ECKO PUBLISHING Aardvark Global Publishing IS SALT LAKE CITY COMPANY RIPPING OFF SELF-PUBLISHING AUTHORS?? Sandy Utah
Back in September of 2012 I published a book with ECKO titled “The Ignorance of Faith”. During the following months it was published in 5 different language editions, first in Spanish, then English, Portuguese, French and German.
There is no transparency of Independent Author´s sales at ECKO. In other words, no records of sales are offered to Authors. If one insists eventually they might send a sales report, but with no sales, or little sales, probably underreported. One day I asked: How I am sure these reported sales are true and honestly reported? Their reply was: “If we were not honest, we would not be in business long”.
The fact seems to be that when the bull hits the fan, they close operations, and -soon later- return with another company name. They used to be called Aardvark (if it is correct what I found in several RIPOFF reports, on the internet).
Their address is secretive, only a P. O. Box in Sandy, UT. One day, when I was going to start business with them, a lady by the name Samantha talked to me. However, Samantha seems to be several people, I found out that William Kramer is now acting as such “Samantha”.
Email request for report on sales are not answered anymore. Have warned them -months ago- that I might initiate legal action. Yet, no replies from them, totally undeterred. I ordered some of my books myself, to see if those would be reported, and proceeds from sales sent to me, but that was not the case.
In a couple of occasions “Samantha” indicated she was going to make a PayPal deposit, but it was never done. In more than one year that all 5 books have been available in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and their own books sales (ECKO Books) only a deposit of $50 was made to PayPal on my behave, and that was back in January of 2013. Not to be repeated ever again!
Searching on the internet I found complaints about them. I sent an email -including those negative reports to them- indicating that it was my ultimatum. Proper sales reports or I would go to the FBI, and other consumer Agencies. No communication at all since then.
A few months ago, I paid for a revision in one of the book, which had some printing defects that I noticed. They –supposedly- processed the changes, and indicated to me that within a few weeks the new version would be available in the sales channels. I allowed 3 months to pass by, and then ordered the book, only to find out that they have not made the changes requested. Took the money but did not do anything to the book.
There are many self-publishers out there, and a few of them -I fear- might be fraudulent. It is quite easy to publish books, amass an inventory of thousands of books from small authors, and do not pay them. They might get significant revenue streams from random sales of this bunch of books, but for the Authors, he or she would not have a way to know if his/her books are selling at all. And it might be reasonable for them to think that there might have not been any sales at all. It is a matter of pure trust in your Self-Publisher, no trace of sales, no accountability to their authors, no transparency. Utility companies send you a monthly statement, regardless of monthly use of service,… not these companies!
I did contact Amazon to see if they could help, informing me on the sales of my books, but in some way they are their accomplices, because they only inform the publishing houses on sales, and not the Authors. Only those Authors with Amazon´s own self-publishing (CreateSpace) have access to that sales information. My guess is that it is so easy to hide sales from Autors, that the whole industry might be a rip-off (not just ECKO, but the temptation is there for many others: Lulu, Xlibris,..).
It is imperative that the FBI, or somebody with jurisdiction in this matter, verifies the records with Amazon and Barnes & Noble (the typical sales venues for this industry) and corroborates that payments are made to Authors by the self-publishing companies.
THIS IS AMERICA, NOT SOME BANANA REPUBLIC OF THE THIRD WORLD!!