It was at the end of October 2021 when I had completed the final draft of my manuscript for my book “Dare To Be YOU” that I decided to find good editing and publishing company to edit, design and publish my book.
I felt overwhelmed by the thought of having to get another person or company to help me with my book as I had been strung along previously for many months by a so-called author by the name of Darius Stephens who only wasted my time with nightly lengthy zoom meeting to discuss my life and what out of my life should go into my book and my views on things who then scammed me of $11000 promising me he would ghost write my book, get his contact in they use to do the typing, editing, interior book and cover designs, a website for my book and publish my book. He asked me to transfer to him in sums of $800 to $3000 in 4 payments over the space of 3 months for the services as he already had people lined up to do the work. He said they were true professionals. He pretended to be my best friend for over a year even pretended to be concerned when I told him about how I was scammed by Tradewell. In the end he delivered nothing to me as he kept stalling on delivery of services.
I didn’t want this to happen to me again as I was new to the book writing arena, so I asked another coach that I knew, respected, and looked up to about who she used for her book he had published. I thought that because she had referred me to them that she had used them before as he gave then such a glowing referral.
So, I contacted this hybrid publishing firm she recommended I contact without doing the checks I would normally do on a company or person to see if they were legitimate and legal or not before hiring them for the job as I trusted and respected my friend’s opinion.
When I spoke to a representative of this hybrid publishing firm on the phone, they were very positive and upbeat. They told me a little about what they could offer and asked me a few things about my book. I asked the representative a few questions and one of them was are you going to be able to edit and publish the book before Christmas as I had promised my social media audience that it would be out for Christmas. She said yes most definitely. I also explained to her that I had already gotten a couple of quotes from 2 free-lance editors and that they were too expensive. I also gave her how much they told me that they had quoted me to edit my book. She directed me to a publishing and editing program called a chapter Three publishing program that she said had an editorial assessment, editing, interior and cover design and publishing included in it. the cost was $2750. This price was almost half the price of the price the freelance editor’s quote. So, it thought it was a good deal. They even through in discounts for the next 2 books I wanted to write and publish in one of their other publishing programs called “Chapter One” program where essentially, I would get 2 books published for the price or one. Which ended up being $1099 per book which I thought was a great deal as the editing and designing were included in these publishing programs. At least that is what they told me.
I signed up and paid all 3 programs then and there. I submitted my manuscript, pictures, the original book cover, and their questionnaire about my first book with all the information they needed to edit, design, and publish my book to them within the first 2 days of signing up.
As soon as they got it, they told me that because it was a memoir and self hep book that I could not have my name on it due to privacy reasons. I asked them if I can’t be associated with my book in any way how was I supposed to be about to market and sell my book as it is a tool for my business and also had my entire life’s history in it. they then sold me one of their Book Sellers returns program for $1381.90. they said that the program would help me sell my book to bookstores as it was like a guarantee that if they bookstores couldn’t sell my book that any books, they ordered they could return to them and be refunded the money they had played. I explained to the hybrid publishing company’s representative that they were asking me to completely disown my entire history and everything I had been through and that I would not use a Pen Name for my book. I argued with them until they gave me another way to have my book published as a self-help memoir book and also have my real name as the author.
They told me to:
Or to write the book as though it was someone else’s life
The original manuscript I had already sent them had made up names, ages, timelines, and some locations were changed in it to begin with.
They put it through an editorial assessment and then proceeded to tell me that my book would need a great deal of editing and that the editing was not included in the program I had paid them for and that it would cost me a further $4840.91 for content editing.
I thought this was odd as the representative had originally told me the editing was included in the program, I first bought from them. I argued with them about and because it was mid-November at the time, time was running out for the editing, designing, and publishing to happen and I really wanted my book to be published before Christmas as that was what I had promised my social media audience and I really wanted to make that deadline for the book. So, I bought the program for the editing as there was no way that I could source another editor, book designer and publisher so late in the game and not have it cost me even more money.
That night I was checking my business bank account for tax purposes and found that they had double charged me for the Book stores returns program I signed of as I remember only signing for one and not two. I contacted them the next day with pictures of the double charged amount they took from my account and threatened to cancel all the contract and get a refund for my money. They told me I had signed for 2 of those program’s and not one and I said that the contract for that service was only for one and for half the amount the had taken out of my account and I asked again for a refund that was when they told me I had signed for the other one 2 days after I signed for the first program. That was when it clicked, and I realized that the form the got me to sign for the acknowledgement of the first payment was not for that at all it was for the second bookstores returns program. I read the form I had signed, and it said that it was for the acknowledgement of the first payment, but they used it as a new contract for the extra program I did not sign for they were very deceptive in doing this.
The Editor had completed the editing of my manuscript and I say through track changes in MS Word that they didn’t really change a lot at all which was odd apart from a little bit of punctuation and grammar here and there. I did notice however the editor had put extra commas and hyphens in and dropped off the end of words letters and that parts of the endings of sentences were removed for no reason which didn’t make sense to me. It was as if the editors first and even second language was not English or as though a child had edited the manuscript.
I raised it with the hybrid publisher representative as soon as I saw but did remember reading in the body of the email with the edited manuscript attached a sentence saying that the editor would not be touching or editing the manuscript again.
They then told me for my first book that I could no longer have color pictures in it only back and white stencil pictures for quotes and chapter setting paragraphs and only 15 insertions of them but because they felt bad, they said that since there were 81 chapters in my book, they would insert 41 for free so that it didn’t look odd and to say sorry for messing me around.
They then got another sales representative to call me and pressure me to buy their marketing campaigns and they kept using the fact that I cared about my book and wanted it done professionally that they wanted to give me some massive discounts on their marketing campaigns, and they wouldn’t take NO for an answer. They promised me that I would make all my money back that I had paid them for all the books (3) editing, designing, publishing, marketing, and distribution if I bought their marketing campaigns as other authors, they did the marketing forgot thousands of dollars back in the first 6 months and more than half of them got movie deals for their books because of the marketing campaigns they ran. I felt pressured by it and desperately needed to make all the money back that I paid them plus the $11000 I paid Darius to help me with my book prior to them getting involved so I signed up for their Online Book Ads via Google – Standalone (90 days) Online Booksellers Advertising campaign which they told me cost $4000 but they ended up taking $4729.99 from my credit card.
I tried to contact their customer service coordinator 5 times over the course of 1.5 weeks to see why they weren’t doing a good job of the book interior design and also why I was doing their proof reading and Quality Assurance for them on the interior when I was paying them to do that in their program. Each time their customer service coordinator was not available for my calls and was not responding to my emails.
Christmas came and gone, and they still had not published my book as the quality of their work with regards to the book cover and the interior design was very poor and you could tell they did not do any quality assurance checks or proof reading of their own work. They promised me that they would publish my book in January instead.
I did the proof reading and Quality assurance on 5 different versions of the book design by then and was getting fed-up with doing the work I was paying them to do as each version was changed in different areas of the text that I did not tell them to change and had made those areas read poorly and so I had to note them down in their interior design changes form and email it through to them to make the changes as the document was not editable as it was a PDF and I could not change the text myself. This process was repeated 5 times until I questioned them again on why I was doing their job for them.
Their customer service coordinator and their publishing representative were getting harder and harder to contact and that was when I did some checking with a Facebook authors support group and some other writers’ groups to see what other authors experiences were with this company and that was when I found out that hybrid publishing company although was attached to a well-known global publishing company was a scam and were never going to publish my book. They just wanted to get as much money out of me as they possibly could. This was also the time I tried to speak to the person that referred me to them, and she didn’t want to hear the truth about what was happening with the publishing company she had referred me to and that she had never used their services but intended to for a co-author book she was writing with 6 to 12 other coaches.
I then spoke to my bank and put a visa Debit dispute in for all of the payment transactions they took form my visa card had my card cancelled and a new one reissued and also got my bank and visa to try to get my money back from them.
I then wrote and sent this hybrid publishing company an a legal email and letter telling them to cancel the contract and refund my money as they had deceived and mislead me in the way they got me to sign up for their programs to begin with and since they had not really delivered anything to me but a copy of my original cover design for my book they hadn’t delivered any of the services I had paid them for and that was illegal.
They never responded to any of my emails in writing they just tried to ring me every 10 minutes to try to talk me out of cancelling the contract and demanding a refund. I sent them a cease and desist to get them to stop ringing me as I have a day job and am in meetings most days all day and can’t pick up phone calls during business hours unless it is something to do with my job or an emergency.
To date I have sent them 4 more emails telling them to cancel the contract and refund all of my money but have gotten no response from them at all. I have told my bank about not getting responses from them on refunding my money and cancelling their contract so that my bank has more evidence against them when they deal with them and get my money back from them.
I now have a new editing company helping me out with my book who are very professional and communicate to me regularly on the progress of my book and I am getting the first couple of chapters edits from them early this week. And we have a publishing deadline of mid-June 2022. I am very grateful to have this new editing company helping me out with my book. I have a feeling they will do great things with my manuscript as I can now have my book as my autobiography and have my real name on it as the Author.
I believe that my bank and Visa will be able to get my money back from this company as they have gotten money back from a crypto currency scam for me a few years back. ©
Copyright © 2022 Lynette Diehm.
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