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[Publicist] Author Autobahn

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James D. Macdonald

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http://www.authorautobahn.webs.com/

This one looks like it's moving into the niche left open when Airleaf/Bookman Marketing was shut down by the courts.

If it weren't enough that their services are worthless to start with, if it weren't enough that their site is full of misleading half-truths mixed with outright lies about publishing, at least two of their principals (Kelly Wallace and Donnette Davis) are closely associated with (as in "employed by") the infamous Strategic Book Group (run by Robert M. Fletcher, currently the subject of a lawsuit by the Florida Attorney General for fraud and false and deceptive business practices). They're either hopelessly naive and out of touch with books and publishing, or worse.

There is nothing whatever to recommend these folks. At best they're a waste of time and money.
 

kellyw65

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Author Autobahn

Hi James,

I found your post and wanted to reply. I run Author Autobahn and am no longer with Strategic Book Publishing (or whatever name they're using this week.) Once I was made aware of their lawsuit, I turned in my resignation. The only thing I did for them was run the radio show, that's it. They have burned thousand of authors and hundreds of employees. I was one of them.

As for my website Author Autobahn, a couple of people who have chosen to help authors promote their books, such as Donnette Davis, have also resigned. We're helping the AG in Florida, offering any information they need to fully investigate Strategic Book Publishing. It sickens me that I'm getting slammed due to my mere association with them.

As an author myself, I would never rip another author off, nor offer a service I felt was useless. Every author I've worked with is happy that I do the work for them so that they can do what they do best--Write! There are many, many author promotion websites out there in the world and I would like to be known as someone who has an author's best interest at heart.

It's a shame that you couldn't have come right out and talked to me about this before posting your negative comments about my site and my character. But, I do appreciate that you warn authors since there are so many scams out there in the world. I was taken in by Strategic and learned my lessons. I'm now on a mission to warn other authors about them, and other vanity publishers.

If anyone would like to contact me directly, feel free to do so. I welcome your replies.

Kelly
[email protected]
 

James D. Macdonald

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Once I was made aware of their lawsuit, I turned in my resignation

As of last night their banner was still under your name on your "About Us" page, as the very first of your credits. While turning in your resignation was the honorable thing, the fact that you did not instantly recognize them as scammers speaks to your lack of knowledge and experience in the publishing industry. Even if a single glance at their site(s) didn't instantly convey that they are crooked (which it did and does), there's been a ton of discussion all over the 'Net, for years.

That the services you offer are both useless and worthless is my own opinion, but one that I stand by.
 
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EgyptianGoddess

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No rudeness intended here. But James, Victoria, A.C. and the rest of the wonderful people in this forum have saved thousands of authors (myself included) from making some big mistakes. From not only being ripped off, but of having our dreams destroyed by those that seek to defraud and take advantage of budding authors.

It's not just the money. Believe me, that's bad enough. It's the disillusionment and destruction of dreams that is the most heartbreaking. Once a dream is shattered, it's very hard to recover from it and continue to push on....or to keep writing, never mind search for an agent or continue to pursue getting our books published.

Thanks to these people, many of us have a true shot at our dreams.

I take what James, Victoria and A.C. say as gospel. Unless one of them says something different from what James posted, that is good enough for me.
 

kellyw65

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You are so right about the banner and it's been taken down. I'll admit, I WAS taken in, and the only reason for my lack of "seeing" this is because he preys on single mothers who are desperate for any work we can do in order to stay at home with our children.

Now I'm in the midst of contacting their authors (I have a list of every author they've worked with) and asking them to report their concerns to the Florida AG. I'm also helping them to find a legitimate publisher for their work and am answering any of their questions to the best of my ability and pointing them to the proper channels. (Of course, I don't charge for this.)

My only regret is every getting involved with them. It's my goal to wash them from my reputation and warn, not only newbie authors, but potential employees who are tempted to work with them.

As to my services being worthless...I can't say that I agree, but I do respect your opinion.

Kelly
 

kellyw65

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Hi Goddess,

I agree wholeheartedly. It is people like James who warn authors and keep them from making the mistake of forking over money to vanity publishers and having their dreams smashed.

I suppose bills piling up had me turning a blind eye, but it's no excuse. The old saying rings so true now, "You're judged by the company you keep." Unfortunately, some people (myself included) learn that the hard way.

Thank you for your replies. I appreciate that I could offer my side.

Kelly
 

Bartholomew

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The link to Associated Content is a bit of a turn-off, if you're still accepting feedback. That's basically the sweat-shop of the writing world.
 

victoriastrauss

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Kelly, it speaks very well of you that you're helping the Florida AG and that you've responded here. I know it's hard to answer criticism, especially from the tough bunch at AW, and I commend you for that.

But I'm afraid I share James's opinion of the services you offer. In my opinion, almost every promotional strategy you're selling on your website is either ineffective as book promotion (press release distribution, internet radio) or something the author could easily do him/herself (optimizing Amazon pages, building websites, social media setup, etc.). Plus, for those of us who are familiar with the Strategic Book Marketing website, much of what you offer looks very familiar.

I also seriously question your judgment in interviewing Kevin Trudeau, who in a series of lawsuits has been fined millions of dollars for what authorities have deemed misleading health claims, and for violating court orders banning him from misrepresenting his products.

- Victoria
 

sonyasylvia

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help

You are so right about the banner and it's been taken down. I'll admit, I WAS taken in, and the only reason for my lack of "seeing" this is because he preys on single mothers who are desperate for any work we can do in order to stay at home with our children.

Now I'm in the midst of contacting their authors (I have a list of every author they've worked with) and asking them to report their concerns to the Florida AG. I'm also helping them to find a legitimate publisher for their work and am answering any of their questions to the best of my ability and pointing them to the proper channels. (Of course, I don't charge for this.)

My only regret is every getting involved with them. It's my goal to wash them from my reputation and warn, not only newbie authors, but potential employees who are tempted to work with them.

As to my services being worthless...I can't say that I agree, but I do respect your opinion.

Kelly


hi kelly my husband signed a contract with wl literary agency in sept 09 we just found out and terminated the contract . he is so upset ! talk about smashing ones dreams
 

CaoPaux

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Site remains, but services page is gone. Last blog/Tw/etc. activity in '10.
 

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