This is an honest unpaid review of an uprising book publisher that caught my attention lately. Austin Macauley Publishers, a publishing company found in 2006 who has its offices in London, Cambridge, New York, Sharjah, and they are also opening another office in Sydney.
Why write about Austin Macaulay?
Before becoming a mom, I use to read a little more than I do know, and finishing one book per week during my commute times and bedtimes was the norm. I read all the time while on my maternity leave and finished two books a week. I promised myself once the baby is born I will buy him two books every month.
I failed so badly at that, my saving grace is the total of three illustrated children books I received at my baby shower (have written a review on all three). The friend that gifted those three books (I don’t know what were her merits though) picked two books from Austin Macauley Publisher and one from another publisher called Little Bee. Ok, So, it happened that I read a couple of self-help books and motivational books from this very publishing company named Austin Macaulay Publishers.
For this reason, the name stuck in mind, and when a friend asked for recommending a small publisher who will take her I thought of Austin Macauley Publishers automatically. They have some good illustrated children’s books and self-help books, don’t they? But before recommending it to her I decided to do my research, and that’s where things got interesting …
Austin Macauley Publishers Reviews Online
Although I have had some decent professionally edited books from Austin Macauley Publisher sitting on my bookshelf (and I am sure one is under my bed somewhere, and one I forgot at my doctor’s office – never got it back or finished it even), online reviews said otherwise. From (my own) reader’s perspective books were of good quality but online reviews from the author’s point of view were mixed.
While their own website and social media displayed happy authors, other places were even called scammers. However, I found it hard to believe that scammers could function under the same name for so long and still grow into a company functioning worldwide with head offices in four major countries. So I decided to dig even deeper.
Austin Macauley Publishers has a YouTube channel of their own but there are other mentions of them on Youtube. There is one previously published author (self-publish) C T Mitchell who said he has received a traditional contract from Austin Macauley Publishers (which by the way no scammer offers), and a copy of the contract earned him a membership in The Crime Writer’s Association. The guy was really excited about it. Another YouTube channel named book reviews and more shared author Tim Wotton was awarded the People’s Book award.
From what I researched AM Publishers are not traditional publishers per se. This means that they will not pay the author upfront for acquiring his book but they are not publishers either. Why they are not vanity Publishers? Because as their websites claim they do consider manuscripts submitted for offering a traditional contract.
As proof, I have come across at least a dozen authors who published with them with a traditional offer. However, many times most manuscripts are submitted by wanna-be authors who do not meet the cut. They do not refuse to publish them, they are willing to take the risk but not monetarily.
Instead, AM Publishers will offer, that you can fund your own publication under their name. They will help you promote the book post-publication. They organize meet and greet events at Barnes and Nobel and other promotional activities.
They are getting all the hate because they will give a chance to new authors that will be otherwise turned down by any big publishing house. Big-time authors are not comfortable with new authors getting support from a proper publisher, they would rather see these aspiring authors go from literary agent to literary agent and then finally give up.
In return AM publishers will get to publish more books, make some money and be more “heard of”. This is the reason company is growing quickly and opening new offices in big cities.
Publisher’s weekly mentioned them as one of the fastest-growing publishers in 2018 and often mention their books under the title of self-published, which is weird because AM publishers often claim they are different from vanity presses and are a hybrid publishing company.
AM Publishers prefer to refer to themselves as Hybrid publishers as they offer both traditional publication and something similar to self-publication.
Final Word for Austin Macauley Publishers
So I decided to tell my friend to send her manuscript to Austin Macauley Publishers, with the worst-case scenario, they will try to trick her into paying them some crazy amount which she can decline and move on to other publishers on her list. She did and surprise! surprise! She got an answer from them in two weeks.
They suggested a few changes to the plotline and agreed to offer her a traditional contract only if she agreed to the suggested changes. Although she was actually offered a traditional contract, the amount they were offering was not enough as suggested by some authors on YouTube and my dear friend was not ready to make the changes suggested. Although it was totally her choice to make, (she declined their offer and moved on to self-publishing her books) but if I were here I would have taken the offer as a first-time author.