Saturday, June 14, 2008



Dear Airleaf Victims and Friends,

This will be a short but important update. Last Saturday, Indiana was hit by some of the most horrific storms in its history. One of the towns ravaged by the flooding was Martinsville. More specifically, the Airleaf building was totally flooded out. Every remaining book stored there was destroyed as well as all other files including disks and other items you may have sent there. The building itself was under at least four to five feet of water throughout the facility.

The Airleaf flood will bring many new questions to light. Did Carl Lau have flood insurance? If he did, will he be reimbursed for all of the tens of thousands of books that were there? If he didn't, will this force him into greater financial stress pushing him into bankruptcy? We don't have the answers to those questions, but I hope to find them out as the weeks progress.

A number of our victims were fortunate to recover their property over the past six months thanks to Bob Denton, now owner of Mountain Valley Publishing Company. I asked Bob if he would be willing to help our authors get back their books and materials stored in the building, and he was extremely responsive. I have received dozens of letters from you, our victims, about Bob's helpfulness and courteousness in helping you with this task without charging any money for his own time—only for the cost of postage.

Although I was not very nice about Bob in my early updates because of Airleaf and his connection there until nearly the end, I do believe that he truly feels very bad for all of the authors who were fraudulently taken by Airleaf and has tried to make up for that. I have heard very positive feedback from some of our victims who republished with Bob concerning his timeliness, excellent customer service, and professionalism in getting a job done and their books into print.

But most importantly, we owe Bob thanks because he worked tirelessly in filling those requests from numerous victims who asked for his help in retrieving materials back from Airleaf. He tried to get to everyone who came to him, and he did get many of you back your valuable belongings. For the others who were not as fortunate, whatever was at Airleaf is now gone.

As you all know by now, I'm the first to pull a punch where it needs to be pulled. If someone is taking advantage of our authors like I reported about Brien Jones of Jones Harvest was last week, I will do everything to expose it to you.

And talking about Jones Harvest, in this week's Writer's Beware, my predatory publishing guru, Victoria Strauss, followed up on my Jones Harvest expose from last week in her own column and added some additional information that you may like to read. Here is the link to Victoria's column.


Writer Beware Blogs!

Thank you, Victoria, for working endlessly to expose the predatory leeches in our midst. You and Anne Crispin make this a safer world for unsuspecting authors.

I'd like to also mention that Fideli Publishing Company, owned by Robin Surface and staffed by ex-Airleaf employees (who left there due to the fraudulence), was also destroyed in the flood. Robin and her staff have worked diligently with some Airleaf victims to put their books into print and to return books that were left at Airleaf. They are now trying to put life back together for the company. We wish Fideli good luck in getting restarted.

On a positive note, our authors' co-op is moving along nicely. If you have signed up to be part of this new, exciting venture, you will be hearing from me this week as we finalize our plans to get started. If you did not notify me yet and would like to be part of our group, Authors New Start, there is still time. Just email me at We have nearly 50 people which was my start-up goal. The group will be limited to 100 members.

That's the news for this week.

With love and hope,