The Jones Harvest Family has posted the letter on their blog from their attorney that was sent to scare me into stopping my campaign to stop the Jones Harvest Fraudulence.
You can feel free to read this on the Jones Harvest blog with other attacks by his handful of shills. The shills are his fans that Brien Jones does all kinds of publishing favors for. Most of them get free publishing in response for attacking me.
This is the letter I sent to Steven Hedges, his attorney, explaining the situation.
Mr. Steven G. Hedges P.O. Box 5085
November 20, 2008
Dear Mr. Hedges,
Before I begin, I would to ask you a question. What kind of attorney/CPA doesn’t have a real address or email address? It is very hard for me to communicate with you via a P.O. Box, but I’ll try my best.
Thank you for your letter regarding Jones Harvest Publishing. I would like to respond to set the record straight. Let me preface this by saying you are not the first lawyer who has written to me about a campaign against a predatory publisher. The first was a year ago from the attorney representing Airleaf Publishing, the now out-of-business company where Mr. Jones was the former Executive Vice President. That attorney, like you, accused me of similar “wrong-doings”; however, after he received my letter to him as well as numerous letters from the Airleaf Victims group that I had write to him, he walked away from the case. I have a feeling that once you know the truth about Mr. Jones and his company, you may want to do the same.
I am the organizer of the Airleaf Victims group which now numbers over 500 people who were fraudulently taken for money by Airleaf Publishing. At least 2/3 of the group dealt with Mr. Jones at Airleaf and felt that he was the person responsible for their loss of money. I say this to you to lay the basis for his lack of character. If you would like, I could ask my victims to personally write to you and discuss this with you. In fact, I will cut and copy some of their comments recently published on line at the end of this letter for you to read.
When Mr. Jones left Airleaf, he contacted me with a letter which I have pleading his case and stating that he, too, was a victim of Airleaf. In my quest for getting justice from Airleaf, I called him. You see, I didn’t know Mr. Jones at Airleaf. I never heard of him because he wasn’t my representative. I had no reason to doubt him, and I wanted to utilize him to help me as he offered. Mr. Jones offered to print my book from Airleaf “Straight Wives: Shattered Lives” for free if I would allow him to do so. I did not ask him; he asked me. He asked me if he could feature me on his website because I had been one of the most prominent customers that Airleaf had. I agreed to allow him to do that. I also told him that I would help him with his business if he would live up to his promises of “only wanting to sell books for authors.” At that point, I was editing his fliers and advertising for grammar and helping him with ideas for marketing—which I did for free because I believed him. I had no reason to doubt him.
Mr. Jones was instrumental in my campaign to contact authors who were dissatisfied with Airleaf. He provided me with the illegally taken database from Airleaf with all of the data of their customers as well as a list of nearly 1,000 email addresses of people who were dissatisfied with Airleaf. Each day, I diligently sent out letters to 25 or 30 people of this list he provided to me telling them about my Airleaf plight. You can see my site at www.AirleafVictims.com. Horror stories starting pouring in daily from people responding to my forming a group to take legal action against Airleaf. Ironically, the overwhelming majority of letters were attacking Mr. Jones. I didn’t understand it. I pled his cause, telling people he was “just an employee” as he told me. I still didn’t get the fact that he was the mastermind of many of the fraudulent promotions at Airleaf. When I reprinted people’s stories on my Airleaf Victims website, I did so taking his name off and replacing it with “employees” or the “the owner.” I was protecting him because I still believed him.
I did plead the cause of two Airleaf Victims to Mr. Jones asking him to publish their books for free. One, Marta Jankowitz, was a woman in Canada and the other, Jason Hubals, a young man in Washington State, who was dying. Both had given their monies to Airleaf in good faith. Jason and his mother had invested $8,000.00 with Airleaf and never saw a book. Marta invested her mother’s money only to have her mother die before ever seeing a book. In fairness, he did publish the Hubals’ book and he did offer to publish the Marta’s book for free. The Hubals accepted; Marta refused because she wanted action taken against him specifically for misleading her. But because he made the effort, I still believed in him.
Mr. Jones did offer to publish a second book for me for free. Please understand that he would receive half of the monies in royalties as part of the agreement and my books make money—thousands have sold. I was still pushing people his way in the summer of 2007 before the fall-out began. I was promised to have my second book by September 2007. I had made expensive arrangements to do a book launching in NYC with that guarantee. When the book wasn’t delivered after daily promises, I decided to go with a different publisher, CCB Publishing. I had researched publishing companies for six months, and I narrowed my search down to three publishers. After interviewing each of them extensively, I chose CCB. The cost for publishing was much less than Jones Harvest for paying authors, and my book was produced and out in four weeks with integrity and professionalism. I was overly impressed with the company, so it is natural that I would refer people there. I also refer them to Mountain Valley Publishing, Fideli Publishing, and Artship Publishing. These three companies have proven to me that they have an excellent work ethic and produce the work they are paid for. I have no ownership or partnership with CCB Publishing. However, please feel free to read the numerous testimonials from the Airleaf Victims on their website to concur that what I am telling you is the truth. You can also read the testimonials at Mountain Valley Publishing. I have been accused by Mr. Jones of working with them as well. He is always grasping at straws, isn’t he?
Mr. Jones was living in his own delusion that he would be able to take away the Airleaf business and build a money-making company like Airleaf that brought in millions of dollars. In the beginning, he must have believed that publishing and selling books could do that for him. But it didn’t take long until he realized that publishing doesn’t bring in the money—selling promotions is what brings it in—especially if you don’t have to do anything once you get the money. All of a sudden, fliers starting coming out of Jones Harvest looking just like the Airleaf fliers promising people that they could become famous if only they would invest thousands of dollars. All kinds of promises and guarantees were made—GUARANTEES. I am enclosing some of those for you to view. Mr. Jones was careful NOT to send me these fliers knowing that I would be very angry. However, when I was contacted last November by my first clients, Reverend Cleon and Ada Spencer, I knew something was amiss. The Spencers, who are Airleaf Victims, told me that they had given Mr. Jones $4,000 in April to publish two books. Now, seven months later, they had never received ANYTHING—not a galley, not a cover—Nothing. I told them to write to Brien and ask for their money back. He gave them back $3,600.00, charging them $400.00 for a bogus radio interview that he pays a few dollars for. But at least they had the bulk of their money back and they were grateful. The Spencers are elderly people in their 70’s—as are most victims of Mr. Jones. Two weeks later, I received my second letter, and then my third, fourth, and fifth. In the beginning, I was successful in telling authors to ask for their money back—and they got it back. But then it stopped. Mr. Jones didn’t have any money to give back because he was blowing it on his large payroll and personal business.
When I realized that I was being used by Mr. Jones as a “hook” for his business, I asked him to remove me from his website and to remove my book from his publishing company. There were no hard feelings over this. I did not have anything personally against him, just the way he was conducting business with authors in my group.
In the spring of 2008, when Dorothea Smith, an 81-year-old author wrote to me about investing $5,000 with Mr. Jones who guaranteed her a national television advertisement, radio shows, weekly updates, interviews, etc. etc., that did it for me. I told her to ask for her money back, and when he refused, I set up my website.
You see, I was tired of having to relive a nightmare that I was still recovering from. I was unable to sit back and watch innocent people get hurt all over again and lose their dreams. And so yes, I did set up the website, but there is not one bit of inaccuracy in that website. Everything in there is the truth. I will have Dorothea Smith contact you directly so you will know, and I am directly copied his letters to her on my website that states his “guarantees” that Mr. Jones never carried out.
At this point of time, I have had 37 people contact me or respond to me about their problems with Jones Harvest. I am soliciting new victims because I know there are many. In fact, I just sent out a mailing to alert the people who paid for a “catalogue” to be given out at the book fairs Mr. Jones has been sending his wife and cousin to. There is no catalogue, but the money has been paid by at least 16 people for the catalogue. This is the pattern of Mr. Jones.
As far as calling his printers, yes, I did call several of them when one of his other victims, mid-70’s Sioux Dallas of Tampa who is disabled and in a wheelchair with cancer wrote to me in despair because it had been over a year since she paid Mr. Jones. She heard the book was at the printers for months. I told her to ask the name of the printer. When Mr. Jones gave her the name, I gave her the phone number (which Mr. Jones had given me last year while I was still speaking to him) and she called. Mr. Jones said he “paid” this printer—I have the email in case you would like it. When Sioux called, the printer told her he never had her book. Then a few weeks later, Mr. Jones tried to blame the woman for his losing this printer by her getting involved. So I called the printer at Axess Printing to verify if this could possibly be true, and of course, they assured me this was not the case. Of course—but this is my fault to I suppose.
The bottom line is this, Mr. Hedges. I am not going to cease and desist my activities against Jones Harvest until Mr. Jones returns the money of the victims that I am representing as a public advocate. There is no gain in this for me—in fact, I am donating my professional time and money for this campaign because it is a labor of conscience. I am in touch with the Attorney General’s office and the U.S. Attorney’s office about Jones Harvest. I have people filling out reports to those government agencies to take action against him, just like I did to Airleaf Publishing.
If you would like to haul me into court, I would be happy to be there. However, keep in mind if I do go to court, I will be subpoenaing the following to back up my case:
1.The victims of Jones Harvest who will verify everything that I present as evidence of the truth as I tell it
2.The victims of Airleaf who dealt with Mr. Jones to attest to his character—or lack of it
3.The former employees of Jones Harvest
4.A former girlfriend of Mr. Jones during his time at Airleaf
5.Former employees of Airleaf who will testify to Mr. Jones’s scheming and selling
The truth of the matter is, Mr. Hedges, you are representing a criminal. I am representing victims. I do not get paid for anything I do for these victims—I just do it out of conscience. If you think that you will win a case against me, I welcome you to take me to court. I don’t believe that telling the truth is a crime. I don’t think that you’ll think I’m a criminal either after you check out the facts—not the fiction as Mr. Jones tells it.
As with every con, Mr. Jones has his “shills” who will testify that he is a wonderful person and publisher. He has done a number of their books for free, so why not? I could provide you with a list of their names as well because he has them attacking me whenever possible. And if some people have had good experiences with Jones Harvest, that’s what his business is supposed to be about. Airleaf Publishing had some very satisfied customers as well; however, that doesn’t negate the hundreds of us who were defrauded for over two million dollars. The same here goes for Jones Harvest.
As far as hurting Mr. Jones’s reputation—well, he is doing that all by himself. I’m not the one falsely taking people’s money—he is. Mr. Jones has written very libelous things against me. I don’t personalize them. I know where they come from. And I know because the people he sends these lies to send them on to me. I’ll bring them along to court with me as well.
If you are counting on the money you are requesting from me to pay your legal fees—the money you claim I have gotten from these victims—you’ll find yourself penniless because as all of them will verify, I work for free.
Please feel free to contact me if you care to discuss this further.
Bonnie Kaye, M.Ed.
Here are some public comments posted on the website A Writer’s Life from September 2008. Do you want to sue all of them as well?
I contacted the attorney general's office regarding business with this company before this scandal came out. I also knew that Brien Jones was the biggest part of it because he was the only one I had exchanged monies with. I was, however; after the complaint, somewhat compensated. What I have not received are books ordered and am weary about the promise to send novels to film companies etc. This too had a cost.
Hoping that we will all be compensated for all the hard work we did to get our works to a point of publish and for having to go through the process again
Posted by: l charles | Sunday, September 07, 2008 at 03:10 PM
You amaze me Kaye!! Stay strong!! You are such an amazing writer and motivator!!
Posted by: Susan | Sunday, September 07, 2008 at 03:10 PM
When I first dealt with Bookman Publishing - and, later, Airleaf - Brien Jones was the person in charge, as far as I'm concerned. His was the signature at the bottom of the promo letters, the contract info, everything. He incurred the negative karma by so doing, and all the protestations to the reverse will not change that truth.
How convenient for him to now attempt to distance himself from the mess he minimally co-created. He marketed and sold the plans, he promised the goods, and then he failed to deliver. His was the name we authors saw, and therefore, he owns the karma.
I won't bore you with the details, but I paid dearly: money for services that were never rendered, received guarantees that were never made good on, and gave trust that was returned with abuse and failure to produce. My Airleaf rep changed at least four times (including one repeater), so promises and consistency were impossible to maintain.
How subconsciously telling it is that he chose the name Jones' "Harvest", because as he has sown, he surely is now reaping - thanks to Bonnie Kaye, I might add. Jones' Harvest is quickly becoming Jones' Karma.
Posted by: Peter Del Vecchio | Sunday, September 07, 2008 at 08:56 PM
When I first started working with Airleaf, Brien Jones was my only interface. The only thing that I can say is that for me, he brought a whole new meaning to the word “incompetence”.
Posted by: Bruce Blanton | Monday, September 08, 2008 at 06:50 AM
Those of you who want to do business with Brien Jones may certainly do so. He will be happy to separate you from your money. That's what he did to me by promising things that Airleaf could not and did not deliver.
I blame myself. I should have known when he gave the lame excuse for the name change from Bookman to Airleaf. He's a salesman...a closer. But like so many others, I got a little carried away with the idea of having my book published, which never happened. But they took my money.
Buyer beware. Take the time, do your research and find a reputable company. As for Bookman, Airleaf, Brien Jones, and Jones Harvest, I would not have anything to do with any of them or with anyone who had anything to do with any of them.
Posted by: Martin Salzer | Monday, September 08, 2008 at 08:01 AM
Brian Jones is just as crooked as his old boss Carl Lau. (And the State of Indiana is allowing this crap to continue; plus the major Indiana newspaper The Indianapolis Star has ignored all pleas to do an investigation. Is the whole state corupt?)
Posted by: Donald F. Myers, USMC Ret. | Monday, September 08, 2008 at 10:06 AM
I, too, have been burned by Bookman Publishing Company. I had an irregular run-in with Brien Jones, after I asked him a question concerning my book sales. He became irate, and naturally I hung up on him. He called back with a very rude retort. He stated, "Lady, that ain't cool." He repeated the same statement at least two times. I intoned that his behavior was short of being professional and should not be dealing with the public.
I paid several hundreds of dollars for promises that was not delivered. I have decided that POD publishing is not the way for an author to go. I know I will never see my hard-earned money again. I have purposed in my heart to propagate to other author's who may be considering POD publishing, to seek other ways of publishing their book. I am not saying that all POD publishing is crooked. I am certain that there are creditable POD publishing companies out there. I have not found one, yet.
I have an abundance of respect for Bonnie Kaye, for her courage and drive. I am sure that her continuing pro-activeness for what she believes in will prevail and we "authors" will be the better for it.
Good luck to all of you "authors" who are seeking a reputable publishing company.
Posted by: Colleen Jeffries | Monday, September 08, 2008 at 12:05 PM
There may be a few authors who feel their association with Jones Harvest has treated them fairly, but I only see one blog who does so. And it is quite egomaniacal to state that "disgruntled" authors who probably are not smart enough to write, let alone publish, a book are the only ones complaining against Brien Jones. No one but Brien knows how many scams he has cleverly put together (let's give him credit for that ability anyway) but since there is a coalition forming as we speak, it appears that the number of his complaining clients is growing along with the number of his exaggerated promises being uncovered daily.
He is supposed to be a consultant which to him, means collect the money and do nothing.
Posted by: Dorothea Smith | Monday, September 08, 2008 at 12:13 PM
My name is Ken Pullen. I am not a publisher. I have no ulterior motives. I will not benefit in any manner from writing this, or seeing Mr. Brien Jones of Jones Harvest Publishing go out of business.
It is an utterly insane and illogical premise that anyone would monetarily benefit from Brien Jones going out of business. Think about that absurd statement. Where is the logic and reasoning? That is said to merely distract from what is actually taking place should you be foolish enough to trust Brien Jones and give him your money.
I am writing this for one reason and one reason only.
I know Brien Jones. Through knowing him I am very aware of what Brien Jones is. Mr. Jones is a conman. A simple modern day con artist using the Internet and the United States Postal Service to expand and maintain his scheme.
How can this be a con and a crime if some people defend Brien Jones and make the claims he has done wonders for them? Always delivered?
They are shills.
Without shills cons don't work.
Con artists know while people are easy to fleece and separate from their money they won't really begin forking it over until they see someone they can identify with as coming out on top, winning, having the claims of the con artist come true for them.
Brien Jones was the first person working at Airleaf Publishing to contact me. He worked the same angle he does now. He provided names and emails of people who he'd represented that he claimed were happy customers of Airleaf.
I let my guard down upon being emailed by these shils that they had no qualms with Brien Jones or Airleaf.
Meanwhile Brien Jones and Carl Lau of Airleaf Publishing were fleecing literally hundreds and hundreds of people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
None of their hollow words rang true - or ever came true.
Do not follow, do not believe, do not trust Brien Jones. Ever. He is a con artist. He is a criminal. He defrauds people. He can no longer discern fact from fiction, the truth from his myriad lies.
Think of this - in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, any gambling location we all know the house wins 9 out of 10 times, or as adults we should be aware of that. Everything in a casino is set up in favor of the house. Yes, there are occasional winners but tens of millions of losers.
Now knowing that would you take thousands of dollars of money you cannot afford to throw away or lose and bet it all on one bet, one number, one spin of the wheel?
Here is the difference between Brien Jones and Las Vegas - in Vegas you still have the small outside chance of winning, albeit rare. With Brien Jones he already has his shils in place. None of the players ever have a chance of winning at this point. There isn't even that rare remote possibility you might win with Brien Jones.
Don't throw your money away.
Don't merely follow, trust, and believe.
I get nothing from doing this.
The people who have written of Brien Jones crimes do not get anything from saying what they did.
Bonnie Kaye does not benefit in any way other than knowing that if she can bring about awareness and an end to such cons there will be the chance one fewer person will lose their money and have their dreams dashed.
Brien Jones is a crook.
You want to finance a crook and ignore all the warnings it's your life, your money, but do not delude yourself into thinking you're going to be the exception that he cares about, helps, and that you will succeed - you won't.
That you can take to the bank!
Posted by: Ken Pullen | Monday, September 08, 2008 at 11:21 PM
Posted by: GC | Wednesday, September 10, 2008 at 04:19 PM
My main concern about authors who are dealing with Brien Jones...they honestly feel as though he is their friend and cares about them personally. They believe he is a good friend working on their behalf; when in reality, he only knows them by caller ID and a spreadsheet of notes he reads as the call is being forwarded. He doesn’t read any of the manuscripts ..but does have lots of notes from conversations. He mocks and makes fun of authors after their calls.. I know this first hand.
If you've spoke to him more than 4 times and not noticed his replies are recited like verse from memory -pay closer attention. "You’re our top priority", "I thought you had that already", "I'll find out and get back to you"-- Just like in every review Brien has ever written the phrase "engagingly written painstakingly researched" is used- no matter what the subject matter. He actually gets a kick out of getting by with it and no one noticing. Check out starred reviews on the starredreview.com website and see for yourself.
He knows exactly what he's doing...Has always known what he has been doing...Hes done it for years...First Books to Bookman to Airleaf to Jones Harvest.
I totally agree with everything Ken Pullman stated on Sept. 8, 2008. Brien was the first person to contact me at Airleaf. He lost all my manuscript, took half of the $1850.00 he was charging me to get started on my book. He always had excuses for not getting it edited. I worked with five different ones and was told so many lies about why they left. Before Brien left Airleaf, he called me and told me that before he could back started on my book, that he had to have the other half of my money that I owed. Like a fool, I sent it to him. He probably took that with him, because the next thing I knew he was gone and I was receiving letters from him trying to get me to go with his new company. I thought to myself, you conned me out of all that money and did nothing for me, why should I change and start over paying again with you? And, thank God I didn't.
Posted by: Sarah Harrison | Sunday, October 26, 2008 at 06:00 PM
Mr. Hedges, I hope these postings will open your eyes to the reality of your client. If not, I have hundreds of angry authors I’d be happy to send your way via letters to confirm it.