Pity poor Brien Jones, the veteran vanity press sleazo behind Jones Harvest...who preyed on old people, taking their money on the false promise of "publishing" their books, getting them into bookstores and into the hands of Hollywood producers. Scores of people, most of them elderly, lost thousands of dollars to this unrepetent scammer...and now he wants you to feel sorry for him...and write another check. In a letter to his suckers, republished on the Jones Harvest Fraud Victims blog, he writes, in part:
I tried to sell [BOOK TITLE] and the rest every way possible—more ways than you ever heard about. As with 99% of our titles I failed. It’s hard. And if you ever try selling somebody else’s book (or even your own) to bookstores you’ll find it’s also unpleasant.
By 2010 I spent half my day listening to bookstores hang up on me and the other half listening to authors that paid $950 to publish (usually less than we spent on the print run) complain about lack of sales. I have to admit I don’t feel very bad about giving up on some of those clients.
I do feel bad about you. You were one of the few that even acknowledged our website was free of vanity publishing information or that we had a bookstore. Most of our clients never noticed. I kept on trying anyway.
Astonishing, isn't it? One moment he's talking about taking $950 from authors to "publish" their books and ignore their calls...and the next he's taking pride in the fact that he never disclosed on his site that he was running a thinly-disguised, nickel-and-dime vanity press that primarily preyed on the elderly. And by his own admission, he failed to sell books 99% of the time... a fact I'm sure he never mentioned when he was sweet-talking some grandma out of a thousand bucks.
Jones then has the audicity to recommend to everyone that he bilked that they go to Accurance and write another check for $850 to actually get their books "published" this time (What do you bet he gets a commission on each of those "sales"?)
Bill Earle, a huckster for Accurance, then sent a letter to the Jones Harvest suckers, breaking the news that, despite all the money they gave to Brien Jones, their books were worthless and unsaleable. In other words, they threw their money away. Here's an excerpt:
Right now, we are concentrating everything on the Jones authors who were published with Jones. Those ISBNs are dead now so those books are no longer for sale. Even if sales were poor in the past for whatever reason, you don't have a chance at even one now.
Our Jones Publishing Package, is fast, high quality, as affordable as is possible, and most importantly - complete. Right now, the book you had published with Jones is no longer valid. The ISBN from Jones for your book is a dead account. We are honored to be able to offer you the fastest way back to the market for just $849.
It's so nice that Bill is "honored" to offer the Jones Harvest suckers a chance to throw their money away again.
I have no sympathy at all for anyone who, after already being screwed over by Brien Jones, would now take his advice and write another fat check to yet another vanity press.
The "deal" that Accurance offers is a rip-off...just like everything Brien Jones has ever been associated with. A non-Jones author could get exactly the same services from Accurance for $500 (I wonder where that extra $250 is going?). But wait, it gets even worse. As Bonnie Kaye, founderof the Jones Harvest Fraud Victims Blog notes:
And guess what—if you take this route, you don’t even have a publisher. Accurance isn’t a publisher—it’s a set-up company that brokers you out to companies like Lulu, where you are your own publisher.
In other words, you could just go to Lulu yourself and cut Accurance out entirely. And you know what it would cost you to get your book published?
Now that's a deal.
The fact is, in today's new world, you'd have to be a brain-dead to pay anyone $900 to publish your book, whether it's Accurance, Tate, DogEar, Author House or anybody else.
Because you can publish for FREE digitally (on Amazon, B&N) and in print (with CreateSpace, Lulu, etc). Amazon, Lulu and CreateSpace take their money as a very small cut of your royalties. They make money when YOU make money. You don't have to pay a dime up front, to say nothing of $850.
You can even avoid the minimal cost of having your work formatted for ebooks by using Smashwords, which will also distribute your book to scores of online retailers. You can even make a cover yourself using your own artwork and a basic photo editing program.
It's time for aspiring authors to wake up and stop being carrion for vultures like Brien Jones.
UPDATE: 1-3-2012: Adding insult to injury, the notorious sleazo Brien Jones is now sending letters to the authors that he swindled, offering them the "opportunity," if they hurry and act right now, to buy all of the existing, unsold copies of their books back from him for $5.99 each...oh, and be sure to make the checks out to him personally, not his pseudo publishing company (hmm, do you think he could be trying to evade creditors like, for instance, the same authors he's trying to screw now?).