it. This is what happened to me and thousands of others. check out Partridge's facebook page members feedback (before they remove it)

Anonymous said...

i agree with anonymous' comment of 12/2/ 14.They r out to lure you
to pay in haste and repent at leisure.

V M said...

Way back in '94, at a party attended by more than a few "media personalities", i got the best advice of my life - just write.

That's what i've been doing since then, errors of syntax and grammar and spelling and the rest of it. Write, over telex, then fax and now on the net.

Of late, self-publishing (as different from vanity publishing) on any of the many free platforms is the best thing that came a writer's way. I would suggest therefore that people should just write.

If you sell just a few books (say 200-300 a year) then you are doing very good for yourself, the money you make is going to be equal to 10 times that number of books sold in print editions.

If you sell less, then why are you worried about anything, especially taxes?

And if you sell more than 300 books a year (25 books a month), then believe me, the best agents will start looking you up.

I use Amazon, have 5 "books" (short little 20k to 30k speed writes) up and running and another 4 in half-written condition. You can keep correcting your books, finessing stuff here and there, as an indie self-publisher on a platform like Amazon, the money rolls in without chasing the publisher, and the biggest high is seeing the sales counter reports moving up.

Go for it! Self publish and discover yourself.

Vir Singh said...

A consultant from abroad is in contact with me through phone asking me to pay Rs. 39500/- in three installments for self-publishing a book of mine by Partridge India. Should I send money, or will it merely be a waste of money, or is it just a fraud?

Victoria Strauss said...

Vir Singh,

Please read the comments above, for some authors' unhappy experience with Partridge. Then plug "Author Solutions" into the search box at the top left of your screen to see my many posts about the concerns about this company (Author Solutions is Partridge's parent company).

Please also be aware that Author Solutions is notorious for its hard-sell sales tactics and its relentless efforts to upsell its author (get them to buy more, and more expensive) services. Never forget, when you're dealing with a company like this, that you're not an author being sought out by a publisher, but a consumer being pressured to buy a service.

Anjali Roongta said...

If that is so then can you please suggest good self publishing companies for India based authors?

Anonymous said...

I have recently published through Quills Ink Publishing. They are an Indian based Vanity Publishing house. Their approach and method to publish is very good. They are selling my book across the globe and in India. The Indian copies are being printed here in Delhi and priced very low as compared to its US counterpart. I have bought almost 100 copies from them for my personal distribution and they sold it to me for just INR 120/- for a 150 page book. They have also claimed to give 70% royalty though I am yet to receive the first royalty, lets see how they fare here.

Victoria Strauss said...


I'm afraid I can't suggest any India-based companies--there may be some, but if so I don't know of them.

Amazon India doesn't appear to offer self-publishing services (yet; I'm sure that will come) but I'm pretty sure you could use Amazon USA's Kindle Direct Publishing program to publish electronically. For print, you might also be able to use CreateSpace--but shipping would be a problem, I think.

I can tell you what to avoid: any service offered by or associated with Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency (SBPRA) or Print on Demand Global (PODG). Writer Beware has received hundreds of complaints about this company over the years, and it has been sued in the USA for deceptive business practices.

Promod Kumar Sharma said...

Can't we have a system whereby the author puts in some amount of money say 50% of the price of the book for a fixed number of copies, say, 100 and
Partridge places a stock of 100 copies with the outlet, say Flip-cart.
Writer creates the demand and Flip-cart honors it. When the stock is brought down to 25, the writer send 50% of cost 100 copies and the stock is replenished. The book sales will start with zero risk on the Part of Partridge.

Anonymous said...

Display your book ad in The Book Review India and reach readers in individual and institutional libraries as well as 10,000 subscribers in India and 1,000 subscribers overseas.

This includes:

§ One Column Ad
The Book Review India’s purpose is to promote Indian publications and Indian authors. It aims to develop a culture of critical in-depth reviews and promote awareness of literary works from South Asia. Since its inception, it has attracted a wider audience for its recommendation of books by Indian authors.

I wish to publish my book with the Partridge Publishing Company
Am I wise to invest in this publishing company?
The amount to be paid in installments is 65,137.5
0 Rs.

Victoria Strauss said...


Partridge would love for you to buy your own books--its ideal situation is to recruit authors who can be turned into customers. That way, it profits twice--once from the author's payment for the publishing package, and a second time from the author's purchase of books.

Partridge books are already available from Flipcart, as they are from most other online retailers. However, Flipcart doesn't keep large amounts of inventory in stock. If you were going to buy a large number of copies of your book and try to re-sell them, you'd have to arrange for that yourself, possibly through a bookshop that would be willing to take them on consignment.

Promod Kumar Sharma said...

No. This was not my intention to say that a writer buys his own books for subsequent sale by him.
I am apprehensive about the books not reaching in time to potential buyers.
I have learned about inordinate delays in supplies especially of books that are not in much demand.

Gourav Kundu said...

As I can see here, from the discussion, of course, that, Partridge Company is not a reliable company, if I am right, as it has got so many complaints. Today I got a call from Partridge asking me Rs.39000 in three installments and offering me to become a Penguin India Author. I do not know what to do. I just want to know what is the procedure to publish a book through literary agents and what is the share an author can expect to get after the publication of the book.Thanks

Victoria Strauss said...


Partridge isn't a publisher--it's a self-publishing service run by Author Solutions Inc., which is owned by one of Penguin India's parent companies. If you sign up with Partridge, you will not become a Penguin India author, as the misleading phone call you received implied. You will be self-publishing with Author Solutions.

There are certainly complaints about Partridge, as you can see from the comments above and from other articles on this blog about Author Solutions Inc. I've also received complaints directly from authors.

For authors who want to self-publish, I usually recommend that they investigate the low-cost or free services first, including and, if they want to do print, and Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords, and BookBaby if they want to do ebooks. With any of these companies, you'll get a reliable service for much less than you'd pay to Partridge or another Author Solutions-owned company.

If you want to publish traditionally with an established publishing house, such as Penguin, there are no shortcuts, I'm afraid. You either need to engage a literary agent, or submit your work directly to the publisher (if that's possible; many publishers only acquire through agents).

Please pay a visit to the Writer Beware website. There you can find information on literary agents, publishers, and more, along with links to helpful online resources and warnings about disreputable practices in the industry (such as literary agents who charge upfront fees, or "publishers" that require authors to pay).

Dev said...

I recently published my book "The Hidden Folder" with Partridge. But Partridge has been a disaster for me. I don't mind them selling my book at a high cost. But the problem is that they do not have any plans to sell it through retailer. What they follow is a on demand printing.In India books from Partridge is being sold mainly through Flipkart. And Flipkart shows a turnaround time od 30 days. Are you crazy ? Will any one wait for an online product for 30 days to get delivered. And that too, if you are a new author. The new problem I have started facing is that none of the books that has been sold by Flipkart a month ago has been delivered. Now the guys who ordered it have started getting regret mails from Flipkart mentioning that "the book is not available from the seller". So what do I do ? Did I publish to buy my own books ? I have been contacting Partridge many a times about this. But they do not take responsibility of the distribution as they are doing it through a third party. If you want to sell your books in India, I will give you a very straight forward mantra " DO NOT GO WITH PARTRIDGE". You would loose all your hopes of being a writer. What I feel is that, Partridge just wants to earn from the Self Publishing Packages as well as from the books that they sell to the authors. I do not see any intention of selling it through online retail stores. Better publish it yourself and then find a national distributor. That way at least your book will get a chance to reach the readers. But through Partridge, Forget It !!

Get in touch with me if you are in a confused state about going with Partridge. My answer would be a big NO

BIJU JOHN said...

Same is the case with me. They are only after money. They haven't even read my script.

BIJU JOHN said...

So the discussion has just helped me to save Rs. 17000 or more. I was about to pay Patridge this amount for my fiction. Apart from thanking all of you, I would like to suggest a really good idea - why shouldn't we try and form a nationwide publishing group? We can get our books printed, published and distributed by ourselves. A core committee will decide which books to be published and which needn't be. Then we proof and print a book every month and do a good distribution. Lets discuss?

Dev said...

Biju, thats the best thing to do

Ajay said...

I would like to self-publish and distribute in India and globally later. Would anyone be able to guide me on the best professional editing services, best publicity agents, best printers and reliable distributors in India and also globally? Thanks in advance...Ajay

Anonymous said...

Thank you all for a very illuminating set of discussions, and thank you Victoria for making it easy for me to reject Partridge, who have been exchanging correspondence and phone calls with me. When I asked them for sales figures of their 20 top selling authors, they refused to answer.... Illuminated Wannabe Author

Anonymous said...


Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous, if you don't want to proceed with Partridge, have you tried letting them know this and asking for your money back?

Anonymous said...

I have just gone through this. Paid 33,000 rupees, bought a few copies of my work and my book is out of stock on Flipkart. How do I deal with this? So misleading and perhaps my own ignorance has cost me dear. I should have googled and explored before. It's too late. This is very frustrating and disheartening. I was so excited. Now I am just embarrassed. I would like to get in touch with Dev.

Dev said...

Simple words, you have ruined your chances to make your book successful once you sign up with Partridge. I am having serious issues. My book was published 3 months ago and till now I have not been able to sell as single paper back copy only because Flipkart cancels the order at the last moment and then the book goes out of stock.The incompetency is on Partridge part and their distribution channels. I am not going to leave a stone un-turned till I get justice. Its merciless slaughter of Authors who publish themselves with Partridge. And I am a a part of it. If you have not signed up with Partridge yet you are the luckiest person in this entire universe. Do not suin it just for the sake of getting a brand name which is under Penguin's umbrella. They work differently.

Victoria Strauss said...


I don't know whether or not Author Solutions has print-on-demand capacity in India. If it doesn't, or if its POD capacity is limited, that could explain the out-of-stock problem with Flipkart--physical copies would have to be produced overseas and then shipped to Flipkart, which (I'm guessing) is like Amazon in that it keeps somewhere between zero and two copies of low-selling print books on hand. Again, I don't know if this is the case, but it's one possible explanation.

Dev said...

All authors who have been fooled by Partridge need to join hands and go strong against these guys. We need to make sure that new authors do not fall in trap and ruin their creative work.

Annapurna said...

I have got a call today from Patridge offering me a jade package worth Rs69,950/- at Rs60,000/-. I can use the three installment system or pay in full to get a book for children published. A few months back when I got a call I refused to go in for self-publishing and said I was not ready with the final manuscript. It was all my mistake to sign up for their free publishing guide where I had to give my contact number. They mailed me once, but I didn't reply and today they came up with this offer.
Reading all the comments, I don't dare to further any negotiations with them. Thank you all for being so open in your comments, especially for new writers like me.

Beaj Shukla said...

I received call from Partridge singapore and cost they told me was much higher than discussed above . 3 installment payment of s$ 5700 that's inr 250000. Good that I read your blog

Anonymous said...

There is such a game being played. Once you have paid up they put you on to prodn people who keep stringing you on with vague, rude and delayed replies and months pass before you are able to know or give what they actually want from you. All kinds of time-wasting tactics go on which means while they are earning interest money you are losing yours. They care two hoots about the clients money or time or peace of mind. So actually they are earning money while stretching your release. Either they are extremely dumb or unprofessional or think they are doing you a favour or deliberate in stretching time.

Anonymous said...

It's been an ordeal.. But just to let you know that Partridge books are on Flipkart now.. My books have started selling again and a few friends have received them. But it's left a pretty bad taste in the mouth. And i am so wary. Too late and I don't feel like doing any more marketing for my book, I am a writer and not a salesperson unfortunately. Dev, is your book on flipkart?

Anonymous said...

Too bad! I bumped into this site too late. I've already published through Partridge and my book has completed the publication process recently. Ofcourse, it did come up on Amazon and Barnes & Noble but not on Flipkart yet. I'm waiting for the book to come up on Flipkart before I inform my friends and acquaintances.

Now that I've gone through these comments, I know that it takes a very long time. My experience has not been as bad as explained here, but not too great either. When I enquired abt the delay on Flipkart, they informed me that I should it give it a time of week or two. But looks like it will take a month atleast?

And that turn around time of 30 days for Flipkart sounds disastrous! Is this only with Partridge books? I ask this coz I had always used Amazon to purchase books and not Flipkart.

What I now don't get is, how could many books by Indian authors are available on Amazon for such low prices (say those of Sudha Narayanamurthy) when books by new authors are not feasible to be published at low prices? Is it a problem with Amazon or Partridge? Clearly Partridge is the culprit then!

Dr Ley said...

My dear friends and colleagues,
it truly is difficult to find a publisher that is not going to take you to the cleaners. Much of it is self protection and that is understandable. First time authors truly have the odds against them, but odds and chances are better calculated when gambling. Your written work is not a gamble, not to you the author. But a publisher usually sees things differently. I have no experience self-publishing, but much experience with publishers setting outrageous prices for producing and promoting a book. Some ask so much you would think the pages are permeated with platinum and the cover made from diamonds. Here is the end game for me, I publish when I want and have no sense of urgency. I am willing to wait years to find a publisher and the contract I can live with. Patience and persistence - seemingly opposites, are in fact two important traits of a writer. Don't get discouraged and don't rush into anything either. I literally match the publisher to the book. The genre does, therefore (to me) narrow the publishing field considerably. There is an old adage "American's buy what you tell them they want and crave what you tell them they need" That is not true anywhere else I have been including India. In fact it is common to find Free Books in many places there. That is a tough market in any country and indeed does cause an abundance of materials available to read. Remember though, few read the same book twice and if they do you are in... People have a funny way of deciding what they want and in most cases it is unpredictable. If partridge is for real, I just may give them a chance.

Santosh Mishra said...

Respected Ma'am

On 23.08.2014 , I visited the India's biggest "Book Fair " at Pragati -Maidan New Delhi which is being organized by the department of Govt. of India itself .It is regretted that my Book "DHARM KRANTI" Hindi edition published through Partridge was not even placed there .In such condition how can be expected that the general public can be able to know about it. Who is responsible for it ? if there is no provision by the publisher even to keep display of my book then I have no time to sell it from my end. Kindly tell me how the circulation of the books is being ensured at their level.

With regards.


Richa said...

Hi all,
I am glad this discussion is finally up! I had been in touch with Partridge for all the good reasons like the Penguin association, really sought out by the premium agency if on Partridge platform, ready agents to bring yr book out in the public fora etc etc.
Midway through the telephonic discussions I started getting strong feelers to get the highest package through for my ms but without any backing from them once it would be out. This coercing eventually made me back out and I am now scouting for a viable POD platform that would be based in India itself. Otherwise there's just the digital way to go and that's not a strong presence in India as yet.
Then I got an opportunity to meet up a representative of the Penguin publishing company in Delhi who was quite surprised to know the exorbitant rates being quoted by Partridge. So I have a feeling that Partridge is only making blatant use of Penguin's popularity and the publisher starved newbie writers are their easy preys(?)
Ultimately I believe we'll have to go looking for that traditional route to printing only!

Anonymous said...

I recently received a call from Patridge India and offers an opportunity to self publish. They sounded great and i was about to get in touch with them. But now, having gone through the discussion I restrain myself from Patridge. What do you think I should do?

Anonymous said...

I got a call from Pastridge today and while searching on..and on..I got this blog (I would say through God's grace!)But I am still confused. If they are helping in all these process to get it atleast well printed in our hand (like our baby!) then its also not wrong!
Second and most important thing I would like to ask that if we sign in with Partridge then it owns all exclusive rights of publishing? After being their victim we can't approach to other publisher with fresh proposal? Pls anyone do reply as after getting excited from their call now I am demoralized and depressed...

Victoria Strauss said...


You do grant Partridge exclusive publishing rights (so you can't publish with anyone else while your books is published with Partridge)--but you can cancel the contract at any time with 30 days' notice, and after that you're free to publish or self-publish elsewhere.

Be aware that unless sales are good (hundreds or thousands of copies sold), many publishers regard previously self-published books as "used goods" that have already proven they can't compete in the marketplace.

Hegs said...

This is hegs and I really thank this platform as now i am in a position to make an informed choice regarding self publishing. Partridge was offering me so many negotiable choices to get my hard worked out book published, but now as I read your experiences I will probably wait for a couple of months to find the right platform. I am interested in playing with biju's idea of creating a platform for virgin authors like us.
We can make it happen.
For pursuing it further mail at

Sreedevan C.G. said...

Attention my fellow writers, I have faced the double standards and deceptive practices of Partridge publishers. Not just the unfair pricing but they had also deliberately hidden the info of actual sales. I found out when the purchase of my book copies by my close relatives was not updated in the royalty statements even after my repeated mails.

Mamata said...

@Sreedevan, I second you! I have observed the same. The royalty data shared is not complete.

@All: What is the best way to proceed with this legally? Thanks!

Sreedevan C.G. said...

Dear Mamata I have terminated my publishing contract with Partridge. They are not publishing it anymore. You need to mail them regarding your decision and they will take the book out from the market.

holisticvibrations said...

I have published a book in partridge 45 days before and their service as said in the comments above is pathetic. i want to take my book from them, it is said here that I can do it with 30 days of notice. I like to know how it is done, i have send a email to customer care people but they are not responding me, so what is the way?

Mamata said...


I had that idea some time ago - to terminate the contract. But I don't want to implement it at the moment.

By 'legal route' what I mean is - is there a way to get (demand legally) Sales&Royalty data from them in a transparent manner and hence get the amount, I'm supposed to get, while I continue to keep the contract alive.

Terminating the contract with them and finding a new publisher for the same book sounds like a lot of work (not worth the efforts. I quite agree with what Victoria said in one of the comments above - "Be aware that unless sales are good (hundreds or thousands of copies sold), many publishers regard previously self-published books as "used goods" that have already proven they can't compete in the marketplace.")

Sreedevan C.G. said...

There are better and trustworthy Self Pub houses who haven't charged a dime for publishing. That leaves you with enough time and money to market your book. If you need details then you can e mail me.

Anonymous said...

Oh my God! I just paid my first installment today with Partridge Singapore. But i only stumbled across this website now. Is it already too late to ask for a refund? Im a first time author and the Patridge guy said Patridgre do better marketing than i do it alone. Is that true?

Funny that the Patridge never read my manuscript as he "believes" in my soon-to-be book. Is it too late to request a refund?

Victoria Strauss said...


I don't know if it's too late to request a refund, but you can certainly try. Another option, if you paid by credit card or Paypal, would be to dispute the charges--companies take disputes seriously, and will investigate. You can point to the many online complaints about Author Solutions as evidence.

Anonymous said...

Was having a tough time to outbeat the hard-selling "publishing consultant" for the refund. He said the refund will be less than 30 days MINUS the USD140 non-refundable administration fee. But i dont sign anything yet, so thats pretty much a rip off.

Lesson learnt for USD140 and hopefully they will refund the rest...

Will fill up a credit card dispute form in a couple of days with online complaints. Fingers crossed.

holisticvibrations said...

I have given money for shipping charges to get the author copy for my 3 books. but still their website shows that i have not placed the order which is now days. they are delaying it coz they can delay the contract ending and sell the books with resellers and give nothing to aauthor

I have more evidence to expose lies of partridge with screen shorts to make it clearly how they cheat people. but unfortunately this blog does not support using PIC.. so I think a FB page for exposing them is very much needed, so it can help other authors not to fall in their prey.

Anonymous said...

As the still-promising 28 Feb 14 had passed I checked my royalty account, but in my entire pocket there was only $10 something--after spending around $20,000 on this Partridge that keeps using Penguin's name like in a prayer and cheating people all around the world even though it means publishing some Arabic text and Han characters in their company's Holy Name. I have heard that they work in the Philippines, in a building "that hasn't have a proper janitor to clean things up." And there's "a weird smell there."

People who don't really like maniac managers (who while subtly grinning encourage them to lie to their customers) gave that company 1/5 stars for ethics on Linkedin and commented that "there's no proper training" and "...nothing else good but free food on Fridays." There's one who said those faraway Partridge workers in the Philippines don't work well with the ones in the U.S. And still, Partridge's sending loads of it's work force to the Philippines because it wants to cut down on rental expenditure. Cheapskate...

See Above: Company Ethics: 1/5 Stars.
This is what "Senior Marketing Consultants" do:
1.)As soon as Author A's co-existing confidence is hiked up after some over-the-phone rounds of flattering, Senior Marketing Consultant proposes a plan to let "industry professionals" review their work by charging around 270% of the original price.
2.)Then Senior Marketing Consultant says he has "just come out of a meeting" and that "Hollywood has just confirmed that it will have a first look on their work for screen adaptation." He tells Author A to "check out how professional Thruline Entertainment is" when Thruline doesn't care what self-published authors think about it.
3.)Tier 2 Senior Marketing Consultant [calls/emails/both] to present a "great opportunity" with "Urgent: Please Respond" in the subject line. This time it's about Author A and the world: Global Publicity Push.
4.)When nothing as promised comes into reality, Author A gets suspicious and when Senior Marketing Consultant calls again he tells him that. Senior Marketing Consultant tells Author A there was a book that had sold several million dollars years after publication. Author A [gives a lecturing/hangs up/yells obscenities].

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