Unfortunately, it appears that author Harper Athens has been contacting various people known to us, telling them of the scam that we are running. The point of this post, is to put this into perspective.
While we would normally deal with this in a way that was quiet, and not cause the author any problems, it is unfortunate that she has decided to blackmail us – telling us that unless she receives a full refund, then she will continually contact people on our Facebook friends list, telling them that we are scamming her. This is the message she is sending out:
Hey any reason, Sylvia and Joe are scamming new authors? They took my money for their services but are refusing to provide the services or give me a refund. Are they professional scammers or what?
I will not be going through everything, as it would be such a long post and would bore me as much as it would bore you, as we have been having to deal with her for the past three days.
Firstly, I will start with what she asked us to do for her. She asked about our marketing services, and we told her about the social media teasers that we provide and the other services we can offer. At the time, we charged five hours per month for the social media teasers, which she wanted. She paid for one month, but as she had originally requested the information during Black Friday, we decided to give her an additional two months at no additional charge. We told her this and she was happy with it.
She also requested a video trailer from us. We asked her what she would like on the video trailer, and were given a rough idea, along with the promise of images that she would be creating herself. We have still not received these images, though we have already purchased the video & audio file licenses.
The Book Trailer
On Wednesday, I contacted the author to get the files as Sylv was ill and it made more sense for me to do this as I am the person who creates the final video files. This is what I wrote:
Sylv has asked me to get in touch with you, as I’m the one who creates the video trailers, so she thought it would be easier this way.
Unfortunately, she’s been ill for the past six weeks, so hasn’t quite been with it fully, but we’ve gone through her emails, and have found the slideshow that you sent.
I think it is best if we start again on this video, with you giving me the information, as things seem to have got confused.
When she said it wasn’t just music and images, she meant that it isn’t the typical slideshow book trailer, instead being a motion video, making it more interesting.
In regards to the music, you would need permission from the license holder of the Bruno Mars song, which would take a long time and would be very expensive. Although it is just the backing track, they would still hold the copyright on this and it is a nightmare to get anywhere quickly with permission.
The Bruno Mars comment was made due to her requesting that we use one of his tracks in an earlier email on Wednesday (uppercase was used in the original email):
PLEASE FOLLOW THE SLIDE SHOW. THOIGH I WILL NEED TO ADD MORE BECAUSE ITS TOO SHIRT A CLIP. THE MUSIC I WOULD LIKE IS “WHEN I WAS YOUR MAN” BY BRUNO MARS… JUST THE MUSIC/KARAOKE VERSION.
Despite this, we are in the wrong, as we promise to provide licensed music on the video. Yes we do, but not music that will cost thousands of dollars from Warner/Chappell music.
The PA Services
She then told us that she hadn’t asked for the social media teasers, even though she had done, and that we had only posted two of them. She likes to call them random mentions, maybe because then it isn’t something we offer on the website. She told us that her publisher had messed up her book and that she had continually asked us to stop adding them. of course, she hadn’t done this and if she had, it must have meant that more than two had been posted and she was happy with us posting in the first place. On a sidenote, I suspect her publisher is currently going through the same process as us:
Also, the random mentioning need to stop. There needs yo9 be a plan of action and I need to see that plan of action. I was told that I would receive 3 months of publicist services and the trailer. So, pictures of the cover with a random mention is not acceptable. What all services are included??? I was under the impression that there woukd be a press release made, sent to specific contacts, things set up….
I also said that I’m having trouble with the publisher and getting corrected copies. So, STOP with the random mentioning. You are wasting the 3 months which should not have started because I have received your company’s plan for what’s happening, what to expect.
And So It Begins…
You may think that this is sounding pretty crazy, but that hasn’t even got started yet.
She told us that the website gave a list of what we can offer for PA, so she should receive it all. I’d hate to work in the supermarket she visits, as for $80 she expects to get:
- General administrative and PA support
- Social media set-up
- Social media management
- Blog support
- Sending out review copies of your book
- Website Design
- Sending out/chasing up press releases
- Newsletter support
- Arranging events
- Setting up reviews
- Book Trailers
- Book Tours
- Editing & Proofreading
- Dealing with emails
She then wondered why I responded by saying that that was ridiculous.
She continually asked us for a refund and we gave her a link to our refund policy. We will not be refunding her, as we have already provided the one month of social media teasers, and had started on month two, so that $80 was not applicable. In regards to the book trailer, we have already purchased licenses for the video files/audio, so we will not be doing this. To this, she has told us that she will simply keep spreading information about our scam until we do so.
There is something she needs to learn about me. I do not tolerate bullying in any way, shape or form and I am not going to let somebody treat us in this way.
I SENT THR DAMN IMAGES. I WROTE THE DAMN SCRIPT AND PROVIDWD EVERYTHING THAT YOU DO. I SUGGEST UOU STOP PISSING ME OFF AND TRYING TO SCAM ME OR I WILL REPORT THIS BUSINESS TO THE BBB AND I WILL LET ALL THE GROUPS KNOW WHAT KIND OF SCAM SHES PULLING. I PAID $280 AND THATS WHAT NEEDS TO BE REFUNDED IMMDIATELY!
I have not withheld any services, though she is no longer welcome to the two months of free teasers we offered her:
Another day and still no trailer and no publicist. So, another day will be spent contact all your clients, contacts and prospective clients. Provide the services that I PAID for. That demand is not blackmail you idiot. Do you look up words before you use them??? You are with holding!
Keep it up, crazy. You were paid. YOU WERE PAID. YOU ARE A PSYCHOTIC ASSHOLE.
I said that this wouldn’t be a long post, and I’ll keep that promise. All I will say is that there is much more going on with emails from her, ranging from a lawsuit to her friends on MSNBC replacing any news on Trump with news on how we scammed her.
Two final points now.
If you need any PA services, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Here are links to the two random images she claims we posted, keeping in mind that all this cost just $80 at the time ($50 now):
Facebook Page: Sylv.net
Link to page to see all the help that I give to authors https://www.facebook.com/sylv.net
https://www.facebook.com/sylv.net/videos/1150430428392980 animated gif
https://www.facebook.com/sylv.net/posts/1144093855693304 author spotlight
https://www.facebook.com/sylv.net/videos/1141124765990213 animated gif
Link to all boards with authors I work wit
https://plus.google.com/104291720177241184607 (link to all author posts)
https://plus.google.com/104291720177241184607/posts/eUfRtR4XPMp animated gif
https://plus.google.com/104291720177241184607/posts/TkbqZ8HrfqS animated gif
https://plus.google.com/104291720177241184607/posts/UDshez51CWM animated gif
https://www.linkedin.com/in/sylvia-kerslake-pa-65993268/detail/recent-activity/shares (all our author marketing)
This is a new platform that I am trying to build up so there are only a few posts on their until I can get the followers