Sunday, December 28, 2008

Victoria Strauss -- Jones Harvest Publishing Redux

Okay, I know I said I wouldn't be posting again until after New Year's--but I'm sure you'll forgive me if I break that promise.

I've blogged before about vanity publisher Jones Harvest Publishing, whose business model's similarity to that of disgraced vanity publisher Airleaf is no accident, since Brien Jones, Jones Harvest's owner, is also one of Airleaf's founders (under its previous name, Bookman Marketing). I've blogged a number of times about Airleaf, too.

Well, Brien Jones is currently not a happy camper. He's furious with Bonnie Kaye, whose efforts on behalf of Airleaf victims were instrumental in enabling the Indiana Attorney General to bring suit against Airleaf, and who has also begun collecting complaints about Jones Harvest. He has excoriated her in posts like this one on the Jones Harvest blog, accusing her of lying about the complaints she has received. He even persuaded a lawyer to send her a cease and desist letter (though the impact of this missive is somewhat diminished by the fact that the lawyer doesn't appear to understand the difference between slander and libel, as evidenced by this, from the letter's third paragraph: "The elements of slander are a false and unprivileged written publication..." Bzzt. Wrong. No biscuit).

Brien is not a man to be stingy with his ire. As much as he has lavished on Bonnie, there's enough left over for me, Lee Goldberg (who has blogged about Jones Harvest ), and Julie Neidlinger (who hasn't blogged about Jones Harvest, as far as I can tell, but who did once blog about Airleaf). See for yourself, in this excerpt from his latest anti-Bonnie post:

I also understand cowardly women like Victoria Strauss, Julie Neidlinger and Lee Goldberg and their lies. After all they’re not saying anything bad — just repeating what they were told. And what do you know! They all have their own publishing companies too! I won’t say which publishing companies...but you can figure it out in less than 30 seconds yourself.

Unfortunately, a few of Brien's facts are, well, not exactly factual. Writer/producer Lee Goldberg was understandably quite surprised to discover that he has been transformed not just into a publishing CEO, but a woman. I imagine that writer/artist Julie Neidlinger might be equally bewildered by her sudden elevation to publisher. As for me, I'm certain I'm not just having a senior moment when I completely fail to recall ever owning, heading, or even working for a publishing company.

Hmmm. I guess there's a reason why Brien dare not speak these publishing companies' names. Kind of puts a different spin on the whole lying thing, eh?

Here's Bonnie's response to Brien on the Jones Harvest Fraud Victims blog.

23 comments:

Marian said...

Hi Victoria,

I visited the Jones Harvest Publishing website and wrote a blog post about it as well, here.

Now I can be a publisher too!

Victoria Strauss said...

Julie Neidlinger responds to Brien Jones.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Mr. Jones sounds like an angry little man. Does anyone take him seriously? Victoria, your reputation is untainted and has been since I first came to the internet in mid 90s, or thereabouts; when I first learned of Writer Beware. (I'm past the age where dates mean anything)

Keep up the good work. Your service saved me a lot of trouble several years ago. I have since directed as many new writers possible to your site.

Happy New Year.

Sarah Jensen said...

I found Writer Beware thanks to Querytracker.net
Thank you for looking out for the writers.
And WOW, poor Mr. Jones...someone who fights so hard to prove his right, should probably work harder on fact finding.

BuffySquirrel said...

Lee would make a pretty good woman, though.

Paula Helm Murray said...

As usual, what a horse's a!!,

You are one of the most unbiased, excellent exposer of such thieves and con men who would rip off honest but not exactly good writers.

I say thank you and huzzah!

p.n. elrod said...

Holy crap.

I read his blog. Rant doesn't cover it.

Incoherent, batshit insane, loony-bin escapee scribblings comes close. Don't give this one even the plastic scissors; he could poke his eye out.

The tone there is more than enough to send even a casual blog browser on a Google search to find out the rest of the story.

Jones has done you a favor and shot himself in the foot.

Yay, you!

ALC said...

I noticed on this joker's blog that he had posted what appears to be several private emails in their entirety. I thought one had to have permission from the email's author to do that???

Marian said...

I think those are emails from Jones Harvest Publishing authors, who probably don't mind. What's perplexing is why he would post an email to me on that blog. What's that supposed to achieve, other than showing that there's someone willing to praise Mr Jones?

Jill Elaine Hughes said...

I think I smell a federal conviction coming. . .thanks to the marauding superheroes at Writer Beware.

Richard Lee Fulgham said...

Hi Ms. Strauss,
I figure if I call you "Ms. Strauss", you'll associate my name with that almost indiscernable whiff of class generated when great minds touch so briefly, so softly, so sadly . . . in that nowhere and everywhere of cyberspace. So my question to you Ms. Strauss - of the vibrant exciting anger toward "Brien" - is

(NOTE TO PEOPLE WITH NO SENSE OF HUMOR. THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A JOKE. Actually, Brien Jones wrote to me for years! Spam but addressed to me.

Georgie B said...

Unreal.

I discoverd your blog earlier this spring.

I have learned a world of stuff about writing and publishing from you.

Thanks.

As for that whack job Jones, I'm curious as to how he can sleep at night after doing what he has done in his life.

BuffySquirrel said...

The good stuff seems to have gone. Should have been quicker!

Victoria Strauss said...

Brien has removed the post from the Jones Harvest blog, but it can still be seen at his Bonnie Kaye hate site. And yes, I did print a copy.

Jane Smith said...

Victoria, I'm afraid that one of the reasons that I read your blog is so that I can follow these public meltdowns as they happen. I find them intriguing on all sorts of levels: there's the gossipy, OMG side to it; then there's the bit where I learn a little more about the darker side of publishing. But the best part of all is seeing the same things happen, over and over, but with different names or details or timescales.

It's fascinating: sadly predictable, but fascinating. And I'm sure you'll have others just like it to write in the year to come.

BuffySquirrel said...

Thanks, Victoria :).

Linda Callaway said...

Just wanted to add, that Writer's Beware has been a Godsend to me. Some of these self-publishing outfits tried very hard to sign me up - nasty too at times - but I resisted. I am still unpublished but have had some interest from agents - I know, doesn't count for much. I keep at it. I also deleted my blogs - takes too much time away from the serious task of "story writing."

All I can say now is a big "Thank You."

Yasmine Galenorn said...

Airleaf used to send me junk mail offering to help distribute my work, or something to that extent. I longed to reply, 'Thank you but I'm not a vanity-press author, my publisher is in New York and they have their own distribution system' but didn't want to get inundated with further crap from them.

Yasmine

firsttimeauthoress said...

Another non-issue. Everyone from my local supermarket to the Chinese restaurant to the car wash to Amazon send out e-mails and fliyers to advertise their products and services. Does this make them crooks? Ah, but if it's someone in publishing that the bloggers here don't like, it becomes a sinister criminal activity. My heart's with you Brien Jones, another reputation built up out of lifelong hard work is ruined by these heartless women who just love to destroy people. My agent has suffered similar attacks from the likes of them, but soldiers on. My hefty check is proof of it.

Jane Smith said...

Hmmm. Firsttimeauthoress seems to have a problem with you, Victoria.

She has two blogs, each of which celebrate the sale of her novel by her apparently wonderful agent. Both blogs have just one post on them, dated 3 December. Neither of the two blogs give the name of the author, or of the novel: but they do both give the name of her agent: a certain Michele Glance Rooney, who you've blogged about before--and for those of you who might not remember the name, here's a link to those posts:

http://accrispin.blogspot.com/search?q=Michele+Glance+Rooney+

It's particularly interesting to note this, from Victoria:

"Michele is no stranger to fake blogging, by the way--she has tried it before."

Does anyone really think that comments like this will stop Victoria and Ann doing their thing? Hmph. It would be irritating if it weren't so sad.

Victoria Strauss said...

Stay tuned, Jane. Stay tuned.

firsttimeauthoress said...

As I said, the flunkeys are all on a first name basis. Anyone who disagrees is a crook, villain,etc. Give me a break! I've3 asked before, yo know all the scammers. Give the name of one reputable agent. But you don't answer except iwht sarcasm and evasive comments. I challenge again. My agent got me published. Who is YOUR agent? But opnly your 'anonymous' flunkeys will answ3r or people whose ids you have invented, all on afirst name basis with you to *(unwittingly) help you destroy good reputations just for the heck of it. You have no proof, you just strew slandeer worldiwde. I for one refurse to be conned by your slander and libel.

ALC said...

firsttimeauthoress: 1st, learn English. 2nd, figure out whether you've written an action-packed SF novel or a Romance (you seem to have sold a different type of novel for each of your blogs). 3rd, decide whether or not you want to promote your own novels or just sing the praises & come to the defense of your brilliant agent. 4th, how, exactly, did you come to the knowledge of your dear agent's past "ahem" history w/ this blog & others (all of which blog about scammers)? Did she put you up to coming to her defense? Surely, all of these past indiscretions were before your time. Wouldn't the time of an author with a newly signed publishing contract be better spent in promoting her own work???

Of course, this is assuming that you are someone OTHER than Ms. Rooney.

Hi, Michelle!!!

Sweetie, if you're not medicated maybe you should be.