In my last post about Airleaf (a now-defunct vanity publisher and "marketing" service currently being sued by the Indiana Attorney General for nonperformance, among other things), I noted that Airleaf has spawned several additional publishing enterprises, including Jones Harvest Publishing, an Airleaf lookalike started last year by Airleaf founder and former staffer Brien Jones.
In her latest Airleaf Victims Update (current victim tally: 450), tireless anti-Airleaf crusader Bonnie Kaye highlights the complaints she has been receiving about Jones Harvest:
In the past six months, I personally have received nine different horror stories about Jones Harvest Publishing primarily from senior citizens who invested thousands of dollars into an Airleaf-type dream and in all but one case, after they invested and lost thousands of dollars at Airleaf...The authors who have become Jones Harvest victims all have the same story about broken promises including time delays, failure to see galleys, numerous errors in the proofs, virtually no sales, lack of coordination of promises, and disrespect by some of the staff.
A few of these authors have also contacted Writer Beware to tell their stories. Bonnie reports that some have had their money fully refunded after sending a complaint letter to Jones Harvest...but says that more recently, she's hearing from writers whose refund requests haven't been granted.
Like Airleaf, Jones Harvest appears to be a prolific spammer, offering writers "promotional" packages on one or another of its proprietary genre-themed websites (names include Author Celebrity Associates, AuthorSoldier, Perfect Heart Publishing, Great Concept Books, Bookwheat, Bargain Book Basement, The Chosen Few, and Authorgifts). Here, in part, is a sample pitch:
THE CHOSEN FEW is a limited collection of Christian titles that we believe deserve special attention. We discovered you and [book title redacted] only because we are seeking books with powerful messages that we believe will sell. We want you to be part of a powerful national book selling and promotional campaign. In our unique program, The Chosen Few, we guarantee:
- We will sell your book as one of an elite group of titles.
- We will feature a color image of your cover on the home page of www.chosenfewbooks.com.
- We will feature a picture of you, the author, on www.myauthorprofile.com.
- When a reader clicks on your cover or picture they will see your book(s) and information.
- We will sell your book on 10 more websites including amazon.com and Ebay.
- We will call every book store, newspaper, magazine and radio station in your hometown.
- We will guarantee an interview on a Christian AM/FM radio show.
- We will guarantee an interview on a nationally syndicated AM/FM radio show.
- We will include your book in a national mailing to bookstores! (Not e-mail, US mail.)
- We will place your book in 10 real book stores. (Brick and mortar stores, not websites!)
- In addition, to maximize the number of bookstore owners, literary agents and readers that will see your work, we will take your book to...book shows...
We don't stop there either; our plan is to spread the word and [book title redacted] far and wide. We will continue promoting your book, until [author name redacted] is known by all...
The cost for all this? Just $2,700.
Here's a blog post from author William Severini Kowinski, who received this very pitch--though the subject of his book suggests that Chosen Few's research skills may be a little, well...lacking.