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victoriastrauss
11-02-2008, 03:57 AM
AEG Publishing Group (http://www.aegpublishinggroup.com/) is claiming in this October 2008 press release (http://www.aegpublishinggroup.com/aeg_pressrelease.html) to have acquired The Literary Agency Group (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62493) (a.k.a. Writers Literary Agency) and Strategic Book Publishing/Eloquent Books (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=101448&highlight=strategic) (both have threads here).

It's yet another name change for this Florida-based organization, which has done business under a number of different names since 2001. (For a full listing, see this alert (http://www.sfwa.org/beware/general.html#Literary) at Writer Beware). Businesses include fee-charging literary agencies, paid editing services, and now fee-based publishing.

The office of the Florida Attorney General has opened a public consumer-related investigation (http://myfloridalegal.com/lit_ec.nsf/investigations/31273A2F06893B9B852573760050A9EA) into AEG Publishing Group and its associated entities.

- Victoria

CaoPaux
11-03-2008, 08:49 PM
The website alone is a crime against aesthetics.

How many heads does this hydra have, now? Maybe we should build a sub-forum for 'em, like PA.

victoriastrauss
11-03-2008, 11:16 PM
I think that's a great idea (the subforum). I was just puzzling over the many threads on this group (which don't even cover all of its different names), and worrying that writers who found one thread might miss the others. IMO, collecting them all in one place makes sense.

I don't know how to create a subforum, though. Do you?

- Victoria

CaoPaux
11-03-2008, 11:58 PM
Nope. I expect it'd take an Admin, anyway. I'll send up a flare.

Spidercat
02-17-2009, 11:35 AM
Hi everyone

I am a feature writer for the children's books section of an online magazine and frequently receive requests from publishers and writers to review forthcoming children's books. In general, these are all professional, legitimate requests and I have enjoyed making contacts with new authors and established publishers.

Today, however, I received an email request from a woman to review her children's book published through AEG (Author's Edge) publishing. The email was somewhat unprofessional so I ran a search through Absolute Write Water Cooler for AEG and discovered that Author's Edge is currently under a civil investigation for "charging aspiring writers various fees totaling hundreds of dollars for professional services that were either not rendered at all or were not rendered in good faith; charging for unnecessary services; and creating unreasonable consumer expectations concerning their prospects for publication by failling to criticize submitted drafts, in order to encourage the consumer and collect more fees."

Absolute Write provided a link giving more information on AEG that can be found here: http://myfloridalegal.com/lit_ec.nsf/investigations/31273A2F06893B9B852573760050A9EA

Naturally I do not want to help promote such a dubious publishing company -- but it's my impression that the author who contacted me is being duped by this organization and could be getting bilked out of various fees. Can anyone on this board let me know the most diplomatic way to tell her this?

Old Hack
02-17-2009, 12:09 PM
Spider, I suspect that this thread will soon be merged with AEG's "parent" thread; but meanwhile, you could send her a link to that thread, and to Writer Beware's posts about the company, and suggest she sits down to read it all. Be prepared for her to blame you for the bad information you pass on.

Anna Magdalena
02-17-2009, 01:30 PM
When this happens to me, I always say that I don't review any books published by a company that charges fees and that it's not personal. If I know it's a company under litigation or with a dubious reputation, I will ask politely if they are aware of the facts and, as Old Hack suggests, send a link to the relevant AW thread. If they continue to argue, remain firm and don't get involved in a slanging match. Most of the time that never happens anyway.

James D. Macdonald
04-24-2009, 08:01 PM
Rather than the AW thread, send a link to the Florida Attorney General's page (http://myfloridalegal.com/lit_ec.nsf/investigations/31273A2F06893B9B852573760050A9EA), and suggest that she get in touch with the AG.

olivierlakeside
01-07-2010, 10:41 AM
Here is the link to their website, where you can find details and address. in the following messages received from them you can find names and telephone numbers, if that is useful to anyone.
I am an unpublished writer and obviously came upon AEG PUBLISHING and they agreed on publishing me against fees.
All of that is listed below.

i have found out by anther website that a published writer has worked with them and complain: see below

Strategic Book Publishing AEG Publishing Group

Posted: 2009-08-25 by http://www.complaintsboard.com/img/panel/boy.gif Bob Williamson (http://www.complaintsboard.com/panel.php?action=profile&id=239457)


Fraud

Complaint Rating: http://www.complaintsboard.com/img/rating/rating_20.gif
Company information:
Greenhouse Neutral Foundation
130 Naranga Place
Australia (http://www.complaintsboard.com/bycountry/australia.html)
Phone: 61 8 9295 6035
greenhouseneutralfoundation.org (http://www.complaintsboard.com/byurl/greenhouseneutralfoundation.org.html)

I have a publishing contract with the AEG Publishing group that was arranged by Writer Literary Agency. The book ZER Greenhouse Emissions - The Day the Light Went Out - Our Future World was published in October 2008 and I purchase from them 300 copies to be shipped to me as the author here in Australia. They indicated in the contract that until there were 300 copies (not including the copies I purchased) there would be no royalties payable. The sales reports indicate that only 24 copies have to date been purchased. Although this seem unusual as all the work I have been doing to sell them I did not question these figures. I paid them funds to represent me at the New York book fair in May also US$250. I then subsequently paid a furthe $395 to have them produce an e-book of the title. They forward a free PDF copy to me and the royalties were to be 50% of all e-books sold. I have been working every hour I can to sell the book and direct buyers to the web address for the book at the publisher http://www.eloquentbooks.com/ZEROGreenhouseEmissions.html and know many have reported to me that they have purchased - My royalties have not show up on the statement via royalties page. Today I did a seach to be horified to see that the whole of the operation from Writers Literary to the AEG publishing Group is a scam. This could cause the demise of our not-forprofite environmental education foundation .
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Back to my message:

AEG PUBLISHING website: http://www.strategicbookmarketing.com/

(the thing that strikes me is that they said in previous emails that they published thousands of writers, yet, it's flashing in yellow on their own page that they just published their 700th...
not a good start after reading previous threads....

Emails received copied here so that if you receive exactly the same then you can rest assure it is scam...

------------------------------------------------------------------------
FIRST EMAIL:

We are sending you this email because we want you to see our commitment to
the authors we have published. We do everything we can to market our
authors and their books!

We sincerely want to publish your book
and market it in the US and around the world.

Join us now and be ready for the London Bookshow.


We hope that your writing career is proceeding successfully, and that you
will choose us for any of your publishing needs.

*******
We offer finance plans and allow you to 'pay as you go'.

We know that you want to get your book published so you can start making
money with it. We are happy to take a long term view with you. This also
allows us to prove ourselves to you, one step at a time.


One of the deals we are MOST PROUD OF, IS A DEAL TO SELL OUR AUTHORS' BOOKS
IN CHINA.
Here is a page from our partner's catalog when they go to the Beijing Book
Show this year.
http://www.strategicbookgroup.com/StrategicBookGroup-China1.JPG

At the world's largest book event, Book Expo USA, New York - Strategic &
Eloquent Publishing exhibited their authors' work to an enthusiastic crowd
and great success. To see pictures of our participation in the the event,
please visit
http://s639.photobucket.com/albums/uu112/aegpublishinggroup/?albumview=grid

We had a dozen authors perform book signings and we are happy to say that
none of the authors went home with any left over books! Deals were made and
it was a great show!

http://www.strategicbookmarketing.com/sbm-frankfurt-2009.html shows our
exhibit in Frankfurt where many relationships were built and deals are in
process.


We plan to be there next year with more authors.. And we hope you are there
with us!

Sincerely,

Liz, Tania, Linda, Mark - Acquisitions Team

If you would like to speak with someone, please call Mark at 561-455-6066.

For a current listing and an example of our hundreds of books published
please visit www.StrategicBookGroup.com (http://www.strategicbookgroup.com/).


Ps. You can trust that we will produce your book. OVER 1000 authors have
published with us in the last few years. They can be viewed at
www.StrategicBookClub.com (http://www.strategicbookclub.com/). If you sign up with us, we will deliver!


To see how we handle the production and marketing aspects of our business
you might visit www.aegpublishinggroup.com/clientcare.html (http://www.aegpublishinggroup.com/clientcare.html) We are committed
to efficiency.

To see more about our world class marketing company please visit
www.StrategicBookMarketing.com (http://www.strategicbookmarketing.com/)

Let us publish and market your book. Our marketing department is better than
our competition!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

EMAIL 2

Hello!

After review of your book query which was sent to us by our sister agency,
we would like to examine your work for publishing. (For reference, your
query is at the bottom of the email). We have an immediate need for books
of all genres that came about because of our recent exhibit at the Frankfurt
Book Fair. See the note at the bottom of our email.

PLEASE NOTE: IF YOUR WORK IS NOT FINISHED PLEASE LET US KNOW. We need
finished work. If your work is not finished then you should work with the
agency. They can sell unfinished work.

------------------
A quick blurb about us:

We are mainly a book marketing company so we can make decisions very
quickly. Please visit our website at www.StrategicBookMarketing.com (http://www.strategicbookmarketing.com/) for an
overview of our company and you can see some of the fine authors we have
published and that we represent at our author site
www.StrategicBookClub.com (http://www.strategicbookclub.com/). We have sold over 50,000 books on their behalf
in the last year. And, we love international book expos. See the note at
the very bottom.


We would like to review your work.
---------------------------------
This email tells you how to send your work to us. Our review process is
designed to evaluate both the technical quality of the writing and the
subject matter. Don't worry unduly, or spend a lot of time trying to clean
it up in a hurry. There is always time for that should we decide to work
together.


Email Us Your Work Please
------------------------------
To take the next step, would you please FORWARD this email with a copy of
your work and 2-3 illustrations (if needed) to:

Tania@StrategicBookMarketing.com
(or simply reply to this email)

If you do not have illustrations for the work, please indicate that in your
email as well although your query has indicated that you do have
illustrations already.

Be sure that the information below is included in the email along with a
copy of your work. Please do not change the subject line. Our Review Team
will go over the work and get back to you in about a week.



Sincerely,

Liz, Tania, Linda, Mark - Acquisitions Team

If you would like to speak with someone, please call Mark at 561-455-6066.

For a current listing and an example of our hundreds of books published
please visit www.StrategicBookGroup.com (http://www.strategicbookgroup.com/).




Additional information about our book marketing philosophy
---------------------------------------------------------
Please understand that first and foremost, publishing is a selling business,
not a writing business. We will be making our decision from a marketing and
sales perspective primarily.

Because we make the bulk of our money in selling books, where we should, you
will find that our concentration on marketing is world class. Marketing is
the toughest part of the book business. However, we do feel that we do a
better job than most. Selling books in the traditional manner is a very
straightforward process, then we add some special techniques that other
companies don't have. The books will be available to bookstores and on
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all major online retailers. Every publisher that
we know of, from Random House to Authorhouse, follows this marketing
sequence.

But that's not good enough! We make money if we sell books! That's what we
both need to focus on. We are specialists in finding alternate means of
distribution and working the online search engines. When you publish with
us, you will be working with our marketing specialists at
www.StrategicBookMarketing.com (http://www.strategicbookmarketing.com/) . You might give that website a read. And
finally, take a look at some of the examples of what we are doing for our
clients, right now. http://www.strategicbookmarketing.com/blog/

P.S. Heartfelt Praise From One of Our Authors:

I received my copy of "The Rope" today. It's hard to describe my feelings.
After all this time, it's real. It's here. And it's beautiful. I feel like I
did when my son was born. What used to be a joke, or a dream has really
happened. I received a total of eleven books this afternoon. There are fifty
more coming. I took the very first book out, and set it aside. I really want
to sign it and send it to you. I think that is only appropriate. You are the
one that has really made all of this possible. I live in a very small town.
700 people. I know most of them. News has spread quickly about the book
coming out on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, K Mart, Yahoo, and Google. They
have asked me to do a book signing and sells at the new library here in
Dorris. The support for the book has been phenomenal. I feel like a
celebrity. Tell Mark I'm not gay, but I think I'm in love with him. The
cover is fantastic. Everything about the book surpasses anything I could
have hoped for. Because of you and Mark, this is the only way a person
should consider publishing their book. I would love to be a spokesman for
you. Thank you guys. You have all been great. If you need an approval of the
book from me, you have it. But more than that, you have my respect and
admiration. Hope to hear from you soon. Terry Salyer - Author

OPT OUT: When you filled out the form you elected to receive emails from our
company. To be removed from receiving any further emails please reply or
forward this email with your email address to optout@zmpi.com and you
will be removed from any further emails.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

EMAIL 3

Thank you for your manuscript. It has been received and will be reviewed in
the next week or so.

There is no need to send additions, fixes, cover designs, etc. We can work
with what you sent. There is always plenty of time to make changes if we
decide to work together. You should be receiving a response within the
next one or two weeks. We appreciate your patience in our review time as we
receive hundreds of submissions each


Would you mind helping us make a publishing decision by answering the book
marketing questions below?
--------------------------------------------------
We want to know more about your available time, your technology background,
and your sales proclivities. The key is consistency and focus.

=============================


Q) How much time per week do you have available to help us market your work?


A)



Q) How internet savvy and technical are you? Are you comfortable with new
programs on the web? Do you have a blog? Do you post regularly? Please
discuss.

A)



Q) Would you prefer to market on the web or market by going out and visiting
locations, giving talks or book signings? Some authors want to get out
there, some want to market only on the web, and some will do both. Tell us
about how you feel about selling activities. Some people are very
comfortable with public speaking and some are not.

A)



Q) Next, please read www.StrategicBookMarketing.com (http://www.strategicbookmarketing.com/) for an overview of the
various programs that we offer. What would you most like to do in the first
30 days after your bookis released to help market your work? Please choose 3
of the marketing techniques listed on our website and note them here along
with any pertinent comments that you may have.

(NOTE: Depending on the situation, these marketing programs are generally
free to the authors we publish under our traditional publishing contract).



1st Marketing Technique:



2nd Marketing Technique:



3rd Marketing Technique:




Thank you in advance to the answers to these questions. This will help us
make up our mind as to which type of contract and agreement we can offer
you. We would like to work with you and this will help us decide.

Sincerely,

Liz, Tania, Linda, Mark - Acquisitions Team

If you would like to speak with someone, please call Mark at 561-455-6066.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

EMAIL 4

IT IS CLEARLY STATED THAT IT COST THE WRITER TO PUBLISH WITH THEM AND IN THIS EMAIL THEY SAY HOW MUCH, THOUGH THEY DON'T MENTION THAT TO BE AT A BOOK FAIR YOU HAVE TO PAY TOO.

We are sending you this email because we want you to see our commitment to
the authors we have published. We do everything we can to market our
authors and their books!

We sincerely want to publish your book
and market it in the US and around the world.

Join us now and be ready for the London Bookshow.


We hope that your writing career is proceeding successfully, and that you
will choose us for any of your publishing needs.

*******
We offer finance plans and allow you to 'pay as you go'. See below.

We know that you want to get your book published so you can start making
money with it. We are happy to take a long term view with you. This also
allows us to prove ourselves to you, one step at a time.


One of the deals we are MOST PROUD OF, IS A DEAL TO SELL OUR AUTHORS' BOOKS
IN CHINA.
Here is a page from our partner's catalog when they go to the Beijing Book
Show this year.
http://www.strategicbookgroup.com/StrategicBookGroup-China1.JPG

At the world's largest book event, Book Expo USA, New York - Strategic &
Eloquent Publishing exhibited their authors' work to an enthusiastic crowd
and great success. To see pictures of our participation in the the event,
please visit
http://s639.photobucket.com/albums/uu112/aegpublishinggroup/?albumview=grid

We had a dozen authors perform book signings and we are happy to say that
none of the authors went home with any left over books! Deals were made and
it was a great show!

http://www.strategicbookmarketing.com/sbm-frankfurt-2009.html shows our
exhibit in Frankfurt where many relationships were built and deals are in
process.


We plan to be there next year with more authors.. And we hope you are there
with us!

Sincerely,

Liz, Tania, Linda, Mark - Acquisitions Team

If you would like to speak with someone, please call Mark at 561-455-6066.

For a current listing and an example of our hundreds of books published
please visit www.StrategicBookGroup.com (http://www.strategicbookgroup.com/).


Ps. You can trust that we will produce your book. OVER 1000 authors have
published with us in the last few years. They can be viewed at
www.StrategicBookClub.com (http://www.strategicbookclub.com/). If you sign up with us, we will deliver!


To see how we handle the production and marketing aspects of our business
you might visit www.aegpublishinggroup.com/clientcare.html (http://www.aegpublishinggroup.com/clientcare.html) We are committed
to efficiency.

To see more about our world class marketing company please visit
www.StrategicBookMarketing.com (http://www.strategicbookmarketing.com/)

Let us publish and market your book. Our marketing department is better than
our competition!


Please. Let me suggest that you take a good look at our 'pay as you go'
financing package. Because of the great response to our offer, we are
filling up our time slots for production very rapidly. I strongly suggest
that you get your signed contract and initial minimum payment to the office
to reserve your place in the production process. Also, once the economy
turns back up, we may not offer this program as it is not something we would
offer in stronger times.

Let's not let money stand in the way of working together! We completely
understand cash flow challenges, so we are willing to work something out
with you. We can work with you for as little as a regular payment of $50.

We like you and your work and we are willing to try to figure something out
together. This is a slow moving business and we're in it for the long term.
We would hate to lose an author that we like because of something as simple
to deal with as money.

Consider if you could make small payments of $50 every now and then.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
We are willing to provide a program like this for authors we hope to work
with. Here is how it would work. You determine what you are comfortable
paying. We will work with you as you pay us. That way we can get started,
and we can take our time and publish the work a little bit at a time. Here
is a good example of what we have to do to publish your work and where the
costs are. The example below shows how we can proceed with someone that can
afford to send $50 to us on some regular basis.

Contract Administration and Plan Accounting ($100) - It costs us about $100
to setup your file, assign your ISBN, and to issue a receipt for your
payment. This also covers the administration associated with managing the
payment plan. As you would expect, there is more overhead with this plan
simply in terms of accounting.

Manuscript Review and Preparation ($100) - As you would expect, we have a
qualified editor review every manuscript for text quality, image quality,
formatting, legal issues, etc. We use the review as a 'roadmap' for
identifying any potential problems that can be fixed as we go. You will
receive the review and go back and forth with our review team to make sure
that the next steps go as smoothly as possible.

Text Blocking ($150) - Creating a "final" text block that is ready for the
printer takes our talented designers about 6-10 hours. We also let you
proof the Text Block and then you formally sign off on it.

Back Cover Writing ($100) - Typically, the author has a hard time writing
about themselves and it is so important that we do it well. Writing a
compelling back cover takes us about 3 hours of work and going back and
forth with you.

Cover Design ($150) - Like the Text Block, creating a compelling cover, that
you approve takes us about 6 hours of work. You will approve the cover and
we consistently get high marks from our authors for the quality and impact
of our covers.

Galley Proofing ($100) - We hate errors, but they do happen. Galley proofing
is the final/final proof step before the work is uploaded to the printer.
We need to make sure that we have the correct final files and that all work
is done to specifications.

Proof Copy ($50) - A physical proof copy is printed and mailed to you for
final approval before printing.

Ingram Catalog and File Upload Fees ($100) - There are a series of one-time
fees that we pay the printer when we send your file for processing. The
Ingram fees are to make sure that your book is available for purchase around
the world by bookstores and other outlets. Also, this fee takes care of the
upload to Amazon and other online retailers.

Author Book Selling Website ($100) - The Author Book Selling website is
where your clients can buy the book on the web. We provide a customized site
that tracks purchases, etc.

We will also be providing you with a Royalty Management system to check on
your sales and royalties and we will be providing you with monthly
production/accounting statements.

And finally, the next step is Marketing... Marketing ... Marketing..


Conclusion
----------------
The costs above are given to you at 'our cost', we are not making a profit
at those numbers. And, these costs don't even include what we will expend
on your behalf when it comes to marketing, answering questions, fixing
problems, etc.

The total above is about $900. If you provided payments of $50, that's only
eighteen payments.
So, this truly is a Joint Venture Publishing project. As you can see there
are a lot of 'moving parts' and it takes a top notch company to pull them
all together.

We have already invested in getting to know each other and we hope that we
can work something out to work together. If you can afford to send us $50
every now and then, we are happy to proceed and work for you. If we can
cover our costs, we can stay in business, and if your book is out in a year,
that's still great! Once your book is out and starts selling then there is
every chance in the world that you can recoup your investment!

We hope you will join us. To participate in this program please follow
these instructions. $50 is the minimum payment we can accept because of our
costs in issuing a receipt and managing the accounting. Of course you can
pay more if you choose.


To Begin, please reply to this email and fill in your desired amount and
frequency:
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------

Yes. I would like to participate in the Joint Venture Publishing Program
with a Financing Option. I am able to pay $______ approximately every
________ (weeks) and I understand that the total is $995. I understand that
this is not a formal financing commitment and that if I am late or skip a
payment that it will not be held against me. I understand that you will be
doing the work described above as I pay you and that if the work is done,
that there are no refunds. If the work is not done, then you may receive a
refund of that portion only. I understand that there is no time limit and
that I may take my time in making payments. I understand that I will
receive copies of the items described above and that I may quit at any time.

Type Your Name:_______________________________

This is not a commitment in any way. This determines if we can work
together. If we can work together we will send you the revised contract for
your final signature.

=================================================

Ok, that's it.. If you will send in this information, we will make sure that
it fits for us, and we will finalize the contract with you.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------



EMAIL 5

Thank you again for your interest in our book publishing and book marketing
company. We like what we have seen so far and we would like to try to work
something out with you in order to publish your work.

At this point we have published about 1000+ authors like you, and we are
proud of what they have accomplished. These authors are holding their work
and selling nicely. It is a good feeling to move forward like this. You can
trust that we will produce your book. OVER 1000 authors have published with
us in the last few years. They can be viewed at www.StrategicBookClub.com (http://www.strategicbookclub.com/).
If you sign up with us, we will deliver!


The beautiful aspects of our agreement are:

1) The fifty percent royalty is industry leading, and shows that we really
are partners, and

2) if the sales are what you suggest, then you get your money back.

We think our agreement is extremely fair and takes into account the
topsy-turvy nature of the publishing business of today with its inherently
higher risks.


Before you read the information and our offer below, let us offer one
caveat. This discussion is NOT about the quality of your work. This
discussion IS about our perception of how hard, or easy it will be to SELL
your work. Many authors take a publisher's response of anything less than
"100% jumping up and down" personally.

Please understand that first and foremost, publishing is a SELLING business,
not a writing business. We are making our decision from a marketing and
sales perspective.

Based upon what we have seen, we may have a publishing option that works for
you. Our decision is based mainly on sales and marketing factors and risk
and our analysis of how hard, or easy, it will be to get to 5000 sales.
Please let me explain more.

While we are not confident that we could recoup publishing costs within the
first year of publication, we do see a possibility of recouping our costs
within the next three years. Because of this, we feel that your work is
best suited for publication under our Joint Venture publishing arrangement.

HOWEVER, PLEASE NOTE: If you plan on writing multiple books, and if sales
from the first book meet or exceed our expectations, then we will almost
certainly publish the new works under the traditional publishing model not
the joint venture model.

Here is more information about our Joint Venture program. (An agreement is
attached).

Our Joint Venture program gives you a 50% royalty and allows us to split the
cost of production with you to produce a printed book. Your one time only
fee of $995* includes ISBN, cover design, publishing, distribution,
marketing and promotion. The only elements that this cost does not cover are
illustrations and editing and editing is NOT mandatory for this offer. So,
basically, for $995 you will hold your finished book in your hand, and we
can start selling it together.

-----------------
PLEASE NOTE: If sales from the first book meet 1000 units, then you will
receive a $1000 bonus and then we will almost certainly publish the new
works without asking for your financial support of our marketing efforts.
In other words, if the first book does well, it's easy to work together to
do subsequent works at no charge to you. You will see a clause in the
contract that says that if we reach 1000 sales with your first book that
subsequent books that we publish for you there will be no shared fees AND we
will pay you a $1,000 advance.
-----------------

==================
* In today's uncertain economy we realize this may be daunting. We have a
program to reduce the risk and allow payment plans of as low as $50 per
payment. Please see the information at the very bottom if this is of
interest to you. NOTE: WE WILL ALSO DO THE WORK AND YOU WILL APPROVE IT AS
THE MONEY IS RECEIVED. It is a 'pay as you go' plan.
===================

Your book will be available for bookstores to order as many copies as they
wish through our Ingram distribution agreement, and it will also be marketed
through the online retailers such as Barnes&Noble.com, Borders.com,
Amazon.com, etc. In return for participating in the cost of publishing, you
are rewarded with a 50% royalty, as opposed to the standard 6%-12% royalty
provided by most traditional contracts.

Ingram is our US and international distributor. Bookstores can order as many
or as few books as they like and your book will be listed in Bowker's Books
in Print, the order source for bookstores. Your book will never run out of
print and there are no limited print runs.

We think our marketing department is better than anyone else. Please see
http://www.strategicbookmarketing.com (http://www.strategicbookmarketing.com/)

We use a professional marketing team that will help you promote your book.
We will send out press releases to your local media, as well as help you
increase your internet presence with social media. For more information
about our marketing and promotion, please visit www.aegauthorsedge.com (http://www.aegauthorsedge.com/) and
http://www.strategicbookmarketing.com/blog/ . This will show you what we've
done for our other authors, including book tours, television appearances and
interviews.

We take care of building an author website for you (which you can see at
www.AEGauthorsEdge.com (http://www.aegauthorsedge.com/) by searching for any keyword). We create an author
display video (check out our YouTube channel at
www.youtube.com/authordisplay (http://www.youtube.com/authordisplay) ), we take care of getting your book on the
retail websites and if desired we will set you up with social media sites
such as Myspace and others.

If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Sincerely,

Liz, Tania, Linda, Mark - Acquisitions Team

If you would like to speak with someone, please call Mark at 561-455-6066.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

EMAIL 6

I ASKED FEEDBACK FROM MY MANUSCRIPT SINCE I REALISED I WAS RECEIVED SAMPLE MAIL ALL THE TIME AND NOTHING WRITING ON IT WAS PERSONAL, HENCE THE REASON WHY I ASKED FOR FEEDBACK.
HERE IS THE REPLY: (ENJOY)

Our review team has reviewed your manuscript and if they did not think it would sell they would not have recommend to publish it. Sorry, but they do not give out feedback but when you get into the production process they will review your manuscript and you will get feedback from them.
IT MEANS YOU HAVE TO PAY T KNOW WHAT THEY THINK. IT'S LIKE YOU WANT TO KNOW IF YOUR BOOK IS GOOD, WELL LET'S GET IT PUBLISHED WITH YOUR MONEY THEN YOU WILL SEE BY YOURSELF
WRONG OR RIGHT?

SORRY GUYS FOR SUCH A LONG THREAD BUT IF IT CAN HELP OTHERS THEN SO BE IT.
I AM SO DISGUSTED RIGHT NOW. ESPECIALLY THAT I HAVE JUST RECEIVED ANTHER EMAIL FROM THEM WHILE I WAS WRITING THIS AND THEY LIKE TRYING TO PUSH ME UP TO SEND MONEY. 'LET'S GET YOUR BOOK PUBLISHED AND LET'S SELL IT...."

olivierlakeside
01-07-2010, 11:00 AM
I wanted to add to my thread that I nearly fell for it, so thank you everyone for your time and concern, and threads.
Thank you...

victoriastrauss
01-07-2010, 10:07 PM
Yet more confirmation that another name switch/business model switch is in progress: Strategic Book Publishing is becoming Strategic Book Marketing (http://www.strategicbookpublishing.com/), and they are consolidating "traditional" and "joint venture" publishing under one umbrella. From the reworked Strategic website:


Strategic Book Marketing (SBM) is a progressive publisher for authors that have a strong marketing pitch. We pay all costs for those authors. SBM also offers innovative publishing partnership programs for authors that have published with other publishers, and for authors where the path to large sales numbers is not so clearly defined.
Possibly Eloquent Books will be phased out?


PLEASE NOTE: If sales from the first book meet 1000 units, then you will receive a $1000 bonus and then we will almost certainly publish the new
works without asking for your financial support of our marketing efforts.This is a classic vanity publisher bait-and-switch. Many of the old print-based vanities used to promise that if you sold out your initial print run (which, if you accepted their offer to "warehouse" for an additional fee, never actually got printed), they'd publish your second book free.

- Victoria

BenPanced
01-07-2010, 11:48 PM
IANAL but I'm just wondering if he realizes that this will only increase scrutiny from the AG.

Wait. I think I just answered my own question.

Momento Mori
01-08-2010, 09:12 PM
Figured it might be worth while pointing out all the red flags.


Strategic's 1st Email:
We sincerely want to publish your book and market it in the US and around the world.

So they're taking worldwide rights in your work? I know commercial publishers who will take world-wide rights but only so that they can sell in turn to local publishers in each of the regions.

No organisation has the budget to publish and market your book effectively in every market.


Strategic's 1st Email:
Join us now and be ready for the London Bookshow.

It's actually the London Book Fair (http://www.londonbookfair.co.uk/). It's never a good sign when the acquisitions team can't get the name right for an industry-known event.


Strategic's 1st Email:
We offer finance plans and allow you to 'pay as you go'.

Either way, you're paying to be published (and published badly).


Strategic's 1st Email:
One of the deals we are MOST PROUD OF, IS A DEAL TO SELL OUR AUTHORS' BOOKS
IN CHINA.

Would that be the same China where piracy and copyright infringement are so bad that it's not really worth trying to publish there? Not to mention the restrictions on free speech, the difficulty in securing accurate translations, the poor quality of some book binding and so on and so forth ...


Strategic's 1st Email:
At the world's largest book event, Book Expo USA, New York - Strategic & Eloquent Publishing exhibited their authors' work to an enthusiastic crowd and great success.

Define "success" and for whom.


Strategic's 1st Email:
We had a dozen authors perform book signings and we are happy to say that none of the authors went home with any left over books! Deals were made and it was a great show!

How many authors went home with enough money to cover their costs of attendance and all money paid to AEG up to that date?


Strategic's 1st Email:
our exhibit in Frankfurt where many relationships were built and deals are in process.

So no actual sales then?


Strategic's 1st Email:
You can trust that we will produce your book. OVER 1000 authors have published with us in the last few years.

And how many of those authors have made more money from publishing their book with you than they paid to be published by you?


Strategic's 1st Email:
Let us publish and market your book. Our marketing department is better than our competition!

Unless by "marketing" you mean books to be available in book stores, copies to be sent to reviewers and attempts made to sell your books to people who have never heard of you.


Strategic's 2nd Email:
After review of your book query which was sent to us by our sister agency, we would like to examine your work for publishing. (For reference, your query is at the bottom of the email). We have an immediate need for books of all genres that came about because of our recent exhibit at the Frankfurt Book Fair. See the note at the bottom of our email.

PLEASE NOTE: IF YOUR WORK IS NOT FINISHED PLEASE LET US KNOW. We need finished work. If your work is not finished then you should work with the agency. They can sell unfinished work.

Let's leave aside the fact that:

- an agency with a 'sister' publishing or marketing company is never a good deal for authors; and

- the agency has passed on a query without doing any kind of spiel about it,

it's more than a little worrying that AEG hasn't even read the query to know if the work is finished or not.


Strategic's 2nd Email:
We are mainly a book marketing company so we can make decisions very quickly. Please visit our website at www.StrategicBookMarketing.com for an overview of our company and you can see some of the fine authors we have published and that we represent at our author site www.StrategicBookClub.com. We have sold over 50,000 books on their behalf in the last year. And, we love international book expos.

If your publishing books then you're a publisher.

Sales of 50,000 books in a year for a publisher that takes on thousands of authors is pitiful. Think about it - a bestselling fiction title in the Times bestselling lists will have sold at least 5,000 books in a week. Ask yourself if you've ever heard of any of the authors or book titles on the Strategic Book Club website - have you seen their books in your local book store?


Strategic's 2nd Email:
Our review process is designed to evaluate both the technical quality of the writing and the subject matter. Don't worry unduly, or spend a lot of time trying to clean it up in a hurry. There is always time for that should we decide to work together.

What kind of publisher doesn't want you to clean up your text? How can any publisher evaluate the "technical quality" of writing that has been put together in a hurry?

This just shows that they're an author mill - they want your work as quickly as possible so that they can start selling it back to you.


Strategic's 2nd Email: (BOLDING MINE)
Because we make the bulk of our money in selling books, where we should, you will find that our concentration on marketing is world class. Marketing is the toughest part of the book business. However, we do feel that we do a better job than most. Selling books in the traditional manner is a very straightforward process, then we add some special techniques that other companies don't have. The books will be available to bookstores and on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all major online retailers. Every publisher that we know of, from Random House to Authorhouse, follows this marketing sequence.


"Available to" bookstores is not the same as "available in" bookstores. This is weasel wording. Random House and the other commercial publishers have distribution contracts in place to make sure that bookstores stock your books. AEG does not. They are not therefore following the same marketing sequence and you should not be misled into thinking that you are going with a commercial publisher.


Strategic's 2nd Email:
But that's not good enough! We make money if we sell books! That's what we both need to focus on. We are specialists in finding alternate means of distribution and working the online search engines. When you publish with us, you will be working with our marketing specialists at www.StrategicBookMarketing.com . You might give that website a read. And finally, take a look at some of the examples of what we are doing for our
clients, right now. http://www.strategicbookmarketing.com/blog/

Rubbish. If your books are not in stores, how is anyone going to know about them? This is all a smokescreen.


Strategic's 3rd Email:
Q) How much time per week do you have available to help us market your work?

Q) How internet savvy and technical are you? Are you comfortable with new programs on the web? Do you have a blog? Do you post regularly? Please discuss.

Q) Would you prefer to market on the web or market by going out and visiting locations, giving talks or book signings? Some authors want to get out there, some want to market only on the web, and some will do both. Tell us about how you feel about selling activities. Some people are very comfortable with public speaking and some are not.

Q) Next, please read www.StrategicBookMarketing.com for an overview of the various programs that we offer. What would you most like to do in the first 30 days after your bookis released to help market your work? Please choose 3 of the marketing techniques listed on our website and note them here along with any pertinent comments that you may have.

Notice that none of this sets out what AEG will do for you marketing wise.


Strategic's 3rd Email:
Thank you in advance to the answers to these questions. This will help us make up our mind as to which type of contract and agreement we can offer you. We would like to work with you and this will help us decide.

TRANSLATION: this won't really make much of a difference to how much we are going to charge you.


Strategic's 4th Email:
Join us now and be ready for the London Bookshow.

You mean the London Book Fair?


Strategic's 4th Email:
Let me suggest that you take a good look at our 'pay as you go' financing package. Because of the great response to our offer, we are filling up our time slots for production very rapidly. I strongly suggest that you get your signed contract and initial minimum payment to the office to reserve your place in the production process. Also, once the economy turns back up, we may not offer this program as it is not something we would
offer in stronger times.

Classic pressure selling and it's all bollocks.


Strategic's 4th Email:
Let's not let money stand in the way of working together!

Particularly when it's your money.


Strategic's 4th Email:
Here is how it would work. You determine what you are comfortable paying. We will work with you as you pay us. That way we can get started, and we can take our time and publish the work a little bit at a time. Here is a good example of what we have to do to publish your work and where the costs are. The example below shows how we can proceed with someone that can afford to send $50 to us on some regular basis.

Contract Administration and Plan Accounting ($100) - It costs us about $100 to setup your file, assign your ISBN, and to issue a receipt for your payment. This also covers the administration associated with managing the payment plan. As you would expect, there is more overhead with this plan simply in terms of accounting.

Manuscript Review and Preparation ($100) - As you would expect, we have a qualified editor review every manuscript for text quality, image quality, formatting, legal issues, etc. We use the review as a 'roadmap' for identifying any potential problems that can be fixed as we go. You will receive the review and go back and forth with our review team to make sure that the next steps go as smoothly as possible.

Text Blocking ($150) - Creating a "final" text block that is ready for the printer takes our talented designers about 6-10 hours. We also let you proof the Text Block and then you formally sign off on it.

Back Cover Writing ($100) - Typically, the author has a hard time writing about themselves and it is so important that we do it well. Writing a compelling back cover takes us about 3 hours of work and going back and forth with you.

Cover Design ($150) - Like the Text Block, creating a compelling cover, that you approve takes us about 6 hours of work. You will approve the cover and we consistently get high marks from our authors for the quality and impact of our covers.

Galley Proofing ($100) - We hate errors, but they do happen. Galley proofing is the final/final proof step before the work is uploaded to the printer. We need to make sure that we have the correct final files and that all work is done to specifications.

Proof Copy ($50) - A physical proof copy is printed and mailed to you for final approval before printing.

Ingram Catalog and File Upload Fees ($100) - There are a series of one-time fees that we pay the printer when we send your file for processing. The Ingram fees are to make sure that your book is available for purchase around the world by bookstores and other outlets. Also, this fee takes care of the upload to Amazon and other online retailers.

Author Book Selling Website ($100) - The Author Book Selling website is where your clients can buy the book on the web. We provide a customized site that tracks purchases, etc.

We will also be providing you with a Royalty Management system to check on your sales and royalties and we will be providing you with monthly production/accounting statements.

And finally, the next step is Marketing... Marketing ... Marketing..


Conclusion
----------------
The costs above are given to you at 'our cost', we are not making a profit at those numbers. And, these costs don't even include what we will expend on your behalf when it comes to marketing, answering questions, fixing problems, etc.

The total above is about $900. If you provided payments of $50, that's only eighteen payments. So, this truly is a Joint Venture Publishing project. As you can see there
are a lot of 'moving parts' and it takes a top notch company to pull them all together.


This made me throw up in my mouth.

Remember how in the first email they compared themselves to Random House? Well, Random House doesn't charge its authors for doing any of those services. In fact, Random House pays authors for their works, does all those services for free and pays royalties once the book earns out. The reason it can do this is because it's selling books in stores and to the public.

Not only that, but if you add this up - it comes to $950, not $900.

If you absolutely have to self-publish, then there are dozens of reputable companies that can do it for you a hell of a lot cheaper than $950.


Strategic's 4th Email:
$50 is the minimum payment we can accept because of our costs in issuing a receipt and managing the accounting.

Bullshit.


Strategic's 4th Email:
Yes. I would like to participate in the Joint Venture Publishing Program with a Financing Option. I am able to pay $______ approximately every ________ (weeks) and I understand that the total is $995.

Where did that extra $45 come from and what does it cover?


Strategic's 5th Email:
At this point we have published about 1000+ authors like you, and we are proud of what they have accomplished. These authors are holding their work and selling nicely. It is a good feeling to move forward like this. You can trust that we will produce your book. OVER 1000 authors have published with us in the last few years.

So they've published over 1000 authors, but they only sold over 50,000 books last year. That's an average of 50 books sold per author. Think about it. Think how small that number is.


Strategic's 5th Email:
The beautiful aspects of our agreement are:

1) The fifty percent royalty is industry leading, and shows that we really are partners, and

2) if the sales are what you suggest, then you get your money back.

We think our agreement is extremely fair and takes into account the topsy-turvy nature of the publishing business of today with its inherently higher risks.

It's breath taking, but it ain't beautiful.

50% of royalties sounds great but:

1. Given that you've already paid the best part of $1000 to be published and will in practice be doing all of the selling, why should you give Strategic 50% of the sales that you've made?

2. How is that 50% calculated? Is it net or gross? Is it calculated on copies you buy or only on those that other people buy?

Either way, Strategic's contract only protects them from the "topsy turvey" nature of the publishing world and it does so by making you pick up all the costs.


Strategic's 5th Email:
Our decision is based mainly on sales and marketing factors and risk and our analysis of how hard, or easy, it will be to get to 5000 sales.

And precisely how many authors have got to 5000 sales?


Strategic's 5th Email:
The only elements that this cost does not cover are illustrations and editing and editing is NOT mandatory for this offer.

So basically you're not even paying to get your work professionally edited but will most likely have to pay separately.


Strategic's 5th Email:
If sales from the first book meet 1000 units, then you will receive a $1000 bonus and then we will almost certainly publish the new works without asking for your financial support of our marketing efforts. In other words, if the first book does well, it's easy to work together to do subsequent works at no charge to you. You will see a clause in the
contract that says that if we reach 1000 sales with your first book that subsequent books that we publish for you there will be no shared fees AND we will pay you a $1,000 advance.

Firstly, it's not a bonus, it's at best a refund of the money that you've already paid out. Bear in mind that you'll probably end up spending more than the money you've paid to Strategic to get that $1000 back, leaving you with a net loss at the end of the say.

Secondly, there is no guarantee that Strategic will not charge you to publish later books - it's only a possibility and given the amount you'll have already paid them up to that point, why wouldn't they want to continue milking the cow?


Strategic's 5th Email: (BOLDING MINE)
Bookstores can order as many or as few books as they like and your book will be listed in Bowker's Books in Print, the order source for bookstores. Your book will never run out of print and there are no limited print runs.

This reinforces the fact that Strategic will not place your books in stores - they're running a POD operation. They will therefore be unable to give bookstores the returns policy and discounting that stores require before stocking books so the only way a store will carry your book is if you've placed it there yourself or someone has specifically ordered it.


Strategic's 6th Email:
Our review team has reviewed your manuscript and if they did not think it would sell they would not have recommend to publish it. Sorry, but they do not give out feedback but when you get into the production process they will review your manuscript and you will get feedback from them.

They've reviewed your manuscript in the sense that they know you have something that they can sell back to you. They will never read your manuscript. They don't care about your manuscript. All they care about is selling back to you.

MM

Richard White
01-08-2010, 10:17 PM
I'm still trying to get over this


Back Cover Writing ($100) - Typically, the author has a hard time writing about themselves and it is so important that we do it well. Writing a compelling back cover takes us about 3 hours of work and going back and forth with you.

They charge $100 to do the back cover blurb?

:Jaw:

James D. Macdonald
01-08-2010, 10:36 PM
If your work is not finished then you should work with the agency. They can sell unfinished work.

No, they can't.

Marian Perera
01-09-2010, 03:28 AM
They charge $100 to do the back cover blurb?

Man, now I want a job where I earn $33/hour, though not if it involves fleecing people.

DaveKuzminski
01-09-2010, 03:33 AM
Strategic's 3rd Email:
Q) How much time per week do you have available to help us market your work?

Q) How internet savvy and technical are you? Are you comfortable with new programs on the web? Do you have a blog? Do you post regularly? Please discuss.

Q) Would you prefer to market on the web or market by going out and visiting locations, giving talks or book signings? Some authors want to get out there, some want to market only on the web, and some will do both. Tell us about how you feel about selling activities. Some people are very comfortable with public speaking and some are not.

Q) Next, please read www.StrategicBookMarketing.com for an overview of the various programs that we offer. What would you most like to do in the first 30 days after your bookis released to help market your work? Please choose 3 of the marketing techniques listed on our website and note them here along with any pertinent comments that you may have.

I suspect those are to weed out anyone who might be too knowledgeable.

James D. Macdonald
01-09-2010, 08:10 AM
Actually, Bobby Fletcher's breakthrough web-marketing strategy, where he's way ahead of the competition, lies in convincing his authors to advertise their books with drive-by spam on message boards.


Woo, Bobby! Way to think out-of-the-box!

elvikingo
02-20-2010, 06:58 PM
I would like to warn you about a scam that I got caught up in. I sent my proposal and query letter to publishing houses and I got a reply from a group that go by two names:

aegpublishinggroup.com

strategicbookmarketing.com

They asked me for my ms and I sent it to them. I then got a letter stating that they wanted to publish my book in a joint venture. They told me that if I invest $995 dollars(and only $995) that in turn would cover half the cost of publishing and that they would then pay the other half.

They were very convincing writing me saying that they would market my book on Amazon and even in China.

They told me that if I sent an initial payment of the $995 that they would get started. I sent them $200 and instead of publishing my book, they are sending me other bills like I need to pay another $1,000 for editing and I need to pay one of them $50 an hour to put pictures in the right place. I already paid a professional for editing and to put pictures and graffics in the right place.

Now they are ignoring my emails when I ask that they publish my book for the $995 that we initially agreed upon. Apparently, I got hoodwinked out of $200 but I would like some good to come out of it. Be wary of AEG and Strategic Book Marketing.

Cyia
02-20-2010, 07:06 PM
There's a whole forum dedicated to these guys here: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=202

agentpaper
02-20-2010, 07:51 PM
And just so you know, for the future. You should never pay to be published. Money flows to the author. Not the other way around.

James D. Macdonald
02-21-2010, 03:49 AM
It can't be said enough times:




September 3, 2009

Media Contact: Sandi Copes
Phone: (850) 245-0150

Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against "Literary Company"

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that his office filed a lawsuit against a Boca Raton company that allegedly preyed on aspiring authors. According to the Attorney General’s lawsuit, Writer’s Literary Agency and owner Robert Fletcher used more than 20 websites and related companies to collect funds from potential authors, but misled victims about fees, costs, and promised results.

The Attorney General’s Economic Crimes Division received more than 175 complaints from around the world claiming Fletcher and his associates, who claimed to act as literary agents and publishers, allegedly collected money from victims anxious to see their work published. Potential writers paid anywhere from $89 for an initial critique to over $600 for various services including editing and marketing of a manuscript to publishers. Allegedly, Fletcher also told potential writers that fees were paid from book sales when in fact all costs of publishing were paid by the authors. According to the lawsuit, few books were ever sold as a result of the efforts of Fletcher’s companies.

Investigators determined Fletcher expanded into the field of publishing within the past year. Fletcher admitted to having no background as a literary agent and to using at least 10 aliases in his businesses.

The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief against Robert Fletcher and his associates, as well as his many businesses, prohibiting further business activities in the field of literary agencies or publishers. The Attorney General is also seeking full restitution on behalf of all victimized consumers, civil penalties of $10,000 for each violation of the Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and reimbursement for fees and costs related to the investigation.

A copy of the lawsuit is available online at: http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/MRAY-7VJLSY/$file/WritersLiteraryGuildComplaint.pdf

WriterMomto3
02-22-2010, 01:59 AM
I'm sorry that you got taken in by these guys, but take comfort in the fact that you are not the only one. They are very convincing and say all the right things. They have hoodwinked thousands of people (if not more). Good luck with your writing. Don't let this one bad experience turn you away from accomplishing what you dream of. Just be cautious.

victoriastrauss
08-02-2010, 09:51 PM
Author's Edge is now Strategic Book Club, at a new URL: http://www.strategicbookclub.com/ (the old URL still works, and has the same content).

- Victoria