Since I do not intend to go back to the site in question I cannot tell you exactly where to find the inference that authors may not receive their royalties. However, I am not imagining that the inferrence was made. I read everything on the site ... it is there.
Also, I have never referred anyone to 1stBooks/Author House to have their books published. The reason I will not now, or ever, do so is because of the payment for referrals. I find that very sleasy ... one of the things I don't like about the company.
As far as there being more satisfied than dissatisfied customers, I don't feel there is any need to look for concrete statistics. One only has to look at the hundreds of repeat customers at 1stBooks to make that determination. Disgruntled people are very vocal about their dissatisfaction, while people who have had a good experience generally say nothing until a disgruntled person brings up the topic.
I will probably not use 1stBooks services for my next novel because I have learned that there are several other options that would be much better. However, I do not feel in any way defrauded, misled, or taken advantage of by the company. I have no idea why some people have had a very bad experience, I can only state that I have not.
Carol Kern - Author of "All Kinds of Heroes" - a tale of life, love and survival following a devastating act of cyber-terrorism that shuts down all electrical and communication systems across North America in the dead of winter.