DEDICATION:

This blog is dedicated to "The Children Left Behind." We will not rest until the safety of our children and those that are entrusted with their mental health care are held accountable for abusing the children's God given rights, those rights upheld by our constitution, and those that have been complicit in obfuscating the truth!

Monday, August 26, 2013

GEORGIA - DHS AND DFCS - CHANGING OF THE GUARD DOES NOT EXACTLY CLEAN HOUSE


 
Georgia - The summer brought changes to the hierarchy at Georgia's Department of Human Services and the Department of Family and Children's Services.
 
Clyde Reese - Out as DHS Commissioner - In as Commissioner at the Department of Community Health (DCH)

No tears here... Our dealings as parents and advocates with former DHS Commissioner Clyde Reese were less than stellar, actually non-existent, although repeatedly attempted by advocates, during the Ridge Creek School fiasco.

DHS/ORCC lack of accountability, lack of oversight, and  lack of transparency allowed the debacle to continue. However, moving Mr. Reese to the DCH is not exactly proactive, nor progressive in an administrative attempt to fix the problems repeatedly cited in reports such as Kenny A.,  the Children's Rights Org, and the Georgia Advocacy Office.

Ron Scroggy - Out as DFCS Director - In as Executive Director of Georgia Association of Homes and Services for Children (GAHSC)


Ron Scroggy heralded from Inner Harbour Youth Villages as the former CEO, where ORCC survey reports on Youth Villages provided egregious incidents of non-compliance. Hiring Mr. Scroggy as Director of DFCS appeared to be a conflict of interest to begin with, offering up just another avenue for the "fox to guard the henhouse." Mr.Scroggy is now at GAHSC, which is far from comforting.

Both gentlemen appeared to do a remarkable job insulating Georgia's DHS and DFCS from any transparency and accountability.  Under Mr. Scroggy's tenure, DFCS offices were raided by the FBI and charges were brought against underlings.  Advocate's general opinion - the FBI raided the wrong offices.

Do not bang the drums quite yet... Governor Deal just shifted the players around to different departments providing each player with a different venue for the same apparent inepitude, lack of integrity, and complicit behavior.

Dave Statton,  former Director of the ORCC, who abruptly cleaned out his desk in 2011, the morning after our parent/advocate conference call, holds the trump cards relating to his immediate exit - among other issues. Were you really given a RIFF? Perhaps it is time to release the conference call... what say you Mr. Statton?
How do you really feel about subjectively changing survey reports before release?


http://www.childrensrights.org/news-events/press/metro-atlanta-backslides-on-protecting-kids-in-foster-care/
 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

THINKING ABOUT SENDING YOUR TEEN TO A WILDERNESS PROGRAM ? THINK AGAIN....THE AARON BACON STORY BY NICK GAGLIA



AARON BACON - full movie from Nick Gaglia on Vimeo.

Inspired by the book Help at Any Cost by Maia Szalavitz, Aaron Bacon is based on the true story of a troubled 16-year-old boy who dies as a result of malpractice and abuse in a tough-love, wilderness, drug treatment facility.
 
In 2009, the film made its world premiere at the Shanghai International Film Festival, where Danny Boyle (Oscar-winning director of Slumdog Millionaire) chaired the international jury.

"Powerful film!" -- Fox News

"A powerful, enthralling, and engrossing film with a superb script, direction, and editing by Nick Gaglia, who is on his way to becoming a master of the film medium!" -- WOR Radio

NickGaglia.com



Sunday, August 18, 2013

A BALBOA PRESS SURVIVOR'S LIVING NIGHTMARE VIA AUTHOR SOLUTIONS, INC. MANAGEMENT SERVICES AND FACADE


An expose' of how an author unwittingly becomes entrenched in unnecessary, unwarranted, unprofessional muck offered up by Author Solutions, Inc.'s (now under Penguin Random) management of Balboa Press, a division of Hay House.


INTRO

If an author is choosing to go the route of self-publishing their book through a vanity press imprint or print on demand (POD) publisher, it is not an option for those authors whose core values include integrity. Otherwise, the author might find oneself cast into a Rod Serling adventure, sullied in a total set of rules that are inherently foreign to the author.

For first time authors, the publishing industry is complicated enough to navigate, so procuring services from a seasoned vanity press publisher appears a viable option to undertake. However, procuring services from a vanity publisher, in this case Balboa Press/Author Solutions, Inc., does not negate the fact that you will continue to do all the work; after all, it is your baby. In addition, the author will need to correct all of the mistakes of the publisher’s staff, as oversight appears virtually negligent at best, in each of the multitude of departments.

Blog authors and industry professionals repeatedly request that the Justice Department and the FBI launch an investigation into the self-publishing monopoly; so far, it appears those requests have been ignored - no surprise there. To file a civil lawsuit, the cost is exorbitant. One recent quote was given at a minimum $25,000.00. - for starters.

For those authors that have unfortunately tasted apparent misrepresentations, lack of transparency, malfeasance, fraud, bait and switch, failed professional services, ineptitude, and reported egregious mishandling of royalties inherent in the vanity publishing adventure - you have an enormous group of brethren... For new authors debating on using a vanity press publisher, this is for you.

Self-publishing is a booming industry as new authors feed the bank accounts of vanity presses most undeserving of the author's talent, blood, sweat, and tears. Authors need to fight back; take control of their precious work - their book.

Independently publish your book. If you cannot fulfill all that is required to get your book ready to independently publish, there are a myriad of book consultants, designers, and illustrators that are knowledgeable, creative, and honest. These individuals will guide you through the publishing process for a reasonable fee, until you take your book live. Network! Do your research and Google “self-publishing complaints and fraud."

If we cannot find remedy in the justice system, we can be victorious by taking our work back, our pride, and drying up the self-publishing conglomerates' financial resources - authors that are plebes to this horrific industry.

An industry with no apparent accountability, which blames their own unscrupulous deeds on “visions of grandeur” held by first time authors. Turning the blame onto the offended does not shed a good light. If any “visions of grandeur” were to apply, the “grandeur” expected is for vanity press publishers to operate with integrity, instilling oversight of their production. The human error excuse only goes so far.

Balboa Press Survivor:

In late October of 2012, publishing services were procured through what was believed to be Balboa Press, a division of Hay House Publishing, for an illustrated children's book. Balboa Press was chosen solely because of the books ethereal quality, meaning, and children's rights advocacy that the book's sales would benefit.

Since the children's book was about angels with combat boots and promoted the importance of family time, Balboa Press appeared to be a perfect fit. Hay House, known as a spiritual publisher, under founder Louise L. Hay, boasted authors such as Wayne Dyer. The choice felt ‘safe’, but it was far from it.

As a first time author, the self-publishing, vanity press venue was chosen to avoid lone navigation through independent publishing. With advocacy, I was simply spread too thin and I needed help. The often opaque, traditional avenue of publishing was obviously not an option. The objective was to expedite the book to market, retain all rights to further marketing ventures benefiting the continued advocacy, establishment, and continuity of a children’s rights foundation. In retrospect, had I not been a novice, I would have independently published with the help of a professional book consultant, designer, and creative illustrator. Lessons learned.

In early 2010 and throughout, I was writing the screenplay from the outline of the book. I started converting the screenplay into book form. I researched Hay House, found Balboa Press, and saved their publishing site. There were no visions of grandeur, other than hope that the book would bring much joy and help build our foundation.

Here it must be noted, that AuthorHouse (brand affiliated with Author Solutions, Inc.) had come up in searching for a self-publishing company. There were an enormous amount of complaints available on the Internet. Deduction - avoid like the plague. Why? Integrity appeared to be lacking, among other issues mentioned by authors, book consultants, literary agents et al.

Regarding Balboa Press, there were no complaints at this time, as their inaugural debut of their first book did not make it to market until July of 2010. On another note, there was a press release by Author Solutions, Inc. and Hay House in April/May of 2010 announcing their partnership with the Hay House imprint, Balboa Press. This press release was not readily available on the Balboa Press website, so I was not aware of the partnership announcement, or that Author Solutions, Inc. was managing Balboa Press. At this time, I had never heard of the entity, Author Solutions, Inc.

When the book was finished, I accessed the Balboa Press link from my computer "favorites" bar. It was the worst lefty reach I would ever make.

The Nightmare Begins:

October 2013 - Initial Sales Contact – Sales Publishing Consultant (SPC)

The SPC was exuberant as she inquired about the book and, why I chose Balboa Press. The answer was simple -“Louise Hay of Hay House, Wayne Dyer.”

Again, I elaborated about why Balboa Press appeared to be the perfect choice. Most importantly, I stated I wanted to avoid, like the plague, vanity publishers such as AuthorHouse. The SPC chuckled.

• SPC stated the book could be published in hard cover.
• SPC stated Balboa Press had their own illustrative department. I would be able to confer with the illustrator, which was of utmost importance, and I stated as such.
• SPC was informed of the manuscript's current page count and she quoted a price of 23.95 to 25.95. I informed SPC that this would need to be lowered as even though it will be for charity that was an awful high price. SPC stated I would have a say in pricing when the time came and the price could be lowered.
• SPC stated the royalty amounts, but only regarding those print books, which were sold through the Balboa Press website. The royalty amount would be approximately 6.79 after the cost of goods (COGS). SPC mentioned the royalty on Ebooks, which was 50% across the board, with no mention of technology costs discounts/
commissions to publisher, retailer, etc. The SPC failed to mention that print books sold through retailers such as Amazon receive as much as a 55% discount to the retailer. SPC did not mention the ever changing/inflated COGS and taxes, which affected the ever changing royalty quotes.
• SPC stated that books may be purchased by the author at a 50% discount through Balboa Press. What SPC failed to state was that this is a graduated discount, depending on the amount of books purchased.
• SPC stated that Balboa Press will review the manuscript to ensure the book is aligned with their editorial standards.
• SPC appeared so kind, generous, and enthusiastic; she was emailed the manuscript.
• SPC emails an "Author Agreement "(Services) "just for your review." Keep in mind there is no contract and this "Author Agreement" is not signed.
• SPC forwarded an illustration document to choose the "level of design" of illustrations.

October 31, 2012 - “The Believe” publishing package was ordered for $1,759.00 + $75.00 for a payment plan over 3 months, not including correction fees later accessed.

Assigned Check In Coordinator (CIC) 11/01/2012
  • CIC - I inquired about illustrative rights.
  • CIC stated the illustrative rights would remain with me, aside from publishing with another company. In her email, it was the first time I saw "Author Solutions Illustrative Program." I thought that must be the name of Balboa's illustrative department, so I thought nothing of it as I did not know Author Solutions, Inc. was was a publishing company affiliate with AuthorHouse. All I cared about at this point was confirmation of retention of the rights to the illustrations for marketing purposes. I was sent an email regarding illustration packages again, along with written confirmation stating illustrative marketing rights.
11/07/2013 - The Illustration package was ordered under "Intricate Design” for
$3,444.00. In addition, $360.00 was paid for an extra illustration plus $75.00 for a 4-month payment plan.
  • There is a hold up with the Illustrative Department – Calls and emails to the CIC ensue. I am notified someone will be in touch with me in a couple of days.
  • CIC needed the manuscript uploaded, so they can review it assuring it reflects their editorial standards ("so you know what we will/won't publish.")
  • CIC email states manuscript was reviewed. "Overall, it looks very good." Asked if CIC read it, "I just glanced over it."
  • CIC states book cannot be ordered in hard cover (untrue according Book Consultant.)
  • CIC states I cannot speak with illustrator.
  • Royalties questioned again. Given as approximately $ 6.79. There was still nothing about Amazon or retailers discount. So I did a search and found various pages with differing quotes explaining royalties and discounts applied via Balboa Press. There was nothing definitive - old web pages and newer web pages offered an “example.” I am now aware of retail pricing on websites such as Amazon and discounting.
ILLUSTRATIVE DEPARTMENT - DISASTER FROM DAY 1 :

The illustrative department has still not called me.

11/17/2012 Custom Illustrations Account Coordinator (CIAC) –

• Emails begin from CIAC directed to "Hello Stephanie." Who is not me. Salutation and signature includes the Balboa Press logo. The email includes an introduction. In addition, there is a request to fill out and submit Required Art Directions (RAD) form.
• CIAC- Email from CIAC stated Balboa Press will "set up artist that best suits your project."
• CIAC - Telephone conversation - I cannot speak with illustrator/artist. Informed me that the CIAC is the liaison between author and illustrator. I reiterated that the SPC
clearly indicated that I could speak with the illustrator, which was of the utmost importance to me when procuring services.
• Lengthy, time-consuming RAD (Required Art Directions) form filled out with diligence and submitted. Pictures were attached to aid illustrator. Manuscript pages and text lines were cited in the RAD and character descriptions for the illustrator to refer to for aid. “Please call if any questions.” No one ever called.
•CIAC telephone conversation - I had to pry the name of the illustrator of my book from CIAC.
• CIAC emails attachment of initial sketches – not right. I telephone CIAC. "Why would I spend due diligence and time filling out a RAD form and character description citing manuscript text, attaching pictures... so no one would refer to them?" Does the illustrator speak and write in English?" "It clearly states the character is an ancient, delicate woman, hundreds of years old; it does not state she is a bald-headed man." The list goes on. The illustrative correction form is filled out and returned to CIAC.

*It is important to note here, that the author clearly understands the difficulties facing the illustrator. However, it is important for the author to be allowed contact with the illustrator. No one called with questions.

CIAC-11/28/2012 Email - Ball drops. Signature/closing of email bristles with the "AuthorHouse" logo. Body of letter shows illustrators email @ "author solutions." Address of email shows Balboa Press.

• I place a telephone call to CIAC. I mention her email and the "AuthorHouse" logo in body of the email. I ask exactly what company does she work for? She replies, "It was an error." Mumbling ensued. She was "sorry;" clearly there was evasive avoidance. My response: "I purchased services with Balboa Press, a division of Hay House. If I wanted to procure services from AuthorHouse, I would have." She continues to deny the relationship of Balboa Press with AuthorHouse. CIAC goes on to offer that they "work for Balboa Press”- "the 'illustrator' is sitting directly across from me.”


From:
BalboaPress Illustrations (illustrations@balboapress.com)
Sent:
Wed 11/28/12 1:04 PM
To:
(-----)

Hello -----,

Thank you for your email. I wanted to let you know that I received your materials, and have saved them to your account. We now have everything we need to get started on your project. Soon, our Art Director will be reviewing your materials in order to assign you to the artist we feel will best illustrate what you envision for your project. With that being said, you can expect to receive your initial sketches in about two to three weeks. In the meantime, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
Your sketches could come from either of the two illustrations coordinators in this office. It will depend upon which artist your project is assigned to. So be watching for an email from ----- ----- (------@authorsolutions.com), or ---- --- ----
(----@authorsolutions.com.)
Thank you!

-------- --------
Custom Illustrations Account Coordinator
AuthorHouse
1663 Liberty Drive
Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403
----------@authorhouse.com
o: 1.800.839.8640 ext. 5540
f:: 812.355-1562
f: 812-349-0710
Please include project ID# with all correspondence, thanks!

12/07/2012 – The Assistant Production Manager (APM)

• The APM, whom I have never spoken with, telephones me out of the blue regarding my conversation with the CIAC about AuthorHouse. The APM states emphatically that “Balboa Press is a division of Hay House, she works for Balboa Press, and Balboa Press is not affiliated with AuthorHouse - "they are separate entities." In truth, the APM was correct. Balboa Press is a division of Hay House. However, what was not mentioned, ever, is the fact that Balboa Press is managed by the Author Solutions, Inc. AuthorHouse being an affiliate brand.

• Since I already have her on the telephone, I then inquire about the COGS and royalties, since there appeared to be several discrepancies. Wherein, I get my third approximation of pricing for royalties. I am now around $3.51.

• APM follows up with an email enclosing a link to FAQ's about royalties. There is no mention of AuthorHouse. She goes on to state, if I have any questions, to feel free to call her. I did, twice. I left two messages to no avail. I am too far in. I am beyond worried about my project.

ILLUSTRATION FIASCO CONTINUES:

The illustrative sketches and colorization were a disaster. It was apparent that there was a problem with adherence to the RAD/character description form. Pictures that were provided, or the coinciding text (page number and line number) from the manuscript provided to aid the illustrator were obviously ignored or subjectively reviewed. It was so evident, to the point where I was wondering if anyone bothered to read, or if they even could read the RAD form. There was clearly no oversight of the illustrator’s work before remittance to me. I had continued to write, please call if you have any questions...

After months of inexcusable errors, it was apparent the Art Director, or whomever, did not adhere to “set up an artist that best suits your project.” The project was/is light, airy, and whimsical. I received “dark.” In most cases, the illustrations were sparse (not intricate detail) with no color consistency, no innovation, wrong genders, wrong race, missing or incorrect features, etc. An ancient woman was drawn as a bald-headed, old man numerous times, despite repeated pleas and request for adherence to the RAD and characterization forms. The little girl’s bed looked like a cot out of an army barracks or prison. Angel wings on a helicopter were inverted, objected to, and objections to the CIAC remained ignored – a lame excuse was offered.

An email arrives from the CIAC with the final color illustrations attached. CIAC states that she and the illustrator have gone over the illustrations and they should be fine now. I open the attachment; viewing the illustrations, tears begin to drop. The illustrations are missing elements that were originally in the artwork. The CIAC and the illustrator could not have “gone over” the final illustrations before remission to me.

Excuse after excuse mounted by the CIAC who offered, "the illustrator is sensitive, he’s young, he draws like that; it’s a difficult project.” My response to the CAIC, "I appreciate that, but this is a children’s book. This does not take place in a bombed out trailer park in Beirut. There is no consistency in colors..."  In my mind, I understood I paid for “intricate design” and the CIAC maintains, “it’s a difficult project.” Why? If it was so difficult, then why accept the project? It was now apparent that there was no professional oversight.

It was also apparent, as sappy as I am, the CIAC accomplished making me feel bad for the young, “sensitive” illustrator. No kidding, right? What a sap. I took a different approach, heaping thank you’s and praise in hope it would help. Well, that did not work either. Still, at all times, I was respectful and professional in my emails and telephone conversations, even humorous, because the situation was beyond insane - until the end.

So much time had been lost and the book needed to get to press. Through this entire process, I was so entrenched in correcting the illustrative mistakes, that I neglected to mention to the CAIC that I had commissioned, “Intricate Design,” which would come back to bite me. I began accepting less. I accepted a cover with drab colors, inverted wings, and a Norman Rockwell village that looked like a military base encampment. I was essentially physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted from correcting and dealing with staff. Staff that apparently come and go, as if it were a hamburger joint drive-thru. It was as if I entered the “Twilight Zone.”

The Art Director (AD) takes over four months in:

The AD’s initial email arrives with the Balboa Press logo and the AD’s email address reflects, “Author Solutions.com.” Enough was enough. I research all names – the AD’s first. I research all companies and their addresses. I telephone the AD. She comes clean re: AuthorHouse/Author Solutions, Inc./ Balboa Press/ Pearson-Penguin(at the time) “Author Solutions, Inc. provides all managerial support to Balboa Press.” I thank her for her honesty - finally. I hung up - beyond livid; I sat quietly, angry at myself for allowing this to occur. I knew better. I am a researcher! An investigative researcher. Then, I reach into my folder and review all the staff at Balboa Press that lied to me. Why?

I do more research. Again, I feel I am too far in. I find incredulous allegations on the Internet, this time with Balboa Press. Everything I am ensconced in and have been subjected to is on the Internet before me. However, I realize I am fortunate. Since the book was not yet live, I had not yet been exposed to allegations of colorful accounting with regard to royalties. I find an investigation has started into a class action lawsuit against Author Solutions, Inc. and affiliates.

The AD dismisses my lawsuit query, informing me it is “nothing, this has been going on for years.”

My second telephone call to the APM ensues. I leave a message. There was no return call. Just as well, as I was livid. I can take much, but being lied to was unacceptable. For, what was to be gained?

THE TRANSPARENCY ISSUE

The Publisher and Director of Channel Sales for Author Solutions, Inc. (PDCS):

In April 2013, I informed PDCS (he has been referred to as the "gatekeeper" with no power) that Balboa Press/Hay House does not disclose on their website that Author Solutions, Inc (ASI) manages the Balboa Press imprint. I never stated the reverse, that ASI does not disclose their relationship with Balboa Press/Hay House.

Yet, PDCS continued his cagey attempts by email and telephone conversation to reassure me of ASI’s disclosure “we [Author Solutions, Inc./Penguin Random] have made no attempt to hide our relationship with Hay House, as you can see from the press release below.”

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/hay-house-publishing-partners-with-author-solutions-inc-to-launch-self-publishing-division-balboa-press-

PDCS offered several times over, “that if one places ASI in the Balboa Press website search link box the announcement and other articles will come up.” Why would an author do that if they have no clue who on earth ASI was? PDCS never addressed the original complaint, although he stated in an email, "I did send a note out to make sure no one denies the connection between ASI and Balboa Press."

Balboa Press needs to state on their website that they are managed by Author Solutions, Inc. - a Penguin Random company. The truth, but a marketing disaster and damaging to Balboa Press.

EMAILS BETWEEN PDCS AND AUTHOR:


The Director of Channel Sales and Publisher responds to Balboa Press' questionable transparency with regard to managed services by Author Solutions.
________________________________________
Subject: Balboa Press PR
Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2013 18:31:27 -0400
From: ---------- @authorsolutions.com
To: --------------
CC: ------------
Dear -------
It was a pleasure speaking with you. As I mentioned to you, we have made no attempt to hide our relationship with Hay House, as you can see from the press
release below.
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/hay-house-publishing-partners-with-author-solutions-inc-to-launch-self-publishing-division-balboa-press-93763484.html.
I will work with ------- tomorrow to obtain for you the best print options.
All the best,
-------------

RE: BALBOA PRESS PR
From: ( )
Sent: Wed 4/24/13 2:48 PM
To: ( @authorsolutions.com)

Good afternoon. Thank you for speaking with me the other day.

Your attachment of the 2010 press release and your statement indicates there might be some confusion. If I may clarify, it is not Author Solutions (ASI) that appears to be masking their relationship with Balboa Press -a division of Hay House; it is just the reverse.

To reiterate, Balboa Press does not indicate anywhere on their website that their company is aligned with ASI; nor did Balboa Press indicate in verbal or written form that ASI manages and provides publishing services to Balboa Press on their website. Had this been the case, there would be no need of this discussion, as I would not have requested services of Balboa Press; this would not have been in accord with my personal preference and the project.

That being stated, on the Balboa Press website, the company does present/allude to/suggest in its keen marketing strategy that Balboa Press is aligned with Hay House Publishing. Again, there is no mention of ASI et al and Balboa Press as having any relationship whatsoever. In addition, the Author Agreement (unsigned) for services does not stipulate any relationship between ASI et al and Balboa Press.

A 2010 press release by ASI does not negate the fact that Balboa Press representatives in various departments had deliberately negated disclosing the relationship/alignment
with ASI. I trust this is as disturbing to you as it was and remains to me. The proactive question that needs answering is, "Why?"

If an author seeking independent publishing searches the Internet Hay House Publishing, pages upon pages arise, where the press release referring to ASI is not readily found. If one Googles Balboa Press, one will get the same results.

Unfortunately, there are now complaints/warnings readily available relating to the aforementioned entities for the non-disclosure of Balboa Press and its relationship with ASI.

Pertaining to the situation I have encountered, my project services began in October of 2012. The only way I accessed the 2010 press release was through placing ASI with ASI with Balboa Press in an Internet search engine after receiving an email with ASI stamped on the enclosure. This email was received after services were procured with Balboa Press in October of 2012. Now, there would have been no reason to search Balboa and ASI together, since I wasn't aware of their corporate relationship. This relationship was not disclosed during the first sales call, even though I stipulated I was choosing Balboa Press as I did not wish to publish under Author Solutions for this project; nor did I seek services with ASI. Subsequent telephone calls resulted in the same non-disclosure of the ASI managerial component of Balboa Press. Had I been a genie, this would not have been the case; the dots between Balboa and ASI et al would have been connected by me at the time I was seeking publishing services.

This is troublesome for the author, who ascertains from marketing and vocal disclosure that the publishing services the author has purchased will remain carried out by Balboa
Press, in-house, with the oversight by employees aligned with the original values of Hay House Publishing. Although a fine pitch, this was not the case from inception of requested services and I find it quite disconcerting - even mired, to say the least. It became extremely confusing for the me as the author.

Another problematic area that I discussed appears in the disclosure of royalties and the COGS. The COGS have shifted in quotes so many times from representative to representative. With regard to retail sale, there is disclosure that the net royalty profit after retail discount, minus COGS is divided in a fifty-fifty split between the publisher (Balboa) and the author. It is my understanding now, that what is not disclosed to the author, is the inflated COGS price given to the author by Balboa Press (the publisher receiving a discount on the COGS from the printer/distributor); thus, Balboa Press would receive funds on the back end from the COGS (due to discounting), which affects the author's royalty net. Therefore, the disclosure of the pricing of the COGS and Balboa's actual royalty (net) + COGS percentage hike, is not transparent. In truth, there is no fifty-fifty royalty split. It appears this is just another undisclosed, creative accounting venture.

In my case, the approximated quoted royalty (retail sale) has gone from what I thought would be the lowest at $1.52, then lowered to $1.01, and now rests at .51 cents. The COGS originally quoted, have risen several times; the latest from $6.41 to $8.41 when last quoted by ---------- ----. I asked of ------------ what the net royalty for Balboa Press would be for the book sold at retail, he stated ".51." That appears not the case, depending upon the "individual of the day" one speaks with.

On the telephone call, you spoke of first time authors, how difficult it is, and how their eyes are blinded to what the bottom line will be in earnings with respect to their book being published on demand. This does not relate to my conceptual outcome. However, I thought, "How odd to state that - for marketing targets exactly those people."

It is apparent from my experience that representatives under the now Penguin/Pearson conglomerate must be on the same page when communicating with clients.
Thank you for your time and attention in this matter.

Best,
-------------

Subject: ASI mentions on the balboa site
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2013 16:12:05 -0400
From: ------@authorsolutions.com
To: ------------
Hi ------
http://www.balboapress.com/SearchResults.aspx http://www.balboapress.com/SearchResults.aspx?
site=BalBoa_Prod_collection&client=AuthorSolutions_frontend&output=xml_no_dtd&proxycustom&coutput=xml&proxyreload=1&proxystylesheet=AuthorSolu
tions_frontend&q=author%20solutions
---------


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

Publisher and Director of Channel Sales
Author Solutions Inc.
A Penguin Company
1663 Liberty Drive
Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403
@authorsolutions.com
o: 812.334.5442
f:: 812.349.0842
c: 317.603.1788

Note: Emails – names and addresses omitted. Format conversion.

BACK TO THE ART DIRECTOR (AD):

The AD works with me to ‘fix’ the illustrative artwork. I can actually speak with her. “AD, I ordered intricate design. This is a children’s book about angels... It doesn’t take place in a depressed, bombed out trailer park.” The AD corrects errors, along with making illustrative color changes, generally attempting to adhere to the RAD and character form. Again, there were more corrections as some of the illustrations remitted back to me exhibited removal of objects in transference. The AD appears frustrated. I am beyond ill. The sappy heart returns, and I am at a point where I feel bad for her. There was just too much wrong, although she made an effort. Time has run out. Not all designs are intricate detail, but a tad better color wise. Despite all the heart, time, and monetary investment, I should have pulled the entire project then. Instead, I acquiesced and signed off; a monumental mistake.

BOOK DESIGN/FORMAT DEPARTMENT

One would envision formatting would not be an insurmountable task, since there is a formatting department. I was informed by SC, this would be “much easier.” Wrong.

The first galley format came back beyond unacceptable. Again, there was no oversight. The text did not coincide with the illustrations. The margins were all over the place and not congruent from page to page. One would assume the Design department understood that children’s book illustrations bring the ‘accompanying’ text word to life. In some cases, the illustrations were two pages ahead or behind the text, even with an “illustrative insert note” placed within the body of the text that was provided to the format department. I had to explain to the department through SC that the text had to coincide with the illustrations, reiterating that the illustrations make the text pop. The formatter apparently could not figure it out. Of course, that would involve brain exertion and maybe a bit of ingenuity.

Being a novice, I asked the Design department to enlarge the text font (indirectly as the author is not allowed to speak to them either), hopeful, that may have helped. It did not help. Had I been allowed to have access to an unlocked pdf. file, it would have been a breeze to remedy.

I took the weekend and studied up on formatting. I printed out the book’s pages, combed over the book, shifted pages and margins, then so easily, the answer came to me.

In order to achieve this end, I had them add the cover illustration into the galley of the book, which remedied the illustration and text malady. In addition, I requested that the margins be congruent. The galley would be a done deal.

It is important to note, that the author becomes so entrenched in correcting the publisher’s mistakes, that the author such as myself, misses their mistakes. At no time in any of the process to make my life easier with the corrections, both illustrative and textual did Balboa Press allow me access to an unlocked pdf. file.

Honestly, it would have saved weeks of toil and heartache. The CSR tells me “there is no way to unlock the pdf. - it’s adobe.” Do they make this stuff up as they go along?

Corrections

I missed numerous errors in the text body that were my own. There were publisher error corrections. The author is allowed 50 corrections, aside from publisher error. I went over the allotted correction amount, so I telephoned my CIC and informed her that I needed to make payment for the overage. She stated, “Don’t worry about it, if it’s under 100, it’s okay.” I thanked her. It is important to note, that since there was little oversight, each time the publisher made corrections to the galley text, the author would need to go through the entire manuscript to be sure the referenced text corrections were made.

When the corrected text galley came back, there were more needed corrections. I felt safe as I would be still under 100. The CIC informed me that since this was the third time, there would be a charge. I stated that I thought this would be acceptable, since I was still under 100 corrections. Logic did not dictate. She reiterated that there would be a charge now.

Errors appeared from corrected text submitted online for the back cover elements. I paid to have that change. The publisher corrected the book title for me in the acknowledgement section placing it in italics. I thanked them. In the same paragraph and subsequent paragraphs, the title was left out of italics. I paid for the remaining title errors to be placed in italics.

One lesson I will take with me, is that no matter how many times ones book is edited, it is a crap shoot.  I have read so many traditionally published books with numerous errors, including substantive errors (as of late). Perfection does not exist.

This is a book, professionally edited by a known author, previous editor, and a publisher at a discounted rate of $1,500.00. Afterward, various, kind-hearted individuals edited the book thirty times over, including me. Did the original edit help? Well, if the reader has stayed with this article so far... It made me a better editor of my work, helped me reflect more, and as I learned from screenwriting, the editor’s call is subjective aside from grammatical mechanics, which were obviously missed by the editor. In all fairness, a work coming from a first time author is not exactly inviting. Would I hire another editor? Perhaps, when the taste left behind is more palatable; as a fresh eye can be helpful to a bleary one. I definitely would not hire an editor that questions how a mother can get into a Little Tykes Playhouse, since with two little girls, I practically lived in one!

Online Submissions:

There were several submissions to be uploaded online (early on), under the author's account, which included the synopsis, about the author, the author picture, acknowledgements, etc. The author may edit these submissions, until access by the author is closed out. It was clear, no one bothered to note changes. In addition, my picture that was uploaded was missing from the back cover when I was given the final cover sign-off.

In the dedication section, the formatter could not locate the submitted text dedication online, so I emailed it to my CIC. The corrected galley text remitted to me included the dedication I had forwarded. The dedication showed my spacing error in my email, which told me the formatter just cut the three dedication lines from the email and pasted it into the galley without formatting.

The copyright page exhibited my pen name for copyright, instead of my given name, which was provided in online submissions. An entity I never heard of was cited, "Any people depicted in stock imagery provided by Thinkstock are models, and such images are being used for illustrative purposes only.” “Certain stock imagery © Thinkstock.” I did not know who this entity was, and since the illustrations procured were to be created/original work from the RAD, or so I thought, I asked that this be removed. The CSR complied to remove “Thinkstock” and correct my copyright name.

Throughout the entire debacle I received “surveys” from a male I assumed was in customer service at Balboa Press. I never replied - obviously. Something was troubling me, but I set it aside.

The book was as ready for production as possible. I was told production copy was sent to the printer and distributor. Since there were so many corrections and I did not trust Balboa Press with any oversight, I requested from another CSR a copy of the book file sent to the printer. The cover was signed off on prior with the author picture, the galley appeared correct, but the back cover was not corrected from online corrections filed on the Balboa website. Two commas were still left in. Therefore, at my request, Balboa Press halted production with the printer, I paid $70.00 to have the two commas removed, and I received confirmation as such that the commas were removed.

ROYALTIES - MORE BOMBS DROP

Book Consultant (BC)

The BC telephones, a very amicable individual with a sense of humor. They will send a book for my review. The book arrives and I immediately look at the back cover elements. Relief sets in as my photo is displayed and the two commas have been removed. I scan from the back of the book forward regarding the galley text and all appears corrected. In addition, BC then informs me that the royalty I will be receiving is $0.51. He states that the COGS for my book is $8.41. Balboa Press would receive $0.51cents and so would I. I went quiet, and then stated that this was unacceptable. I asked for confirmation that Balboa Press would only receive $0.51 cents. I was told, “Yes.”

I was beyond disgusted, beyond upset, and went back to research. It appears Balboa Press/ASI inflates the cost of goods, telling the author that the printer is charging stated amount. Under the scenario, Balboa Press/ASI receive a discount from the printer and distributor, so that the COGS quoted to the author is untrue. The publisher essentially receives a “back-end” on the COGS. So, for Balboa Press/ASI to state that they only receive $0.51 is a misrepresentation at the very least. I recalculated the printing and distribution cost from the printer’s pricing chart. Needless to say, the figures I was quoted did not add up. Frequently blamed for the low royalties were Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. The publisher stated that these entities receive a 55% discount, which is true in many cases. However, it is not true in all cases. Another small publishing entity disclosed to me that because they are a customer in good standing Amazon accepts discounting their books by 20%. Balboa Press under Author Solutions, Inc. management and now, the Penguin/Random conglomerate is a large publishing entity. It does not disclose to authors whether they receive a back-end on their quoted 55% discount to Amazon. So, in actuality, Balboa Press/ASI could be charged at a 20% discount from Amazon per book, yet Balboa tells the authors their book is 55% discounted by Amazon. So, figure it out. Where does the 35% end up?

Balboa Press Royalty calculations omit facts:

How does Balboa Press calculate royalty payments?

“Royalties are based on the payments we actually receive from the sale of printed or electronic (e-book) copies of your book, minus any shipping and handling charges or sales and use taxes. Also, we offer discounts to retail and wholesale customers, so the royalty amount you receive depends on what type of customer bought your book and any discount they received. Retail discounts range between 36 and 55 percent.”

Royalty book calculation for my book by Balboa Press/Author Solutions, Inc.

Soft cover Book Price/Retail Royalty (Retail – Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.)
42 page – color interior:

20.99
- 11.55 55% Retail discount quoted by publisher (Amazon)
9.44
- 8.41 Cost of Goods (COGS)quoted by publisher
1.03 Divided by 2 =
.515 Royalty paid to author (minus taxes) and publisher

Soft Cover Book Price/Royalty if sold on publisher website:

20.99
- 8.41 Cost of Goods (COGS) quoted by publisher Balboa Press
12.58 Divided by 2 =
6.29 Royalty paid to author (minus taxes) and publisher

Clearly, it appears Balboa Press/Author Solutions, Inc. utilizes a formula. In actuality, this is more in line with what ones royalty should be with adjusted COGS based on Lightning Source fees.

Soft cover book retail book price royalty calculation if sold retail with 55% discount:

20.99
- 11.5445/11.55 @ 55% retail discount
9.44
- 5.70 cost of goods (COGS - Lightning Source) on 20.99 book
3.74 Divided by 2 =
1.87 Royalty to author and publisher

Another discrepancy.

Soft cover book retail book price royalty if sold retail with 20% discount

20.99
- 4.20 @ 20% retail discount
16.79
- 5.70 Actual Cost of Goods (COGS - Lightning Source)
11.09 Divided by 2 =
5.545 Royalty to author and publisher.

There is a huge discrepancy here, between $0.51 cents and $5.545 if indeed Balboa is setting a 20% discount to retailers.

Soft cover book price royalty calculation if sold on publisher website:
20.99
- 5.70 Actual Cost of Goods (COGS - Lightning Source)
15.29 Divided by 2=
7.645 Royalty paid to author and publisher

ROYALTY CALCULATION FOR MY BOOK SUMMATION:

The COGS quoted for my book - $8.41. The actual COGS is $5.70. according to Lightning Source. Balboa Press/Author Solutions, Inc. appears to have inflated the COGS for this book by 2.71. Add $0.51 to the inflated price and it equals $3.22. Balboa Press has inflated the price of the COGS over 30% before quoting the COGS to the author.

On various dates, the retail discount stated on the Balboa website has changed. At times, it has been listed as 48%.

Quoted from the Balboa Press website:

Here's an example of a common sales transaction:

"The cover price (list price) for your book is $17.95. Your Balboa Press royalty rate is 50 percent. A retailer places an order for your book through Ingram Book Company, a wholesaler. Ingram, in turn, purchases your book from Balboa Press at a 55 percent discount (our standard discount to wholesalers). Ingram then resells the book to the retailer. Your royalty on this sale of your soft cover book will be calculated as follows:
Retail Sale Example:
$17.95 (SRP "Suggested Retail Price")
- $9.87 (55% Retail Discount)
= $8.08 (Net Retail Discount)
- $4.97 (COGS "Cost of Goods Sold")
= $3.11 (Net COGS)
x 50% (Royalty Rate)
= $1.56 (Royalty Earned from a retail sale)
Web Sale Example:
$17.95 (SRP "Suggested Retail Price")
- $4.97 (COGS "Cost of Goods Sold")
= $12.98 (Net COGS)
x 50% (Royalty Rate)
= $6.49 (Royalty Earned from a web sale)"

Lightning Source Printer Products and Services Pricing:

For black and white books:
http://www1.lightningsource.com/ops/files/pricing/USPricing.BW.pdf
For color books:
https://www1.lightningsource.com/ops/files/pricing/USPricing.COLOR.pdf

As far as Ebook sales royalties, Balboa Press states :

“You will receive 50 percent of the payments received from the sales of your e-book, less any distribution and technology fees, taxes and returns. Royalties will not be paid on copies provided free of charge or sold to the author.”

MORE BOMBS DROP - April 2013

Do not be shocked if your book shows up as a pdf. file for sale on various websites. Balboa Press CSR stated that the various electronic pdf. versions will carry a separate ISBN.

The CSR states that the book is being converted to digital files for Ebook, etc. I have no clue when the book will go live. I am online setting up a Facebook page for the book. I scan the Internet through Google search to check if it is picking up the title of my book on its Facebook page. I notice two websites are offering my book in all types of versions. I have not seen the digital Ebook conversion files, and I have no idea pdf. file versions would be sold or distributed. My book has not even gone live, yet it is available on Deastore and Lybrary.com. I telephone Deastore at 8:30 PM that night. I asked how it was possible that they are offering my book if it has not been published yet. The gentleman answers, “You will have to speak with the distributor. We get it from them.”

I check out the back cover on these websites. The two commas removed during corrections are still there. Which tells me the book was distributed to Deastore and Lybrary.com before the final Cover Sign-Off (CSO). I go to Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble's website - sure enough the book is available. I telephone Customer Service at Balboa Press and I am informed the book has not gone live yet, that I must be mistaken. “It must be the pdf. copy.” I am aghast, "Huh? How is that possible?The book has not gone live yet. It's still being converted for digital files.” I continue to state further that it is not the corrected back cover; the book is now offered on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble with the incorrect cover. The CSR states that Deastore and Lybrary.com are aligned with Amazon. So, Amazon is blamed now; yet, Deastore tells me to contact the distributor.

I call the CSR back and request that the book, pdf., and digital files are removed from websites, until published with the corrected back cover.

The CSR complies, stating that she will notify the printer and distributor. Corrections are made to files to correct the back cover. During which time, I am receiving calls to order more books at a discounted price from the marketing/book consultants and the like at Balboa Press/Author Solutions, Inc. After back cover corrections are complete, I request my BC to ship the ten books as part of the ordered package.

The next telephone conversation is with a another CSR, who informs me she is on the Deastore site as we speak, and the various versions of the book have been removed. I was not on the computer at the time of the call. When I hang up the phone, I access the Deastore website and the book in various versions is still on their website.

The next problem arises with the paid for service of ensuring the “Look Inside Feature” of the book is available on websites. It takes Balboa Press weeks, when Amazon offers it will take 24 to 48 hours, but frequently is up within hours. This feature is finally uploaded to Amazon, but cites the end of the book, offering the plot resolution. I call Amazon myself and ask them to pull the “Look Inside Feature,” until the correct pages are given from the beginning of the book - the teaser. Balboa Press blames Amazon.

I have to commend the Amazon staff, for they were very supportive and professional throughout this entire process. It is weeks later and the feature is still not up on the Barnes and Noble website. The manager of the CSR department states that she does not know what is the hold up on Barnes and Noble. “It is clearly a problem with Barnes and Noble.” Right. The "Look Inside Feature" is corrected on Amazon; it is for the Ebook only and sloppy. The manager of the CSR department, in a curt, dismissive fashion, refused to re-submit the files for the “Look Inside Feature” for the print book. She said the feature for the Ebook is sufficient.

BOOKS ARRIVE - A HUGE BOMB DROPS

The ten books arrive. I take the package to church and quickly remove a few books to hand out to the children. Sitting on a bench, two little girls begin to skim through the book, smiling. I watch them as they lift the book, exposing the cover. My eyes mirror a freaked out Roadrunner.

One of the girls asks, “What's the matter?” I gracefully take the books and calmly reply, “You know what, I am going to bring these back when they finish the cover.”

The cover was published with the incorrect title. So focused on the actual published date of the book (denied by Balboa Press), and the incorrect back cover, I missed one important issue.

It never dawned on me that production would err on the title.

Had I not requested the pdf. file from Balboa Press earlier, I would have been up the creek without a paddle. Had I not approved the correct final cover and title with the CSO (cover sign-off) I would have had no recourse. Had I not found a decent human being that actually felt sorry for me...

I received an apology. The BC, referring to management’s decision, said that they would make corrections with all entities. He further offered that I was welcome to make any changes to the text galley that I would like. I replied, “I only wish the book title to be corrected. I do not need the galley to be changed. I only wish for the services I procured.”

I then got nervous. “Is there something wrong with the galley, too?” He replied, “No, just if you want to change anything, we’ll take care of it.”

I had lost weeks in advertising, as planned publicity was at a standstill. Links, blogs, twitters, and pages had to be pulled quickly from the Internet. The foundation website was halted. Worse... a few friends, family, and colleagues either purchased the book with the incorrect title, or were waiting for an autographed copy. I wrote an apology on behalf of Balboa Press on the FB page created where I had over 20,000 views in the few days prior to the book going live. For the Children Left Behind Foundation’s creation would surely take a back seat. Yet, ASI/Balboa Press would make changes to the galley, if I wished.

I sent a reply email off to the PDSC reconfirming the lack of transparency regarding the Balboa Press relationship with ASI. In addition, I notified him that I was thankful I did not place an offset print order of 5,000 books, since the book was published under the wrong title. I am sure he was as elated as I was.

From:
Sent: Tuesday, May 07, 2013 3:59 PM
To:
Subject: RE: ASI mentions on the balboa site/OFFSET PRINT

Dear ------,

Good afternoon.

I did not get to respond to your email below, as I have been busy addressing other fiascos with the publishing of my book with the Balboa Press imprint.

With all due respect and for the record, I honestly feel your response below sends my point home. Nary a soul should find a need to place Author Solutions in the Balboa Press, A Division of Hay House, website search box. That is simply absurd.

I stand by my previous statements. There is no transparency on the part of Balboa Press (website included) to disclose to potential authors requesting publishing services that Balboa Press is in any way aligned with Author Solutions, managerial, or otherwise.

This was not disclosed to me after repeated inquiry to a myriad of individuals in various departments, beginning with the sales department.

Regarding the "Offset Print," I am sincerely thankful I held off ordering 5,000. books from Balboa Press/Author Solutions, since my book was published, marketed, and sold with the incorrect title...

Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,
----------------------


RE: ASI mentions on the balboa site/OFFSET PRINT‏
5/07/13
To:---------
Cc: ----------
From: ---------@authorsolutions.com).
Sent: Tue 5/07/13 5:34 PM
To: --------
Cc: ------- @authorsolutions.com)

Hi --------

I asked -------- to copy me on the issues you had today and how they were being resolved.

The only reason I sent you the link was to show you that there had been no conscious attempt to hide the relationship between ASI and Hay House with regards to Balboa Press, and that the relationship is referenced 42 times on the site. We also send out press releases about our publishing partnerships that are picked up by both the writers and publishing press. There is no plan to hide the relationships.

I did send a note out to make sure no one denies the connection between ASI and Balboa Press. We have no reason to deny it, and in fact we celebrate it when any of our authors are picked up by our traditional publishing partners.

Please let me know if you do want to proceed with an offset print run in the future.
All the best,
-----------
-----------
Publisher and Director of Channel Sales
Author Solutions Inc.
A Penguin Company
1663 Liberty Drive
Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403
-------------@authorsolutions.com
o: 812.334.5442
f:: 812.349.0842
c: 317.603.1788

THE END

Far too tardy, I had to ensure all my ducks were in a row. As a child advocate, I knew the routine. I requested my signed contract/agreement from a CSR as I could not locate a signed copy. I was informed that I do not have one. I asked, “Why?” She offered, “When you pay for services it is assumed you are in agreement.” Seriously? I located the “author agreement” in an email from Balboa Press that was sent along with other attachments.

After more research and much discussion, even with my BC, I decided to pull the book. There was no feasible way the book would recover with this imprint and lack of
managerial oversight. I felt it was a pure effort for a good cause that was diminished by ASI managerial services. Those staff members that were decent are to be commended for their decency, but in actuality, they have no input whatsoever.

I contacted the CSR department to inquire about receiving the production files as I had read nightmares about it. My question was not sufficiently addressed after the first inquiry.

The emails:

From: -----------------
Sent: Thursday, May 23, 2013 2:58 PM
To: Balboa Press ---------------
Subject: RE: _________________

Dear ------------,

Good afternoon. I have some questions regarding the production design files in order to understand fully what to expect.
• How will the production design files be remitted back to me?
Will the cover design file, illustration files, and galley file be released as separate files? In what form is each of the aforementioned files.
• If the production design files are in pdf format, will all 'security' properties (copy, edit, etc) on the files be removed?
• Do the files remitted include the Ebook conversion file?
• Will all files be remitted without watermarks and without Balboa Press logos?

I appreciate the help.

Thank you.
--------------------
Project ID --------

Subject: RE: -------------
Date: Fri, 24 May 2013 11:24:17 -0400
From: -----------@balboapress.com
To: --------------------
Hello -----,
In regards to your questions below. If it is something you have supplied, you can just request the file back from us at Customer Service and we should be able to get it for you. In regards to the designed files we have created, you will have to purchase those. Its $200.00 for both cover, interior and ebook files. All files we send to you will be without any Balboa press logos. I hope this helps to clarify. Thanks and have a great day!
--------
CUSTOMER SUPPORT
Balboa Press
A DIVISION OF HAY HOUSE
1663 Liberty Drive
Bloomington, IN 47403
P: 877-407-4847 ext: 5088
F: 812-355-4557
customersupport@balboapress.com

From: -------
Sent: Friday, May 24, 2013 12:22 PM
To: Balboa Press ------
Subject: RE:------ DESIGN FILE QUESTIONS
Dear -------,

Good morning.

I appreciate your response. However, I have asked specific questions to which I need addressed, other than the Balboa Press logo being removed.

Since your previous email stated the fee for the files, that was not part of my query.

Please review the questions I had earlier submitted (below) and, if at all possible, provide answers so that I can move forward, knowing what to expect.

• How will the production design files be remitted back to me?
Will the cover design file, illustration files, and galley file be released as separate files? In what form is each of the aforementioned files.
• If the production design files are in pdf format, will all 'security' properties (copy, edit, etc) on the files be removed?
• Do the files remitted include the Ebook conversion file?
• Will all files be remitted without watermarks and without Balboa Press logos?

I am sure you understand that I am trying to avoid any further mishaps as in my book being published with the wrong title. At this point, I certainly do not wish to remit payment for files that will be deemed useless because of lack of oversight, watermarks et al. Production design files need be production ready. Essentially, I need to feel secure that this will be the case.

If you need help clarifying/responding to the above questions, perhaps ----- ------- or someone similar in production/design management can address the questions...

Thank you for your attention.

-------
ID --------
Subject: RE: ----DESIGN FILE QUESTIONS
Date: Fri, 24 May 2013 12:30:14 -0400
From: -----@balboapress.com
To: ------

Hello -----,

• Production design files will be given to you as an email attachment.
• The cover design file, galley file will be sent to you in two different forms. They will be sent to you as pdf. Files.
• The pdf files will have all securities removed and you will be able to edit them as you see fit.
• In regards to the eBook. You will receive the mobi., epub., and pdf. Formats of that file. This too will be sent either as an attachment to an email, or using a download transfer website, that allows for the transfer of larger files.

• In regards to the files, all files will not have the Balboa press logo, and will not have watermarks.

I hope this helps to clarify all of your questions. If you have any further questions feel free to contact us at Customer Service. Thanks and have a great day!
---------
CUSTOMER SUPPORT
Balboa Press
A DIVISION OF HAY HOUSE
1663 Liberty Drive
Bloomington, IN 47403
P: 877-407-4847 ext: 5088
F: 812-355-4557

------------
Subject: RE: ---------- DESIGN FILE QUESTIONS
Date: Fri, 24 May 2013 14:59:07 -0400
From: ----------@balboapress.com
To: ---------------------

Hello ----,

We do not send authors who are in production unlocked files. However if you cancel your book project, and purchase the files, we will send you unlocked pdf. files for you to use, without any Balboa Press logos. Also, we do not send out release statements once you purchase the files and cancel your book project. This is because you are under the agreement until you cancel, then you are free to take and use the files however you like. I hope this helps to clarify. Thanks and have great day!
----------
CUSTOMER SUPPORT
Balboa Press
A DIVISION OF HAY HOUSE
1663 Liberty Drive
Bloomington, IN 47403
P: 877-407-4847 ext: 5088
F: 812-355-4557
From: ------- [mailto:------------
Sent: Friday, May 24, 2013 3:07 PM
To: Balboa Press ------------
Subject: RE: -------- DESIGN FILE QUESTIONS

Thank you ------. 'Appears odd, but more than clear.
Will the ISBN and price be removed from the cover files, too?
Thanks.
-------------------
To: -------
Balboa Press ------
From: Balboa Press ----- (----@balboapress.com).
Sent: Fri 5/24/13 3:18 PM
To: ----------------------

Hello ---------,
Yes the ISBN and price will be removed from the cover files.
Thanks,
--------------------
Customer support
Balboa Press
A Division of Hay House
1663 Liberty Drive
Bloomington, IN 47403
P: 877-407-4847 ext: 5088
F: 812-355-4557
customersupport@balboapress.com

Note: Emails have been condensed; format has changed due to conversion for Blogger. Names and addresses have been omitted.

There is more… but first:

REQUESTING A REFUND THROUGH THE RESOLUTIONS DEPARTMENT:

Upon requesting a refund, my BC informed me that I would need to speak with a gentleman in the Resolutions department. My BC gave me his name. Then, it hit me. My survey emails from Balboa Press and the iUniverse individual named in the Author Solutions, Inc. class action lawsuit were the same person. I had heard about this individual from other authors. “There is no way I wish to speak with him.” BC replied, “You have no choice if you wish a refund.”

I will not pass judgment, but will say this individual is no gentleman; he certainly earned his condescending notoriety. After one of the most horrid calls of my career, he offered a refund for the publishing package; he would not refund the Illustrative package as I had signed off on it, even though it was not "intricate design." But, not without interjecting, that the COGS/royalty scenario was about the only thing I had correct.

On the second telephone call, I accepted the refund offer for the publishing package. For me, this illustrated culpability on the part of Balboa Press/ASI, now under Penguin Random.

The Resolutions manager curiously kept stating that the files I would receive after purchase were not production ready files. I then realized he had to have access to my email to Customer Service before him. “My two cents, for what it’s worth, don’t purchase the production files. The files are just pdf. files. Your new publisher will want to reformat the book anyway.” I thought, "That’s odd. Now this individual is humane?” Go figure.

BACK TO THE CSR REGARDING THE PRODUCTION FILES:

I telephoned the CSR that offered up his take on the production files in the above emails. Obviously, he did not take my advice and ask a director. I asked him how he could furbish me with false information. He replied, “I am sorry. I assumed the production files purchased by the author would be usable; they are not. I was corrected.”

This CSR had no clue as to the reliability of the information he was providing me. In all fairness, he probably thought that integrity dictated, “Yes, these are production ready files.” I would like to think he generated false information with good intentions. He learned from the brass otherwise.

I kept logs of all telephone conversations and names. I forwarded emails exchanged between Balboa Press, ASI, and myself to a colleague; later to an attorney. Since my residence is in a two-party state, I did not record the telephone conversations, although there were those present that could attest to the telephone conversations after their shock had subsided... After awhile, even they were no longer entertained.

Closing statement:

To my regretful error, I never connected the dots between Balboa Press, a division of Hay House and Author Solutions, Inc. Did I ask the right questions? Surely a seasoned veteran of this industry would have done better, but in the throws of it all, I tackled the situations that arose to the best of my ability.

The million-dollar question around the net is how Louise L. Hay of Hay House could allow her life’s work to be mired in this fashion. Other authors and book consultants continuously chime, “If Louise Hay knew what Author Solutions, Inc. has done to her name…” Simply stated, the answer to the million-dollar question is, “It is a multi-million dollar venture.”

A colleague interjects, “How could Louise Hay not know all this? If I am ever in her presence I will surely ask!! She's at a conference with other spiritual leaders right now. I mean she publishes for people like Depak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, etc. Do they get special treatment? Or what?” Of course they do.

Another individual offers, “If Hay knows and is not doing anything... I have lost faith in her possessing any goodness and it makes all her spiritual guidance worthless.”

Louise L. Hay is 86-years-old, not that her age alludes to any excuse. It is as if she is a legend amongst spiritual authors and practitioners. She might go into the office once a month... Sources state that Reid Tracy rules her imprint and affiliate empires with "an iron fist." Who knows what is true.

The underlings, like the young CSR's, for the most part were very gracious; a few appeared bored, but it was clear their lack of knowledge was an impediment.

However, when I start to feel empathy for a lovely 86-year-old spiritual icon, possibly being taken advantage of, or intentionally left out of the loop and the 'happy' young CSR's (I envision Muffy, her ponytail or two swinging in the air from the 1950's), I suddenly revert to a reality check. This book was something special, nowhere near perfect, but it was to benefit advocacy and aid for special needs children. That's the reality check. I would rather be thankful for competence, than be stroked with sugar.

It is not that difficult to use a little ingenuity when formatting a book. The author has paid for this service. It is not the author's responsibility to format the book. It is not the author's responsibility to explain to the format department that illustrative text needs to be aligned with the illustrations. If one cannot read the RAD form in the language with which it was written to create illustrations - hey, there is a problem. Or, if there is confusion with understanding what the author was attempting to convey to the illustrator, it does not take a rocket scientist to comprehend that the illustrator needs to be in contact with the author. It would help if there was competent oversight in each department to diminish the issues that arose like, "Oops, the book was published with the incorrect title."

I would have been thankful had the book not been ill-designed and ill-formatted, as one book designer put it as gently as possible, omitting expletives of course, as "something out of the 1950's."

By grace, I have found professional individuals with talent, ingenuity, heart, and integrity to which I am thankful. So can you!

In solidarity,

Jilliestake

Copyright © 2013 Jilliestake - All rights reserved.


Update: Class Action lawsuit April 14-2014:
http://www.gslawny.com/lawyer-attorney-2103286.html

To view the class action lawsuit filed against Author Solutions, Inc. and its affiliates:
http://www.gslawny.com/lawyer-attorney-2103286.html

To view the recent filing amended filing:  http://www.victoriastrauss.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/AuthorSolutionsFirst-Amended-Complaint_7.19.2013.pdf




Saturday, August 10, 2013

ASPIRO GROUP, INC. JUGULAR EXPOSED IN ITS LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST FORMER PRESIDENT AND CO-OWNER…



…EXACTLY WHAT WAS THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS THINKING ALL THESE YEARS? APPARENTLY, THERE WAS A LACK OF CRANIAL ACTIVITY...




Salt Lake County, Utah -  August 10, 2013

On May 03, 2013, according to court records, Aspiro Group, Inc.
filed a lawsuit (case # 130903097) against former President, CEO,
board member, and co-owner Mr. Charles Randall Oakley.
Aspiro Group, Inc. owns Aspiro Adventure Wilderness,
Vantage Point Wilderness, and their newest venture, Pure Life in Costa Rica.

The plaintiff, Aspiro Group, Inc. asked for relief  to recoup over
$1,000,000.00 and treble damages…

WHILE THE BOARD WAS SLEEPING:

Aspiro’s complaint cited scandalous, egregious allegations of misconduct, conspiracy, misappropriation of funds, and mismanagement of company funds (cooked books). The filing appears to read like a sordid tale with endless possibilities including embezzlement, extortion, and blackmail; implications of possible tax fraud/tax evasion regarding several players are quite apparent. Who knew?

The lawsuit maintains that Mr. Oakley used company funds to the tune of $50,000.00 to pay a “Swingers Club.” What would Draper, Utah be without their "Swingers Clubs?" [1] Lace this soap opera with adultery, well, Hollywood could not have  wished for a better screenplay –“Divorce Aspiro Style.”

Seriously, Aspiro funds a five-month holiday for the betrayed husband costing Aspiro over $90,000.00 plus bonus (according to the complaint) and the Board does not know? One is reminded of the famous Abbott and Costello comedy sketch, “Who’s on First?” “I don’t know…”

It appears the Board’s cranial activity resumed; the Board
fired Mr. Oakley and the alleged, betrayed husband on
February 1, 2013.

Additionally, when the Board awoke from their five-year slumber party, Aspiro’s complaint states they procured services  from a forensic computer expert.  The complaint goes on to allege that the computer expert determined that a laptop’s hard-drive was cleansed three hours  prior to Mr. Oakley returning the laptop to Aspiro.

Sources reveal that Mr. Brian Church, President, co-owner, and co-founder was less than transparent with  educational consultants about Mr. Oakley’s sudden departure from Aspiro.  Additionally, sources state Admissions Director Mr. Joshua Watson  hinted something was askew or clandestine regarding Mr. Oakley’s departure, but did not elaborate further… Who could blame them?

According to the court filing, the Board’s repeated requests for financial reports and  accountability fell on Mr. Oakley’s deaf ears since 2008. In or around 2009, the IRS slapped Aspiro with an invoice for over $100,000.00, since Aspiro had failed to pay any State or  Federal employment taxes for at least a year; the IRS was seeking payment of all back taxes, fees and penalties. The complaint states Mr. Oakley never communicated this to the Board.

QUESTION:

Exactly who was minding and mentoring the children in Aspiro’s care? According to the complaint:

 •"Oakley was aware that Aspiro’s business is specifically dependent upon its reputation for helping individuals struggling with family relationships and impulse control, among other things."

OUTCOME:

What remains even more shocking, well not really, on July 16, 2013 court documents reveal the lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice, barring Aspiro, the plaintiff, from filing another case on the same claim. Why? To say the criminal allegations leveled against Mr. Oakley were severe is an understatement. At this writing, there does not appear to be criminal charges filed against Mr. Oakley by the D.A., nor does there appear to be a counter lawsuit filed by Mr. Oakley. Again, the question "why" remains unanswered.[2]

By filing this complaint, indeed, Aspiro has exposed its jugular regarding company liability under state and federal laws as stated in Aspiro’s own complaint several times over:

•"Oakley received the funds, but failed to provide the proper services to Aspiro. Rather, he caused Aspiro spend funds for non-business related purposes and exposed Aspiro to liability under state and federal law."

•"Oakley owed a fiduciary duty to act in Aspiro’s best interest and not expose Aspiro to liability under federal or state law."

If the IRS can pull themselves away from their own insanity, here is one apparent case of cooked books and then some.

Aspiro Group, Inc. was not contacted for comment, as Jilliestake did not wish to further embarrass the Board; the Board’s clear lack of governance took care of that. Although, Jilliestake does welcome their take, let us be grateful the Board is not minding our stores.

And, that's our take... what is yours?

Copyright©jilliestake 2013.  All rights reserved.

Please view "Complaint" below.


REFERENCE LINKS:

ASPIRO GROUP, INC. – ASPIRO PROGRAMS
http://www.aspiroprograms.com/

[1] DRAPER, UTAH – EYEWITNESS NEWS INVESTIGATION – “SWINGERS”
 http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=254254

[2[DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE LAW AND LEGAL DEFINITION
 http://definitions.uslegal.com/d/dismissed-with-prejudice/

3RD DISTRICT COURT - SALT LAKE
SALT LAKE COUNTY, STATE OF UTAH
ASPIRO GROUP INC vs. CHARLES RANDALL OAKLEY
CASE NUMBER 130903097 Miscellaneous
CURRENT ASSIGNED JUDGE
JUDITH S ATHERTON
PARTIES
Plaintiff - ASPIRO GROUP INC
Represented by: SCOTT M PETERSEN
Defendant - CHARLES RANDALL OAKLEY
ACCOUNT SUMMARY
TOTAL REVENUE Amount Due: 615.75
Amount Paid: 615.75
Credit: 0.00
Balance: 0.00
REVENUE DETAIL - TYPE: COMPLAINT - NO AMT S
Amount Due: 360.00
Amount Paid: 360.00
Amount Credit: 0.00
Balance: 0.00
REVENUE DETAIL - TYPE: JURY DEMAND - CIVIL
Amount Due: 250.00
Amount Paid: 250.00
Amount Credit: 0.00
Balance: 0.00
REVENUE DETAIL - TYPE: COPY FEE
Amount Due: 5.75
Amount Paid: 5.75
Amount Credit: 0.00
Balance: 0.00
PROCEEDINGS
05-03-13 Filed: Complaint
05-03-13 Case filed
05-03-13 Fee Account created Total Due: 360.00
05-03-13 Fee Account created Total Due: 250.00
Page 1
CASE NUMBER 130903097 Miscellaneous
05-03-13 COMPLAINT - NO AMT S Payment Received: 360.00
05-03-13 Judge JUDITH S ATHERTON assigned.
05-03-13 JURY DEMAND - CIVIL Payment Received: 250.00
05-10-13 Filed: Summons - To File (Charles Randall Oakley)
05-10-13 Filed return: Acceptance of Service (Charles Randall Oakley)
upon H. BURT RINGWOOD for
Party Served: CHARLES RANDALL OAKLEY
Service Type: Personal
Service Date: May 08, 2013
06-04-13 Fee Account created Total Due: 5.75
06-04-13 COPY FEE Payment Received: 5.75
07-15-13 Filed: Notice of Dismissal with Prejudice
07-15-13 Filed: Return of Electronic Notification
07-16-13 Case Disposition is Dismsd w prejudice
Disposition Judge is JUDITH S ATHERTON
Page 2

UTAH COURT DOCUMENTS - CASE NUMBER 130903097 -

The entire complaint may be accessed at the below link. There is a charge for access.The document below was digitally uploaded, converted from PDF format to allow for posting, thus loss of format control. Administrative court lists author as
"Mcnett" omitted  - Case No: and Judge's name.**

https://courtapps.utcourts.gov/XchangeWEB/login

THE COMPLAINT:

Scott M. Petersen, A7599
 Clint R. Hansen, A12108
 FABIAN & CLENDENIN,
 A Professional Corporation
 215 South State Street, Suite 1200
 Salt Lake City, Utah 84111-2323
 Telephone: (801) 531-8900spetersen@fabianlaw.com
chansen@fabianlaw.comAttorneys for Plaintiff Aspiro Group, Inc.

IN THE THIRD JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT

   SALT LAKE COUNTY, STATE OF UTAH



ASPIRO GROUP, INC.,                         COMPLAINT

                                                     Case no. left blank by court adm.**
Plaintiff,       
 v.                                                 Judge: Left blank by court adm.**

CHARLES RANDALL OAKLEY,

Defendant


Now comes Aspiro Group, Inc. (“Aspiro”) and for complaint alleges against Defendant Charles Randall Oakley (“Oakley”) as follows:

PARTIES AND JURISDICTION

1.                  Aspiro is a Utah Corporation with its principle place of business in Sandy, Utah.
2.                  Oakley is an individual residing in Salt Lake County, Utah.
3.                  Jurisdiction is proper pursuant to Utah Code Ann. § 78A-5-102.
4.                  Venue is proper in this Court pursuant to Utah Code Ann. § 78B-3-307.

 FACTUAL BACKGROUND

5.                  Aspiro is a company that provides adolescent and young adult therapeutic wilderness programs. Programs are designed to help troubled teenagers
between the ages of 13 and 18 as well as young adults between the ages of 18 and 28.
6.                  Aspiro’s programs help teens and young adults suffering from problems relating to, among other conditions, ADHD, anger management, depression,
family relationships, impulse control, and substance abuse.
7.                  Aspiro’s business is dependent upon maintaining the highest level of professional and personal integrity and the cleanest values, such as those it seeks
to inspire in the lives of its participants.
8.                  In or around 2008, Aspiro hired Oakley as its President and Chief Executive Officer. As president and CEO, Aspiro entrusted in Oakley the
management and control of Aspiro, its business, affairs and property.
9.                  As President and CEO Oakley oversaw Aspiro’s hiring, training, and compensation of its employees.  He oversaw Aspiro’s bank accounts and
property, both real and personal.
10.              Oakley was in large respect the face of Aspiro to its clients and vendors, and he maintained control over its operations and the use of its funds.  Aspiro
placed its trust and confidence in Oakley, allowed him access to all of its financial information, and relied on him to oversee and create an accurate financial record.
11.              In return, Oakley was paid a salary by Aspiro, bonuses as approved by Aspiro’s board of directors, and reimbursement for reasonable company-
related expenses.
 12.              At all times relevant, Aspiro’s board of directors was comprised of four directors, Oakley, Brian Church, Chris McRoberts, and Andy Bayola (the
“Board”).
 13.              Throughout Oakley’s time as President and CEO of Aspiro, various Board members requested updates from Oakley regarding Aspiro’s business
direction, financial status, and accounting.
14.              Oakley either refused to provide the Board with the requested information, or the information he did provide was incomplete or misleading.  Often,
Oakley would accuse the Board of not trusting him and of attempting to interfere with his management and operation of the business.

 OAKLEY’S MISAPPROPRIATION & MISMANAGEMENT OF COMPANY FUNDS

15.              Unbeknownst to the Board, almost from the outset, Oakley engaged in conduct which was financially damaging to Aspiro’s business, was damaging to
Aspiro’s reputation, and was directly contrary to the integrity and values that Aspiro stands for.
16.              Among other things, Oakley used company funds for his own personal benefit and not for the benefit of Aspiro.
17.              For example, Oakley regularly used Aspiro’s credit card to pay for lunches, dinners, clothes, car expenses and other purchases for himself and his
friends.  From 2010-2012, Oakley submitted over $185,000 in expenses that he instructed Aspiro employees to reimburse him. In addition, however, during this
same time period, Oakley spent over $350,000 of Aspiro’s funds for himself and others, much of which was not company related or related to company business.
18.              The company credit card was only a fraction of the expenses that Oakley caused Aspiro to pay for him or his family and friends. In addition to these
expenses, Oakley caused Aspiro to pay for many other non-business related items, including but not limited to:

a.                   A payment of $150,000 for the purchase of a home in the gated Pepperwood neighborhood located in Sandy, Utah in the name of Oakley’s
parents,
b.                  $54,000 in payments to Oakley’s parents for a home in Riverton, Utah,
c.                   A $12,000 loan to Oakley’s neighbor,
d.                  A $50,000 payment to a swingers club with a location in Draper, Utah,
e.                   $11,547.02 in payments for remodeling a home in Riverton, Utah,

f.                   Payments totaling at least $28,017.37 for personal trips Oakley took with friends to New York, Napa Valley, Hawaii, and Los Cabos,
g.                  $346,910.00 in payments to entities in which Oakley had a direct or indirect interest or benefit and for which Aspiro received no appreciable value in
return, whether for product or services,
h.                  $30,000 in payments to Marney Sullivan for consulting services that Aspiro never actually received , provided little benefit, or were otherwise not
business related services,
i.                    Payments of salary and other expenses to Oakley’s then-wife, Christina Oakley, who had already terminated her employment with Aspiro, and
 j.                   Other non-business related services, including but not limited to yard care and landscaping services for his homes, equipment for out-door activities,
artwork, furniture, house d├ęcor, an automobile for Oakley’s son, loans and assistance to employees and friends, etc.

19.              Aspiro believes that the vast majority of the above expenses Oakley caused Aspiro to make for his benefit or for the benefit of others, were unrelated
to any actual Aspiro business purpose and that Aspiro received little or nothing of value in return for the payments.

20.              At no time did Oakley report these expenses to the Board. And when individual Board members demanded an accounting of the expenses the
company was paying, Oakley simply refused to provide the financial information.

21.              Oakley further caused Aspiro to enter into agreements and engage in transactions which were not approved by the Board and which harmed Aspiro.
These included, among others: promising a newly hired therapist 3% “phantom stock” in Aspiro without board approval.

 OAKLEY CONCEALS HIS MISCONDUCT

22.              Throughout his tenure as Aspiro’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Oakley took active steps to conceal his misconduct from the Board.
23.              Oakley himself kept or oversaw the keeping of Aspiro’s accounting records, and generally failed to include any description of the transactions
recorded or any supporting documentation.  For example:

a.                   the $150,000 payment for Oakley’s Pepperwood home was documented simply as “Company Development,” with no description of the
transaction;
 b.                  the $12,000 loan to Oakley’s neighbor was documented simply as “Remodel;” and
c.                   a credit card charge of $7,000 for Oakley’s trip with friends to an adult- themed resort in Los Cabos was recorded on the expense account titled
“Lodging” with “Los Cabos” as the only description.

24.              Oakley maintained various Aspiro bank accounts, but refused to allow anyone but himself to have access to those accounts.
25.              The Board and other officers were not aware of many of the bank accounts that Oakley established, and Aspiro believes at least some of them listed
Oakley as the sole authorized officer and signatory for some or all of the relevant time period.
26.              Oakley also caused Aspiro’s corporate offices to be maintained in his own private residence.
27.              He controlled who entered and exited the office and did not allow the Board access to much of Aspiro’s company records and information.
28.              In or around 2009, Oakley was notified by the IRS that Aspiro had failed to pay any State or Federal employment taxes for at least a year, and that
the IRS was seeking payment of all back taxes, fees and penalties.
29.              Although the amount in issue exceeded $100,000, Oakley never communicated this information to the Board.
30.              In 2008, Oakley provided financial statements which showed a small profit in the company.
 31.              In fact, the company was severely in debt at the time due to the non-payment of
taxes.
32.              At one point, Board member Chris McRoberts raised at a Board meeting the need for an audit of Aspiro’s books.
33.              Oakley angrily told McRoberts that if the issue of an audit was pressed, he would discontinue all future Board meetings.
34.              In or around November of 2009 or the beginning of 2010, McRoberts attempted to access Aspiro’s QuickBooks accounting files. After successfully
logging on one or two times, McRoberts’ access was blocked.
35.              In or around the second quarter of 2012, the other Board members requested financial information from Oakley, but Oakley intentionally lied and
informed them that new accounting software was coming on line and that no financial data was available while the transition was happening, when he knew that in
fact the information was readily available in the old QuickBooks software.
36.              In or around the third quarter of 2012, Oakley informed the Board that the Aspiro had no funds for distribution, which in fact the company did have
funds and Oakley made a distribution to himself.

 OAKLEY HIRES KEITH PEARSON

37.              In or around February 2012, Oakley hired Keith Pearson as Aspiro’s Chief Operations Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Oakley’s decision to hire
Pearson and make him an officer of Aspiro was not approved by the Board. In fact, until Pearson’s termination from Aspiro on February 1, 2013, the Board was
unaware of Keith’s status as an officer.
38.              At the time Oakley hired Pearson, he caused Aspiro to enter into a written employment agreement with Pearson. Oakley did not negotiate any
meaningful terms favorable to Aspiro, but rather allowed Pearson to add terms very favorable to Pearson, including an unreasonably high severance and benefits
package and termination terms that purport to bind Aspiro to paying Pearson approximately $168,240 in the event of a termination.
39.              Oakley did not seek Board authority to cause Aspiro to enter into this transaction. In fact, he did not even tell the Board that the agreement existed.
Moreover, Oakley sought no legal or other professional advice before executing the agreement on Aspiro’s behalf.
40.              In addition to the employment agreement Oakley executed with Pearson, Oakley engaged in other inappropriate acts on behalf of Aspiro for
Pearson’s benefit. These acts include but are not limited to:

a.       Oakley conspired with Pearson to report to lending institutions incorrect salary and compensation information for Pearson in an effort to increase the amount
of home loan for which Pearson would qualify for his home,
b.      Oakley caused Aspiro to purchase a Chevy Volt that Pearson owned in order to decrease the amount of debt to income ratio for Pearson,
c.       Oakley caused Aspiro to pay for yard care for Pearson’s home,
d.      Oakley caused Aspiro to pay for carpet cleaning for Pearson’s home,
e.       Oakley causes Aspiro to pay at least $4,500 as a down payment on a 2013 Cadillac for Pearson’s use, and
f.       Oakley caused Aspiro to invest $72,700.00 in a company called Kuna, Inc., a Nevada corporation (dba Kiva Squared) in which Oakley and Pearson were
the owners and officers and for which Aspiro received nothing of value in return.
41.              Oakley performed all of these acts without Board knowledge or approval.
42.              In fact, Oakley made conscious efforts to keep his behavior from the Board by, among other things, refusing to report to the Board what he was doing
with Aspiro funds, causing Aspiro to mask the true purpose of Aspiro expenses by making false and incorrect entries into its books and financial records.
43.              For example, Oakley documented the payoff the Chevy Volt without any payee or any description of the transaction and recorded it in the
Quickbooks expense account titled “Development and Research.”
44.              Oakley performed these acts to benefit himself and his friends and to the detriment of Aspiro.

 OAKLEY HIRES KEITH’S WIFE LAURA PEARSON

45.              In addition to Keith Pearson, Oakley hired Keith’s wife Laura Pearson as an executive assistant to Oakley.  Aspiro had other assistants with similar
positions, but Oakley intentionally provided Laura with more pay and benefits than he did the other assistants.
 46.              Moreover, at some point, he became sexually involved with Laura despite Laura reporting to Oakley as her boss and despite the fact that she was
married to Aspiro’s CFO, Keith Pearson.
47.              Oakley’s relationship with an Aspiro subordinate exposed Aspiro to liability under state and federal discrimination and harassment laws. 
Nevertheless, Oakley did not immediately disclose his relationship with Laura to the Board, but continued to keep Laura as his executive assistant. He further
continued to provide her benefits other assistants did not receive and he paid for those benefits with Aspiro funds.
48.              Among the benefits Oakley provided Laura were dinners, lunches, personal items, and trips with Oakley, all paid for by Aspiro.
 OAKLEY SENDS KEITH PEARSON TO NEPAL FOR 5 MONTHS
49.                At some point during Oakley’s relationship with Laura Pearson, Laura’s husband Keith became aware of the relationship. Thereafter, Oakley caused
Aspiro to pay additional non- business related expenses to Laura and Keith with Aspiro funds.
50.              On information and belief, Oakley caused Aspiro to pay these non-business related expenses in order to placate Keith Pearson because of Oakley’s
relationship with Keith’s wife Laura.
51.              In the Summer/Fall of 2012, Oakley caused Aspiro to pay for Keith to take a personal trip to Nepal lasting five months. The purpose of Keith’s trip
was not related to Aspiro, its business purpose or Keith’s role as CFO or COO. Rather, Keith used the trip as a personal
journey to seek emotional and mental stability for himself and to make decisions relating to his relationship with his wife Laura Pearson.
52.              In fact, at one point, Keith wrote an e-mail to Oakley indicating that he was not sure he would return to Aspiro when he was done with his trip.
53.              Notwithstanding, Oakley caused Aspiro not only to pay for Keith’s expenses, but to continue paying his salary and benefits, despite the fact that Keith
was not in the United States and was not performing any work for Aspiro.
54.              After Keith went to Nepal, his wife Laura Pearson moved in with Oakley in his Pepperwood home.
55.              Oakley caused Aspiro to pay at least $90,756.63 for Keith’s trip expenses, salary, and benefits during Keith’s five-month trip to Nepal. In fact, at
one point, Oakley intentionally caused Aspiro to pay Keith a $12,000 bonus while he was in Nepal, despite the fact that Keith was providing no CFO or COO
services to Aspiro.

 OAKLEY’S TERMINATION

56.              On February 1, 2013, Aspiro’s Board removed Oakley and Keith as officers and terminated them from the company.
57.              At the same time, Aspiro demanded that Oakley return to Aspiro the company information, documents, electronic files, and property he possessed
and controlled in the office he had in his Pepperwood home. Aspiro knew that much of this information was located on at least two computers in Oakley’s
possession. Despite multiple requests, Oakley refused to return the property or the computers.
58.              Thereafter, on February 5, 2013, Oakley returned one of the laptop computers. Aspiro had the laptop reviewed and analyzed by a retained computer
and digital forensics expert. The expert reported that three hours prior to returning the computer, Oakley permanently deleted (using a multiple-layer wipe) the
information from the computer’s hard drive.  The expert explained that due to the manner in which the hard drive was wiped, retrieving anything from the hard drive
would be, if not impossible, extremely difficult and expensive.

59.              Thereafter, on February 26, 2013, Aspiro sent Oakley (through counsel) a letter demanding additional specific pieces of property and information in
Oakley’s possession and control.  Oakley has failed or refused to return any of the requested information or respond to Aspiro’s demand.
60.              After terminating Oakley, the Board was finally able to access the company’s financial records that Oakley had kept so closely hidden.
61.              Thereafter, through counsel, Aspiro engaged a forensic accountant and learned for the first time of Oakley’s significant misconduct, as detailed above.

 FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF

 (Breach of Contract)

62.              Aspiro incorporates the allegations in the preceding paragraphs as if fully set forth herein.
63.              Aspiro hired Oakley as its President and CEO. It paid him salary and draws in exchange for his services as President and CEO. This arrangement
constitutes a valid, enforceable contract.
64.              Aspiro fully performed its obligations with respect to Oakley by paying him his salary, draws, and other benefits.
65.              Oakley breached his obligations to perform the duties of President and CEO as alleged above by using Aspiro funds for inappropriate purposes
benefitting himself, his family and friends, and not for legitimate business purposes, by exposing Aspiro to legal liability due to his inappropriate behavior with other
employees, and by failing and refusing to return to Aspiro company property and information in his possession or control.
66.              Oakley’s breach of his obligations has caused Aspiro to suffer damages to be determined at trial, but exceeding $1,000,000.
67.              Oakley’s breach has further exposed Aspiro to potential liability under state and federal discrimination laws, and tax laws, including penalties, interest,
costs, and attorney fees, all in an amount to be proven hereafter.

SECOND CLAIM FOR RELIEF

 (Unjust Enrichment)

1.                  Aspiro incorporates the allegations in the preceding paragraphs as if fully set forth herein.
2.                  Aspiro conferred a benefit on Oakley inasmuch as it paid him salary and benefits for his services as President and CEO of Aspiro.
3.                  Oakley received the funds, but failed to provide the proper servicesto Aspiro. Rather, he caused Aspiro spend funds for non-business related
purposes and exposed Aspiro to liability under state and federal law.
4.                  Under the circumstances, it would be unjust for Oakley to retain the salary and benefits he received without returning to Aspiro the value of the
services for which he was compensated.
5.                  Due to Oakley’s unjust enrichment, Aspiro has suffered damages to be determined at trial, plus accruing interest, costs, and attorney fees.
6.                  Aspiro is also entitled to a constructive trust in the salary and other benefits unjustly retained by Oakley and in all of the non-business related property
which Oakley caused to be purchased with Aspiro funds.

 THIRD CLAIM FOR RELIEF

 (Breach of Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing)

7.                  Aspiro incorporates the allegations in the preceding paragraphs as if fully set forth herein.
8.                  As acting president and CEO of Aspiro and in his employment capacity with Aspiro, Oakley owed an implied duty of good faith and fair dealing to
Aspiro.
9.                  This duty required among others, that Oakley affirmatively and truthfully represent all material facts, deal fairly with Aspiro and its shareholders, and
conduct his duties to the Company and its shareholders in the utmost good faith.
10.              Oakley breached his fiduciary duties to Aspiro and its shareholders, and continues to breach his fiduciary duties to Aspiro and its shareholders by,
among other things:
a.       failing to return to Aspiro its property and information;
b.      failing to be truthful in his reports to Aspiro’s Board and in documenting the purpose for Aspiro’s payment of expenses for Oakley’s benefit and the benefit
of his friends and family; and
c.       engaging in conduct, and causing Aspiro to engage in conduct, which damaged Aspiro’s business reputation and was contrary to the company’s core values.
11.              Oakley has done this with the explicit purpose of benefitting himself and to damage Aspiro.
12.              Such breaches by Oakley proximately caused damage or injury to Aspiro in an amount to be proven at trial, together with applicable interest, costs
and attorney fees.

 FOURTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF

 (Breach of Fiduciary Duty)

13.              Aspiro incorporates the allegations in the preceding paragraphs as if fully set forth herein.
14.              Aspiro entrusted Oakley with complete control over all if is employees and management, including its bookkeeping and financial records.
15.              Aspiro entrusted Oakley to act as its agent in using its funds and interacting with its employees.
16.              Pursuant to, among other facts, the trust that was placed in Oakley as its President and CEO, Oakley owed a fiduciary duty to Aspiro not to engage in
acts or do anything that would cause Aspiro harm.  Oakley owed a fiduciary duty to act in Aspiro’s best interest and not expose Aspiro to liability under federal or
state law.
17.              Oakley owed a duty to disclose material financial and liability information to Aspiro’s Board, to maintain accurate and complete records of Aspiro’s
finances, to make only authorized payments, and to implement reasonable, necessary and adequate control functions.
18.              Oakley breached his fiduciary duty to Aspiro by, among other things:

a.       Causing Aspiro to make unauthorized payments and purchases for non-business purposes and for the benefit of Oakley, his friends and family;
b.      Failing to properly record payments in Aspiro’s financial records;
c.       Entering into contracts with employees without approval, legal counsel, and to the detriment of Aspiro;
d.      Failing to disclose to the Board the unauthorized expenditures by Aspiro;
e.       Materially misrepresenting Aspiro’s liabilities in reports to the Board;
f.       Knowingly keeping inaccurate and incomplete accounting records;
g.      Failing to return to Aspiro its property and information as requested;
h.      Engaging in conduct, and causing Aspiro to engage in conduct, which damaged Aspiro’s business reputation and was contrary to the company’s core values;
and
i.        Such other and further breaches as may be proven hereafter.

19.              As a direct and proximate result of the above breaches, Aspiro has suffered and continues to suffer damages in an amount to be proven hereafter.
20.              Furthermore, Oakley’s breaches were willful and/or in reckless disregard of Aspiro’s rights and interests. As a result, Aspiro is entitled to punitive
damages in an amount to be proven at trial.
21.              Aspiro is also entitled to a complete and accurate accounting of Oakley’s use of Aspiro funds.

 FIFTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF

 (Breach of Duty of Loyalty)

22.              Aspiro incorporates the allegations in the preceding paragraphs as if fully set forth herein.
23.              While in the capacity of Aspiro’s President and CEO, Oakley owed Aspiro a duty of loyalty which required, among other things, that he use his
ingenuity, influence, and energy, to preserve and enhance the property and earning power of the corporation, even if the interests of the corporation are in conflict
with his own personal interests.
24.              The duty of loyalty also required Oakley refrain from activity that would harm or injure Apiro, including among other things, that he refrain from
misappropriating Aspiro assets and income.
25.              Oakley breached his duty of loyalty to Aspiro by engaging in, among other things, the following:

a.                   Causing Aspiro to make unauthorized payments and purchases for non-business purposes and for the benefit of Oakley, his friends and family;
b.                  Failing to properly record payments in Aspiro’s financial records;
c.                   Entering into contracts with employees without approval, legal counsel, and to the detriment of Aspiro;
d.                  Failing to disclose to the Board the unauthorized expenditures by Aspiro;
e.                   Materially misrepresenting Aspiro’s liabilities in reports to the Board;
f.                   Knowingly keeping inaccurate and incomplete accounting records;
g.                  Failing to return to Aspiro its property and information as requested.
h.                  Engaging in conduct, and causing Aspiro to engage in conduct, which damaged Aspiro’s business reputation and was contrary to the company’s core
values; and
i.                    Such other and further breaches as may be proven hereafter.

26.              As a direct and proximate cause of Oakley’s breaches, Aspiro has been damaged in an amount to be proven at trial.
27.              Furthermore, Oakley’s breach was willful and/or in reckless disregard of Apiro’s rights and interests. As a result, Aspiro is entitled to punitive
damages in an amount to be proven at trial.

 SIXTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF

 (Conversion)

28.              Aspiro incorporates the allegations in the preceding paragraphs as if fully set forth herein.
29.              As alleged in detail above, Oakley has intentionally converted to his own use and gain money and assets of Aspiro, inconsistent with Aspiro’s rights of
use and possession.
30.              Such conversion was done without Aspiro’s authorization or lawful justification.
31.              As a direct result of Oakley’s conversion, Aspiro is entitled to recover the full value of the converted money and assets, in an amount to be determined
at trial.
32.              Furthermore, Oakley’s conversion was willful and/or in reckless disregard of Aspiro’s rights and interests. As a result, Aspiro is entitled to punitive
damages against Oakley in an amount to be proven at trial.
33.              In addition, as Oakley continues to possess or control Aspiro property and information, the Court should issue an injunction requiring Oakley (1) to
preserve Aspiro property and information and (2) to return its property and information to Aspiro immediately.

 SEVENTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF

 (Fraud and/or Negligent Misrepresentation)

34.              Aspiro incorporates the allegations in the preceding paragraphs as if fully set forth herein.
35.              Oakley made representations of material fact to Aspiro and its Board in connection with the misappropriation of Aspiro money and assets. These
representations include, but are not limited to, his false, misleading and/or incorrect entries into its Aspiro’s books and financial records, and those other facts set
forth above.
36.              Oakley’s representations as described above were untrue when they were made, were known by Oakley to be untrue when they were made, were
made with reckless disregard for their truth or falsity, or were made without reasonable grounds or basis for Oakley to believe them to be true.
37.              Oakley’s representations were made for the purpose of covering up his misappropriation of money and assets and the exposure of liability to Aspiro
that Oakley caused through his inappropriate and illegal acts.
38.              Aspiro and its Board, acting reasonably, and in ignorance of the falsity of Oakley’s representations, relied on the representations in, among other
things: continuing to pay Oakley his salary and benefits and continuing to entrust in him the management of Aspiro, its employees, income, assets and finances.
39.              Aspiro has suffered, and continues to suffer damages as a proximate result of Oakley’s negligent or fraudulent misrepresentations of material fact.
40.              Furthermore, Oakley’s misrepresentations were made in willful and/or in reckless disregard of the truth or of Aspiro’s rights and interests. As a result,
Aspiro is entitled to punitive damages in an amount to be proven at trial.

 EIGHTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF

 (Fraudulent Concealment)

41.              Aspiro incorporates the allegations in the preceding paragraphs as if fully set forth herein.
42.              While in the capacity of Aspiro’s President and CEO, Oakley had a duty to disclose to the Board material facts regarding Aspiro’s business, including
among other things, material facts relating to Aspiro’s finances, the use of Aspiro’s funds, the hiring of new officers, and Aspiro’s entry into significant contracts.
43.              Oakley also owed a duty to disclose to the Board his knowledge of any activity that could harm or injure Aspiro, including among other things, any
misappropriation of Aspiro assets and any activity that could expose Aspiro to liability under state and federal discrimination and harassment laws.
44.              Oakley had a duty to disclose the true nature of the financial transactions Aspiro was engaging in.
45.              Oakley had a duty to disclose any significant financial concerns, including the IRS’s demand for unpaid employment taxes.
46.              Oakley had knowledge of the facts set forth above, but intentionally failed to disclose them to the Board.
47.              Aspiro has suffered, and continues to suffer damages as a proximate result of Oakley’s failure to disclose these material facts.
48.              Furthermore, Oakley took active steps, as described above, to conceal these material facts from Aspiro and its Board, going so far as to wipe the
hard drive of his computer clean before turning it over to the Board. As a result, Aspiro is entitled to punitive damages in an amount to be proven at trial.

 NINTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF

 (Intentional and/or Negligent Interference With Prospective Business)

49.              Aspiro incorporates the allegations in the preceding paragraphs as if fully set forth herein.
50.              Oakley was aware that Aspiro’s business is dependent upon its reputation for integrity and honest values.
51.              Oakley was aware that Aspiro’s business is specifically dependent upon its reputation for helping individuals struggling with family relationships and
impulse control, among other things.
52.              Oakley’s conduct, as set forth herein, has damaged Aspiro’s business reputation and interfered with its ability to solicit new clients.
53.              Aspiro has suffered, and continues to suffer damages as a proximate result of Oakley’s conduct described herein.

WHEREFORE, Aspiro demands the following relief;

A.                For an award of actual and consequential damages to be determined at trial, but exceeding $1,000,000.00 plus prejudgment interest;
B.                 For an award of treble damages pursuant to Utah Code Ann. § 76-6-412(2) based on Oakley’s conversion of Aspiro property and assests;
C.                 For an award of punitive damages based on Oakley’s willful and wanton behavior to Aspiro;
D.                For an order requiring Oakley to return to Aspiro its property and information in Oakley’s possession and control;
E.                 For an order establishing constructive trust in the non-business related property that Oakley caused to be purchased with Aspiro’s money;
F.                  For an order enjoining Oakley from destroying or deleting Aspiro information or misappropriating Aspiro trade secrets;
G.                For an order requiring Oakley to provide an accounting of his use of Aspiro funds;
H.                For an award of attorney fees and costs associated with bringing this action as may be provided for by law; and
I.                   For an award of such other and further relief as the Court deems just and equitable.

 JURY TRIAL DEMAND

Pursuant to the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure, plaintiff demands trial by jury.
DATED this 3rd day of May 2013.


/s/ Scott M. Petersen_______________
 Scott M. Petersen
 Clint R. Hansen
 FABIAN & CLENDENIN,
 A Professional Corporation
 Attorneys for Aspiro Group, Inc.

4816-5413-5827, v. 1
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