airleaf Publishing scam
My name is Bonnie Kaye. I am the organizer of a group of authors who, like me, are victims of a publishing scam through Airleaf Publishing, formerly Bookman Publishing, owned by Carl Lau and formerly operating in Martinsville, Indiana. We are seeking other victims who have been robbed of their hopes and dreams through the criminal act of stealing our hard earned money.
As of December 21, 2007, thanks to the unending efforts of our international group, Airleaf Publishing went OUT OF BUSINESS. We now have over 600 authors in our group who have been defrauded by Airleaf Publishing for over $2,000,000.00 (two million dollars). There are possibly an additional 2,000 victims who have not found our group. We have taken aggressive action with the Martinsville Indiana police, the Indiana Attorney General's office, the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspector, and the Indiana US Attorney to bring civil and criminal action against Airleaf seeking restitution and retribution. We made great strides in our efforts, which resulted in the filing of civil charges by the Attorney General's office in May 2008, but there was no restitution due to Carl Lau being broke and unable to pay us any money. Unfortunately the U.S. Attorney of Indiana, Timothy Morrison, has decided not to press criminal charges as of April 3, 2009. However, we will keep fighting until we find the justice we are seeking. If you are an author victim, we welcome you to join our group in our efforts to find justice and stop the owner of Airleaf, Carl Lau, and others like him, from ever cheating authors again.
The fraudulence and criminal activities of Airleaf is unforgiveable. We have uncovered some of it through our own author investigations and by candid confessions by former employees who in good conscience could no longer participate in the fraud. Here are just a few examples:
1) Airleaf sold publishing packages but never published the books of numerous authors nor did they pay royalties to authors that were published.
2) Airleaf sold the authors a package called the Germany Book Fair in the fall of 2006, but never went. Carl Lau had his staff tell the authors that during the time he was supposed to be in Germany that he was out of town at the book fair, but he was sitting right at his desk. This money was never returned to the authors.
3) Airleaf was selling the authors Bowker Club after they knew that Bowker had discontinued the service. $84,000 was collected from that service that never existed. This money was never returned to the authors.
4) Airleaf sold the London Book Fair in April 2007 to authors, but again, didn't go, and this money was never returned to the authors.
5) Airleaf sold the Books-To-Film Program where Carl Lau supposedly pitched books to Hollywood producers, but didn't. After these trips, the authors received reports about producers interested in turning their books to movies, but he instructed his employees to make up false reports to send to the authors about two weeks after the fact. Or he personally lied to the authors and made up information to appease them.
6) Airleaf sold ads for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Hollywood Review, and other publications for thousands of dollars but had no intention of actually running the ads. The authors never had their money returned.
7) Airleaf sold Kirkus Reviews to 80 authors for $799 in February '07 but never submitted the books or paid Kirkus to do the reviews. The money was never returned to the authors.
8) Airleaf charged thousands of dollars to authors for promotional services that claim to target 5,000 - 10,000 bookstores, television producers, radio shows, and other forms of media. Those numbers were completely pulled out of the air by employees who knew for a fact that all those packages were frauds from the very beginning, and yet they had no problem selling them.
9) Airleaf sold an author cruise on the Carnival cruise line for September 2007 where authors would meet a movie producer for their books. The trip was booked--the money was paid--but the trip was never booked. The authors never received their money back.
10) Airleaf advertised the movie "Jessie's Girl" on their home page to mislead authors into thinking that Airleaf books are being made into movies. They also sent out notices to thousands of unsuspecting authors boasting that their books could become hit films through Airleaf. "Jessie's Girl" was never an Airleaf book made into a movie--it was a script written by Lawrence Dixon, the Vice President of LiteStone Entertainment that was made into a book by Airleaf in 2007. There is no movie--only a movie trailer made by LiteStone. None of the Airleaf Books to Film listed on the Airleaf and LiteStone websites (no longer available to view) have ever been made into a film or even a trailer. It was just a way to have authors invest thousands of dollars in a scam. LiteStone Entertainment's president, Al Smith, officially disassociated himself with the company as of 12/10/07 in a public letter sent to our group.
I am gathering Airleaf authors together to join me in taking criminal action against a company founded on fraud. We now have over 600 Airleaf authors with horror stories from people who have been defrauded from $99.00 to $35,000.00. These authors are joining me to fight back so we don’t have to be victims anymore.
This website was originally posted in August 2007 for two reasons: (1) to warn unsuspecting, hard working authors not to throw your money away on promises that wouldn’t come true. By stopping the cash flow of Airleaf Publishing, we were able to close the company down and (2) to help other Airleaf authors who are looking for justice by helping them find justice by insisting on criminal charges for the intentional crimes Airleaf and its owner Carl Lau committed against over six hundred of our known authors and over a thousand of others who are still unknown to us.
Who We Are
Here is just a sample of our authors who have been defrauded and robbed by Airleaf Publishing, starting with my own story:
Bonnie Kaye, M.Ed. – Author of Straight Wives: Shattered Lives
I am a professional relationship counselor in a niche market of straight/gay marriages, which affects 4 million women in this country. Since 1984, I have worked with over 45,000 women who unknowingly married gay/bi men and over 2,000 gay men who need support to come out to their wives. My website can be found at www.Gayhusbands.com. I often receive international publicity because of my expertise in this field. I serve as a consultant for the top television shows on this subject including Oprah, Montel, and Tyra Banks.
In the summer of 2006, I researched a number of print-on-demand publishers because I had a new book I wanted to reach the public by September 2006. Airleaf promised me that if I paid a hefty fee of $1,850.00, my book would be out on time, placed in 15 bookstores, and I would be paid quarterly royalties. The book came out the same week that former Governor James McGreevey’s book “The Confession” was released. I launched my own media campaign, and I was interviewed Paula Zahn on CNN and the national FOX news. Sales were booming.
Airleaf’s representatives kept telling me that I was their most successful author to date with over 500 books that sold within the first six months. Although I had a signed contract to receive quarterly statements and royalties, I only saw one check for $300.00 after six months. Six months later, with nothing more than promises that the money should be coming at any time, my attorney sent a letter threatening legal action with no response. Zippo. Nada. Nothing. It was only after I launched a criminal complaint with the Martinsville, Indiana, police department in August that I received a second check which was far less than the money Airleaf owed me for my sales. My books were never put into the bookstores, and a number of customer orders were never filled. That’s when I decided to become PRO-ACTIVE and fight back by finding other authors who were also victims of Airleaf fraud. I warned Airleaf and its author, Carl Lau, that I would start an Internet campaign that would close down his business, but he ignored my warning and still refused to pay me my money.
Clara Martin – Author of Grandma's Stroll Down Memory Lane
"I am an 88 year old woman who lost $7,750.00 to Airleaf. Carl Lau got hold of my
autobiography Grandma's Stroll down Memory Lane and sent me a paper full of praises of my book. I trusted him when he told me that I could be one of 24 authors out of 300 who were being offered a deal to have their books put into display ads in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Hollywood Reporter, Advance Magazine, Oracle Magazine, and the Veteran's Reporter Magazine. In addition, there would be a television commercial made about my book that would be aired in two major metropolitan markets. He claimed that my book was well written and had started to generate a lot of interest. After nearly a year, nothing has been done, and no one will respond to my calls. He has taken $7750 out of my visa and I have a big debt to pay back. At 87 I'm on a fixed income and can barely make it."
Richard R. Fracasso – Author of Strawberries With Love
"I received a letter of solicitation from Airleaf Publishing regarding my book Strawberries with Love that was published by another publishing company in 2004. This book was a tribute to my late wife, who was the love of my life. In 2006, I paid Airleaf $4,000.00 for their promotion services. I also sent them 270 books to sell from my original publisher, Vantage Press, and was told that I would receive $3.00 - $4.00 for a book. To date, I have never received any money from them. I am a 76-year old disabled and completely blind man with no children or family. I lost my wife in 1978 so I have virtually no help to fight this. I have a genetic disorder chorideremia that leads to blindness. Please do whatever you can to help me."
Peter Chapel – Author of Impressions and Reflections
"I paid Airleaf Publishing a total of $9,200.00, and all I received was $43 in royalties. This makes an honest effort on the part of Airleaf-Perfect Heart Books as publishing and book selling agents for authors as highly questionable. Friends of mine who read the Bowker Review were impressed, and those who tried to buy Impressions and Reflections in bookstores were told it was out of print including Barnes and Noble. They had to get it directly from Airleaf."
Diane Louise Stegman – Author of GRILL!
In the past twenty-seven years, I have written four completed manuscripts. GRILL!, my most recent novel, took over two years to complete and two more years to edit properly. For the first time in my life I was print ready, with cover design and all. I was finally taking my passion to a higher step of production. Being a fulltime caregiver for my mother and father has depleted my savings. I apprehensively sent nearly the last of it, ($1421.00 – a special for the $1850.00 package for only two more days!) which went trustingly and with high hopes into the hands of Airleaf Publishing. That was last May of 2007. I have never heard a word from anyone at Airleaf, except when I demanded my money back in September 2007. They wrote in an effort to convince me that my book was “Right on schedule.” P.S. Airleaf – I never saw any schedule, since no one ever sent me anything! Each time I called Airleaf, the previous person I had spoken to was GONE! Hey, I’m not completely ignorant! I finally got the picture. I was had!
Rudy A. Pizarro – Author of The Truth and Power of the Holy Trinity
“I lost over $10,000.00 I paid to Airleaf on services that did not materialize.”
Thomas J. Barnes – Author of Vietnam when the Tanks were Elephants
"When I told my wife that I was sending $7999 to Airleaf Publishing for touting my book "Vietnam when the Tanks were Elephants," on a national scale, she cautioned me against doing so. She asked what guarantees I had of Airleaf's references. Naively, I brushed her caution and her query aside, and withdrew funds from the paid-up additions to my National Service Life Insurance, a policy I had obtained because of my military tour of duty in Korea in 1952-3. The withdrawals diminished the sum she will receive on my death. I made further withdrawals on behalf of various Airleaf publicity schemes for two other of my books Anecdotes of a Vagabond, a professional memoir; and Coping with Lust and the Colonel, a novella surrounded by seven related short stories set in wartime Korea. My payments to Airleaf in 2006 totaled $13,813. One is never too old to become a sucker.
Ken Pullen – Author of Rescue Me
"I was solicited by a vice president at Airleaf who told me the wife of the president of Airleaf loved my book so much they had to contact, and make my book a national bestseller. I was told that the $8,000.00 I was to pay for promotion and marketing would encompass no less than 10 promotion actions - one of which was to take my book to Los Angeles for possible optioning into a feature film. All I ever received for my $8,000 National Bestseller fiasco was 2 supposed radio interviews - both taking place months before the book came out - and 50 copies of my book. That's it. I am convinced Airleaf stole $8,000 from me, just as they have stolen whatever amount paid from everyone and anyone else that sadly trusted them to do what they promised they would."
Donald Megnin – Author of The Security of Silence
"I, too, was promised my book would be published. I paid over $10,000 to have my book published and publicity services which were never fulfilled and that was two years ago! I still don't have my first novel published by Airleaf even though I was assured this past April that it would be only another two weeks and it would appear, but to date, no book.
Here is the amount of expenses I've incurred trying to have my novel To this date, I've not received one copy of the promised publication! In retrospect, I was not only naive, but tantamount to an example of pure exploitation for profit by an unscrupulous owner of a so-called publishing firm!"
Keith and Barbara Stuart – Authors of Banners of Honor, Banners of Liberty, Banners in the Wind, A Good Run, Rainstorms and Rainbows
We had been associated with Airleaf for four years. Generally, we had been pleased with the results as they published five of our books. Then things started going sour. Our first couple of royalty checks was decent, then no royalty checks at all. In fact they were selling one of our books at such a deep discount that each book sale resulted in a deficit. Then I couldn't get them to even send me a sales report. The big blow came when we booked the September cruise on a Carnival ship. Although we paid in January, we could never get any straight information about times or even the destination airport. By August, we were so frustrated that we cancelled the cruise and requested a refund. There were lots of promises, but the money was never refunded. After checking with Carnival, I learned no cruise had ever been booked. The book we ordered in April has never been printed. After many delays with constant change of employees, we finally received a finished galley and cover in September with a promise to send our books by mid-October. No books. We can't reach them by phone or e-mail and our books are no longer listed on their website. Conservatory, I would say they owe us close to $4,000.00. We were so oblivious to what was going on there because we had had such a good relationship and we believed all the lies. I don't think we will ever understand why Airleaf took a profitable business and systematically destroyed it and his authors along with it.
Sister Eileen Curteis – Author of Reiki: A Spiritual Doorway To Natural Healing
I am a Canadian author of several books and I live in Victoria, British Columbia. After Trafford published my book and promoted it on an international website, I realized that my autobiographical story on Reiki healing was receiving popular appeal and I got hooked in a way I don't normally allow to happen. In June 2006, I received a marvelous promotion letter about Airleaf's ability to promote my book so that every home in America would receive a copy of it. My brother paid $3,300.00 in American funds to make this dream come true. After Airleaf received the money the nightmare began. I was asked over a period of 12 months to send 7 master copies of my book with the CD in it. People kept resigning and every time I sent master copies of the book they were lost. By January 2007, my total file went missing and there was no record of my book anywhere, not even the electronic copy. My emails and phone calls were ignored. None of the promises have been adhered to and so I am withdrawing from the contract asking for what is rightly mine even though I may never see a return of anything.
Christel Fiore – Author of Child of War
“I paid $3,300.00 plus 30 books to Airleaf to promote my World War II autobiography Child of War. I was robbed along with everyone else. The main thing is not to let anyone else fall in to that trap and to stop these criminals from mutating in to another business by putting all of them in jail for grand theft and conspiracy to defraud.”
Frederick Martin-Del-Campo – Author of Chronicles Of War And A Wanderer
Airleaf royally diddled me: I invested over $10,000.00 to have my one book turned into a best seller, and another taken to Hollywood and turned into a movie. They utterly made a fool of me, let alone the countless other authors they defrauded. The Airleaf agents gave me a runaround of answers when I tried to inquire about my investments and publication of books. Now, no one has deigned to reply. They have totally screwed me!"
Willard D. Gray - Author of End of a Silence: Full Moon Over Fox Prairie
While Airleaf solicited this reprint job of my book, I paid them $3,000.00, they have yet to get it to first base. At the time of their acceptance; I was deeply involved in a new manuscript Home Front; Viet Nam and Families at War, which was of more interest and importance to me. In this endeavor I had a November 2005 signed contract with Airleaf promising action to make this book a "Best seller." In this I had paid Airleaf $7,900.00. I did not foolishly fall for some dozen other promotions of my books. But, don't faint--I have sent Airleaf, over $25,000.00 relating to these two books. This includes some $3,500.00 for the purchase of my belated publication: Home Front. Since there was no promotion and publicity I have several copies that I might use for paperweights. We have been used by an entity that is located in Indiana. In early August I wrote a three-page letter with about eight enclosures to the Indiana Attorney General. Instantly, I received a descent reply and inquiry from Terry Tolliver, but my response to this request has resulted in nothing of value. I received one vague phone call from him, but I three faxed comprehensive complaints to his office has resulted in zilch from the Attorney General's office.
Art Barnes – Author of Beyond The Darkest Shadows
"My first contact with Airleaf was by one of their Author Consultants. I had no idea how he learned of my writing. Although I had three other novels, Loving Enemies, The Longest Way Home, and Lonely Horses, I felt that Beyond The Darkest Shadows was the most interesting work, and I suggested that as a potential first choice. Soon I began to receive a flood of promises touting Airleaf's great success and a beginning program for distribution by Airleaf.
One of the more interesting pitches was to have an agency "Kirkus Review" give an "HONEST Opinion" of Shadows, as part of the best books of 2006. The opening shot would be $2,600.00, and my book would be featured "as one." With the promise for this new prestige, I sent a check for the $2,600.00, (shame on me.) My first contact was with Airleaf was in mid 2006, and my last one was on November 15, 2007. The Airleaf representative calmly assured me that Airleaf was not a scam. Two days later, I learned about the many people who had been scammed."
Tui Rose – Author of Going Green Home & Garden Solutions
"I paid $1,700.00 for a premium publishing and marketing package. My book went through multiple galleys each time with multiple bad publishing and layout errors added in by Airleaf. I kept copies of bad galleys, notes of their corrections I required, and frustrated letters I wrote to Airleaf. Some illustrations ran off the bottom of pages and covered page numbers, and chapters started on both left and right sides of the pages, to name just a few of the many major layout blunders I continually had to struggle with them over. Each galley which needed "their errors" fixed, took up to another 2 months to produce the next galley. Then that would come back with more new errors added by Airleaf. This error and correction cycle never stopped, and never got fixed. Upon signing up in 2004 I was originally promised the book would be done in 2-3 months and on the market. I thought of all the money I must have lost over 2-3 years. Being on disability, this book was my hope of living a bit easier. At some point I said okay, that's enough--it's got to be published with errors and all. I thought maybe someone would see my book and all those errors, feel sorry for me and offer to do a better job. So I told them to start printing and publishing, and mentioned I hoped they would do a better job of marketing than publishing. It turned out that was a bigger joke.”
George Bredsten – Author of The Effective Stopping Power Beyond the Hyperbole of Cartridge Advocacy
"On Feb 20, 2007, I paid $1,421.25 to Airleaf Publishing Book Selling services to publish, promote, and sell my book. On the same day I mailed Airleaf a CD copy of my book. On May 30, I received the first galley copy of my book where in I was informed that I should complete an author revision sheet as needed. I did this, and on June 5, I received additional copies of author’s revision sheets. On June 28 I was sent a new galley copy, and on September 4, I submitted another author revision sheet and then received another galley copy (the last one). On September 18, I submitted what was to be the final revision sheet but since that time have neither heard nor received any information regarding the book or a copy of the book. A live person first handled phone calls and I talked to an author representative, but by July I, was advised she no longer worked for Airleaf and was assigned a new representative. He answered two of my phone calls and from that time I have been unable to contact him. The live receptionist became a recording there would be no future human contact. I am extremely disappointed."
Ed Bast – Author of The Hera Wars
"In the summer of 2006, I sent Airleaf over $7,646.00 to get my second book, The Hera Wars, published and my first book, Wormholes, marketed. All they did for this money was set up three book signings. After a year of waiting for the galley of The Hera Wars to be sent, I gave up and took it to another publisher. It is being published this month. I tried to get my money back from Airleaf. I even went to my credit card company for assistance, but Carl Lau would never reply to their inquiries. After I informed Carl Lau of my displeasure with him and his lies and that I had taken my manuscript to another publisher, he did finally get off his wallet and send me a galley. Too little, too late. I know that I should have money coming to me, because I personally sold books at the book signings, but I have never seen a penny. Because of the way I've been handled and have been denied the services I paid for up front, I must join the ranks of those who would see this man behind bars."
Edward Vasta – Author of Love and Redemption
"In late 2005, some two years after the publication of one of my works of fiction through Xlibris, I was contacted by an Airleaf Author Consultant about promotional services. I assumed Airleaf was a division of Xlibris, but I still paid no attention to it, until one mailing offered to have the book discussed on "over 30 radio stations," in "fifteen television commercials," and taken to "face to face meetings with television and film producers" in Hollywood. The offer also reduced their original cost of this strategy from $1,597.00 to $995.00. My novel, Love and Redemption, having been out for over a year by now, and my next novel, Family Passions, near completion, I decided to promote Love and Redemption. Within a few weeks, I had several phone conversations with an Airleaf Brien Jones. His pitch was convincing, so I paid for the service.. After some months, I made several calls that got nowhere and finally talked to my Airleaf sales person telling him that I was disturbed that I had no evidence whatever that any promotion actually took place. Airleaf dismissed my complaint in a few words and ended the call. Since then, I've received further solicitations from Airleaf by telephone and mailings, but I've ignored them, and now my spirits are truly lifted by your project to rectify Airleaf's fraudulent campaign against authors and promotional customers."
Timothy L. Sparbel – Author of Technology Mafia the Beginning
"I submitted my previously published book in September 2005 to Airleaf Publishing and Book Selling with many promises from them to promote my book where the original company did not. I paid them over $5,000.00 for movie representation, telemarketing campaigns for book signings -- promising many book signings in Florida -- and ads in Advance magazine. They set up only one book signing in December 2006 with two other authors in Orlando, Florida. There was no promotion or sales from that. They also asked me to fly up for a two minute TV commercial to air promoting my book, which I never saw, results from other than a copy of the tape that was filmed. I sent over 50 hard cover copies of my book for their many stores they worked with yet I have only been paid for a sale of one book after two years of this poor service. I pushed them for an audit report of my sales which I suspected was made up because it took them a year to provide me one of any sales through their business efforts to sell my book. With all they said they would do, no sales happened according to them. Carl Lau represented me to movie studios in California he said he was connected to, and my book was one of the top at the beginning when I paid a lot of money for service -- but there was no delivery on his words over time even though Carl told me several times my book was one of the top books for Movie production. I gave them a second chance and in November 2006 went to Las Vegas after paying about $1,200.00 to attend a workshop not including air tickets, hotel, and food expenses. The conference advertisement promised that other booksellers and movie directors would be in attendance for author networking. When I got there, it was a small room with only 50 authors and the company employees. Only Airleaf was represented. My book is about business fraud in the computer industry. Believe me, in my life I have seen too much of this type of bad business. Getting the shaft financially when you invest for service is a risk, and I have lost greatly on all levels believing in this company."
Doris Christian – Author of When The Heart Whispers, Matters of the Heart
In 2004, I enlisted Airleaf to publish Matters of the Heart for just under $1000.00 and they failed to meet promised deadlines. They became very lax in returning my phone calls, they shipped the final proofs to the wrong address, and in general acted very unprofessional once they had my money. I have received less than $6 in royalties from book sales, although many friends ordered my books via Amazon.com when my own supply ran out. My last check was for .49 cents for 2 books. When I asked them about such a meager amount, I got the run around. Of course, there is no way of knowing how many books are ordered and how much they've stolen from their authors. Even though I didn't lose as much as many others have, yet, I feel emotionally and financially violated at the hands of Airleaf and Carl Lau."
Reverend Cynthia Attar – Author of The Mule Companion - Celebrating the Mule
"Like so many others, I had my go-around with Airleaf. They had published 2 of my books. I requested marketing services for both. They took my money for marketing my books and didn't do ANYTHING to promote either one of them. Their accounting practices were ALL screwed up. They didn't know what I owed them, or what they owed me. I had paid half for book printing and since I had sales arranged, they were going to take the other half out of sales. I truly don't know if they did or not. They had minimal sales lined up for the book, and I never received ANY money from them. When I would call to find out where we were with a balance on the account, I only got a figure of what I owed them for the other half--forget any royalties being owed. And marketing that had not been done, some I paid for, some were promotional. I quit dealing with them and requested all copies of my books to be returned to me. They did this. Last year I filed bankruptcy and put them in the filings for my loss of $1,000.00, as I really had no idea where we were with a balance. At that point I washed my hands of the company.”
Eunice Ghent – Author of New Beginnings
"In October 2006, I charged $500 to my credit card and mailed my manuscript and signed the Client Service Agreement to have my book "New Beginnings" published by Airleaf. This left $500.00 due when I signed the Client Agreement Form. I was notified that I would receive my first galley in April as requested by me. When I still hadn't received it by May 1st, I made several calls. Every time I called I got the run-around. My contact person was changed and nobody seemed to know what is happening. I finally spoke with a new representative and she mailed it overnight. I made necessary changes and mailed it back to Airleaf. After waiting weeks for the final galley, I made several calls, and spoke with several different people; I received my final galley, Client Agreement Form, and bill for the remaining $500.00 around the middle of June. I signed the form and returned the galley with a check for $500.00. I was told my manuscript would be sent to the printer, and I should receive my proof copy within 2 weeks. I called several times and left my name, but they never returned my calls. I wrote a letter on August 6, 2007 requesting return of my manuscript and refund of all money as they have breached my contract. They have never acknowledged my letter or returned my manuscript. I waited and waited, but I never heard anything."
K. N. Buck – Author of Cheap Chills Book #1 House Of Mirrors & Cheap Chills Book #2 The Gatekeeper
I am a disabled retiree. In April 2005, I contacted Airleaf Publishing about publishing my first book of 7 in a series of young adult books. They were more than happy to help me with my books. I sent them $1895.00 for their Publishing and Guaranteed Placement Service package. I told them that I needed the books before Halloween of that year. The Author Rep. told me that it would be no problem at all. Their flyer says that they will publish your book in 8 weeks or less. Months went by with no progress on my book. Every time I called, I was told that I was assigned a new rep and that they would be taking care of getting the book out for me. To cut this short, it was seven months before my books arrived ON HALLOWEEN NIGHT AS I WAS HANDING OUT CANDY. Airleaf never booked a signing for me, even though that was what I paid them to do. Airleaf apologized for the late publishing date and said that they would make it up to me on my next book. So, in 2006 I sent my second manuscript and $1650.00 to them for their Maximum impact bookselling package. This book took even longer for them to get out. They missed Halloween Again, Not only that, they printed the book in a different size then the first one and only sent me 25 of these, telling me that they would get me the other 25 in a week or two. No books ever came. I figure that all totaled, I have sent them $3245.00 and all I got was 50 copies of my first book and 25 copies of the second book. Those are some expensive books. My calls and e-mails went unanswered. I have never received any royalties or reports, even though in one conversation with my representative at Airleaf, she told me that they were getting several large orders for my book. WHAT A CROOK. I am ashamed that I fell for this not once, but twice. I want them to pay; as well make restitution for the mental and physical anguish this has caused all of us.
Doug Pessoni – Author of With Healing In His Wings, A Complete And Concise Presentation Of God's Healing Gospel
For 13 years I have had a Christian healing ministry. Jesus has privileged me to witness many miraculous healings and deliverances through my ministry. In 2001 I published my book with a subsidy publisher, which did a wonderful job publishing my book and doing some limited marketing. Every aspect of our contract was fulfilled completely and to my satisfaction. My motivation in writing this book was to promulgate the reality of divine healing to give people suffering from disease and injury the faith to be healed by God. I have given every penny of royalties obtained from the sales of this book back to Lord in the form of offerings in church.
Since I have neither the time nor resources to market my book myself, I was thrilled when I received a mail advertisement from Airleaf Publishing in early 2005. I contracted and paid for the Maximum Impact Bookselling Package. A short time later, I contracted with them to republish my book since by then I had wanted to make some revisions. My book was successfully re-published and I was excited and comfortable that my book would receive the exposed that I longed for. The only thing that I received from the Maximum Impact Bookselling Package, which cost $1,237.50, was a couple of book signings in Hastings stores. Much time passed and in December 2006 I sent a detailed letter to my representative at Airleaf. I got no response until I sent another email a month later. The only response that I received was a check for $0.73 and a short accounting of sales and returns. There was no report on any marketing activity. I felt very much alone and surmised that perhaps Bookman, now Airleaf, was just overwhelmed with work, and naively give them the benefit of the doubt. My dream of promulgating the reality of divine healing to give people suffering from disease and injury the faith to be healed by God is again on hold.
Katie Letcher Lyle – Author of All Time Is Now: Adventures with Jennie
"I was promised promotion for a self-published book, meetings with Hollywood agents, radio ads, books placed in 10 (brick) stores, television appearances, on and on -- a place in the Bowker book club, (which, it turns out, Airleaf had nothing to do with -- an outright falsehood) -- all for only $3300.00. They sought me out, told me they loved my book, and were choosing only fifty to promote for the year -- I thought hard, fell for it, and -- as many others have experienced -- never got a thing for my money. They admitted they had not even read the book when I pressed them. An Airleaf representative gave me the name of one Mothers' Club about three hours from here -- but it was all about babies, and my book is about raising my handicapped daughter! All in all, outright scam! I never sold one single book while in their "keeping." Not one, though they claimed a bogus telephone interview had been broadcast in eight Midwestern cities. Impossible that not one book sold- I myself have sold the book to an institute dealing with handicapped children, who thinks it good enough to be passed out to all members -- and to the school for special people where my daughter resides, who think it's good enough to use as a marketing tool -- so it's a good and useful book. I've sold approximately 500 copies on my own. Not one single copy was ever sold through Airleaf or their efforts.
Daniel Shubin – Author of Militarist Christendom and the Gospel of the Prince of Peace
"I gave $1,895.00 to Airleaf for the publishing service. They promised to publish my book, give me 50 copies, and guarantee placement of my book in all of these bookstores and make my book available at Barnes and Noble.com and Amazon.com, and contact 500 bookstores. They did give me 50 books (a $250 value if I would have published myself), and they printed and sold a few books initially on B&N.com and Amazon.com. Then it all stopped. No more books available to buy. I had people order my book on www.amazon.com and then have their money refunded because Carl Lau did not print any books to sell. I called to complain to Carl Lau, the owner of Airleaf, but he would not talk to me. Then I called him a thief and told him that he stole my money. The $1,895.00 was to print books and make them available to bookstores like he promised. I asked Carl Lau for a refund, and he refused to respond. I then told him to cancel my contract and stop my book sale. This he did. Carl Lau is a crooked and dishonest businessperson who made promises and took people’s money but did not fulfill his contract.
Anthony Laurento – Author of The Adventures of Antboy and Mr. Cricket
"I have been attempting to work with Airleaf Publishing over the last 2-3 Months. The Service Agreement that I was supposed to sign was not up to my standards and I have tried to get them to revise it. I recently found out about the fraud situation with Airleaf through the illustrator, which I had believed, to part of Airleaf. However, the illustrator was a contractor and did not get a contract from Airleaf as well. He no longer wants to do business with Airleaf or me and has pulled out. After he told me of the companies past, I am seeking advice and legal counsel. I gave Airleaf over $5,300.00 dollars for their marketing, printing and illustrating, but they have not delivered a thing. The illustrator was working on a few characters for me but Airleaf did nothing to assist him. I left E-Mail with Carl Lau stating I wanted to cut ties and asked for my money back. So far, I have received no response and no money.
Libby Hughes – Author of A Summer with Socrates (in Reno) and Barack Obama: Voice of Unity, Hope, and Change
"I am an established author, but wanted to get two books out before Christmas 2007, and I gave Airleaf almost $3,000 to do just that. One is a biography of Barack Obama--and oh, they were going to promote that. On June 13, 2007, I contacted Airleaf and was told they would get my novel out and have it presented to Hollywood for a possible film. I gave my credit card and $1,895.00 for this project. Then on July 31, 2007, I contacted them again. At the time I was working on a biography about Barack Obama. She said that Airleaf wanted to publish and promote it for the Christmas market. I gave her my credit card number and $995.00, bringing the grand total to $2,890.00. To date, I have seen nothing, and they won't reply to any of my inquiries. As a result, I had to cancel all my book signings.
Frank Westmoreland – Author of Tales Over Coffee
"When Airleaf was still Bookman Publishing, they printed one book for me that was Tales From the Front Porch. I was happy with that effort except for the time it took to get more copies when I needed them. Then when they became Airleaf, it took forever for them to get copies for me. Because I had come to like my representative, I went back to Airleaf for help with Tales Over Coffee. I allowed Airleaf to charge my credit card $1,320.00 in September 2006 to cover the cost of 100 copies of my book and other services. As of November 2007, fifteen months later, I have received no books. I believe that my rep was actually embarrassed over my problem, but as time passed and I got no results, he just stopped communicating. Then another rep came on the scene. She kept promising me results and telling me that she had my name on the top of her list when the backlog at the printer broke. I kept after her until she called me and asked me to stop bugging her and promised again that my books would be shipped any day. I did not bug her for a while but since nothing happened again, I started at least two e-mails a day but she seems to have disappeared now, as she does not answer my e-mails. I tried sending e-mails to Carl Lau, but he was always "off line" so I got answers to none of them. When I call they ask my name and when I tell them, they say whomever I am calling, (and I go through the whole list of contacts) is not available and offer me their voice mail. I do not think I have ever gotten an answer to a voice mail message, and I have never been able to talk with Carl. I am a victim of Airleaf. Until fairly recently my inquiry for their status were answered with "they are at the printers." Now I get no response at all."
Bruce Blanton - Author of Time Zones, Beer, and Left Handed Chopsticks
"I paid $2,000.00 to have my book "Time Zones, Beer, and Left Handed Chopsticks" published by Airleaf and I have had nothing but problems since the second my credit card went through their hands. Other than having my book published (six months behind schedule) they have done nothing to meet their end of the agreement. One of my favorites is the Book Signing. They sent me an email saying, "Great News" we have scheduled your first book signing. They wanted me to drive 4 hours from where I live to do a book signing in a city that I have never heard of. I live in Phoenix where there are hundreds of bookstores within a 10-mile radius. My package was to include book signings, a radio interview, and guaranteed placement in 15 bookstores. During the publishing portion of my book, there were so many mistakes and delays on their part, they also offered me their "Hollywood" package. To date, other than seeing my book printed, nothing has been done to promote my book. I have done more for my own cause than they have. My book is doing well, but only through the avenues that I have opened up. I still have not seen a check from Airleaf for any of the books that have been sold through them."
Kate Genovese – Author of Two Weeks Since My Last Confession
"My book was coming out early in 2008. I hired Airleaf in March to send my manuscript to book reviewers so they could write a "blurb" for the back of my book. I gave them $799.00 for the reviews, and they guaranteed two big reviewers as stated in my contract. When I didn't hear a word three months later, I called them, but I got the run around. At first I thought I was impatient, but then when they refused my calls and never called back to me, I knew something was wrong. I tried to reach them all summer with no luck. Finally I called the district attorney's office in Martinsville and filed a formal complaint in October of 2007.
Dr. Enriqueta C. Mayuga – Author of Outspoken and Mute-American Life
“My third book was printed and published by Airleaf Publishing. In late December 2006, I had my initial book signing at Barnes and Noble located in Kennewick, Washington. I was at first very appreciative of the early treatment by the Airleaf. On May 1st, 2007, I sent $1,002.00 as instructed by Airleaf for the purchase of 150 books. Airleaf still owes me 19 books from backorder from 2006 besides the 150 books. I have written letters to Carl Lau. The last call I did was in September 2007 when I talked to Carl Lau and he stated he would take care of this matter. When I followed up this call with his secretary, I was assured that I would be receiving my books. I have called the Airleaf at least 40 times within the last three months. I managed to talk to Carl Lau at least 3 times, but after that, they refused to take my call. I have sent fees for publicity including the exposure to the London Fair and to so-called talk shows like Hannity with promises that the books will be given to different radio and TV commentators for their review. At my first book signing at Barnes and Noble at the end of January 2007, I ordered 100 books but Airleaf told me they could only produce 88 copies. All of the books were sold and up to now, I do not have any idea how many books they sold. I feel betrayed because as far of May 1, 2007, their representative told me there was no problem at all with the company when I felt that I was not getting prompt and appropriate feedback. I feel like a fool now for being so gullible. I even asked my attorney to write them a nice reminder. I want my money back, my books back, and my original disk "manuscript". I feel very helpless because I cannot really afford to go all the way to do this since my health has precluded me from going back to work for the last 5 months."
Terry Rajan – Author of NO Commitment
"I paid $1,500.00 to print 100 copies. They dragged it for three months, and after my constant phone e-mail and phone calls, they printed it. I got my 100 books in September 2005. I was excited and informed all my schoolmates, work mates, my county (Sri Lanka) societies, and all my friends. I sent thousands of e-mail informing people where they could buy my book. Early 2006, after receiving several flyers from Airleaf about how they will increase my book sales by promoting it in bookstores, radio, and other media, I sent them $7,000.00 like a fool. To date I have not received a single penny. I am 100% sure they made a lot of money from the sales of my books because all my friends, my co-workers and my country society members all bought my book. I e-mailed Airleaf hundreds of times asking them for sales money. No answer.
Leon Coates – Author of New Testament Prophesies
"When Airleaf was Bookman in 2004, I had them print my book. Between October and December of 2005, I made a total of $1,898.00 in payments. To date I have received nothing for these payments. I talked to Carl Lau several months ago and none of his promises were fulfilled to me. I will be glad to talk to anyone and tell him or her about my situation and experiences with Airleaf. I had five books published at the time---being published with other publisher---but with very different experiences.
Julio Yacub – Author of The Science and Art of Tennis
"The book was a best seller for 6 month on the Amazon.com Tennis Book list, but I have never received any royalties because the way they sold my book, I got 3 cents per book! So I had to republish my book with another company, which I did, and indeed, I am receiving constant royalties. On top of that, I edited and published a second book through Airleaf "From Our Yiddish Treasure" (previously named Hats Off) in which I enrolled in one of the guarantee placement programs. I paid $700.00 to get the book promoted, but they never sent me a list of bookstores where my book was supposed to be placed, or even a receipt. This is when I realized that they are thieves. After reading all the horror stories from other Airleaf Victims, I decided to print more books before they either went out of business or took our money and ran! So, I call them and I was told that I must print no less than 100 books. I had no problem with that even that they were talking about more than a $1,000.00. Here is the thing--after 3 weeks I decided to call them to check on the order. Each time I called I was told that no one knows, and I have to talk with the sales manager. For 2 weeks, I would leave messages for him, and every time I would call they said, "He is on the other line." Well, to finish the story, I am opening a dispute with the credit card to get my money back. Here is another form of proof that they never intended to print my books, just to take the money!"
Ilene Shepard Smiddy – Author of Daughter of Shiloh
"My book is a true story that happened in 1793 to my ancestors. I paid about $2500.00 to Airleaf to promote my book--$500.00 twice to take my book to Hollywood and $900.00 to attend a Media Event at the Opryland Hotel to be interviewed live by Radio Personalities. I also paid $600.00 for Press Releases to go out to thousands of Book Stores. From all of this I never received a single cent. These people operated a Scam on a Grand Scale. I hope they are brought to justice."
Rocco Fumento – Author of A Lesser Saint
I heard from Airleaf three years after my book A Decent Girl Always Goes To Mass On Sunday was published offering to publicize my novel. By then A Lesser Saint was published and I informed Airleaf of this and they offered to publicize A Lesser Saint instead. On July 27, 2006, I ordered one package of Airleaf services for $637.50. The package was supposed to include two radio interviews to be broadcast throughout the country. It didn't happen. Then I was made a better offer, which would include TV appearances and so much more. I was offered a discount because nothing had been done about that first package deal. For this service I paid $2,100.00. To date, nothing has happened."
Sam Kay – Author of Destiny of Man-The Book of Searcher
"I got hooked up with Airleaf when I was sold on the Guaranteed Placement package. They also republished my book a second time. After a year and $3,000.00 for "other services" including taking my book to Hollywood numerous times, I found that I wasn't getting any money from them for any books I had sold. They also didn't place my book in the guaranteed 10 bookstores as promised. I have spent a lot of time and money in getting this book published and feels as if Airleaf has taken me for a ride. When I still had money and was able to pay for the services offered by Airleaf, I gave them money to take my book to Hollywood to pitch it to produces for a possible movie. This had always been a dream of mine so I was more than a little excited about this prospect. I waited for a couple of weeks after the trip and finally called to ask what happened. I was told there was some interest in my book and if they wanted to make it into a movie they would contact me. I never heard a thing."
Shamaka (Betty A. Flesher) – Author of The Cry of the Wolf, and Life for the Intelligence Impaired
We gave Airleaf $3,945.00 to promote our books and to promote us. We got nothing except our lives on hold, in turmoil, waiting for something to happen. It was a daily hassle to deal with them. They would not give us any answers! They would not return calls. They did NOTHING!! We did the work, we had the headaches, and we paid them!! The only thing they promoted was FRAUD!! We hope they will not be able to swindle other people out of their money, their dignity, their self-assurance, their power, and their ability to make judgments. It’s like having the rug pulled out from under you, with the person doing the pulling, sitting there gloating, at what they have done, at what they have stolen. Its time for them to reap what they have sown. Its time for them to give back the lives to those they have stolen them from!! I have had no life for the past 2-1/2 years dealing with Airleaf. Its time for me to reclaim my life, my space in Creation."
Cliff Crow – Author of After The Diet's Over
“I paid Airleaf $1,500.00 in 2006 to promote his book. The money earned so far should be close to $2,800. Services were not rendered, and no money has been paid.”
David J. Brown – Author of Don't Panic, an Emergency Care Book
“I am also a victim of Airleaf Publishing's deceptive practices. I invested over $1,000.00 to have Airleaf print, publicize, and distribute copies of my book to 15 bookstores on a rotating schedule. I have received no money and have no confirmation that my books were ever placed in bookstores."
Lester Taube – Author of Hanna Barlak
“I paid Airleaf $1,745.00 to publish Hanna Barlak, and directed them to stop once I saw the inefficiency of their operation. Hanna Barlak was never printed. I have asked Lau a number of times to refund my money - but not a word. Second, I paid Airleaf over $5,000.00 to print and send out 1,000 copies of Atonement For Iwo and to publicize the book. Zilch. I learned that Airleaf was storing 500 copies of that book, which implies that these were not sent out, even though I paid for the book, envelopes, postage and other inserts.”
Floriana Hall – Author of Daddy Was A Bad Boy
“I invested more than $1,000.00 in 2006 for my book Daddy Was A Bad Boy and have nothing to show for it. Not the pitch in Hollywood, or the pitch for any event but one poorly written. They lied to me because they told me they sold ten books because of my ad in a magazine, and later told me they did not sell any books. I found out they did even not read my book.”
GC Karus – Author of The Cammaratta Connection and Son, Jason Hubal – Author of For Meaning
“Together we paid Airleaf $8,080.00 in March of 2006 for publishing and marketing our novels. Now it is September of 2007, and there are still no press releases, no book signings, no radio announcements, no accountability statements, and no royalties. The only real evidence that Airleaf was legitimate was the printing of The Cammaratta Connection. To date, For Meaning copies are still being held hostage. We are lost in a black tunnel in space wondering... Was that an asteroid (Airleaf) that blasted our dreams to smithereens? That's what Airleaf did... left us out there in space merely orbiting.”
Lisa~Ann Carey – Author of Retrospect
"I am an Australian author who has invested $1,725.00 to publish my love story and to have it turned into a movie, I waited three years and I still haven't seen a book and a further six months and I still haven't heard back about the movie." Retrospect, a medical romance, is part one of a trilogy. You can view Lisa’s website at www.careysclassics.com
ALTHOUGH THE U.S. ATTORNEY OF INDIANA, TIMOTHY MORRISON, STATED THESE ACTS ARE NOT CRIMINAL, WE HOPE THAT THE REST OF THE WORLD WILL SEE THAT THEY ARE. THESE STORIES ARE JUST A SAMPLE OF OVER 600 DOCUMENTED CASES.
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