xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' Deep Fried Fruit: Day 1248 - Raider Publishing International

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Day 1248 - Raider Publishing International

Today's post is very hard to write.

This is what Deep Fried reflection looks like
(C) Deep Fried Fruit
On this blog I am happy to tell you about all things middle aged like drooping body parts, grey hair, my middle aged lions mane and gas.  I'm happy to write about migraine, fibromylgia, anxiety and chronic fatigue. They are all easy to write about and I can find the humour. But I can't find the humour in this.  It's taken me a while to come to terms with it.  It has caused my heart to break.




For those who have been reading me for years you will remember the elation I felt when I got myself a publishing "contract". You will recall the challenges I faced in finding an illustrator and you may even recall the middle of the night phone calls to New York as I talked to my new publisher about the book and got things bedded down. You will remember that after getting quotes on a marketing campaign here in Australia that I paid the publisher a fair chunk of money to do the marketing for me. They offered a package that included building my author website, taking the book to E Book and creating an audio version. The publisher talked about awards nominations, world wide press releases, radio interviews, a magazine article and book signings. They would provide me with my own "personal assistant" and promised that all emails and phone calls would be answered within 72 hours. The publisher was Raider Publishing International.



You will recall the "fascinations" I was having during my publishing journey at how slow it all was and the time it took to actually see my book in print for the very first time.

You will also remember the excitement the first time I opened the front cover and the wonderful memory of signing my first copy for a friend.

Then you may have noticed that I went quiet.

Over the  past two years I never did get my author website, or E Book, audio book, radio interviews or magazine article.  Despite constant requests for copies/evidence I have not seen a single press release, award nomination or letter to book stores to organise author visits.  Even though I know of around 150 book sales from friends and family alone (100 of those books bought by me) I have never received a cent in money nor a clear reflection of book sales.

Numerous phone calls to the USA, and emails to the CEO have been left unanswered prompting me to think that perhaps the company was in financial strife and had in fact closed down. Then I heard of people still receiving publishing offers from Raider and I realised they were still functioning as a business.

Back in 2010 when they first offered to publish my book, I did a whole lot of research on Raider Publishing International on-line to see if they were legitimate.  They had an address on 5th Avenue in New York, they had their own book store in New York state, they had testimonials and a photo of the creator and CEO Adam Salviani. They had their own magazine and photos of their booth at book fairs.  They had offices in South Africa, the UK and one was "coming soon" to Sydney. We googled them to find any on-line chatter and all seemed to be quite fine.  I took my letter of offer/agreement to a few friends and colleagues who looked over it.  We took a leap and got excited by the possibilities.  

Things started to go pear shaped when my book was printed in paper back and not hard cover as agreed.  The dimensions of the book were also not what was discussed.  Our "contract" promised publishing within a year of signature which blew out to 15 months.  I was not advised that my book had been published but stumbled across it during a search on Amazon. I immediately ordered 100 copies for myself (in addition to the 30 they were to send me as part of my package) so that I could do a big launch and start an author tour.  The books took nine months to arrive on my doorstep after a gazillion phone calls and emails.  By then I was starting to feel less than enthused about it all and I had already moved on to creating Cheer Chick Charlie.  My first book took a back seat.  There was no launch. I was already feeling the disappointment and a nervous suspicion that perhaps I had been duped.

In the middle of last year after getting books one and two of Cheer Chick Charlie printed and launched, the website built AND my author website created here in Australia, it occurred to me that Raider had a lot to answer for.  It wasn't that hard to get a book printed and start a marketing campaign. My instinct was telling me that there was a real problem with this scenario.  Perhaps Raider wasn't in financial trouble at all - perhaps the entire thing was a scam.

I started doing more investigation. It seems I am not the only one who has had many "fascinations" with Raider Publishing International.  The cracks have appeared in their armor and there is now a great deal of unrest out their in author land.  It seems I actually got quite a good result from Raider comparatively speaking.  I actually got SOMETHING for my money. I have a book.  Others have not been so fortunate.

The more I look the more it seems Raider Publishing International (a US based company) only signs on people from outside the United States.  People who can't just wander into their office and hold them accountable for their actions.

I registered a complaint with the US Bureau of Better Business who tried three times to make contact with Raider. After no response they closed the file.

I registered a complaint with Scam Book who now have my concerns registered on their site.

I am in contact with some of the other authors.

In the lead up to my New York visit the other week I contacted Mr Adam Salviani and requested a meeting. I imagine he was probably shitting himself. What! One of these authors was actually coming to NYC?

Crickets.

I phoned and left messages. I was intrigued to discover that the phone once answered by a receptionist now goes directly to voice mail.  Again I advised I would be in New York and I would be dropping by his 5th Avenue office.

Crickets.

Again I sent emails and left voice mail advising that given I had not received the services I had paid for I would be seeing him in New York to pick up a cheque for the money he now owed me and to also collect the artwork for my book*.

Crickets.

One final email confirmed my visit to the Raider office and advised that if he did not make himself available I would be meeting with a New York based attorney the following day to initiate legal action.

Crickets.

The funny thing was that during my first week in the USA he finally emailed me to say "my apologies for not being able to see you while you were in the States, I have been travelling and have only just returned.  We will post the artwork out to you." To which I replied "that's OK Adam, you didn't miss me, I don't arrive in New York until next week, see you at 12.00 on Thursday, I'll bring the coffee!"

Crickets.

Another two phone calls confirming I would be at The Empire State Building on the Thursday (yes, that's where his "office" is located), or if he'd prefer he could drop the artwork and cheque off at my hotel. I gave him the details.

Crickets.

So Derek and I went for wander and headed for the Empire State Building.  We chatted to the security guards at the door and advised we had a meeting with Raider Publishing International. They let us in.  Wow, perhaps they really do exist.  We then went to the reception desk where security guards again stopped us. We advised we had a meeting with Raider Publishing International. They phoned upstairs. No, they weren't expecting us. No, Mr Salviani was not there. No, Mr Salviani doesn't usually work out of this building. Yes, this is a virtual office.  Yes, he actually resides in New Jersey.  No, we couldn't have his phone number.

Figures.

I then googled the address of the Book Shop and wondered how long it would take to get there.   What if it didn't exist? What if it was a "virtual book store" and I wasted our final day in New York? So I asked Google Earth and did a virtual tour. Hmmm. No sign of a book store!! The Lafayette Theatre yes, a furniture store, some quaint little shops and an insurance agent, but no Raider Book Store that I could see as I "drove" down Lafayette Avenue in Suffern New York.  After my virtual tour on Google Earth I chose instead to spend my last day wandering through Central Park with my bestie.

I did touch base with the attorney in New York and one in Pennsylvania.  Both feel that it's a legitimate case. But given I am internationally based, they thought it may be best if I move on and concentrate my efforts on Cheer Chick Charlie.  They say that the costs involved in bringing this man to court (and me across the world to pursue it) would be far greater that then three and half grand I gave the bastard.  I have asked my Pennsylvanian attorney to send a letter to Raider in any case.  Just to make a point.

I have also demanded the artwork via another email and I sent him a PayPal invoice for the money he owes me. You never know ...

Crickets.

I have written to the New York office  of the FBI and registered a formal complaint under their Internet Fraud division.  I also have letters ready to go to the Attorney Generals of both New York and New Jersey.

While in the USA I looked Mr Salviani up in the white pages of New Jersey and Suffern, New York, and have a few possible contact options up my sleeve for later. I don't want to be a stalker, but ....

This post has taken me a good many months to write.  I guess because I was hoping that magic would happen and I would find out that my first book wasn't the victim of an international scam but was actually a valued literary masterpiece being represented by a credible world-wide publisher.  Magic has not happened.  

The reason this is so hard for me to write is because I am embarrassed, humiliated, ashamed, sad and plain old disappointed. Embarrassed that I was so excited and thought I was with a credible publisher.  Humiliated because I signed on a first time illustrator who was also super excited, and got the support and sign on from an Australian celebrity to write the foreword.  Ashamed because I let it happen. Sad because my first book deserves to be bathed in sunshine not drowning in a cloud of disgrace. Disappointed because the previous emotions are too strong for me to achieve anger status just yet. 

Anyway, it's time for me to write about it.  It's part of my journey and I need to warn others in similar situations. I need to find a way to close the book on this one.  The story will continue, but with blue skies and sunshine smiley faces over a new chapter.

Thanks for listening ...

*The sad thing is that my artist, a US citizen currently living in El Savador, sent them them the original water colour paintings to ensure they could print at the highest quality possible.  She has never received her artwork back and (given she was also on a royalties based agreement) she has never received a cent for her efforts. In my mind the artwork is irreplaceable ...

EDITORS NOTE: This story is not about Cheer Chick Charlie.  The Cheer Chick Charlie children's books series is alive and well and on track. Despite the cloud over my first book "My Happy Gift", there is still plenty of cheery sunshine for this little author.   

29 comments :

  1. oh no!!! What a trip!!! This story will definitely give alot of people thinking of publishing - food for thought - !!!

    I hope you get somewhere with the FBI etc.. :( so much work to end this way is terrible :(

    xx

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  2. I know, my heart was sinking with each paragraph. :(

    This is atrocious, perhaps the letter from the lawyer may scare them to at least send the artwork.

    You have nothing to feel embarrassed about, nothing to feel ashamed or humiliated about. You had ever right to feel excited and hopeful. Your illustrator no doubt understand completely.

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  3. That's awful. Unfortunately it does seem to be the way it goes. I have a friend who got a book published with a big well know publisher, and the figures discussed weren't what they were because the publisher neglected that a stack would be sold at heavily discounted rates to Kmart, Target etc, and that they would do no publicity at all - she ended up doing author talks that she organised at bookshops and libraries etc, and she did sell out but the whole experience has made her look elsewhere for her second book....

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  4. I'm sorry that this has happened to you. You shouldn't feel ashamed. You did research etc before signing on with these crooks.

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  5. my stomach sunk as soon as I started reading this post. If you are in contact with other authors, could you not all bring a suit against him? It makes me so angry that people like this GET AWAY WITH IT! I'm so sorry :( That must have been such a hard thing to experience, but I suppose maybe it cleared the way for Cheer Chick Charlie. Imagine if you had done CCC stuff with him? I guess that is the silver lining?? big hugs. Don't be embarrassed. You did your research. xo

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  6. Oh no this is terrible. I feel sorry for your artist as well. You really don't have to feel embarrassed or humiliated; you are the victim! Kudos to you for still writing this though in the good will of informing others. Hugs.

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  7. Oh no this is terrible. I feel sorry for your artist as well. You really don't have to feel embarrassed or humiliated; you are the victim! Kudos to you for still writing this though in the good will of informing others. Hugs.

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  8. Oh Leeane this is horrible!!
    I can completely understand all your feelings, but you have no reason to be embarrassed. You did everything you could to check they were legit, and nothing more could have ben expected.
    Do you think you will re-relase it yourself one day? I think it deserves it. xxx

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  9. This is so awful!
    It is really sad how much this does happen in the industry.
    Sharing your story is realy powerful and inspiring though and all your persistance will hopefully help other authors.
    HUGS XX

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  10. That really sux Leanne Im so sorry you've had the run around. There are agencies that keep track of these shady companies and you are right to complain, and ask for what you need back. You never know you may get what is owing to you eventually.
    I hope it didnt put to much of a dampener on your NY trip although Id say it did :( Dont be embarrassed or ashamed sometimes bad things happen to good people. It is in no way your fault xx

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  11. Wow what a story, it is just so annoying that people can be blatent theives and get away with it! Would love to wring his bloody neck! Wishing you success for the future.

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  12. HOW OUTRAGEOUS! Oh Leanne I am so sorry to hear this awful story. What a terrible time you've had. What a bloody crook. I hope that you get some resolution on this matter with the US authorities. Don't be embarrassed, it is very brave of you to go public and warn others! This is the sort of thing that could happen to any one of us. xxxxx

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  13. Oh, Leannne! What scoundrels!!! So, so sorry this happened to you!
    I don't know how people like that can continue to be around!
    You're very brave to share your story and I think it's great that you have. It looks like you've done all the right things to try and get these scumbags busted. You never know. Magic still might happen.

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  14. So sorry to hear about the situation with your first book Leanne. I hope justice is served for you and for all the others caught in this scam.

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  15. I'm so sorry to hear you went through all this Leanne. Don't be embarrassed, these crooks do way more research for bad than we do for good. Thanks for having the courage to share.

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  16. Oh how devastating for you. Am I naive to ask why you can't go to another publisher?? I bet it's worth a shot. My heart breaks for you - to think of all the hard work, sweat, tears and love that went in to writing that book. I am also super stoked you got that off your chest, in fact we all applaud you and I personally can not believe you are/were embarrassed, it was not the fault of yours that some shonk took advantage. Please keep us posted xxx Em

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  17. Oh Leanne, I'm disappointed for you. Feeling cheated is the worst. I wish CC Charlie all the success both books deserved. x

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  18. Adam lives in New Jersey??? Wow... I worked for him, and he even lied to me, then, because he told me more than once that he's in New York. Unbelievable!

    You're not the one who should be emabarassed... Raider is!

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  19. What a terrible story! I am so shocked how poorly you were treated, and that your precious book and the artwork have not been realised. What a crying shame. I hope hope hope you get some retribution! xxx

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  20. This make me feel sick in the pit of my stomach. My pet hate - people ripping other people off. If there is no chance of getting your money back then .... I am sorry but all I would feel like doing would be revenge based.

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  22. You Are Not Alone. I to had my book selfpublished with Raider Publishing International and Mr Adam Salviani. It took two years to selfpublish my book September 2012 The Gold Digger Author Katie Swan along with an add on ebook I paid 950 Euro another year later no royalties no free copies of my book and no more contact with Raider Publishing International. I emailed him to terminate our contract because he breached our contract he never replied. He and his so called company are a scam please Authors Do Not, I repeat Do Not Selfpublish your manuscript with this scam company their raiding all our Royalties Raider Publishing International. Calling all Raider Publishing International authors past and present to post your comments here as the more we stand up to this scroundral he will be found and brought to justice all for one and one for all! Lets make a stand.

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  23. Dear Leanne,

    I am so thankful that I could log on to your blog, because I was about to sign up with Raider Publishers and through your message got a warning JUST IN TIME - what a disaster it would have been for me had I not seen your post!!

    I am so proud of you that you successfully stepped over your past mistakes and proceeded with your next successful book Cheer Chick Charlie. Your'e a winner girl!!

    Kind regards

    Elsje Massyn

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  24. I live in South Africa and my father who passed away at the age of 88 in 2012 submitted his book and fees to RaiderPublishing in 2010. It was his lifelong dream to have a book published! As you can probably guess from your own experience witb Raider that he had received only empty promises up until the day he died. I have had no luck getting a reply to any fo the emails that I have sent to them since then either. How do I tell the rest of my family that Dad was a victim of a scam artist when they are still hoping that the book will be published? So sad and angry right now.

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  25. As Fran Drescher of the Nanny series said: "I had a YUTZ in my stomach" that I shouldn't sign on with Raider Publishers. I am so glad I didnt, now that I hear how Raider is a con-artist after all.

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  26. Hi Leanne,

    Not sure if anyone has mentioned this, but be advised, your wariness should extend to the U.S lawyers you contact on this issue, and in general. U.S. lawyers are prohibited from practicing law in states which they are not licensed. When you mentioned the Pennsylvanian based attorney performing work for you, a red flag went up. Why is a Pennsylvanian attorney performing work for a case in New York? Is he/she also licensed in New York? If you do not know, I suggest you ask. Although a generally honorable profession, U.S. lawyers -like many other career fields - have their share of swindlers, thieves, murderers, and the like. Caveat Emptor!

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  27. The extraordinary story of Adam Salviani's Raider Publishing International and new London-based venture Green Shore Publishing can be followed here:

    http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22776

    http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=292778

    Green Shore Publishing barely got off the ground before it was brought to the attention of the UK's Advertising Standards Authority and is now under investigation.

    Salviani's shameless use of fake testimonials for both Raider and GSP makes for some hilarious reading!

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  28. Commiserations to you and all the other authors (me included) who have been exploited financially, emotionally and professionally by this heartless bastard. It seems there is nothing that can be done. I have also reported to the appropriate agencies, sent countless emails demanding payment', 'free'copies, and explanations... NOTHING.
    I have moved on and self-published my original book and 3 others. Hopefully others will be pre-warned.
    And, by the way, I received a new email from Raider this morning offering another of their most 'generous'contracts...so they're obviously still at it.
    Best of luck with your future books. Kind Regards, Richelle da Costa

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  29. Thank you for sharing your story. I have just received an offer from Raider and so have replied declining it and telling them why. I am so sorry you had to go through this but your bad experience has stopped me having one myself, so many thanks.

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