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!

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Tonya Boga

Georgia - Tonya Boga has resigned as Director of the Office of the Child Advocate. An attorney in her own right, perhaps Ms. Boga will return to practice, as her license to practice law is active.
In 2012, Ms. Boga stated in an interview with Channel 2 News investigative reporter Aaron Diamant, "I see us as a voice for the children of the state of Georgia." Ms. Boga went on to say, "I think there needs to be more training, and DFCS is working on that training." [1] [2]
These statements indicate more smoke and mirrors. Blame the work force, not  the upper echelon of supervisors and directors. How proactive is it to train more DFCS/CPS investigators/agents, if it is the supervisors, who are afforded carte blanche in subjective editing of final survey reports? 
In  a 2011 interview, a DFCS/CPS/ORCC investigator disclosed, off the record for fear of reprisal, that a report the investigator submitted was ignored, and this was not the first time.  "You stay in line. You don't ask questions; not if you wish to keep your job." There was no question the fear factor was overwhelming. 
As 'real' child advocates, we found that several of our complaints filed with the ORCC under DHS, including DFCS and the subsequent finalized survey reports generated by those entities, were either missing in the final survey report, changed, or the original complaint was not addressed in the final survey report with coinciding complaint identifiers.
As 'real' child advocates, we met with Tonya Boga in the Fall of 2011. On our own time, we went to the Governor's Office. We offered documented evidence and testimony to the Governor's Office, along with Ms. Boga and her entourage at the OCA -- including recommended oversight reforms and regulations based on our experience with the  "kid gloves" handling of a facility.  We found nepotism, ineptitude, and apparent corruption-rampant. All of which, indicated the problems are systemic as other facilities generate reports with the same failures and 'nothing' is done. "We are not in the business to shut these facilities down," as one Director stated. 

 "We the People" thought the creed for agencies under the arm of  DHS, such as DFCS, the ORCC,  and CPS, was to protect the children, not the facility. Think again.
We found the directors to be incompetent, not the investigators/agents. If the directors and supervisors are not incompetent, then their plight of containment, an insular quest, shines a worse light toward their embracement of corruption.

Governor Deal: “It is one of those oversight areas, where I think any time we have an extra set of eyes that are looking at a situation, perhaps we can avoid bad things happening,” he said of the office. [1]

Governor Deal's politics and rhetoric aside, in our advocacy for the safety of children and transparency, obviously his 'blanket' statement did not apply. "DEAL would not deal with Ryan and Dunne and get the deal done," retorts a child advocate.
When the Georgia Bureau of Investigation raided the Muscogee County DFCS alleging "false statements and writings, concealment of facts, fraudulent documents in matters within jurisdiction of state or political subdivisions, and subornation of false swearing," industry people were shocked.  Georgia goes after one of their own?  Why Muscogee?  Our postion, "they raided the wrong office." [3]
Two years later, "We are still investigating."  Now, Ms. Boga is gone.
If one is hopeful that a new Director of the Office of the Child Advocate will be a visionary, do not hold ones breath.

Oversight with no accountability, simply will not work.



DHS -    Department of Human Services
DFCS -  Department of Family and Children's Services
CPS   -   Child Protective Services
ORCC - Office of Regulatory Child Care
OCA -   Office of the Child Advocate

Friday, November 29, 2013



Brian Vaifanua 
HURRICANE, UTAH - How does the likes of Brian Vaifanua become the basketball coach and athletic director of Hurricane High School? Apparently, he is not the "Lone Ranger." If reports ring true and Mr. Vaifanua was indeed fired, how long did the Board of Education and the Superintendent of Schools take to render such a decision? Were they not apprised of Mr. Vaifanua's background?  Questions need to be answered by whomever hired Mr. Vaifanua, their vetting process for hiring, and whether Mr. Vaifanua disclosed his past.

Mr. Jody Rich is the current Principal... "Mr. Rich... what is your professional take? Nepotism? Ineptitude? Negligence?"

Is this the Mr. Jody Rich that heralds from Diamond Ranch Academy?

By the end of August 2013, congratulations were extended to the new coach of Hurricane High School, Mr. Todd Langston. On November 5, 2013, the Deseret News reported twenty-two teams for the 2013-2014 basketball season will have new coaches.

What one will not find in the Deseret News, is an answer as to, "Why was Mr. Vaifanuua  fired? Or, was he allowed to resign?"  It is doubtful whether this would be reported on FOX 13 NEWS KSTU as family is employed at FOX. Not to mention having friends with the last name of Lichfield... Ring any bells?

A survivor of Paradise Cove reported on Reddit TroubledTeens that Mr. Rich confirmed Mr. Vaifanua had indeed been fired (via a telephone call to him on November 27, 2013-- near three months later).
He wrote, "I got a phone call today from Jody rich the principal of hurricane high school confirming that basketball coach Brian vaifanua the sick bastard that ran paradise cove a teen torture camp in Western Samoa that hog tied and beat at least a thousand of us "troubled teens" has official confirmied he has been fired thanks to the work of me and the other guys that were imprisoned there."
Another question:  With all these connections, how did the Board of Education pull this off?  In Southern Utah, no less.

It appears Mr. Vaifanua's 'connections' to the horrific Troubled Teen Industry are quite numerous, including extended family, friends, and colleagues (Duane Lee, brother-in-law and former Director of Paradise Cove).

Mr. Vaifanua, heralds as the former owner and director of the noted abusive Paradise Cove facility in Western Samoa (under the former WWASPS that was headquartered in St. George, Utah).  Paradise Cove was closed by the Samoan government for credible allegations of child abuse - no thanks to the US who just issued a warning to US parents. Question? Why were there no indictments of Mr. Vaifanua and the lot of them? The DOJ states it was Samoa and they had no jurisdiction.  However, these children were US citizens, abused under Mr. Vaifanua's (a US citizen of Samoan heritage) care, according to reports. Instead, Mr. Vaifanua was free to do a stint as the Director of Midwest Academy in Iowa.


It appears Mr. Vaifanua was not alone in seeking employment with children after the closing of a teen facility such as Paradise Cove... He has plenty of company, which borders on absurdity.

Dace Goulding, co-owner of the former abusive Darrington Academy, was also listed as an owner of Casa by the Sea in Mexico, which was shut down for child abuse allegations. In addition, Goulding was involved with High Impact in Mexico, which was shut down for child abuse allegations. Darrington Academy was shuttered amidst child abuse allegations. It appears Mr. Goulding gets around, as it is reported that he, too, worked at Paradise Cove (Mr.Vaifanua/Mr. Goulding connection). According to school records, Mr. Goulding is now in the employ of Desert Hills Middle School as a Social Studies teacher and coach.

Another character was Richard Darrington, co-owner of the former Darrington Academy in Georgia, along with Mr. Goulding. Mr. Darrington was arrested in 2009 for aggravated battery, invasion of privacy, and first degree cruelty to children.

Mr. Darrington (holding only a substitute teaching license in Nevada), sought employment at Whittell High School and was hired as the Dean of Students. Until, Whittell H.S. found existing battery charges and a "9 count indictment" against Mr. Darrington (and three colleagues) that was awaiting him in Georgia. Nevada revoked his substitute teaching license.

Update: October 2013 charges brought in the indictment of Mr. Darrington in Georgia were dropped... "nolle prosequi"... why?

In 2011, Mr. Darrington's three colleagues entered into a negotiated guilty plea relating to charges of first degree cruelty to children and invasion of privacy.

Obviously, being part of the "9 count indictment" was not enough to keep him in Georgia.

Why not start an association for alleged abusers?  There appear to be several possible applicants.

Perhaps, Mr. Viafanua will end up at Diamond Ranch Academy.

More important questions... Where are they now? Why are they not forbidden to be around children?

Why are they not in jail, along with the entire WWASPS predators and creators, like the Lichfield family?

It is simple: Money, power, politics, corruption, and a majority of those in the governing body in Washington that could care less about the quality of life and rights of our children--unless... it is their offspring.

Note:  Jilliestake reached out to the below entities for this article to no avail on November 27, 2013.  Jilliestake welcomes their comments.

The School Board of Washington County could not be reached for comment and/or confirmation. There was no answer.

Hurricane High School could not be reached for comment and/or confirmation. A recorded message:  "Due to the apparently high volume of calls..."



Reddit Troubled Teens:
Note: Quote left in tact with grammatical errors for authenticity.

Desert News:

Hurricane High School:
"Congratulations to Todd Langston the new head coach of the Hurricane Tiger boys basketball team."

WWASPS - World Wide Association of Specialty Schools:

Utah Washington County School District:

Hurricane High School, Hurricane, Utah:

Mr.  Jody Rich: Named Principal of Hurricane High School the summer of 2012:

Diamond Ranch Academy: Re  A Jody Rich Consultant/Counselor - update:

Mr. Dace Goulding:

Blog error edited... apologies. "Ms." Rich was corrected to "Mr." Rich.
Article updated.

Friday, November 1, 2013




HURRICANE, UTAH - 11-01-2013
Recently, there have been several inquiries and testaments from parents regarding placement of their children in various facilities across the U.S.  Diamond Ranch Academy (DRA) is one such facility, as there have been numerous Internet postings alleging a recent death of a child at DRA.
The State of Utah's DHS Licensing Division has confirmed that approximately six weeks ago, there was another child's death at Diamond Ranch Academy.  This time, a young boy (name withheld out of respect for the young man and his family), perished after completing a suicide attempt.
Since prior postings have alluded to or described his suicide attempt, it has been confirmed by a Utah State Official that his precious life ended in a shower, hanging from a belt attached to a shower rod.
According to the State, the police and DHS investigations are near closure.  DHS recommended
corrective action at DRA, which has taken place.  One corrective act  was installing collapsible shower rods and shower heads, so that they remain innocuous.
Excuse:  "The staff gets complacent." Another word for negligent.
A State source conveyed, "the child that completed  his suicide attempt was taken off suicide watch by the tending Psychiatrist/Psychologist two days before."  Negligence?
Question:  Why was a suicidal child at DRA to begin with?  Why was he not transferred to a Mental Health facility?
DHS stated that their county receives "on average,  one call a year relating to a child's suicide."
Since the investigation is near finalized,  whether charges shall be filed remain to be determined. 
Another quote from a State Official, who was very professional and kind, yet seemingly naive, "DRA is one of the better ones. I believe they can make a difference with these children."
Jilliestake response:  
DRA surely did "make a difference." 
"We are different - by design" -  as in shower rods and shower heads?  
DRA appears in dire need of a fresh marketing campaign to bounce back from apparent, egregious negligence. One imagines, DRA  and its adjunct mental health care providers,  pray the death of this young man is kept "under wraps."
But, hey, they can always count on Dr. Drew Pinsky (aka Dr. Drew) for a stellar recommendation.
Quoted  from the DRA website, "As seen On Dr. Phil's Life Changers"

"I don't make this recommendation casually;
this is from years of experience in dealing
with people with behavioral problems.."


It is more than evident, that the laws in Utah and across the country regarding Teen Residential Treatment Facilities, Wilderness Programs, and the like,  must change to protect our young.

There is no accountability.

Educational Consultants that send children and youths to these facilites, still do not fathom that they are mandated reporters.

This is not the first child's life that was lost or destroyed, nor will it be the last, if there is no accountability or humanity.


As advocates for children, DRA is not recommended for placement.







In all fairness to  Dr. Drew Pinsky, Josh Shipp also arranged for a teenager to attend DRA on his former show, "Teen Trouble."

According to Diamond Ranch Academy's website, they are a licensed youth "residential treatment center."


Rob and Sherri Dias
Utah administrative code for Licensed treatment facilities.
 Definition of a licensed residential treatment center in Utah.


Hurricane, Utah Police Department

Friday, September 20, 2013


Memo provides insight into ethics probe of Gov. Deal

This is a must read, including the offered links.  Anyone that thinks Chicago politics holds the crown, think again.


Georgia Ethics Commission head received pay increases

ATLANTA (AP) — The head of Georgia's Ethics Commission, who is accused of intervening in a case involving Gov. Nathan Deal, received pay raises despite being hired as the agency said it had to cut costs, according to records reviewed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The salary of the commission's executive secretary, Holly LaBerge, increased from $85,000 when she started work in September 2011, to $92,000 the following year. She was earning $100,000 by June. By comparison, LaBerge's predecessor quit after absorbing a 30 percent pay cut and later filed a lawsuit alleging that she was punished for aggressively pursuing the investigation involving Deal.

LaBerge declined to comment to the newspaper and could not be immediately reached for comment by The Associated Press Friday.

Current and former staffers have given sworn testimony accusing LaBerge of ordering the removal of documents from the case file and meeting with top Deal aides while the probe was ongoing. According to the testimony, LaBerge said that the governor "owed her one" after she claimed to have made ethics complaints against him "go away."

Deal said he barely knows LaBerge and denied that she did him any favors. He settled complaints related to the campaign by paying a $3,350 penalty.

The accusations emerged in testimony from the commission's former computer specialist, John Hair, and its current attorney, Elisabeth Murray-Obertein. They were ordered to testify as part of whistleblower lawsuits filed by the commission's former executive director, Stacey Kalberman, and her former top deputy, Sherilyn Streicker.

Kalberman and Streicker said they were ready to move forward with the investigation involving Deal's campaign. Then the agency's commissioners voted to cut Kalberman's salary by nearly 30 percent and eliminate Streicker's job. At the time, the commissioners said it was a cost-cutting move to solve a budget crisis.

Kalberman ultimately resigned. She and Streicker filed lawsuits alleging they were punished for pursuing the probe involving the governor.

LaBerge testified that she received a phone call from the governor's office asking whether she was interested in heading the commission even before the job was open. The commission was intended as an independent watchdog agency overseeing campaign finance and lobbying. It is supposed to hire its own director.

The commission did experience deep budget cuts. Its funding was reduced 41 percent from 2007 to 2012, although Deal and lawmakers since then approved a budget that gave it back roughly $240,000. Ethics Commission Chairman Kevin Abernethy and Vice Chairwoman Hillary Stringfellow said that LaBerge increased the agency's legislative funding by more than $100,000 since arriving. They said LaBerge has successfully collected late fees, generating about $253,000 for the state treasury.


Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Monday, August 26, 2013


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?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


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

Sunday, August 18, 2013


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.


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.

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.”

BalboaPress Illustrations (
Wed 11/28/12 1:04 PM

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 ----- ----- (, or ---- --- ----
Thank you!

-------- --------
Custom Illustrations Account Coordinator
1663 Liberty Drive
Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403
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.


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” 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 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.”

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.


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: ----------
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.
I will work with ------- tomorrow to obtain for you the best print options.
All the best,

From: ( )
Sent: Wed 4/24/13 2:48 PM
To: (

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.


Subject: ASI mentions on the balboa site
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2013 16:12:05 -0400
To: ------------
Hi ------


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

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


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.


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?


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.


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:

- 11.55 55% Retail discount quoted by publisher (Amazon)
- 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:

- 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:

- 11.5445/11.55 @ 55% retail discount
- 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

- 4.20 @ 20% retail discount
- 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:
- 5.70 Actual Cost of Goods (COGS - Lightning Source)
15.29 Divided by 2=
7.645 Royalty paid to author and publisher


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:
For color books:

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 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 before the final Cover Sign-Off (CSO). I go to 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 and Barnes and Noble with the incorrect cover. The CSR states that Deastore and 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.


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.

Sent: Tuesday, May 07, 2013 3:59 PM
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.


RE: ASI mentions on the balboa site/OFFSET PRINT‏
Cc: ----------
Sent: Tue 5/07/13 5:34 PM
To: --------
Cc: -------

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
o: 812.334.5442
f:: 812.349.0842
c: 317.603.1788


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
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!
Balboa Press
1663 Liberty Drive
Bloomington, IN 47403
P: 877-407-4847 ext: 5088
F: 812-355-4557

From: -------
Sent: Friday, May 24, 2013 12:22 PM
To: Balboa Press ------
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 --------
Date: Fri, 24 May 2013 12:30:14 -0400
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!
Balboa Press
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
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!
Balboa Press
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 ------------

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

Hello ---------,
Yes the ISBN and price will be removed from the cover files.
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

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

There is more… but first:


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.


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,


Copyright © 2013 Jilliestake - All rights reserved.

Update: Class Action lawsuit April 14-2014:

To view the class action lawsuit filed against Author Solutions, Inc. and its affiliates:

To view the recent filing amended filing: