BBB Business Reviews may not be reproduced for sales or promotional purposes.

Description

Publishing Services; Author Services; Marketing and promotional services

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that Author Solutions, LLC meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for Author Solutions, LLC include:

  • Length of time business has been operating
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
  • Response to 298 complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

298 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 93 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 60
Billing/Collection Issues 18
Delivery Issues 15
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 8
Problems with Product/Service 197
Total Closed Complaints 298

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

7 Customer Reviews on Author Solutions, LLC
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 7
Total Customer Reviews 7

Additional Information

top
BBB file opened: October 20, 2002 Business started: 10/20/2002 in IN Business incorporated: 01/09/2007 in DE
Type of Entity

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Business Management
Mr. Andrew Phillips, CEO and President Mr. Bill Becher, Senior Vice President Ms. Elaine Headley-Jerome, Manager of Author Satisfaction
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Andrew Phillips, CEO and President
Business Category

Publishers - Book VANITY PUBLISHERS

Method(s) of Payment
Credit card (MC VISA AMEX), check, money order
Alternate Business Names
Abbott Press Author Learning Center AuthorHouse LLC Balboa Press Booktango Content Distributors LLC Inspiring Voices iUniverse, LLC LifeRich Publishing Palibrio Partridge Africa Partridge India Partridge Singapore Responder Media Trafford Publishing, LLC Westbow Press Xlibris, LLC.
Industry Tips
Contracts

Additional Locations

  • 1663 S Liberty Drive

    Bloomington, IN 47403 (812) 339-6000 (877) 775-7551

X

What is a BBB Business Review?

We offer free reviews on businesses that include background, licensing, consumer experience and other information such as governmental actions that is known to BBB. These reviews are provided for businesses that are BBB accredited and also for businesses that are not BBB accredited.

X

About BBB Business Review Content & Services:

Some Better Business Bureaus offer additional content & services in BBB Business Reviews.
The additional content & services are typically regional in nature or, in some cases, a new product or service that is being tested prior to a more general release.
Not all enhanced content & services are available at all Better Business Bureaus.

Professional AffiliationsX
X

Types of Complaints Handled by BBB

BBB handles the following types of complaints between businesses and their customers so long as they are not, or have not been, litigated:

  • Advertising or Sales
  • Billing or Collection
  • Problems with Products or Services
  • Delivery
  • Guarantee or Warranty

We do not handle workplace disputes, discrimination claims or claims about the quality of health or legal services.

X

BBB Complaint Process

Your complaint will be forwarded to the business within two business days. The business will be asked to respond within 14 days, and if a response is not received, a second request will be made. You will be notified of the business's response when we receive it (or notified that we received no response). Complaints are usually closed within 30 business days.

X

Industry Tips

X

What is BBB Advertising Review?

BBB promotes truth in advertising by contacting advertisers whose claims conflict with the BBB Code of Advertising. These claims come to our attention from our internal review of advertising, consumer complaints and competitor challenges. BBB asks advertisers to prove their claims, change ads to make offers more clear to consumers, and remove misleading or deceptive statements.

X

What government actions does BBB report on?

BBB reports on known significant government actions involving business' marketplace conduct.

X

Thank you for your feedback!

Help us improve by taking our survey.

X

BBB Reporting Policy

As a matter of policy, BBB does not endorse any product, service or business.

BBB Business Reviews are provided solely to assist you in exercising your own best judgment. Information in this BBB Business Review is believed reliable but not guaranteed as to accuracy.

BBB Business Reviews generally cover a three-year reporting period. BBB Business Reviews are subject to change at any time.

X

Additional Phone Numbers

  • (812) 339-6000(Phone)
  • (888) 519-5121(Phone)
  • (888) 728-8467(Phone)
Find a LocationX

  Change Location
Show Only Accredited Locations


Complaint Detail(s)

1/27/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: on November 24-2014 I made a payment of $ 696.66 for promised marketing services. But after I received the payment agree I found it to be grossly predatory and I changed my mind and did not sign it. I instead contacted **** ******* 812-650-0900-ext **** to request a refund. As of the printing of this note I have received no refund. My Trafford project tracking number is PID # ******

Desired Settlement: I desire a refund of 666.66

Business Response:

Dear BBB,
 
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to review and honor Mr. ******* request for refund.
 
Mr. ****** ***** signed up with Trafford on July 1, 2007 to publish his book entitled “****** *********”.
 
Mr. ***** purchased a Trifecta Review marketing package on October 28, 2014, taking advantage of a special offering price of $2000 on the $3499 service. He chose to use an installment payment plan which added a $30 non-refundable surcharge, making his package total $2030. Mr. ***** made the first payment of $696.66 that day with the remaining two installments set up for auto-charge on the same day of the following two months. The Trifecta Review Package includes unbiased and professional critique of the author’s work from three reputable reviewers from different sides of the publishing industry which are Kirkus Indie, BlueInk and Clarion.
 
Upon further review of the terms in the service agreement for the Trifecta Review package, Mr. ***** opted to cancel the service requesting a refund of his initial payment on November 19, 2014.
 
Upon receipt of this complaint, an investigation was conducted.  From it we were able to confirm that the marketing consultant assigned to Mr. *****’s project failed to endorse the request to the appropriate department for processing.  The consultant and Trafford wish to apologize to Mr. ***** for the delay in carrying out his request.  Subsequently, a refund of $696.66 with transaction ID ******************************** was processed to Mr. *****’s card on January 13, 2014.
In summary, Mr. *****’s refund has been returned to his credit card, the Trifecta Review service and payment plan have both been cancelled. Again we extend our sincere apology to Mr. ***** for any inconvenience the refund delay has caused him. 
 
We hope the information provided in this letter illustrates the steps we have taken to address Mr. *****’s concerns. Please let us know if additional steps need to be taken for an amicable close to this case.
 
Sincerely,
 
****** **************
Manager of Author Satisfaction

1/27/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Despite my best efforts to cooperate, XLibris has summarily refused to publish my manuscript, *** ** ******, unless I turn it into a work of fiction—and thereby destroy its entire purpose. I have tried to reach **** ***** (Ext. ****) by phone four separate times. The 1st time she did answer the phone and promised to call back that very evening but did not. The latter three phone calls in which I left messages--over a period of almost 3 weeks--were never answered. Her supervisor did answer my subsequent complaint—but only to refer me back to **** *****. More than a week has passed and I have not heard from **** ***** or anyone at XLibris. If Xlibris will not publish my book, I obviously expect to have my payment of $625 (Check #332 dated 6/13/14) returned in full.

Desired Settlement: If Xlibris will not publish my book, I obviously expect to have my payment of $625 (Check #332 dated 6/13/14) returned in full.

Business Response:

Dear BBB,
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to review the steps taken in providing Mr. ******* a refund.    
All manuscripts submitted to Xlibris are evaluated for issues with the material sent.  These issues could be libelous claims about a person or group or use of copyrighted material (song lyrics, photos). 
Mr. ****** submitted his materials on November 12, 2014.  That same day, the material was evaluated and issues were found.  These issues include clarification on copyrighted images and potential libel issues within the text.  Mr. ******’s check in coordinator, ****** ******, called him that day to discuss these issues. 
On November 17, 2014, Mr. ****** emailed Ms. ******, addressing the copyrighted images. 
On November 26, 2014, Mr. ****** emailed his revised manuscript. It was re-evaluated and again failed the content evaluation due to potentially libelous statements. 
On December 1, 2014, Mr. ****** submitted photo permissions.  However, the photos were deemed to be professional photographs requiring additional releases in order to be used.  Both the photos and the libelous statements in the text were discussed via phone by Mr. ****** and Ms. ****** on December 2, 2014. Mr. ****** told Ms. ****** he needed time to think about how to proceed.
Ms. ****** spoke with Mr. ****** on December 22, 2014 and Mr. ****** said he was still deciding his next steps.
On January 5, 2015, Mr. ****** decided that he did not want to continue with the publishing process as he did not want to make the necessary changes.  This was communicated to Ms. ****** who relayed the message to **** *****, the publishing consultant from whom he purchased the publishing package.  Ms. ***** phoned Mr. ****** that same day to discuss the issue further.  Ms. ***** stated she would phone Mr. ****** later than evening.  However, that did not occur and no more contact was made by Ms. ***** with Mr. ******.  Xlibris is very sorry for the lack of communication to Mr. ****** regarding his refund.
The refund was approved and paid on January 22, 2015.  Mr. ****** paid $625 via check for his publishing package.  Per Mr. ******’s Terms and Conditions, attached, $200 was withheld from the amount paid, due to the non-compliance with content guidelines. 
This can also be found on the website at http://www.xlibris.com/legal_agreement.aspx, section 10.2.
Therefore, Mr. ****** will be paid $425 via check.  The check will be cut and mailed on January 30, 2015. 
In conclusion, Mr. ****** chose not to make the necessary changes to adhere to the content guidelines and asked for a refund on his publishing package.  Xlibris apologizes for the lack of communication from Ms. ***** to Mr. ******.  His refund request has been approved and his refund check of $425 is scheduled to be mailed on January 30, 2015.
We trust this information illustrates the steps we have taken to address Mr. ******’s refund concern and bring an amicable close to this case.
Sincerely,
****** **************
Manager of Author Satisfaction

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

Although I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and find that this resolution would be satisfactory to me--I have some concerns. Why has it required the intervention of BBB before xLibris finally agrees to act on my request for a full refund? Why am I being penalized $200 when my entire book, despite my efforts to cooperate with the publisher's guidelines, is being summarily rejected for publication?   I will wait to receive a check from xLibris and, if so, will consider this complaint resolved.

Regards,

****** *******

1/19/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I have invested $30,000 for publishing my children's book "*** ****** ****** **** ***** ******* ********" using authorhouse. With this $30,000, I was supposed to have my book printed (which they did do), sent to Distributing companies, so my book would be placed in book stores. This all turned out to be a lie. They never had any intentions of placing my book in book stores. This money also paid for an insurance to cover what ever books didn't sell in book stores and was sent back to authorhouse. Also included was a website that has never been completed, along with Apple iTunes and ibooks that have never been completed. There were also advertisements that were supposed to be done through Apple, Weekly Reader, and Readers Digest. None of these have been done. I have called numerous times to try to get someone to explain why nothing has been done. They will not return my phone calls. The two head people in marketing that are supposed to be working with me are *** ****** #888-519-5121, ext#****, and ***** *****#888-519-5121, ext#****. All of these lies and broken promises from this company have caused me to have a great debt, one that I never would have chosen. I am happy to have a children's book written to help special needs children. Unfortunately, it's just sitting in their office for almost 3 years now. I am in desperate need for action to take place with this company. Thank you!

Desired Settlement: Finish the job and refund for serviced outdated and never rendered.

Business Response: Dear BBB,
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to clarify Ms. ********* marketing services purchases and fulfillment.
Ms. ******* purchased a Voyager Publishing Package on May 31, 2011 to publish her book, *** ****** ****** **** ***** ******* ********.  The title went through the production and was released for sale with Ms. ******* approval in January 2012.
Upon receipt of this filing, a review of Ms. ********* account was conducted. The results are provided in the attached excel document titled Purchases and Marketing Services.  The document shows the findings in two (2) sections--one listing the services she purchased and the second showing the status of her marketing services.
Ms. ********* expenditures
Our research found that over a three (3) year period, Ms. ******* has purchased $16,403.65 worth of services and a non services purchase of $999.84 for 100 copies of her book.  Together these purchases are $17,403.49, an amount much less than stated in her filing.
The tab labeled Services Purchased in the above referenced report is a spreadsheet listing all the services purchased by Ms. *******, the date purchased, the purchase price and the amount received for each purchase.     
As shown on the Services Purchased report, on May 15, 2014, Ms. ******* chose to upgrade her already existing PW Starter package (purchased on 2/24/14) with an additional marketing service, the Trifecta Review.  Because she chose to upgrade, Ms. ******* was given a deeper discount on the PW Starter service.  These services, along with a $30 payment plan fee, totaled $2954.  The $1830 paid on the original order was moved to the new order, leaving a balance of $1124 to be paid by Ms. *******. 
However, no further payment has been made on that order.  The lack of payment has created a hold on Ms. ********* account for all services.
Ms. ******* has been notified of the hold on at least two occasions:  on July 9, 2014, *** ***** in the payment plans department called Ms. ******* to inform her of this.  Ms. ******* was told of the hold again on October 21, 2014 via phone and email.  Attached is that email. 
To pay the remaining balance and have the hold removed from her account Ms. ******* can call the payment plan department at 888-519-5121 ***** between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. EST.
Status of Marketing Services
The tab labeled Marketing Services Status is a spreadsheet showing the marketing services Ms. ******* selected and their status.  Most have been fulfilled.  Two (2) services have not yet been fulfilled and five (5) are ready to launch pending final payment.
The two (2) items listed as not fulfilled are awaiting release from payment hold and/or information from Ms. ******* in order to proceed.  As noted on the report, the Reader’s Digest Press release component, is awaiting Ms. ********* completion and return of a press release questionnaire.   The questionnaire has been sent to Ms. ******* at least three times (7/10/14, 10/31/14, and 11/7/14) but has yet to be completed and returned to us.  Without the completed questionnaire, our copy writers are unable to craft the press release.  This service is also subject to the payment hold as is the App Launch Campaign.   
We have completed our part (creation, review, approval) of the five (5) “ready to launch” services.  Their fulfillment is pending until Ms. ********* account is no longer on hold as stated above.  Subsequently, the App Launch campaign, as well as those waiting to launch will not be fulfilled until the balance is resolved.  To continue with the Reader’s Digest Press release service both the completed questionnaire must be received by us and the outstanding balance resolved.
Book shelved in brick and mortar stores
AuthorHouse provides distribution services which release an author’s book information to wholesalers and online retailers worldwide via our printer and distributor network.  More about online distribution can be found on the AuthorHouse website at http://www.authorhouse.com/worldwidebookdistribution.aspx. 
When Ms. ******* published thru AuthorHouse her title was entered into the robust book industry distribution network where specifics about her title are listed and accessible to wholesalers, bookstores and retailers.  AuthorHouse provides Ms. ********* title exposure to booksellers; however, the decision to “pick up” a title for shelving in a brick and mortar store is at the discretion of the individual retailer, bookstore or bookstore chain.  Online retailers “shelve” books by including them in their websites.  Ms. ********* title is shelved online by many retailers.  
In our research we were unable to find any notes or correspondence to substantiate Ms. ********* claim that  AuthorHouse portrayed to her that we would have her book shelved in bookstores.  If she can provide documentation to substantiate her statement we will be glad to research it further.
Our research found that Ms. ******* has inquired about book store placement as recently as October 2014 with the distribution network and the bookseller return program was explained to her at that time.
Booksellers Return Program
Ms. ******* questions the benefit of the Booksellers Return Program she chose to purchase. This Program is a tool that assists authors in making their title more attractive to brick and mortar stores by aligning their print-on-demand title more closely with the traditional publishing houses.  The service provides a wholesale trade discount incentive and the ability to return an unsold title. The full service description can be found on the AuthorHouse website at http://www.authorhouse.com/Servicestore/ServiceDetail.aspx?ServiceId=BS-1339. 
Lack of return phone calls
As customer service is of high importance to us we are disheartened when we learn that a client is having difficulty contacting a staff member.  As each staff member has numerous clients to assist, answering each call as it comes in becomes improbable.  As a result we strive for a 48 hour maximum turnaround time on return calls. 
Although a Marketing Consultant assists authors in designing a marketing plan for their work, the fulfillment of those services is the responsibility of a Marketing Services Representative.  Ms. ******* references her Marketing Consultants in her filing; the person assisting Ms. ******* with the fulfillment of her marketing services is ****** *******, marketing services representative (MSR). 
Upon receipt of this filing we conducted an audit of the incoming and outgoing phone calls for the two (2) numbers on file for Ms. *******, 1-803-******** and 1-803-********. A copy of the report for 2014 is attached.
In the report we found a gap exists in the data from May 14th to August 29th.  We are unsure why or how this occurred.  However, our investigation included the notes in Ms. ********* file which show numerous inbound and outbound calls for the period listed above.  They include the following call activity:
·         With ****** ***—six (6) calls;
o   five (5) outbound-one (1) in late June; 2 in July and 2 in August;
o   one (1) inbound in July
·         With ***** *****—fifteen (15) calls;
o   ten (10) outbound—all in July
o   five (5) inbound—two (2) in May; one (1) in July; two (2) in August
·         With ***** ******—five (5)calls
o   three (3) in May
o   two (2) June
The data on the attached call report shows that Ms. ******* has been in frequent contact with Ms. ******* over the last two months.  In fact, Ms. ******* called Ms. ******* four (4) times over a month period (November 26 through December 23) before Ms. ******* returned the call. 
 From the call report and Ms. ********* file notes, Ms. ********* calls are being returned.
Stock of Ms. ********* books
Ms. ******* writes that her book has been “just sitting in their office for almost 3 years now.”  AuthorHouse is a print on demand publisher, meaning that copies are only printed when an order is placed.  There are no copies of Ms. ********* book on hand at AuthorHouse offices or at online retailers. 
Desired Outcome
Ms. ******* requests that the services be completed and also to be “refunded for outdated services and those not renedered”.  As her account is on hold due to an outstanding balance the services cannot be completed until the balance is resolved.  As soon as the balance is paid and the hold removed, the fulfillment will continue.
Should Ms. ******* desire to cancel one of the unfulfilled services to reduce the outstanding balance she may do so by contacting her Marketing Representative, ***** ***** .
In closing, AuthorHouse does not provide a service that guarantees or arranges for author’s books to be shelved in brick and mortar stores.  Ms. ********* title is “Shelved” online through the worldwide distribution network.  Shelving of books in brick and mortar stores is at the descrition of the retailer. 
 In order for the remaining marketing services Ms. ******* selected for her book to be completed, she will need to satisfy the outstanding balance on her account.  If Ms. ******* desires to re-evaluate the unfulfilled services in her marketing plan to accommodate the balance she may do so by contacting her Marketing Consultant, ***** *****.
Sincerely,
****** **************
Manager of Author Satisfaction
Author Solutions LLC

1/15/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Since 2012 i have repeatedly asked for a refund of 360.00 for a publishing package that I do not want. The company has repeatedly promised to pay it. To date I have not received a check. On December 2, 2014, a company representative named ***** ******* at extension ****. informed me that a check was issued on 9/29/14 and mailed. I never received a check from this company. He gave a serial number of ************, and said that a check could not be reissued until they verified that the other check they sent was indeed lost. I questioned this stating that two months had already passed and i should have received the check by now. After persisting he checked and sure enough the check was never cashed by me. He advised me to call him back so he could see when a new check could be issued. I called back the next day, and was informed that a check would not be issued until the end of the year. I told him I didn't believe a check was ever issued. He said he would try to get a check sent to me before Christmas. i was very upset and told him if I didn't get a check by the end of the year I was filing this complaint.

Desired Settlement: Refund

Business Response:

As  follow-up to our response, UPS has confirmed the package containing the client's check has been delivered.

 

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

Author Solutions

A Penguin Random House Company

1663 Liberty Drive

*******@authorsolutions.com

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

Although I received the check is was for 320.00 dollars not 360.00 (Amount shown on my receipt.) I notified the company about the mistake, and have not received a response acknowledging that they will correct their mistake.

Regards,
**** ********

Business Response: Dear BBB,
 
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to convey the steps taken to provide a refund to Ms. ********.
 
Ms. **** ******** signed up to publish her book with Xlibris on February 28, 2012. She purchased an Ebook- Advantage publishing package taking advantage of a promotional rate of $360 from the regular $449 price.
 
On September 5, 2014 Ms. ******** solicited a free website service for her book.  Optional marketing services such as a web design package are available for a fee to authors who wish to promote their books online. The services included in a web design package are HTML creative design and content, domain name registration and web hosting for a year.  Due to the cost and resources involved, Xlibris was only able to offer 50% discount on the requested web design service.  Ms. ******** declined our offer and asked for the cancellation of her publishing package. The refund was processed and a check for $360 was sent to her on September 25, 2014 (Check Number ******* to the address of record.
 
On November 20, 2014, Ms. ******** contacted Xlibris to inform us that she had not received the check for her refund and requested another one be sent to her. We explained to Ms. ******** that checks have a 90 day lifecycle and remain executable during that time.  Unless the check is returned to us, an outstanding check reported as lost would be eligible for re-issue once its 90 day life span has expired.  In Ms. ********’s case that date is after December 25, 2014. We further explained to Ms. ******** that due to the holiday scheduling and office closings, we projected that her check would be reissued in early January.
 
After the holiday season, a reissue request was made and approved for $360.  A check was sent to Ms. ********’s address of record via UPS, tracking number #******************.
 
Ms. ******** confirmed receipt of a check for $320 on January 8, 2015. We have apologized to Ms. ******** for the shortfall in the check caused by a human error.  A check for the remaining $40 will be sent to her today, January 13, 2015.
 
In closing, although Ms. ********’s refund check was sent to the address of record, it was neither cashed nor returned to us. Subsequently, the check became eligible for re-issue after its 90 day life span expired.  In deference to the abbreviated work schedule of the holiday season, the check was reissued and sent to Ms. ******** at the address of record the beginning of January.  Although a human error occurred causing a shortfall in the check’s amount, the error was quickly corrected in a second check.
 
Sincerely,
 
****** **************
Manager of Author Satisfaction

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and find that this resolution would be satisfactory to me.  I will wait until for the business to perform this action and, if it does, will consider this complaint resolved.

Regards,

**** ********

1/9/2015 Problems with Product/Service
1/5/2015 Problems with Product/Service
1/5/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I have paid nearly $10,000 for: Editing, Covers, Publishing, Marketing, Website; Second package: Services, 3rd Package - representing my book during the Frankfurt Book Fair 2014 including: Press Releases marketing, Web Releases Marketing, Review from BlueInk company and representing during the Book Fair 2014. I did myself: the Editing, the Front, Back and Spine Covers (my pictures, design, configuration and text); The details, pictures and text for the website; the texts for Marketing, the text for Press-Release and Web-Release. I had nothing but headache with the IT section of Author Solutions; worked day-and-night, Author Solutions IT crashed my computer - several texts had included serious viruses embedded; my computer warned me several times, by the time i discovered where it comes from, the computer was completely "frozen"; The IT wrote (literary) texts for marketing, subjecting the presentation for Frankfurt to total boycott; wrote the Review (disgusting rubbish by non-specialists, who never bother to read more than the dedications and 1st 2-3 pages), completely untrue and presented it to BlueInk for PUBLISHING! I wrote complain to BlueInk, but the passed it back to Author Solutions. Not a single book was sold, no marketing... I started complaining - it got worse! There was and -is no Marketing, no interviews or question. I organised interview - they did not send me the Author's copies for 3 months and the interview went down the drain. I sold during one event 4 books and my family and friends buy e-books from Amazon.

Desired Settlement: As there was practically no "Marketing" and i wrote the texts for release in only 2 web-outlets, no Professional Review and i was lied to, that a Review costs $2000, i request and deserve all the money for "Editing", and all packages for Marketing (around $4000) to be REFUNDED IN MY ACCOUNTS.

Business Response:

Dear BBB

Ms. ****** ********* ******** signed up with Xlibris on November 22, 2013 to publish her book entitled “*** ********** ** ****”. The book completed its publication process and was made available for sale with Ms. ********** approval on February 13, 2014. We have attached Ms. ********** approval for your reference.

Xlibris has an author-oriented approach to the publishing process that requires collaborative effort and the author’s participation. As explained in our website and to every author who publishes their work with us, depending on the services they purchased, we give them full control on the direction of the book and we do not move ahead until we have an author’s expressed approval. Ms. ********** book went through several rounds of review and corrections until we received the signed approval from her confirming that the book is formatted correctly, does not require further changes and is ready for publication. We have attached Ms. ********** signed approval for your reference.

Upon receipt of this complaint, a review of the status of the marketing services for Ms. *********  book was conducted and from it we were able to confirm that most of the services contracted for her book have been fulfilled with her approval while the rest are just waiting for their scheduled launch dates.

International Show Book Exhibit

Ready for Launch - 2014 Frankfurt Book Fair scheduled on Oct. 8 - 12, 2014

B&N, Amazon & Google Search

Fulfilled

Press Release Essential 500

Fulfilled

BlueInk Review

Fulfilled

Email Marketing Campaign Quad 500,000

Fulfilled

Press Release Essential 100

Fulfilled

Full Page CBE Ad

Ready for Launch - 2014 Frankfurt Book Fair scheduled on Oct. 8 - 12, 2014

Newswire

Fulfilled

Book Review Campaign - Professional

Fulfilled

Web Design Regular

Fulfilled

Press Release Essential 500

Fulfilled

 

Ms. ******** contacted Xlibris to express her disappointment and frustration on Blue Ink’s review of her work. We have explained to Ms. ******** that we never guaranteed a positive review for her title.  As described in our website Blue Ink Review offers an honest, objective appraisal of an author’s work.

Ms. ******** also questioned the sales performance of her title. We have explained to her that while the goal of our marketing services is to create awareness in the market of the book’s availability and ultimately translate this awareness into sales, none of our marketing services can guarantee that this will be the result of any campaign. Actual purchase of books will still be within the discretion of the consumers. Marketing and advertising may help but book sales are a result of many other factors. 

On Ms. ********** claim that she was sent files and emails embedded with viruses, Xlibris computers are installed with the best security software to ensure that our activities and transactions are safe and protected. There are no known reports of compromised hardwires or software due to interaction with Xlibris from other Xlibris authors and clients.

We understand and acknowledge Ms. ********** request for refund. However, our records indicate that most of the services contracted for her book have been fulfilled. Fulfillment of services forfeits her eligibility for a refund.

 


****** *******
Global Director-author satisfaction


Author Solutions
A Penguin Random House Company


1663 Liberty Drive
Bloomington, IN 47403
P: 812.334.5240
F: 812.349.0640


********
@authorsolutions.com


 


%3

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action DOES NOT REFER TO ME!  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

Details of why i am not satisfied with this resolution: 

1. "MESSAGE FROM BUSINESS:  Dear BBB

Ms. ****** ********* ******** (yes, this is my name) signed up with Xlibris on November 22, 2013 to publish her book entitled “*** ********** ** ****”. (No, this is not my book!) The book completed its publication process and was made available for sale with Ms. ********** approval on February 13, 2014."

Here are the reasons for me requesting refund:

1. I bought "Marketing PACKAGES" for around NZ$7,500, not "advices"

2. I didn't even know Xlibris made some "attempts" (for 2 paid Marketing campaigns), because sending emails with the text i saw, is doomed before going to the "outlets", let alone - unpaid to be read - goes straight to the rubbish-basket. For $2000 i did not have a singe "click" anywhere!

How otherwise you can explain the case i had: I gave the Marketing team the names of local newspapers, they say, they wrote to all of them - no answers, questions, interest! - "professional" paid marketers!

I called one local newspaper (paper and on-line distribution) and after 5-6 minutes i was invited for interview! I was naive and mentioned "i'll bring the book" - "the book" was not sent for 3 months! until after 2 emails, **** decided to send me the books and i pay for shipment (which was not "in the details")!!

3. A Review for the book was my idea - so much i know from "general knowledge. ********* was "squeezing" me for $4,500 for Frankfurt, came with offer: a Review by BlueInk for $1000-$2000(!) and she will cell me the Review for free! I AGREED WITHOUT CHECKING THE DETAILS! My "alienated" son, according to the "production team"/BlueInk, paid the amount asked in 1(one) payment right there and then!!! 

Only a few days later to read on BlueInk website that for "self-publishing Authors" the cost is $459 and for companies (like Author Solutions) - $265-295 - don't remember exactly)! Neither $1000, nor $2000!

4. When i received the interview i knew what has "happened" and left a note on BlueInk website, had an answer with telephone # and a call: very confused female voice started with: "a-a-a, seams, a-a-a it (the Review) is written by us." I answered: "I did not see it on the "Reviews Pages" and knew there won't be an answer. Recently the "Review" - revised and extended but still incompetent and disrespectful to my family and me! The "writer", "seams", still had not read further than the "Introduction" and the few sentences "about the book" and "about the Author"! With inexcusable personal negativity repeating the same mistake" her children... will learn from the book..."!!! Unbelieveable and unacceptable lack of professionalism for anybody, not only "professional writer", as BlueInk describes there "Reviewers". There was a simple, dirty, unethycal game against my book and me personally by Author Solutions! Because: a) in the book, in the "**********" chapter my children are PART OF THE STORY!

and b) They came for us to spend the Christmas Holidays together! The illustration for Zimbabwe is a picture of the TREE OF US ON A GROUP OF "BALANCING ROCKS", as those large boulders on a wide area, one on top of the other are called and have become tourist attraction!, taken by a friend! I was only "marking" my "disappointment" before that discovery, but there was no place for diplomacy: $10,000 paid (not invested") and not a single "service": 

A: I was chasing the editors to start only to see my manuscript REWRITTEN BY A SCHOOL-GIRL, WHO DOESN'T EVEN KNOW SPELLING, GRAMMAR OR SYNTHAXIS, LET ALONE - HAS NEITHER READ, NOR UNDERSTOOD THE BOOK! For around 10 days i spent on my desk re-writing my book from the original (unfortunately, have missed quite a few frivolities) - day and night; even cancelled my regular Follow-up checks for long-term conditions in the hospital!! That girl didn't know any other language but Filipino English! There are names and quotations in the book in several languages! - she had "interpreted" them!

That was the BEGINNING and i did not see it! From that point on THERE WAS NOTHING "RIGHT", EVERYTHING WAS WI-I-ILDLEY INTERPRETED, ROUGHLY "CORRECTED" AND IGNORED!! THE "PSEUDO-INTERVIEWS" WITH ME BY YOUNG, INEXPERIENCED AND FA-AR FROM "MARKETING" GIRLS OVER THE BACKGROUND OF "OFFICE PARTIES" WERE RATHER CHIT-CHAT BETWEEN TEENAGERS, THAN ANY NOTION FOR INTERVIEW TO BE "SOLD" TO NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES, INCLUDING THE 1ST INTERVIEW WITH ********* *******!

I started calling ******* every other day to sort out mass, called the employees every other day, didn't have time for more serious matters and started a lo-o-ong and dirty war with the "computer-boys", which put the end of my book's future and uncontrollable arrogance and language - almost threatening me directly! The whole experience turned into a nightmarish fight, including the services included in the Contract/Plan i purchased: no Author Profile, malfunctioning every detail, viruses through the attachments coming from the "computer goons", non-functioning ANYTHING RELATED TO MY BOOK AND ITS AUTHOR, MILESTONES OF THE BOOK APPEARED IN SELLING OUTLETS AND PAPER COPIES ALL OF THEM 13th OF .... ETC. NOT-SO-CHILDISH PROBLEMS. The gloves were off, the hits were mostly in the back and ********* was very convincing lying to me!

One computer crashed, no Marketing whatsoever! Non-existant xlibris.com, the worst management of a company i have ever seen in my 25 years of Project Management for US$ 100,000,000 and other smaller projects around the world.

One evening cultural event i attended and 4 books sold then and there by me, and the on-line marketing i am doing now with $20/month is much more effective than the thousand i gave to your company! I am cancelling the Frankfurt Book Fair participation not only because i wrote the marketing material (because the "computer boys" don't have a clue what the book is about and Author Solutions does not have professionals - ********* still has not read more than the Book Excerpt"!

And for that lack of professionalism, communication, good-will i paid $10,000?! Because i did not read the complaints before i sign with *******, in stead of after...

For your information: everything is in the emails and on-line, only the dozens of "cracks" into my Author Profile which sent the Author "free copies" (for $60 postage, not included in the Contract) not exactly at my address, because the "computer boys had changed: my name, address, city, COUNTRY-NAME! (THEY STILL WRITE "PAPUA, NEW GUINEA" INSTEAD OF "PAPUA NEW GUINEA" AS ONE OF THE CHAPTERS IS NAMED, BECAUSE I WORKED THEIR WITH YOUNG PAPUAN, BOUGAINVILLEAN AND OTHER REGIONS STUDENTS (check the so-called Review, if it still is on BlueInk, - the name of this beautiful island-country is arrogantly changed into: "Papua, New Guinea...", which practically is a name of a tribe in Papua New Guinea and the country New Guinea, what is the original name of the island, preserved for the Western part of the island and part of Indonesia.

see: http://www.ibtimes.com/french-

*************************************************************************************Regards,   * ********

THANK YOU FOR THE CHANCE TO STATE CLEAR WHERE THE PROBLEMS/"DIFFERENCES OF OPINION" ARE&nbs

Business Response:

Dear BBB


Thank you for forwarding Ms. ********** comments to our response and your continued efforts to assist us in resolving our author’s concerns.

 

We would like to apologize to Ms. ******** for putting the wrong book title in our initial response. We would like to assure her that this is nothing more than a human error during the writing process of our response. All other details outlined in the initial response are accurately attributed to Ms. ********** title, “*** *** * ******** **”.  

 

As noted in our initial response, the author-centered process of Xlibris requires author approval before commencement of any publishing or marketing process. We would like to reiterate that the Email Marketing and Press Release campaigns for Ms. ********** title have all been fulfilled with her approval. The drafts of the ad for the email campaign and the write-up for the press release campaign were reviewed by Ms. ******** and with her expressed written approval were fulfilled on her preferred launch dates. The approved press release was sent to media outlets based on the five preferred distribution locations she submitted . For your reference we have attached the approval forms sent by Ms. ******** for both services.

 

Xlibris’ Blue Ink Review package includes the following services:

  • Basic Professional Review

  • Optional review inclusion service – option to update the book cover and include the review at no additional cost

  • Press Release Campaign Essential - 100 outlets

     

The inclusions in the package and the author support services extended during the fulfillment process demonstrate the difference between our package and Blue Ink’s solo review service.

Xlibris supports Ms. ********** desire for a positive review from Blue Ink, however, as previously discussed in our initial response and described in our website, Xlibris cannot guarantee a positive review of her title. Xlibris cannot influence the outcome of Blue Ink Review’s critics’ honest and objective appraisal of her title.

 

Xlibris would also like to reiterate that none of our marketing services guarantee book sales as a result of its fulfillment. Actual purchase of books will still be within the discretion of the consumers.

 

We also stand by our initial reply that Xlibris online activities and transactions are safe and protected. Our computer security software ensure that our interactions with our authors are secured.

 

We understand and acknowledge Ms. ********** request for refund. Throughout the publishing and marketing process, Xlibris allotted the necessary resources and support to ensure that all services are fulfilled as contracted. Fulfillment of services forfeits her eligibility for a refund. Please let us know if Ms. ******** requires further proof of her marketing services’ fulfillment and kindly advise if other steps need to be taken for an amicable close to this case.  





****** *******

Global Director-Author Satisfaction





?

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

[Provide details of why you are not satisfied with this resolution.]

Regards,

* ******** The issue is not the mistaken PID, the problem is THE AUTHOR SOLUTIONS Inc THEMSELVES – TYPICAL POLICY OF SCAMERS AND HACKERS – NOTHING MORE!!!: Apart from everything I have written before, CRASHED AND BURNED 1 COMPUTER, BECAUSE I TOLD THEM THAT MY “e-book is UNREADABLE BY THEIR PROGRAMS!! F-book accounts – closed because of ASI's computer goons (still going on!!) interference – REGULAR POSTING RUBBISH AND VULGARITIES FOR 7 MONTHS ON MY SOCIAL NETWORK!! Average of 300 emails/day to JOIN ISLAM!!! (because i have expressed my belief of living in peace with everybody – in my book and my social media (ancient philosophy amongst all peoples, constantly undermined by the “righteous” shouting outloud!!!) Bank acc. - blocked – same reason!!! Pinterest – erased – same reason in even MORE SINISTER FORM!! AddWords program – overtaken and misdirected/used by Author Solutions!!! - Ergo – closed!! Friends and Family – hacked & overtaken by spam, constant hacking and interfering with THEIR LIFE, NOT ONLY MINE!!! POSTING DISGUSTING PORNO-PICTURE WITH UGLY CONTEXT ON THE BULGARIAN SOCIETY IN NZ BOARD!! - ASI's goons: ******* ***** (my book's initial consultant and 1st contact (well plaid, *****!! - you got good money - “money for nothing”, from me), joined LinkedIn without Personal details; when i advised LinkedIn, the goons in Cebu, The Philippines struck the LinkedIn and changed *****nt's name to somebody else!!! TELEPHONE LINES AND MOBILE – completely “covered” by idiots, who don't have SHAME, HAVEN'T HEARD OF “ETHICS”, or have elementary knowledge of THE Professional Oath they have signed and supposed to oblige to!!! THUS, COMPLETELY ENDANGERING MY HEALTH AND WELL-BEING!!! - Local emergency ambulances!!! The only one there (in ASI), who knew my participation in Social Medias, was *********!!! Former Manager Marketing in Cebu, the Philippines (now – up and above)!!! She plaid very well her scamming/lying/steeling capabilities (brushed to “tears in the eyes”), extracting over NZ$4500+ from my son for a fake “presentation of my book in the Frankfurt Book Fair '14” which was never there!! Never-mind that i did everything related to my book from writing to printing it on 16/02/'14, NOT AS FALSIFIED BY THE COMPUTER GOONS – EVERY MILE-STONE ENTERED AS 13th OF WHICHEVER MONTH (where, actually they declared war on me like If you think you need more examples or “proof” - contact my Internet Provider in Auckland NZ – the ASI's GOONS have it – they were “living and breeding/”working”” inside it, caused damages for thousands... etc. In fact, they overtook all my communications (how's that for Christmas present!)! Even today, 5/01/15, the ASI computer-goons are"checking on me"!

Compensation for Loss of income and potential income. Refund-Check

12/30/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: In 2013 I commissioned Xlibris to publish a book for me entitled ***** **** *****. During the deal I paid over $300 to have a service that they claimed would put my book to 500 media outlets. I recently contacted at least ten of the outlets , from a list supplied by them claiming to have sent my book to these said outlets. Returned communication from some of the outlets stated that they had never even heard of Xlibris or received any communication from them. Incidentally some of theses companies were language specific viz: Portuguese Arabic, and others were not in the business of poetry as they were more activity swuch as fishing, pottery, etc. Others were way out in the boondocks. I contacted XLibris on November 11, 2014, requesting some information regarding my complaint. I was told that Customer Service would deal with the matter. I was given the names ***** ******* and ***** *******. They told me that they will try to generate the email showing that the 500 medial outlet PFR was done. I simply asked that I be given a list of the email addresses to which the releases were sent. 3 weeks later I am still awaiting a response and also the said email generation.

Desired Settlement: I would like a refund of my money paid and also punitive and moral damages for the suffering caused through deception, also loss of sales

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and for the opportunity to present our side of the case.

 

Ms. ****** *** signed up with Xlibris on April 18, 2013 to publish her book entitled ”****** **** *****.” The book completed its publication process and was made available for sale with Ms. ***** approval on June 29, 2013. To support her marketing plans for her work, Ms. *** also purchased our Edge Plus Marketing Package on April 25, 2013. Please see list of the inclusions of this marketing package and their descriptions below.

 

Bookstore Returnability - 24 months

Bookstore Returnability is an essential element to earning shelf space and/or in-store book signings.
With this service, an author's book  will be designated as “Returnable” in Ingram’s ipage ordering system for retailers and libraries. (Ingram is the world’s largest wholesaler and distributor of books.)

 

Search Engine Marketing - 250 clicks

This service enables authors to target millions of Google users and drive visitors to a website where they can purchase an author’s book. By strategically placing the book’s ad on the search results page when people search for key words associated with your book, this can drive interested parties the book’s website, increase online presence, and maximize book sales.

 

Press Release 500

Xlibris will create an original and compelling press release that will command media attention. We will generate a unique list of media who are likely to respond to your press release’s message based on the author’s preferred location. When your release goes out, Xlibris will act as the primary media contact, forwarding interview requests to you and fulfilling review copy orders at no charge to you or the media.

 

In order to address Ms. ***’s concerns on the fulfillment of the Press Release campaign, we have explained to her that the fulfillment of this service (particularly from a distribution standpoint) is in partnership with ***** Inc. ***** is a leading provider of public relations software that enables professionals to communicate with other professionals through the world’s largest pitchable media and blogger database. Upon receipt of the Press Release Approval Form from Ms. ***, Xlibris distributed the Press Release to 595 media outlets which subscribe to *****, based on the five preferred distribution locations and her hometown of Montreal. As described in the attached form submitted by Ms. ***, Xlibris ensures the best coverage by limiting distribution to the ***** subscribed media outlets from the preferred locations of the author. Media Outlets will be considered as long as they are geographically located within the author’s preferred locations, but Xlibris does not discriminate based on language or main business activities. Please refer to the attached email sent to Ms. *** with the list of media recipients for her press release campaign.

 

In summary, Xlibris fulfilled the Press Release component of Ms. ***’s Edge Plus Service based on the agreed criteria stipulated in our service approval form. We understand and acknowledge Ms. ***’s request for refund. However, our records indicate that the services contracted for her book have been fulfilled, forfeiting her eligibility for a refund. We have also explained to Ms. *** that due to limitations in our agreement with *****, we are unable to share the requested contact information of the media outlets included in her campaign.

 

We hope the information provided with this letter illustrates the steps we have taken to address Ms. ***’s concerns. Please let us know if additional steps need to be taken for an amicable close to this case.

 

 

****** *******
 
Global Director-author satisfaction

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

 
AS per the attached letter the writer did acknowledge blame as he clearly stated that he was not sure how the service was explained and how it was carried out.   No on was able to tell me when it was carried out, nor did they even inquire as to the seller of teh service waht type of explanation was given to me It was never carried out as all the said places claimed never to have heard of or from the company and also my book.
They have already written that I am entitled to a refund and will be holding them to it even up to the highest court in the land. The company has been known for dishonest tactics. Incidentally, permit me to ask where was the writer of this response as i have never heard a word from him during any of the printing process of which he speaks so authoritatively. . 
I am not the only one that is complaining , attached find some recent reviews regarding  














Regards,

****** ***

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for your continued assistance in this matter.  Ms. ****** *** has again requested a refund for the Press Release service that was a part of her Edge Plus Marketing Package.  Although **** ****** did log the refund request in our system, he does not have the authority to issue refunds, and at no time did he promise Ms. *** a refund. That refund request has been closed, and the refund will not be issued.

 

As we explained in our initial response, the Press Release service has been fulfilled, per the description of the service on the Xlibris website and the description of the service on the approval form. We have explained to Ms. *** that due to limitations in our agreement with Vocus, we are unable to share the contact information of the media outlets included in her campaign. Vocus also does not provide to us the specific dates that the press release was sent to the media outlets, but the full list of outlets is attached again in the final report of the service.

 

We trust this information will resolve your concerns regarding Ms. ***’s case.  Please let us know if additional steps need to be taken.

 

****** *******
 Global Director Author Satisfaction

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.


Regards,

****** ***

MY attachment fully outlines the reason for my rejection of this company's resolution. I want a full refund because so far the company has failed to furnish or provide me with a response regarding how their marketing representative presented the Pres Release sales pitch. I have made this request over three times. In addition as is explained in my attachment certain radio stations as well as current newspaper media in my hometown of Montreal was omitted.  The irony is that Montreal is a French speaking province that was overlooked, yet their alleged Vocus sent press releases to a shopping centre, defunct media outlets, Urdu. Polish. Greek outlets.
I  am demanding a full refund plus damages for their ongoing deceptive practices. Incidentally all the representatives for XLibris are stationed in the Philippines, so that the respondent to this letter should first familiarize himself with what is beinbg said by the foreigner. 

12/30/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Yes back in 2010 I went and got the book *** ***** ** * ***** *** ******* ******* ***** published with ********* ********. At the time my husband and I gave them the 1500.00 to publish the book under the context that not only would my husband and I make the money back but I would get my royalties. In that time I only received 150.00 if that from the book being published also I only received 10 of the 50 books that I published. I contacted them in 2011 I believe and asked them to remove my name, all my poems and my families names from the book. I wrote them a letter stating what i wanted removed and they claimed they would remove it. But they lied I have come upon numerous sites that their still selling the book with my name and my poems in it. I would like this problem resolved as soon as possible. Thank you

Desired Settlement: To have my name, poems and families names removed from the books and to get my money back and the books pulled until this is corrected. Also the 1500.00 if possible returned to me. Thank you again

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and for the opportunity to present our side of the case.

 

Ms. ********* ******** and Ms. ******* **** signed up with Xlibris on February 1, 2010 to publish their book entitled “*** ***** ** * ****** *** ******* ******* *****.” They purchased a Black and White Basic Publishing Package and were able to take advantage of a promotional rate of $400, discounted from the regular $500 price. The package was upgraded to a Black and White Custom Package with Ms. ****’ approval on February 9, 2010. Please refer to the transaction details below:

 

Date

Item Purchased

Amount

Payment Details

2/1/2010

Black and White Basic Package

$ 400.00

Cardholder's Name: **** ******** ********** ****** ** ****

2/9/2010

Black and White Custom Package

$ 1,229.00

Cardholder's Name: ******* **** **** ****** ** ****

 

The book completed its publication process and was made available for sale with both authors’ approval on April 20, 2010. We have attached Ms. ******** and ****’ approval for your reference.

 

 

Sales and Royalties

 

In response to her sales and royalty inquiry, Xlibris reviewed the sales and royalty data from the book’s publication date until its cancellation. Based on our audit, “*** ***** ** * ****** *** ******* ******* *****” earned $54.65 for the third quarter of 2011 and $45.50 on the first quarter of 2012. Please refer to the royalty check details paid to the authors below:

 

Quarter

Check Number

Check Date

Amount Earned

Tax Withholding

Check Amount

Q3 2010

******

11/15/2010

$212.45

$0

$212.45

Q1 2011

******

5/11/2011

$55.99

$0

$55.99

Q2 2011

******

8/15/2011

$45.11

$0

$45.11

Q3 2011

****

11/10/2011

$54.65

$0

$54.65

Q4 2011

******

2/15/2012

$41.91

$11.73

$30.18

Q1 2012

******

5/15/2012

$45.50

$12.74

$32.76

Q2 2012

******

11/14/2012

$2.00

$0.56

$1.44

Q4 2012

******

11/14/2013

$2.00

$0.56

$1.44

 

These checks were sent to Ms. ********, the primary name on the account. We have attached a copy of the sales and royalty report since Quarter 2 2011, when we changed to our current accounting system, for your reference.

 

 

Cancellation

 

Xlibris received a signed cancellation request from Ms. **** on February 8, 2012. The cancellation request was proceed and completed with the cancellation in Xlibris and Ingram distribution’s database on March 26, 2012. Attached are screen captures from the Ingram ipage for both the hardcover and paperback formats, indicating that neither format is available through Ingram.  While there were two sales after the cancellation in 2012, these were residual copies that had already been printed before the cancellation was processed, and the authors were compensated for their sales.  There have been no sales since 2012.

 

Xlibris would like to assure Ms. **** that per her request, we did cancel their book in Ingram’s distribution system in 2012.  It remains searchable through some online resellers because not all resellers remove listings from their databases.  We would like to assure Ms. **** that Ingram will no longer print new copies, even if there is a demand for the title. Upon receipt of this complaint, Xlibris also sent a special request to Amazon to remove the book’s listing on their website. This request is subject to Amazon’s review and approval.

 

In summary, we understand and acknowledge Ms. ****’ request for refund. However, our records indicate that all services contracted for her book have been fulfilled. Fulfillment of services forfeits their eligibility for a refund.

 

We hope the information provided illustrates the steps we have taken to address Ms. ****’ concerns.

****** *******
 
Global Director-author satisfaction


Author Solutions
A Penguin Random House Company

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

I personally did not acquire much of the said royalties, Ms. ******** only gave me 110.00 of the royalties. She took the rest for herself. I moved in September of 2012 to Indiana where I have been. I would like some of those royalties due to Ms. ******** taking it all for herself. Thank you. 

Regards,

******* ****

12/30/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: iUniverse have not issued a check to this writer matching sales; on my facebook account, friends here in New York and abroad in other States of our Country, have been purchased over approximately 700 books, sales on amazon have went up both new and/or used books. The royalty page break down on the iUniverse site regarding my book sales DO NOT match sales. iUniverse refuse to give me the PRINT ON DEMAND numbers and figures. One agent from iUniverse told this writer blatantly, they sold the printing rights to another company that they are not responsible for the printing of the books. The failure to provide the infomation upon request can only mean the book sales do not match printing demand. There is unethical practices in sales and records. The advertisment to do business with iUniverse is a misrepresentation regarding collection and disbursements of royalties, and very unethical. Upon request, iUniverse has fail to give itemization of all sales and print on demand data, and have refused to give such, where such information IS NOT privileged or protected by any agreement or law related thereto. Royalties are to be disbursed every quarter, this writer HAVE NOT received any royalties since December 2012. Any alleged checks issued by iUniverse will clearly show never received or cashed by this writer. This company is fraud and scam of rights distribution and collection of royalties. This company must be investigated and their books audited for any and all fraudulant practices.

Desired Settlement: I would like all sales assessed from: Barnes and Nobles; iUniverse; Amazon Borders; all U.S. Canada and U.K sales; all downloads for Nooks and Kindles, etc., to see if sells match the recorded book sales of iUniverse ( there is a PRINT ON DEMAND) agreement which DO NOT match royalties.

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to explain the royalties for Mr. ******* ********* publishing projects.

Mr. ********* decision to enter into an agreement with iUniverse to provide publishing services for his manuscript is subject to the terms and conditions of the publishing services agreement. Under Section 8 of the Agreement the following is stated:

PUBLISHER will make four royalty payments per year, if earned, to the AUTHOR within sixty (60) days of the end of each calendar quarter and shall post related royalty statements on PUBLISHER’S Web site. If the royalty payment due in a single calendar quarter is less than twenty-five U.S. Dollars ($25) the balance will be applied to the next calendar quarter until the royalty payment due equals or exceeds twenty-five U.S. Dollars ($25), at which time the PUBLISHER shall make the appropriate royalty payment to the AUTHOR.

On 9/28/2014 Mr. ******* contacted the iUniverse Royalty Helpdesk to notify us that he did not receive the check for royalties earned in 2013 ($10.28), which had been mailed to him in February of 2014. The representative offered to have the 2013 check voided and repaid, which was addressed by our Finance department within 2 days of the issue being logged. Since the $10.28 amount is under the $25.00 threshold as detailed in the Author Agreement referenced above, per our policy it was therefore allocated as an open balance to be repaid with the 4th Quarter checks in February 2015. Since we have been notified of Mr. ********* inquiries we will be sending a replacement check to him within the next two weeks.

Mr. ******* contacted our Royalty Helpdesk again on 11/26/2014 and requested that he receive 4 quarterly royalty checks per year, regardless of the amount of royalties earned in a specific quarter. The Helpdesk representative explained iUniverse’s $25.00 royalty threshold policy as outlined in the above Author Agreement.

Regarding the specific sales reports requested by Mr. *******, the data reported from all retailers does match the royalty statement provided to the author. This data also matches the payment amounts issued to Mr. *******. This letter includes royalty statements from quarters in 2013 and 2014 in which there were royalties earned, along with a detailed informer report showing 2013 and 2014 sales for Mr. ********* 2 books which corroborates the statements.

In summary, Mr. ******* is being paid royalties according to structure outlined in the Author Agreement that was in effect when he purchased his publishing packages. His royalty payments accurately reflect the sales data reported to us by retailers. If Mr. ******* can provide receipts or order information for any sales he suspects are missing from our reports we will be happy to research those further.

  ****** *******
Global Director-author satisfaction

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.


Regards,

******* *******

12/29/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: West Bow Press/Author Solutions had taken about USD10 thousand from me and family who also promised royalties from sale of self-published book *************** ** ***: **** ******* ** **********-The Big Picture but has failed to revert any royalties from the 25,000 bookshops around the world since January 21 2012, when it was first published. Whenever we call them from Malaysia, they are elusive with their answers. They claimed that there was no sale. They they told us not to have such concern or worry when we first were about to sign up for this publishing contract. They promised us the world to make us sign but there is no royalties, except USD4 till this date, as it's going to be three years of agonizing wait. We need the money we have invested to write more books on the same topic. The book is very popular online but they kept saying, there aren't any royalties. We did go through lot's of problems in the publishing process. They told us lot's of lies, especially the marketing, when we insisted we did not want to buy the marketing package. They kept promising lies to make us accept their offer. They called us in Malaysia by phone many, many times but after they had got our cash transferred online, they never bothered what happened to us and the book. The whole process was done in a slip-shot way, after that. They never cared about what happened to the book. The few times they called us , they wanted us to part with more money on a bigger marketing package. We are disgusted with West Bow Press/Author Solutions. We went to them because they advertised as a Christian organization but they never behaved as one but only as money greedy people.

Desired Settlement: Payment of royalties in full or a full-refund

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to address Mr. ******’s concerns regarding his publishing experience and royalty payments.

Royalty Payments

The Westbow Press Royalty Payment policy can be found in the Westbow Press Publishing Agreement, Schedule A. It states the following regarding timelines and the royalty threshold:

Royalties will be determined quarterly and paid to AUTHOR within sixty days after the quarter ends if the amount of the Royalty exceeds $75 dollars. If the quarterly Royalty amount does not exceed $75 dollars, this Royalty amount will be added to the subsequent quarterly Royalty amount due (Cumulative Annual Royalty). The Cumulative Annual Royalty will be paid to AUTHOR within sixty days after the quarter end in which the Cumulative Annual Royalty first exceeds $75. Cumulative Annual Royalties that do not exceed $75 dollars at the end of the calendar year will be paid to AUTHOR within sixty days after year end. Any Royalties due will be reduced by any outstanding amounts owed by you to us and/or withheld pursuant to governing laws.

Royalty checks are paid according to the following quarterly schedule, also located on the Westbow Press website for our authors to review:

  • First Quarter: January 1 – March 31 (Payments are made end of May)

  • Second Quarter: April 1 – June 30 (Payments are made end of August)

  • Third Quarter: July 1 – September 30 (Payments are made end of November)

  • Fourth Quarter: October 1 – December 31 (Payments are made end of February)

Mr. ****** stated that Westbow Press has failed to revert royalties to him for sales of his book, *************** ** ***. We did issue a check to Mr. ****** on March 1st, 2013, for sales accumulated during the 2012 year in accordance with the threshold policy above. Upon receiving this author’s complaint we have found that this check has not been cashed, therefore we will be reissuing this check to be sent Certified Mail to him by the end of this year.

 

Book Sales

 

Mr. ****** states in his letter that his book has been very popular online but that is not being reflected in his royalty payments. Westbow Press is a Print-On-Demand publisher, meaning that the book is only printed when an order is placed for it. The sales data for all orders is reported to us by the retailers in our distribution network and we then pay the author accordingly. Attached you will find a detailed Sales Informer Report which breaks down all orders placed on the book since its publication in January of 2012. There are multiple purchases of the book by the author himself, which does not qualify as a royalty earning sale. The only retail orders of the book were in May of 2012 and November of 2012, the royalties for both of which were included on the March 1, 2013 check referenced above.

 

If Mr. ****** could provide us receipts or invoices for sales he believes have not been reported then we would be happy to research further.

 

Publishing and Marketing

In his letter Mr. ****** mentions that he experienced many problems throughout the production of his book, but does not go into specific detail of said problems. Mr. ******’s book moved through the Editorial process in less than 2 weeks, and the design process in 5 weeks, both well under the given timelines for these Production services. Production fees for revisions to Mr. ******’s book were also waived out of goodwill.

 

The Marketing Services Representative that worked with Mr. ****** on his purchased marketing services confirmed that all services were approved by the author and fulfilled. As an independent publisher and not a traditional publisher, much of the responsibility to promote a book falls on the author themselves. One of our sales representatives did contact the author to see what strategies he was using to promote and sell the book on his own, but there is no noted response from Mr. ******.

 

Summary

In closing, we did send Mr. ****** a royalty check on March 1st 2013 for all royalties earned. This check is going to be recut to the author expediently since it has not been cashed. There have been no further sales for Mr. ******’s book, however if/when there are sales in the future he will continue to be paid according to Westbow Press’ royalty policy.

 

We will not be able to issue Mr. ****** a refund for his publishing or marketing services per the Westbow Press refund policy as found in the Publishing Agreement, Schedule A, and outlined below, as all purchased services have been fulfilled and his contract date is March 23, 2011.

 

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

  • Prior to submission of manuscript 100% less a $150 setup fee

  • After submission, but prior to interior design 50%

  • After interior design, but prior to final sign-off 25%

  • After six months from contract date 0%

 

 

****** *******
Global Director-author satisfaction


Author Solutions
A Penguin Random House Company

12/29/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I own all the rights to a book I wrote and had published in 2007 by a company then called Trafford Publications, located at that time in Victoria, Canada. They cannot help me. I have talked to several people there. Now they do not return my calls. Author Solutions, apparently bought Trafford out in 2009 and are now laying claim to my book. They have it listed, (at Trafford and even on Amazon) at a prohibitive retail price. They refuse to remove it, or to reduce the price to something reasonable. Trafford was a print-on-demand company. I bought their best package, for over $1800, paid them in full. Once they had the money, they told me that the book had to retail for something over $21.00. I added about 20% for myself and came up with $25.50. They refuse to change that price. Amazon is somehow locked in to that price, without my consent, so they can't change their $25.50 price either. I am so frustrated. Can you help? Should I file a complaint against Trafford too? *****

Desired Settlement: I want Trafford and/or Author Solutions to remove my book from their websites and bookstores, permanently. I want to be able to start anew with Amazon on my one terms.

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and for the opportunity to present our side of the case.

 

Ms. ***** ******* has raised concerns regarding the price of her book “******* ***** ** ******” since Author Solutions acquired Trafford Publishing in 2007, and has requested the cancellation of her book.  This is the first request for cancellation that we have received from Ms. *******.

 

The list price of Ms. *******’ book was set at $25.50 (USD) and $29.33 (CAD).  This amount was high enough to cover the printing costs of the book and allow Ms. ******* to earn royalties after industry-standard discounts were offered to sellers.  Amazon.com had listed the book for $21.92, actually discounted from the list price.  Amazon.ca showed listings for the book starting at $41.40 CAD.  However, these listings on Amazon Canada were through third-party sellers.  Trafford cannot control prices set by Amazon, and neither Trafford nor Amazon can control prices set by third-party sellers.

 

Per Ms. *******’ request, we have cancelled her book in our system.  It has been removed from our online bookstore and we have notified our trading and distribution partners of the cancellation.  Any inventory already existing in the channel may cause the title to be included in the databases of online retailers until that inventory is depleted.  Please note that royalties have already been paid on this inventory.  Ms. *******’ original agreement with Trafford was non-exclusive, and she would have been free to republish with another company at any time.  She is still free to do so, and we wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.

 

We hope the information provided with this letter illustrates the steps we have taken to address Ms. *******’ concerns.  Please let us know if additional steps need to be taken for an amicable close to this case.

 

 

****** *******

Global Director of Author Satisfaction

12/23/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I was contacted by **** ********* with an offer for marketing services with Authorhouse. I agreed to Book Reviews service. He kept suggesting *** ****** Interview so I agreed to that even though afterwards I received the demographics where the show is targeted and that wasn't a fit but it was too late. and lastly I explained I wanted my book ******* *** **** to be audio. Mr. ********* placed me on hold and said his supervisor suggested a upgraded package that would include everything that I wanted with having to pay ala carte. I agreed and paid in installments which were completed in September. I have received two samples from actors ( I thought that I was doing the actual recording ) and wasn't pleased with the recording. I have sent emails, asked friends who were actors and directors for samples and provided everything to demonstrate how the reading should be with emotion and not as someone is just reading pages from a book. I haven't heard from Mr. ********* who was supposed to communicate with me per the emails I received from Marketing Consultant **** ******. I have sent a final email requesting a refund for the package which is not what I wanted. I wanted to record myself not use a actor .

Desired Settlement: To be refunded for a service that they can't provide for poetry books. The actors that they have don't read urban poetry with emotion. The amount that I am look for is 1299.50 the amount charged for AudioPrime Book Package at the discounted offer

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and for the opportunity to address Ms. ******** ********* concerns. Ms. ******** has requested a refund for the Audiobook Prime Plus service she purchased.  She states that the two sample recordings she was sent were not read with the emotion required for the material.

 

Two demo recordings were sent to Ms. ********, on October 30 and November 25. As those recordings did not meet Ms. ********’ expectations, she then sent examples of herself and a friend reading parts of her book.  However, those examples were received on December 15, and this refund request was received on December 16.  The audiobook team had not yet had an opportunity to incorporate that feedback into another sample version of the audiobook for Ms. ******** to review.

 

Although the service was fulfilled in part, with two sample versions of the audiobook recorded, we have refunded the service in full as a show of goodwill.  This refund was processed on December 19, 2014, and should appear on Ms. ********’ credit card within 3-5 business days.  The refund details are below:

 

$1724.50 to Visa ending ****, transaction ID ********************************

$475 to Visa ending ****, transaction ID ********************************

 

Should Ms. ******** be interested in a different audiobook service, AuthorHouse does offer a DIY Audiobook service, in which Ms. ******** (or a friend, should she choose to make such arrangements) would record the book using an AuthorHouse-supplied recorder.  More information about that service is available on the AuthorHouse website, and is also attached. 

 

We hope the information provided with this letter illustrates the steps we have taken to address Ms. ********’ concerns.  Please let us know if additional steps need to be taken for an amicable close to this case.

 

 

****** *******

Global Director of Author Satisfaction

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and find that this resolution would be satisfactory to me.  I will wait until for the business to perform this action and, if it does, will consider this complaint resolved.

Regards,

******** ********

12/15/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I was suppose to receive a contract or agreement which were the basis of paying this company but never got the agreement or the contract and they went ahead steadily took money from My charge card - they were not suppose to do that without a signed agreement or contract

Desired Settlement: refund plus N S F charges of $35.00 X 2 of $35.00 be refunded immediately

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and for the opportunity to present our side of this case.  Mr. **** *** is requesting a refund and the cancellation of his publishing package.

 

Mr. **** *** purchased an Essential Black and White publishing package on September 16, 2014, at a cost of $949.50, discounted from the standard price of $1,899.  He chose to split the payment into three monthly installments, incurring an additional processing fee of $30. On that date, Mr. *** spoke with ****** ****** of our Payment Central Department, who explained that the agreements would be sent electronically for Mr. *** to sign.  Mr. ****** read the payment plan terms and conditions aloud, including that each payment would be automatically debited on the assigned dates (one month and two months from the initial payment).  These terms and conditions also included the declined payment fees of $30 per declined payment.  Mr. *** verbally agreed to these terms.

 

The electronic agreements (attached) were sent on September 17 and then again on September 24 and October 1.  Additionally, ****** ******* from the Contract Control Group called Mr. *** and left voicemail messages on September 24, October 1, and November 17. 

 

This is the first time Mr. *** has requested a refund.  Upon receipt of this complaint, we immediately processed full refunds for the publishing package ($949.50) and the installment payment processing fee ($30).  These refunds were processed on December 2, with the transaction information below, and should appear on Mr. ***’s credit card within 3-5 business days.

$264.75 to Visa ending ****, transaction ID ********************************

$264.75 to Visa ending ****, transaction ID ********************************

$450 to Visa ending ****, transaction ID ********************************

Mr. ***’s payments have been refunded to his credit card.  As he was informed of the terms of the payment plan agreement, including the decline fee, his bank’s Non-Sufficient Funds fees will not be refunded.  We trust this information illustrates the steps we have taken to address Mr. ***’s concerns.

 

 

****** *******
 
Global Director-author satisfaction

12/11/2014 Guarantee/Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I paid $200 up front. I told them I had an unfinished manuscript and they told me to submit it anyway. "To see if it's the kind of work they would do.". After which I returned to writing. When I finished my manuscript I contacted them because I had not heard from them in a long while. I could not get a hold of anyone for several days, I kept leaving messages. Then I got an email that my book was ready for print and they wanted me to pick a book-cover. When I was finally able to contact someone and explain that the manuscript they had was not a finished product, they told me I would have to pay additional $200 for them to start over. I told them, they rushed through things, the mistake was on their end and they hung up me.

Desired Settlement: I want my $263 back I want them to understand that a lousy 200 bucks was worth more to them than their reputation! They are bad for business and they should not be allowed to get away with this.

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and for the opportunity to present our side of the case.

 

Mr. **** ****** signed up with Xlibris on November 6, 2014 to publish his book entitled “*** ******* ****.”  He took advantage of a promotional rate of $699, discounted from the regular $1,249 price.  Mr. ****** opted to use an installment payment plan which added a $30 non-refundable surcharge, making his total cost $729. Mr. ****** made the first payment of $263 that day, with the remaining two payments of $233 each set up for auto-charge on the same day of the two following months.

 

On November 10, 2014, Mr. ******’s Check-In Coordinator sent him instructions for submitting his materials (please see the attached email).  This email detailed the publication process, and specified that the entire manuscript should be submitted.  Mr. ****** then submitted his manuscript to Xlibris.  The interior layout and cover design files were created and sent to him for review on November 20, 2014.  On November 24, 2014, Mr. ****** sent Xlibris an updated manuscript with an additional chapter, including a character list and timeline.  We have attached Mr. ******’s email for your reference.

 

Xlibris encourages all of our authors to submit the final text, quality images and all design requests and suggestions at the outset of the publishing process.  We have explained to Mr. ****** that author alterations while the book is in production are subject to applicable fees.   An Author Alteration is defined as a change to the text while the book is still in production, prior to the approval of the final galley proof.  The rates and details of our Author Alterations and Corrections Services are available on our website: http://www.xlibris.com/editorial_alterations.aspx.

 

Upon receipt of this complaint, a review of Mr. ******’s account was conducted.  From this review we were able to confirm that the team assigned to his book project extended to Mr. ****** the necessary advice, support and resources in preparation of his book for publication.  An audit of our company call records also indicate that calls and messages from Mr. ****** after the submission of his manuscript have been responded to within 24 hours.

 

As a show of goodwill, we have offered to make an exception and extend a free round of corrections to Mr. ****** to include the additional chapter and implement the additional instructions for his book.  The corrected proof will be sent to Mr. ****** within 5-10 business days.  Mr. ****** has accepted this offer, and has stated that he understands that any changes after this round will be subject to applicable fees.

 

We hope the information provided with this letter illustrates the steps we have taken to address Mr. ******’s concerns.  Please let us know if additional steps need to be taken for an amicable close to this case.

 

****** *******
 
Global Director-author satisfaction

 

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********* and find that this resolution would be satisfactory to me.  I will wait until for the business to perform this action and, if it does, will consider this complaint resolved.

Regards,

**** ******

12/5/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I have published an ebook with booktango and have had several issues. I bought 20 book stubs and over half of them could not be redeemed by those to whom they were given. The only resolution which booktango offered was for the card holder to spend time with their tech department to resolve the download issue. When someone receives a free book, the last thing they want to do is spend their valuable time trying to retrieve something of which they didn't pay. The biggest issue seems to be for the last three months, it has been impossible for me to access the dashboard which enables me to track my sales. There is no way to see if my book is selling and if I should be receiving a royalty check. For all I know, it could be selling and booktango is keeping the proceeds. Trying to resolve the issue with the company itself has come to a complete dead end.

Desired Settlement: fix the dashboard and verify sales from the beginning of the year!

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to explain the bookstubs redemption and the author center issues that Mr. ******* has encountered.

Bookstubs redemption

BookStubs are small, gift-card-style cards that contain a free download of the author’s e-book. One side of the card depicts the e-book’s cover design; the other offers the necessary information to find and download one copy of the book.

The Booktango bookstub site is working.  We have no documented instances where some codes work and others do not. The site is working for all codes.  The marketing director generated a new code for Mr. ********s book on December 1, 2014 and it worked. 

Consumers downloading the ebook must either use an ereader such as Kindle or Nook or have a reader installed on their desktop computer.  There are three types of ebook files from which to choose.  The consumer must choose the file compatible with the reading device. 

Thus far, 10 consumers have downloaded Mr. ********* ebook.

We cannot control each consumer’s computer knowledge or abilities.  The reason customer/tech support exists is to help those that need it.  Should there be any further questions, there is a help page on the Booktango site at http://www.booktango.com/Help/BookStubs/. 

Author center

Each author has the ability to log in to their own personal center on the Booktango website, showing the sales and royalties and other information. 

Mr. ******* is unable to access this section.  The first he notified customer support of the problem was on Wednesday, November 24, 2014, during a chat, first with ********* ****** and then with ********* ******.  Ms. ****** suggested that Mr. ******* attempt to change his password.  When that didn’t work, Mr. ******* contacted customer support again and chatted with Ms. ******.  A copy of the chat with Ms. ****** is attached.  As the end of the chat shows, Mr. ******* was fine with waiting on correspondence from Ms. ****** when the problem was resolved. 

As Ms. ****** stated, she inquired with the IT department and followed up with Mr. ******* on Monday, December 1, 2014.  (Our offices were closed Thursday through Sunday for the Thanksgiving holiday.)  Ms. ****** emailed Mr. ******* to let him know that the IT department was still working on the issue and that she would follow up with him again within the week. 

On December 3, 2014, Ms. ****** again emailed Mr. *******, letting him know that the problem had been resolved. 

Mr. ******* can now view his sales and royalties.  The total royalties due reflected on the royalty statements for each quarter are exactly the same as the royalty payments that were directly deposited into his bank account over the last five quarters.

While we understand that the inability for Mr. ******* to access his author center is frustrating, customer support followed the proper procedure (contacting IT) and followed up with Mr. ******* within normal timelines.

In closing, the Booktango bookstubs site is working for all codes.  We cannot control the technical abilities of consumers but we do have tech/customer support in place to help those that need it.

Mr. *******’s inability to access the author center was resolved within three business days of the problem first being brought to our attention.  Ms. ****** in customer support told Mr. ******* that she would follow up with him when she had more information and did just that. 

Sincerely,

 

 

****** *******
 
Global Director-author satisfaction

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and find that this resolution would be satisfactory to me.  I will wait until for the business to perform this action and, if it does, will consider this complaint resolved.

Further, I wish to thank BookTango for addressing these concerns.  Their professionalism is refreshing and encouraging to those who wish to share their work with appreciative readers.  Thank you for resolving this issue and providing this service, not only for consumers, but for businesses such as BookTango that benefit from diligent feedback from their clients.

Regards,

******* *******

12/2/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues
11/25/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Representative lied to me about service. After notifying the company (WestBow Press) and requesting a refund I have received no response!

Desired Settlement: Refund of money paid on grounds of fraud and misrepresentation.

Consumer Response:


I contacted WestBow Press as a result of their web-page advertisement. I believe my first communication was from ******* ***** on September 11, 2014. On September 18, ***** ******* sent me a project number and a list of packages and directions. On September 23, ******* directed me to ******** ***** as my marketing service representative.

 

I was skeptical of WestBow not accepting my manuscript because it was written (within boundaries) in “real life language.” I questioned ***** repeatedly regarding this skepticism because WestBow wanted full payment in advance or a contract signed agreeing to four equal payments. As you can see from this quotation from ***** that I was led to understand that I would not have a problem. “You are correct. You do not have to agree or accept the suggestions made by ****** ******. No we will not make you spend any extra money on any services. We may make suggestions but you do not have to accept any of them.” 

 

I was also “hustled” into agreeing to the contract before the sun went down that evening. I stated, “******** I always sleep on things overnight. I plan to get back to you tomorrow.” After which I received the following reply, “I completely understand. However, if I have answered all your questions, can help you save $324 and nothing is set in stone or started until the agreement is signed. Then an overnight sleep is just time. J There is nothing different between today and tomorrow except $324.00. Think about it.”

 

I agreed to their terms based on oral and written promises and gave them my credit card payment.   

 

On October 29, I received an email from ***** ******* stating a long list of changed they were demanding if my manuscript was to be published. After going over them, I found them to be not acceptable. I had been lied to and I explained this to ******* in an email on the same date, I have been lied to . . . I request a total refund of any money collected and a cancellation of my contract.”

 

On October 29, ***** called and emailed me stating they could switch me to another company that would accept my manuscript without changes. I responded as follows, As a result of no reply to my last email and telephone call, and in accordance with my below email sent to you on 10/29/14, I demand a cancellation to my agreement with Westbow based on misrepresentation and fraud. I will expect a full refund to previous payments and cancellation of further payments. I do not wish to do any more business with your firm or any firm you may recommend.”   

 

From the start of my communication with the representatives of this company I was assured, bases on my description, that the content of my book would be appropriate. The bottom line is that either one of two of their representatives lied to me—which I DETEST especially coming from a so-called Christian organization. I expect a full refund based on deception and misleading tactics.

 

On November 4, I sent them a certified letter asking for my return of money. So far I have received no reply from anyone.  

  

Business Response: Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and for the
opportunity to present our side of this case. **** *****
is requesting a refund due to the cancellation of his
publishing package.

 

Mr. ***** purchased an Online Platform publishing package with WestBow
Press on September 16, 2014.  He also
purchased the Kirkus Indie Review service and a Web Optimized Press Release
service.  The total cost for the package
and these services came to $4,925.  Mr.
***** chose to split the payments into three monthly installments, incurring an
additional $75 processing fee.  The first
payment of $1,250 was made on September 16, and the second payment of $1,250 was
automatically withdrawn on October 16. 
Attached is Mr. *****’s Installment Payment Agreement, signed on
September 17.  Mr. ***** also signed the Publishing
Agreement, including the refund policy. 
That policy states:

 

5. Refunds

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

Prior to submission
of manuscript                            100%
less a $150 setup fee

After submission,
but prior to interior design      50%

After interior
design, but prior to final sign-off   25%

After six months
from contract date                       0%

 

All WestBow Press books are evaluated in a Content Evaluation to ensure
that they adhere to the HarperCollins Christian Publishing Editorial Standards
and that there are no copyright, privacy, or other concerns.  This process is outlined on the WestBow Press
website, and a copy of the Editorial Standards is attached.  Mr. ***** submitted his manuscript on October
17.  He was notified on October 29 that
his manuscript contained some images that would require permission from the
copyright holder, as well as other material that did not align with the
Editorial Standards.

 

Mr. ***** cites delays in the processing of his refund.  He did initially request a refund when he
received the Content Evaluation results on Wednesday, October 29.  However, he was then presented the option of
making revisions to his manuscript to adhere to the Editorial Standards or
publishing with a different company affiliated with WestBow Press, with
different content standards.  Emails
between Mr. *****, Publishing Consultant ******** *****, and Check-In
Coordinator ***** ******* indicate that Mr. ***** was considering these options
as late as Sunday, November 2.  Ms. *****
was then out of the office due to a family emergency November 3-5.  Upon her return on Thursday, November 6, she
attempted to call Mr. ***** to determine how to proceed, but reached his
voicemail each time she called.

 

Immediately upon receipt of this complaint on Wednesday, November 12,
we submitted Mr. *****’s refunds in our system, totaling $2,275.  This amount reflect’s Mr. *****’s payments of
$2,500, less the $75 installment processing fee from the Installment Payment
Agreement and the $150 project setup fee from the Publishing Agreement.  The
refund should reflect on Mr. *****’s credit card within 5-7 business days. 
The refund details are below.

 

$1250 to Visa ending ****, transaction ID
********************************
$1025 to Visa ending ****, transaction ID
********************************

 

We trust this information illustrates the steps we have taken to
address Mr. *****’s concerns.

 

****** *******

Global Director-author satisfaction

11/21/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: There are several parts to this complaint: 1. Initially there was a misrepresentation of services where by the sales recruiter ****** **** told be one thing she could guarantee something she could not. This had to do with a false assessment of by proposed book that was almost like 3 books in one and I specifically said which portion to evaluate because I did not know if I would use all the parts. She agreed yet when submitted it was not for the section of the book I requested that she agreed on - being useless to me. I have several e-mails and conversations about the specifics. I received an evaluation that I paid for that was then useless because it was on the wrong content. She then promised me someone at the publishing house would take a look at my final manuscript for free that never happened. Upfront I discussed photos that I needed to have for the book - a dance book - and those requirements. Misinformation was given to me. 2. They did an Assess and said all was fine in the book in terms of written materials and not needing any rights. The quality of their proposed editing was not good compared to other publishing places I researched and used 3. Since May of 2014 the entire work relationship with them has been unclear, and inefficient with services. 4. ****** **************** the employee who was coordinating gathering of all my materials also was not clear on needed things such as permissions for photos. Furthering the misinformation about the photo requirements was that I spent months, months gathering permissions from photographers, ballet companies, dancers etc. to the amount of 50 photos. ****** said all was fine with my permissions and I was ready to go to the next stage with final draft Oct. 30th. 5. Then a week a go or so I get an e-mail saying that the book is being Assessed again and I need permissions for photos - a copyright issue. This is where the abuse begins. 6. Changing policies: The abusive behavior is in telling me one thing is needed, me fulfilling the need, then telling me something else is need. ***** **** a supervisor then says since the summer a new policy regarding copyrights is required. This was never told to me in the beginning and I was told everything was good to go to the design stage. I paid $175 for extra photos even. Now, they are telling me without permissions that I DO NOT need (will explain) that I might not be able to use the photos. My book relies on the photos as it is autobiographical and the photos/illustrations demonstrate the written material about movement. 7. I am a choreographer - that is like a writer who writes with steps. All the photos are of my choreography which I own. Any photograph was only taken with my permission. The photographer cannot use the photo he takes without my permission. It is not the other way around. Balboa seems to think the contrary. I have permissions from photographers who own the rights and they are photos of Me or my choreography. I have permission from ballet companies who hired or the photographer could have taken the photo for free - I have their permission as they would own the rights over the photographer. It works both ways. Either way, the photos of me or my choreography they do not have permission to use without my consent. Right now, Balboa is wanting more proof and I cannot get them any more than I have. There are not formal contracts with photographers of small companies that might say what they are asking - it is often very ad hoc. I paid for 2 photos Not of me and they are from big ballet companies and got all rights from them. Now I have worked 1 year on my book and only now they are going to prevent it from being published. They misrepresented services, behaved unprofessionally and abusive, and I've lost time, money and my sanity.

Desired Settlement: The desired outcome is either to let the photos be published as I HAVE ALL THE RIGHTS BY WHAT I HAVE SENT THEM FROM PHOTOGRAPHERS AND BALLET COMPANIES - they just won't believe it because they are ignorant to how the ballet field works. If they won't agree I want my full fee paid back for losing a year of my life and the stress it is has caused me.

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and for the opportunity to present our side of this case.  *** ***** ******** has raised concerns about the editing of her book, as well as the image permissions required to move forward with publication.

 

Ms. ******** purchased an Embark publishing package from Balboa Press on April 30, 2014, at a cost of $999.  She also purchased an Editorial Assessment service at a cost of $249.50, discounted from the standard rate of $499.  She submitted her signed Services Agreement, attached, on May 1.

 

When Ms. ******** submitted her materials, they went through a Content Evaluation.  This is a process that all Balboa materials go through, to ensure that there are no concerns with copyright, permissions, privacy, libel, and other possible issues.  The Content Evaluation determined that there were several professional photographs not taken by Ms. ********, and requested permission from the photographers.  We acknowledge that the copyright status of photos taken of ballets may be more complicated than other photos, in that permission from the choreographers and ballet companies can be involved, and we appreciate that Ms. ******** is the choreographer of several of the works depicted in her photos.  However, legal precedents indicate that the choreographer is not always the rightsholder of professional photographs.  Generally, photographers (or their employers, in a work-for-hire situation) own the rights.

 

In order to protect both Ms. ******** and Balboa Press from any possible litigation, we do need to ensure that the appropriate permissions are on file before the photos can be used in the final book.  We always err on the side of caution in order to protect our authors and our company.  Attached is a listing of the images requiring permission.  If these permissions can be obtained, we will be able to proceed to the design process.  If permission for any image cannot be obtained, the image will not be able to be used.  The permission should come from the rightsholder, who may be any of the following:

1)  Ms. ********, for those photographs she took;
2)  A photographer who was not employed on a work-for-hire basis at the time the pertinent photograph was taken; or
3)  The company or entity that hired any photographer employed on a work-for-hire basis at the time the pertinent photograph was taken. 

 

Ms. ******** also cites concerns with the Editorial Assessment she purchased in addition to the publishing package.  She was told when she purchased the service that she would be able to select multiple portions of the book to be reviewed.  While the Publishing Consultant stated that she would try to enable this, it is not a service the Editorial Department offers.   As the service description on the Balboa Press website states (http://www.balboapress.com/Servicestore/ServiceDetail.aspx?ServiceId=BS-1536), the editor reviews one continuous portion of the book to provide a sample edit.  The sample edit was completed and was sent to Ms. ******** on July 8, at which time Ms. ******** expressed her concerns to the Editorial Department.  An Editorial Services Associate explained the misunderstanding to Ms. ********, who then considered canceling her publishing package, but ultimately decided to proceed.

 

If Ms. ******** would like to cancel her publishing package, she may contact us at customersupport@balboapress.com and we will proceed with the cancellation.  Her manuscript has been submitted, so per the Services Agreement she signed in May, she would be eligible for a refund of 50% of the cost of the publishing package.  However, as a show of goodwill, we would process a refund withholding only $150 setup fee outlined in the Agreement.  As the Editorial Assessment has been fulfilled (attached), it is no longer eligible for a refund.  We will await Ms. ********’s decision regarding whether she would like to proceed with publication or request cancellation.

 

We trust this information illustrates the steps we have taken to address Ms. ********’s concerns.

 

****** *******
Global Director-author satisfaction

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and find that this resolution would be satisfactory to me.  I will wait until for the business to perform this action and, if it does, will consider this complaint resolved.

The requests for photo permissions will be easy to get


Regards,

*** ***** ********

11/19/2014 Problems with Product/Service
11/17/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I was greatly greatly pressured (I said NO firmly and clearly and without waiver multiple times, and was still forwarded to the payment department, I said NO to the payment department, and was transferred back to sales and said NO multiple times again then agreed to a reservation) into reserving an expensive new york times advertisement marketing package which I upon further research, do not believe will return the investment of my savings (4 1/2 pay cheques worth / 9 weeks worth $$$$ wage - on that one alone). I refused to sign the authorization document (signed nothing) because of my grounds to believe it a poor investment - and proceeded to ask for a refund from my reservation. I was not hearing back but ***** called me late on a Friday and I brought the matter up with him. He said he understood that it was expensive and said he could get it refunded. However, he said he had a better, cheaper package to offer me and the refund of the new york times advertizement package would be processed that monday. The new package offered was the nation wide american TV advertisement campaign. He convinced me to reserve my place in that campaign and that I would trust him to ensure the refund of payments withdrawn towards the new york times advertisement reservation. However, on that sunday, the marketing department sent me an email asking me to submit information for the new york times advertisement. I immediately responded saying that I had not signed or authorized that service, and to stop immediately. It then took a great amount of aggressive attempts to make contact once again to address the fact that the service was not canceled. When I did, ***** said he was so sorry that it happened and made an offer to change the structure so that the cheaper nation wide american advertisement program would be free in exchange for still keeping the more expensive new york times advertisement campaign. I said that sounds like a good deal - but get me the paperwork that correctly reflects this - then I will authorize the work to be done. I also asked that he send me an email reflecting his newest promises. When the payments department sent me the paperwork it did not reflect our agreement. Multiple phone calls and messages and emails were sent about this, but the correct documents were never sent. Therefore, I still refused to sign work authorization on either. To my dismay, I discovered on my credit card bill that the unauthorized payments for the nationwide american TV advertisement campaign had started to come out IN addition to the non refunded new york times advertisement campaign which had still be withdrawn and never refunded. I immediately emailed back demanding a full refund on my reserved services - both the NYT and American TV -, strongly stressing my disappointment and regret in self-publishing my book due to this ongoing issue and my disappointment and regret working with and trusting in *****. I made it clear again that both services were not to proceed and I would not sign the authorization documents and the payments were to be refunded. I CANCELED my credit card to stop further payments and filed a credit card dispute on the latest payment. I received a call from ***** the next week. But he only talked in regards to the most recent payment withdrawn, there was no mention of earlier payments or the other services being refunded. He asked if refunds could be made to the credit card I canceled. I looked into it and recently replied that it can to his replacement marketing representative assigned to me - but he only said I had to get in touch with ***** my first rep, but his email is changed now. I was assigned this new marketing representative and ***** was transferred from iUniverse branch to the central Author Solutions/Tafford publishing branch- i believe. I emailed my new rep that I would NEVER authorize those marketing services and I still expect a full refund and an honest working relationship. He replied that i need to contact ***** again. The entire arrangement has proceeded, from the start, based on malevolent pressure, lies, and false pretenses. I am VERY afraid that they will go ahead with the services despite my refusal to sign authorization and ignoring my perpetual, universal, continued and longstanding explicit order to not execute the services which i did not authorize - which were on top of that - brought to the reservation stage under multiple false pretenses - because it is actually a money hostage situation!!! I did not sign the payment plan agreement/work authorization. They keep saying they cant do the work without me signing - so they better not because i will never sign it. They even took out further payments without the payment plan authorization! I am writing the BBB in hopes that you can help me! I'm stuck in a money hostage situation and this horrible experience is extremely financially devastating!!! They are waiting for me to cave in and sign and i wont! Also, it is worth note that my book, in its first 3 months (first 3 month report is available), well since May 29th when it became available, sold one (1) copy. I know for a complete fact that that one (1) copy was ordered by my aunt. These marketing services are only the tip of the iceberg of my valuable savings that I have invested with iUniverse towards the publishing (I wish sales) of my book that I spent 7 years writing and perfecting. Unfortunately, these services are the only ones I didn't authorize! I also regret authorizing the ones I did sign authorization for. I cant get out regardless. Help!

Whenever I reserved a service with iUniverse/ Author Solutions I was told that the Agreement processing fee of $30 was the only non refundable fee associated with the reservation. The marketing programs become non refundable once the the payment plan agreement/ work authorization document is signed. Again, I didn't sign. 

Desired Settlement: FULL REFUND of my payments towards the *** **** ***** Advertisement Package AND the American Nation Wide TV Advertisement Package. I did not sign the payment plan agreement/work authorization. They keep saying they cant do the work without me signing - so they better not because i will never sign it. Desired and only acceptable outcome, he** screw any apology: REFUND!

Business Response:

Dear BBB:

 

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and for the opportunity to present our side of this case.

 

**** ***** has requested a refund for the New York Times Media Marketing service and the TV Blast Premium (30 seconds with Book Video) service.  The *** **** ***** service was initially pur*****d on June 27, 2014, at a rate of $5,899.  Mr. ***** chose to pay in three monthly installments, incurring a $30 non-refundable processing fee.  On August 30, this service was upgraded to include the TV Blast Premium service.  The TV Blast Premium service was added for $2,500, a discount from the usual cost of $4,999.  Mr. ***** again chose to pay in three installments, so the cost included an additional $30 processing fee.  As these services have not been completed, refund requests have been processed.  These refunds should credit to Mr. *****’s credit card within 5-7 business days.

 

Mr. ***** also pur*****d a ****** ***** ******* service on September 24, for a cost of $1,500, plus a $30 installment payment processing fee.  The second payment for this service was declined on October 24, incurring a $30 decline fee.  As there is an outstanding balance on this service, a refund for the *** **** ***** and TV Blast services would, in part, go to complete that payment.  In order to ensure that Mr. ***** receives a full refund for unfulfilled services, we have also cancelled the ****** ***** ******* service and processed a refund.  If Mr. ***** would like to continue with this service, he may contact us to re-pur***** the service once the refunds have credited to his credit card.  A list detailing Mr. *****’s pur*****s and refunds is attached.

 

Refunds have been processed for all of Mr. *****’s uncompleted services and should credit to Mr. *****’s credit card within 5-7 business days.  We have also flagged his account in our system so he will not be contacted with future sales offers.  If Mr. ***** would like to re-pur***** any of his services, he is welcome to do so.  Please advise if additional steps need to be taken for an amicable close to this case.

 

****** *******
Global Director-author satisfaction

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

Regards,

**** *****


Hi BBB, I got the reply from the business today (via your email) in regards to the refund they offered to make. However, they sent me an agreement that does not reflect the refund at all, just states how much i have paid and the outstanding balance they want to wrongly charge me. I want my money refunded as they said. I am not signing this agreement. I am disappointed that this is the result and is counter what their email to you said they would do!!! Did they lie to you and me in their official response? Looks like it! 

 

Please review. It is attached as a PDF, and I forwarded the email as seen below. . 

 

Also, i need to be very clear that I do not agree with their account of what happened. It is completely full of LIES. But all i really care about is that the refund actually does occur. 

 

Thanks

**** *****

 

Business Response:

Dear BBB:

 

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to address Mr. *****’s remaining concerns.

 

Mr. ***** states that the agreement form he was sent “does not reflect the agreement at all.”  He has attached the Installment Payment Agreement, which was sent when he first purchased the marketing services.  It was inadvertently sent again on November 5, as the Contract Control group had not yet been notified of the cancellation and refund of the services.  This agreement clearly references the non-refundable processing fee of $30 (section 3) and the declined/missed/incomplete charge fee of $30 (section 6).  Mr. ***** was also informed of these fees at the time of his purchases.  In fact, Mr. *****’s original BBB complaint referenced the $30 payment plan processing fee:

 

“Whenever I reserved a service with iUniverse/ Author Solutions I was told that the Agreement processing fee of $30 was the only non refundable fee associated with the reservation. The marketing programs become non refundable once the the payment plan agreement/ work authorization document is signed. Again, I didn't sign.”

 

We acknowledge that Mr. ***** did not sign the agreements and the services have not been completed, which is why a refund has been processed.  The only withholdings from this refund are the payment plan processing fees and one decline fee, because the second payment for the Kirkus service was declined on October 24.  Again, the refunds have been processed and should credit to Mr. *****’s credit card within 5-7 business days.

 

  ****** *******
Global Director-author satisfaction

11/16/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Complaint Details Unavailable
11/13/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Fall 2014, I purchased 3 publishing pkgs with X libris. I am a professional writer ( film) and so I am adept with the language of all forms of media. I decided to embark on a publishing career as an author, as I had a few books in draft shape. Book # 1- There was nothing but delays, errors and damaged materials delivered to me for 6 mos. X libris had to take my concerns to escalation, not once but a few dozen times. The switchboard is carefully controlled, so you are never allowed to speak or email anyone with any authority or power. My consultants and managers changed almost daily, according to the level of problems I was having on their end with my 1st project.. My first sample was delivered with 2 glossy covers, which they tried to tell me was industry standard. I requested the issue be fixed and they attempted to bill me to fix the issue they caused on their end. I had paid for a marketing tour and book signing, through a publicist and had days set up to read my book and make sales. For 12 weeks before my book tour, no one from X libris would respond to my urgent email and phone messages. I tried to reach managers and supervisors and an electronic message always said " they are in a meeting" this happened 24 / 7. You can never reach anyone live there. They must do the reaching of you. Finally, they courried some books to me overnight ( which I had to PAY double shipping for their errors) and 8 out of 10 books were damaged beyond sale quality. This is a long story, so Ill try to keep it succinct. Basically, every order of books I received were damaged from not being packed properly. Due to a 12 week period of NO communication whatsoever, i developed loss of sleep and incredible stress. I had to reschedule my whole book launch- I had no product , so I estimate I lost approx. $ 1000.00 in sales and lost promotion I paid out for, due to their negligence and non action on my book. Book # 2. I began to submit book 2 and they changed my publishing consultant and their supervisor almost weekly. It seems that each time there is any delay or conflict with X libris, instead of dealing with it. they disappear for many weeks. someone picks up the thread, but only after much time has passed and one is caused undue stress and loss of money. I was not happy with the initial work they did on Book 2, so I asked for changes. I paid MORE money for changes. The book was still not up to any sort of industry standard where any library or book store would take it. ( I have dozens of emails saved from exchanges where they attempted to skirt around issues, blame me the customer and drop the ball on moving forwards. I then asked to use Pkg # 3, as I realized they would not refund me and I had better make use of that package. Without my knowledge or permission, they cancelled Pkg 3 and credited 1 cent to my credit card. I just found this out today, after asking them to complete my book 2 with my prepaid package # 3. In total, I believe I paid approx. $1400 US for their publishing services. I am left with an unprofessionallly prepared Book 1 that all bookstores and libraries refuse to accept because it does not meet industry standards. I am left with unfinished book # 2 and a credit of 1 cent for a $ 750 package. The 2nd book was to coincide with the 15 year anniversary release of an award winning film I made. They got so late in getting back to me ( no answers to my queries for 3 mos now) until today that I had to move forward with another publisher, and redo Book 1 to industry standards, at an additional cost to me of $ 350.00 and redo Book # 2 at the same or higher cost. I received nothing from X lbris that I can market or sell in any manner. Their advertised service was provided with complete incompetency, long waits and delays, and changing consultants and supervisors who kept on passing the buck where there was any problem on their end.

Desired Settlement: At this point, I have paid out some $ 1300 US and am left with no usable product. Because their service was fraught with a lack of competence, delays, errors and damages and non communication for months on end. I have suffered stomach problems and sleep problems. I cannot accept a replacement for my book packages and I refuse to do business with them again. The only solution is to provide a full and complete refund of 100 % of monies I have paid them by credit card, take my Book 1 off circulation, because my promotional junket has passed and I have lost large quantities of sales. I cannot move forward and do business with them. I have moved on to another publishing co. who I am happy with. What took them over 6 mos to accomplish with delays, mistakes, damages and shoddy product, I managed to reproduce from my original manuscripts I provided them, within 2 weeks time and and 1/2 the price, with satisfaction, exceptional customer service and quality. I now will have books I am proud to sell in the future. Thank you for your time and attentiont to this matter. When they investigate my book pkgs they will see no less than a dozen or more escalations due to bad service or lack or service or non compliance of their promised service.

Business Response:

Dear BBB


Thank you for the opportunity to respond. Ms. **** ******* initially signed up on August 30, 2014 to publish her books with Xlibris. Please refer to the service details below for the packages on Ms. *******’s account.


   

 

Project ID

Book Title

Status

Package Type

Payment

Refund Transaction ID

Package 1

******

************* *** *** *** **** ** *****

Complete

Full Color Basic

$  729.00

na

Package 2

******

******* ** *** ****

In Production

Black & White Basic

$  350.00

na

Package 3

******

****************

Cancelled/Refunded

Full Color Basic

$      1.00

************

Package 4

******

Untitled

Cancelled/Refunded

Black & White Professional

$  625.00

************


Ms. *******’s first book entitled “Krista-link-a -la and the Size 13 shoes“ was published with her approval on December 30, 2013. A few days after the publication, Ms. ******* contacted Xlibris to provide instructions on the changes for her published book. The specific instructions were sent by Ms. ******* through email on January 14, 2014 after receipt of the first print copy of her book. As explained in our website and to Ms. *******, any changes or update on the book’s content after its publication will be subject to applicable fees. In an email sent to Ms. ******* on January 16, 2014, Xlibris offered a 30% discount on the post publication correction fees for her title. Ms. ******* declined to pay the fees and complained about the presence of a title page in her book’s interior. We have explained to Ms. ******* that her book’s layout is based on industry standards and all Xlibris books are designed similarly. We have also explained that the printed version is consistent with the approved electronic proofs and the instructions she submitted were new and were only introduced after the design process. Xlibris offered 50% discount on the corrections charge but eventually waived the fees in response to Ms. *******’s appeal. The corrections process was completed on January 20, 2014 but a delay due to human posting occurred during the set up process of the files with the printers and was completed on February 5, 2014. To make up for the delay, Xlibris expedited the author copy process and was delivered on February 12, 2014 (********************* ) instead of the normal 2 week timeline.

Ms. ******* contacted Xlibris on February 24, 2014 to notify us that eight out of the 25 softcover copies she ordered arrived in poor condition due to shipping and handling issues. The photos submitted by Ms. ******* were immediately submitted to our printer for evaluation. A free shipping label was provided to Ms. ******* on March 5, 2014 for return of the damaged books. Ms. ******* informed Xlibris on March 6, 2014 that the books were no longer with her and were donated to a hospital. We have explained to Ms. ******* that our replacement policy requires the return of the original order to enable us to file for a claim with our shipping courier. Without the original order, there is nothing much can do. As per the Xlibris policy, this is not normally done but in the light of Ms. *******’s circumstances and as an act of goodwill Xlibris offered five complimentary copies to Ms. ******* which were shipped on March 11, 2014.


Refund

Ms. ******* requested to cancel the two unused publishing packages in her account and a full refund equal to the payments made for Packages 3 and 4 was processed on April 1, 2014. Xlibris also waived the $150 administrative fee which based on our refund policy is deductible from the publishing fees upon cancellation. We have attached Ms. *******’s cancellation request for your reference.

On her request to use the refunded Package 3 for her second book entitled “******* ** *** ****”, we have explained to Ms. ******* that this has been cancelled based on her request. We have also explained that the request is not possible because her second book is in black and white format and the cancelled package is a full color publishing package.

Ms. ******* has requested her monies be refunded. Our records indicate that the services contracted for her first package have been fulfilled. Fulfillment of services forfeits their eligibility for a refund. We have attached a copy of the agreement form submitted by Ms. ******* for your reference.

In summary, as requested, we have cancelled Ms. *******’s projects and have refunded her for the unfulfilled publishing packages in accordance with the terms of the services agreement.  We acknowledge her request for refund of the remaining $1079, however she is no longer eligible for a full refund.  Should she opt to cancel her second package which is already in production, Ms. ******* is entitled to a refund equal to 25% of the $350 purchase price which is $87.50. This is based on our refund policy as stated in the signed author agreement submitted by Ms. *******.

We hope the information provided with this letter illustrates the steps we have taken to address Ms. *******’s concerns.

 

****** *******
Global Director-author satisfaction
Author Solutions
A Penguin Random House Company



1663 Liberty Drive
Bloomington, IN 47403
P: 812.334.5240
F: 812.349.0640


********@authorsolutions.com

 



 


Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID 10127860, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

Author solutions/ X libris has provided an internally biased, untrue representation of the chain of events that led to my releasing them from my book publishing agreements, and requesting a full refund of services.  For a full 12 mos. I have been subject to errors, delays and non communication on their part. Their account provided of what transpired,  is both inaccurate and untrue. They left out key information that places me in the right.

I have saved copies of internal correspondence, not once but dozens of times with their supervisors, stating specific business practices from them that were highly unprofessional and wholly unacceptable ,from both  a consumer and retailer point of view.

I have suffered loss of sleep ( I was prescribed sleeping pills) and have a newly diagnosed ulcer, from all the stressors that their lack of business acumen and errors have directly impacted upon me.

They say that they refunded packages to me. One package was for a colleague I was co writing with. I still do not have confirmation that he received a $ 650.00 + US credit, for his purchase on his personal card. I did not purchase this package myself.  I need to follow up with him.


We never began his book, due to the HORRORS I was subjected to. I did not want to subject him to the daily stressors, delays and unprofessionalism I was subjected to. Dealing with X libris , has been a LIVING NIGHTMARE.

I purchased one colour pkg, which I attempted to publish.  Due to their lack of professionalism and industry standard practice, they delivered a sample with two front colour glossy pages. They tried to tell me this was industry standard. I am a professional screenplay writer and short story writer. I have won prestigious awards for my films,  and have spoken at the United Nations. I work in the industry and understand its practices very well. A DOUBLE GLOSSY COVER,  is NOT industry standard practice. This was only one issue with the book. There were many more.


I hired a publicist at a significant cost, to launch my  1st. book in time for Christmas 2013  sales,  with book readings scheduled and a  full on social media campaign already in place , at significant cost to me for website, social media etc. My X libris agent was aware of my time-line to launch my book.  Due to delays and errors solely on their part, and NON COMMUNICATION for 12 weeks during the time of my scheduled launch ( they said my customer care person was sick, away from office, other excuses), No one returned dozens of voice mail messages, emails and calls to supervisors-  for roughly a 12 week period,  at a time my book was to have been made available to the public. I lost several hundreds of dollars from placed orders I couldnt fulfill, and book readings/ sighings I had to cancel. I never recovered those opportunities,  and am still out of pocket for them.


The first book was refused placement in libraries and bookstores, due to its unprofessionally executed layout, which did not meet industry standards


I purchased an additional 2 black and white pkgs. to the colour one.  The total of  these packages was about  $ 1300 I believe. When I lost significant monies on my first book launch, due to lack of product to sell, I had to retire my paid in advance media campaign and forfeit those costs.

I tried to cancel my 3rd book package, valued at about $ 350. I was told by them they would offer me $ 1.00 for this package. I FIRMLY told them- NO ! I do not accept this reimbursement by phone to a supervisor, and several other contact persons. I firmly requested a FULL REFUND, not $ 1.00. I told them repeatedly, do NOT cancel that pkg for that amount, until I hear from upper management, which I have attempted to do for the past 3 mos. with no response.

I have a chain of emails from myself to them and corresponding responses.

I have spoken to a lawyer regarding this issue, as upon further research on the internet, I discovered pages of complaints from similar authors, seemingly amounting to hundreds of thousands in litigation , by displeased customers such as myself. The internet states that there are currently " class action suits against X libris" for " dubious business practices " QUOTE.

I am a member of a self- published authors club. Upon further investigation,  it was discovered that every single author I contacted that attempted to do business with them in the past few years,   had a similar story of delays, errors, unprofessionalism and a lack of consumer satisfaction and support. Some pursued legal action.  All left unhappy and had to publish their works elsewhere.

It is my own view, from diligently researched and thoroughly examined circumstance, that this company is NOT in the business of supporting aspiring authors to publish and make earnings from their books. In FACT, I was blocked and sabotaged every step of the way from making a success from my efforts.


Clearly, the company is aware of its track record and poor customer service, and just doesnt care.

I will happily allow my complaint to be posted on BBB Indiana website and other places on the internet, if only to prevent other authors from suffering the same bad treatment I received as a paid customer of their services.

If they truly did their homework and read all the emails I was forced to send their supervisors, all the delays and errors that were their fault and saw the log of calls I had to make,  to make any progress, they would have amicably settled my complaint with a full refund, without further delay.

Since this HORRIBLE experience with them, I was forced to go with another publishing co. that is their competitor. To my amazement, there was not one error made in publishing,  and what took them 12 mos to "not deliver to me in any usable way" , was delivered with UTMOST SATISFACTION ON MY PART  AND CARE , in 3 weeks turn around time.

Should they not accept full responsibility for the harm they caused me,  I will have no choice but to engage legal counsel and submit a well documented claim against them , including all contact made with them, all errors committed on their part, all delays and associated costs to me , such as my own legal costs, pain and suffering, publicity and associated costs I am out of pocket-  due to non action, delays and errors on their part.

As of this writing, I WILL accept an offer of the full $ 1079.00 owed me, pursuant to this letter.  I will not accept less.

If they do not agree to reimburse me ( FAIRLY) for my time, distress, lost monies from sales and publicity costs, this is proof to me that they do not wish to act in good faith.

I am grateful for the attention and support of the BBB Indiana. I look forward to a full and final refund , for services I paid for, but were never satisfactorily delivered, in any usable manner that I could make monies from.

Regards,

**** *******

 

 

Business Response:

Dear BBB

 

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to bring resolution on Ms. *******’s concerns. Apologize for the long delay in response.

 

I spoke to Ms. ******* today and we agreed on the following resolution:

 

1.       Refund the $1079 for the publishing services

2.       The refund will be done via wire transfer  

3.       Once the $1079 is refunded then all parties will consider closed the matter closed.

After the call I sent a summary email to Ms. ******* outlining our agreement and next steps. I received a response back with commentary. I have extracted part of the email where Ms. ******* is in agreement with our arrangement:

 I have just located my Xlibris statements. It appears that I paid  $349.00 Aug. 30/ 2013 and then again $729.00 Nov. 20th 2013 which totals $1078.00 US dollars.  I am still out of pocket an equal or greater amount for revenues lost,  and services to a publicist I paid for, out of pocket. In the spirit of resolution, I accept your offer of a  full refund of publishing costs paid out.

According to our records we show a total of $1079 to refund. I have let Ms. ******* know the wire should be released within the next 7 busness days. I will email her once I receive confirmation the wire has been released.

 

Please let me know if any additional questions arise.

 

 

****** *******
Global Director-Author Satisfaction


Author Solutions
A Penguin Random House Company


11/7/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: In 2012-2013, I was researching self-publishing companies. One of those publishers was Trafford Publishing, which at the time was located on the East Coast, in North Carolina, I think. I was calling for information, as I did with a number of other publishers. The difference is that I have not been harassed by those other publishers as I have with Trafford. Once I got the info I needed from Trafford [prices, packages, etc.], I started to receive very very long emails that went on for pages. I also received telephone calls. I blocked the email addresses, and I telephoned to ask to be taken off their lists. Further research on this company revealed some unsavory business practices. NOTE: I am on the National DO NOT CALL Registry and have been registered with them for many years. The last update I did was March 21, 2014. I started to receive calls again from Trafford about 2 months ago [August 2014], and they continue to call me about every 2 weeks. 1) The call is from a young woman with a very hurried voice, high pitched. Her message is that she is very anxious to help me, that she is there for me. The tenor of her message is disturbing. Not to mention that I'm on the DNC list and have asked Trafford twice now to remove me from their lists. 2) The calls have now begun to have a URGENT attached to the original voice mail I listen to which says: this message has an "URGENT" time stamp on it - something to that effect. 3) That URGENT creates a panic - this is a book publishing company, not a family member or friend with an emergency that would warrant an URGENT time stamp. 4) About 2 months ago, when this started, I received an email, which I blocked. I tried to block the telephone but because it's a toll free number, it cannot be blocked. 5) I tried to file a BBB complaint this morning but the screen froze & stayed frozen. I found a BBB page for reporting a scam & filled that out. I don't know if this qualifies as a scam but I filled it out. This is Trafford's information: Trafford Publishing, DBA Author Solutions 1663 Liberty Drive Bloomington IN 47403 (888) 232-4444

Desired Settlement: I would like your help in getting these calls stopped. There is a disturbing nature to them. The URGENT marking of the call is troublesome. I have asked to not be called. I am on the DO NOT CALL Registry. Thank you for your help in filing this on my behalf. If there is any other info you request, please let me know.

Business Response:

Dear BBB:

 

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and for the opportunity to present our side of this case.

 

Ms. ******** has requested to no longer be contacted by Trafford for any publishing opportunities. Ms. ******* ******** was initially contacted by Trafford in September 2013 after she contacted us to express interest in self-publishing. Trafford provides free consultation to assist potential authors in selecting the right self-publishing option for them and guide them through the publishing process.

 

Upon receipt of this complaint, we conducted a review of Ms. ********’s communication history with Trafford.  We were able to confirm that the representative who received Ms. ********’s do-not-call request was not able to forward it to the appropriate department for processing. We apologize for the recent contact attempts made by our consultant to Ms. ********. As of this writing, Ms. ********’s account has been flagged as “do not contact” and she will receive no future calls or emails from our consultants.

 

We hope the information provided in this letter illustrates the steps we have taken to address Ms. ********’s concerns. Please advise if additional steps need to be taken for an amicable close to this case.

 

****** *******
Global Director-author satisfaction

Consumer Response: I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.   WHILE Trafford is taking care of NOW what I requested last year, there's no excuse for an employee who either can't figure out how to remove a person's name from the DO NOT CALL LIST or ask for help on how to remove a person's name from the DO NOT CALL LIST. Trafford's excuse is lame, at best. And shows monumental disregard, and disrespect for DO NOT CALL requests. As it was last year, I had to request multiple times to be removed. So again -- Trafford's excuse is lame. When someone asks once to be removed, that should be sufficient. So there is something in Trafford's corporate culture that encourages its employees to harass the public until the public has to take drastic measures like call the BBB or file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Trafford's behavior and lack of integrity when it comes to people's requests confirms what has been written about this company in books about publishing, and online. It's good that this complaint will be viewable by the public, and I will add what I know to the public arena about the practices of this company. I consider this matter closed, but if I receive any more calls from Trafford -- and to have one of your employees leave both an unprofessional message, in a hgh screeching voice AND with an URGENT tag to the message which is uncalled for, reprehensible, offensive and invasive -- I will file a complaint with the FCC, and with the BBB, in whatever state you do business in.

11/6/2014 Delivery Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I made a purchase from Xlibris over two months ago on August 26, 2014. After not receiving my purchased item, I contacted Xlibris to find out what the problem was. They informed me that the address I had given them was incorrect and that I would need to provide a correct address. And that is precisely what I did. Now well over three weeks later, the status of my oder is uknown. They have not answered my emails and their customer service has been extremely poor. Also, despite making multiple phone calls, their automated phone system has hung up on me repeatedly.

Desired Settlement: I demand that Xlibris deliver the product I purchased from them immediately.

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below. 

I contacted both the Tampa, FL USPS facility and the Bloomington, IN USPS facility. The order is not at the Tampa, FL location like Xlibris claims. The Bloomington location confirmed to me that the package is also not at their facility but was indeed sent back to Xlibris. The USPS admitted that the carrier that returned the package to Xlibiris did not correctly scan the item to confirm that it was returned to Xlibris. They do, however, maintain that the package is in the hands of Xlibris. While I do plan to file a separate complaint against the USPS, Xlibris is incorrect to claim that the package is in the Tampa, FL USPS facility. 

Again, the United States Postal Service is adamant that my package was indeed returned to Xlibris on October 15, 2014. I understand now that the USPS made a mistake during the shipment of my order, however, I have exhausted my options. The customer service I have received from Xlibris so far has been dis-satisfactory and it would be appreciative if they could be more proactive in tracking down my order instead of simply referring me to the USPS. They share the obligation with USPS to make sure it's customers receive their orders.   

Regards,

******* ****

 

&

11/5/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: This company is a scam. I have paid them more than $2,000 for services that resulted in them sending me a mangled book front and back cover, with visual elements looking as though a monkey arranged them, instead of human beings with graphic design skills. They pretend they have experts handling your manuscript and cover illustrations, but they don't. Based on what I have received from them, I would say the level of competence does not even come up to that of "intern." These people have no idea what they are doing. The problems started for me on Day 1, in July of 2014. I should have taken Maya Angelou's advice which says "when a person shows you who they are, believe them the first time." This company has gotten EVERYTHING wrong. From making errors in calculating what I had paid them (trying to get more money from me than what they were owed), to completely mangling the cover, the title of my book, and messing up visuals and spacing in the interior design. What they sent me as a galley proof was such an INSULT, I was humiliated and felt as though they had made a joke out my work. I cannot believe the level of INCOMPETENCE of the employees, from the accounting staff to the design staff to the submissions reps--they bungled every facet of the process. I tried to work with them time and time again, only to become disappointed over and over as yet other egregious and bumbling idiot type errors were sent to me during the publishing process. Now that I have asked for a full refund, no one is saying anything at all to me. Before, even though I'd asked for email communication only, they were calling me all day long. Now, not only is no one calling, no one will communicate with me at all. I am going to hire an attorney if necessary to get back every cent I paid these scamming INCOMPETENT crooks, and I will never do business with another Author Solutions company.

Desired Settlement: I want a refund of every cent I paid these crooks. They have done nothing but aggravate me from start to finish, and they breached the contract I signed with them. I signed a contract to have professionals prepare my manuscript and cover, and what I got was INCOMPETENT idiots who have no regard or respect for me as a customer. I have all the evidence I need to show that they are INCOMPETENT based on the files they sent to me. I want a full refund. I paid them over $2,000 for nothing.

Business Response:

Dear BBB:

 

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and for the opportunity to present our side of this case.

 

Ms. ****** *********** signed up with Xlibris on July 16, 2014 to publish her book entitled “***** *** **** ** ***********” Ms. *********** purchased a Black and White Premium Publishing Package and was able to take advantage of a promotional rate of $1,665 from the regular $3,549 price. Upon Ms. ***********’s request, the package was upgraded to a Black and White Executive Package on October 7, 2014. She was again able to take advantage a discounted rate of $3,195 from the regular $7,349 price.

 

The book was moved to Production upon receipt of the signed publishing agreement form from Ms. *********** on October 17. Ms. *********** had submitted her book’s file in Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) format. In order to create the cover for her book, Xlibris converted the file to Portable Document Format (PDF). The initial set of cover and interior proofs were created and sent to Ms. *********** for review on October 22.

 

Ms. *********** states that she received a “mangled book front and back cover.” When the file was converted from EPS to PDF format, the fonts and images used in the cover were unfortunately not performed.  Immediately after this error was discovered, one of our Production Managers contacted Ms. *********** on October 22 to apologize and assist her with the concern. A corrected cover was sent to Ms. *********** on October 23. On the same day, Ms. *********** requested for the cancellation of the service and a refund of all the payments made to Xlibris. Our Author Satisfaction Department contacted Ms. *********** to provide options and assist with the corrections process. Ms. *********** declined and decided to proceed with the cancellation.

 

Ms. *********** signed the attached Self-Publishing Services Agreement and Installment Payment Agreement when she upgraded her publishing package on October 15.  Per these agreements, her payments included a $30 non-refundable processing fee for the installment plan.  Also, section 10.1 of the Services Agreement details the refund policy and the amount refundable to the author when a package is cancelled.   Because Ms. ***********’s design work had already been done, she was eligible for a refund of 25% of the purchase price.  However, due to the error that occurred in the file conversion, we have agreed to a full refund, including the payment plan fee, as a show of goodwill.

 

Prior to the receipt of this complaint, a confirmation was sent to Ms. *********** on October 24 that the full refund was submitted for processing. We have attached the confirmation email sent to Ms. *********** for your reference. The refund was completed and credited to Ms. ***********’s Visa card on October 28, 2014, and comprises all of Ms. ***********’s payments to date, a total of $2,205.

 

We hope the information provided illustrates the steps we have taken to address Ms. ***********’s concerns. Please advise if additional steps need to be taken for an amicable close to this case.

 

****** *******
Global Director-author satisfaction

 

 

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and find that even though the man who responded to my complaint made things sound a lot different from what I went through, this resolution is still satisfactory to me.  I want it understood that it was inept handling of my book, from day 1, that caused me to file this complaint. The company offered services that turned out to be worthless in terms of what they actually delivered, and that--along with the frustration and stress I endured while trying to work with them--is why I asked for my money back.  The company has refunded every cent I paid, as they should have, and since they have done that, I will consider this complaint resolved.

Regards,

****** ************ PhD

 

11/2/2014 Problems with Product/Service
10/31/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Verbal approval given on 29-Aug for Xlibris to debit 1st installment for publishing package prior to receipt of author contract. After contract receipt, called **** ***** on 15-Sep and stated I did not wish to move forward and would not be signing the contract. She stated that she would cancel the order and refund the entire amount of the initial payment ($409). On 29-Sep, an unauthorized payment of $379.50 was debitted from my bank account. As of 10-Oct, I have not received a refund for $788.50 and the unauthorized payment cost me an additional $102 in insufficient fund fees.

Desired Settlement: Refund for $890.50.

Business Response:

Dear BBB

 

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and for the opportunity to present our side of the case.

 

Ms. ******* ****** purchased a Black & White Christian Superior publishing package from Xlibris on August 29, 2014. She was able to take advantage of a promotional rate of $1,200, rather than the regular $2,149 price. Ms ****** also purchased an additional Web Design Starter kit at special rate of $189.50, rather than the regular $379 price.  She opted to use an installment payment plan which added a $30 non-refundable surcharge, making her total $1,168.50. Ms. ****** made the first payment of $409.50 that day.  The remaining two payments of $379.50 each were scheduled for auto-charge on the same day of the two following months, September 29 and October 29.  Ms. ****** agreed to these payment dates prior to providing her credit card details on August 29.  The Finance representative who processed the payment for the services she purchased also informed Ms. ****** that Xlibris will not be responsible for any fees that she may incur due to non-sufficient funds at the time the credit charge occurs. Ms. ****** was also sent the attached receipt via email, detailing the remaining balance and next payment date.

 

The September 29, 2014 charge described by Ms. ****** as “unauthorized” in her complaint was a scheduled installment charge discussed to Ms. ****** when she signed up for our services. Ms. ****** requested the cancellation of the services she purchased on September 15, 2014. Due to staff turnover there was a delay in the refund being processed.

 

The refund requested by Ms. ****** was processed and completed on October 10, 2014. Please refer to the details below:

 

$379.50 to Visa ending 3970, transaction ID ********************************

$409.50 to Visa ending 3970, transaction ID ********************************

 

We hope the information provided with this letter illustrates the steps we have taken to address Ms. ******’s concerns. Please let us know if additional steps need to be taken for an amicable close to this case.

 

****** *******
Global Director-author satisfaction


Author Solutions
A Penguin Random House Company

 

 

10/27/2014 Problems with Product/Service
10/16/2014 Delivery Issues
10/15/2014 Problems with Product/Service
10/12/2014 Problems with Product/Service
10/11/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues
10/11/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Promises were made but not kept. I have asked to speak to a manager or owner on many different occasions but have been refused each time. No one at the company read my manuscript before publishing. I receive call after call asking me to invest more money for things that I was told would be included in my initial investment and it is denied that it was promised. The sales person lied to get the sale and then there was no follow through to make the promises come true. I was then given to another person to carry on and was told that those promises were not made. A lot of money was spent and to date only one e-book has been sold yet they continue to ask me for more money to sell more books. Had the lies not been told to me I would not have gone with this company.

Desired Settlement: I would like a refund of my money and for the company to stop contacting me and continuing attempting to up sell me for things that they will likely not deliver

Business Response:

 

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to bring resolution on Mr. *********’ concerns.  I spoke to Mr. ********* on September 25th. We reviewed the following details:

 

  1.  His book *** ***** ***** ****** was published February 22, 2013.

  2. The marketing services included in his Tablet (New Gold) package were completed in the months of March-May 2013. A list of the services and completion date are attached.

  3. Since all services were completed and his book was published no refund is due to him.

  4. We cannot guarantee sales of books.

  5. Mr. ********* has been placed on the do not call/email list.

     

     

    Mr. ********* and I did discuss that it is true we do not read the books and provided that certain content criteria is met we will publish. Mr. ********* did have editing included in this package which was completed prior to the book going into publication. Mr. ********* had the opportunity to review that edit and provided feedback. I asked Mr. ********* to provide me examples via email where he was misled in regards to services and provided him my email but have not received any response from him since the call on Thursday.

     

    In closing, Mr. ********* initially did request a refund and no further sales calls.  In my call with him, Mr. ********* understood since all services were filled as described on the Trafford website no refund is possible. We did however, place Mr. ********* on the do not call/email list as requested.

     

    Please let me know if you have any additional questions


 

 


****** *******
Global Director-author satisfaction


Author Solutions
A Penguin Random House Company


1663 Liberty Drive
Bloomington, IN 47403
P: 812.334.5240
F: 812.349.0640


********@authorsolutions.com


 

 


10/7/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues
10/7/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Just before May of 2014, I purchased an ad from Trafford Publishing for $2500.00 to run for one year in the ****** ********* ******* Magazine, advertising my novel. It has not appeared and the November issue is currently out. Still, no advertisement. I subscribe to this magazine, so it's sent directly to my home.

Desired Settlement: I'd like a full refund of this service in the amount of $2500.00

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to explain the ****** ********* ******* Magazine marketing service fulfillment.

Ms. ****** purchased the ******* ******* ****** ********* ******* Magazine marketing service on June 4, 2014.  The link to the description service is here:  http://www.trafford.com/Servicestore/ServiceDetail.aspx?ServiceId=PKG-2528.  A print out is also attached.

On July 3, 2014, the layout was emailed to Ms. ****** for her approval.  The same day, she approved the proof.  Attached is this email chain. 

Two quality assurance checks were done on the layout, as is commonplace with all print ads.  The second quality assurance check was completed on September 9, 2014.  Once the layout is completed, it is up to the magazine as to when the ad will run.  Marketing fulfillment is at the mercy of the magazine itself and their ad timing/placement deadlines. 

Based on the schedule the magazine provides to us, in order for Ms. ******’s ad to have made the November issue, the layout would have had to have been ready by May 28th. 

Marketing fulfillment has asked the magazine when Ms.******** ad will run and they cannot provide a specific issue yet. 

Per Ms. ******’s request and because the service has not been fulfilled, Trafford has refunded the marketing service.  The refund of $2849.50 has been returned to the credit card used to make the purchase on September 22, 2014, transaction ID ********************************.

In closing, the timing of the fulfillment of the ************** ****** ********* ******* Magazine marketing service prevented it from appearing in the November issue of the magazine.  At this time, the magazine cannot provide us with a specific issue in which the ad will appear.  Because the service has not yet been fulfilled, Ms. ******’s credit card used to make the purchase has been credited in the amount of $2849.50.

Sincerely,

 

****** *******
Global Director-author satisfaction


Author Solutions
A Penguin Random House Company

10/7/2014 Problems with Product/Service
9/27/2014 Problems with Product/Service
9/22/2014 Guarantee/Warranty Issues
9/22/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Several months ago I replied to an intrnet ad to print books. I was contacted b and will contact him when they were ready. He told me that I can submit the books in pdf or word and that xlibris will accept the books in any format and it will cost me #350 per book. This was the information given to me by Mr ****** from Xlibris. I told him that I had 5 books to publish and we will start with one book. For the next several months Mr ****** called me almost every other week about the book and I paid Xlibris by credit card $350 for the first book. After requesting an emailed address for two weeks so I could email the book to Xlibris, I finally got it and emailed them my book which is ready to print in pdf. A week later Mr ****** told me that it has to be in word. I was surprised because a month before he told me that pdf is OK. Now he wants me to pay them hundreds of dollars to convert the book into words and I estimate that before the book sees the kifgt of day will cost me a thousand dollars. I told Mr ****** that he lied to me about the format and requested to ptint the book as is or convert it at Xlibris expense, Mr ****** has not replied and I emailed him requesting my money back, still no reply. Being a disabled military veteran, I can NOT afford any more expenses.

Desired Settlement: Print my book as per our phone agreement or return my $350

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

Thank you for the opportunity to review the cancellation and refund of Mr. *********’s publishing package.

Mr. ******** ** ********** signed up with Xlibris on May 28, 2014.  He purchased a Full Color Basic Package and was able to take advantage of a promotional rate of $349.50 from the regular $699 price.

Mr. ********** contacted Xlibris on July 20, 2014 to request the cancellation of his publishing package stating that he was not informed by his publishing consultant to submit his work in Word format. 

A review of the conversations between Mr. ********** and his consultant prior to the sign up process confirmed that Xlibris discussed that Microsoft Word is the preferred format in the submission of manuscripts. Mr. ********** expressed verbal agreement during the conversation to submit his work in Word format before he was transferred to a Finance Representative to proceed with collecting his credit card details.

As part of the conversation with the Finance Representative, Mr. ********** had to answer “yes” to the following statement prior to processing of initial payment:

“If the Agreement is terminated by the Author for any reason other than a breach of contract by Xlibris, a minimum administration fee of $150 will be deducted from the publishing fees refunded to defray setup costs.  This full language can be found online via our Terms and Conditions.  Do you agree to these terms? “

As Mr. ********** did not submit materials in a format we could use to complete the services, Xlibris reached out several times to Mr. ********** to assist him in the preparation of materials that were usable.  Mr. ********** chose to bypass making adjustments to his materials to render them usable within our book preparation requirements and requested the cancellation of his project.

On August 19, 2014, Xlibris processed a refund of $199.50 to the credit card Mr. ********** used to make the purchase. Section 10 of the attached agreement form signed by Mr. ********* outlines the refund policy and the administrative fee of $150.

In summary, Ms. ********* has been refunded in accordance with the terms of his service agreement.  Ms. ********* was made aware and acknowledged the Word format for submission of his manuscript prior to entering into the agreement.  Ms. ********* chose to cancel his project foregoing making adjustments to his materials to meet the requirements necessary to process his work for publication.      

Sincerely,

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

9/4/2014 Problems with Product/Service
8/29/2014 Problems with Product/Service
8/22/2014 Problems with Product/Service
8/8/2014 Problems with Product/Service
8/7/2014 Problems with Product/Service
8/5/2014 Problems with Product/Service
8/4/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I paid life rich publishing for a package that I was to get 5 free books that I am the author of. Because I refuse to buy a 1000 of my own books, they got mad and would not send my 5. so I said I would buy 25. instead of 30 I was told by a man name  **** ****, he would give me 35 per cent off my books. in other words they be making 65per cent and me 35per cent. Plus, I have to pay the shipping. That mean they would have about 5.85 clear and me after paying for shipping and selling them, I would have about 1.50 clear. Also they advertise they are part of reader digest. I called reader digest and was told they stop being in partnership with them in 2013. They advertise to have your book put in the reader digest store. that is an act of fraudulent. also amazon said life rich could put my book up front under religion and spirituality. They refuse to do so. My book is name ** ******* ** *****.

Desired Settlement: A better per cent if I order any books. My book be place under religion and spirituality on amazon so when I click on religion and spirituality I can find my book.

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to review Mr. *****’s concerns regarding his Create package from LifeRich Publishing, an imprint of The Reader's Digest Association, Inc.

On January 15, 2014, Mr. ***** purchased a Create package from his Publishing Consultant, **** ********.  A listing of the inclusions of that package is available on the LifeRich website, at http://www.liferichpublishing.com/PublishingPackages/Fiction/Create/ (also attached).  On May 20, 2014, Mr. ****’s title was approved by him and released to print. 

Package Copies

Mr. ***** states accurately that his Create publishing package includes five complimentary copies of the book.  Both the website and the attached email dated May 20, 2014 from his Publishing Services Assistant, ****** *******, listing the next steps for his book after approval, state that the cost of shipping and handling for his package books are his responsibility. The email also indicates the time line of two (2) to three (3) weeks for receipt of a printer copy.

Ms. ***** contacted Customer Service on June 12th inquiring about the amount of the shipping costs for his package books. On June 23rd, he spoke with Customer Service again about his books stating that he was not able to order in volume.  The same day Mr. ***** spoke with his Book Consultant and an order was placed for the five package copies with the shipping and handling cost ($9.99) waived as a show of goodwill and in deference Mr. *****’ financial constraints.  The books were delivered to Mr. ***** on June 26, UPS tracking number ****************** (UPS Proof of Delivery is attached).  Mr. **** has also offered Mr. ***** an additional five complimentary copies on his next order, though Mr. ***** will be responsible for the cost of shipping and handling for those copies.

Author Discount

Mr. ***** is concerned about the discount available to him on purchases of copies of his book.  In his filing example Mr. ***** does not take into account the printing costs (paper, ink, building & machinery overhead, labor) which LifeRich pays to the printer.

The discount schedule is based upon the quantity of books purchased at any one time and the prevailing print costs.  Mr. ***** may purchase more or less copies than the 25 he mentions in his filing and receive a corresponding discount. The discount schedule is referenced in the Author Agreement Schedule A, Section 5 and appears on the LifeRich website in the FAQ section and as follows:

Paperback Discounts:

Book Quantity

Discount*

1-24

30%

25-49

35%

50-99

40%

100-249

45%

250-499

50%

500-999

55%

1,000-1,999

60%

2,000+

Call for a Quote

* Orders must be for a single title, of the same print format and shipped to single address; we cannot accommodate mix and match orders. All volume discount orders must be prepaid, and shipping charges are not included. Author purchases do not generate royalties and are non-returnable. These purchases do not include author event discount purchases.

This discount is available to authors for point of sale situations like book signings, speaking engagements, seminars or other events with the cost differential for each sale becoming an immediate royalty income.

If Mr. ***** would prefer to direct his customers to the LifeRich online bookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or other retailers, he is welcome to do so.  In this scenario he will earn royalty for each sale payable quarterly in accordance with the royalty schedule.

Reader’s Digest Affiliation

LifeRich is affiliated with Reader’s Digest.  This partnership began in 2013—there must have been some sort of miscommunication with the person at Reader’s Digest with whom Mr. ***** spoke, as the two are indeed affiliated.  The Reader’s Digest website www.rd.com   lists LifeRich Publishing twice on their main website page, once in the header and once in the “shortcuts” section at the bottom of the page. 

The list of included services in Mr. *****’ Create package does not mention a listing on the Reader’s Digest bookstore. This is a service that Reader’s Digest is working to implement for some LifeRich titles, but availability will be at the discretion of Reader’s Digest and a timeline for implementation has yet to be announced.

Amazon Category

The metadata of a book—information describing the book which includes the book size, page count, publisher, publication date, author, BISAC codes (Book Industry Subject And Category), suggested retail price and a description of the book’s content—is provided to retailers with the release of the book.  Because each retailer is responsible for their own website, we must rely on the retailer to upload the information and implement any changes to their website.

  

Mr. ***** has requested that his book be listed in the Religion and Spirituality category Amazon.com.  On June 27, we have sent a request to Amazon to update the metadata for Mr. *****’s book and have it listed in that category.  Categories are at Amazon’s discretion, so we cannot guarantee that this update will be made or provide a timeline, but the request has been made.

In summary, the complimentary books in Mr. *****’s publishing package have been delivered to him.  The author discount schedule for ordering books is quantity based allowing Mr. ***** to determine the discount he will receive with each order.  As a good will gesture the shipping cost for the complimentary books has been waived and five additional free books will be added to Mr. *****’s next volume order but shipping will charged.  Reader’s Digest is a partner of LifeRich Publishing. LifeRich books have yet to be introduced into the Reader’s Digest online bookstore as that decision is at the discretion of Reader’s Digest to implement.  Finally, a request has been made of Amazon to update the category of Mr. *****’s book, but again, that update is at the discretion of Amazon, so no timeline can be provided.

Sincerely,

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

Regards,

****** *****


****** ****** did sent the web optimized press release approval form.  I signed it.  But it still has not been distributed yet. So until I can see it has been distributed to more than 30,000 optin journalists and more than 250,000 news subscribers the press release has not been  done yet, L paid 740.00 and he decided to give me the web-optimized edition

 

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

Thank you for the opportunity to explain the timeline for the Press release marketing service Mr. ***** selected for his book.

In his rebuttal response of July 14, 2014, Mr. ***** confirms that he received the web-optimized press release approval form from his Marketing Services Representative, ****** ****** and states that it has not been distributed yet. 

A description of the Press Release--Web-Optimized Edition is attached for your reference and can also be found through the following link on the Life Rich Publishing website.

http://www.liferichpublishing.com/ServiceStore/ServiceDetail.aspx?ServiceId=BS-5740

A professional writer creates the press release from the information the author provides in a questionnaire they are asked to complete.  Upon receipt of the completed questionnaire, a draft of the release is written within a two week timeline and sent to the author for approval or revision. 

Mr. *****’s press release was created in six working days and a draft was sent to him on June 16, 2014 and again on July 10, 2014. Please reference the email string attached.

His approval was received on July 18, 2014 and the release was distributed over the newswire service.  The same day, the attached post fulfillment email was sent to Mr. ***** with a link to his PR Web press release.  A stated in the email, approximately one month from the day of the release, he will receive a second report regarding the results of the distribution.  This report will show the click-through activity (numbers of views of the release) and stories about Mr. ***** and/or his book.   Although the release will be distributed by the PR Web Service to their subscribers, there is no guarantee of the number of subscribers who will open the press release or display it.

In summary, Mr. ***** was notified by email that his press release was distributed on July 18th, the same day the draft’s approval was received.  The email also stated that an activity report would follow approximately one month after the release.

Sincerely,

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

8/2/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I was signed up for this service a year ago by another company for a free year. At the end of the year, I was renewed for the service without any reminder from the company. In the year since I have not used this service nor do I plan to in the future. When I contacted the company, I was told they could cancel my account but not refund me.

Desired Settlement: I would like the $149.00 fee reapplied to my bank account.

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for the opportunity to review the steps for renewal and cancellation of the Author Learning Center subscription for ****** *********.

 

Ms. ********* purchased a publishing package from WestBow Press on June 25, 2013.  This package included a free one-year subscription to the Author Learning Center, a practical and educational resource for writers to hone their craft and set goals for their work.   To activate the subscription one must register at the Author Learning Center’s website which Ms. ********* did on July 8, 2013. 

 

Ms. ********* writes that she was not informed that the service would renew and charge her credit card on July 8, 2014, and that she was offered a cancellation of the service but not a refund. 

 

The Author Learning Center registration page states “Your subscription will automatically renew at the end of a trial period or subscription year and your card will be charged.  Cancel within the trial period or subscription year to prevent auto-renewal.”  A screen shot of the registration page is attached for your reference. 

 

When Ms. ********* registered for the Author Learning Center on July 8, 2013, she would have completed the information requested and a confirmation email would have automatically been sent to the email address supplied.  An example of the email receipt is attached.  In addition to stating the beginning and ending dates of the trial period, the confirmation lists the next invoice date and states  “Your credit card will be billed $149.00 (minus any pending discounts) when your trial ends at [end date of trial period].” 

 

Ms. ********* contacted our office after her renewal was processed on July 8, 2014.  At her request the Author Learning Center subscription was cancelled the same day.  On July 10, 2014, a refund was processed for the $149 renewal fee.  This refund should appear on Ms. **********s credit card within five business days, transaction ID *************

 

In summary, although Ms. ********* was made aware that her account would automatically renew at the end of the trial period, the renewal has been cancelled and a refund of $149 has been issued to her credit card. 

 

We trust this information demonstrates the steps taken to address Ms. *********’s concern.

Sincerely,

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

7/28/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues
7/25/2014 Problems with Product/Service
7/21/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Xlibris made a children's book for me, there was mistakes in the book on my part and theirs. So in December 2013 I had them stop all production of the book and I did not want that book published at all. When the new book is finished with its corrections then we will publish that book and they agreed. While I was working with them to get my book fixed, in March of 2014 they asked me to fill out a press release. After I did that they published the old book with major mistakes on the market. I was real angry and called them with no response for days,, then I emailed them of the situation and I will get my lawyer and I got a response in 5 minutes. They said they would take care of it, they never did. I after repeat calls about this problem they still haven't removed it off the market. I called my lawyer three weeks ago. They told my lawyer they would take care of it and they still haven't so my lawyer wrote another letter to let them know we will be sue them if they don't take care of it in a certain amount of days. The situation is still going on, and they said they fixed it but even the old book is still selling on their website as of June 3, 2014. In April my new book was done and how can I sell my new book with the corrections while the old book with mistakes is still out there, it will be confusing for consumers

Desired Settlement: I need them to take my old book off the market and off their own site.

Business Response:

Dear BBB:

 

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to clarify the revision status and second release date of Mr. *******’s book. 

 

Mr. ***** ******* signed up on October 8, 2013 to publish his books with Xlibris. He took advantage of a special “Buy One Get One for $1.00” promotional offering, purchasing a Full Color-Children’s Ballad publishing package for $1749 and receiving the second package for the price of a dollar. At the same time he purchased the Edge Plus marketing service, making his total purchase $3049.00.

 

 The first book entitled “****** ****” initially completed the publication process and was made available for sale with Mr. *******’s approval on November 25, 2013. We have attached a copy of the publication approval sent by Mr. ******* for your reference.

 

Mr. ******* contacted Xlibris on December 2, 2013 to notify us of several changes he wanted to implement on the book. Mr. ******* decided to enlist the services of an independent editor to assist him with the changes and then submit a revised manuscript when the editing was completed. 

 

Book Status during Revision Process

Mr. ******* states that he requested his book be removed from print while it was being revised. 

During resubmission, a title may be temporary delisted at the request of the author until the resubmission is completed and approved for re-release.  A review of his book project found that implementation of his request was overlooked by the representative assigned to his book, until March 6, 2014 when Mr. ******* contacted us regarding its online availability.   We apologize to Mr. ******* for the missed step in the implementation of his resubmission request and thank him for calling this oversight to our attention.

 

As a goodwill offering, Xlibris offered a 50% discount on the $349 resubmission charge for his book. The resubmissions process was completed and the revised book was made available for sale with Mr. *******’s approval on April 26, 2014.

 

Posting of Online Retailers of Revised Release Dates 

Mr. ******* reached out to Xlibris on May 21, 2013 to notify us about the availability of the old version of his book in the reseller websites.  We explained to Mr. ******* that the while publication date in the online display page of his book shows November 25, 2013, this is only because resellers use the original date the ISBN is submitted to them for distribution.  We also assured him that the file the printer used to print his title for distribution is consistent with the recently approved galley.  As proof, we have referred him to the copyright page available for viewing in the “Look Inside” feature in the Amazon website where the revision date of his book, April 21, 2014 is indicated. We have attached the emails we sent to Mr. ******* for your reference.

 

In addition, Xlibris reached out to our major resellers to request they update the publication date of his book to reflect the revised date of April 26, 2014.  As of this writing, Amazon and Barnes and Noble online bookstores have updated Mr. *******’s book listing to display the revised publication date as he has requested.

 

In summary, we apologize again to Mr. ******* for the delay in placing a print HOLD on his title while in resubmission.  The revised version of his title has been in print since its release in April.

Sincerely,

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

7/8/2014 Problems with Product/Service
7/6/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I purchased a $3000 marketing package and received only one paltry review in a minor publication. I self published my first book through iUniverse last August. Throughout the process, they repetitively called trying to get me to upgrade the original package I had chosen. I did choose to pay them $3000 to market my book as it was my first one and I was unsure how to do it myself. They subbed the work out to ******* ***** and after three months of a supposed marketing campaign, I received only one book review in a minor publication. After the "campaign" I waited for results for a time and when I received none, I learned how to self promote through social media. Since then, I have received nothing less than a 5 star rating on Amazon. I don't believe the quality of my book is in question so much as the lack of effort on their part.

Desired Settlement: As they did get the one review, I feel like they deserve to paid a small amount, but $3000 seems excessive for the work they performed. I believe $2000 in refund would be sufficient.

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to explain the Newsmaker Publicity Campaign and the results from that marketing service.

Ms. *********** purchased the Newsmaker Publicity Campaign on July 24, 2013 for the discounted price of $3000.  A description of the services is attached for your reference and they may also be viewed on the iUniverse website at:  http://www.iuniverse.com/Servicestore/ServicePackageDetail.aspx?ServicePackageId=PKG-1301.

 Newsmaker Publicity Campaign

Marketing services do not begin until after the book is made available for purchase.  Ms. ***********’s book went live on August 19, 2013 and on August 26, 2013, her marketing services representative, **** ******, emailed the campaign questionnaire.  On Sept 23, 2013, Ms. *********** returned the questionnaire to Ms. ******.   Ms. ****** emailed Ms. *********** confirmation of receipt and informed her that a publicist from ******* would be contacting her within 10-15 business days.  A copy of the completed questionnaire is attached for your reference.

 

After Ms. ***********’s phone conversation with the publicist, the press release and a strategic campaign plan were written, as was a campaign timeline.  These three documents are attached and were approved by Ms. *********** prior to the start of the campaign. 

 The strategic plan explains the branding of ****’s book and the targeting tactics that will be implemented along with outreach ideas that Ms. *********** can do herself.  

The marketing campaign began on November 25, 2013, with the press release being sent to media outlets.  The campaign ran for the required six weeks (with two weeks off for the Christmas and New Year holiday), ending on January 21, 2014.  Attached are the 6 (6) reports showing the weekly progress of the campaign, as well as a final summation report.

While the publicist sends the press release to the media outlets, it is ultimately up to the media outlet to decide whether they will feature it in their publication or on their website, whether they want further information about the book or desire to interview the author.   The reports show that the publicist followed the agreed upon strategic plan and lists media outlets that requested review copies each week.  

The final week’s report contains a summary of the campaign’s activity and recommendations that Ms. *********** may use to continue the book’s branding.  

Refund Request

In her filing, Ms. *********** expresses her dissatisfaction with the lack of media response to the campaign citing lack of effort on the part of the publicist and requests a refund.  As recapped in the campaign’s final report sixteen (16) media outlets of varying types requested and were sent copies of the book during the campaign.

 

The results of marketing campaigns vary and neither sales of the work nor the response of the media are guaranteed.   Paragraph 12.1 of the attached Terms and Conditions of Ms. ***********’s services agreement, reads:

 WE MAINTAIN NO CONTROL OVER THE PURCHASING DECISIONS OF CONSUMERS OR BOOKSELLERS, AND, AS SUCH, WE CANNOT AND DO NOT GUARANTEE SALES OF YOUR WORK. WE MAKE NO GUARANTEES OR PROMISES AS TO THE MINIMUM SUCCESS OF THE SERVICES OR THE AMOUNT OF BOOK SALES WHICH MAY RESULT FROM ANY OR ALL OF THE SERVICES. WE ARE NOT LIABLE TO YOU OR ANY PERSON OR ENTITY IF THE WORK DOES NOT SELL TO YOUR EXPECTATIONS OR AT ALL.” 

 

 

Ms. *********** contacted iUniverse customer support on May 14, 2014, requesting a refund on the Publicity Campaign Service.  She was told that day and again on May 20, 2014 when she made the same request that the marketing service had been fulfilled as described and therefore ineligible for a refund. 

 

Self Marketing

We are pleased that Ms. *********** has decided to continue the branding of her book using social media.  We trust that the strategic plan and use of press release materials will aid her in her self promotion of the work.  We applaud Ms. *********** on the five (5) star reviews on Amazon.com from individuals who have taken the time to post their reactions to their reading of her book.

 

 

In summary, although Ms. *********** desired a more robust response from the media to her publicity campaign, the marketing service was fulfilled as described.  The strategic plan for Ms. ***********’s publicity campaign was created to stimulate media awareness; however, media outlets make their own decisions on what they will cover.  As the service has been fulfilled it is ineligible for refund. 

As a good will gesture, we are willing to assist Ms. *********** with her social media marketing efforts by providing a blog tour for her book.  She is considering this support and we are awaiting her acceptance.

 

Sincerely,

 

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

7/3/2014 Delivery Issues
7/1/2014 Problems with Product/Service
6/23/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Author Solutions holds an even entitled PitchFest, which I participated in during the weekend of February 8-9, 2013. The cost of PItchFest was $1,999.00, not including travel and lodging expenses. At PitchFest, I pitched to ten potential film productions companies about my self-published book and five out of the ten requested a copy of my book to consider for the screen. Author Solutions has done two things that I consider to be fraudulent/dishonest. At the PitchFest presentation, they stated that our "pitch" would go into a Hollywood Database for other production companies to view and consider. I found out later this is not the case; therefore they lied. Secondly, when I followed up with Author Solutions six months later about how many of the companies were still interested in my book, they communicated that four out of the five were. When I followed up again, they were cagey and said they wouldn't tell me. Not that they have my money, I feel their guardedness displays a lack of follow-through and PitchFest was a scam.

Desired Settlement: I would like a written statement about which companies, if any, are still considering my book. I would also like at least a partial refund for PItchFest since Author Solutions misrepresented themselves by saying our pitch would go into a Hollywood Database, when it did not.

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to explain the PitchFest Las Vegas 2013 that Ms. *********** purchased.

Ms. ****** purchased the PitchFest Las Vegas 2013 marketing service on January 7, 2013.  The event was held in early February 2013.  Because this service is over, a description of the specific service is no longer on the website.  As the 2013 and 2014 PitchFest events differ only in their location and scheduled dates, we have provided a link to the service description currently on the website for the PitchFest Los Angeles in September 2014.  http://www.iuniverse.com/Servicestore/ServiceDetail.aspx?ServiceId=PKG-8604.   

For authors seeking to bring their books to the screen, we offer several Book-to-Screen packages each with different services.  In this category are two (2) levels of PitchFest event packages. Ms. ****-****** selected the Las Vegas PitchFest 2013 package which contained the following elements:

·         Pre-event assignment to guide in preparing material for the event  

·         Welcome Reception

·         How-to-Pitch Workshop  with Robert Kosberg, Hollywood producer and idea man 

·         Practice Session to fine tune the approach

·         Speed-Pitch to entertainment companies seeking material for screen adaptation

·         Registration of Idea with Writers Guild of America

·         Feedback from entertainment companies attending

·         The opportunity to win a video conference with an exclusive Entertainment Executive if selected as one of the top two “pitches” of the event.    

 

Hollywood Database

Ms. ****-****** states that she was told at the event that her “pitch” would go into a Hollywood Database for other production companies to view and consider.  She contends that she found out that this did not happen but does not elaborate further on her statement or how she came to this conclusion.   

 

The PitchFest service does state that, “We’ll register your book with the WGA to protect your unique concept.  Attached is the receipt submitted by Author Solutions staff to WGA (Writer’s Guild of America), showing that Ms. ******’s book was submitted and registered with WGA on February 13, 2013.  This component of the PitchFest service safeguards her concept and characters as her literary property since members of the entertainment industry have been exposed to her work and have expressed their interest in its adaptation.

 

At the event the top two “pitch” designees were offered an alternative choice to the video conference (see package elements above), a Hollywood Treatment service which is another of the Book-to-Screen package offerings.  http://www.iuniverse.com/Servicestore/ServiceDetail.aspx?ServiceId=BS-1096   As this link describes, the Hollywood Treatment service goes beyond the “pitch” moving the book into the first step of the drafting of a screenplay.  It exposures a developed outline of the book to a specific Hollywood entertainment management and production company.  If they choose to not engage the work then the treatment is placed into a Hollywood Database.  Although Ms. ****-****** received positive responses to her “pitch” she was not selected as one of the top two at the event.  Could this scenario be what Ms. ****-****** is referring to in her filing?

 

Parameters for Follow-Up with Interested Companies

The PitchFest service description says “Approximately two weeks after the conference, we will send you a feedback packet regarding how the various representatives responded to your pitch.”  Ms. ****-****** was sent an email containing a PDF of the ten (10) response cards.  This PDF is attached, as is the text from the body of the email. 

As explained in the email, it is up to the companies to express to us they have further interest in a book project; “the companies will let us know if they want to pursue any/all of these projects further, and we will of course report back to you if/when we hear any news whatsoever. “  

Hollywood does not move quickly.  As stated in the service description and in the email, “…these things often take time… There is no set timeframe in which they will respond…a request to read your book is a primary step in what can often times be an arduous process...but know that this is in no way a guarantee that there will even be a next step.”  When companies express further interest in Ms. ****-*******s book, we will pass that along to her.

Ms. ****-****** writes that she would like a list of the companies interested in her book.  We are unable, for privacy reasons, to provide specific information about the companies that participated in PitchFest or their current interest level in her book.  This fact is stated in the follow up email she received. copy attached.  Due to a strict privacy contract between Author Solutions and the entertainment companies involved, we cannot provide a list of companies or names of the executives that were tied to this event. This policy is in place to maintain the integrity of our working relationship for future ventures and maintain the privacy of those individuals involved in the process.”   

And again, “If any company shows additional interest after we have delivered your book, it is at that time you’ll be told who the company is and will be put in touch with them.

In closing, the component services of the Las Vegas PitchFest 2013 were completed.   Ms. ****-*******s book was registered with WGA on February 13, 2013.  She was sent the follow up email, with the response cards attached.   Further response from the entertainment companies could take time and we will let Ms. ****** know when that happens.  As the service has been fulfilled as described, it is ineligible for refund.

Sincerely,

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

6/21/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: on feb 20 2014 I sent a check for 99.00 to them for renew of my web site www.****** ***** ******* .com it was to expire april 20 on feb 26 2014 my checking account show they automatic cashed it on feb 26-- I was told by email they got my check I told them to authorize the renew for 1 more year last night I see for 1st time they never did they stole my 99.00 and le t it expire this is theft

Desired Settlement: they have to put my web site online as www.******************.com I paid for it or I will contact police

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to reinstate Ms. *******’s website domain name.

 

Ms. ****** ******* signed up with Xlibris on March 21, 2010 to publish her books entitled “****** ***** *******” and “*** ************ ******”. The books completed publication process and were made available for sale with her approval on April 17, 2010 and November 17, 2010, respectively.

 

To reach a wider audience, Ms. ********s publishing package included a personal website for her book entitled “****** ***** *******”. With Ms. *******’s approval, a website was created and designed by Xlibris shortly after the publication of her book. The domain name registration and web hosting fulfillment was free for a year and Ms. ******* successfully renewed her website prior to their expiration each year.

 

 On February 20, 2014, Xlibris sent Ms. ******* a domain name expiration notice to inform her that her website was due to expire on April 20, 2014. On February 27, 2014 Xlibris received a check for $99 from Ms. ******* as payment for the renewal of her website.

 

Upon receipt of this complaint, Xlibris conducted a review on the financial transactions on Ms. *******’s account.  From the review we were able to confirm that the payment had not posted on her account.  Further investigation found that a human posting error occurred with the payment being erroneously posted by a Finance Representative to another account.

 

Our Author Satisfaction Manager contacted Ms. ******* to apologize for what happened and to explain our next steps.  Xlibris is currently processing the redemption of her website and anticipates its reinstatement within 5-7 business days. As a goodwill offer, Xlibris has offered and Ms. ******* has accepted an additional year of web hosting free of charge.

 

In conclusion, we will continue to work with Ms. ******* until the website is completely redeemed and reinstated.  Again we apologize to Ms. ******* the inconvenience and frustration caused her.

 

Sincerely,

 

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

6/20/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I have made many attempts to speak directly with a management person re problem and for 4 wks now no one has returned my calls. I self published with this company--had a call strongly recommending that I purchase place at LA Book Fair 4/12/2014 and 4/13--with info that my book-"*** *** ****** ** ********" would be represented with great opportunity for exposure at this book fair--agent also strongly recommended that I appear there. I was charged over $600.00 for this "privilege." A few days before I left for the 500 mile drive to event I received info that I could not speak to anyone in the booth, represent myself in any way; that reps of company would be actively repping books. I made the effort besides paying the price and found the booth the least attended, no reps to be seen, 2 young women who said they were cashiers only and knew NOTHING about books. I am 76yrs old and financially strapped and was shocked at misrepresentation re this event. I have explicitly asked for my money to be refunded---THIS APPEARS TO ME TO HAVE BEEN A SCAM! yes my book was on a shelf but no sales person present.

Desired Settlement: I want to be refunded completely. I feel I have been stonewalled by the company since this event. Reps from this company respond immediately if an individual wants to purchase a service but I have left numerous messages for people I have worked with there to call me back in the last month and NO response. I want my money refunded immediately.

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to review Ms. ********’s concerns regarding her participation in the LA Times Festival of Books.

 

On January 24, 2014, Ms. ******** spoke with Marketing Consultant Frank **** and decided to purchase the LA Times Festival of Books 2014 Book Gallery for her book, “*** *** ****** ** ********.”  At that time, she spoke with both Mr. **** and ***** *****, a representative of the Finance Department who processed the payment.

 

Festival Packages

Attached are the details of the LA Times Festival of Books 2014 services, which were previously listed on the AuthorHouse website—as the Festival is over, the listing has been removed from the website.  There are three separate options of services for this event: the Book Gallery, the Book Signing, and the Book Signing with Video.  Each option has specific elements which dictate the price. 

 

Ms. ******** selected the most basic of these services, the Book Gallery, at a cost of $599 (plus a $30 payment plan fee for the installment payments).  According to this listing, the Book Gallery includes:

·         Display space for your book in the Author Solutions Book Gallery at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, April 12 - 13, 2014

·         Five (5) copies of your book for sale in the Indie Author Bookstore booth at the event

·         Inclusion in the Author Solutions Book Catalog available to interested attendees as a free takeaway.

Ms. ******** states that she was encouraged to attend the event. Although the package Ms. ******** selected does not contain a signing event which would require her appearance at the signing booth, nothing prohibits an individual from attending a public event. 

 

Pre Festival

Ms. ******** states that she was encouraged to attend the event.  A review of the phone conversations between her and Mr. **** confirms that she inquired about attending and was not encouraged or discouraged. 

 

When Ms. ******** asked some logistical details, she was referred to the event coordinator and was later advised on some specifics which included what authors were to refrain from doing, like passing out publicity materials or hovering around the display area.  She expressed frustration with the number of copies that were to be available for sale and asked if she could stand at the booth and greet people as she had notified a lot of people that she would be there. She was advised that she could meet those she had invited at a specific place and then escort them into the booth to see her book and proceed to purchase it.    

 

Participation at the Festival

Ms. ********’s book was displayed at the festival, and her book was included in the catalog.  Attached are a photo of the book on display (second shelf from top, on left) and a copy of the PDF of the catalog that was distributed at the event (Ms. ********’s book appears on page 15 of the printed catalog, page 17 in the document) is being sent to your office separately due to its size. 

 

Ms. ******** expresses her disappointment in the strategy of allowing the attendees to walk the aisles, browse, make inquires of the professional staff in the gallery, purchase a book featured in the gallery at the bookstore and enjoy the book festival without feeling pressured to make a purchase or listen to a sales pitch.  

 

The Author Solutions area replicated a bookstore experience with the Book Gallery (browsing section) and the Book Store (selling section).  The Book Gallery showcased Ms. ********’s title along with others who had chosen to have their book on display, much like walking into a bookstore to view what is available.  The Book Store made it possible for an attendee to purchase a copy of any of the books shown in the Gallery with copies available for sale and staff to facilitate payment, like the check out area in a retail store. 

 

 

Ms. ******** states that the booth at the festival was not staffed by representatives, only by two cashiers who were unfamiliar with the books being displayed.  In fact, there were two sides to the tent at the event—Ms. ******** seems to be describing the Book Store side, which displayed the books for sale and was staffed by two cashiers. 

 

The Book Gallery and the Book Store were positioned strategically back to back with a tent wall separating them; one side for selling and one side for exploring. 

 

The Book Gallery side showcased each title, facing outward, in a bookshelf designed for viewing.  The gallery was staffed by representatives of Author Solutions who were distributing tote bags containing copies of the Book Catalog. With over 700 unique titles displayed in the gallery, the guidance the representative provided in the use of the catalog and assisting in locating genre, imprint or specific titles in both the catalog and the gallery made the experience of navigating the Book Gallery easier for attendees.     

 

The opportunity for an author to hold a book signing and interact directly with attendees was available at the Author Solutions Signing Booth which was located in another area.  Ms. ******** chose a Festival package that did not include this opportunity. Please reference the attached LA Book Festival package descriptions.

 

In Ms. ********’s description of her event experience, she mentions only cashiers and makes no reference to being offered or receiving a bag containing a catalog or seeing them being passed out.  She does mention seeing her book on display but does not indicate that it was on display in two separate areas.  For this reason we believe that Ms. ******** did not fully experience the Author Solutions presence at the LA Times Book Festival.

 

The three components of the LA Book Festival Ms. ******** selected have been fulfilled.  Her book was on display and available for sale in the Book Store area, which Ms. ******** saw, and in the Book Gallery itself, which Ms. ******** appears to have missed.  Her title appears in the Book Catalog which was distributed to attendees of the festival.

 

Royalties on sales of her book at the event will be paid in accordance with the normal royalty payment terms and schedule

 

 

Unreturned Phone Calls

Ms. ******** states that she has not received return telephone calls from representatives during the month after the Book Festival. As returning phone calls is very important to us, we initiated an inbound and outbound call report for all three of the numbers on record for Ms. ********.  We found that the report for the 415********* number confirms several inbound phone calls were placed after the event, from April 18th thru April 30th, to marketing services staff with messages left and not returned. We thank Ms. ******** for calling this situation to our attention and apologize for their non responsiveness.  We have taken corrective action and addressed this issue with them. 

 

In summary, we again apologize to Ms. ******** for any frustration encountered by the lack of response to her phone calls. Ms. ********’s marketing service has been fulfilled as it was described.  As the service has been fulfilled, it is no longer eligible for refund.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

 

6/6/2014 Problems with Product/Service
6/1/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I called to cancel my publication 2 months ago. They said it will take 6 weeks for me to get my refund. After not receiving it in 6 weeks I called twice and was told that it is pending. I spoke to a man and he told me he would look into it and call me back in 24 hours. He never called (I quessed right that he wouldn't). It seems that they will not give me my refund. Thank you for your help.

Desired Settlement: That they will send me my refund of $153.00.

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to investigate the progress of Ms. *******’s refund.

 

Ms. ****** ******* signed up to publish a book with Xlibris on October 26, 2013. Ms. ******* was able to take advantage of a special promotional rate on the Full Color Custom Publishing package and chose to use an installment payment plan which added a $30 non-refundable surcharge, making her package total $955. Prior to providing her credit card information, Ms. ******* agreed to the refund terms of her publishing agreement and payment plan.  The first payment of $338.34 was made that day with the remaining two payments set up for auto-charge on the same day of the following two (2) months.

 

The November payment was rejected at which time Ms. ******* indicated that she would be able to make the payment in January.  Conversations about making payment continued between our Payment Plan staff and Ms. ******* through February.   On February 21, 2014, Ms. ******* indicated that she was unable to continue with the financial commitment at this time and would be cancelling her publishing package.  Author Satisfaction Refund Representative **** ****** called Ms. ******* the same day to obtain the details needed to complete the refund request.  As he was unable to speak with her, an email requesting she contact him was also sent.

 

Ms. ******* spoke with Mr. ****** on March 12, 2014 to discuss the cancellation of the services she purchased.  She confirmed her intent to cancel and that the credit card she had used to pay for the service was no longer active.  As purchases made by credit card are refunded to the card used to make the purchase, Ms. ******* was advised that a check refund would need to be issued and that the timeline for a check refund is 4-6 weeks.   Confirmation of the address to which Ms. ******* desired the check to be sent was obtained.  Ms. ******* was also reminded that the administrative and payment plan fees she had agreed to would be deducted from her refund.

 

Our investigation of the status of Ms. *******’s refund found that check #****** for $158.34 was issued and mailed on May 1, 2014, a week longer than the timeline quoted.  We extend our apology to Ms. ******* for the delay issuing her refund.  We have attempted to reach Ms. ******* by phone to confirm receipt of the check but have been routed to voicemail.   We will continue to reach out to her.

 

In summary, Ms. *******’s refund was issued and posted prior to the receipt of this complaint.  If Ms. ******* has yet to receive the mailed check, we request that she contact us immediately.  

 

Sincerely,

 

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

5/27/2014 Problems with Product/Service
5/19/2014 Problems with Product/Service
5/18/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: This is the second book I have done with Xlibris, Author Solutions. This is a complicated situation but I will try to summarize. I can provide copies of emails later if necessary. I had problems with the first book, also, but that will be the subject of another complaint. My second book, "***** **** **********, *****, quite a few of the photos were not sharp. They were blurry. The one who I was working with on this problem, ****** *******, I started working with on about 12/16/2013. Things seemed to be going well and that the problem was being worked on. I sent them photos of some blurry pages in the book as well as the originals that I had submitted, to see the differences. A lot of these photos had been in books I had self-published through *********, and their printing was very sharp with no problems. It seems like a person would actually have to TRY to make the photos blurry, or that they did not know what they were doing. On 12/30/2013 I was told that the post production department was working on it. I heard nothing after that, so on 1/26/2014 I emailed ****** ******* and asked if they were working on it. On 1/30/2014 Ms. ******* emailed me that "I will call you tomorrow so we can discuss this. It is worked on by our designer’s but we need some clarifications." As of this date I have not received an email or call back. I called her extension on 2/17/2014 and 3/17/2014 leaving messages to please call me and I have had no phone calls or emails since 1/30/2014. A lot of the questions on the next page I will be unable to answer, since it is a product that is being sold online by the company as well as Amazon and others, and it is that product I want to be fixed.

Desired Settlement: To get a well printed book that I will not be ashamed to put my name on, as I am now.

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for the opportunity to review Mr. ***’s printing concerns.  

 

Mr. ***** *** signed up on January 16, 2013 for two (2) Full Color Basic Publishing packages with Xlibris, taking advantage of the special promotional offer of “Buy One Package Get One for $1.00”.  The books completed the publication process and were made available for sale with Mr. ***’s approval on July 10, 2013 and October 11, 2013, respectively. We have attached a copy of the publication approvals sent by Mr. *** for your reference.

 

Mr. *** writes in his complaint that the photos in the initial print copy of his second book “***** **** *********** *****” were blurry. Mr. *** also mentioned that he was able to report the issue to one of our Post Publication Specialists and submit images to support his claim.  Our research into his concern found that the representative handling Mr. ***’s project abruptly and unexpectedly left the company.  Subsequently, provisions for reviewing and assessing Mr. ***’s concern were not transitioned properly.  We apologize to Mr. *** for this interruption in service.

 

Upon receipt of this complaint, our Author Satisfaction Manager contacted Mr. *** to assist him with his print copy concerns. Mr. *** has graciously agreed to resend the images taken from the printed copy of his book. As soon as the files are forwarded, a review shall be conducted to find out the cause of the variation between the approved file and the printed copy.

 

We will continue to work with Mr. *** and allot the necessary resources and priority to bring this project to quick conclusion.

 

Sincerely,

 

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

5/18/2014 Problems with Product/Service
5/13/2014 Billing/Collection Issues
5/9/2014 Problems with Product/Service
5/6/2014 Problems with Product/Service
5/5/2014 Problems with Product/Service
5/4/2014 Problems with Product/Service
4/23/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues
4/22/2014 Problems with Product/Service
4/9/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues
4/9/2014 Problems with Product/Service
4/4/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I am charged annually for a service that I cancelled within the first billing cycle of the alleged "free" service. I purchased a book publishing package from Xlibris that came with a free online subscription to a service called "Author Learning Center." I was excited about this at first but soon found that I did not have the time to utilize the service and cancelled my subscription via the phone. The subscription continued for the remainder of the year as it should have, but then I was charged $149.00 for another year of subscription. Upon complaining to the company they informed me that I did not cancel, later came back and said I did not cancel within the allotted time frame, but they would cancel my subscription for future years and I would never be automatically charged again. I also cancelled my subscription through their website and I canceled my subscription via phone AGAIN when a representative called me to talk about my account. However, once again this year I was charged the same $149.00, I called the company and they assured that I would receive a refund and that my card number would be removed, however this is what they assured me after the first charge. I also attempted to block their company from making future charges by calling my bank and the bank informed me that the charges were made each year with a different merchant name. After learning this, I researched online and found an onslaught of negative feedback concerning Xlibris' illegitimate practices, scams, and downright lying about the company they are with to other customers.

Desired Settlement: I would like the company to not only refund my unsolicited charges, but to also remove my account from their system. In accordance with the large amounts of negative feedback they are receiving online I think they should also either perform their promised actions correctly or stop attempting to do business altogether.

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to review Ms. ********’s Author Learning Center subscription.

 

****** ******** purchased a publishing package with XLibris Publishing on December 27, 2011.  This package included a free one-year subscription to the Author Learning Center, a resource created to help authors.   To activate the subscription, one must sign up through the Author Learning Center website which Ms. ******** did on March 20, 2012.  On that date, she spoke with ****** ******, who informed her that the subscription would automatically renew after one year unless she cancelled the subscription prior to the renewal date.  She acknowledged her understanding.

 

Ms. ********’s renewal was auto-charged on March 20, 2013. Ms. ******** called and spoke with **** ******* to discuss the renewal of her Author Learning Center subscription on March 30, 2013.  However, Ms. ******** disconnected the call before a cancellation and refund could be processed.  She called again on January 9, 2014, and spoke with Mr. ******* once again.  Ms. ******** said at that time that she would cancel her subscription online through the Author Learning Center website.  However, she apparently did not do so, as the subscription renewed on March 20, 2014.

 

On March 21, 2014, we cancelled Ms. ********’s Author Learning Center subscription and refunded the two $149 payments to the credit card on file, transaction IDs  ************ and ************.  These refunds should appear on Ms. ********’s credit card within 3-5 business days depending upon the processing time of her bank.  Attached is a picture from our billing service, showing that Ms. ********’s account has been closed and that her credit card will not be charged again.

 

In summary, Ms. ********’s Author Learning Center subscription has been cancelled as of March 20, 2014, and she has been issued a refund of for her 2013 and 2014 renewals.

 

Sincerely,

 

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I am only accepting this business' response because they did finally refund both of the charges that were wrongfully taken from me. Their account of my disconnecting that particular phone call, being informed on how to cancel online, and not going through with any of the cancellations myself is fabricated to cover their own mistakes and inability to resolve those issues in a timely manner with me personally.

Regards,

****** ********

 

4/1/2014 Problems with Product/Service
4/1/2014 Problems with Product/Service
3/21/2014 Problems with Product/Service
3/18/2014 Problems with Product/Service
3/13/2014 Billing/Collection Issues
3/11/2014 Delivery Issues
2/26/2014 Problems with Product/Service
2/17/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: The amount I received with my direct deposit for royalty payments on the sales of my book**** ***** ********* was $26.63 on 5/15-13 - $26.56 on 8/14/13 and $20.95 on 11/15/2013 yet my 1099 says they paid me $211.42. On Wednesday, February 5, 2014, then two more times, I asked their employee **** ***** to email me a record of all the 2013 deposits made to my acct. by Author Solutions and still have not heard from her. I need to file my taxes sooner than later and will not pay tax on income I did not get in 2013. I need an accurate 1099 to file IN ORDER TO FILE MY TAXES. My accountant needs to know why my 1099 does not match the deposits they made into my checking account. If Author Solutions took half of my royalties as some kind of admin. fee my accountant needs to know. If not, where is the remainder of my royalty payments?

Desired Settlement: Either pay me the Royalties they cheated me out of or explain why the direct deposit amounts they made to my checking account in 2013 do not come close to the $211.13 they claim they paid me as I need to have an accuate accounting for my taxes and need to file my taxes NOW.

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

Thank you for the opportunity to clarify for Ms. ******** that the earnings reported on her 2013 Form 1099MISC are correct.

Royalty payments are reported on the Form 1099 in the year they were paid.  This information and more about the Form 1099 is posted in the FAQ section of our website and below for your reference: http://www.xlibris.com/faq_pricing_royalties.aspx

 Xlibris will mail a Form1099-MISC to each U.S. author who earned more than $10.00 in royalties (or incurred withholding greater than $0.00) during the calendar year. The income and withholding represent royalties from Quarter 4 of the previous year through Quarter 3 of the Form 1099-MISC year. The form will be mailed by Jan. 31, and should be delivered to the author in February. This form is required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to report royalty income and withholding. If the author was not paid any monies during the calendar year, then he or she will not receive a Form 1099-MISC. The IRS requires Xlibris to have the form mailed/postmarked by Jan. 31, not delivered by Jan 31

In her complaint Ms. ******** lists electronic funds transfers from the first three (3) quarters of 2013 but does not list the payment for the Q4 2012 royalties made in February 2013.  A report of the payment amounts for 2013, their transaction numbers and dates electronically transferred to her bank is attached for your reference.  

As none of these transactions were returned or rejected by her bank, they were reported as income to the IRS according to their regulations.  We suggest that Ms. ******** may have overlooked the February 2013 deposit on her bank statement.    

The report confirms that the earnings amount on Ms. ********’s Form 1099MISC for 2013 is the same as the monies she has been paid in 2013.

Ms. ******** states that she corresponds by email only and emailed **** ***** asking for a record of her 2013 deposits.  We have a record of email correspondence between Ms. ******** and Ms. ***** on January 31, 2014 stating that she had not yet received her Form 1099 for 2013.  Ms. ***** replied that the Xlibris Form 1099s had been sent out the previous day, January 30, 2014.   A copy of their interaction is attached for your reference. 

To assist authors with any questions they might have about the information shown on their Form 1099MISC, inquires, like the one Ms. ******** poses in her complaint, are directed to our senior client services representative.  We conducted a search for any additional emails from Ms. ******** concerning her Form 1099 and found none.

In summary, the information on Ms. ********’s Form 1099MISC is correct as reported.  

Sincerely,

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and find that this resolution would be satisfactory to me.  I will wait until for the business to perform this action and, if it does, will consider this complaint resolved. It would have been nice if they would have just answered my emails without me having to complain. This company seems to ignore complaints leaving author with no where else to turn due to their poor customer service. I'm not sure how these people stay in business.

Regards,

******** ********

 

2/12/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I published my son's book with the company in September 2013. In October 2013 I spoke with my Publishing Agent ***** **** and explained to her that the cost of purchasing and shipping books to the Bahamas would far exceed the SRP on the books and that in order to have the books distributed in the Bahamas that I would need a high resolution digital copy to have them printed for distribution in the Bahamas ONLY. She informed me of the normal practice which was to end the contract in order to receive the digital rights to the book, but I explained to her that I did not want them to discontinue distribution to all the other parts of the world, but I just needed to be able to have the books distributed in the Bahamas where the author resides. She did some research and came back to me and advised that if I paid $99 I can get the digital file to give to the printers in the Bahamas and have the copies done for resale. I paid the $99 as requested, however, when I received the digital file it was low resolution which cannot be used for reproduction. I have been battling with various representatives for the past month, simply requesting that they either refund me the $99 or they send me the high resolution files so that I can have them reproduce for resale in the Bahamas ONLY. They continuously insist on the conditions of my contract, which was superseded by the telephone conversations between ***** **** and myself and a follow-up email from her confirming the terms of the telephone conversations. At this point I no longer want to continue doing business with them, because they have no integrity towards their promises to their customers and I am now having difficulty reaching my publishing consultant, who before this incident called me on a daily basis to offer me other services and another package as my son has 2 more books ready for publishing and she was aware of this information.

Desired Settlement: I am requesting that they refund me 50% of what I initially paid them to produce the book and the $99 that I paid for the high resolution CD Archive, they can also keep all of their files on the book as it appears that it would be easier to go to another publishing company than to continue working with them.

Business Response:

Dear BBB:

 

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to provide assistance to Ms. ****** in reaching her Bahamian audience.

 

Ms. ***** ****** signed up with Xlibris on August 31, 2013 to publish her son’s book entitled “Depth Perception”. The book completed the publication process and was made available for sale with Ms. ******’s approval on September 25, 2013. We have attached Ms. ******’s approval for your reference.

 

Ms. ****** contacted Xlibris in October 2013 to discuss the distribution and local printing options for her son’s published work. After several conversations with the publishing consultant, Ms. ****** purchased the CD Rom Archive Service on October 24, 2013. The CD Rom Archive is an add-on service which provides the author with a copy of the text of their published book in word-processing format and a low resolution version of the cover file for the book.  As these files contain the edited and final version of the work, many authors desire to have a digital copy of their published book in addition to a bound copy for their records.  The service was fulfilled and the CD Rom with the electronic version of Ms. ******’s son’s published work was sent to her on November 6, 2013.

 

After receiving the CD Rom Archive, Ms. ****** contacted Xlibris on December 27, 2013 to ask for the high resolution print files for the book as promised to her by the publishing consultant. Our Customer Satisfaction Department explained to Ms. ****** that the high resolution files can only be purchased for a fee and then only after the termination of the publishing agreement with Xlibris. Ms. ****** explained that she had already purchased the files as promised to her by the publishing consultant. 

 

An investigation was launched to review the communication between Ms. ****** and the publishing consultant. The review confirmed that the limitations of use of the CD Rom Archive files for printing were not properly communicated to Ms. ****** by the publishing consultant. 

 

We apologize to Ms. ****** for this circumstance and thank her for calling this situation to our attention. As a result we have worked with the representatives involved in understanding fully the parameters of the service and have taken steps to ensure similar situations will be better handled in the future.

 

Due to the miscommunication on the part of the publishing consultant, Xlibris would like to provide Ms. ****** with the high resolution file of her son’s published work. This version will be stripped of all Xlibris-related publishing information such as ISBN, logos, etc. Xlibris will assume no responsibility on the use of the file upon its endorsement to Ms. ******. We await Ms. ******’s confirmation on the acceptance of this offer.

 

Ms. ****** indicated in the complaint that her original intent was to provide copies to consumers in the Bahamas and retain the services of Xlibris for distribution elsewhere.  As of this writing, Ms. ******’s son’s book remains available for sale on the Xlibris website and through our distribution network.  Should Ms. ****** accept our offer to supply high resolution files, her original intent will be in place.

 

In her complaint she also asks for a partial refund and to dissolve the relationship with Xlibris.  Our records indicate that the publishing services contracted for the book have been fulfilled. Fulfillment of services forfeits their eligibility for a refund. We have attached a copy of the agreement form submitted by Ms. ****** for your reference.  

 

In summary, we again apologize to Ms. ****** for the miscommunication surrounding the CD Rom Archive Service.  We await Ms. ******’s acceptance of our offer to honor her request to replace the low resolution CD-Rom with a high resolution version for her use.  We also await her confirmation of whether she desires to continue the publication and distribution of her son’s work through Xlibris. The services of the publishing package have been fulfilled and therefore are ineligible for refund.   

 

Sincerely,

 

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

Before I accept I need to know exactly what I am getting, will it be the High resolution file of the book in its format, completely edited with the exception of the Xlibris Logo and contact information?  I am not clear on the statement "This version will be stripped of all Xlibris-related publishing information such as ISBN, logos, etc." and do not wish to make any assumptions, an itemized list of exactly what will be removed will make it crystal clear.  Also I request that the file be made available to me through one of the large file transfer systems such as Dropbox, as the last CD took 6 weeks to get to me.  Once these matters have been addressed then I can make a decision.  

Regards,

***** ******

 

 

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to clarify our response for Ms. ******.

Ms. ****** has asked about the reference in our response, “This version will be stripped of all Xlibris-related publishing information such as ISBN, logos, etc."   On February 6th, attempts were made by Ms. ****** and me to communicate by phone which proved unsuccessful and the attached email was sent.  On February 7th we were able to speak and discussed the reference in question.

Ms. ****** has indicated that because of import costs and policies, the sale of her son’s work in the country of origin is cost prohibitive.  She desires to have a local Bahamian printer print copies of her son’s work for placement with bookstores and retailers in the Bahamas and agrees to only authorize the sale of these books to Bahamian establishments or for her or her son’s personal use within the Bahamas. She inquired if the PDF files are editable so that she might add identifying printer information for this local edition and was advised that they are editable in the hands of a knowledgeable printer resource.  In that she will be using the same cover design without Xlibris logos and ISBNs, to avoid confusion with the Xlibris publication, she has agreed to add text to the front cover which will distinguish the Bahamian printing.   

As stated in our original response, the release of a title’s high resolution files is contingent upon cancellation of the publication with Xlibris.  However, due to the erroneous information given her by an Xlibris representative and her agreement to how the files will be used, we are willing to make a goodwill exception in her case.

With her confirmation of acceptance of these terms through your office, we will prepare the high resolution files and send them to her.  As she has asked to have them sent electronically to her drop box, we will do so if feasible or, if not possible, we will contact her to arrange an alternate method of transfer.

We trust this information illustrates the steps we have taken to address Ms. ******’s concern.

Sincerely,

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction  

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ******** and find that this resolution would be satisfactory to me.  I will wait until for the business to perform this action and, if it does, will consider this complaint resolved.

Regards,

***** ******

 

2/11/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: re: Now Is All I Have e-book ID ****** Last September I was given the 50 clicks promotional tool to sell my book. I was afforded three months of this service which was included in the package that I bought. That was satisfied after three days with an additional 100,000 hits. When my royalty report came alight it stated that I hadn't had any sales during that third quarter period which statistically not possible. In October I was caught off guard when I looked at your Xlibris e-book store and found my book no longer there nor was it on Nook or Kindle. I immediately called Xlibris to complain and I was told that the matter would be taken care of in three to five business days but a few hours later a representative called me and left a nervous message that it had been reinstated. I have been requesting an investigation in these matters but to no avail. Instead they have given me weak excuses and they have transfered all over the place ending with only a voice mail. I subsecuently leave one but I never get a call back. I even called the person in specificaly in charge of complaints six times with no call back.

Desired Settlement: That an audit be done of the 50 clicks promotional tool, that an adequate investigation be done as to why my book disapeared from the e-book platforms in October and that customer service improves

Business Response:

Dear BBB:

 

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to clarify further the appearance of Mr. ******’s eBook on the Xlibris bookstore and distribution reseller sites, the correlation between the fulfillment of his package marketing service and sales reporting.  

 

Mr. **** ****** signed up with Xlibris on May 24, 2013 to publish an electronic book entitled “*** ** *** * ****”.  He was contacted by a Submissions Representative and his manuscript was received two months later on July 24, 2012.

 

Title Release Timeline

The publication process for an eBook requires the author to review the design and layout of the work using the printed book format specifications due to technology limitations. eBook files are not divided by page and therefore the best way to identify and implement changes to the file is by following the standard printed book process. 

 

After receiving Mr. ******’s approval of the design and layout of the printed copy on August 27, 2013, the work was then converted to an electronic format. The additional conversion process takes three (3) to six (6) weeks from the approval date to complete the specific requirements of the multiple eBook reading devices.  The work was made available for sale through Xlibris and submitted for reseller distribution on September 14, 2013. Attached is a copy of the email sent to Mr. ****** confirming the completion of his electronic book. As each reseller is responsible for their own website, we have no control over when they will update their website.

 

Title Appearance on Xlibris Bookstore, Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Mr. ****** contacted Xlibris through our Customer Support hotline on October 2, 2013 claiming that his book was not available on the Xlibris bookstore.  The representative walked him through how to use the search features on the Xlibris bookstore and he was able to locate his book.

 

On October 28th, Mr. ****** contacted Xlibris again claiming that his book was not on the Xlibris website nor was it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble and asked for price change status.  Mr. ****** agreed to allow us the opportunity to investigate his title’s listings.  An hour later after confirming its availability online (a copy of the search findings is attached), the Customer Support Representative contacted Mr. ****** to inform him that the book is in fact available through Xlibris, Amazon and Barnes and Noble at the revised price of  $10.99.  The representative left a message on Mr. ******’s voicemail after not being able to speak with him. A follow up call was made to Mr. ****** on November 1, 2013 and an email was also sent after not being able to successfully contact him. 

 

Almost two (2) months later, Mr. ****** contacted Xlibris on December 30, 2013 regarding the same concern and was again informed that his book appears on the Xlibris bookstore and is available online, was never removed from distribution. 

 

Mr. ****** asks for an investigation into the absence of his title from our bookstore and distribution websites.  As we found no interruption of the posting of his book on the Xlibris website bookstore and his book appeared on the distribution websites he references within the conversion timeline and continues to appear, we cannot verify his claim of its absence.  Since Mr. ****** has not provided any evidence that his book’s listing did not appear such as a screen shot of a search for his book that shows no listing, we are unable to investigate further. 

 

Search Engine Marketing Service

Mr. ******’s publishing package includes a Search Engine Marketing Campaign called SEM 50.  This service targets Google users who utilize their search functionality.  By strategically choosing keywords, Mr. ******’s book was exposed to consumers when they searched those words and they were given the opportunity to go to a website that Mr. ****** selected, discover more about his book and decide whether to purchase a copy. The service includes fifty (50) consumer clicks to access the website within a 90 day period.   

 

A Post Fulfillment report was sent to Mr. ****** on October 10, 2013, listing the performance of the service within the duration of the campaign. The report also explained that the number of clicks do not automatically translate to a certain number of sales or number of people who will purchase copies of the book. We have attached the email and the report sent to Mr. ****** for your reference.

 

Royalty Concerns

Mr. ****** questions the sales and royalty report for the Quarter 3 2013.

 

Sales reports are provided by each of our eBook distributors and are collated, verified for royalty eligibility and royalties disbursed quarterly.  Sales data and royalty earnings are reported 45 days after the end of the quarter to ensure we have received all reports and have had sufficient time to process the data.

 

Quarterly statements showing the sales and royalty data are posted to each author’s password protected online account after the reconciliation process is complete and the royalty payouts disbursed. Partial sales data may appear on the author’s online account at any time within the quarter; however, the final and official sales data is calculated after the end of each quarter.  The quarterly payment schedule is listed below and also appears on the Xlibris website:

·          First Quarter: January 1 – March 31 (Payments are made mid May)

·          Second Quarter: April 1 – June 30 (Payments are made mid August)

·          Third Quarter: July 1 – September 30 (Payments are made mid November)

·         Fourth Quarter: October 1 – December 31 (Payments are made mid February)

 

Mr. ******’s book *** ** *** * **** was made available for purchase August 27, 2013, during the third quarter.  No sales were reported for Mr. ******’s title from the date of release thru the end of the quarter, September 30, 2013.  If Mr. ****** can provide documentary evidence of sales made that he believes were not reported we can dispute the reports received from our distribution partners with them.  The type of evidence needed is a dated sales receipt, the vendor name and date of purchase.

 

Customer Service

Mr. ****** expresses displeasure in the responsiveness of our staff to his phone calls. As addressing the needs of our clients is of utmost importance to us, we conducted an inquiry of the inbound and outbound calls for the phone number of record which is the same as the number listed on this complaint,************ from the time of the books release, September 13 to present.   A log of the calls is attached for your reference with notations regarding the call concern. 

 

Please note that the inbound calls were answered by customer service representatives to whom Mr. ****** was able to explain his concerns. For general information questions, the representative was able to provide an immediate answer.  However, as the log shows, for more in depth or specific status questions such as those Mr. ****** has posed in his complaint, the customer service representatives sought to either connect him with the appropriate department or individual with access to the information he was seeking or to arrange for an investigation to be conducted with results to follow.   Our staff is expected to respond to inquiries within a twenty-four (24) to forty-eight (48) hours timeframe. There are certain situations that may increase this response time such as corporate holiday closures, the sheer volume of calls on a given day or acts of nature (blizzards, tornados, hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes, etc.)  In scenarios where the caller cannot be reached by phone an email response is provided.

 

 

In summary, Mr. ******’s title has been available for purchase on the Xlibris bookstore without interruption since its original posting.  The distribution network websites listed his title within the timetable for new releases and it has not been withdrawn from distribution. The SEM50 marketing service was fulfilled as described and a report of the results provided Mr. ****** upon its completion.  Sales for the third quarter of 2013 were audited and no sales were found; fourth quarter 2013 sales data will be available mid February. 

 

Sincerely,

 

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

2/7/2014 Problems with Product/Service
2/3/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Received a product of poor quality. When asked for them to fix same they agreed;however, when I received product, the problem was not fixed. They now refused to fix the copies that they sent to me. They told me that all future orders will be fixed. I want them to fix the order that they sent me as well as all future orders.

Desired Settlement: I want the five copies of my book that were printed with dark and muddy photographers to be reprinted at no extra charge. I want the photos to be printed like the copy that they sent to me for my approval on July 9, 2013.

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for the opportunity to describe the actions we have taken to address the printing of Ms. ******’s book.

 

Ms. ****** is concerned about the quality of the photos printed in the five (5) copies of her book she received as a part of her package.  As AuthorHouse uses print on demand technology to fill book order, books are printed only when an order has been placed. AuthorHouse maintains agreements with several print partners to print orders and provides each print partner with author-approved print files to install in their print system for use in producing copies of the book.  Orders are sent to print partners based upon several criteria including but not limited to, order type, book type, printer capacity, order destination.  Due to the fact that orders are printed at different times by different print partners on their facility’s machinery, some variation from order to order is possible.

 

Once the galleys of a title are approved by the author, the files are sent to our printer network for installation into their print systems. An operational copy from our primary distribution print partner, Lightning Source, is sent to the author as verification that the printer has successfully and correctly installed the title in their system. Once the author has reviewed the printer’s operational copy, those copies included in the publishing package can be ordered.

 

Upon approval by Ms. ****** of the cover and interior galleys of her title, her book was released to our print partners on May 29th.  On June 4, 2013, Ms. ****** called regarding the clarity of the images in the printer copy she had received. A review of the images was initiated and after conferring with the printer, adjustments were made to better adapt the color images submitted for use in her black and white book as described in the attached email. The files were revised and with her approval resubmitted to the printer on July 12, 2013, resulting in a new printer copy to be sent.  

 

An order for the five (5) package copies of Ms. ******’s title was placed on July 22, 2013 with our print partner, Edwards Brothers after receipt of confirmation that the revised file had been installed in their print system. 

 

On August 6th, Ms. ****** contacted us stating that the author’s print copy was good but the five (5) package copies had unclear images. Ms. ****** returned the copies to the printer for review and on August 27th, the post publication supervisor advised her of the results of the printer’s evaluation.  A copy of the email is attached for your reference.  The printer stated that while these copies did print a bit darker than the Lightning Source printer copy, they are still within the printer’s acceptable 10% variance and therefore not eligible for replacement. 

 

The package copies were forwarded to our office with only four (4) of the five (5) copies arriving, each in a separate shipping container.  Three (3) of these copies were returned to Ms. ******.  Two copies were reprinted thru Lightning Source, one replacing the copy that did not arrive at our office, and one to replace the copy that arrived but was damaged while in transit. The reprint order was delivered on October 28th, tracking number ******************.  

 

In summary, as the package copies printed by Edwards Brothers were within acceptable printer variance they were not eligible for replaceable at no charge.  The package copies have been returned to Ms. ****** or replaced due to shipping damage.  As agreed, all future orders will be routed to the print partner, Lightning Source.   

 

Sincerely,

 

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

Regards,

****** ******

 

 The book with acceptable photos were approved by me with the reassurance that my photos would look like the ones in the approved book. This did not happen. Authorhouse sent my book to be printed by another printer which did substandard job to the quality of my photos in the book. Now Authorhouse is advising me to order more books at my expense and they will make sure that I will receive acceptable photos. I already paid over $800.00 and all I received was a substandard product. This could have been resolved with the reprinting of my ordered books using the printer that they used for the book that I approved.

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID*******, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

Please note that Authorhouse was aware of the poor quality prints and assured me that after going thru the production process for a second time, that my photos would be fine. It was with this assurance that I ordered my five copies as well as telling family and friends to order their copies. Unfortunately, Authorhouse sent my order and my friends order to a different printer. Prints of the photos were unacceptable. Books were returned. Authorhouse claimed that the prints were in variance of acceptability. This is maybe true but this is not what they promised me. Now Authorhouse is once again promising me that all of my future orders will be what I wanted. Cannot trust them. They claim that they reprinted two of the five correctly. If so, then they owe my three books. Please resend the three books printed with acceptable print quality. No dark and muddy but light and easy to see.

Regards,

****** ******

 

 

Business Response:

Dear BBB:

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to further clarify for Ms. ****** the results of our investigation into the print quality of the images in her publishing package book order.

In June 2013, the issue of darkness in the images was investigated after Ms. ****** received the initial printer copy from our distribution channel printer.  The attached email speaks to the findings which lead to the changing of the levels of gray in the print files.  The email also states that by lightening the midtones and bumping up the contrast, the pictures “might be ok.”  Please note that no guarantee was given that this refinement would resolve the darkness issue.  The files were changed and resubmitted to our print partners with AuthorHouse absorbing the resubmission costs.

As stated in our previous responses, the initial printer copy (ordered 5/30/13) and the revised printer copy (ordered 7/15/13) were printed by the distribution channel printer.  However, orders for the books contained in her publishing package (ordered 7/22/13) and any volume orders placed by an author directly from their AuthorHouse Book Consultant are routed to and printed by a different printer resource.

Our initial investigation verified that the files used to print the package books in July were the resubmitted files.  We have since re-verified this fact.  Ms. ******* order was reviewed by the print partner and our distribution manager and the results found the books to be within the 10% printer variance allowance as described in our previous responses.  We respectively decline the request for replacement of the order.

As explained in our previous responses, Ms. ****** states she sent the order in question for five (5) copies to us. After reviewing and investigating the print quality, we found the order to be in compliance with the industry variance standard and therefore the order was returned to her.  However, the number of books we received was four (4), one (1) less than the five (5) of Ms. *****s’ package book order.  In addition, one (1) of the returned copies was damaged in transit to us.  In the interest of goodwill we chose to replace both the damaged copy and the undelivered copy. Subsequently, three (3) of the original copies were returned to Ms. ****** and once the lost and damaged copies were printed, they were shipped to  Ms. *******   

In conclusion, we acted in good faith to lighten the images in Ms. ******* work prior to the fulfillment of her publishing package books. The revised files are installed at our printers and used to fill orders. The package book order Ms. *****s received is within the industry variance allowance and therefore not eligible for replacement.  The five (5) copies of Ms. *****s’ publishing package commitment have been fulfilled. 

Sincerely,

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

 

2/3/2014 Problems with Product/Service
1/30/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I went through this company to publish a book. I paid them $500 and was told I could stop the process at anytime and get a refund. When they wanted me to change some material I told them I wanted a refund. This has been months ago and all I get is the go around when trying to get my refund. Then I was later told my refund would be less then I was originally told. I believe this is unacceptable because I was told one thing then told another, and still haven't received my refund.

Desired Settlement: what I was told at the beginning I would like $500.

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to comply with Mr. ******** request for cancellation of his agreement and receipt of a refund.

 

Mr. ******** purchased a publishing package on July 30, 2013 from his Publishing Consultant, **** *****.  At that time, he was sent a copy of the Terms & Conditions of the Publishing Agreement (please see attached Terms & Conditions and logged copy of that email).  Mr. ******** also spoke with a representative of our Payment Plans Department, who explained to him the refund policy, to which he verbally agreed.

 

Per the Terms & Conditions of the Services Agreement, Schedule A, 5. Refunds, eligibility for refund is based upon where the work is in its preparation for publication:

Prior to submission of manuscript, 100% of purchase price less a $150 administrative fee.

After submission of manuscript, but prior to star of interior design 50% of purchase price.

After start of interior design, but prior to final sign-off 25% purchase price.

After six months from contract date all refunds are at the discretion of SERVICE PROVIDER.

 

When Mr. ******** submitted his manuscript, it was evaluated by the Content Department to ensure that all of the material would align with AuthorHouse guidelines, including originality of content and lack of private or potentially libelous information.  It was determined that the manuscript contained material that did not align with the guidelines, and Mr. ********’ Design Consultant, **** *******, informed him of this on September 18.

 

Ms. ***** spoke with Mr. ******** on September 24 and October 2, at which time she arranged with her supervisor for a second Content Evaluator to review the material.  It was determined that the material was indeed too private to be printed without permission.  On November 11, Mr. ******** sent Ms. ***** an email, requesting a refund of the $500 he had paid for the publishing package, less the $150 administrative fee cited in the Terms & Conditions (please see attached email).  After that time, Ms. ***** reached out to Mr. ******** via telephone, but was unable to reach him.

 

Upon receipt of this complaint on January 2nd an investigation was initiated.  We found that the refund request protocol had not been followed by Ms. ***** and therefore, the request had not reached our Finance department for implementation.  As responsiveness to the needs of our clients is of upmost importance to us, this lack of action has been addressed appropriately. We thank Mr. ******** for alerting us to his situation and apologize for the delay in getting his refund to him.  

 

The refund was immediately endorsed to our Finance Department for processing and his publishing agreement cancelled.  As of January 8, a refund of $350 was processed back to Mr. ********’ credit card, in three installments.  This refund should appear on Mr. ********’ card within five business days.

$166.67 to Visa ending 3537, transaction ID ********************************

$166.67 to Visa ending 3537, transaction ID ********************************

$16.66 to Visa ending 3537, transaction ID ******************************** 

In summary, again, we apologize to Mr. ******** for the delay in processing his refund request.  Mr. ********’ publishing project has been cancelled and his account has been credited the $350 refund due to him in accordance with the terms & conditions of his publishing services agreement.

 

Sincerely,

 

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

1/24/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Xlibris.com a Publishing Company has been messing with me for almost a year now telling me they would Publish my Book for 1200 Dollars But every month since July they say there has been problems with my graphics because I do not buy the site that they use I can not afford to buy there site I told them this many times so I get my Graphics from friends or Family The Company has done nothing with my book except to tell me they can't use my graphics each time I turn around This has really put a tremendous amount of stress on me to where I am looking at another Mental Breakdown They tell me they are going to Charge me 300 dollars for doing nothing If This Company does it to One how many others is it doing To Also

Desired Settlement: After You Check into this Company I want a Full Refund If you want Verification Call my Sister ***** *** ********** or Brother in Law ******* ********** they both will fill you in on what this company has done at ************ or ************

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to describe the steps taken to assist Mr. ****** with the publication of his books.

 

Mr. ******* ****** signed up with Xlibris on April 5, 2013 to publish with Xlibris, taking advantage of a special “Buy One Get One for $1.00” promotional offering. Mr. ****** purchased four (4) Picture Book-Poetry publishing packages through this offer, paying $599.00 each for two (2) packages and $1.00 each for the accompanying two (2) packages. ****** chose to use an installment payment plan which added a $30 non-refundable bank processing fee to each offer, making his total for the four (4) packages $1260.00.  Mr. ****** made the first payment totaling $461.32 that day with the remaining two payments each set up for auto-charge on the same day of the two following months. 

 

Mr. ******’s manuscript for his first book was submitted to Xlibris and as is customary, endorsed for content review. In the content review Xlibris checks the manuscript for potential libel, copyright or plagiarism issues and advises the author of those potential areas of concern prior to proceeding with publication. This service does not remove the liability from the author for the content but is provided to assist in avoiding any legal or other content related issues with the book. However, Xlibris will not publish a book that does not fully pass a content evaluation first.

 

Mr. ******’s first manuscript was flagged due to the use of copyrighted images which were submitted to Xlibris without permission from the copyright owners. Mr. ****** was given recommendations concerning the areas that had yet to pass the content evaluation process on April 19, 2013. He was advised to seek the permission to use the images from the copyright owners or replace them with copyright free images.

 

Mr. ****** initially declined to follow the content review recommendations and requested to cancel the service.  Before the refund was processed, Mr. ****** contacted his publishing consultant and reversed his request, deciding to continue working on his book. 

 

Due to personal health concerns, Mr. ****** appointed his sister, ***** *** ********** as the designated point of contact for the production updates for his book. Subsequently, Mr. ******’s submissions representative assisted him in downloading copyright free images for his work and the initial proofs were sent to him for review on July 30, 2013.

 

Upon receipt of the review proofs, Mr. ****** contacted Xlibris to inform us that several pages were missing from his original work. Xlibris informed Mr. ****** that the proofs were created out of the files he submitted to us. After several exchanges and submission options provided to Mr. ****** and Ms. **********, Xlibris received the complete manuscript on September 30, 2013.

 

After reviewing the complete file, Mr. ****** submitted additional images and was asked to provide the necessary permission required for the additional images. Mr. ****** was assisted by one of our Production supervisors and provided recommendations to pass content evaluation on November 9, 2013. Mr. ****** refused his cooperation and requested to cancel the publishing packages he had purchased from Xlibris. In an effort to assist him further, Xlibris also tried contacting Ms. ********** to discuss possible options for Mr. ******’s book but was not able to get a hold of her.

 

Our Customer Satisfaction Department contacted Mr. ****** to discuss the refund process and the applicable fees on November 22, 2013. Two of the four publishing packages purchased by Mr. ****** were each subject to a $150 administrative fee but Xlibris offered to waive the second $150 administrative charge. We have attached the email sent to Mr. ****** for your reference.

 

The refund was approved for payout on December 3, 2013; however, on the same day Mr. ****** contacted Xlibris to proceed with the publication of his book, delete the images in question and rescind his cancellation request.  Per his request the publishing services were reinstated to Mr. ******’s account on December 5, 2013.  We have attached Mr. ******’s email to Xlibris for your reference.

 

With the receipt of this complaint on December 18th, Mr. ****** has again reversed his stance on publishing his works.  Xlibris has again processed the cancellation of Mr. ******’s account with Xlibris. Due to the holiday schedule, the refund of $1,050 was processed to Mr. ******’s card on January 6, 2014 with transaction number *******************.

 

We trust this information illustrates the steps we have taken to address Mr. ******’s concerns.

 

Sincerely,

 

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

1/22/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: On July 4, 2012 I submitted my book for self-publishing to booktango.com. On August 25, 2012, I canceled my eBook from their website because I did not feel it was beneficial for me. I had yet to receive any royalties and I ultimately chose to take my book off their website and market my book differently. Over a year later, in November 2013, I found out that this company had sold my book after I had canceled it (WHICH IN ITSELF IS ILLEGAL) and they never ONCE sent me my royalty check for what they did. I contacted customer service and their response was that anyone could purchase the book and it is nothing they can do about it now. This is what the customer representative told me in an email, "Your book was completed on the 4th of July, 2012. We received your ebook cancellation request on the 25th of August, 2012. The ebook was cancelled from our bookstore 24-48 hours from the time we received your request. On the other hand, on the day that we received your cancellation request, we sent resellers site request for your ebooks removal. Since we do not have the control over to updating the list of the ebooks on resellers site, your ebook was still listed after the ebook was cancelled from our end. The cancellation process to the resellers site takes time. It is ultimately the responsibility of the eBook vendors to update their information. That is the reason why you got two sales on the month of September 2012 since Barnes and Noble has not yet updated their listing." However, booktango also sold my book to a public library.Finally, January 4, 2014 I received a check in the mail. Assuming it would all be over and I would just let things go even though my book is out there in the world without my permission. I opened up my mail and the check said $3.50 instead of $7.00 which the customer rep. said I was suppose to get back. I still have the emails that were sent. My book was sold without my permission, I have yet to receive any royalties, and I have not received an apology.

Desired Settlement: I want this to be dealt with in the upmost regard. I spent five year writing my book only for a company to give it away for pennies. My book took hard work and dedication and I deserve to be paid properly. What this company did to me was wrong and I want to file a complaint against them but I also want what belongs to me (ex. royalties).

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to confirm the cancellation of Ms. ****’s title and ensure that she receives royalties for sales of her title.

 

Process of book cancellation

Ms. **** states that her book was sold after she requested her book, “****** **** **** *** ****” be cancelled.  Ms. **** contacted Booktango on 8/25/2012 via email to have her book removed from Booktango’s bookstore and other vendors and her email and the response is attached in the document labeled Cancellation Email. 

 

The cancellation process involves requesting our outside vendors remove the book from their website which takes 30-45 days. Ms. ****’s book was marked as cancelled in our system on 8/25/2012 and was not sold through our website.

 

Ms. **** contacted us on October, 7, 2012 stating her book was listed on Scribd.com and asked why.  A transcript of the phone conversation between Ms. **** and customer support may be found in the Cancellation Email document.  Ms. ****’s title appeared on the vendor’s website as the 30-45 day window for vendors to remove a cancelled title from their website had yet to be reached.  A follow-up was made by Booktango to the vendor at that time.   

 

Royalty Concerns

Royalties are paid quarterly according to the following schedule which is also posted on the Booktango website:

·         First Quarter: January 1 – March 31 (Payments are made end of May)

·         Second Quarter: April 1 – June 30 (Payments are made end of August)

·         Third Quarter: July 1 – September 30 (Payments are made end of November)

·         Fourth Quarter: October 1 – December 31 (Payments are made end of February)

 

On November 9, 2013, Ms. **** inquired about the payment of royalties for two (2) eBook sales from September 2012.  An audit of the sales reported for Ms. ****’s title (report attached) was conducted and confirms that two (2) sales occurred in September 2012.

 

Our investigation also found that although these sales were reported to Booktango, a system glitch occurred in the transfer of the data for royalty payout. Upon our discovery of the glitch Ms. **** was advised she would be paid the $7.00 owed during the payout for the third quarter of 2013. Ms. **** was sent a letter with a check dated December 31, 2013 explaining why there was a discrepancy in her royalties and a copy of that letter is attached for your reference. The glitch was remediated and the royalty eligible sales were endorsed for payment. 

 

With the receipt of this complaint we reviewed the steps taken to remedy the original issue and found that the sales were successfully endorsed for payment, however, the system was reflecting an improper royalty percentage, resulting in a discrepancy in the amount paid Mr. ****. A new check for the missing $3.50 was mailed to Ms. **** on January 15, 2014 via USPS Certified with Return Receipt #**** **** **** **** ****.

 

In conclusion, Ms. ****’s book was cancelled as requested and according to our cancellation protocol which affords vendors time to remove the title from their websites.  Ms **** has been paid for the sales made during this removal period. We extend our sincere apology to Ms. **** for the delay in getting her royalties to her and ask for her understanding.

 

We trust this information demonstrates the steps we have taken to see that Ms. **** is paid royalties for the sales of her eBook.

 

Sincerely,

 

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

1/17/2014 Problems with Product/Service
1/17/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: As my credit card has been overcharged for the amount of $ 434.00 (see enclosure no.1) by Authorhouse Press (1663, Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403. Phone 4192801802. Email: ***********************.com) for the republication of my book *** ***** *****, and after being offered to pay only $ 300.00 (see enclosure 2), it is clear that I have been made subject to exploitation by the above company. I, therefore, wish to obtain a refund of $ 134.00 in addition to the Author's free copies and book stubs which have been denied to me because Authorhouse requests more money.

Desired Settlement: I have serious suspicions concerning the checks Authorhouse sent me (as author's benefits) over a period of more than two years, for the publication of 3 books. The total amount is $ 52.67. I wish this should be checked.

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to clarify the charge to Mr. ** ******* account and his book sales, royalty earnings and payments.

 

Allegation of Overcharging

Mr. ** ***** states that he has been overcharged for the republication of his book.  He cites an email sent by *** ******* on August 20, 2013, agreeing to charge only $300 for a resubmission and retech of Mr. ** ******* book *** ***** *****.  This process would involve making the necessary changes to the book’s design files, then resubmitting the files to the printer.  The listed rate for these changes is $500, but Mr. ******* offered a discounted rate of $300.  Rather than go through the process of resubmission and retech, however, Mr. ** ***** chose to purchase a new publishing package through his Publishing Consultant, ******* *********.  Attached is the email Mr. ********* sent on September 17, 2013, listing the inclusions of the new package and the cost and Mr. ** ******* reply indicating that he did receive the message and agreed to the discounted price of $434.  On that day, Mr. ** ***** also spoke with a representative of the Finance Department to make his payment, and he agreed verbally to the charge of $434.

 

On September 30, 2013, Mr. ** ***** contacted Mr. ********* to express his concerns that he was charged more than $300 for the publishing package.  As Mr. ********* explained in the attached email, Mr. ** ***** purchased a new publishing package at a steep discount, rather than only proceeding with the discounted resubmission and retech procedures for his existing book. 

 

By purchasing a new package, Mr. ** ***** received additional benefits, including the three (3) package copies and ten (10) bookstubs to which he refers—had he chosen the resubmission and retech, he would not have received these benefits.  As Mr. ** ***** was informed by Mr. ******* on December 2, 2013, he will need to contact his Book Consultant ******* ****** to process the order for the package copies, and he will need to contact his Marketing Services Representative ***** ****** to process the order for the Bookstubs.

 

Royalty Concerns

Mr. ** ***** states he has suspicions concerning the royalty checks he has received since his books were released but does not elaborate on what those suspicions are. 

 

By definition a print-on-demand title is only printed when an order is received.  Therefore the number of sales is determined by the number of copies printed.  The e-book version of a POD title is also released only as ordered but in electronic format.  To verify sales a report is provided by each of our print partners and ebook distributors. The reports are collated, verified for royalty eligibility and royalties disbursed quarterly.  Statements are posted quarterly to the authors account once the reconciliation process is completed.

 

Quarterly Statements showing the sales and royalty data are posted to each author’s password protected online account after the reconciliation process is complete and the royalty payouts disbursed. Partial sales data may appear on the author’s online account at any time within the quarter; however, the final and official sales data is calculated after the end of each quarter.  The quarterly payment schedule is listed below and also appears on the AuthorHouse website:

 

·         First Quarter: January 1 – March 31 (Payments are made end of May)

·         Second Quarter: April 1 – June 30 (Payments are made end of August)

·         Third Quarter: July 1 – September 30 (Payments are made end of November)

·         Fourth Quarter: October 1 – December 31 (Payments are made end of February)

 

Sales Audit Results

To verify the accuracy of the sales and royalty information posted on Mr. ** ******* Author Center, we requested an audit of our distribution partners for each of Ms. ** ******* ISBNs.

 

The attached Books Printed Report is a compilation of the reports received from our distribution print partners and identifies each print source, order type, order quantity, shipping date and order comments for Mr. ** ******* ISBNs.   The order type designates royalty earning eligibility with “DI” (printed for distribution) indicating royalty earning sales and “DS” (direct sale) indicating non-royalty earning printings such as copies included in the publishing package, author direct purchases and copies for the Library of Congress. 

 

As eBook sales are not physically printed and therefore not reported through the Books Printed Reporting, our eBook distributors report sales through Publishers Compensation Reports.

Please reference the attached Royalty Report which combines the results of the Publishers Compensation Reports and the Books Printed Report into one document. This report confirms the quantity and type of sales reported to Mr. ** ***** through his Quarterly Statements and Monthly Sales History reports that are accessible to him through his password protected Author Center account. 

If Mr. ** ***** can provide documentary evidence of sales made that he believes were not reported we can dispute the reports received by our distribution partners with them.  The type of evidence needed is a dated sales receipt, the vendor name and date of purchase or the printer code found on the last interior page of the book.

 

Royalty Payments

The attached Quarterly Royalty Payment Report lists the royalties earned, tax withheld, check number, date of issue and date the check cleared the bank for both of Mr. ** ******* titles. This information is in accordance with the royalty payment schedule listed above and corresponds with the earnings posted to the statements on Mr. ** ******* Author Center account. Also please note that we have confirmed that Mr. ** ***** has cashed each of the checks sent him (see attached).

 

Please note that for Quarter 4 2012 sales, federal taxes were withheld.  We are required by the Internal Revenue Service to withhold federal tax unless the author completes and files a W-9 form with us.  This form was later completed and filed resulting in no federal taxes withheld for quarters following.

 

In summary, Mr. ** ***** chose to purchase a new publishing package rather than a resubmission and retech.  He agreed to this process and the fee both via email as well as verbally.  In order to receive his package copies and his Bookstubs, he will need to contact his Book Consultant and his Marketing Services Representative. An audit of sales and royalties was conducted confirming that Mr. ** ***** has been paid royalties correctly.

 

Sincerely,

 

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

Regards,

******** ** *****


 

Please note that the response of the manager of author satisfaction concerning the above complaint is convincing to me. Yet, it overlooks the following points:

(1) The publishing consultant’s and the production manager’s failure to help the author understand the difference between the “resubmission and retch”, on the one hand, and the “purchase of a new package”, on the other. They had to explain it in advance so as to avoid misunderstanding.

(2) The responder’s failure to clarify why did the concerned company offer such a ‘steep’ discounted price, to use their words, which was at sharp contrast with their prices at the time. Was it sheer disinterestedness?

(3) As the above company is asking for additional fees for sending the author’s “free” copies and book stubs, which is contradictory to its former practice, I request delivering the above items to the author free of charge, as before, and as soon as possible.

 

With the best of my wishes to you and to BBB.

Yours faithfully

******** ** *****

 

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to further clarify Mr. ** ******* purchase of a third publishing package and his added concern over shipping and handling costs.

 

Mr. ** ******* rebuttal centers around three (3) points.  We will address these as submitted.

Resubmission and re-tech contrasted with the purchase of new package.

It is not uncommon for an author to release new editions of a previously published work under separate ISBN numbers.  The cover may remain the same with a reference to “Second Edition” or “Third Edition” or other verbiage indicating that new material has been added.  This republishing gives the new version a separate identity and added marketplace appeal.

 

As documented in our original response, Mr. ** ***** was offered a discounted resubmission and retech of one of his books by *** ******* on August 20, 2013.   A review of their communications shows that the offer was extended for a revision of his package that did not include a hardcover version, “****** ** * *****.”  The fee for retech and resubmission for packages with both softcover and hardcover versions is $500.   No evidence that Mr. ** ***** accepted any offer for a resubmission and retech for either of his books could be found. 

 

Mr. ** ***** asked to be put in touch with Mr. ********* to republish his book and completed the purchase on September 17th.

 

Suggestion that the offering of a “steep” discount shows “disinterestedness” 

Mr. ** ***** questions why he was offered a discount on his new publishing package.  Like many businesses, AuthorHouse offers discounted prices to current and potential clients for a variety of reasons.  In this case, Mr. ********* offered Mr. ** ***** a discounted rate as this was his third publishing package with us.  Although Mr. ** ***** suggests that the offer of a discount shows disinterest, the existence of an offer below the standard purchase price confirms the opposite, a thank you to the author for repeatedly choosing AuthorHouse for their publishing services. In this scenario, Mr. ** ***** has more than one project with AuthorHouse and had asked for some cost consideration in his emails to Mr. ******* and Mr. *********.   

 

Shipping and handling fees

Mr. ** ***** states that shipping and handling fees were not charged previously for “free” copies and book stubs for his other packages and therefore should not be charged for the shipping of books on the new package. 

 

A single printer copy of each version of the title (soft cover and hardcover if part of the elements of the package) is printed and shipped to the author at no charge. Any additional copies of the book included as part of the package are subject to shipping and handling costs.  This information is included on the receipt Mr. ** ***** received with his package purchases and is also on the website with each package description.  A review of the orders placed to fulfill his package books found:

·         Mr. ** ***** paid $14.74 in September 2012 for the books in his Legacy Hardcover Publishing Package…five (5) softcover and three (3) hardcover books.

·         In May 2013, he received an order for forty (40) copies of his book, “****** ** * *****” which included the five (5) Legacy Publishing Package books.  He paid shipping and handling on all the books included in the order, $36.23.

 

 

In summary, Mr. ** ***** *** not exercise the retech and resubmission offer given and contacted his Publishing Consultant to republish his book.  He purchased the publishing package at a discounted rate, as he is a returning author.  Mr. ** ***** paid for the shipping and handling costs for the books included in his two previous packages.

 

Sincerely,

 

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ******** and find that this resolution would be satisfactory to me.  I will wait until for the business to perform this action and, if it does, will consider this complaint resolved.

Regards,

******** ** *****

Greetings. I have nothing to add. Grateful to BBB.

1/2/2014 Problems with Product/Service
12/31/2013 Problems with Product/Service
12/23/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: The contract states that i have to notify them in writing that I want to cancel all services with them. I have sent 3 letters in the mail and emailed them twice and spoke on the phone too many times to count. i just sent another email with the signed letter attached. i have been trying to get them to cancel services and quit printing my book for 4 months now.

IUniverse has failed to pay me my royalties dating back to April 2012. They currently owe me $78.01. They have promised for over a year that the "check was in the mail" even though I signed up for automatic payments to my checking account which they have NEVER deposited money into. The only payment I have ever received from them took over a year to get and I had to make a complaint with the BBB to get.

Desired Settlement: Cancel my contract and stop advertising and selling my book ** *** **** **** *****
I want my royalties deposited into my checking account that they have on file and I want it done now.

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to clarify for Ms. ************ that her royalties have been paid and her book cancelled.

 

Title Cancellation

Ms. ************ has requested her book, “** *** **** **** *****” be cancelled stating that she has sent three (3) letters in the mail, two (2) emails and made numerous phone calls regarding cancellation of her book.  We initiated an investigation to determine if our customer support staff had failed to act on her requests.

 

We requested a search of our Media Data Center logs for all of 2013.  The Media Data Center (MDC) staff  logs all packages and mail received in our office and lists by sender, date received, carrier, content type, the person or department to whom the correspondence or package content was delivered and date of delivery.  Our review of the logs for 2013 found no record of correspondence received from Ms. ****** ************ (or derivatives of the name such as ** ************, ****** ****** ** *****, ****** ******* ** ******).

 

As Ms. ************ did not specify in the complaint to what address she sent cancellation emails we are only able to confirm if cancellation requests were directed to the customersupport@iuniverse.com email account or the MyUniverse customer care email box and forwarded to the Cancellation Department for action. As no cancellation requests were forwarded to the Cancellation Department until Ms.************** email of November 19, 2013 (see details below), we are unable to establish that her emails were received by us.   

 

We also requested an inbound and outbound call report for all of 2013 for the phone number provided by Ms. ************ in her complaint filing, 541-********.  The report (copy attached) shows a total of eight (8) calls involving the phone number. Of those, seven (7) were outbound made by our staff to the number and the remaining call was an inbound call placed on November 19th resulting in a conversation between Ms. ************* and  ***** ***** (see details below). 

 

From the activity notes, we are able to confirm that the purpose of Ms. ************** November 19th call was to request cancellation of her book and ask about royalties. Mr. ***** advised Ms. ************ to send a signed letter of intent to cancel and he provided an email address to send the cancellation request to. Ms. ************ sent an email the same day (copy attached).  Her request was forwarded to the Cancellation Department and on November 22nd she was notified by email that her book had been cancelled (copy attached). 

 

Upon cancellation, we remove the files from our print partners and notification is sent to our distributors and resellers to cancel the book listings from their sites. Although Ms. ************** title can no longer be printed, we have no control over when resellers will remove the title from their respective sites or whether they will leave it posted for the sale of used copies.

 

Royalties

Ms. ************ states that she has not received royalties due her dating back to April 2012. To verify her claim a review of her book’s sales, royalty earnings and payments was conducted.

 

Royalties are paid according to the following schedule:

·         First Quarter: January 1 – March 31 (Payments are made end of May)

·         Second Quarter: April 1 – June 30 (Payments are made end of August)

·         Third Quarter: July 1 – September 30 (Payments are made end of November)

·         Fourth Quarter: October 1 – December 31 (Payments are made end of February

 

Royalties are paid quarterly by check following a $20 threshold requirement. Royalty for the first, second and third quarters must amount to at least $20 to be qualified for its quarter’s payout. Royalty earnings that fall below the threshold are forwarded to the next quarter until the amount qualifies for payout. If the accumulated royalty earnings fail to reach the threshold throughout the three quarters, royalty is paid out on the fourth quarter regardless of the amount.

 

An author may choose to receive their quarterly payments via electronic funds transfer (EFT) by providing the banking information necessary to complete the transfer. Payments made by EFT are not subject to the minimum threshold. 

 

As Ms. ************ did not submit her banking information for direct deposit until October 23, 2012, royalty payments prior to Q3 2012 were paid by check.

 

Attached is a listing of the sales for Ms. ************** title beginning with the release of her book in Q4 2011 (see attachment labeled “Sales Report”) and a report of the royalty payments made to her (see attachment labeled “Royalty Report”).  A review of the two reports confirms that royalty payments have been made for all sales through Q3 2013. 

 

As Ms. ************ claims to have not received royalties since April 2012, we call your attention to the Royalty Report which shows that:

·         Q1 and Q2 2012 were paid in a single check on August 28, 2012 with the check clearing the bank on November 9, 2012. 

·         Q3 2012 was paid through EFT on December 3, 2012. The bank refused the transfer and a check was issued on December 14, 2012.  This check was not returned to us.

·         Q4 2012, Q1 2013, Q2 2013 and Q3 2013 have all been paid through EFT and accepted by her bank.

·         Electronic Funds Transfers are posted as coming from CDI or Content Distributors Inc.

·         Per the Royalty Report and the royalty payment schedule all royalties have been paid.   

·         Any royalties earned in Q4 2013 will be paid according to the payment schedule.

 

We are unable to follow the status of every check we mail, but when checks are returned to our office they are replaced. Ms. ************** Q3 2012 check was mailed to the address on file: ***** * ***** ***** ***** ***** *** ****************, OR 97862.  The check was not returned to our office nor did Ms. ************ notify us in a timely manner that she had not received a check for that quarter. We have since determined that the Q3 2012 check # ****** has not been cashed.  We will reissue and mail the replacement to the address of record as listed above. Ms. ************ should receive it within two (2) weeks.

 

In summary, Ms. ************** book was cancelled within 3 days of receipt of her written request. Ms. ************ has been paid royalties for all sales to date.  One check, for Q3 2012, was not returned to us or cashed and is being reissued with delivery to the address of record.  Electronic funds transfers for the last three (3) quarters have been sent and accepted by her bank. We encourage Ms. ************ to check her bank statements for deposits from Content Distributors, Inc. or CDI, as none of the transfers have been returned to us.

 

Sincerely,

 

****** **************

12/18/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
12/10/2013 Problems with Product/Service
12/10/2013 Problems with Product/Service
11/25/2013 Problems with Product/Service
11/25/2013 Problems with Product/Service
11/22/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
11/20/2013 Problems with Product/Service
11/20/2013 Problems with Product/Service
11/18/2013 Problems with Product/Service
11/11/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I have had numerous calls from Xlibrius for a variety of 'opportunities,' all of which cost me money. Several months ago, I was getting up to 2 calls per day. Then, I told them not to call me again. I made the mistake of ordering more books (which I will never do again), and that has prompted more unsolicited calls. On 9/27, *** (from Xlibrius) called. I told him not to call me again. I hung up and he immediately called me back. I told him again, NEVER to call me. Today, 10/1, he called again.

Desired Settlement: Never to call me again.

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to provide information about the phone calls Ms. ***** has received from our staff. 

 

Tonya ***** signed up with Xlibris on November 23, 2011 to publish her book entitled “*** ****** ******”. The book completed publication and was made available for sale with Ms. *****’s approval on April 12, 2012.

 

Ms. ***** states that she received numerous calls from Xlibris staff regarding different “opportunities.”

 

To assist authors in positioning their book in the marketplace,  Xlibris offers an array of marketing services, publicity programs and events to increase the consumer’s and retailer’s awareness of an author’s book.  Authors are made aware of these opportunities through phone calls and emails. The purchase of any additional services or copies of their book is optional and at the author’s discretion.

 

Ms. ***** has two specialized consultants assigned to her book project, a marketing consultant and a book consultant.   The marketing consultant is responsible for keeping her informed of special offers, new products and seasonal programs that are conducive to the promotion of her book.  The book consultant is responsible for processing her personal book orders and making sure she is aware of any special book purchase promotions such as higher discounts, free copies, and special shipping arrangements.

 

Ms. ***** states that she was receiving up to two calls per day in recent months and asked to not be called again.  In response to her statement, we sought to determine if the frequency of calls from our staff was in violation of accepted telephone etiquette guidelines.  An audit of the outbound and inbound calls for her number of record, ************, was conducted for the period from January 1st through October 1st 2013.

 

The report shows that a total of 14 calls were made during the nine (9) month period. 

·         Two (2) were inbound calls from Ms. ***** to our office occurring on July 16th and October 1st.

·         Twelve (12) were outbound calls to Ms. ***** from Xlibris consultants assigned to her book.

·         Eight (8) of the outbound calls were single instance calls for the day occurring in seven (7) different  months:  One (1) each on January 11th, February 8th, April 16th, July 16th , August 7th, August 14th, September 24th and October 1st.

·         One (1) of the outbound calls was in response to Ms. *****’s inbound call of the same day, July 16th.

·         Ms. *****’s other inbound call was in response to our October 1st call to her.

·         Two (2) days during the period show two (2) outbound calls were placed, March 12th (4:26 pm and 6:03 pm) and September 27th (7:59 pm and 8:04 pm). 

 

On August 14, 2013 Ms. ***** was contacted by her marketing consultant, **** *****, to discuss the available marketing options for her book.  Ms. ***** requested to not to be contacted by her marketing consultant.

 

Ms. *****’s book consultant, *** ********, has been assisting her in processing her orders for personal copies of her book for the last two years with volume purchases in both 2012 and 2013.   On September 24, 2013, Mr. ******** contacted her to inform her of date sensitive promotional offers available to her for book orders and he followed up on September 27th.  Ms. ***** confirms the September 27th contact in her complaint and attributes a call on October 1st to Mr. ******** ; however, that call was placed another individual.

 

We apologize to Ms. ***** for failing to recognize that in addition to not being contacted by her marketing consultant she also wished to have no contact with any Xlibris staff. 

 

In summary, a Do Not Contact status has been placed on Ms. *****’s account for all staff.  Ms. ***** will no longer receive communications from Xlibris. 

 

Sincerely,

 

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

11/11/2013 Problems with Product/Service
11/8/2013 Problems with Product/Service
11/7/2013 Problems with Product/Service
11/7/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
10/31/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
10/30/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
10/28/2013 Billing/Collection Issues
10/23/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I have not been credited with royalty for a 900 book sale to Notthingham, UK total order $7,551.00 plus old royalties since 2008. They don't respond. Xlibris has not taken ANY action to resolve this issue that I am aware of it I filed my complaint with them Monday Sept 9, 2013.There has been orders, yet no royalties given to me for these sales. I have I received 1 check originally for the $16 if I remember right. I thought I wasn't getting any payments because the amounts were too small to write a check for, so I was patiently waiting. When I looked a week ago, this is when I found out I was being ripped off. Can I get interest also? Looks like it should be $55.98 + UK book order of $7,551.00 I have no idea what that amount would be, but it should be a good amount.Thank you

Desired Settlement: I want ALL the money that is due me, and I want it NOW. They have been sitting paying me since 2008. I will pursue this till I receive my the money I have earned.

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to clarify the steps we have taken to ensure that Ms. ***** receives her royalties.

 ******* ******* *****’s book, ******* *** **********, was published by Xlibris in 2006 and a revised version released in April 2007. 

 In October of 2008, Ms. ******* contacted Xlibris to provide a new mailing address.  Beginning in May of 2009 and continuing through 2012, attempts to reach her by phone were met with a not in service notification and emails were unanswered.  In April for 2013, Ms. ***** contacted us about address and phone number changes. 

 

On Saturday, September 7, 2013 Xlibris received an email from Ms. ***** through the info@xlibris.com mailbox which stated that while she was updating her address information thru her MyXlibris account online, she reviewed her royalty and sales information and believes that she has not received royalty checks for any of the sales listed on her account.  She also questions why an order of nine hundred (900) books from October 26, 2010 did not earn royalties.

 

On Monday, September 9, 2013 her concern was endorsed to the Royalty department for investigation and resolution.  The royalty team immediately initiated an investigation, requesting an audit of both the books printed and sold for her ISBNs, the payment of royalties to her, the disposition of those checks and verification of any cashed checks.

 

Mr. ***** spoke with customer service on September 9th and 10th and was advised by the representative that her concern was being address through the Royalty department.  On September 19th a Royalty department representative called Ms. ***** to speak with her further about her royalties and update her on our findings but was unable to reach her and left a message requesting a call back or appointment at her convenience.  No response was received until October 2nd. 

 

On September 30th the author sent email notification that she did not want to be called by Xlibris anymore.

 

Privacy Policy and Ms. *****’s Royalty Information

The Xlibris privacy policy protects individual’s confidential information which includes income from royalties. As Xlibris staff would not divulge royalty earnings to anyone but the owner of the work unless subpoenaed to do so, revealing that information for public viewing would violate Ms. *****’s privacy rights.

 

Since both the complaint filings with the Better Business Bureau and the responses are subject to posting on the Better Business Bureau’s website and therefore accessible by the public, the details of Ms. *****’s royalty information are provided as attachments to protect her privacy.

 

Book Royalty Eligibility Investigation

 

Sales and Royalty Status Report

Ms. ***** questioned her royalty payments as a result of viewing sales and royalty information on her online account.  To confirm the accuracy of the Sales and Royalty Status Report Ms. ***** viewed on her MyXlibris account, a books printed report from our distribution print partners was requested.  

 

The Sales and Royalty Status report, copy attached, is updated both monthly (Xlibris website sales) and quarterly (all other sales) and has been and continues to be available to Ms.***** thru her personal MyXlibris account. The status report lists individual printings segmented into months with each entry categorizes by order type, book type, quantity, selling price and royalty earned.    

The status report shows that since Ms. *****’s book’s release in 2006 thru the most recent verified quarter, Q2 2013, she has earned royalties in  nine (9) quarters:  Q4 in 2006; Q1, Q2 and Q4 in 2007; Q2 and Q3 in 2009; Q1 and Q4 in 2010 and Q1 in 2011.  There are no entries for 2008, 2012 and 2013.  A copy of the report is attached for your reference.

Book Printed Reports

The Books Printed reports received from our distribution print partners have been combined into one report which is attached for your reference.  The report lists the book type, distributor, order type, quantity, date of purchase and royalty quarter. 

 

A comparison of the Books Printed report with the Sales and Royalty Status report shows a difference of fifty-two (52) books which are the author purchases made on March 16, 2007, May 16, 2007 and June 5, 2007.  In order to receive the author’s discount, authors must place their orders through the Xlibris Book Sales department who, in turn, endorse the order to an authorized printer who is not in the distribution network. Subsequently, Ms. *****’s author orders appear on the status report which shows all orders and are absent from the distribution network printer’s books printed report.

October 2010 volume order

In her complaint, Ms. ***** questions the entry from October 26, 2010 for an order of nine hundred (900) softcover copies of her book.  The distribution network books printed report confirms that the order was placed and printed. We have employed considerable resources researching the origin and specifics of this order in order to answer Ms. *****’s royalty question about the posting that occurred nearly three (3) years ago.  

 

We have confirmed with our print partner in the UK that the order was printed by them for a reseller.  A system glitch occurred when the order was uploaded into our royalty payment system which caused the order to post as a non royalty bearing order.  We have manually adjusted the entry to reverse the system error and will be paying Ms. ***** royalties on the order.  Although this order has been posted to her account since 2010, we thank Ms. ***** for calling it to our attention as we take the payment of royalties seriously.

 

Royalty payment schedule

Xlibris royalties are paid quarterly forty-five (45) days after the close of the quarter and following a $25 threshold requirement. Royalty for the first, second and fourth quarters must amount to at least $25 to be qualified for its quarter’s payout. Royalty earnings that fall below the threshold are forwarded to the next quarter until the amount qualifies for payout. If the accumulated royalty earnings fail to reach the threshold throughout the three quarters, royalty is paid out on the third quarter regardless of the amount.  The payment schedule is as follows:

·         1st Quarter: Sales Period is January 1 through March 31 with payouts mid May

·         2nd Quarter: Sales Period is April 1 through June 30 with payouts mid August

·         3rd Quarter: Sales Period is July 1 through September 30 with payouts mid November

·         4th Quarter: Sales Period is October 1 through December  31 with payouts mid February

 

Royalty Payments Issued  

Ms. ***** states she remembers only receiving one (1) royalty check and asks to be paid for the checks she states she did not receive plus royalties for the volume order.   

 

To validate Ms *****’s statement, we requested a report of her quarterly royalty earnings and corresponding payments.  The royalty payment report shows the sales for each quarter, the royalties earned, the check amount, issue date and number plus any notes relating to the check. A copy of the report is attached for your reference.

 

The Royalty Report shows that in some quarters the threshold was not reached and the rollover rule was applied.  The report also shows that checks were issued four (4) times from 2009 thru 2012 with three (3) of these returned as undeliverable, one (1) in 2009 and two (2) in 2012.  As attempts to reach Ms. ***** at the phone number and email address on record between 2009 thru 2012 were also unsuccessful, the ability to deliver Ms. *****’s checks was rendered impossible. 

 

As indicated on the report the check that was not returned to us was sent in 2010 and followed the Q3 threshold rule.  In this case the payment was a second attempt to deliver royalties from 2009. Since that check was not returned to us, we have no evidence to dispute its receipt.

 

Royalties for the volume book order of 2010 are subject to the Terms and Conditions of Ms. *****’s publishing agreement which provides for a royalty of 10% of the list price on reseller discount orders.  Therefore her royalty has been calculated using the following formula: List price x 10% x quantity = royalty. 

 

Due to IRS guidelines, Xlibris is required to withhold 28% tax on royalty payments if the author has not submitted a W9 tax form. Ms. ***** has not submitted a W9 tax form therefore taxes were withheld.  A check has been issued (please reference the report for the exact amount) and was sent  via USPS certified mail with tracking number *********************** to the address confirmed with Ms. ***** as current prior to sending the check

 

With Ms. *****’s confirmation of address we have requested the payments that were not endorsed for deposit or cashed by Ms. ***** to be reissued.  Once this request has been processed a royalty check will be mailed to Ms. ***** via certified mail.

.

In summary, Ms. ***** has provided a new mailing address allowing us to reissue the checks that have been returned to us as undeliverable.  Ms. ***** has been paid royalties for an order from 2010 that the system miscoded as non-royalty eligible.

Sincerely,

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

10/22/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I have been trying to publish a manuscript through Booktango since May 2013. After my manuscript was approved, it was submitted to an editor who produced a galley of the manuscript for my review. I pointed out the issues to be corrected and received a revised galley. I have now received at least four galleys. Every galley has mistakes. I am charged every time I make corrections. My manuscript has illustrations with subtitles. The editor layed out the illustrations correctly with only a few mistakes. The galley was returned to me with the illustration issue resolved but with other texts that needed corrections. When the list of corrections were sent to Booktango, the editor said that he could not format the illustrations the way that I had requested. I told my customer rep that the editor had already properly formatted the illustrations in the previous galley. I asked how this could be. I got no real explanation. The next galley has the illustrations formatted correctly. Every time, I return the galley for corrections I end up paying a $19 editing fee. Quite frankly, I feel that I am being scammed. I am beginning to think that the editor purposely makes mistakes so that I have to pay another fee. I have no idea what happens after I talk with my service rep (***** ****). I learned that ***** is in the Phillipines and seems to have a slight problem with English; so I am not sure how well we are communicating and how well he is communicating with the editor. Nevertheless, ***** has worked closely with me in trying to address my issues. However, sometimes, he does not know what the editor's problem is. My complaint is that his process has dragged out for almost six months and I am frustrated and angry with the amount of time it is taking to get my manuscript published and the additional cost for correcting the galleys.

Desired Settlement: I want a refund of my editing fees and an expedited publishing of a manuscript which contains all the corrections addressed to date and which meets my expectations

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

Thank you for the opportunity to explain the format edit charges incurred by Mr. **********.

Ms. ********** asks to be refunded for additional charges incurred for editing his work. Mr. ********** purchased a TimeSaver publishing service from BookTango on June 21, 2013 for $49. A list of the services included in the TimeSaver publishing service is attached for your reference and can also be found on the BookTango website at http://www.booktango.com/Packages/TimeSaver. 

BookTango offers free eBook publishing with DIY (do-it-yourself) instructions on how to accomplish the technical aspects of the eBook’s creation. For those authors who require implementation assistance they may purchase individual services depending upon their needs.  The TimeSaver publishing service Mr. ********** purchased includes all the elements of the DIY (do-it-yourself) Freetango option plus an editor who assists in the initial formatting of the eBook, correcting formatting errors such as hard returns, bad breaks and invalid fonts for the book’s initial set-up. 

The editing aspect of the TimeSaver servce is for format editing and not textual editing.  The editor does not correct errors in grammar, spelling or syntax, or accommodate advanced formatting and styling.  Subsequently, the author is responsible for the text content of their work and any textual changes.  Those changes whether additions of material, changes in wording or removal of text, will alter the spacing and formatting in the eBook.  After the initial format edit, the author is given a galley to review and may accept it for publication or decide to make changes.  If the changes are to the text, those changes may alter the formatting.  Once text changes are made, the author must decide if formatting changes are needed and whether to revise the formatting himself or purchase a formatting and layout correction service where we will implement the formatting changes for him.  

A review of the preparation of Mr. **********’s eBook found that after the initial format, on multiple occasions the author requested additional revisions to his book that involved textual changes.  The review shows that once the text was revised, the author chose to have BookTango staff complete the formatting modifications he desired resulting from his text revisions. Subsequently an additional charge was incurred each time the formatting and layout service was requested.  The review confirms that Mr. ********** was advised of the format edit charges prior to each of his decisions to have BookTango staff implement them. A copy of the review summary is attached for your reference.

Mr. ********** states that he has been trying to publish his book with Booktango since May 2013 and that the process has been on-going for almost six (6) months.  Our records show a three (3) month timeline from his purchase of the TimeSaver publishing service on June 21, 2013 until the filing of his complaint on September 19, 2013.  Less than a month later, on October 8, 2013, Mr. **********’s book completed publication in all three eBook formats with his approval.

In summary, we must decline Mr. **********’s request for refund as Mr. ********** chose to employ the BookTango staff to implement format and layout changes to his book instead of making the changes himself and was advised of the fee to do so prior to making the decision.  

Sincerely

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

10/22/2013 Problems with Product/Service
10/18/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
10/17/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: It has taken me almost 3 years to admit how badly taken advantage of I have been. Embarrassment aside, I was lied to from day 1 by the sales staff of this company. My first question to them was, are you in the US. Which I was told a definite yes. Once they had my payment, I never received a call which was not from the Philippines. The editing process was impossible, the 1st 2 tries for them to get my manuscript in book form they continued to correct one error and make a different error. Then they began charging me for each correction. The manuscript I sent them had no errors; these were all transcription errors, possibly because English was not their 1st language. It came to the point after I had paid $449.00 that my book would either be printed with errors or not at all. The company refused to refund anything. The sales person **** *******, made a bargain with me, if I would buy their Ebook service the corrections for both books would be at no charge. After they had my payment, I found she was not allowed to make that promise. So now I had given them another $100 and I still needed to send $127 if I wanted the softcover book printed. Unfortunately I paid and the only sales through their overpriced bookstore were a few copies my husband purchased. Xlibris keeps contacting me about paying for book conventions and ordering 500-1000 copies. I have gone on to write several other books self-published for free on C**********. I also have published a second edition of the book Xlibris ruined for me. I am very happy with my sales on ***********. Now Xlibris is trying to take my 2nd edition sales from me, somehow they are having their book promoted first so that my lower priced 2nd edition isnt offered properly. In my contract with Xlibris I was supposed to retain all control, but it isn't working that way. I am constantly being phoned by their sales people to give them more money, but when I ask for them to cancel the sale of my book. They won't do it.

Desired Settlement: I would like a complete refund. I want them to cancel their edition of my book "*** **** ***** ****" by **** *** *******. I want them to stop calling me with requests that I spend more money with their company.

Business Response:

Dear BBB:

 

Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to address Ms. *********’s concerns.

 

Ms. **** ********* signed up with Xlibris on December 13, 2011 to publish her book entitled “*** **** ***** ****” taking advantage of a special promotional offer on the Basic publishing package and copyright add on service. The book completed publication and was made available for sale with Ms.  **********s approval on January 6, 2012.

 

Galleys, Revisions, and Resubmission

Ms. ********* submitted the materials for her project on December 19, 2011. A galley of her book was created and sent to her for review on December 21, 2011. Ms. *********’s publishing package includes one round of free author alterations which allows her to submit modifications and corrections to the review galley.  Upon implementation of these revision instructions, a new set of galley proofs were made and sent to her for review. Ms. ********* submitted her approval of the revised galley on January 5, 2012.  A copy of her approval is attached for your reference.

 

Ms. *********’s package did not include a copyediting service nor at this time had she purchased data entry or copyediting as an add-on service. Subsequently, as stipulated in the signed author agreement, Xlibris assumed no responsibility for reviewing or correcting the content of the work. A copy of the signed author agreement is attached for your reference.

 

On January 31, 2012, Ms. ********* contacted Xlibris to make some changes to the published book. Xlibris explained to Ms. ********* that her manuscript had been released for publication as she had approved it and any editing changes to the published book would be subject to applicable revision and resubmission fees. 

 

Also on January 31, 2012, Ms. ********* added a copyediting add-on service for her book at a cost of $13.27.  An E-Advantage publishing package was also purchased the same day at a 40% discount which formats her book as an eBook in the various electronic formats used by the e-Book reading devices in the marketplace.   

 

As the print files for the basic package were approved and released for print, implementing editing at this juncture would not circumvent any resubmission fees.  Ms. ********* decided to provide instructions on the corrections she desired for her book instead of completing the editing service she had purchased the previous week and paid the applicable revision and resubmission fees on February 7, 2012.  The revisions were made and a third galley was sent to her for review.  Ms. ********* approved the second revised version of her book for publication and it was released to print on February 10, 2012.  A copy of her approval is attached for your reference. The eBooks of the E-Advantage package were completed and released with her approval on February 14, 2012.

 

Refund

Per the author agreement, the completion of services renders them no longer eligible for refund. The publishing package services were completed with Ms. **********s approval. The copyright add-on service has been filled as documented in the attached registration document.  As the copyediting add-on service was not used the $13.27 was refunded back to her credit card on May 14, 2012 via transaction *******************.

 

Revision Requests

Ms. ********* states that her book had no errors when she submitted it to us and claims that the “editing process was impossible.”  As no editing services were included in her package or purchased as an add-on prior to or with submission, the text she provided was placed into the book design software and formatted to meet the margin and page specifications of our printers.  Please note that revision and modification of formatting irregularities or changes to other design elements during the book preparation process are the responsibility of Xlibris; textual or image additions and changes are author discretionary choices and after the first round of modifications, are subject to additional fees to implement. 

 

A copy of Ms. ********* initial free round of revisions is attached and shows that she requested twenty-nine (29) changes with only one the result of format or design elements introduced by Xlibris; twenty-four (24) were changes to lower case lettering, three (3) images were removed and replaced, a dedication page was added and image text margin alignment was corrected on one (1) image.   The second round of revisions, copy also attached, shows that only one (1) request was made, the addition of wording to the text.  As this request was not listed in the initial round, its implementation incurred a revision fee. 

 

Marketing Opportunities

Marketing consultants contact authors by phone and email to advise them of opportunities to reach their target market through special offers on marketing services, new products and trade events. The purchase of these services is always at the author’s discretion. A request from Ms. ********* to no longer be advised of these opportunities had not been received prior to the receipt of this complaint.   

 

Global Community

Xlibris is an imprint of Author Solutions, a Penguin Random House Company.  While Author Solutions is headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, its global outreach requires contact points and offices to be strategically positioned throughout the world and in various time zones.  The staff in all of Author Solutions’ facilities is managed both onsite and corporately via direct contact, specialized training and coaching, continuous performance evaluations, telephone monitoring and phone and video conferencing. 

 

Cancellation

Ms. ********* states that she has published a second edition of her book with another publisher and questions why her Xlibris edition remains available for purchase.  Until Ms. ********* exercises the cancellation terms of the author agreement she signed, we are obligated to make her book available for purchase.  We will need to receive written notice of her intention to withdraw her book. She may send the notice to our corporate office as stated in the agreement: Xlibris,1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200, Bloomington, In 47403; or as an alternative, she may the fax the notification directly to 812-355-4079, Attention: Post Publication, or send it as an attachment to an email to our email address at PostPublication@Xlibris.com.  Once the cancellation notice is received we will request its withdrawal from print and distribution.  Please note that although the title will no longer be available for print, it may take up to 45 days for the online retail sites to remove the listing.     

 

In summary, in accordance with the terms of the author agreement, Ms. *********’s publishing package was completed and released with her approval in 2012; therefore, she is no longer eligible for refund.  The add-on editing service was refunded in 2012.  Ms. ********* may exercise the cancellation terms of her agreement in order to have her Xlibris publication withdrawn from print.   

 

Sincerely,

 ****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

Regards,

**** *********


 

 

I am sorry that I didn't respond in a timely manner. I am just worn out on this. To feel so cheated and taken advantage of leads me to want to try and forget it all ever happened. If you will mark this case "consumer remains unsatisfied", it would be appreciated.

 

There is one important item in their statement I have tried to explain but was not understood. The galley that they published was not the same as the one I approved. They had omitted part of a sentence that was in the galley that I approved. It was their mistake and that is why I believed it when the salesgirl told me they would drop the extra editing charges if I bought more services.

 

I know it is useless to try to fight them. They have had much experience with dissatisfied customers, and the legal department to back them up, but I hope others will check this companies rating with you before they waste their time and money. At least for now the calls pressuring me to pay for promotions, buy copies, attend conventions, have book signings etc. the fees are always in the thousands of dollars (in case your wondering), have stopped. If there is a way, please let others know there is no storefront in the USA for this business, it opperates out of the Philippines and once their marketers have collected your fees you will speak only with sales people on an overseas line so reception is garbled and their English is broken and difficult to understand. Their address in Indiana is only a Private post office box, despite their using a street address.

 

My biggest concern now is getting the book they published and have listed for an outrageously expensive price off the market so my second edition may be listed. I have contacted they by mail twice as they have requested, but they have not acknowledged my letters.

 

Thank you for your time,

 

**** *********

10/16/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I have written a book and contacted this company regarding self publishing. After speaking to their representative ******** ******, who assured me that if I paid a down payment I would be locked into this wonderful sale price but that if I changed my mind I would get a refund on my payment with no problems. This was on 8/27/2013. After researching this company through the Better Business Bureau and finding negative feedback and numerous complaints about their products and services, I decided I was not comfortable with this company. I immediately contacted Mr. ****** and told him that I had decided I was not comfortable with their company and that I wanted my money back. He said it wouldn't be a problem getting my money back, but so far nothing has been done and I am getting phone calls and emails from other reps. I am feeling pressured and very uncomfortable. I would like to resolve this as quickly as possible.

Desired Settlement: Complete Refund and no more contact from this company or their representatives.

Business Response:

Dear BBB:

 

Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to explain the refund Mr. **** has received.

 

Mr. **** **** signed up with Xlibris on August 27, 2013 to purchase a Premium Publishing package taking advantage of a promotional discount of 50%.  He opted to use a three installment payment plan which added a $30 non-refundable surcharge, making his package total $1,805.  Mr. **** spoke with a Finance department representative to arrange payment for the package and made his first payment of $621.66 that day agreeing to the remaining two payments to be set up for auto-charging in 30 days and 60 days.  

 

An Xlibris submissions representative emailed Mr. **** on the same day, August 27th to advise him on the submission steps for his book and how to provide the book’s materials and any special design instructions he desires to be used in the preparation of his publication.

 

On August 28, 2013, Mr. **** contacted his publishing consultant requesting the cancellation of the service he purchased from Xlibris. During the conversation with Mr. ****’s publishing consultant, he requested to first speak with his manager to check on all the available options for Mr. **** and stated he would call him back within the day. After speaking with his manager, the publishing consultant called Mr. **** but was unable to reach him, leaving a message to ensure that Mr. **** was aware of his attempt to reach him.

 

On August 29th, after not receiving a response from Mr. **** from his communication two days earlier,  his submissions representative reached out to Mr. **** by phone to introduce himself and continue to offer assistance on the submission of his work.

 

 Mr. ****’s cancellation request was endorsed to the refund department for processing on September 3rd, three (3) working days from his initial request. Prior to release, refunds are verified for eligibility, amount and method of refund.  Refunds to a credit card can be made only to the credit card used in the initial transaction and confirmation that the card is active must be acquired to complete the transaction; for check refunds a confirmation of address is needed.    

 

During the refund processing, Xlibris reviewed the conversation between Mr. **** and the Finance department representative during the sign up process.  The recording confirmed that the representative clearly disclosed the payment plan terms and the refund policy before processing the initial payment. Questions raised by Mr. **** during the conversation were addressed and a clearly expressed verbal agreement was received from him before the credit card number was obtained and the first payment processed. Mr. **** agreed to the following statement:

If the Agreement is terminated by the Author for any reason other than a breach of contract by Xlibris, a minimum administration fee of $150 will be deducted from the publishing fees refunded to defray setup costs.  This full language can be found online via our Terms and Conditions.  Do you agree to these terms? “

 

The amount eligible for refund, $441.66 was returned to Mr. ****’s credit card on September 12, 2013, transaction number *******************. This amount represents the initial payment of $621.66 less the non-refundable payment plan fee of $30 and the administrative fee of $150.

 

In summary, Mr. **** has been refunded in accordance with the refund terms he agreed to prior to his authorization of the payment plan for his purchase.

 

Sincerely,

 

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction   

10/11/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
10/9/2013 Problems with Product/Service
10/8/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
10/4/2013 Problems with Product/Service
10/2/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
10/1/2013 Delivery Issues
10/1/2013 Problems with Product/Service
10/1/2013 Problems with Product/Service
9/29/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: The contract negotiated and agreed upon between the servicer (Authors Solutions) and myself included provisions which the servicer refuses to honor. The contract received from the servicer (Launch Premier Pro Publishing Agreement) delineated all provisions negotiated, with their Sales Representative, at the time of agreement. While negotiating our agreement, their Sales Representative sent a copy of our contract (Launch Premier Pro Publishing Agreement) and upon review of this contract an agreement between the servicer and myself was reached. Now, the servicer refuses to honor the provisions entitled under Schedule A (free copies) claiming that I signed for a different contract (Premier Pro package). However, that was not what was agreed upon between the servicer and myself.

Desired Settlement: For Authors Solutions to honor all provisions of the contract as agreed upon in our Launch Premier Pro Publishing Agreement.

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for the opportunity to provide evidence that Ms. ****** purchased the Premier Pro Publishing package.

 

Prior to purchasing her publishing package from iUniverse, Maria ****** spoke with a Publishing Consultant, ***** *****.  Ms. ****** informed Mr. ***** that she had a $1000 budget, and he recommended that she consider the Premier package, at a retail price of $1299, and offered her a 25% discount.  This package is the least expensive offered that includes an Editorial Evaluation, which Ms. ****** indicated was important to her as evidenced in the attached email exchange between the publishing consultant and Ms. ******.

 

On April 3, 2013, Ms. ****** purchased a Premier Pro publishing package from iUniverse.  This package is a step up from the Premier package and is usually sold at a price of $1649. Ms. ****** was able to take advantage of a special 50% discount, placing her cost at $854.50. 

 

A Finance Representative spoke with Ms. ****** to complete the transaction. In so doing, the representative obtained verbal agreement of the name of the package being purchased (Premier Pro) and its cost ($854.50), prior to describing and receiving verbal agreement to the installment payment plan details and refund policy after which Ms. ****** provide her credit card information. Ms. ****** was sent a receipt via email, copy attached, indicating that she had purchased a Premier Pro package.  Ms. ****** did not dispute the package during the financial transaction or when she received the receipt.

 

Later on April 3rd, Ms. ****** was contacted by her Check-In Coordinator, ****** ***.  Ms. *** sent Ms. ****** an introductory email which contains the phrase “Now that you have purchased your Premier Pro package,” including a link to the package’s description on the iUniverse website. A copy is attached for your reference. Ms. ****** did not dispute the package when she received this email.

 

In May of 2013, Ms. ****** became concerned because she discovered that the package she had purchased was not an Open Editions Berrett-Koehler publishing package.  On May 21, she was sent an email, copy attached, by Customer Support Supervisor Pamela Hawkins, including the information that her package was a Premier Pro package.  Ms. ****** did not dispute the package further.

 

Ms. ****** requests she be given the number of books included in the publishing package she purchased.  The Premier Pro package she purchased includes a hardcover and a softcover proof copy and twenty (20) softcover copies and one (1) hardcover copy.  The softcover and hardcover print proof copies were delivered separately; one on August 13th and one on August 14th.   An order for the twenty (20) softcover copies and one (1) hardcover copy is on hold awaiting payment of shipping and handling which is the responsibility of the author on all publishing packages.

 

In summary, the purchase of the Premier Pro package was confirmed at the time of sale and payment and Ms. ****** was reminded which package she purchased in writing three times since her purchase.  An order for the books included in the package are awaiting payment for shipping and handling. If Ms. ****** would like to purchase additional copies of her book at the discounted author rate, she may do so by contacting her Book Consultant, ****** *****.

 

Sincerely,

 

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

An offer of the package was made by the Finance Representative, Arbra Tubbs, through a contract via email. Once the contract was reviewed (please see attached contract) the finance representative obtained a verbal acceptance of the package. The Representative used the provisions in this contract to sell the package at a discounted rate. The agreement was not accepted verbally until the Representative defined and provided the terms of the agreement through a contract. Therefore, the contract agreed upon represents a legally binding agreement between both parties and, thus, all provisions of such agreement must be fulfilled. 

Regards,

Maria Collar

 

 

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for giving Ms. ****** the opportunity to provide evidence of which package she purchased.

 

Ms. ****** attached a copy of the Premier Pro agreement with her response letter stating that the attachment represents the agreement for the publishing package she purchased.  Her statement is in keeping with what our records indicate and what our previous response documented.  By her response Ms. ****** has nullified her original claim of purchasing the Book Launch Premier Pro package.

 

We are prepared to complete the services of the Premier Pro agreement which Ms. ****** has now indicated is the one she accepted.  She will receive the remaining services and the number of bookstubs and books listed as part of the Premier Pro package. The package includes fifteen (15) paperback copies and one (1) hardback copy.  The books are provided at no cost; however, as indicated on the iUniverse website, shipping costs are the responsibility of the author.  http://www.iuniverse.com/Packages/PackageCompare.aspx.

 

Ms. ****** may make arrangements for the printing and delivery of her package books by contacting her book consultant.

 

Sincerely,

 

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

9/27/2013 Problems with Product/Service
9/16/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
9/13/2013 Problems with Product/Service
9/9/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
9/6/2013 Problems with Product/Service
8/24/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Xlibris published my book "**** *** **** ** ****************** *******". None of the promised services, such as competent listing on Amazon, production of legible, decent-quality ebook materials etc. was actually accomplished. Other than marketing calls, I receive no response from the company.

Desired Settlement: Proper listing on Amazon, using author and book information already provided multiple times. Production and posting of a correct, legible ebook.

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for the opportunity to explain the actions we have taken to release Mr. **** ** ****** eBook and to provide the online descriptions of his book he desires.

 

Mr. **** inquires about a work entitled, “**** *** **** ** ****************** *******.” We do not have a record of publishing this book for Mr. ****.  However, Mr. **** signed up with Xlibris UK on February 28, 2011, to publish a similiarly titled book, “Time and Work in England during the Industrial Revolution”.   Mr. ****’s publishing package includes the publication of his book in three different formats; hardback, paperback, and eBook.  The book completed its publication process and the softcover and hardcover versions were made available for sale with Mr. ****’s approval on February 7, 2012. 

 

On February 28, 2012, Mr. **** was sent a copy of the eBook version of his title. On the same day, Mr. **** notified Xlibris of the difference in legibility of the graphs and tables in the epub versions of his book compared to the print versions and requested changes be implemented for the eBook format. An updated version of the eBook format was sent to Mr. **** on April 28, 2012 for his review.  We did not receive feedback from Mr. **** regarding his eBook until October 8, 2012.

 

On December 17, 2012, Mr. **** sent Xlibris an email questioning the regional availability restriction placed on the Kindle version of his book on Amazon.com. We explained to Mr. **** that the restriction limiting sales to UK customers only was not requested by Xlibris but was imposed by Amazon and follows the territorial distribution models of print book licensing between countries.  As the business decisions of Amazon are outside the control of Xlibris, we could not guarantee the removal of the restriction.  Subsequently, on January 5th , Mr. **** confirmed that he desired the cancellation and removal of his eBook version from sale and distribution at Amazon. 

 

Upon receipt of this complaint, our Customer Satisfaction staff has attempted to reach Mr. **** by phone and email to assist him with his concerns.  Due to Mr. ****’s previous concerns about elements of his eBook and the length of time since his revisions were made, we have been seeking his written confirmation and approval before reinstating his eBook. 

 

Also, Mr. **** indicates he has provided book and author information multiple times.  We have received  several varying versions of the text for the about the book and about the author descriptors for his book and have been seeking clarification on which set of information he desires to be used.   

 

We await Mr. ****’s response so we can forward the eBook file for his approval prior to reinstatement and verify the text he desires to use prior to implementing a metadata revision.

 

Sincerely,

 

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

 

8/19/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
8/9/2013 Billing/Collection Issues
8/8/2013 Problems with Product/Service
8/5/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I paid for the services of IUniverse and then changed my mine and wanted a refund. After many, many attempts to cancel my services, they finally agreed to a refund. This has been over a month. They emailed me over a month ago that they cut the check and mailed it to my current address but I have not received it. They refuse to answer any of my emails or phone calls now.They are clearly keeping money for unearned services.

Desired Settlement: I want my money back now.

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and for the opportunity to provide the details on how we have tried numerous times to provide a refund to Ms. *****.

**** ***** requests a full refund for the publishing package she purchased from iUniverse. 

On July 28, 2011, Ms. ***** purchased the Premier Pro publishing package, normally priced at $1549, at the discounted price of $1100.  Ms. ***** opted to pay for her package using a 3 installment payment plan which added a non refundable $30 payment plan fee, bringing her total to $1130. 

Ms. ***** spoke with Finance representative, **** ***** who explained the payment plan fees and when the payments would be auto-charged to Ms. *****’ account. Ms. *****’ first payment of $396.66 was made on July 28, 2011, with two payments of $366.67 to follow in 30 and 60 days, respectively.  However, Ms. *****’ third payment, due September 28, 2011 was declined by our payment processor and was never paid.  A decline fee of $30 was added.

Ms. ***** did not submit any material to be used to publish the book.  However, on May 29, 2013, Ms. ***** e-mailed her check-in coordinator, **** ****, her intent to cancel her project.  A refund request was submitted by **** *****, a colleague of Ms. ***** the next day on May 30, 2013.  Ms. ***** refund request was reviewed by the refund committee for eligibility and the refund was approved on June 3, 2013.  The accounts receivable department paid the refund on June 4, 2013. 

Ms. ***** used a credit card to purchase the package.  However, per company policy, refunds for services over one year old must be returned via check.  Ms. ***** refund check was printed on June 7, 2013 and mailed to her address of record, **** ******** ** ***** ****** ****, AR 72223.  The check was for $703.33, which amounts to the two payments made by Ms. *****, less the $30 non refundable payment plan fee and the $30 declined payment fee. 

Because Ms. ***** did not receive this check, a new check, number ******, for $703.33 was issued and sent via UPS, tracking number ******************, to the address of record, **** ******** ** ***** ****** **** ,AR 72223.  According to the UPS website, the check was delivered Wednesday, July 17, 2013. 

In closing, Ms. *****’ refund request was promptly submitted, approved, paid and mailed by iUniverse staff.  Unfortunately, the check did not make it to her.  A new check was issued and sent via UPS with delivery made on Wednesday, July 17, 2013. 

Sincerely,

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

7/30/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I published a book with this company on January 28th 2012. My contract with them states that I will receive my first royalty payment 4-6 weeks after the first quarter ends. I have not. I was reassured by a supervisor that my check was sent out on the first of June, it was not. I have repeatedly called Authorhouse to try and salvage the situation to no avail. Recently I received an email informing me that I will receive my funds at the end of August (two months behind schedule) with the next royalty check due to me. I am in disbelief and I feel cheated out of the money I paid them. This company is also known for rigging their royalty statements.

Desired Settlement: I would like Authorhouse to be held accountable. As a writer, I am dependent on the money I earn. Therefore, it is more than fair that this company be held to labor laws. I worked hard and saved to publish my book. I am not looking for a handout, however I do believe this company owes me interest on my earned money that they failed to pay out. If they are not penalized they will continue to drag their feet when it comes to paying every consumer they can take advantage of. I would like my money plus interest, or my money and a refund!

Business Response:

Dear BBB,  

 

The timely payment of royalties is a high priority for us so we appreciate the opportunity to explain the steps that we have taken to ensure that Ms. ******** has received her royalty payment for Quarter 1 2013.  

Ms. ******** contracted with AuthorHouse to publish ***** ******** in October of 2012 and the title was released with her approval in January of 2013.   

 

AuthorHouse sales are reported and royalties are paid according to the following schedule: 

•   First Quarter: January 1 – March 31 (Payments are made the end of May) 

•   Second Quarter: April 1 – June 30 (Payments are made the end of August) 

•   Third Quarter: July 1 – September 30 (Payments are made the end of November) 

•   Fourth Quarter: October 1 – December 31 (Payments are made the end of February) 

 

For her Quarter 1 royalties Ms. ******** was issued check number ******, dated May 30, 2013.  The check was mailed the same day to Ms. ******** to the address of record:  

*** **** ********** ********* *** ******* ** ******  

 

Ms. ******** states that she has brought this matter to our attention on three occasions, June 6th, June 11th and July 12th.  Our records show the following calls: 

 

·         On June 6th Ms. ******** called and spoke and a customer support representative.  She inquired about when her royalty statement would appear on her AuthorCenter.  She was advised that they should be posted within the week.  No other requests were made. 

·         Our records do not confirm a June 11th call. 

·         On June 24th Ms. ******** called and spoke with our customer service department to report that she had not received her Quarter 1 royalty payment. She was advised that reissue is possible only after the 90 day life of the check has expired or if the check is returned to us prior to its stale date.    

·         On July 12th Ms. ******** called for an update on the status of the reissue of her check. A customer support supervisor responded acknowledging that the royalty department had been made aware of her non-receipt claim for Quarter 1 royalties and that royalty payment would be reissued by including them in the Quarter 2 2013 payout.  

 

Ms. ********’s address was automatically truncated because her first address line exceeded the thirty (30) character print limit resulting in the absence of her apartment number appearing in the first line of her address when her check was mailed to her.   

 

While we did send Ms. ******** a royalty check on-time and in the correct amount, the address was insufficient and Ms. ********’s Quarter 1 royalty check was ultimately returned to our office by the USPS as undeliverable. A replacement check was subsequently issued by our accounting department for Ms. ********’s Quarter 1 royalties.  Check number ****** for $130.17 was sent through USPS certified mail on July 17th 2013 with tracking number **** **** **** **** ****. Ms. ******** was contacted by phone on July 17th, 2013 and given the tracking number and check information.  

 

Ms. ********’s mailing address has been updated in our system to conform to the character limitations and now reads: 

*** ** ********** **** *** ******* ** *****

 

This change will ensure that the apartment number will be printed on future royalty checks. 

 

In closing, we apologize to Ms. ******** for any inconvenience the delay in receiving her royalty payment may have caused. A replacement check has been issued and her address has been adjusted in our system to meet print restrictions. 

 

We trust this information illustrates the steps we have taken to address Ms. ********’s royalty concern. 

Sincerely, 

 

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction   

7/30/2013 Guarantee/Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I contacted AuthorHouse because I wanted to publish a book on my brother behalf (June 10, 2013). I was quoted a price of $577 (June 11, 2013). I gave and amount of $300 dollars (June 19, 2013) so that I could take advantage of the deal that was being offer. I did not understand that if I paid the entire amount of $577 at one time; I would not be charged an additional $30 for processing fees. I was under the assumption it was all part of the package. I was told since there is a payment plan the $30 would apply. When I found out this was the case I asked that the payment not be ran but was told it was too late. I was told that I would not have to pay the $30 processing fee because of the misunderstanding. So I preceded to try and make the additional payment of $277 a few days later June 21, 2013. I notice that the money had not been taken out of my account so I called on June 24, 2013 spoke with ***** my consultant. Who told me that I would have to add the $30 then they would refund it back to me. This did not make any sense so I told ***** I would just like my money back. I informed him I could not do the payment plan and if I would have been aware how it worked in the beginning I would have given all $577 up front. He had me email him a letter (June 24, 2013) asking for a refund. He said "Do not worry. You will have your refund in 3-5 business days. I just need the letter attached to the refund request to cover my butt." So email him but it never got to him because the email attached to the email he sent me was not his email. He gave me another email. Which he said he got on June 27, 2013. ***** again informed me that I should be getting my refund of $300. It is now July 11, 2013 and I have not received my refund. I have contacted my bank on July 6, 2013. Who has given me a provisional credit until this matter is resolved. I gave money up front on good faith that I could submit the book when I completed it if I lock in the deal of $577 now. This is not the case. Not only have I been upset over the misunderstanding and refund but now my bank is involved. I do not like the fact that this company AuthorHouse has put me in this kind of position. Can someone please help me on getting my money back AuthorHouse has not seen the book I wanted to publish on my brother behalf and the fact that I have not received my refund and the bank credit could cause problems for me soon.

Desired Settlement: I would like my refund of $300 return ASAP. With an apology for making me go through such steps of getting my money back.

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

We appreciate the opportunity to provide details on the steps we have taken to provide a refund to Ms.*******.

 

On June 19, 2013, Ms.******* purchased a Sonnet publishing package from AuthorHouse for the special price of $577.  She elected to pay using a two installment payment plan which added a $30 payment plan fee to her total cost.  When using a payment plan, the first payment is due at the time of purchase and subsequent payments are scheduled to be auto-charged by the bank the same calendar day of the following months. Ms. *******’s first payment of $300 was made at the time of purchase on June 19th and was charged to her credit card.  The second payment was set-up to auto-charge the following month on July 19th.

 

Ms. ******* states in her filing that she was unaware that paying for her package in a single payment would avoid a payment plan fee.  We apologize to Ms. ******* for any confusion surrounding the package payment options.

 

On June 24th, Ms. ******* requested a refund from her Publishing Consultant, ***** *******, who asked that she send the request in writing.  Mr. ******* received her emailed request on June 27th, which stated that she hoped to contact AuthorHouse in a few months to publish her book.  As Ms. ******* had secured a steep discount on her package, Mr. ******* phoned Ms. ******* to ensure that she was aware that the special pricing she received would not carry forward to a future purchase.  Mr. ******* spoke with Ms. ******* again on July 3, and determined that she had indeed decided to cancel the package.  Mr. ******* proceeded to submit her refund request.

 

A refund was processed and on July 15, a total of $300 was refunded back to Ms. *******’s credit card.  The refund was processed in two installments: one for the package purchase of $270 and one for the payment plan fee of $30.  The transactions should appear on Ms. *******’s credit card statement within 3-5 business days.  The ID numbers of those transactions are ******************************** and ******************************** .

 

In closing, we apologize to Ms. ******* for the delay in the processing of her refund.  Ms. *******’s refunds for both the package and payment plan fee have been credited back to her Visa card. 

 

Sincerely,

 

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction

7/29/2013 Problems with Product/Service
7/26/2013 Delivery Issues
7/19/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
7/12/2013 Problems with Product/Service
7/12/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Complaint Details Unavailable
7/11/2013 Problems with Product/Service
7/11/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Hi, my name is ***** *******, author of "** ******* *** *****". ISBN-13: ************* ISBN-10: ********** Publisher: Xlibris Corporation Publish Date: February 2012 Page Count: 490 Xlibris Corporation publish this book on February 2012 and I had a lot of issues with a publisher. With all errors and problems with publishing my book "** ******* *** *****", the main problem - they publish only half of the book. They publish only part, what contains additional recepies, not the main book. The first part of the book, where are a 41 cuisine , wasn't publish at all. The whole book was almost 900 pages, but they publish only 490. They screwed all meaning of the 41 Cuisine book. They publish only the end of the book, where are recipes of bread, sauce, cakes and Only 3 International Cuisine from 41. All other 38 Cuisine are gone. For all this period I got paid for one sold book only. I'm already tried all ways to fight them. I'm a very sick person and need help, but I barely have enough money for food. I have feeling they stole my materials and publish it by different name. I'm very tired of all this and bagging for help.

Desired Settlement: They need to publish the book in correct way, how it written originally. They said from the beginning it will be two parts of the book. Or I want to cancel contract with them and get my money back.

Business Response:

Dear BBB, 

 

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and for the opportunity to present our side of the case.  

 

***** ******* writes that only half of her book was published, indicating that her book was almost 900 pages but only 490 were published.  She seeks to have the book published as it was originally written or cancelled and refunded. 

 

Ms. ******* signed up with Xlibris on October 31, 2011 to publish her book entitled “** ******* *** *****”. The book completed its publication process and was made available for sale on February 3, 2012 with her written approval. 

   

Ms. ******* states that there were a lot of errors and problems with the publication of her book but elaborates only on the claim that only half of the book was published. Ms. ******* also mentioned that only half of her book was published stating that it was to be published in two parts although only one publishing package was purchased. 

 

The production of all books follow a step by step procedure to ensure that all phases are carried out to the author’s satisfaction and within the guidelines and specifications of a book produced for print-on-demand printing.  The design phase of all books includes a review process allowing the author to check all aspects of their book and provide feedback should the book require changes before it is published.  A corrections process is in place to accommodate the implementation of changes requested by the author during this review process.   

 

Upon review of the production history of Ms. *******’s book, we found that Ms. ******* and her authorized translator, **** *******, were presented galleys for review for both the interior and the cover of her work.  Our review found no requests for revisions or notification that material was missing from Ms. ******* or her translator during the review process.  Xlibris received a signed galley approval form from Ms. ******* which authorizes Xlibris to make the book available for sale.  This approval form states that Ms. ******* confirms that “the entire book is present, everything is formatted correctly and does not require further changes.”  A copy of the signed form is attached for your reference. 

 

As per Xlibris’ agreements and policy, changes to a book after publication are subject to applicable revision fees.  Please reference the following link for a description of those fees. http://www2.xlibris.com/editorial_alterations.html.  

 

In light of Ms. *******’s health concerns as mentioned in her filing, and as an act of goodwill and customer service, we are willing to make an exception to the revision policy and extend a free round of revisions to Ms. *******’s black and white book.  She may submit the “missing” pages for incorporation into her book and any individual modifications (such as spelling, capitalization, punctuation, etc) to the current text of the book.   However, Ms. *******’s book will be subject to the page count limitations set by our printer and industry standards.  Also please note that the addition of pages to the book will increase its cost to print and therefore the selling price to the consumer. We shall await Ms. *******’s confirmation on the acceptance of this offer and the submission of additional materials to the book. 

 

In summary, the publication of Ms. *******’s book was completed with her written approval.  In the interest of goodwill, we are offering a free round of revisions to Ms. ******* whereby she may submit the missing pages referenced in her complaint for formatting and inclusion in her book plus any revisions to the current book text.  

 

We hope the information provided in this letter illustrates the steps we have taken to address Ms. *******’s concerns.  

 

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction 

Author Solutions LLC  

7/7/2013 Problems with Product/Service
7/5/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I had terminated my contract with Westbow Press last summer (6/2012). When I continued to receive emails from one of their add-on services - the Author Learning Center, I contacted them immediately to tell them that I was not interested in The Author Learning center and to stop that service immediately and I did not want to be charged for it after the free year was over. This request was made last year several weeks after I had terminated my contract. As the emails had stopped immediately I had assumed that the removal of the service was correctly processed. As of 6/5/2013 (a year later) I was just charged $149.00 for this online service, and because my account had insufficient funds, I was charged and additional $34.

Desired Settlement: To be refunded the $149.00 immediately along with the late charge of $34.

Business Response:

Dear BBB,

 

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and for the opportunity to present our side of this case.

 

******** ***** is requesting a refund for her subscription renewal to the Author Learning Center and overdraft fees.

 

Ms. ***** purchased an Online Platform publishing package with WestBow Press on April 24, 2012.  This package included a free one-year subscription to the Author Learning Center website, a membership-based online community that provides online writing tools and educational resources to help writers polish their work. To accept the free subscription one must officially register which Ms. ***** did on June 5, 2012. 

 

Ms.***** writes that after cancelling her publishing package with WestBow Press in July of 2012, she continued to receive emails from the Author Learning Center.  After she requested that they stop emailing her, the email stopped, but her subscription automatically renewed on June 5, 2013, charging her credit card $149. 

 

Ms. ***** was notified of her free Author Learning Center subscription by her WestBow Check-In Coordinator, ****** *******, via an email sent on May 31, 2012.  This email included the following information about signing up:

 

To sign up and get started with your 12-month Author Learning Center subscription, please complete the following steps:

1) 
Create a user account with the Author Learning Center by submitting your first and last name and e-mail address.

2) You will receive an e-mail with a link to confirm your account.

3) To receive full access to the Author Learning Center website, you will then be required to visit
 www.authorlearningcenter.com and click on the “Sign Up” button on the right-hand side of the page. You will be asked to fill in the following information: 

·         Select “Annual ($149.00/year)” 

·         Free WestBow Press promo code: wb12free 

·         Credit card information* 

·         Billing address 

4) After you submit your information, you will have full access to the Author Learning Center.

If you need assistance signing up for your free 12-month subscription, please do not hesitate to contact the Author Learning Center by e-mail at 
authorsupport@authorlearningcenter.com. 
 
Have a great week!
 
****** *******Check-In Coordinator
WestBow Press
A Division of Thomas Nelson
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403
Phone: (866) 928-1240 x5288
Office Hours: M-F 8 AM - 5 PM EST
www.westbowpress.com/blog 
 
*Your credit card is required in order to register with the Author Learning Center. It will not be charged unless you do not cancel your Author Learning Center account before your 12-month subscription expires. 

 

Ms. ***** signed up for the Author Learning Center using the promotional code from the email on June 5, 2012.  On the evening of May 31, 2013, ****** *****, Author Consultant with the Author Learning Center, called Ms. ***** and left a voicemail message, notifying her that her subscription was going to automatically renew the following week.  Ms. ***** did not take steps to cancel her subscription prior to the renewal date of June 5, 2013.

 

On June 13, 2013, we cancelled Ms. *****’s Author Learning Center subscription and refunded $149 to the credit card on file, transaction ID ************.  This refund should appear on Ms. *****’s credit card within 3-5 business days.

 

In summary, Ms. ***** was made aware before she subscribed to the Author Learning Center in 2012 that the subscription would automatically renew, and a representative reached out in advance of the renewal to remind her.  Ms. *****’s subscription has been cancelled and she has been issued a refund of $149, but the $34 bank fee will not be refunded.

 

We trust this information demonstrates the steps taken to address Ms. *****’s concern.  

Sincerely, 

****** **************

Manager of Author Satisfaction 

7/1/2013 Problems with Product/Service
6/26/2013 Billing/Collection Issues
6/21/2013 Problems with Product/Service
6/13/2013 Problems with Product/Service
6/11/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
6/10/2013 Problems with Product/Service
6/10/2013 Problems with Product/Service
5/24/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
5/23/2013 Problems with Product/Service
5/22/2013 Guarantee/Warranty Issues
5/17/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
5/16/2013 Problems with Product/Service
5/16/2013 Problems with Product/Service
5/16/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
5/15/2013 Problems with Product/Service
5/13/2013 Problems with Product/Service
5/10/2013 Problems with Product/Service
5/7/2013 Problems with Product/Service
5/3/2013 Problems with Product/Service
5/2/2013 Problems with Product/Service
4/30/2013 Delivery Issues
4/30/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
4/29/2013 Problems with Product/Service
4/27/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
4/26/2013 Problems with Product/Service
4/22/2013 Problems with Product/Service
4/21/2013 Problems with Product/Service
4/20/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
4/12/2013 Problems with Product/Service
4/5/2013 Problems with Product/Service
4/2/2013 Problems with Product/Service
3/31/2013 Problems with Product/Service
3/27/2013 Problems with Product/Service
3/26/2013 Problems with Product/Service
3/25/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
3/20/2013 Problems with Product/Service
3/19/2013 Guarantee/Warranty Issues
3/19/2013 Problems with Product/Service
3/19/2013 Problems with Product/Service
3/8/2013 Problems with Product/Service
3/4/2013 Problems with Product/Service
3/1/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
2/26/2013 Problems with Product/Service
2/24/2013 Problems with Product/Service
2/23/2013 Problems with Product/Service
2/14/2013 Problems with Product/Service
2/13/2013 Problems with Product/Service
2/12/2013 Delivery Issues
2/5/2013 Problems with Product/Service
2/4/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
2/3/2013 Problems with Product/Service
2/2/2013 Problems with Product/Service
2/1/2013 Problems with Product/Service
1/25/2013 Problems with Product/Service
1/22/2013 Problems with Product/Service
1/14/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
1/14/2013 Problems with Product/Service
1/8/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
1/8/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
1/8/2013 Problems with Product/Service
12/29/2012 Problems with Product/Service
12/24/2012 Delivery Issues
12/20/2012 Problems with Product/Service
12/17/2012 Advertising/Sales Issues
12/7/2012 Delivery Issues
11/8/2012 Problems with Product/Service
11/8/2012 Advertising/Sales Issues
11/4/2012 Problems with Product/Service
10/26/2012 Problems with Product/Service
10/24/2012 Billing/Collection Issues
10/19/2012 Problems with Product/Service
10/18/2012 Problems with Product/Service
10/5/2012 Advertising/Sales Issues
10/5/2012 Problems with Product/Service
10/2/2012 Problems with Product/Service
9/28/2012 Problems with Product/Service
9/28/2012 Delivery Issues
9/24/2012 Problems with Product/Service
9/24/2012 Problems with Product/Service
9/19/2012 Problems with Product/Service
9/18/2012 Problems with Product/Service
9/17/2012 Billing/Collection Issues
9/11/2012 Delivery Issues
9/9/2012 Billing/Collection Issues
9/9/2012 Problems with Product/Service
9/5/2012 Problems with Product/Service
9/2/2012 Problems with Product/Service
8/29/2012 Problems with Product/Service
8/27/2012 Advertising/Sales Issues
8/25/2012 Guarantee/Warranty Issues
8/23/2012 Advertising/Sales Issues
8/22/2012 Problems with Product/Service
8/19/2012 Problems with Product/Service
8/17/2012 Advertising/Sales Issues
8/12/2012 Billing/Collection Issues
8/11/2012 Delivery Issues
8/10/2012 Problems with Product/Service
8/8/2012 Problems with Product/Service
8/4/2012 Problems with Product/Service
8/3/2012 Problems with Product/Service
7/29/2012 Problems with Product/Service
7/28/2012 Problems with Product/Service
7/28/2012 Delivery Issues
7/26/2012 Problems with Product/Service
7/25/2012 Advertising/Sales Issues
7/23/2012 Problems with Product/Service
7/16/2012 Delivery Issues
7/11/2012 Problems with Product/Service
7/11/2012 Problems with Product/Service
7/11/2012 Problems with Product/Service
7/10/2012 Problems with Product/Service
7/6/2012 Problems with Product/Service
7/3/2012 Problems with Product/Service
7/2/2012 Problems with Product/Service
6/30/2012 Billing/Collection Issues
6/27/2012 Billing/Collection Issues
6/25/2012 Advertising/Sales Issues
6/21/2012 Problems with Product/Service
6/20/2012 Problems with Product/Service
6/19/2012 Billing/Collection Issues
6/18/2012 Advertising/Sales Issues
6/13/2012 Problems with Product/Service
5/31/2012 Billing/Collection Issues
5/30/2012 Guarantee/Warranty Issues
5/27/2012 Advertising/Sales Issues
5/18/2012 Problems with Product/Service
5/16/2012 Advertising/Sales Issues
5/8/2012 Problems with Product/Service
5/7/2012 Problems with Product/Service
5/4/2012 Guarantee/Warranty Issues
5/2/2012 Advertising/Sales Issues
5/2/2012 Advertising/Sales Issues
4/25/2012 Problems with Product/Service
4/13/2012 Problems with Product/Service
4/10/2012 Problems with Product/Service
4/8/2012 Problems with Product/Service
4/2/2012 Problems with Product/Service
3/30/2012 Problems with Product/Service
3/29/2012 Problems with Product/Service
3/29/2012 Problems with Product/Service
3/10/2012 Problems with Product/Service
3/10/2012 Problems with Product/Service
3/6/2012 Problems with Product/Service
3/6/2012 Advertising/Sales Issues
3/2/2012 Problems with Product/Service
2/27/2012 Problems with Product/Service
2/25/2012 Advertising/Sales Issues
2/25/2012 Advertising/Sales Issues
2/24/2012 Problems with Product/Service
2/14/2012 Problems with Product/Service