This is a copy of the letter I sent out to nearly 600 of our Airleaf and Jones Harvest victims today updating the closing of Jones Harvest Publishing.
Dear Fellow Author,
I know it’s been a while since I’ve written to you, but I haven’t had any news to share up until now.
There is some good news—Brien Jones of Jones Harvest Publishing is FINALLY out of business. For almost five years, this man and his family members including his wife, nephew, and cousin have been defrauding authors, many of whom were originally Airleaf victims. In most states, the action of this con man would be considered criminal. But of course, in Indiana, it’s called “bad business” and not thievery. Go figure!
This information came to my attention three weeks ago when two authors who are not part of our original group saw my website at www.JonesHarvestFraudVictims.com and wrote to me. Both of them were unable to reach Jones by phone or email. Both of them had paid for services which were never received.
I then went to the Jones Harvest website at www.JonesHarvest.com. On there, as well as his other sites such as Celebrity Authors and My Perfect Heart, the same message comes up: Default Website Page with no further information.
An author received this message about Jones several days ago which appears to be from Facebook:
We're all done with publishing. I'm retiring to write myself. I have published THREE Children's books so I can tell you the best option, print-on-demand with black & white illustrations (if you don't have illustrations and need them I'm afraid it's even harder.
Some of you are aware that Jones opened a bookstore in a strip mall in the middle of nowhere. Since he was unable to get author books into real bookstores, he rented his own with the money donated by two authors in order to have the store named after them, Bidwell Moore and Merlene Byars.
A former employee went there last week after hearing the news and found out from another store that the Jones store was closed due to non-payment of rent. I called several stores in the shopping strip where the store was located and they confirmed that Jones “snuck out” in the middle of the night due to non-payment of rent.
Another lesson I learned the hard way and want to pass on to you—it appears as if the Better Business Bureau is looking for money rather than truth when giving ratings to businesses. Brien Jones always fell back on that outstanding “A” rating given to him by the BBB. Over the years, with enough complaints that I encouraged JH victims to file, they gave him an A- rating. That would really scare people away, right?
When I found out Jones is out of business, I sent the Indiana BBB a very nasty letter on behalf of our victims telling them that I warned them numerous times about Jones Harvest and the fraudulence of Brien Jones, but they refused to listen. In fact, the day that I sent them the letter three weeks ago, the company was still posted as having an A- rating.
After I sent BBB my letter last week, the next day the following information was revised:
Jones Harvest Publishing
Phone: (812) 323-2330 View Additional Phone Numbers 5400 E. S R 45, Bloomington, IN 47408 http://www.jonesharvest.com ! BBB Business Review on Jones Harvest Publishing is being Updated by BBB!
On a scale of A+ to F Reason for Rating BBB Ratings System Overview
Based on BBB files, this business has a BBB Rating of No Rating. The reason is as follows: This business has “no rating at this time because BBB file information is being reviewed and/or updated.”
And as of this week, the BBB page has been updated even more:
THIS BUSINESS IS NOT BBB ACCREDITED
Jones Harvest Publishing
! There is an alert on Jones Harvest Publishing ! (yep, in fire red)
When you click into the red link, it states:
According to information in BBB files, it appears that this business is no longer in business.
Well, I suppose that’s a little progress. It took hundreds of thousands of dollars to be ripped off from authors (as I reported to them on several different occasions) before the BBB changed the “A” status of Jones Harvest, but I guess better late than never. I guess.
There are over 100 JH complaints that I have received over the past four years about fraudulence to authors. Reading each one of them only made me shudder. When I warned authors about Jones, he tried to create havoc in my life threatening law suits. He had his attorney send me a letter warning me to “cease and desist.” I begged his attorney to take me to court so at least someone could tell a judge about his client. Of course, that never happened.
He took out a terrible website about me, www.Bonniekayevictims.com, but in time, dropped that because he didn’t feel like paying for it anymore. He started a blog for all of his authors writing horrible lies about me. He wrote to the Attorney General’s office that I was conspiring against him and that is why authors were contacting his office. He tried it all—but I refused to back down or take down the JH Fraud Victims site. Nothing gave me greater pleasure than when an author would write to me thanking me for the warning before they handed the money over to the Jones family.
It’s so “amusing” that Brien Jones would lie to authors and tell them that I owned the new company I went to for publishing again, CCB Publishing, and that was why I was promoting the company to my fellow authors. He could never understand how important the word “integrity” was to me. He didn’t know what the word meant—it was not in his vocabulary. Last week, I spoke to a senior citizen who paid Brien Jones $27,000 to produce several of his books. He was promised the “Star” treatment. That was two years ago. The author NEVER saw ONE of his books in print.
Brien Jones is a predator. He had his staff calling people in nursing homes to solicit them for money. Some of his past employees have called me with the horror stories of how horrible they felt doing this. Children of three different elderly authors have contacted me after their parents died waiting for books that were never printed. One story was so, so upsetting—the daughter told me her father’s last wish as he sat there dying was to see his book in print. She had called Jones Harvest to see why the book was seven months overdue, and they swore they were working on it. Her father died—he never saw his book.
Another sad part of this—besides scamming elderly people, disabled people, and new immigrants to our country with limited English skills—is the Christian population who believed in “Their Perfect Heart.” Under the guise of “Christian” books, in collaboration with Linda Ockels, who was reportedly infatuated with Jones, dozens of Christian authors were scammed into thinking that this was going to be “God’s Blessing.” Jones published stories from good religious people who were also victimized. This brings to mind a youth minister who contacted me two years ago because he had invested all of his savings of $2,700.00 into promotions and received a royalty check for ONE book. Jones responded, “I can’t make people buy your book.” No, I guess he couldn’t based on the fact that he never carried through with his promises.
I think my saddest story came from an author who spent over $16,000 with Jones to turn her children’s book into a Hollywood movie. I begged her not to listen to Brien and even called the companies he claimed were interested in pursuing her book. Of course none of the movie companies ever heard of her or her book. The author was very angry at me and asked to be removed from all future correspondence. Last year I heard from her. In the subject box was “Been Duked”
The author went on to say:
I was one of the Airleaf victims, and I foolishly believed Brien Jones with Jones Harvest Publishing, still wanting to believe, until recently when I noticed double $500 being drawn out of my bank account, and also looking back over maxed out Credit Cards, large charges from Jones Harvest were charged. Adding up expense statements I found (and there’s many more, unfound), but it adds up to over $16,800.00 they’ve already taken from me!! I didn’t authorize all of these large sums charged! I’m sorry I let Brien talk me into you being the bad guy! You opened my eyes about Airleaf, and it should have opened my eyes about Brien… but it didn’t! I was a fool, but now my eyes are wide open!
Trust me, I don’t receive any satisfaction when authors don’t heed my warnings. I am never one to say, “I told you so,” because I was tricked not only by Airleaf, but then again with Jones. But at the first sign of fraud, I turned and ran. I posted warnings all over, but some people just didn’t want to believe—until it was much too late.
For those authors who published with Jones, they will need to republish again. As we all know, once a publisher is out of business, our books are also off the market. When the Airleaf tragedy happened, I spent six months researching other POD companies because I didn’t want to make another mistake. I had already made three of them—one with iUniverse, one with Authorhouse, and then with Airleaf. I researched nearly 40 companies thanks to the database provided by Delhana. Through this research, I found my current publisher CCB Publishing. When I called the owner, Paul Rabinovitch, I knew that he had been primarily a “traditional” publishing company. I was so impressed with his answers that I asked him if he would be willing to consider doing my books as POD. I explained the tragedy with Airleaf, and I felt reassured this would never happen with his company. Unlike POD salesmen who try to sell you more and more, Paul was a publisher who told me what the realities were with POD publishing and how to get the most exposure. There were no false promises or extra “promotions”—just honest to goodness publishing.
My first book published with CCB went incredibly smoothly. Paul worked with me every few days on any issues, and within 4 weeks, my book was in print. Since that first experience, I have had six additional books published. My sales are excellent due to the large distribution channels the CCB finds for its authors all over the world. Most of my books are now in eBook format because that is how many of my sales are made. Most importantly to me as an author—my royalties are waiting for me every three months to the day. Half of the sales revenue is mine—not 20% or 30%. I can buy my books for $2.00 over the cost of printing, which usually runs about $6.00 a book instead of 50% off the cover price like other companies were charging me.
Over 50 of our Airleaf Victims found a home with CCB Publishing. You can read all of our testimonials on their website at www.CCBPublishing.com. You can write to Paul if you have any questions at info@CCBPublishing.com. Paul usually works 20 hours a day so you never have to wait more than a passing moment to get a response—ever.
CCB’s prices are better than most—and the service, quickness, and results are better than any publisher you can ever hope for.
So that’s my latest news. If you are a Jones Harvest victim and you would like to take action to see if you can retrieve any money back or at least try to press some kind of criminal charges, please email me and let me know. I will be happy to work with you and the others who want to see if there can be some resolve.
Also, if any of you would like to be on my Books of Excellence radio show on computer radio on Sunday evenings done via telephone and heard around the world, please send me a note and I will arrange it for you as time permits.
With love to you all,