DEDICATION:

This blog is dedicated to "The Children Left Behind." We will not rest until the safety of our children and those that are entrusted with their mental health care are held accountable for abusing the children's God given rights, those rights upheld by our constitution, and those that have been complicit in obfuscating the truth!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A BALBOA PRESS SURVIVOR'S LIVING NIGHTMARE VIA AUTHOR SOLUTIONS, INC. MANAGEMENT SERVICES AND FACADE


An expose' of how an author unwittingly becomes entrenched in unnecessary, unwarranted, unprofessional muck offered up by Author Solutions, Inc.'s (now under Penguin Random) management of Balboa Press, a division of Hay House.


INTRO

If an author is choosing to go the route of self-publishing their book through a vanity press imprint or print on demand (POD) publisher, it is not an option for those authors whose core values include integrity. Otherwise, the author might find oneself cast into a Rod Serling adventure, sullied in a total set of rules that are inherently foreign to the author.

For first time authors, the publishing industry is complicated enough to navigate, so procuring services from a seasoned vanity press publisher appears a viable option to undertake. However, procuring services from a vanity publisher, in this case Balboa Press/Author Solutions, Inc., does not negate the fact that you will continue to do all the work; after all, it is your baby. In addition, the author will need to correct all of the mistakes of the publisher’s staff, as oversight appears virtually negligent at best, in each of the multitude of departments.

Blog authors and industry professionals repeatedly request that the Justice Department and the FBI launch an investigation into the self-publishing monopoly; so far, it appears those requests have been ignored - no surprise there. To file a civil lawsuit, the cost is exorbitant. One recent quote was given at a minimum $25,000.00. - for starters.

For those authors that have unfortunately tasted apparent misrepresentations, lack of transparency, malfeasance, fraud, bait and switch, failed professional services, ineptitude, and reported egregious mishandling of royalties inherent in the vanity publishing adventure - you have an enormous group of brethren... For new authors debating on using a vanity press publisher, this is for you.

Self-publishing is a booming industry as new authors feed the bank accounts of vanity presses most undeserving of the author's talent, blood, sweat, and tears. Authors need to fight back; take control of their precious work - their book.

Independently publish your book. If you cannot fulfill all that is required to get your book ready to independently publish, there are a myriad of book consultants, designers, and illustrators that are knowledgeable, creative, and honest. These individuals will guide you through the publishing process for a reasonable fee, until you take your book live. Network! Do your research and Google “self-publishing complaints and fraud."

If we cannot find remedy in the justice system, we can be victorious by taking our work back, our pride, and drying up the self-publishing conglomerates' financial resources - authors that are plebes to this horrific industry.

An industry with no apparent accountability, which blames their own unscrupulous deeds on “visions of grandeur” held by first time authors. Turning the blame onto the offended does not shed a good light. If any “visions of grandeur” were to apply, the “grandeur” expected is for vanity press publishers to operate with integrity, instilling oversight of their production. The human error excuse only goes so far.

Balboa Press Survivor:

In late October of 2012, publishing services were procured through what was believed to be Balboa Press, a division of Hay House Publishing, for an illustrated children's book. Balboa Press was chosen solely because of the books ethereal quality, meaning, and children's rights advocacy that the book's sales would benefit.

Since the children's book was about angels with combat boots and promoted the importance of family time, Balboa Press appeared to be a perfect fit. Hay House, known as a spiritual publisher, under founder Louise L. Hay, boasted authors such as Wayne Dyer. The choice felt ‘safe’, but it was far from it.

As a first time author, the self-publishing, vanity press venue was chosen to avoid lone navigation through independent publishing. With advocacy, I was simply spread too thin and I needed help. The often opaque, traditional avenue of publishing was obviously not an option. The objective was to expedite the book to market, retain all rights to further marketing ventures benefiting the continued advocacy, establishment, and continuity of a children’s rights foundation. In retrospect, had I not been a novice, I would have independently published with the help of a professional book consultant, designer, and creative illustrator. Lessons learned.

In early 2010 and throughout, I was writing the screenplay from the outline of the book. I started converting the screenplay into book form. I researched Hay House, found Balboa Press, and saved their publishing site. There were no visions of grandeur, other than hope that the book would bring much joy and help build our foundation.

Here it must be noted, that AuthorHouse (brand affiliated with Author Solutions, Inc.) had come up in searching for a self-publishing company. There were an enormous amount of complaints available on the Internet. Deduction - avoid like the plague. Why? Integrity appeared to be lacking, among other issues mentioned by authors, book consultants, literary agents et al.

Regarding Balboa Press, there were no complaints at this time, as their inaugural debut of their first book did not make it to market until July of 2010. On another note, there was a press release by Author Solutions, Inc. and Hay House in April/May of 2010 announcing their partnership with the Hay House imprint, Balboa Press. This press release was not readily available on the Balboa Press website, so I was not aware of the partnership announcement, or that Author Solutions, Inc. was managing Balboa Press. At this time, I had never heard of the entity, Author Solutions, Inc.

When the book was finished, I accessed the Balboa Press link from my computer "favorites" bar. It was the worst lefty reach I would ever make.

The Nightmare Begins:

October 2013 - Initial Sales Contact – Sales Publishing Consultant (SPC)

The SPC was exuberant as she inquired about the book and, why I chose Balboa Press. The answer was simple -“Louise Hay of Hay House, Wayne Dyer.”

Again, I elaborated about why Balboa Press appeared to be the perfect choice. Most importantly, I stated I wanted to avoid, like the plague, vanity publishers such as AuthorHouse. The SPC chuckled.

• SPC stated the book could be published in hard cover.
• SPC stated Balboa Press had their own illustrative department. I would be able to confer with the illustrator, which was of utmost importance, and I stated as such.
• SPC was informed of the manuscript's current page count and she quoted a price of 23.95 to 25.95. I informed SPC that this would need to be lowered as even though it will be for charity that was an awful high price. SPC stated I would have a say in pricing when the time came and the price could be lowered.
• SPC stated the royalty amounts, but only regarding those print books, which were sold through the Balboa Press website. The royalty amount would be approximately 6.79 after the cost of goods (COGS). SPC mentioned the royalty on Ebooks, which was 50% across the board, with no mention of technology costs discounts/
commissions to publisher, retailer, etc. The SPC failed to mention that print books sold through retailers such as Amazon receive as much as a 55% discount to the retailer. SPC did not mention the ever changing/inflated COGS and taxes, which affected the ever changing royalty quotes.
• SPC stated that books may be purchased by the author at a 50% discount through Balboa Press. What SPC failed to state was that this is a graduated discount, depending on the amount of books purchased.
• SPC stated that Balboa Press will review the manuscript to ensure the book is aligned with their editorial standards.
• SPC appeared so kind, generous, and enthusiastic; she was emailed the manuscript.
• SPC emails an "Author Agreement "(Services) "just for your review." Keep in mind there is no contract and this "Author Agreement" is not signed.
• SPC forwarded an illustration document to choose the "level of design" of illustrations.

October 31, 2012 - “The Believe” publishing package was ordered for $1,759.00 + $75.00 for a payment plan over 3 months, not including correction fees later accessed.

Assigned Check In Coordinator (CIC) 11/01/2012
  • CIC - I inquired about illustrative rights.
  • CIC stated the illustrative rights would remain with me, aside from publishing with another company. In her email, it was the first time I saw "Author Solutions Illustrative Program." I thought that must be the name of Balboa's illustrative department, so I thought nothing of it as I did not know Author Solutions, Inc. was was a publishing company affiliate with AuthorHouse. All I cared about at this point was confirmation of retention of the rights to the illustrations for marketing purposes. I was sent an email regarding illustration packages again, along with written confirmation stating illustrative marketing rights.
11/07/2013 - The Illustration package was ordered under "Intricate Design” for
$3,444.00. In addition, $360.00 was paid for an extra illustration plus $75.00 for a 4-month payment plan.
  • There is a hold up with the Illustrative Department – Calls and emails to the CIC ensue. I am notified someone will be in touch with me in a couple of days.
  • CIC needed the manuscript uploaded, so they can review it assuring it reflects their editorial standards ("so you know what we will/won't publish.")
  • CIC email states manuscript was reviewed. "Overall, it looks very good." Asked if CIC read it, "I just glanced over it."
  • CIC states book cannot be ordered in hard cover (untrue according Book Consultant.)
  • CIC states I cannot speak with illustrator.
  • Royalties questioned again. Given as approximately $ 6.79. There was still nothing about Amazon or retailers discount. So I did a search and found various pages with differing quotes explaining royalties and discounts applied via Balboa Press. There was nothing definitive - old web pages and newer web pages offered an “example.” I am now aware of retail pricing on websites such as Amazon and discounting.
ILLUSTRATIVE DEPARTMENT - DISASTER FROM DAY 1 :

The illustrative department has still not called me.

11/17/2012 Custom Illustrations Account Coordinator (CIAC) –

• Emails begin from CIAC directed to "Hello Stephanie." Who is not me. Salutation and signature includes the Balboa Press logo. The email includes an introduction. In addition, there is a request to fill out and submit Required Art Directions (RAD) form.
• CIAC- Email from CIAC stated Balboa Press will "set up artist that best suits your project."
• CIAC - Telephone conversation - I cannot speak with illustrator/artist. Informed me that the CIAC is the liaison between author and illustrator. I reiterated that the SPC
clearly indicated that I could speak with the illustrator, which was of the utmost importance to me when procuring services.
• Lengthy, time-consuming RAD (Required Art Directions) form filled out with diligence and submitted. Pictures were attached to aid illustrator. Manuscript pages and text lines were cited in the RAD and character descriptions for the illustrator to refer to for aid. “Please call if any questions.” No one ever called.
•CIAC telephone conversation - I had to pry the name of the illustrator of my book from CIAC.
• CIAC emails attachment of initial sketches – not right. I telephone CIAC. "Why would I spend due diligence and time filling out a RAD form and character description citing manuscript text, attaching pictures... so no one would refer to them?" Does the illustrator speak and write in English?" "It clearly states the character is an ancient, delicate woman, hundreds of years old; it does not state she is a bald-headed man." The list goes on. The illustrative correction form is filled out and returned to CIAC.

*It is important to note here, that the author clearly understands the difficulties facing the illustrator. However, it is important for the author to be allowed contact with the illustrator. No one called with questions.

CIAC-11/28/2012 Email - Ball drops. Signature/closing of email bristles with the "AuthorHouse" logo. Body of letter shows illustrators email @ "author solutions." Address of email shows Balboa Press.

• I place a telephone call to CIAC. I mention her email and the "AuthorHouse" logo in body of the email. I ask exactly what company does she work for? She replies, "It was an error." Mumbling ensued. She was "sorry;" clearly there was evasive avoidance. My response: "I purchased services with Balboa Press, a division of Hay House. If I wanted to procure services from AuthorHouse, I would have." She continues to deny the relationship of Balboa Press with AuthorHouse. CIAC goes on to offer that they "work for Balboa Press”- "the 'illustrator' is sitting directly across from me.”


From:
BalboaPress Illustrations (illustrations@balboapress.com)
Sent:
Wed 11/28/12 1:04 PM
To:
(-----)

Hello -----,

Thank you for your email. I wanted to let you know that I received your materials, and have saved them to your account. We now have everything we need to get started on your project. Soon, our Art Director will be reviewing your materials in order to assign you to the artist we feel will best illustrate what you envision for your project. With that being said, you can expect to receive your initial sketches in about two to three weeks. In the meantime, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
Your sketches could come from either of the two illustrations coordinators in this office. It will depend upon which artist your project is assigned to. So be watching for an email from ----- ----- (------@authorsolutions.com), or ---- --- ----
(----@authorsolutions.com.)
Thank you!

-------- --------
Custom Illustrations Account Coordinator
AuthorHouse
1663 Liberty Drive
Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403
----------@authorhouse.com
o: 1.800.839.8640 ext. 5540
f:: 812.355-1562
f: 812-349-0710
Please include project ID# with all correspondence, thanks!

12/07/2012 – The Assistant Production Manager (APM)

• The APM, whom I have never spoken with, telephones me out of the blue regarding my conversation with the CIAC about AuthorHouse. The APM states emphatically that “Balboa Press is a division of Hay House, she works for Balboa Press, and Balboa Press is not affiliated with AuthorHouse - "they are separate entities." In truth, the APM was correct. Balboa Press is a division of Hay House. However, what was not mentioned, ever, is the fact that Balboa Press is managed by the Author Solutions, Inc. AuthorHouse being an affiliate brand.

• Since I already have her on the telephone, I then inquire about the COGS and royalties, since there appeared to be several discrepancies. Wherein, I get my third approximation of pricing for royalties. I am now around $3.51.

• APM follows up with an email enclosing a link to FAQ's about royalties. There is no mention of AuthorHouse. She goes on to state, if I have any questions, to feel free to call her. I did, twice. I left two messages to no avail. I am too far in. I am beyond worried about my project.

ILLUSTRATION FIASCO CONTINUES:

The illustrative sketches and colorization were a disaster. It was apparent that there was a problem with adherence to the RAD/character description form. Pictures that were provided, or the coinciding text (page number and line number) from the manuscript provided to aid the illustrator were obviously ignored or subjectively reviewed. It was so evident, to the point where I was wondering if anyone bothered to read, or if they even could read the RAD form. There was clearly no oversight of the illustrator’s work before remittance to me. I had continued to write, please call if you have any questions...

After months of inexcusable errors, it was apparent the Art Director, or whomever, did not adhere to “set up an artist that best suits your project.” The project was/is light, airy, and whimsical. I received “dark.” In most cases, the illustrations were sparse (not intricate detail) with no color consistency, no innovation, wrong genders, wrong race, missing or incorrect features, etc. An ancient woman was drawn as a bald-headed, old man numerous times, despite repeated pleas and request for adherence to the RAD and characterization forms. The little girl’s bed looked like a cot out of an army barracks or prison. Angel wings on a helicopter were inverted, objected to, and objections to the CIAC remained ignored – a lame excuse was offered.

An email arrives from the CIAC with the final color illustrations attached. CIAC states that she and the illustrator have gone over the illustrations and they should be fine now. I open the attachment; viewing the illustrations, tears begin to drop. The illustrations are missing elements that were originally in the artwork. The CIAC and the illustrator could not have “gone over” the final illustrations before remission to me.

Excuse after excuse mounted by the CIAC who offered, "the illustrator is sensitive, he’s young, he draws like that; it’s a difficult project.” My response to the CAIC, "I appreciate that, but this is a children’s book. This does not take place in a bombed out trailer park in Beirut. There is no consistency in colors..."  In my mind, I understood I paid for “intricate design” and the CIAC maintains, “it’s a difficult project.” Why? If it was so difficult, then why accept the project? It was now apparent that there was no professional oversight.

It was also apparent, as sappy as I am, the CIAC accomplished making me feel bad for the young, “sensitive” illustrator. No kidding, right? What a sap. I took a different approach, heaping thank you’s and praise in hope it would help. Well, that did not work either. Still, at all times, I was respectful and professional in my emails and telephone conversations, even humorous, because the situation was beyond insane - until the end.

So much time had been lost and the book needed to get to press. Through this entire process, I was so entrenched in correcting the illustrative mistakes, that I neglected to mention to the CAIC that I had commissioned, “Intricate Design,” which would come back to bite me. I began accepting less. I accepted a cover with drab colors, inverted wings, and a Norman Rockwell village that looked like a military base encampment. I was essentially physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted from correcting and dealing with staff. Staff that apparently come and go, as if it were a hamburger joint drive-thru. It was as if I entered the “Twilight Zone.”

The Art Director (AD) takes over four months in:

The AD’s initial email arrives with the Balboa Press logo and the AD’s email address reflects, “Author Solutions.com.” Enough was enough. I research all names – the AD’s first. I research all companies and their addresses. I telephone the AD. She comes clean re: AuthorHouse/Author Solutions, Inc./ Balboa Press/ Pearson-Penguin(at the time) “Author Solutions, Inc. provides all managerial support to Balboa Press.” I thank her for her honesty - finally. I hung up - beyond livid; I sat quietly, angry at myself for allowing this to occur. I knew better. I am a researcher! An investigative researcher. Then, I reach into my folder and review all the staff at Balboa Press that lied to me. Why?

I do more research. Again, I feel I am too far in. I find incredulous allegations on the Internet, this time with Balboa Press. Everything I am ensconced in and have been subjected to is on the Internet before me. However, I realize I am fortunate. Since the book was not yet live, I had not yet been exposed to allegations of colorful accounting with regard to royalties. I find an investigation has started into a class action lawsuit against Author Solutions, Inc. and affiliates.

The AD dismisses my lawsuit query, informing me it is “nothing, this has been going on for years.”

My second telephone call to the APM ensues. I leave a message. There was no return call. Just as well, as I was livid. I can take much, but being lied to was unacceptable. For, what was to be gained?

THE TRANSPARENCY ISSUE

The Publisher and Director of Channel Sales for Author Solutions, Inc. (PDCS):

In April 2013, I informed PDCS (he has been referred to as the "gatekeeper" with no power) that Balboa Press/Hay House does not disclose on their website that Author Solutions, Inc (ASI) manages the Balboa Press imprint. I never stated the reverse, that ASI does not disclose their relationship with Balboa Press/Hay House.

Yet, PDCS continued his cagey attempts by email and telephone conversation to reassure me of ASI’s disclosure “we [Author Solutions, Inc./Penguin Random] have made no attempt to hide our relationship with Hay House, as you can see from the press release below.”

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/hay-house-publishing-partners-with-author-solutions-inc-to-launch-self-publishing-division-balboa-press-

PDCS offered several times over, “that if one places ASI in the Balboa Press website search link box the announcement and other articles will come up.” Why would an author do that if they have no clue who on earth ASI was? PDCS never addressed the original complaint, although he stated in an email, "I did send a note out to make sure no one denies the connection between ASI and Balboa Press."

Balboa Press needs to state on their website that they are managed by Author Solutions, Inc. - a Penguin Random company. The truth, but a marketing disaster and damaging to Balboa Press.

EMAILS BETWEEN PDCS AND AUTHOR:


The Director of Channel Sales and Publisher responds to Balboa Press' questionable transparency with regard to managed services by Author Solutions.
________________________________________
Subject: Balboa Press PR
Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2013 18:31:27 -0400
From: ---------- @authorsolutions.com
To: --------------
CC: ------------
Dear -------
It was a pleasure speaking with you. As I mentioned to you, we have made no attempt to hide our relationship with Hay House, as you can see from the press
release below.
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/hay-house-publishing-partners-with-author-solutions-inc-to-launch-self-publishing-division-balboa-press-93763484.html.
I will work with ------- tomorrow to obtain for you the best print options.
All the best,
-------------

RE: BALBOA PRESS PR
From: ( )
Sent: Wed 4/24/13 2:48 PM
To: ( @authorsolutions.com)

Good afternoon. Thank you for speaking with me the other day.

Your attachment of the 2010 press release and your statement indicates there might be some confusion. If I may clarify, it is not Author Solutions (ASI) that appears to be masking their relationship with Balboa Press -a division of Hay House; it is just the reverse.

To reiterate, Balboa Press does not indicate anywhere on their website that their company is aligned with ASI; nor did Balboa Press indicate in verbal or written form that ASI manages and provides publishing services to Balboa Press on their website. Had this been the case, there would be no need of this discussion, as I would not have requested services of Balboa Press; this would not have been in accord with my personal preference and the project.

That being stated, on the Balboa Press website, the company does present/allude to/suggest in its keen marketing strategy that Balboa Press is aligned with Hay House Publishing. Again, there is no mention of ASI et al and Balboa Press as having any relationship whatsoever. In addition, the Author Agreement (unsigned) for services does not stipulate any relationship between ASI et al and Balboa Press.

A 2010 press release by ASI does not negate the fact that Balboa Press representatives in various departments had deliberately negated disclosing the relationship/alignment
with ASI. I trust this is as disturbing to you as it was and remains to me. The proactive question that needs answering is, "Why?"

If an author seeking independent publishing searches the Internet Hay House Publishing, pages upon pages arise, where the press release referring to ASI is not readily found. If one Googles Balboa Press, one will get the same results.

Unfortunately, there are now complaints/warnings readily available relating to the aforementioned entities for the non-disclosure of Balboa Press and its relationship with ASI.

Pertaining to the situation I have encountered, my project services began in October of 2012. The only way I accessed the 2010 press release was through placing ASI with ASI with Balboa Press in an Internet search engine after receiving an email with ASI stamped on the enclosure. This email was received after services were procured with Balboa Press in October of 2012. Now, there would have been no reason to search Balboa and ASI together, since I wasn't aware of their corporate relationship. This relationship was not disclosed during the first sales call, even though I stipulated I was choosing Balboa Press as I did not wish to publish under Author Solutions for this project; nor did I seek services with ASI. Subsequent telephone calls resulted in the same non-disclosure of the ASI managerial component of Balboa Press. Had I been a genie, this would not have been the case; the dots between Balboa and ASI et al would have been connected by me at the time I was seeking publishing services.

This is troublesome for the author, who ascertains from marketing and vocal disclosure that the publishing services the author has purchased will remain carried out by Balboa
Press, in-house, with the oversight by employees aligned with the original values of Hay House Publishing. Although a fine pitch, this was not the case from inception of requested services and I find it quite disconcerting - even mired, to say the least. It became extremely confusing for the me as the author.

Another problematic area that I discussed appears in the disclosure of royalties and the COGS. The COGS have shifted in quotes so many times from representative to representative. With regard to retail sale, there is disclosure that the net royalty profit after retail discount, minus COGS is divided in a fifty-fifty split between the publisher (Balboa) and the author. It is my understanding now, that what is not disclosed to the author, is the inflated COGS price given to the author by Balboa Press (the publisher receiving a discount on the COGS from the printer/distributor); thus, Balboa Press would receive funds on the back end from the COGS (due to discounting), which affects the author's royalty net. Therefore, the disclosure of the pricing of the COGS and Balboa's actual royalty (net) + COGS percentage hike, is not transparent. In truth, there is no fifty-fifty royalty split. It appears this is just another undisclosed, creative accounting venture.

In my case, the approximated quoted royalty (retail sale) has gone from what I thought would be the lowest at $1.52, then lowered to $1.01, and now rests at .51 cents. The COGS originally quoted, have risen several times; the latest from $6.41 to $8.41 when last quoted by ---------- ----. I asked of ------------ what the net royalty for Balboa Press would be for the book sold at retail, he stated ".51." That appears not the case, depending upon the "individual of the day" one speaks with.

On the telephone call, you spoke of first time authors, how difficult it is, and how their eyes are blinded to what the bottom line will be in earnings with respect to their book being published on demand. This does not relate to my conceptual outcome. However, I thought, "How odd to state that - for marketing targets exactly those people."

It is apparent from my experience that representatives under the now Penguin/Pearson conglomerate must be on the same page when communicating with clients.
Thank you for your time and attention in this matter.

Best,
-------------

Subject: ASI mentions on the balboa site
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2013 16:12:05 -0400
From: ------@authorsolutions.com
To: ------------
Hi ------
http://www.balboapress.com/SearchResults.aspx http://www.balboapress.com/SearchResults.aspx?
site=BalBoa_Prod_collection&client=AuthorSolutions_frontend&output=xml_no_dtd&proxycustom&coutput=xml&proxyreload=1&proxystylesheet=AuthorSolu
tions_frontend&q=author%20solutions
---------


------------

Publisher and Director of Channel Sales
Author Solutions Inc.
A Penguin Company
1663 Liberty Drive
Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403
@authorsolutions.com
o: 812.334.5442
f:: 812.349.0842
c: 317.603.1788

Note: Emails – names and addresses omitted. Format conversion.

BACK TO THE ART DIRECTOR (AD):

The AD works with me to ‘fix’ the illustrative artwork. I can actually speak with her. “AD, I ordered intricate design. This is a children’s book about angels... It doesn’t take place in a depressed, bombed out trailer park.” The AD corrects errors, along with making illustrative color changes, generally attempting to adhere to the RAD and character form. Again, there were more corrections as some of the illustrations remitted back to me exhibited removal of objects in transference. The AD appears frustrated. I am beyond ill. The sappy heart returns, and I am at a point where I feel bad for her. There was just too much wrong, although she made an effort. Time has run out. Not all designs are intricate detail, but a tad better color wise. Despite all the heart, time, and monetary investment, I should have pulled the entire project then. Instead, I acquiesced and signed off; a monumental mistake.

BOOK DESIGN/FORMAT DEPARTMENT

One would envision formatting would not be an insurmountable task, since there is a formatting department. I was informed by SC, this would be “much easier.” Wrong.

The first galley format came back beyond unacceptable. Again, there was no oversight. The text did not coincide with the illustrations. The margins were all over the place and not congruent from page to page. One would assume the Design department understood that children’s book illustrations bring the ‘accompanying’ text word to life. In some cases, the illustrations were two pages ahead or behind the text, even with an “illustrative insert note” placed within the body of the text that was provided to the format department. I had to explain to the department through SC that the text had to coincide with the illustrations, reiterating that the illustrations make the text pop. The formatter apparently could not figure it out. Of course, that would involve brain exertion and maybe a bit of ingenuity.

Being a novice, I asked the Design department to enlarge the text font (indirectly as the author is not allowed to speak to them either), hopeful, that may have helped. It did not help. Had I been allowed to have access to an unlocked pdf. file, it would have been a breeze to remedy.

I took the weekend and studied up on formatting. I printed out the book’s pages, combed over the book, shifted pages and margins, then so easily, the answer came to me.

In order to achieve this end, I had them add the cover illustration into the galley of the book, which remedied the illustration and text malady. In addition, I requested that the margins be congruent. The galley would be a done deal.

It is important to note, that the author becomes so entrenched in correcting the publisher’s mistakes, that the author such as myself, misses their mistakes. At no time in any of the process to make my life easier with the corrections, both illustrative and textual did Balboa Press allow me access to an unlocked pdf. file.

Honestly, it would have saved weeks of toil and heartache. The CSR tells me “there is no way to unlock the pdf. - it’s adobe.” Do they make this stuff up as they go along?

Corrections

I missed numerous errors in the text body that were my own. There were publisher error corrections. The author is allowed 50 corrections, aside from publisher error. I went over the allotted correction amount, so I telephoned my CIC and informed her that I needed to make payment for the overage. She stated, “Don’t worry about it, if it’s under 100, it’s okay.” I thanked her. It is important to note, that since there was little oversight, each time the publisher made corrections to the galley text, the author would need to go through the entire manuscript to be sure the referenced text corrections were made.

When the corrected text galley came back, there were more needed corrections. I felt safe as I would be still under 100. The CIC informed me that since this was the third time, there would be a charge. I stated that I thought this would be acceptable, since I was still under 100 corrections. Logic did not dictate. She reiterated that there would be a charge now.

Errors appeared from corrected text submitted online for the back cover elements. I paid to have that change. The publisher corrected the book title for me in the acknowledgement section placing it in italics. I thanked them. In the same paragraph and subsequent paragraphs, the title was left out of italics. I paid for the remaining title errors to be placed in italics.

One lesson I will take with me, is that no matter how many times ones book is edited, it is a crap shoot.  I have read so many traditionally published books with numerous errors, including substantive errors (as of late). Perfection does not exist.

This is a book, professionally edited by a known author, previous editor, and a publisher at a discounted rate of $1,500.00. Afterward, various, kind-hearted individuals edited the book thirty times over, including me. Did the original edit help? Well, if the reader has stayed with this article so far... It made me a better editor of my work, helped me reflect more, and as I learned from screenwriting, the editor’s call is subjective aside from grammatical mechanics, which were obviously missed by the editor. In all fairness, a work coming from a first time author is not exactly inviting. Would I hire another editor? Perhaps, when the taste left behind is more palatable; as a fresh eye can be helpful to a bleary one. I definitely would not hire an editor that questions how a mother can get into a Little Tykes Playhouse, since with two little girls, I practically lived in one!

Online Submissions:

There were several submissions to be uploaded online (early on), under the author's account, which included the synopsis, about the author, the author picture, acknowledgements, etc. The author may edit these submissions, until access by the author is closed out. It was clear, no one bothered to note changes. In addition, my picture that was uploaded was missing from the back cover when I was given the final cover sign-off.

In the dedication section, the formatter could not locate the submitted text dedication online, so I emailed it to my CIC. The corrected galley text remitted to me included the dedication I had forwarded. The dedication showed my spacing error in my email, which told me the formatter just cut the three dedication lines from the email and pasted it into the galley without formatting.

The copyright page exhibited my pen name for copyright, instead of my given name, which was provided in online submissions. An entity I never heard of was cited, "Any people depicted in stock imagery provided by Thinkstock are models, and such images are being used for illustrative purposes only.” “Certain stock imagery © Thinkstock.” I did not know who this entity was, and since the illustrations procured were to be created/original work from the RAD, or so I thought, I asked that this be removed. The CSR complied to remove “Thinkstock” and correct my copyright name.

Throughout the entire debacle I received “surveys” from a male I assumed was in customer service at Balboa Press. I never replied - obviously. Something was troubling me, but I set it aside.

The book was as ready for production as possible. I was told production copy was sent to the printer and distributor. Since there were so many corrections and I did not trust Balboa Press with any oversight, I requested from another CSR a copy of the book file sent to the printer. The cover was signed off on prior with the author picture, the galley appeared correct, but the back cover was not corrected from online corrections filed on the Balboa website. Two commas were still left in. Therefore, at my request, Balboa Press halted production with the printer, I paid $70.00 to have the two commas removed, and I received confirmation as such that the commas were removed.

ROYALTIES - MORE BOMBS DROP

Book Consultant (BC)

The BC telephones, a very amicable individual with a sense of humor. They will send a book for my review. The book arrives and I immediately look at the back cover elements. Relief sets in as my photo is displayed and the two commas have been removed. I scan from the back of the book forward regarding the galley text and all appears corrected. In addition, BC then informs me that the royalty I will be receiving is $0.51. He states that the COGS for my book is $8.41. Balboa Press would receive $0.51cents and so would I. I went quiet, and then stated that this was unacceptable. I asked for confirmation that Balboa Press would only receive $0.51 cents. I was told, “Yes.”

I was beyond disgusted, beyond upset, and went back to research. It appears Balboa Press/ASI inflates the cost of goods, telling the author that the printer is charging stated amount. Under the scenario, Balboa Press/ASI receive a discount from the printer and distributor, so that the COGS quoted to the author is untrue. The publisher essentially receives a “back-end” on the COGS. So, for Balboa Press/ASI to state that they only receive $0.51 is a misrepresentation at the very least. I recalculated the printing and distribution cost from the printer’s pricing chart. Needless to say, the figures I was quoted did not add up. Frequently blamed for the low royalties were Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. The publisher stated that these entities receive a 55% discount, which is true in many cases. However, it is not true in all cases. Another small publishing entity disclosed to me that because they are a customer in good standing Amazon accepts discounting their books by 20%. Balboa Press under Author Solutions, Inc. management and now, the Penguin/Random conglomerate is a large publishing entity. It does not disclose to authors whether they receive a back-end on their quoted 55% discount to Amazon. So, in actuality, Balboa Press/ASI could be charged at a 20% discount from Amazon per book, yet Balboa tells the authors their book is 55% discounted by Amazon. So, figure it out. Where does the 35% end up?

Balboa Press Royalty calculations omit facts:

How does Balboa Press calculate royalty payments?

“Royalties are based on the payments we actually receive from the sale of printed or electronic (e-book) copies of your book, minus any shipping and handling charges or sales and use taxes. Also, we offer discounts to retail and wholesale customers, so the royalty amount you receive depends on what type of customer bought your book and any discount they received. Retail discounts range between 36 and 55 percent.”

Royalty book calculation for my book by Balboa Press/Author Solutions, Inc.

Soft cover Book Price/Retail Royalty (Retail – Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.)
42 page – color interior:

20.99
- 11.55 55% Retail discount quoted by publisher (Amazon)
9.44
- 8.41 Cost of Goods (COGS)quoted by publisher
1.03 Divided by 2 =
.515 Royalty paid to author (minus taxes) and publisher

Soft Cover Book Price/Royalty if sold on publisher website:

20.99
- 8.41 Cost of Goods (COGS) quoted by publisher Balboa Press
12.58 Divided by 2 =
6.29 Royalty paid to author (minus taxes) and publisher

Clearly, it appears Balboa Press/Author Solutions, Inc. utilizes a formula. In actuality, this is more in line with what ones royalty should be with adjusted COGS based on Lightning Source fees.

Soft cover book retail book price royalty calculation if sold retail with 55% discount:

20.99
- 11.5445/11.55 @ 55% retail discount
9.44
- 5.70 cost of goods (COGS - Lightning Source) on 20.99 book
3.74 Divided by 2 =
1.87 Royalty to author and publisher

Another discrepancy.

Soft cover book retail book price royalty if sold retail with 20% discount

20.99
- 4.20 @ 20% retail discount
16.79
- 5.70 Actual Cost of Goods (COGS - Lightning Source)
11.09 Divided by 2 =
5.545 Royalty to author and publisher.

There is a huge discrepancy here, between $0.51 cents and $5.545 if indeed Balboa is setting a 20% discount to retailers.

Soft cover book price royalty calculation if sold on publisher website:
20.99
- 5.70 Actual Cost of Goods (COGS - Lightning Source)
15.29 Divided by 2=
7.645 Royalty paid to author and publisher

ROYALTY CALCULATION FOR MY BOOK SUMMATION:

The COGS quoted for my book - $8.41. The actual COGS is $5.70. according to Lightning Source. Balboa Press/Author Solutions, Inc. appears to have inflated the COGS for this book by 2.71. Add $0.51 to the inflated price and it equals $3.22. Balboa Press has inflated the price of the COGS over 30% before quoting the COGS to the author.

On various dates, the retail discount stated on the Balboa website has changed. At times, it has been listed as 48%.

Quoted from the Balboa Press website:

Here's an example of a common sales transaction:

"The cover price (list price) for your book is $17.95. Your Balboa Press royalty rate is 50 percent. A retailer places an order for your book through Ingram Book Company, a wholesaler. Ingram, in turn, purchases your book from Balboa Press at a 55 percent discount (our standard discount to wholesalers). Ingram then resells the book to the retailer. Your royalty on this sale of your soft cover book will be calculated as follows:
Retail Sale Example:
$17.95 (SRP "Suggested Retail Price")
- $9.87 (55% Retail Discount)
= $8.08 (Net Retail Discount)
- $4.97 (COGS "Cost of Goods Sold")
= $3.11 (Net COGS)
x 50% (Royalty Rate)
= $1.56 (Royalty Earned from a retail sale)
Web Sale Example:
$17.95 (SRP "Suggested Retail Price")
- $4.97 (COGS "Cost of Goods Sold")
= $12.98 (Net COGS)
x 50% (Royalty Rate)
= $6.49 (Royalty Earned from a web sale)"

Lightning Source Printer Products and Services Pricing:

For black and white books:
http://www1.lightningsource.com/ops/files/pricing/USPricing.BW.pdf
For color books:
https://www1.lightningsource.com/ops/files/pricing/USPricing.COLOR.pdf

As far as Ebook sales royalties, Balboa Press states :

“You will receive 50 percent of the payments received from the sales of your e-book, less any distribution and technology fees, taxes and returns. Royalties will not be paid on copies provided free of charge or sold to the author.”

MORE BOMBS DROP - April 2013

Do not be shocked if your book shows up as a pdf. file for sale on various websites. Balboa Press CSR stated that the various electronic pdf. versions will carry a separate ISBN.

The CSR states that the book is being converted to digital files for Ebook, etc. I have no clue when the book will go live. I am online setting up a Facebook page for the book. I scan the Internet through Google search to check if it is picking up the title of my book on its Facebook page. I notice two websites are offering my book in all types of versions. I have not seen the digital Ebook conversion files, and I have no idea pdf. file versions would be sold or distributed. My book has not even gone live, yet it is available on Deastore and Lybrary.com. I telephone Deastore at 8:30 PM that night. I asked how it was possible that they are offering my book if it has not been published yet. The gentleman answers, “You will have to speak with the distributor. We get it from them.”

I check out the back cover on these websites. The two commas removed during corrections are still there. Which tells me the book was distributed to Deastore and Lybrary.com before the final Cover Sign-Off (CSO). I go to Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble's website - sure enough the book is available. I telephone Customer Service at Balboa Press and I am informed the book has not gone live yet, that I must be mistaken. “It must be the pdf. copy.” I am aghast, "Huh? How is that possible?The book has not gone live yet. It's still being converted for digital files.” I continue to state further that it is not the corrected back cover; the book is now offered on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble with the incorrect cover. The CSR states that Deastore and Lybrary.com are aligned with Amazon. So, Amazon is blamed now; yet, Deastore tells me to contact the distributor.

I call the CSR back and request that the book, pdf., and digital files are removed from websites, until published with the corrected back cover.

The CSR complies, stating that she will notify the printer and distributor. Corrections are made to files to correct the back cover. During which time, I am receiving calls to order more books at a discounted price from the marketing/book consultants and the like at Balboa Press/Author Solutions, Inc. After back cover corrections are complete, I request my BC to ship the ten books as part of the ordered package.

The next telephone conversation is with a another CSR, who informs me she is on the Deastore site as we speak, and the various versions of the book have been removed. I was not on the computer at the time of the call. When I hang up the phone, I access the Deastore website and the book in various versions is still on their website.

The next problem arises with the paid for service of ensuring the “Look Inside Feature” of the book is available on websites. It takes Balboa Press weeks, when Amazon offers it will take 24 to 48 hours, but frequently is up within hours. This feature is finally uploaded to Amazon, but cites the end of the book, offering the plot resolution. I call Amazon myself and ask them to pull the “Look Inside Feature,” until the correct pages are given from the beginning of the book - the teaser. Balboa Press blames Amazon.

I have to commend the Amazon staff, for they were very supportive and professional throughout this entire process. It is weeks later and the feature is still not up on the Barnes and Noble website. The manager of the CSR department states that she does not know what is the hold up on Barnes and Noble. “It is clearly a problem with Barnes and Noble.” Right. The "Look Inside Feature" is corrected on Amazon; it is for the Ebook only and sloppy. The manager of the CSR department, in a curt, dismissive fashion, refused to re-submit the files for the “Look Inside Feature” for the print book. She said the feature for the Ebook is sufficient.

BOOKS ARRIVE - A HUGE BOMB DROPS

The ten books arrive. I take the package to church and quickly remove a few books to hand out to the children. Sitting on a bench, two little girls begin to skim through the book, smiling. I watch them as they lift the book, exposing the cover. My eyes mirror a freaked out Roadrunner.

One of the girls asks, “What's the matter?” I gracefully take the books and calmly reply, “You know what, I am going to bring these back when they finish the cover.”

The cover was published with the incorrect title. So focused on the actual published date of the book (denied by Balboa Press), and the incorrect back cover, I missed one important issue.

It never dawned on me that production would err on the title.

Had I not requested the pdf. file from Balboa Press earlier, I would have been up the creek without a paddle. Had I not approved the correct final cover and title with the CSO (cover sign-off) I would have had no recourse. Had I not found a decent human being that actually felt sorry for me...

I received an apology. The BC, referring to management’s decision, said that they would make corrections with all entities. He further offered that I was welcome to make any changes to the text galley that I would like. I replied, “I only wish the book title to be corrected. I do not need the galley to be changed. I only wish for the services I procured.”

I then got nervous. “Is there something wrong with the galley, too?” He replied, “No, just if you want to change anything, we’ll take care of it.”

I had lost weeks in advertising, as planned publicity was at a standstill. Links, blogs, twitters, and pages had to be pulled quickly from the Internet. The foundation website was halted. Worse... a few friends, family, and colleagues either purchased the book with the incorrect title, or were waiting for an autographed copy. I wrote an apology on behalf of Balboa Press on the FB page created where I had over 20,000 views in the few days prior to the book going live. For the Children Left Behind Foundation’s creation would surely take a back seat. Yet, ASI/Balboa Press would make changes to the galley, if I wished.

I sent a reply email off to the PDSC reconfirming the lack of transparency regarding the Balboa Press relationship with ASI. In addition, I notified him that I was thankful I did not place an offset print order of 5,000 books, since the book was published under the wrong title. I am sure he was as elated as I was.

From:
Sent: Tuesday, May 07, 2013 3:59 PM
To:
Subject: RE: ASI mentions on the balboa site/OFFSET PRINT

Dear ------,

Good afternoon.

I did not get to respond to your email below, as I have been busy addressing other fiascos with the publishing of my book with the Balboa Press imprint.

With all due respect and for the record, I honestly feel your response below sends my point home. Nary a soul should find a need to place Author Solutions in the Balboa Press, A Division of Hay House, website search box. That is simply absurd.

I stand by my previous statements. There is no transparency on the part of Balboa Press (website included) to disclose to potential authors requesting publishing services that Balboa Press is in any way aligned with Author Solutions, managerial, or otherwise.

This was not disclosed to me after repeated inquiry to a myriad of individuals in various departments, beginning with the sales department.

Regarding the "Offset Print," I am sincerely thankful I held off ordering 5,000. books from Balboa Press/Author Solutions, since my book was published, marketed, and sold with the incorrect title...

Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,
----------------------


RE: ASI mentions on the balboa site/OFFSET PRINT‏
5/07/13
To:---------
Cc: ----------
From: ---------@authorsolutions.com).
Sent: Tue 5/07/13 5:34 PM
To: --------
Cc: ------- @authorsolutions.com)

Hi --------

I asked -------- to copy me on the issues you had today and how they were being resolved.

The only reason I sent you the link was to show you that there had been no conscious attempt to hide the relationship between ASI and Hay House with regards to Balboa Press, and that the relationship is referenced 42 times on the site. We also send out press releases about our publishing partnerships that are picked up by both the writers and publishing press. There is no plan to hide the relationships.

I did send a note out to make sure no one denies the connection between ASI and Balboa Press. We have no reason to deny it, and in fact we celebrate it when any of our authors are picked up by our traditional publishing partners.

Please let me know if you do want to proceed with an offset print run in the future.
All the best,
-----------
-----------
Publisher and Director of Channel Sales
Author Solutions Inc.
A Penguin Company
1663 Liberty Drive
Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403
-------------@authorsolutions.com
o: 812.334.5442
f:: 812.349.0842
c: 317.603.1788

THE END

Far too tardy, I had to ensure all my ducks were in a row. As a child advocate, I knew the routine. I requested my signed contract/agreement from a CSR as I could not locate a signed copy. I was informed that I do not have one. I asked, “Why?” She offered, “When you pay for services it is assumed you are in agreement.” Seriously? I located the “author agreement” in an email from Balboa Press that was sent along with other attachments.

After more research and much discussion, even with my BC, I decided to pull the book. There was no feasible way the book would recover with this imprint and lack of
managerial oversight. I felt it was a pure effort for a good cause that was diminished by ASI managerial services. Those staff members that were decent are to be commended for their decency, but in actuality, they have no input whatsoever.

I contacted the CSR department to inquire about receiving the production files as I had read nightmares about it. My question was not sufficiently addressed after the first inquiry.

The emails:

From: -----------------
Sent: Thursday, May 23, 2013 2:58 PM
To: Balboa Press ---------------
Subject: RE: _________________

Dear ------------,

Good afternoon. I have some questions regarding the production design files in order to understand fully what to expect.
• How will the production design files be remitted back to me?
Will the cover design file, illustration files, and galley file be released as separate files? In what form is each of the aforementioned files.
• If the production design files are in pdf format, will all 'security' properties (copy, edit, etc) on the files be removed?
• Do the files remitted include the Ebook conversion file?
• Will all files be remitted without watermarks and without Balboa Press logos?

I appreciate the help.

Thank you.
--------------------
Project ID --------

Subject: RE: -------------
Date: Fri, 24 May 2013 11:24:17 -0400
From: -----------@balboapress.com
To: --------------------
Hello -----,
In regards to your questions below. If it is something you have supplied, you can just request the file back from us at Customer Service and we should be able to get it for you. In regards to the designed files we have created, you will have to purchase those. Its $200.00 for both cover, interior and ebook files. All files we send to you will be without any Balboa press logos. I hope this helps to clarify. Thanks and have a great day!
--------
CUSTOMER SUPPORT
Balboa Press
A DIVISION OF HAY HOUSE
1663 Liberty Drive
Bloomington, IN 47403
P: 877-407-4847 ext: 5088
F: 812-355-4557
customersupport@balboapress.com

From: -------
Sent: Friday, May 24, 2013 12:22 PM
To: Balboa Press ------
Subject: RE:------ DESIGN FILE QUESTIONS
Dear -------,

Good morning.

I appreciate your response. However, I have asked specific questions to which I need addressed, other than the Balboa Press logo being removed.

Since your previous email stated the fee for the files, that was not part of my query.

Please review the questions I had earlier submitted (below) and, if at all possible, provide answers so that I can move forward, knowing what to expect.

• How will the production design files be remitted back to me?
Will the cover design file, illustration files, and galley file be released as separate files? In what form is each of the aforementioned files.
• If the production design files are in pdf format, will all 'security' properties (copy, edit, etc) on the files be removed?
• Do the files remitted include the Ebook conversion file?
• Will all files be remitted without watermarks and without Balboa Press logos?

I am sure you understand that I am trying to avoid any further mishaps as in my book being published with the wrong title. At this point, I certainly do not wish to remit payment for files that will be deemed useless because of lack of oversight, watermarks et al. Production design files need be production ready. Essentially, I need to feel secure that this will be the case.

If you need help clarifying/responding to the above questions, perhaps ----- ------- or someone similar in production/design management can address the questions...

Thank you for your attention.

-------
ID --------
Subject: RE: ----DESIGN FILE QUESTIONS
Date: Fri, 24 May 2013 12:30:14 -0400
From: -----@balboapress.com
To: ------

Hello -----,

• Production design files will be given to you as an email attachment.
• The cover design file, galley file will be sent to you in two different forms. They will be sent to you as pdf. Files.
• The pdf files will have all securities removed and you will be able to edit them as you see fit.
• In regards to the eBook. You will receive the mobi., epub., and pdf. Formats of that file. This too will be sent either as an attachment to an email, or using a download transfer website, that allows for the transfer of larger files.

• In regards to the files, all files will not have the Balboa press logo, and will not have watermarks.

I hope this helps to clarify all of your questions. If you have any further questions feel free to contact us at Customer Service. Thanks and have a great day!
---------
CUSTOMER SUPPORT
Balboa Press
A DIVISION OF HAY HOUSE
1663 Liberty Drive
Bloomington, IN 47403
P: 877-407-4847 ext: 5088
F: 812-355-4557

------------
Subject: RE: ---------- DESIGN FILE QUESTIONS
Date: Fri, 24 May 2013 14:59:07 -0400
From: ----------@balboapress.com
To: ---------------------

Hello ----,

We do not send authors who are in production unlocked files. However if you cancel your book project, and purchase the files, we will send you unlocked pdf. files for you to use, without any Balboa Press logos. Also, we do not send out release statements once you purchase the files and cancel your book project. This is because you are under the agreement until you cancel, then you are free to take and use the files however you like. I hope this helps to clarify. Thanks and have great day!
----------
CUSTOMER SUPPORT
Balboa Press
A DIVISION OF HAY HOUSE
1663 Liberty Drive
Bloomington, IN 47403
P: 877-407-4847 ext: 5088
F: 812-355-4557
From: ------- [mailto:------------
Sent: Friday, May 24, 2013 3:07 PM
To: Balboa Press ------------
Subject: RE: -------- DESIGN FILE QUESTIONS

Thank you ------. 'Appears odd, but more than clear.
Will the ISBN and price be removed from the cover files, too?
Thanks.
-------------------
To: -------
Balboa Press ------
From: Balboa Press ----- (----@balboapress.com).
Sent: Fri 5/24/13 3:18 PM
To: ----------------------

Hello ---------,
Yes the ISBN and price will be removed from the cover files.
Thanks,
--------------------
Customer support
Balboa Press
A Division of Hay House
1663 Liberty Drive
Bloomington, IN 47403
P: 877-407-4847 ext: 5088
F: 812-355-4557
customersupport@balboapress.com

Note: Emails have been condensed; format has changed due to conversion for Blogger. Names and addresses have been omitted.

There is more… but first:

REQUESTING A REFUND THROUGH THE RESOLUTIONS DEPARTMENT:

Upon requesting a refund, my BC informed me that I would need to speak with a gentleman in the Resolutions department. My BC gave me his name. Then, it hit me. My survey emails from Balboa Press and the iUniverse individual named in the Author Solutions, Inc. class action lawsuit were the same person. I had heard about this individual from other authors. “There is no way I wish to speak with him.” BC replied, “You have no choice if you wish a refund.”

I will not pass judgment, but will say this individual is no gentleman; he certainly earned his condescending notoriety. After one of the most horrid calls of my career, he offered a refund for the publishing package; he would not refund the Illustrative package as I had signed off on it, even though it was not "intricate design." But, not without interjecting, that the COGS/royalty scenario was about the only thing I had correct.

On the second telephone call, I accepted the refund offer for the publishing package. For me, this illustrated culpability on the part of Balboa Press/ASI, now under Penguin Random.

The Resolutions manager curiously kept stating that the files I would receive after purchase were not production ready files. I then realized he had to have access to my email to Customer Service before him. “My two cents, for what it’s worth, don’t purchase the production files. The files are just pdf. files. Your new publisher will want to reformat the book anyway.” I thought, "That’s odd. Now this individual is humane?” Go figure.

BACK TO THE CSR REGARDING THE PRODUCTION FILES:

I telephoned the CSR that offered up his take on the production files in the above emails. Obviously, he did not take my advice and ask a director. I asked him how he could furbish me with false information. He replied, “I am sorry. I assumed the production files purchased by the author would be usable; they are not. I was corrected.”

This CSR had no clue as to the reliability of the information he was providing me. In all fairness, he probably thought that integrity dictated, “Yes, these are production ready files.” I would like to think he generated false information with good intentions. He learned from the brass otherwise.

I kept logs of all telephone conversations and names. I forwarded emails exchanged between Balboa Press, ASI, and myself to a colleague; later to an attorney. Since my residence is in a two-party state, I did not record the telephone conversations, although there were those present that could attest to the telephone conversations after their shock had subsided... After awhile, even they were no longer entertained.

Closing statement:

To my regretful error, I never connected the dots between Balboa Press, a division of Hay House and Author Solutions, Inc. Did I ask the right questions? Surely a seasoned veteran of this industry would have done better, but in the throws of it all, I tackled the situations that arose to the best of my ability.

The million-dollar question around the net is how Louise L. Hay of Hay House could allow her life’s work to be mired in this fashion. Other authors and book consultants continuously chime, “If Louise Hay knew what Author Solutions, Inc. has done to her name…” Simply stated, the answer to the million-dollar question is, “It is a multi-million dollar venture.”

A colleague interjects, “How could Louise Hay not know all this? If I am ever in her presence I will surely ask!! She's at a conference with other spiritual leaders right now. I mean she publishes for people like Depak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, etc. Do they get special treatment? Or what?” Of course they do.

Another individual offers, “If Hay knows and is not doing anything... I have lost faith in her possessing any goodness and it makes all her spiritual guidance worthless.”

Louise L. Hay is 86-years-old, not that her age alludes to any excuse. It is as if she is a legend amongst spiritual authors and practitioners. She might go into the office once a month... Sources state that Reid Tracy rules her imprint and affiliate empires with "an iron fist." Who knows what is true.

The underlings, like the young CSR's, for the most part were very gracious; a few appeared bored, but it was clear their lack of knowledge was an impediment.

However, when I start to feel empathy for a lovely 86-year-old spiritual icon, possibly being taken advantage of, or intentionally left out of the loop and the 'happy' young CSR's (I envision Muffy, her ponytail or two swinging in the air from the 1950's), I suddenly revert to a reality check. This book was something special, nowhere near perfect, but it was to benefit advocacy and aid for special needs children. That's the reality check. I would rather be thankful for competence, than be stroked with sugar.

It is not that difficult to use a little ingenuity when formatting a book. The author has paid for this service. It is not the author's responsibility to format the book. It is not the author's responsibility to explain to the format department that illustrative text needs to be aligned with the illustrations. If one cannot read the RAD form in the language with which it was written to create illustrations - hey, there is a problem. Or, if there is confusion with understanding what the author was attempting to convey to the illustrator, it does not take a rocket scientist to comprehend that the illustrator needs to be in contact with the author. It would help if there was competent oversight in each department to diminish the issues that arose like, "Oops, the book was published with the incorrect title."

I would have been thankful had the book not been ill-designed and ill-formatted, as one book designer put it as gently as possible, omitting expletives of course, as "something out of the 1950's."

By grace, I have found professional individuals with talent, ingenuity, heart, and integrity to which I am thankful. So can you!

In solidarity,

Jilliestake

Copyright © 2013 Jilliestake - All rights reserved.


Update: Class Action lawsuit April 14-2014:
http://www.gslawny.com/lawyer-attorney-2103286.html

To view the class action lawsuit filed against Author Solutions, Inc. and its affiliates:
http://www.gslawny.com/lawyer-attorney-2103286.html

To view the recent filing amended filing:  http://www.victoriastrauss.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/AuthorSolutionsFirst-Amended-Complaint_7.19.2013.pdf




88 comments:

  1. So very sorry for what you went through, and so very disappointed with Louise Hay. This needs to go viral. I'm sure this technique isn't detailed in any of the books on how one goes about attracting Prosperity into their life?
    Even though I went through this with you, there were a few 'bombs' I'd forgotten about. There were so many.

    Keep the faith! Angel Babies will Fly, now that you're in the right hands!

    And, now that you're a Pro- seen the underbelly of 'this' industry and survived the learning curve... When does
    "A BALBOA PRESS SURVIVOR'S LIVING NIGHTMARE VIA AUTHOR SOLUTIONS,INC. MANAGEMENT SERVICES AND FACADE"
    go to press?

    Love & Hugs, D

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is an excellent case for the start of a cluster lawsuit... check email.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Indeed, I've been in the same boat, only I paid for the $6000 Soar Package, and after promising me that my book would be published within two months (that was three years ago) I am still struggling from the financial loss and trying with whatever meagre means I have available to do the work myself. In short Balboa lied through their teeth, offered no transparency in my case either and in the end it's been like a game of ping-pong - every service they offered, they just hand-balled the book back to me and told me I'd have to take care of it. In the long run I too have now come to realise through testamonials on the net that Balboa sure isn't all it was cracked up to be, and just how evil they are in mucking you about. But none of that was floating around when I signed on, which I did purely out of trust for their affiliation with Louise Hay. Indeed, for a woman who helped save my life and inspired me to try to help others, it's been her association with this sham that has wreaked so much heartbreak and financial ruin . . . it's disturbing that she hasn't pulled the plug. I don't look back and resent the transaction but only for my own well-being, it's been a valuable learning experience and I don't want it to haunt me, but it has extinguished much of the original passion I felt for my "baby", and I still feel like such a monumental mountain lies before me to climb before I reach the place I thought I'd arrive at so long ago now - I'm just grateful that there's so much more discussion about Balboa and their crooked ways so that others might not have to suffer through such a farcical and destructive process as you and I have. Thank you for such a detailed account and I wish you all the best of luck with your book for the future

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Anon,
      Thank you for taking the time to comment. So very sorry you were apparently defrauded, too. The financial and emotional toll felt by the trusting author is simply horrid.
      Our best to you, too. Climb back up. That's all we can do. And, please share, so other unsuspecting authors are not duped into oblivion. Please let us know how you do! Any questions email to: jilliestake@live.com
      Thank you.

      Delete
  4. I supposed to seal a deal with Balboa tomorrow. In light of this article I am now hesitant. Does anyone have ideas for a better option?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Steve,
      Please be very 'careful'. It is tedious, but you can publish your work, your pride, by yourself. Thus, you own it. There are numerous, honest, industry people that will give you direction. I know. I found them. Feel free to submit questions if need be to: jilliestake@live.com. Best of luck.

      Delete
  5. Hi Jillie (and Steve) - I read with extreme interest your blog and the details of your story - we have heard similar stories numerous times. Can I suggest you download a Free ebook by www.doityourselfpublishing.com.au on the traps of vanity versus self publishing. If I had your emails I could send it to you directly.
    Jillie with your permission I would like to reference your blog on our site (under authors beware).
    The latter part of the booklet highlights some of the vanity traps - that are not commonly known.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'Skye' - The reference text would require prior approval.
      Thank you.

      Delete
  6. Have been "screwed over" by Balboa Press, too. I'm not done with them yet though.

    ReplyDelete
  7. We wish you the best... Author Solutions, Inc. is not a walk in the park to deal with, since they maintain all operations for Balboa Press.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for all this just paid Balboa first payment and already nightmare. Found your Blog. I'm pulling out right NOW. So many lies in 2 days! Thanks for your post

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lea...
      Please follow up and let us know, if possible, what went wrong, or right for that matter.
      Thank you for commenting.

      Delete
  9. Thank you for sharing this. I think i will go down self-publishing through Amazon's print on demand.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The best advice--if you have to pay to publish run the other way because...if you book is good you will be paid.

    Another scam is the Publish America...they will print anything and then if a book is sold for $19.00--the author get a paltry $1.10 if that.

    I use Amazons Create Space and have four books on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Of course, I have to do my own marketing--but that is better than paying $7999.00 to VP like Balboa.

    Also, if a person really has a good manuscript here is a link to the Association of Author Representatives. http://aaronline.org/Find These are top literary agents that have writers guidelines and you can submit your manuscript on line.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Jillie -
    1. Many authors who come across Balboa need to know what the difference is between Vanity Publishing (Self Publishing and DIY publishing (Self Publishing). This link provides a simple 1 page PDF showing the differences. http://www.doityourselfpublishing.com.au/vanity-vs-self-publishing/

    2. I read with interest than many authors use Createspace - if you are Australian there are some definate pitfalls (tax, postage) to name a few. You really need to talk to a publishing business coach or do your homework. Createspace may be good for US clients but there are better options in Australia.

    The simplest solution is to educate yourself before you commit to a particular publishing path. I’ve consulted with half a dozen writers in the last two months, and this power of a little education has been proven over and over again.
    With thanks

    ReplyDelete
  12. Pauline Raymond (U.K.)January 23, 2014 at 6:15 AM

    Hi Jillie, I have just read your entire story, and like a book I couldn't put it down! So glad I came across your article and you as I was about to contact Balboa Press (U.K.). I won't be doing that now.
    I have several books in mind, a 'Spirtitual Journey', a book of short stories and Poetry. Which is one of the reasons I was choosing Balboa, because of the connection to Hay House, and the amazing writing by Louise Hay herself and the many 'spiritual' authors published by Hay House. What a shame I won't be the 'next published author selected by Hay House' - blog by Balboa Press to entice.
    Good luck, and thank you for a generous and enlightening read.
    Regards,
    Pauline.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pauline,
      Thank you for taking the time to comment and read the 'lengthy' expose'. Best to you in your venture with your book. Let us know how things work out.

      Delete
  13. Help! I've just come across your great Article. Unfortunately, I've already paid up for their Embark package (last year) My writing had been delayed because of family illness, so I've not got to the stage of submitting anything yet. Do I just make my excuses & run while I still can? I didn't even think of looking to see if Balboa (et al) have any refund policy! Could someone out there please advise me? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bernie, run like the wind. They do have a "set-up" fee (I don't remember the amount, but it is relatively small) that is not refunded, but if you have yet to submit anything, they should give you the bulk of your money back. As a back-up, I called my credit card company and talked to them. I said that the "product" that Balboa sold me was under false pretenses and (wihtout getting into all the details) Visa advised me that if Balboa refused the refund I should call back and initiate a protest.

      Delete
    2. Bernie,
      Take Karl's advice "run like the wind."

      Delete
    3. Thanks Karl & Jilliestake for your most helpful replies :) I shall indeed "run like the wind" & aim to get the bulk of my money back! <3

      Delete
    4. Bernie... BTW...If you do not receive a full refund, please contact through email at jilliestake@live.com. More authors have written in with absolute horror stories. Much going on behind the scenes.

      Delete
    5. Thanks Jillie, I requested a refund a month ago, attached a letter with my signature, at their request, 2 weeks ago & have had no acknowledgement so far. I've forwarded this email to the sales & customer depts today & asked for acknowledgement etc....

      Delete
    6. Hi again, I read through your article again with fresh eyes (I was still in shock when I read it last) I feel you've hit the nail on the head about Louise Hay - I sense she's very much out of this loony loop but at some level has *chosen* to be so. Still a Denial, however one might look at it. I also feel that she has allowed her integrity to be swept away by Reid Tracy ~ just writing his name makes me feel very uneasy. There's just *something* about him & his energy...... ??? Whatever, the truth will out in the end & your great article is doing that already :)

      Delete
    7. Dear Bernie,
      Thank you for the update. Please be sure you copied Eugene Hopkins in the Resolutions Department. Unfortunately, he has the final say. It is known that he is not as belligerent and condescending with males, but that is no prize either. Female authors have written emails attesting to his abhorrent, cavemanesque behavior, which I personally found offensive, along with colleagues present listening to telephone exchanges with the 'gentleman'. Louise Hay should be proud.

      Delete
  14. wow. thank you for putting this together .. b/c I was thinking about going with them as a publisher. I appreciate your time and energy you put into explaining in the clear detail of what route not to take.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Allison. Best to you. Please share to protect new authors. Best to you with your book!

      Delete
  15. Thank you for taking the time to put this on the web. Very helpful and clear. I know which route I won't be taking

    ReplyDelete
  16. A BIG THANK you for taking the time to share your experience. I had originally signed up with Balboa last year, after attending a Hay House event. I paid them for the basic package and then, as luck would have it, found out about their practices before having submitted any of my work. I asked for a refund and after some phone calls from their "managers" they gave me a credit, minus the "set-up" fee. Overall, I would say to anyone considering their services, don't be fooled by the hype!!! Is there even 1 person out there, even one blog, that says anything good about them? I haven't seen one and I would say that it might be possible, but you'll have to dig deep.Regardless of who is running Hay House, they can't be ignorant of what is happening and they should be ashamed to be connected with this nonsense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karl... So thankful you received a refund. I will have an update as I have received numerous emails regarding worse scenarios than addressed in the expose'. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

      Delete
  17. Hi Jillie - many authors who have read your blog have found their way to the Do-It-Yourself-Publishing website and in fact have been able to set up themselves as the pubisher with Ingram Spark - without paying a middleman. On the home page there are free booklets that will guide them into the process without fear - and we will always assist through our book coach program if they wish. But no hard selling - it is totally up to the author. Here is the link for home page and FREE self publishing checklists (booklets) on right of home page http://goo.gl/B0mwIr.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Going with Balboa has unfortunately also been a very poor choice for me.It appears the best staff they have are the sales team.

    I purchased a few of there very expensive packages and even went overseas (from Australia to Canada and the USA) to attend book signings at the ICDI events. A 12 week global marketing package was also purchased with the promise that media, speaking engagements would be arranged for each destination. This package was subcontracted out to Bohlsen. Not a single thing was arranged.

    I had started to write a letter of complaint expressing my respect for Louise Hay and the fact that I believed Hay House was built on Spiritual and Ethical foundations and that it was sad to see what it had become. I soon changed my tune about those beliefs too. I by chance found myself with an opportunity to speak with Louise and was going to ask if I could be in touch with a few concerns but then noticed a few people coming our way and out of respect chose not to say anything at that time. Instead I asked if she wouldn't mind having a photograph with myself and my latest book.....keep in mind that I was at her event and about to begin a book signing there at any moment which cost thousands to attend. Her reply was "No I don't do that"

    Sadly I lost a lost of respect and I only hope that I always remain the person that I am no matter how successful I become.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am truly sorry for what you have been through. Wishing you the best. Thank you for sharing.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Jilliestake, just sharing in the hope that it saves others from having the same experience xx

      Delete
    3. "It appears the best staff they have are the sales team." You're bang on with this one!

      Delete
  19. Thank you Jillie for creating this blog and letting us know about your ordeal.
    I am sorry about all the things you went through but at least you are using them in a positive way to help others.
    What I read here opened my eyes big time.
    Thank you everybody for all the testimonies. God bless you.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Very interesting exposé on Balboa Press

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks Jillie, I just got a reply from Balboa claiming that I'm due nothing because I'd cancelled after 6 months! There was nothing intheir agreement saying this! I'll forward their email to you.
    Bernie

    ReplyDelete
  22. Yee Hah! Thanks to you Jill, I got a refund of most of my money! Thank You so much for your wonderful support & advice :) Now I can focus on doing all I can to promote your cause... Many blessings to you XXX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely so thrilled for you Bernie!! "Yee Hah!" indeed!

      Delete
  23. Thank you for sharing your nightmare. I'm so glad you did, as I have had two conversations with Balboa Press about my own book.
    I'm a new writer, and know that there are many options out there for publishing. I thought Balboa Press was one of them. I appreciate reading about your experience.
    How did you find the strength to trust someone else to publish your book? Who did you finally go with?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Brigitte Curt www.brigittecurt.orgAugust 30, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    All of us, young spirited authors, are for ever thankful for the immense amount of work you have done.We barely escaped Author Solutions by a miracle warning and were considering Balboa Press, as it would be logical for the kind of writing we want to publish.
    You have our sincere sympathy and heart felt compassion for the tremendous nightmare experience you have been through.
    We could say Balboa Press has been hacked up by" the other side", and Louise Hays is not a fool. 84 years old is not brain fade and if she is awake enough to attend conferences she is able to see what is going on. So we would assess she is complicit. Very sad.
    the following question is: in your experience, do you have any one you could recommend ? contacts with honorable people that can actually help us bring our precious projects to the public?
    Again, we cannot be thankful enough for what you are doing.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Jillie, thank you, thank you. I read it all,thinking it would make a great Kindle book! I have been in communication with Irene from the Phillipines for Babola.She is keen to sign me up with a package. (can be discounted!) I will send her this link and the one for Linkin discussion in same vein. I wonder if she is familiar with the 'barge pole' expression.
    This may or may not be of interest but a fellow student, (mature age) from a NEIS small business training course is having his work and others published in China. Im not affiliated but can pass on queries. Im also in contact with superb artists and illustrators in Ubud in Bali. donneperth@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Wow! I feel blessed to have found your nightmare blog! My husband just bought me a ticket to Hay house's Speak Write Promote. in Chicago. Now I wonder it I should cancel that!

    ReplyDelete
  27. The writer's workshop is a huge marketing ploy that Hay House uses for Balboa Press. You will get nothing out of it. Very poor quality. Hay House started these workshops at the same time that they went into business with Author's Solutions. It is all very sad that Hay House is a company so many people trust because of what they represent and it turns out they are just preying on trusting innocent people. Truly a tragedy.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Me again Jillie - many of your blog readers have found there way to our Do-it-Yourself-Publishing (Australian) website. I had to share with you what one recent author called us - the RSPCA (Royal Society for Protection & Cruelty to AUTHORS) after realizing they had just been caught in Balboa's Vanity trap. The author called us this because of the high number of authors we help to get back on track with TRUE self publishing. Our goal is to give them information on self publishing opportunities, supply services (if necessary) and only direct them to where they retain control, ownership and 100% of profits. NO HARD SELLING AND SPAMMING which is customary with Vanity Press.

    If new authors just realized 1 thing: that BALBOA use Lightning Source (LS) for printing and distribution and they can cut out a middleman (a vanity press) by going direct through Ingram Spark (a division of LS /Ingram) they would save themselves thousands of dollars, time and heartache - have the same distribution opportunities as Balboa and better still, print their own books AT COST -

    THUS absolutely no need for vanity publishing in this day and age.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I am glad that I found your blog. I was moments away from emailing the representative that I would sign up although I am not done with my book yet. This would have been my 2nd disaster of working with independent publishing, after my first one which was basically a good start but I wanted a little more marketing support, which is why I went a different way for my revised edition of my first book. Now I guess I will look back to my first publisher (independent) again or find someone else that my colleagues can tell me is reputable.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hello All - So sorry to hear of your troubles. I can recommend 1106 Design to walk you through the process of getting your book to market. You retain all rights, and they simply produce everything for you. I have self published two books and have been thrilled with their services. They hand-hold you through everything, from interior design, cover design, getting ISBNs, converting your book to an e-book, uploading your files to Amazon and Lightning Source for print on demand, and will manage the print process with excellent printers if you want to get your book printed in bulk. The web site is www.1106Design.com, and Ronda and Michele will give you personal service all the way. You can see my book at www.KathyAndersen.com I hope this is helpful. With best regards, Kathy.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi Jillie! I am an inspiring children's book author of a spiritual children's book as well. I attended the Hayhouse writing from your soul workshop in April, and entered their contest. I have been considering self publishing versus independent publishing. I was actually interested in pursuing Balboa until I came across your blog post as a suggested link on my fb page. I do not believe in coincidences. Is there any advice you can offer me? My book is a spiritual children's book, written and illustrated by me. Should I pursue independent publishing instead? if so, can you recommend any publishers? I beleive I was meant to read this post. I would appreciate your feed back. Thanks so much! In love, and light :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Anon...
      If at all possible, self-publish. If you need someone to set up the files for self-publishing, I can recommend someone, along with their recommendation for the avenue you should take.
      Best to you.

      Delete
  32. I signed on with Balboa May 2013. My book is in the design phase. I already spent extra money on services they made sound as though they were "included". Now they want another $6000-$7000 for marketing. I am concerned of anymore money I may need to pay in the future. Do I allow them to publish and pray for the best or should I pull out now?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Anon... No one can 'tell' you what to do, but trust your gut instinct. Marketing: Read reviews and experiences of authors available on the internet outside of Balboa's realm.

      Delete
  33. Hi Jillie,

    I found your blog.. Thank you!

    I called Balboa to get a refund a couple of weeks ago and she basically said no problem and that I would get it in 5 days.

    However, 2 weeks later and still no refund.

    I left an email for the person that I've been dealing with.

    Are there any other bits of advice you can share before I make my phone call to them?

    Thank you
    Matt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Matt... The "Author Agreement" has apparently changed over the last couple of years. Previously, an author would need to speak with the "Resolutions Department."

      Read the 'agreement' thoroughly, especially [16.2-Notices] or others. As we do not know the circumstances of your request for a refund... it is difficult to ascertain/recommend the avenue best to take. Plus, the 'recent' agreement was not in place and appears to have been re-written since 2012/2013 and since the filing of the class action lawsuit. However, any 'marketers/sale reps do not appear to be given authority to refund authors, especially out of the Philippines (another author is having difficulties receiving a refund). You are dealing with Author Solutions, Inc. At least that fact now appears on the re-tooled "author agreement" when requesting a refund for breach of contract.

      Best to you.
      If you wish to discuss further, email jilliestake@live.com.

      Delete
  34. Hi Jill! Thank you for your quick response.

    16.2 - talks about breach of contract. There was no breach.

    I looked over my contract and it looks like I'm going with 10.1 below and it seems I have right to a full refund minus 150.00 -

    Well, we'll see, I'll call them tomorrow and find out what they have to say.

    Thanks!

    I don't see any need to mail anything to them directly.. just that

    10.1 Refunds following Termination. Unless specifically noted in this Section, if You terminate the Agreement, or any Service Order, You shall remain liable for payment of the balance of any payments due pursuant to any outstanding unpaid Service Orders or for any unpaid amounts for Additional Services, and no refund shall be due to You.
    Exception for the Publishing Package:
    You may be entitled to a refund of all or a portion of the amount You paid for a Publishing Package. The refund opportunity is exclusive to the amount paid for the Publishing Package as referenced in the Service Order. All other Services are non-refundable after purchase. You shall be entitled to a refund of the amount paid for the Publishing Package as follows:
    a. Prior to submission of the manuscript: 100% [less a $150 (USD) setup fee]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you receive a confirmation email that your publishing package would be refunded? 10.4 refers to (35 days)...

      Delete
  35. Thanks for this information. Trying to make the decision whether to go with them or not. Thanks!!!! NOT!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Thank you so much for your review! The sales consultant team are really positive and what not, but the amount of time and limited information that the team gives you was below par. Plus the amount they wanted to charge me for editing was inbeleivable! Went with a freelancer that CORRECTED their errors in the "Editorial Assessment" they had done prior.

    I had put my refund in three weeks ago, and after numerous emails and phone calls, my refund is apparently being wired through today (Getting 85% of money back).
    After this stumble with self publishing, I think I shall work on finishing my rewrite and then send my manuscript to the more Tradition publishers.
    Once again, thank you for your review that would have saved my hide, and my wallet!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Update on refund. Apparently now I will NOT be receiving a refund due to the fact there was still ongoing payments.
    I didn't spot anything to do with "To receive a refund, you must pay in full" within the ToC.

    If AUTHOR terminates this agreement
    for any reason other than a breach of contract by SERVICE PROVIDER, AUTHOR
    agrees to pay SERVICE PROVIDER any
    amounts due on services purchased.
    SERVICE PROVIDER will refund amounts
    paid by AUTHOR as follows: etc etc

    I have replied with a strongly worded letter to the man who emailed me with:

    Dear Ms. (Removing name),



    I am writing in response to the follow up of the refund request for the cancelled project. There was no monetary refund for the cancelled project because the project was not paid in full and the total payment was not enough to cover the 50% hold back of the service order. Please refer to the calculation details.



    PID 720614 (July 9, 2015)



    Service Order Item:

    Chapter Five A$ 3,479.40

    Payment Plan Fee A$ 100.00



    Total Order Amount: A$ 3,579.40

    Paid Amount: A$ 1,491.77

    Less:

    (Payment Plan Fee) (A$ 100.00)

    (50% hold back of the publishing package) (A$ 1,739.70)



    Post-Termination Balance: (A$ 347.93)





    Sincerely,



    R.
    AUTHOR satisfaction group
    Author Solutions, LLC
    A Penguin Random House Company

    To which my response was:

    With due respect, I see nothing in the terms and conditions where the package had to be paid in full for a refund to occur.

    I have been informed by at least three people that happily told me that i would recieve some of my money back as the "Editorial Assessment" was really only used from the amount that I had already paid.

    "If AUTHOR terminates this agreement for any reason other than a breach of contract by the SERVICE PROVIDER, AUTHOR agrees to pay SERVICE PROVIDER any amounts due on services purchased. SERVICE PROVIDER will refund amounts PAID by author as follows."

    Please note how it does not say that all packages purchased must be paid in full in order to qualify for a refund. I was told that I would get most of my money back that I had PAID. Please refer to Angel Stevens, Mary Alvarado, and Hannah who answered my calls a few days ago.

    I also recall making three monumental transactions with Balboa Press.

    Firstly, US 299.66, 06.28.2015
    Secondly, US 735.88, 08.12.2015
    Thirdly, US 492.22, 07.12.2015

    I assume with the package I had chosen, that the Editorial Assessment would NOT consume all of that money that I had paid, and therefore I would greatly appreciate in your company sending it back to me.
    I look forward to your response with the handling of my money.


    Has anyone else run into this issue? This has been going on for three weeks now where I have been told one thing by one person, and then another from a secondary person.
    *sigh* All I want is what is rightfully mine...

    ReplyDelete
  38. I attended the hay House writers conference in Brisbane last month, It would turn out to be Wayne Dyers last event. It was cool to hear the authors speak and gave me a sense that the craft of writing still exists. But then after the authors the company heads took to the stage. And all they talked about was the platform and the costs. They gave out entry forms to enter a writers contest to have a book published. But no where in the contest do the evaluate your writing, they look at the size of your existing audience and a synopsis of the book you plan. I was shocked as I thought the quality of your writing should be part of this, and it wasn't. Even the two heads who spoke talked about how they had written books, but had never liked writing before and still didn't. But where there to prove anyone can write. There was a big push to Balboa and I have been contacted by Balboa a few times. But I have had an uneasy feeling about the whole company ever since the conference. Now I see my feelings were well founded. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thank you so much for your work in exposing the ugly underside of this company. I am still working on getting my refund and know that the more information I have about their practices and complaints, the more likely it is that I prevail. The scenarios are so similar, it is scary, especially the fact that most of us have trusted Balboa because we felt they were under Louise Hay's mantle. I too have dealt with Eugene Hopkins who was initially helpful, but for 4 months now has not returned my phone calls. Thank you again for the support you've provided with your blog. Martha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Martha... Thank you for reading and writing in. 'So very sorry you are now another 'number.' Please share if time permits. I received information that might help your case as proven via another author. Consumer Mediator Consumer Protection Division
      Phone: (317) 233 4737
      Fax: (317) 233 4393
      An author can file an online official complaint and provide the evidence (as attachment) directly to the Attorney General's Office for the state of Indiana: http://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/2434.htm

      Please keep us up-to-date.
      Best to you.

      Delete
  40. Hey Jillie,

    Thanks again for posting this information about Balboa Press. I, myself, being a big fan of Hay House thought that Balboa Press would be a great choice to get my book out there. So I have a couple of questions/comments for you:

    1. How is your class action lawsuit holding up? If you can share that information with me, great - if not, no worries.

    2. I think I might ask for refund of my very small package of $1,700. It seems that Balboa Press may in fact do their worst, if I decide to continue.

    3. They have also have changed their check in coordinator many times since I bought my package back in 2014... so I am wondering if people keep quitting because of their poor business practices.

    4. My last thought is this... for guy like myself that just wants something simple done, it sounds like that Balboa Press is NOT the best choice, because they will never hold their end of bargain in an ethical way. So where can a guy like me get started and still have it published in the next 6-8 months? I thought that I might be able to have it on hardcover by the beginning of January 2017, but it sounds like Balboa Press might not follow through. Where do you think I could begin - just check out Amazon Create Space, Ingram Spark, or Lightning Source?

    I just wish I had known this 2 years ago...

    Thanks for your help in this endeavor Jillie.

    God Bless.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hi Jillie, Hindsight being 20 - 20 did you try to get a refund through your credit card company? I spent 16 years in publishing and I would have pulled the plug after the first few glaring errors and evasions. Anyway, I teach course at a Community College of Self Publishing. MAy I have permission to refer to your blog for my student writers? I'll use samples in my PowerPoint and credit your blog as the source.
    Thank you,
    Mike

    ReplyDelete
  42. I have paid them $1600 so far with another 3 payments due of the same amount for a marketing package. However they took the money prior to sending me their contract to sign.
    I did not agree with their contract so did not sign it. I had an uneasy feeling, felt I had been scammed and that it was all about the marketing money and not about the book so said I would like my money back. Angel was the sales lady who was very good at selling but did not tell me the entire truth about royalties. I have now asked for my money back, that was 3 weeks ago, she said I would have it at the end of the week, Guess what? Still waiting !!!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Well it seems they are a company that sells marketing rather than a specialist publishing company. Thats the problem.
    I did not sign an agreement with them as did not agree with it but chose a marketing package. Before I knew it they had my details and my first payment of $1600 was taken. Two to follow!!!! I have now asked for a refund, they have tried their hardest to persuade me to stay, I refuse to take their calls as want everything in writing. I was promised a full refund 3 weeks ago have not received a thing !!!!

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    1. Jill... You are the second author this week with the same 'story.' Please consider filing a complaint with the Attorney General's Office in Indiana if you have documented evidence regarding promise of a refund. The AG has helped many authors--not all. Best to you and thank you for sharing. Please keep us informed. Visit "Balboa Press Survivors" on FB for more info regarding the AG of Indiana et al.

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  44. I would like to thank you for taking the time and effort of detailing in such great details your adventure with Balboa. It's been 2 years of back and forth with my book, they demanded that I take a Pen name and had to remove my name anywhere that could link me to the book (3 web sites), I had the book edited 4 times and again they are saying it is ok. Since then I have someone harassing me for $10 000 american (Im Canadian) to help me make my book better. I started to see red flags awhile ago, but like you I have been so far in, it is difficult to back out. Now they are vaguely answering my questions about the cost of marketing or my rights and cost to sell E-books and much more. I see a lot of similarity with what happened to you. I had to removed prediction who has since happened since I wrote them and there is more coming soon. My book is a spiritual book but also an important message so I have decided, refund or not, I will have to self-publish not an easy route since I am French and don't want to make the wrong choice again. I would appreciate any advice and would even pay for the right help! Thank you thank you for writing your blog.

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  45. I wrote to you in January 2016 when I was still working on getting a refund. Hard to believe, but it finally happened and it was through Eugene Hopkins. I know that my persistence, and civil approach helped. I am also an attorney though I always told them my goal was not to sue but to receive my refund because it was the right thing. From the time I cancelled my "contract" to receiving the refund, it was over TWO years of persistent phone calls with references to the complete log of all calls and responses, or rather "non-responses." Good luck to all of you on getting refunds--hang in there but spare the anger which may be justified but is counter-productive. Blessings to all of you. Martha

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  46. Thank you so very much for your time to write about your experience with Balboa! I too was going to go thru them! In fact I get calls pushy. I felt pushed, but uneasiness now I know why. My book is photographs of angels and others from other places.have to find another Avenue for they are real photos from other dimensions. I'm glad I came across this. Thank you so much!!!!
    Mica

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  47. Yes your story is Deja Vu. I am a recent Balboa Press Author. I purchased a publishing package two years ago for $1,700.00 (on sale) after publishing my book I was contacted by the marketing department, the marketing rep started the conversation by saying "so how about we start your marketing budget at $10,000.00" My jaw dropped and I told him that I wasn't prepared to spend that much money on marketing my book. The rest of the conversation felt like I was buying a used car from a very unscrupulous salesmen. He finally told me that $3,000.00 was about as low as he could go, which was a lie since the $3,000.00 was the total price of a press release package and a web promotion package. I decided to go with the lowest price package ($1,200.00) which made my total investment with Balboa to be $3,000.00 The second marketing rep did give me some good ideas about promoting my book but that was just a lead into trying to get me to buy 100 copies of my own book. This was interesting since when I first bought the publishing package they defended the fact that you only receive 15 copies of your book because most authors don't go around selling their own books so they end up collecting dust in their garage. The marketing rep kept emphasizing that the large book quantity was meant to save me on the shipping cost. Speaking of which when you pay for the original package the cost doesn't include the cost of shipping the 15 copies of your book to you after they are printed. It seems that most of their marketing of my book has been in an effort to get me to buy large quantities myself. It's been 4 months since my book was published and I haven't heard nor seen any kind of statement about my royalties. After reading your story it sounds as though they will play the same game on me in that regard. I feel your pain.

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    1. John... Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, which are 'on the mark.' Best to you.

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  48. Thank you for your account of your dealing with Balboa. I thought I was the only one fighting them. Another company WestBow Pub is in with Author Solutions and Balboa. Same run around same issues with them. I am writing a second book so I am looking for a honest publisher. Any suggestions? I have found a excellent editor who dose great work! Anyone needing a editor for their book drop me a line and I will give you her address.Mine is: desertdove2002@yahoo.com

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment. We cannot recommend any publisher, aside from the author themselves truly self-publishing, as the industry appears to be engulfed in fraudulent practices--a swamp with no apparent oversight. Best to you.

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  49. Need help please.. My 18 year old daughter self published a book which had received much media attention.. Her book is geared to teens and have had many reach out to her about how reading it saved them from ending their life.. All my daughter wants to do is touch as many lives as possible.. Today she received a call from Balboa Press telling her how with the passing of Wayne and Ann Hayes in her 90's.. They see her as the future of Hayes Publishing and for $1500 package they will help her get there.. You can imagine the excitement of my daughter as this is the break she's been looking for... Any insight would be appreciated.

    mitch@lasvegasconnexx.com

    Thanks

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    1. If Hay House wanted your daughter's work, Hay House would contact directly and no 'package' would need to be paid by the author(your daughter, who already self-published). Reputable publishing companies pay the author to publish the author's book. Balboa Press, altho marketed as a Div of Hay House, is a separate entity, run by Author Solutions, Inc. What the marketer has stated to your daughter appears to be an expertly crafted 'hook' for novices and egregious. Please be careful and do your research. Best to you both.

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  50. Hi, Jillie,
    I am so grateful I found your blog. I guess, your Angels were looking after me. I was going to make a deal with Balboa next week publishing my book of poetry. I too was drawn by the topics the advertise.
    Very grateful. KInd regards Draga

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  51. Hi Jillie,
    Wish I would have found you sooner!
    I had all the same problems publishing with balboa press. Worst experience of my life! Thank you for writing this. I was to overwhelmed to find away to explain all this so I'm happy that you did. I send love to you, and again Thank you!

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    1. Thank you Lance. So very sorry for your experience, too.

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  52. U signed to Balboa today and now feel very stupid, is there any way of backing out and cancelling. I can't find anything? I am in Australia

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  53. Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this information, and your experiences working with Balboa (AKA Author Solutions). I'd been seriously considering Balboa as a viable path to Hay House. I've been in both email and telephone conversations with Robert Colon.

    I started to get really uncomfortable when attempting to hard sell me on the Hay House Radio Interview (and additional $2000 cost), he mentioned that this was my avenue to get discovered by Hay House readers, and from that, to get picked up to a traditional Hay House contract, since (according to him) many thousands of listeners all over the world listen to Hay House online. And that for $2000, I would get a one-hour interview (he later admitted that this one-hour interview would actually be "edited down" to 15 minutes...so, in fact, its a 15 minute interview, not one hour, as he originally stated.

    He then went on to say that after the original live interview, it would be posted on the Hay House radio website, and that it would be re-aired, or replayed 12 times during the month.

    However, in reading the language on their website, it states that replays can be "up to" 12 times. I pushed back on this, asking him for clarity, telling him that I wasn't interested in paying an additional $2000 for what is effectively a 15-minute interview, with no written guarantee that it would be re-aired 12 times as he'd advertised. And that "up to" was very ambiguous language, and non-commital; that "up to" can mean anywhere from zero, up to 12 replays. I wouldn't pay $2000 for such unclear, foggy language.

    Having said that, if possible, I would still love to get published at Hay House. However, I'm a brand new, first time author. And while I intend to write many, many more books, so far, my challenge is finding a reputable, experienced literary agent who will sign a newbie author.

    Jill, do you have any suggestions or recommendations for a reputable agent(s), andindependent book consultant(s)?

    Thank you so much, again, for sharing this detailed information about your horrendous experiences with Balboa!

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  54. I am SO sorry to hear of your fiasco with Balboa press and Hay House. I was JUST doing research for my manuscript when I cam across your blog. Thank you for the warning! Joanie

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  55. Allegedly, Balboa Press was begun by Hay House after Hay House found themselves in dire financial straits due to losing at least two plagiarism lawsuits, and having numerous books with vastly lower than expected sales. As well, the 2008 (and onward) recession hit them hard (as it did to other publishers). The only reason they started Balboa Press (through Author Solutions) and the series of writer's conferences/cruises was to raise cash. This information comes from a publishing industry insider, but it's not possible to confirm it. Hay House marketing makes it sound like, "You too can be a published writer (just spend money for our conference/cruise)", when they really don't have any desire to "help" anyone other than themselves (by taking hopeful and desperate writers' money). Hay House allegedly utilized several of their "famous" authors to market the conferences/cruises merely as an effort to provide legitimacy. All of it is hype. Being published by Hay House and being "published" by Balboa Press are absolutely not the same thing; if you sign with Balboa Press, you're signing with Author Solutions. Best advice: Do not use Balboa Press.

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  56. Wow! what a read. Thank you for sharing. I have been thinking about signing up with Balboa after they called me and offered me a discount price. It's a time sensitive discount until tomorrow so I have found you just in time. What got me was their aggressive hard sales technique - seemed far too pushy to me - luckily my intuition told me to do some research. The caller said all these wonderful things about my book (which I self published through Amazon) which I nearly fell for but asked her if she'd actually read it and she admitted she hadn't! All too fake for me. Luckily I've read your Blog as well as all the comments which completely prove yours is not an isolated case. Anyway, really want to tell you about Self Publishing School who helped me no end to self publish my book. Heaps of support from their knowledgeable and dedicated staff as well as from fellow authors who I'm still in touch with. https://self-publishingschool.com/ Love and Blessings xx

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  57. Great article. I hope that it saves others from going through the hell that you experienced. It is absolutely horrible what you went through.

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  58. This has filled my heart and head with both enlightenment and sadness. I too, believed in Hay House, Balboa. I have not signed anything with them I will not, since reading the entire story. What evil lurks in disguised words. We wordsmiths have a special heart and must keep a clear head when the business of publishing is at hand. Thank you for this story. It is most important.

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