The Watchdog Desk of the Alliance of Independent Authors monitors self-publishing services, and identifies services which overcharge, over-promise, or in any way exploit authors.
In March of last year, the Watchdog Desk reported on the collapse of Dog Ear Publishing, an Indianapolis-based assisted self-publishing service that refused to answer any inquiries about missed payments, and eventually absconded with the authors' royalties. The Watchdog Desk has credible information about multiple law enforcement agencies investigating the conduct of the company, its owner, Raymond C. Robinson, and his son, Christopher Robinson.
Dog Ear abruptly shut down its website this July, in the process taking down the author websites that had been purchased by their clients. Clients were given no warning, and had no opportunity to retrieve their website content or transition to a new host.
Rather than reimburse authors the royalties they are owed, or to release materials and rights held by Dog Ear, Mr. Robinson has chosen to resume his activities under a new identity, Bookplate Press. This reinvention of Dog Ear Publishing features astronomical fees for self-publishing services, as well as the usual array of overpriced, low-value services typically seen in exploitative vanity press schemes. The domain is registered to “Dog Ear Publishing, LLC”, and its principals have similar email addresses to their Dog Ear Publishing emails.
Bookplate Press invites authors to “discover what many traditional authors wish they could get from their book publisher”. Sadly, the owners don't seem to recognize that what authors want most from their book publisher is the money they are owed, not to mention a minimum level of professionalism and accountability.
Like its predecessor, Bookplate Press receives our most severe level of warning, the Watchdog Advisory.
If you believe you have been defrauded by Dog Ear Publishing, Bookplate Press, or their principals — either through their refusal to pay royalties owed, refusal to account for sales, refusal to provide services paid for, or refusal to turn over possession of your intellectual property — you can file a report with the following law enforcement agencies:
Indiana Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division
Office of Attorney General Curtis Hill
302 West Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Federal Bureau of Investigation, Corporate Fraud Division
8825 Nelson B Klein Pkwy
Indianapolis, IN 46250
Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Consumer Protection
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
The greater the number of complainants, the more likely these agencies are to take action. If you have been victimized by either of these companies, please reach out to each of the agencies above to report the offense.
Additionally, you may wish to post a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
Ray Robinson, Chris Robinson, and Bookplate Press were offered right of reply, but as with previous communications, they did not respond to our messages.#IndieAuthors beware: delinquent vanity press Dog Ear Publishing has resurfaced as Bookplate Press. — by @johndoppler Click To Tweet
No comments, just making sure I am registered.. R. Trimmer
This is terrible. It is also a perfect example of why self-publishing is the way to go, if at all possible. Overall, I just see it as a safer route.
As an additional resource, a large group of authors who were defrauded by Dog Ear have set up a Facebook group to share support, information, experiences, resources, and insights. If you were a victim of Dog Ear’s unethical practices, feel free to join us on Facebook at Dog Ear Authors Revolt.
Here’s the web address: