AIRLEAF VICTIMS UPDATE AUGUST 23, 2008
Dear Authors and Friends,
I wanted to send you an update to let you know that I am still diligently working on our case. I am in touch with the Attorney General’s office through our representative Tom Irons. The case against Airleaf was filed in civil court several months ago when I wrote to you about the judgment. This is still in the early phases of being resolved. Most likely, Carl Lau will be declaring bankruptcy; however—we do have a chance that this will NOT happen based on some information I obtained this week.
On the website Go Big Network, a website that tries to hook people up with investors, I found this advertisement:
Company: 2nd Century Films
Location: Greenwood, IN (USA)
My Focus: Startup;
Startup Company Profile
Startup Name 2nd Century Films
Location Greenwood, IN (United States)
Year Founded 2008
Legal Status Unspecified
Business Stage Unspecified
Number of Employees Unspecified
Company Description A startup company with lots of projects to put into movies, Hollywood likes the screenplays and we have the right actors and directors to produce. Great investment for the long term or short term investor.
It also said Carl is looking for:
I found this very amusing. One million dollars to start his own film company—amazing! Well, I can always hope that he’s planning to use that money to pay for the judgment against him by the Attorney General’s office.
It seems that Carl Lau has no shame. After scamming hundreds of us, he’s looking to find new victims. I was happy to forward this information to the authorities who are investigating our case. I wanted them to know that sleeping dogs don’t seem to lie—or rather—lay still for very long.
I am staying in touch with the United States Attorney’s office in Indiana, as well as the FBI to keep pushing them for help. As soon as a decision is made, I will notify you and let you know next steps. This week marks one year since I started our Airleaf Victims group. We’ve made excellent progress in view of the obstacles that have been placed in our way. We must remain vigilant and not give up!
Here’s some very exciting news for our authors. I am always looking for ways for authors to boost their books. I looked into book reviews because some of our authors feel that having a book review will help with their book promotions.
I was excited to find that Barnes and Noble on line does FREE book reviews without charging authors. To make doubly sure, I wrote to them directly. Here was their response:
Thanks for your interest in the Barnes & Noble Review.
Publishers, authors, or publicists interested in having a published or forthcoming book considered for review by the Barnes & Noble Review can mail a galley/advance reading copy or finished copy of the book, along with a cover letter including appropriate contact information, to:
Deirdre Sonsini The Barnes & Noble Review
Barnes & Noble.com 76 Ninth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
The Barnes and Noble Review
Just to be sure, I wrote to Barnes and Noble to double check if there is any charge at all for this review and the answer was NO!!
Another excellent source of FREE book reviews is Midwest Book Reviews. You can visit their website at http://www.midwestbookreview.com/bookbiz/url_sub.htm
There is great information on there about publicizing your book as well. Directions on how to subject your book for a review is also found there.
In September, I will officially be launching our author’s co-op Books of Excellence. If you haven’t seen our site lately, please check it out at www.BooksOfExcellence.com. We are happy to have any of our Airleaf Victims join the group. We will be promoting it at an upcoming book fair in New York in a few weeks. I have started Google advertising for the site, and our members have started buying books of other members in support. If you would like to join this innovative group, please drop me a note and I will send you the details.
Remember, as you pursue your republishing or promotional futures, make sure NOT to repeat the mistakes of your past. Thoroughly investigate any publisher who offers you anything beyond publishing your book. If a publisher is charging you money for a review, please let me know and I will check it out for you to find out if there really is a cost for the review. Also make sure that you have a signed contract. Many of our Airleaf Victims never received back a signed contract. No matter how “friendly” you are with your publisher, business is business. Also make sure you receive quarterly statements which is standard and promised. And if you buy a promotional package, make sure to ask for a regular accounting of where your book is being sold. For instance, one woman wrote to me recently to tell me that she was told by her publisher that her book is in 33 bookstores. When I questioned her about where these stores are, I couldn’t get a response. Make sure you find out the bookstore and call them to verify this information. And if you are told that your book is being solicited to all of your area media, ask for a list of the media and who was spoken to. Learn from your marketing mistakes of the past. Don’t allow yourself to be a victim again like a number of the Airleaf Victims who have come to me a second time. And if you feel you have been cheated by any book company, please let me know so I can help you retrieve your money.
Several of our authors have recently asked me about the credibility of the Better Business Bureau. In checking out a reliable publisher, don’t assume that you will get a reliable rating from the Better Business Bureau because of the long and difficult process involved. One of our victims recently tried to file a report on line, only to be frustrated because the site froze when she tried to submit it. When I tried to help her with the form, it froze on me as well. In frustration, I called the Indiana Better Business Bureau and explained my frustration. I also asked them what it takes on their part to remove a company that less than reputable from their list. I explained that so many of our Airleaf Victims complained to the Indiana Better Business Bureau, but yet Airleaf remained in good standing with them until the end. They explained that it is a long process to do an investigation on a company once they are a dues paying member. There are a number of steps that have to be taken, and this takes time. They were able to send me the form via email to be printed out and done manually, so that was a help. But as I’m watching the process of this specific complaint, I see the company in question has sent back a response which isn’t responding to the complaint. This means more time and more correspondence and more delays. It becomes a “he said—she said” ordeal with lots of delays. So it’s certainly possible for a company to keep that BBB Accreditation for a long time regardless if their reliability. This is why so many of us were misled by the Better Business Bureau when we checked out Airleaf in the past.
Bottom line—investigate, investigate, investigate before you make your next mistake!
I’m happy to check out any company that you are considering for feedback. Just send me a note.
I will be in touch soon. Please feel free to write to me for help with anything you need or any questions you have.
With love and hope,