I am a 75-year-old woman who has been swindled by iUniverse and Authorhouse Publishing Companies. I wrote a novel entitled, My El Mochito Sephardim from Northern New Mexico. It is written in English and peppered with the Ladino language. I wanted this novel to be in print before I die. The money-including my credit card number - was at their disposal. Each time they made a mistake I sent a corrected version and they charged me for each of their mistakes.
They used a one-size fits-all technology and it is impossible with two languages. By the time the book came out, the sum totaled more than $3,000.00 and unacceptable. I don't have the complete sum because I am partially blind and need help to go over the figures. I instructed them to stop the presses and credit the sum back to my credit card. They refused and kept over $3,000.00.
In December of 2008, I submitted the novel to iUniverse not knowing that they had merged with Authorhouse in 2007. In hard-sell tactics, a woman by the name of Kathi Wittkamper talked me into hiring one of their editors. She assured me that someone with knowledge of the Ladino language would edit my novel to my satisfaction or the money would be credited back to my credit card account. The letter that followed our telephone conversation is attached. The amount came to $4,800.83.
Needless to say, they assigned an editor without any knowledge of the Ladino language and she treated it as Spanish, issuing suggestions. I called Ms. Wittkamper immediately and told her that the editor had no concept of the Ladino language spoken by Spanish Crypto Jews their culture or the terrains and to please credit the money back to my credit card account. They refused and kept the $4,800.83.
I am asking for a federal investigation into the tactics used by Authorhouse and iUniverse. It's called White Collar Crime. Scams of this magnitude must be stopped immediately. Searching the internet I found authors warning other author of scams by these publishers.
Rio RAncho,, New Mexico