Airleaf Reborn?

Bonnie Kaye, who was a key player in the demise of the Airleaf vanity press scam, is now leading the charge against Jones Harvest Publishing, a sleazy vanity press run by Brien Jones, a former Airleaf exec (who is also doing business as Author Celebrity, Starred Review, Great Concept Books, Book Wheat  and Author Profile, to name just a few).

She has launched JonesHarvestFraudVictims, a blog for people who claim that they've been swindled by Jones. She writes:

In the aftermath of Airleaf Publishing's demise, the former Executive
Vice President, Brien Jones, has "re-invented" this system all over
in his own publishing business.  Although Mr. Jones swore he was
not the man to be blamed behind Airleaf's fraudulence, the
investigation conducted by a number of members of the Airleaf Victims
support group has proven that this is not the case. Mr. Jones was no
innocent victim of Airleaf fraud as he proclaims like the authors who
bought their worthless promises—in fact, he perpetuated much of it.
According to a dozen ex-employees, Mr. Jones was the mastermind behind
the worthless promotions of Airleaf that he was pitching.

Brien Jones has cast himself as an innocent victim who is being trashed by "baseless and vicious attacks from competing publishers," even though his critics aren't publishers at all.

I was an employee of another publishing company and despite being
called the “mastermind” of this operation I was not in charge of
anything at all. I never had access that company’s check book, company
credit cards, accounts payable, or accounts receivable. I never saw a
bank statement, not one time. Most amazing of all, I was not allowed to look at the mail!

I also had no information, none, about book sales. Despite nearly constant pleas I never had any clue how many copies of client’s books were sold.  I had no clue how many of MY books were sold, even though I had to pay out of my pocket (just like the other authors) to print them! I DO know that I never got paid a percentage of any book sales, including my own.

I left that publishing company it was up to me to decide how much of
the responsibility was mine. I decided I deserved my fair share of the
blame. So I sent out apologies. I published 30 books for free
(including the crusader’s), and 30 more at our hard cost. I also used
and use the same vendors that got stiffed by my former boss. In other
words I have done all I can to atone for my role in that other company.
Since many of our client’s now were clients there, I guess we must be
doing something right.

That's one way of looking at it. Another would be that he's suckered the same suckers again using the same schemes that worked so effectively at Airleaf (which seem primarily targeted at senior citizens). He's not the only one who has seemingly gone back to the Airleaf playbook for inspiration. As Writer Beware notes:

Airleaf has spawned several publishing enterprises run by ex-staff–including Fideli Publishing, a fee-based publisher whose marketing packages bear an eerie similarity to Airleaf's, and Brien Jones's Jones Harvest Publishing,
which also charges fees for publishing and offers many Airleaf-style
services (Writer Beware has gotten some advisories about Jones
Harvest's email solicitations,
and Mr. Jones has recently chosen to reimburse several Jones Harvest
authors who alleged performance problems). If you trace the family tree
backward instead of forward, you arrive at the Big Daddy of POD vanity
publishing, AuthorHouse, where Brien Jones was employed before he
co-founded Airleaf's predecessor, Bookman Marketing. It's a tangled web
indeed–which, sadly, is not unusual in the murky world of vanity POD.

Sadly, many of the desperate, and insanely gullible, aspiring authors who were swindled by Airleaf learned nothing from the experience…and have gone running from one vanity press scam right into others.

Kaye organized over 450 scammed authors against Airleaf and succeeded in getting the Indiana Attorney General to shut the company down. I wonder how many victims she will rally together this time…

15 thoughts on “Airleaf Reborn?”

  1. I contacted the attorney general’s office regarding business with this company before this scandal came out. I also knew that Brien Jones was the biggest part of it because he was the only one I had exchanged monies with. I was, however; after the complaint, somewhat compensated. What I have not received are books ordered and am weary about the promise to send novels to film companies etc. This too had a cost.
    Hoping that we will all be compensated for all the hard work we did to get our works to a point of publish and for having to go through the process again

  2. All I have to say to this rubbish is that Brian Jones has always been fir and honest with me. I have always received the services I asked for and it is a shame that because there are some authors out there who have no business writing a book let alone publishing one are disgruntled because they do not have the talent to make a book succeed. There will be many talented authors hurt if Ms. Kayes vendetta is allowed to spill over onto Jones Harvest. I find it peculiar that she now has seemd to be benefting from this whole mess by publishing and profiting from others books.
    Mr. Gerry Edwards

  3. When I first dealt with Bookman Publishing – and, later, Airleaf – Brien Jones was the person in charge, as far as I’m concerned. His was the signature at the bottom of the promo letters, the contract info, everything. He incurred the negative karma by so doing, and all the protestations to the reverse will not change that truth.
    How convenient for him to now attempt to distance himself from the mess he minimally co-created. He marketed and sold the plans, he promised the goods, and then he failed to deliver. His was the name we authors saw, and therefore, he owns the karma.
    I won’t bore you with the details, but I paid dearly: money for services that were never rendered, received guarantees that were never made good on, and gave trust that was returned with abuse and failure to produce. My Airleaf rep changed at least four times (including one repeater), so promises and consistency were impossible to maintain.
    How subconsciously telling it is that he chose the name Jones’ “Harvest”, because as he has sown, he surely is now reaping – thanks to Bonnie Kaye, I might add. Jones’ Harvest is quickly becoming Jones’ Karma.

  4. When I first started working with Airleaf, Brien Jones was my only interface. The only thing that I can say is that for me, he brought a whole new meaning to the word “incompetence”.

  5. Those of you who want to do business with Brien Jones may certainly do so. He will be happy to separate you from your money. That’s what he did to me by promising things that Airleaf could not and did not deliver.
    I blame myself. I should have known when he gave the lame excuse for the name change from Bookman to Airleaf. He’s a salesman…a closer. But like so many others, I got a little carried away with the idea of having my book published, which never happened. But they took my money.
    Buyer beware. Take the time, do your research and find a reputable company. As for Bookman, Airleaf, Brien Jones, and Jones Harvest, I would not have anything to do with any of them or with anyone who had anything to do with any of them.
    Good Luck.

  6. Brian Jones is just as crooked as his old boss Carl Lau. (And the State of Indiana is allowing this crap to continue; plus the major Indiana newspaper The Indianapolis Star has ignored all pleas to do an investigation. Is the whole state corupt?)
    I don’t think Bob Denton nor some of the other worker bee’s at AirLeaf deserve too much credit either.

  7. I, too, have been burned by Bookman Publishing Company. I had an irregular run-in with Brien Jones, after I asked him a question concerning my book sales. He became irate, and naturally I hung up on him. He called back with a very rude retort. He stated, “Lady, that ain’t cool.” He repeated the same statement at least two times. I intoned that his behavior was short of being professional and should not be dealing with the public.
    I paid several hundreds of dollars for promises that was not delivered. I have decided that POD pusblishing is not the way for an author to go. I know I will never see my hard-earned money again. I have purposed in my heart to propagate to other author’s who may be considering POD publishing, to seek other ways of publishing their book. I am not saying that all POD publishing is crooked. I am certain that there are creditable POD publishing companies out there. I have not found one, yet.
    I have an abundance of respect for Bonnie Kaye, for her courage and drive. I am sure that her continuing proactiveness for what she believes in will prevail and we “authors” will be be the better for it.
    Good luck to all of you “authors” who are seeking a reputable publishing company.
    Colleen Jeffries

  8. There may be a few authors who feel their association with Jones Harvest has treated them fairly, but I only see one blog who does so. And it is quite egomaniacal to state that “disgruntled” authors who probably are not smart enough to write, let alone publish, a book are the only ones complaining against Brien Jones. No one but Brien knows how many scams he has cleverly put together (let’s give him credit for that ability anyway) but since there is a coalition forming as we speak, it appears that the number of his complaining clients is growing along with the number of his exaggerated promises being uncovered daily.
    He is supposed to be a consultant which, to him, means collect the money and do nothing.

  9. My name is Ken Pullen. I am not a publisher. I have no ulterior motives. I will not benefit in any manner from writing this, or seeing Mr. Brien Jones of Jones Harvest Publishing go out of business.
    It is an utterly insane and illogical premise that anyone would monetarily benefit from Brien Jones going out of business. Think about that absurd statement. Where is the logic and reasoning? That is said to merely distract from what is actually taking place should you be foolish enough to trust Brien Jones and give him your money.
    I am writing this for one reason and one reason only.
    I know Brien Jones. Through knowing him I am very aware of what Brien Jones is. Mr. Jones is a conman. A simple modern day con artist using the Internet and the United States Postal Service to expand and maintain his scheme.
    How can this be a con and a crime if some people defend Brien Jones and make the claims he has done wonders for them? Always delivered?
    They are shils.
    Without shils cons don’t work.
    Con artists know while people are easy to fleece and separate from their money they won’t really begin forking it over until they see someone they can identify with as coming out on top, winning, having the claims of the con artist come true for them.
    Brien Jones was the first person working at Airleaf Publishing to contact me. He worked the same angle he does now. He provided names and emails of people who he’d represented that he claimed were happy customers of Airleaf.
    The shils.
    I let my guard down upon being emailed by these shils that they had no qualms with Brien Jones or Airleaf.
    Meanwhile Brien Jones and Carl Lau of Airleaf Publishing were fleecing literally hundreds and hundreds of people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
    None of their hollow words rang true – or ever came true.
    Do not follow, do not believe, do not trust Brien Jones. Ever. He is a con artist. He is a criminal. He defrauds people. He can no longer discern fact from fiction, the truth from his myraid lies.
    Think of this – in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, any gambling location we all know the house wins 9 out of 10 times, or as adults we should be aware of that. Everything in a casino is set up in favor of the house. Yes, there are occasional winners but tens of millions of losers.
    Now knowing that would you take thousands of dollars of money you cannot afford to throw away or lose and bet it all on one bet, one number, one spin of the wheel?
    Here is the difference between Brien Jones and Las Vegas – in Vegas you still have the small outside chance of winning, albeit rare. With Brien Jones he already has his shils in place. None of the players ever have a chance of winning at this point. There isn’t even that rare remote possibility you might win with Brien Jones.
    Don’t throw your money away.
    Don’t merely follow, trust, and believe.
    I get nothing from doing this.
    The people who have written of Brien Jones crimes do not get anything from saying what they did.
    Bonnie Kaye does not benefit in any way other than knowing that if she can bring about awareness and an end to such cons there will be the chance one fewer person will lose their money and have their dreams dashed.
    Brien Jones is a crook.
    You want to finance a crook and ignore all the warnings it’s your life, your money, but do not delude yourself into thinking you’re going to be the exception that he cares about, helps, and that you will succeed – you won’t.
    That you can take to the bank!

  10. My main concern about authors who are dealing with Brien Jones…they honestly feel as tho he is their friend and cares about them personally. They believe he is a good friend working on their behalf; when in reality, he only knows them by caller ID and a spreadsheet of notes he reads as the call is being fwdd. He doesnt read any of the manuscripts ..but does have lots of notes from conversations. He mocks and makes fun of authors after their calls.. I know this first hand.
    If you’ve spoke to him more than 4 times and not noticed his replies are recited like verse from memory -pay closer attention. “Your our top priority”, “I thought you had that already”, “I’ll find out and get back to you”– Just like in every review Brien has ever written the phrase “engagingly written painstakingly researched” is used- no matter what the subject matter. He actually gets a kick out of getting by with it and no one noticing. Check out starred reviews on the website and see for yourself.
    He knows exactly what he’s doing…Has always known what he has been doing…Hes done it for years…First Books to Bookman to Airleaf to Jones Harvest.

  11. All I can speak to is my personal dealing with Brien Jones. As for others I have never been contacted by anyone except Bonnie Kaye with all this mess. If others have suffered in this debacle I am sorry. I too was a victem of Authorhouse and other scams, but brien always did what he said he would do nfor me, hense no gripe from me. I do have to say though I know airleaf was a bad company for many to deal with and did rob many of their savings.
    Gerry Edwards

  12. I totally agree with everything Ken Pullman stated on Sept. 8, 2008. Brien was the first person to contact me at Airleaf. He lost all my manuscript, took half of the $1850.00 he was charging me to get started on my book. He always had excuses for not getting it edited. I worked with five different ones and was told so many lies about why they left. Before Brien left Airleaf, he called me and told me that before he could back started on my book, that he had to have the other half of my money that I owed. Like a fool, I sent it to him. He probably took that with him, because the next thing I knew he was gone and I was receiveing letters from him trying to get me to go with his new company. I thought to myself, you conned me out of all that money and did nothing for me, why should I change and start over paying again with you? And, thank God I didn’t.

  13. I have just learned of this thanks to Writer Beware. Thank you for all your hard work at helping fellow writers. And to all those who have been burned, I wish you great success elsewhere. To the few who haven’t, I hope you don’t. I wish you’re success as well.


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