My name is Bonnie Kaye. I am the organizer of the Airleaf Victims, a group of nearly 500 authors who joined together because we were robbed of over two million dollars by Airleaf Publishing in Martinsville, Indiana. Last December 2007, we were successful in shutting down Airleaf by exposing their fraudulence and stopping their cash flow. The Indiana Attorney General's office filed suit on behalf of our group, and we are waiting for federal charges to come forth. You can see our website at www.AirleafVictims.com and read our stories.
In the aftermath of Airleaf Publishing's demise, the former Executive Vice President, Brien Jones, has "re-invented" this system all over again in his own publishing business called Jones Harvest Publishing which operates out of his basement near Bloomington, Indiana. Although Mr. Jones swore he was not the man to be blamed behind Airleaf's fraudulence, the investigation conducted by a number of members of the Airleaf Victims support group has proven that this is not the case. Mr. Jones was no innocent victim of Airleaf fraud as he proclaims like the authors who bought their worthless promises—in fact, he perpetuated much of it. According to a dozen ex-employees, Mr. Jones was the mastermind behind the worthless promotions of Airleaf that he was pitching.
When Brien Jones started his own company-- Jones Harvest Publishing-- in January 2007, he told people, including me, that he only wanted to sell books—not schemes like Airleaf was doing. He made promises and guarantees, but it didn't take long for him to break them. When he realized that "publishing books" didn't meet his growing payroll or profits, he started the whole gamut of Airleaf-like promotions all over again including:
• Pitching books in Hollywood which Brien Jones claimed was worthless when Airleaf was doing it.
• Book Tours - $750.00 for five shows where hardly any books were sold.
• Book Reviews charging $399.00 for reviews that people can receive for free by review companies or charging $1199.00 for three book reviews, with one written by his nephew pretending to be a book review company and one by Brien Jones. Forget the third one.
• Private Telemarketers calling every news media avenue in authors' cities promoting the book.
• Television Interviews that have never happened.
Jones Harvest tries to trick people by setting up a whole list of other "subsidiaries" including:
• Author Celebrity Associates
• Starred Review
• Author Soldier
• Perfect Heart Publishing
• Great Concept Books
• Bargain Book Basement
• Chosen Few Books
• Author Gifts
• Author Profiles
When Jones Harvest sends out their solicitations from these other front groups, they neglect to mention that they are part of Jones Harvest because they know how people will respond—with a loud "NO."
Packages run authors up to $7,500.00 with promises of stardom—just like Airleaf! Recently, one of our Airleaf Victims became a Jones Harvest victim in the amount of $5,000.00. She was promised over 15 months ago:
• Weekly calls with progress reports
• Calls to every newspaper, magazine, and radio station in her hometown with a report
• One television appearance including a DVD version
• Three radio interviews including one on a nationally syndicated AM/FM radio show
• Submission of her book to a film producer for review and recommendations
And best of all, Jones Harvest states in their agreements: Each of these commitments is guaranteed. We will not be satisfied until we place your book in bookstores everywhere and you are a celebrity.
Well, 15 months later—there are no progress reports, no television show, and no movie. But there is that $5,000.00 that has disappeared from our victim's bank account.
There are now 70 authors who have come to me, Bonnie Kaye, for help with new horror stories of Jones Harvest Predatory Publishing. And even though some have had their money returned last year when Jones Harvest had a cash flow, since the spring, others have not. And those who did receive their money back in the beginning threatened to take action with the law enforcement agencies in Indiana. I know. I helped them write the letters. On the Jones Harvest website there is a guarantee: We now offer all new clients a money-back guarantee on our publishing, promotional and bookselling services. We were already unique, but that guarantee puts us in a class by ourselves. In case that calms your fears, don’t be naive. The victims are now being told that the guarantee only applies in certain cases—and not theirs.
Recently, when Jones Harvest victims started asking for their money back for incomplete services, they were told in an intimidating way that they would be sued if they tried to take action against the company. This is the Jones Harvest way of intimidating its unhappy customers.
Among those threatened were an 87-year old escapee from the Nazis who paid $2,000.00 to have his book published. After 10 months of no galley, he told Jones Harvest he was going elsewhere to get his book done. When he asked for his money back, they refused. They told him if he would take action against them, they would have their attorney get in touch with him for the work they "did" which he never saw.
Another woman spent $900.00 and was promised her book by Christmas of 2007. It is nearly Christmas of 2008 and she has yet to see the book. When she requested her money back, she was promised the check by November 5, 2008. By November 8 when there was no check, she wrote to them threatening to take legal action. She was told that she has two choices: She could join this campaign or "take legal action." But if she does, they will go to their attorney and argue they did work for her (it will magically appear by then) or she could give them a little time to sell some books and make the money to pay her back as soon as they can. Of course, there is still no book over a year later--only threats.
The stories keep coming in from people who were cheated and misled by Jones Harvest including authors who paid between $250.00 - $500.00 to have their book displayed in a "catalogue" for the book fairs that Jones Harvest charged authors $750.00 to slop their book down on a table. To date, the book fairs are over, and there was no catalogue ever printed to be given out.
Jones Harvest claims that they have a perfect rating at the Better Business Bureau. This is their claim to “credibility.” Airleaf Publishing had over 50 complaints launched to the BBB but they also had a positive credit rating. According to the BBB of Indiana, sometimes cases take up to a “year” to investigate. Don’t let that BBB status fool you, the unsuspecting consumer.
One of our Airleaf Victims, Ken Pullen, articulates the situation in explaining how you should view Jones Harvest Publishing:
My name is Ken Pullen. I am not a publisher. I have no ulterior motives. I will not benefit in any manner from writing this, or seeing Mr. Brien Jones of Jones Harvest Publishing go out of business. I am writing this for one reason and one reason only. I know Brien Jones. Through knowing him I am very aware of what Brien Jones is. Mr. Jones is a con man. A simple modern day con artist using the Internet and the United States Postal Service to expand and maintain his scheme.
How can this be a con and a crime if some people defend Brien Jones and make the claims he has done wonders for them? Always delivered? They are SHILLS. Without shills, cons don't work.
Con artists know while people are easy to fleece and separate from their money they won't really begin forking it over until they see someone they can identify with as coming out on top, winning, having the claims of the con artist come true for them.
Brien Jones was the first person working at Airleaf Publishing to contact me. He worked the same angle he does now. He provided names and emails of people who he'd represented that he claimed were happy customers of Airleaf. The SHILLS. I let my guard down upon being emailed by these shills that they had no qualms with Brien Jones or Airleaf. Meanwhile Brien Jones and Carl Lau of Airleaf Publishing were fleecing literally hundreds and hundreds of people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. None of their hollow words rang true - or ever came true.
Do not follow, do not believe, do not trust Brien Jones. Ever. He is a con artist. He is a criminal. He defrauds people. He can no longer discern fact from fiction, the truth from his myriad lies. Think of this - in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, any gambling location we all know the house wins 9 out of 10 times, or as adults we should be aware of that. Everything in a casino is set up in favor of the house. Yes, there are occasional winners but tens of millions of losers.
Now knowing that would you take thousands of dollars of money you cannot afford to throw away or lose and bet it all on one bet, one number, one spin of the wheel? Here is the difference between Brien Jones and Las Vegas - in Vegas you still have the small outside chance of winning, albeit rare. With Brien Jones he already has his shills in place. None of the players ever have a chance of winning at this point. There isn't even that rare remote possibility you might win with Brien Jones. Don't throw your money away. Don't merely follow, trust, and believe.
Brien Jones is a crook. If you want to finance a crook and ignore all the warnings it's your life, your money, but do not delude yourself into thinking you're going to be the exception that he cares about, helps, and that you will succeed - you won't. That you can take to the bank!
Don’t let Ken’s words become your legacy. Don’t be misled by crooked publishers. If you think the scary pumpkin in the logo is all you should be afraid of, this is just the beginning. That scary pumpkin is trying to tell you to STAY AWAY!!!
It's time to stop Jones Harvest from scamming people all over again like Airleaf Publishing did. If you have been a victim, please feel free to write to me at Bonkaye@aol.com and I will work with you to get your money back. In the upcoming weeks, I will post stories from other victims so you hear them for yourself.