FEBRUARY 16, 2008 UPDATE
Dear Airleaf Victims and Friends,
I would like to welcome our new members. As of today, we have 405 members of our Airleaf Victims group.
I would like to thank those of you who took the time to complete the survey from last week and sent me either via email or regular mail the information. This information is vital to our case to help in proving the fraudulence in Airleaf. I believe that when we have all of the information compiled together, we will be able to show that this was the greatest case of predatory publishing in the history of the country. To date, 63 of you have completed the information and sent it to me. If you need assistance in filling out the form, or if you would like me to send you the form as an email if you aren't able to print it out or download the form, please let me know.
We have been conducting our campaign since August 2007. Although it has been six months, and we feel the frustration of not having concrete results from the government authorities, I believe that this case will have some results by the spring. It is essential for us as a group not to get discouraged but to remain vigilant until we accomplish our goals of restitution and retribution. The work we are doing is not only for ourselves, but also for thousands of other authors who will also fall victim to dishonest publishing companies which have no problem stealing the dreams and money away from trusting and unsuspecting people. I believe that this will become a landmark case in the world of publishing and send a message loud and clear to others who are making their dishonest living off the hard work of good and honest authors.
This week, I am asking you to assist me in putting pressure on the U.S. Attorney's office in Indiana. This is the federal agency that has the power to move this case along. This is NOT the Attorney General's office that most of you have contacted for the civil suit, but rather the office in charge of bringing federal charges against Airleaf in conjunction with the FBI and Postal Authorities. I am feeling a sense of frustration because I have left four messages in two week with that agency and have not received a call back since my initial conversation with them last month. The email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org . You can cut and paste that address into an email or just click into the link. The Indiana U.S. Attorney's name is Timothy M. Morrison. Please tell Mr. Morrison that you are a member of the Airleaf Victim's group and that you have been defrauded out of money and services by this company. You can mention anything you like about your personal experience, and ask him when you can expect his office to take the necessary action to bring justice to our case. There is power in numbers, and if Mr. Morrison receives several hundred emails on Tuesday morning when he returns to work, I am hoping he'll realize how serious this case is. Please send me a note after you do this so I can track how many of you sent this note. It's not a form—just a note, so it should only take a few minutes.
One of our group members spoke with a former Airleaf employee last week who was closely involved in Airleaf until the near end and now has set up in his own publishing business. He told our member that Carl Lau is moving ahead with his new company Novels to Films. I assured this member that the only film that Carl Lau will be working on is "Escape from Alcatraz, Part 2," an autobiographical movie.
Carl Lau's dream of becoming a movie mogul has as much chance as your book becoming a major motion film hit. Ex-employees have told me that he paid money to both Cinemagic (the company that came from Japan and magically went back to Japan with your money but no movies) and LiteStone Entertainment (Al Smith and Lawrence Dixon, which has zero movies to their credit except the trailer for Jessie's Girl) in hopes of being part of the film industry. We all know the story of that fraudulence that I exposed last November. And yet, our member Debbie Stiles received this email from Carl Lau on December 17, 2007, two days before Airleaf shut down:
Hi Ms. Stiles
I’m sure that you have heard many things, however if you read between the lines you can see that Brien Jones and Bonnie Kaye are out to put me out of business and or destroy me personally which is something that they have done very well. It took me 55 years to establish my person and 10 months to destroy everything I worked for.
However the movie deal is real and I am meeting with the money people right after the first of the year in Hollywood. I will know more of the time frames and details at that time.
I will refund the monies as I can, right now money is very tight and I’m trying to get as many books done as I can, so we can more on to 2008 and I label the yeart the movie year. I will make it up to you somehow for being patient.
Thanks so much for your business
I left this letter un-edited so you can once again see the literary literacy skills of Carl Lau. Once his ghostwriting staff was gone, and he was on his own to correspond with customers, we had the opportunity to see the lack of literacy skills of the man at the top of the company ladder. Unreal! Prior to working for Author House in their sales department before getting fired, Carl Lau was a car salesman for 15 years--and it shows.
While on the subject of Carl and Hollywood, this was on a post of Writer's Weekly back in May 2007:
Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2007 9:37 AM
Subject: RE: Compalaint About Airleaf
We have told you in the past that your books are at the printers and when I called them yesterday and told them to hurry on your books, they sent me a report that shows that you are 8th on the list. I asked them to please make your book a priority and get it out this week.
I´m sorry that you had to wait however I want t make it up to you; because we are having such great success in Hollywood I will more than happy to take it there for free and present it at the pitchfest in July.
I have been very busy and I thought that others were handling your problem which I see wasn´t the case and just copying me on the emails.
President, Airleaf LLC
The highlighted red is mine; the mistakes are Carl's. Of course, he was having such great success in Hollywood even back then and of course, very busy. Priceless!
I would like to spend a few moments discussing book promotions and the reality of investing money in this. The majority of our victims paid large sums of money for a variety of different promotions including book reviews, advertisements in newspapers, press releases, vanity radio programs, website positions, letters sent to book stores. I cringe every time I look at the money that was spent for these campaigns.
The point I'd like to make is that even if all of these campaigns were actually fulfilled, please keep in mind the money you are spending vs. the money that will be returned to you. After all of the upfront costs that most of us don't realize which include the printing and the standard 55% discount on book sites such as Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com, you are realistically looking at $2.50 – $3.50 per book. In many cases, you are receiving less than that. If you invest $1,000.00 for promotion, you will have to sell at least 300 – 500 books to recoup that investment. A number of you invested thousands of dollars, meaning you would have to sell thousands of books to recoup your loss not including the price of upfront publishing.
This is why it is so important to be realistic about what your goals are and how they can be accomplished. It is virtually impossible to have a hit seller when your book is Print-On-Demand or a book published by a vanity publisher. I know that we all see advertisements for "Chicken Soup for the Soul" and how that book started out as self-published and became a huge financial success. But how many other self-published books can boast about the same experience? Ummm…I don't know of any others. And even if there are, it's such a slim and remote possibility. Miracles do happen, but very rarely in the POD publishing business.
I am sending you some links on how to do your own marketing and publicity from several websites where I have found some good, solid tips that you can do yourself with little or no expense. Don't feel compelled to buy any books or services from these sites since there are lots of free tips.
LINKS FOR MARKETING:
BOOK MARKETING / BOOK PUBLICITY / BOOK SALES
Free Book Marketing Ideas by Christine Hohlbaum: The Sideroad
Another inexpensive way of marketing your book is through sponsored ads on Goggle through Google Adwords. I use this form of advertising for Airleaf Victims as well as my own personal books. It has been relatively successful for me with a minimal investment. If you would like more information about this or need help in getting started, feel free to write to me, and I'll call you to walk you through the process.
LINK FOR GOOGLE ADWORDS:
Welcome to AdWords
I found a site that lists book publicists. I can't recommend any of them since I have no knowledge of any of them. But you may want to contact a few to see what they can do for you. So let's learn our lesson from Airleaf, so we don't repeat our past mistakes. If you contact a book publicist, make sure to ask the important questions. This would include asking what books they have marketed successfully, asking what their methods are for marketing books, (if it's just sending out press releases to a database, you can do that yourself with the same results for much less money), what are the press contacts that they have, and absolutely ask for references that you can call of authors who have been successful. Ask to see articles where these books have appeared and a list of radio and television shows where their authors have appeared. Think of a list of questions before you call, and if you need any help or want to run it by me first, please do. PLEASE DON'T SIGN INTO ANY AGREEMENT UNTIL YOU CHECK IT OUT. I'm happy to review any agreement before you sign so I can look for holes or other questions you need to ask.
LINK FOR PUBLICISTS:
Book Publicity Services
Please check out our Airleaf Victims blog to see some of our authors' book now displayed. If you have a book that is being sold on Amazon, I will be happy to list your book upon request.
LINK FOR THE AIRLEAF VICTIMS BLOG:
That's the news for this week. Please feel free to send me any comments or questions at Bonkaye@aol.com.
With love and hope,