Saturday, August 25, 2007

Where is our royalties? We paid to be published authors

My name is Bonnie Kaye. I am the organizer of a group of authors who are victims of a publishing scam through Airleaf Publishing (formerly Bookman Publishing) owned by Carl Lau. We are seeking other victims who have been robbed of their dreams through investments of money and time.

As of October 2007, we have over 90 authors in our group who have been defrauded by Airleaf Publishing for nearly $1,000,000.00. We are taking aggressive action with the Martinsville, Indiana police and the Indiana Attorney General's office to bring criminal action against Airleaf. We have made great strides in our efforts which will hopefully find us the justice we are seeking. If you are an author victim, we welcome you to join our group in hopes of retrieving any lost money, putting the company out of business permanently, and pressing criminal charges against the guilty parties.

Here is some background about me. I am a professional relationship counselor in a niche market of straight/gay marriages which affects 4 million women in this country. Since 1984, I have worked with over 30,000 women who unknowingly married gay/bi men and over 2,000 gay men who need support to come out to their wives.

My website can be found at http://www.gayhusbands.com/. I constantly receive international publicity because of my expertise in this field. I serve as a consultant for the top television shows including Oprah, Montel, and Tyra Banks. You can see my website listed on their resource boards. I have also published 3 books other than the one with Airleaf Publishing about this topic—one through the traditional method and two others through POD.

In the summer of 2006, I researched a number of print-on-demand publishers because I had a new book I wanted to reach the public by September 2006. The book “Straight Wives: Shattered Lives” is a compilation of 27 stories from women in my international support group. Airleaf promised me that if I paid a hefty fee of $1,850.00, my book would be out on time. They were true to their word. I personally had no issue with that. In fact, I was on an Airleaf high because of the wonderful service provided to me.

My book came out the same week that former Governor James McGreevey’s book “The Confession” was released. I launched my own media campaign, and I was interviewed Paula Zahn on CNN and the national FOX news. Sales were booming. Airleaf kept telling me that I was their most successful author.

I was feeling so good about Airleaf at that point of time that I volunteered to talk to prospective authors who were on the fence. I now live with the guilt of convincing them to follow me down the road of doom.

Although I had a signed contract to receive quarterly statements and royalties, I only saw one check for $300.00 after six months. Nine months later, my attorney sent a letter threatening legal action with no response. Zippo. Nada. Nothing. Then I sent a letter to the owner, Carl Lau, that if I do not get satisfaction I will take my own action, and I am doing exactly that because there was no reply. It was only after I launched a criminal complaint with the Martinsville, Indiana police department that I received a second check which is still far from the money I am owed. I realized that there are many more like me who published with Airleaf and I started to seek them out.

I am gathering Airleaf authors together to join me in taking criminal action against a company founded on fraud. We now have 70 Airleaf authors with horror stories from people who have been defrauded from $99.00 to nearly $20,000.00 and who are joining me to fight back so we don’t have to be victims anymore.

I developed this website for two reasons:

(1) to warn unsuspecting, hard working authors not to throw your money away on promises that won’t come true. Airleaf makes some wonderful promises but they fail to keep them;
(2) to help other Airleaf authors who are looking for justice.

Please write to me at Bonkaye@aol.com for more information or to join this cause. It will not cost you ONE PENNY!

11 comments:

Airleaf Victims Fightback said...

Welcome to Airleaf Victim's Blog Page. This is a place where authors who have been burned by Airleaf Publishing can tell their stories of horror.
My name is Bonnie Kaye. I am the author of a book through Airleaf Publishing named "Straight Wives: Shattered Lives." The book was released last September 2006. To date, it has sold over 1,000 copies. I am a counseling specialist in the field of straight/gay marriages, and I have worked with over 30,000 women in this situation since 1984. My website can be viewed at www.Gayhusbands.com. I arrange all my own publicity, and I was able to appear on CNN's Paula Zahn with the book as well as FOX National News. That's why the book was selling.
Airleaf has violated a number of items on my contract. The worst part is that they have refused to pay me more than one check for $300.00 back in January which represented my sales for the month of September 2006 ONLY. They refuse to respond to their broken promises to pay me the money I have earned through my royalties since that time. They were happy enough to take over $2,200.00 from me very quickly. Sadly, the owner of the company, Carl Lau, refuses to respond to any of my emails, threats, or legal letters sent by my attorney.
I know as a fact that there are other unhappy authors who have been robbed by Airleaf as well. I have started to compile a large list from other authors whom I have contacted who have horror stories to tell. I would like to know if you'd be interested in joining me to pursue a group action to stop this horrific action on Airleaf's part. Every time I receive an email from Airleaf advertising their cruises and Hollywood trips, I become ill knowing they are laughing at us, their authors, as they vacation on our money.
If you would like to join my effort to stop Airleaf from robbing innocent people--like many of you--please let me know. I am happy to volunteer my time to organize this worthy cause. Maybe Carl is not afraid of the the solo voices, but together, we can deliver a very loud, clear message that will stop other innocent people from the tragedy that many of us are going through.
My actions that are planned are not going to cost anyone one penny, so I am not asking you for money. I am pursuing criminal action and national publicity.
Whether you have lost a little or a lot of money, you have lost--and that is the issue. If you would like more information, please contact me.
Sincerely,
Bonnie Kaye, M.Ed.
www.AirleafVictims.com
Bonkaye@aol.com

Dennis J. Schleicher said...

Hi Bonnie,
I'm so glad I didn't become a victim of Airleaf Publishing like you did. After I published my book "Forbidden Love With A Married Man: Email Diaries" last spring, I was tempted to change over to Airleaf because of all of the promises they made to me. They really tried to get me to join their company for a "small" fee of over $1,200.00. That included a national publicity blitz to the talk shows where they allegedly had ins with producers and talk radio shows around the nation. You were so enthusiastic about them that I was ready to invest. I decided, however, to wait and see how your national publicity blitz for your third book "ManReaders: A Woman's Guide To Dysfunctional Men" went over first. After you paid them money for this campaign, you were so excited about the prospect of that book finally getting the national recognition it deserved. When nothing happened day after day, I remember how discouraged you were. After all, your own press releases at least yielded some local news and national newspaper stories. You really believed that Airleaf had all of the connections you were hoping for. It's ironic that you seem to have far more connections than they could ever have. I'm so glad I didn't give them my money.
I am sorry about you and all of the other victims of Airleaf, and I will do everything possible to help you. I am an active member of CAPA, The Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. I have sent this information to their monthly magazine called "The Authority" to alert all future authors about the dangers of Airleaf. I will also mention it in my upcoming column. I sent out a mass mailing to the CAPA officials so they can start alerting members now.
Airleaf authors--unite and fight! Authors should never have to be victims of scams.
Best regards,
Dennis J. Schleicher, Author
www.HonestOpinion.US

miller said...

What would we have done without Bonnie Kaye? We are all saying that but from now on be behind her and beside her in this case which may be a watershed for all shady publishing companies. You, like me, have spent months producing work worth of public acclaim. We need to find sources to promote our work. So far so good an that's why we agree to pay money up. But where does it go when the sales come in. Authors have a right to have royalties in an age when even a book can be downloaded free. Buy a real; book, the pleasure of holding a work of art is our livelihood. That is why any suspect dealings in the publishing world must be confronted. That's what Bonnie is doing. I am very glad to be suppporting her from Dumfries, South West Scotland.

Floriana Hall said...

I thought Airleaf would help me, at almost 80 years old, to sell my nine inspirational wholesome books, so I invested about $1,000 total last year in Airleaf for promoting them. Most of the time I did not even receive the pitch they said they would send to me. I suspected that they did not read my book and found out later that was the case.
After I paid for a magazine ad, I was told that they sold about ten of my books, DADDY WAS A BAD BOY, but they told me later when I asked for the royalties that none had sold. So someone lied to me.
Later on, I found out directly from someone who left AIRLEAF because of their unfair tactics that they do NOT read the books sent by authors.
It is a shame that authors do not receive their due. Where are ethics in this day and age?
Floriana Hall

Doug said...

Here's a letter I sent to Airleaf (formally Bookman) back in December 2006. Their response: I received a check for $0.73 and got absolutely no response to the progress of their marketing campaigns for which I have paid their service. Thank you Bonnie!

December 26, 2006

Brien Jones, Author Consultant
Airleaf Publishing
35 Industrial Drive, Suite 104
Martinsville, IN 46151

RE:1. With Healing in His Wings ISBN 1-59453-944-8
2. Client Service Agreement executed May 27, 2005 for Maximum Impact Bookselling Package Services
3. Book Introduction to 5000 Book Club Members agreement December 12, 2005
4. Agreement to Manufacture Author’s Book executed August 31, 2005 including an Agreement to restart Maximum Impact Bookselling Package Services after Airleaf manufacture of Author’s book

Brien:

I am writing you to express my concern that Airleaf publishing has not kept up with certain portions our Client Service Agreement for the Maximum Impact Bookselling Package Services.

After my book, With Healing in His Wings, was manufactured by Airleaf in May 2006, the only communication and feedback from Airleaf has been with Denise Honaker in regard to book signings. Our contract calls for much more than that.

BOOKMAN [AIRLEAF] will personally contact a total of 10,000 bookstore owners by telephone calling and try to sell the AUTHOR’s book and/or set up book signings. Book signing offers will be in the geographic area defined by the AUTHOR. Each telephone call will market the AUTHOR’s book exclusively with no other books mentioned. The results of telephone campaign will be reported to the AUTHOR monthly.

I have received no reports of the progress in personally contacting a total of 10,000 bookstore owners as detailed above since my book was manufactured in May 2006.

BOOKMAN’s [AIRLEAF’S] six (6) independent outside sales representatives across the United States will personally take the AUTHOR’s book from store to store. The results of the personal store visit campaign will be reported to the AUTHOR monthly.

I have received no reports of the progress with your independent outside sales representatives taking my book from store to store.

BOOKMAN [AIRLEAF] will remit monies and a quarterly report of sales to AUTHOR.

Two (2) quarters have passed since my book has been published with Airleaf and I have received no quarterly reports or remission of monies.

In addition, I have received no reports on the progress of introducing my book to 5000 Book Club Members.

Brien, what is going on there with my book promotion? I will expect your reporting to be in accordance with our Contract and Agreements.

Very truly yours
WITH HEALING IN HIS WINGS

[dhp]

Cliff Crow said...

In 2002 I had my book "AFTER THE DIET'S OVER" published by a "POD" publisher. After writing just under 100 personalized letters, paying for several newspaper ads, some of their programs, and paying entirely too much for 500 of my own books for book signings, I learned that I was on a dead end street. No book store chain, or stores large enough to sell the book could stock, sell, or have book signings for a "POD" book. My efforts died, and I was now down about $8,000.
Needless to say, I was excited when, out of the blue, I was contacted by Airleaf. Everyone I talked to promised me that they were different. They sure were!, now it appears I am down another $3,500 or so. Being on a fixed retirement income makes these losses even more difficult to take.
1. I signed up for and paid $900 for 3 of their programs. The first was to contact 10,000 stores, the second was contacting several hundred of their contacts - radio an TV people and more. The third was to contact 5,0000 book club members. Any contacts made were to be passed on to me. NOTHING HAPPENED!
I suspected that nothing had been done, and voiced a formal complaint with my customer rep just recently. Our email conversations suggest that they went through the motions again. So far, after over 15,400 contacts, not one reply! Possible, but not very probable?
2. I paid $600 to be part on a TV ad promotion. The way the promotion material was presented, it seemed that I was to have the cover of my book displayed on the screen, and a voice giving a synopsis about my book. It was to be 30 seconds long. I was not sent the DVD I was to get, probably because the first 15-16 seconds was an ad for Airleaf, then my book was given 7-8 seconds, and a second book the rest of the time. I asked for a partial refund about 5 weeks ago. No response.
3. I was talked into visiting Indianapolis to give book signings. My trip was to be for 11 days, and I was insured that I would have 2 per day or about 22 signings. 6 or 7 were set up. Most were tiny stores. The trip cost me over $1,000. Although I made the trip work, what they set up sold me less than 10 books.
3. I already had almost 500 books. The ground rules were that I was to get every dollar of the money coming in from the sales. Then they sent me their policy (a couple months ago) and stated different groundrules. The cost of printing the book was to first me deducted even though they did not print it. I questioned this about 5 weeks ago. No response.
4. What they agreed to pay seems to matter little. I was told it could take a bit more than 6 months to get my money due to possible returns. The first 120 books were purchased from Airleaf in September, 2006. I asked about the money in that seme memo 5 weeks ago. You guessed it! No response. As many of us have learned, if you ask for or request information that does not please them, they just do not respond. Maybe Bonnies lawyer can get us some answers.

fred said...

Greetings,
my name is Frederick MartinDelCampo,
I am the author of several books, and had my last work, CHRONICLES OF WAR AND A WANDERER, published by AirLeaf, and another, BOUND FOR THE PROMISED LAND--THE SENTIMENTS OF A WOMAN, marketed by them. Consequently, I was thoroughly lied to and cheated by them--robbed of about $10,000. TO DATE, I HAVE RECEIVED NOT A DIME---NOT A GOD DAMNED DIME FROM THEM--NOT A SINGLE SALE!
WAS I SCREWED, OR WHAT?? AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED, MUCH AS I EMPATHIZE WITH INDIVIDUAL CASES AND AM FORGIVING, I MUST HOLD EVERYONE AT AIRLEAF RESPONSIBLE---THEY WERE ALL A PARTY TO THIS SCAM!

Here are the answers to my situation as posited by Bonnie in her inquiry:

1. Did you invest in getting your book published? yes

2. Did you invest in getting your book publicized after having it printed elsewhere? YES

3. Did you ever receive any kind of notices for sales statements or royalties? NO
4. Did you have any kind of contract? YES -THOUGH NOT THAT I CAN REMEMBER WHAT I DID WITH IT. I THINK I TOSSED IT OUT IN ANGER AND DISGUST, CONVINCED I WOULD NEVER SEE THE DAY OF JUSTICE. WITH A SMOOTH OPERATOR LIKE BRIEN JONES (AND HE CALLS ME "NOT A GOOD GUY" FOR TRYING TO SEEK JUSTICE) I TRUSTED HIS WORD IMPLICITLY.
If so, was anything in there violated? For instance, my contract states that my book will be in 15 stores. It never happened. YES, YES, AND YES, INCLUDING THE PART ABOUT BEING STOCKED IN 15 STORES---NOTHING OF WHAT WAS PROMISED WAS DELIVERED, EXCEPT OF THE 50 COPIES OF THE FIRST EDITION.

5. Some of you said that you paid for having your book in the Kirkus reviews. Did you ever see any proof that your book was advertised there? NO, NO, AND NO!

Incidentally, some of you paid $699.00 for a review that cost $250.00 to get printed.
BESIDES THE MONEY I PAID TO HAVE MY LATEST MANUSCRIPT PUBLISHED, ABOUT $3000, I INVESTED $7500 ON A SO-CALLED "BEST SELLER" CAMPAIGN TO HAVE MY A PREVIOUS BOOK BY ANOTHER PUBLISHER MARKETED , INCLUDING THE HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD THING. I'M TELLING YOU THEY (CARL LAU IN PARTICULAR) ROBBED ME BLIND, AND USED EMPLOYEE DUPES, LIKE KRSTAL HATFIELD OR BRIEN JONES, TO DO THE ROBBING FOR HIM.

6. Hooray for Hollywood. So many of you paid to have your book reviewed by Hollywood producers. Did any of you ever hear from anyone connected with Hollywood productions?
NO AND HELL NO. I TOLD EVERYONE I KNEW ABOUT IT, AND THEY ARE LAUGHING AT ME, "THROWING STONES" AS IT WERE, FURTHER DENIGRATING MY EXISTENCE, AND NOW SOMEONE LIKE BRIEN JONES CALLS ME "NOT A GOOD GUY" FOR BEING RIGHTEOUSLY ANGRY AT THEM FOR DESTROYING MY FUCKING LIFE!

Respectfully yours,
Fred MC

fred said...

fRIENDS,
This is typical of my relationship with AIrleaf. The reply below was sent to Bonnie Kaye by Brien Jones, and then he wonders why I'm so angry and using emails to get my point across: that I was screwed over bad and will probably never get remunerated for all OF my anguish and struggle, never mind the cash expended. IN the email below he says he dislikes me and I'm not a good guy. He writes I made up emails.
EVERYTHING I SENT AIRLEAF WERE COPIES OF EMAILS I'D RECEIVED FROM HIS FELLOW EMPLOYEES AND FROM HIM----NOTHING I SENT WERE "MADE UP"!

So be it. The minute he and Carl Lau decided it was in line with their individual conscience to screw me (or any one of us for that matter), it was evident that they thought very poorly of us.
SInce the moment I sent them my cheques for thousands of dollars, in their minds, I'm sure, I was "not a good guy," and was worthy of their contempt---as we all were.

[from BRIEN JONES TO BONNIE KAYE]
"We have his book in production. I don't like this guy though. He's
using
me against Airleaf and Airleaf against me to his advantage. He's also
making up emails I never wrote and forwarding them.

This is not a good guy."


AND THAT IS THE TRUTH, MAY GOD STRIKE ME DOWN IF I'VE INVENTED ANYTHING TO "MY ADVANTAGE."
In any case, whose advantage would I be struggling for after all I've (we've) lost because of their dishonest shenanigans???

Lorenne Tippin said...

I am just another victim of Airleaf. They have done nothing with my book. I gave them $3405.00 in July of 2006 to republish and promote my book "From Grit to Grace" They have taken my money but have done nothing with my book. I have given the company two copies of my book which was originally published by another publisher. When Airleaf wanted to republish it and give it a broader audience I was led to believe that they would arrange book signings as well as a number of other promotional activities. I have cooperated with Airleaf when they sent me new galleys to proof and returned them promptly. Nothing happened. When I realized that nothing was happening I called in again and was told that my book was being handled by someone different and that I would need to proof the galleys again. This has happened three or four times. Each time I have been told that the book has been assigned to a different person. Airleaf has had my money for over a year but they have done nothing they said they would do for me with it. "From Grit to Grace" has sold hundreds, perhaps close to a thousand, copies from friend to friend or by word of mouth. Many people who have read it have bought a number of extra copies to use as gifts for people who are struggling with difficult life situations. I have had a very successful book signing event with a local bookstore and have been invited to speak at a number of different clubs and groups. The feedback that I receive from readers is that the book has been extremely helpful to them. All of this has beed accomplished by way of the expert job done by the original publisher. but Airleaf led me to believe that they could publish it for less cost to buyer and would promote it to bookstores in a number of cities.
Now to the most recent nightmare and apparent hoax:
Early in 2007 Airleaf sent a flyer regarding a Cruise for authors. I signed up for it in February of 2007, and included my husband and daughter. Airleaf sent no response to this and gave me little to no information when I made inquiries except that I should go ahead and purchase airline tickets to Orlando Florida. Six days before the cruise was to set sail I found out, after forcing the issue, that it was not going to happen. . .not enough people to sign up they said. The deadline to sign up was to have been April 10 but I was not told that there was no cruise until Seprember 21 of '07 -only six days before the cruise was to leave. Now I await reimbursement of the $2985 paid for three of us to go on the cruise and I am out $845 for nonrefundable plane tickets which I believe should be reimbursed to me by Airleaf - after all, they told me to go ahead and purchase the tickets to go from my home to Orlando.

ErvHarmon said...

I used Bookman now Airleaf and found them to be worse than bad and I would not recommend them to my worst enemy (If I had one).

About a year after my friend C. Gale Perkins had published her book with another publisher I talked her into doing a revision
and that I would pay for the revision and work with Bookman Publishing,now Airleaf Publishing for her until the revision was done and the revision was published. C. Gale Perkins felt she needed more promotion of her book so I talked her into doing a revision of her book with Bookman Publishing as they said they would do a great job promoting and selling the book. They said they would do a good job promoting it and like an idiot I believed them. On the book I had them promote and then do a revision on Titled "The Baby's Cross" they did absolutely nothing except double talk. I found them to have no promotion abilities but by the time I realized it they had my money. C. Gale Perkins only received about $8.80 royalties from publishing with them and that was from two books I bought from them. and to get the $8.80 royalties it took nearly a year and I had to bug them and bug them some more. They seemed to be good at first and then when problems showed up, and I guarantee problems will show up, they start double talking and then ignoring me and then if/when I kept confronting them they would talk down to me and become insulting. I have dealt with most of the people that I have seen mentioned on Writers Weekly that work at Bookman/Airleaf Publishing. Brien Jones is the person I dealt with the most.

The Author was to receive a royalty of a little over $4.00 a book and when she did finally get a royalty payment it ended up being 73 cents per book.

The initial contract the author signed was never signed by Bookman Publishing and the author never received a copy of the contract signed by Bookman even after telling Brien Jones that I wanted to have them send a signed copy of the contract back to the author several times.

I saw a few complaints about them when I first started with them but for some reason I went with them anyway and later realized I should have paid attention to previous complaints about them. I do hate to see them continue to rip people off and get by with it.

Here is some links where people complain about them
http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?p=42494

http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?t=922

http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?t=4145

http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?t=3865

http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?t=3827

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=964

Below is a link that will take you to C. Gale Perkins web-site
http://ervharmon.com/thebabyscrossbycgaleperkins/

I have told Bookman to quit having anything to do with the book any longer such as promote , advertise, sell and etc. They are still advertising it. I have no idea if they are selling any but the book did not come out good as far as the photo's in the book and I was unable to get them to change it. The revision came out in May of 2004 and around June of 2005 I told them to not have anything more to do with the book. Possibly now the info I have in the authors web-site will have more meaning to you.

Here is a link that goes to FetchBook.Info where Airleaf is still advertising the book.
http://www.fetchbook.info/compare.do?search=1594532079&searchBy=ISBN&Submit=Search

I have exhausted all of my efforts to deal with Bookman/Airleaf Publishing.
I urge people to not go with Bookman/Airleaf. I feel they deserve more than Bookman/Airleaf gave me or rather the author I was trying to help.

Ervin E. Harmon

Anonymous said...

Bonnie always seems to be at the head of the victim parade. She loves soaking up the attention of being the champion for all the wounded birds. But, like all the times before, Bonnie seems to move on and up and leaves the rest licking their wounds. Do you really think she's getting nothing out of all of this? She's investing this much time and enery for YEARS with no return for her? You folks were gullible when you ave Airleaf your money, you shouldn't be surprised she duped you too. Cha ching.