Do you realize how important this is? If Fulton Books can tell me 4 sales are old and provide no proof, then what would stop them from claiming 4,000 sales are old?Francis Joseph LaManna
I would like to begin this post by introducing myself. My name is Francis Joseph LaManna. In 2019 I wrote Smorgasbord A Collection of Thoughts Experiences and Stories, and I self-published it with Fulton Books in Meadville, Pennsylvania.
Smorgasbord came out in 2020. Immediately, I wrote Smorgasbord 2 Catch Up and Relish, and I self-published that as well with Fulton Books in Meadville, Pennsylvania. That was officially published in 2021.
Immediately, I wrote Smorgasbord 3 Prophecy and Poverty, and I just submitted that about a month ago.
The reason why I’m sharing this chronology with you is because it’s important for you to understand that I, because of the timing, represent a fresh start for Fulton Books. Take a look and see how much growth and business Fulton Books has been getting since 2019. I don’t even think you can find a comment, review, or complaint online that’s older than three years.
This is important.
If you’re a current author with Fulton Books, or you’re a writer looking to self-publish with Fulton Books, you might want to read about my experience and my current problem and then wait to see how it’s resolved before moving forward.
Like any author who first published their work, I was excited. I showered Fulton Books with praise and compliments. And I did like the finished product.
Here we are three years later.
There are three problems that occurred on the business/contract side of my relationship with Fulton Books, and honestly, I came out on the short end for the first two.
Now, I made all my payments to them on time and in full. Never once did they have to track me down, send me a reminder, or delay the production of my book because of a lack of payment. I held up my end for both books and made the required payments.
The first issue was about a bulleted item in the contracts of both books. When a contract is signed, both parties must adhere to what’s spelled out in the contract. Twice, Fulton Books gave me a contract with an item in it that they ultimately failed to deliver.
Technically, that’s a breech of contract, but I let it go for the first book. On the second contract, however, I made sure to highlight the item, and remind them about me not receiving it in my first contract. Again, I did not receive it.
That’s now two contracts they’ve breeched. I let it go again.
The second issue. My initial contract with Fulton Books was good for two years and then it had to be renewed. There’s a fee to renew for another two years and it’s listed in the contract you sign initially.
When the bill came in to renew my contract for my first book, I paid it, no realizing they raised the cost to renew the contract. I called and reminded them they’re not allowed to raise the renewal cost until the initial contract amount has been settled first. If you sign your initial contract and it says the renewal fee for another two years is gong to be $90, then that’s what you’re supposed to pay. They can’t raise the cost and expect you to pay an amount that’s different from what you signed their contract for.
But that’s what they did to me, and when I asked if they could refund the difference to me, they they told me no.
That was the third time Fulton Books breeched their contract with me, and for the third time, I let it go.
Because I enjoy having my work published.
But the reality here is:
That it’s costing me thousands of dollars to self-publish. If you’re self-publishing, you’re paying everything. It costs Fulton Books nothing, and they have nothing to lose here in this relationship. If your book doesn’t sell they still win because you paid them, and if your book does great, and you become a best selling author, they win again.
Meanwhile, I was dealing with a woman named Donna Lawas, for both issues. Every time I would ask to speak to someone in upper management she would either ignore my requests or tell me to submit an email to their support inbox, which she’s the one who answered the emails.
I just spent almost $7,000 between self-publishing two books, marketing materials, and other items they offer, and to not be able to get someone on the phone who’s either in upper management, or has some type of stake in the company is just not a good sign.
I’m trying to build a future with Fulton Books. I would write and self-publish ten books with them regardless of the costs but where is the customer relations? Where’s the person who signs the contract on their end?
Now we’re on to the third issue, and once again, I’m dealing with Donna Lawas. I looked at my Author Amazon account and noticed four new sales between March and July of this year, 2022. When I called to ask why those sales didn’t update on my Fulton Books sales report, she told me it was because they were old sales from 2021.
Naturally, I asked for a receipt or some proof of sale to validate what she was telling me, and she couldn’t provide it. I then emailed my publishing assistant, and I asked him to please follow up with this and try to bring some closure to this matter. Since my first email or phone call to Fulton Books was made, its been a little over a month and this is still ongoing.
My publishing assistant finally emailed me back, but with no direct answers to my question. Just a lot of fluff, and all the original information and links I received two years ago. That’s not his fault I thanked him for trying but again, Fulton Books is taking the same approach they took for the first two issues; ignoring me, clouding the real issue with tons of unrelated information, and not answering my questions directly. Donna continues to ignore my request to speak to someone who can handle the issue, and I don’t understand how she expect me to believe what she’s telling me when she has nothing to prove what she’s saying.
And then, as if I’m lying to her, she asks me to take a screen shot of the sales and email the pictures to her.
Do you realize how important this is?
If Fulton Books can tell me 4 sales are old and provide no proof, then what’s stopping them from doing the same thing five years from now when 4,000 purchases are made?
We are writers, and we’re self-publishing our material through Fulton Books. All the risk and the entire investment is on us, but this isn’t about how much money is involved here. The real issue is they’re refusing to pay me, and because they don’t want to pay me, they’re trying to convince me that those four new sales are actually old.
Yet, there’s no proof or anything for them to offer to prove what they’re claiming is true.
It’s time to STOP THE PRESS! It’s time to find out what’s going on at Fulton Books, because up until this point, I’ve been writing, working, and paying them.
Who’s working there? Where’s the management team? Who’s responsible for resolving issues with customers/clients? What happened to my literary agent, Suzanne McQuane? She all of a sudden is no longer with the company, and I didn’t even know until I tried calling her. Someone else answered, and they don’t even return my calls!
It’s shady. We’re paying all this money, and there’s no personal relationship with anyone other then then your publishing assistant.
That’s not good business. I really hope this issue is resolved sooner than later because it’s interfering with my writing, it’s constantly on my mind, and I have to take time out of my day to follow up.
From the very first issue with the contract, someone from management should’ve called me, someone should’ve apologized, someone should’ve offered an explanation, and someone should’ve said we appreciate your business.
Honestly, with the way they’ve handled previous issues, with what’s going on currently, and for the simple fact that we’re paying them for this service, I’d wait to see how this gets resolved. I don’t plan on coming up short again.
Fulton Books is trying to tell me my sales from this year aren’t new. They told me they’re apart of a bulk order Amazon made in 2021.
Unless they can show proof of that, they have to pay me.