ALLi's Watchdog Desk receives reports about suspicious emails and possible scams daily, but recent complaints have featured one offender in particular: Pearson Media Group.
The Pearson Pretensions
Pearson Media Group is a company that operates under more than a dozen aliases. Carter Press Marketing. Ace Media International. APM Media Production. (BookWhip, another pervasive scam, may be part of the same network of disposable business entities.) Often these aliases are chosen to create confusion with more established and reputable companies, such as Pearson UK and American Public Media.
And, following a pattern that's been adopted by many scammers and fly-by-night vanity presses, these aliases are discarded as soon as the company's reputation becomes too poisoned to present a convincing facade.
Pearson Media Group holds a 1-star average with the Better Business Bureau, but has paid for the BBB's bogus accreditation to receive an A+ rating. They eagerly tout this rating on every email and social media post as proof of their good reputation. Clients who have fallen prey to their schemes would disagree vehemently.
The Pearson Pitch
The current Pearson email pitch promises movie deals lifted from the typical scammer boilerplate: slightly broken English asserting that they are “affiliated” with major production companies (none of which are named, and the supposed affiliation is never described); a little ego stroking about how their board of editors supposedly chose your book out of hundreds of candidates (Wow! The thousands of people who received these emails must be so honored to be selected!); and hints of the staggering wealth that awaits the author if they provide a mere 10% of the production costs… which of course, is a huge favor to the author because “we take a high risk on your book because we see quality movie material and big potential for a movie adaptation.”
The author soon learns that that 10% share is about $3,500.00.
The Pearson Personae
There is no indication that Pearson Media Group's staff have any experience in publishing, film production, or marketing. In fact, their website lists no staff, or any human being associated with the company. (Pop quiz: How many legitimate agencies prefer to remain anonymous?)
Pearson's emails are signed by either Mike Suarez, Markus Torres, or Mia Allerton, names that could not be traced to experienced professionals in the industry. Torres, the alleged Senior Project Manager at Pearson, has a faceless LinkedIn account that lists Pearson as his only job experience. Allerton has a sparsely populated Facebook page devoid of photos, save a picture of the virtual office/maildrop that Pearson uses as their address. (Despite the company having existed for only four years, the profile claims she has worked there since the year 2000.) Suarez, international man of mystery, is nowhere to be found.
The Pearson Payoff
So, what does the author get for their $3,500.00 investment? Nothing, it seems. Pearson's portfolio includes only three mediocre book trailers featuring the same actors and nearly identical stock audio soundtracks regardless of genre. None have been made into feature films. There is no evidence of the company or any of its aliases having licensed rights to any studio, anywhere.
But there are quite a few authors who are $3,500.00 poorer for having done business with Pearson Media Group.
Accordingly, we assign this company a Watchdog Advisory, our most severe level of rating.
Over to You
Have you received a solicitation or “sponsorship offer” from Pearson Media Group? Let us know in the comments below!
I have been with Pearson media for two years now. I initially paid them $6000 or their services, and at first, they seemed genuine, my agent friendly, making me a trailer, that I liked, that they promised would be shown at all the major film festivals including Cann, (subsequently that never happened). They have also published my second and third books promising 100% royalties, of which I’ve relieved none. My first indication that something was amiss was when they told me a film producer from China was interested in my work, a woman called Ming Ping. I then got an email telling me of Chineas tax laws that I had to pay, to go ahead. My agent told me that her website was good, and she was genuine Although ‘i couldn’t find it, (The first scam to get more money out of me, I realize now), but I let that one slide, desperate for a film contract I suppose. Over the following two years having told them I had no more money to give, they promised they would not ask for anymore. However, that changed, and they were soon asking for a few hundred here and a few hundred there, for various services, this is from an agent working from a big company claiming she couldn’t afford it herself. Pearson media also set up a website for me for a discount price, that they claimed was very expensive, although I have recently been told it isn’t as expensive as they claimed. Recently they have also promised me an audio book and set up a media campaign, with a woman called Jennifer Briggs, both that I have paid for, and who I’ve tried to contact numerous times to receive updates and the like and have received nothing, both no doubt, another scam to get more money out of me. However, it was when the agent contacted me and asked me for money to cover her daughter’s funeral, saying she would give me the money back when she received the insurance, that made me look up your site. (I now know I will never receive that money back,)
When I confronted my agent over these issues, I still hoped we could work thigs out, but surprise, surprise, she is not talking to me anymore despite sending several emails to explain these actions.
Although I did get interest from one film company, I have received no money from my book sales, and now realize that it was one big conn. The fact that I trusted this person over such a long period of time, who claimed to be my friend makes me very angry and humiliated.
I too have been spammed twice by Pearson Media. And paid twice!!’ Still waiting for my animation of Spikeys Points!!! I want to have faith that Judy Lopez will come through. It’s been such a long time, I’m having doubts, again! Judy please follow through! I did have faith in you and Kristina! Please proof to all who said I’ve been scammed, twice, wrong!!! Thanks
Is Bookhouse part of Pearson Media ? They say they are an accresdtation business – not a ppublisher.
I just got an urgent call from Spark literacy
Group young man boasting merits of my book on behalf of Netflix. I had to hurry and get a manuscript to them by the end of a March cutoff. Netflix was very anxious. He could get a script screenplay written by Pearson by the end of March a must !!! His company would put up $5000 I only $10,000. Lucky me!!! So glad I found your report !! Thank you. Judy
I also, today received an Email from Pearson Media Group. I guess they must be getting pretty desperate, since people are starting to become wise, with all the book scammers out there. I can name a few more, Magna something and Westbow Press. In 2019 I submitted a book to Westbow Press about my breast cancer journey. I put so much work into that book. My editing skills were not that great, because of the chemo, but I was under the impression they would edit it for me. I wanted to tell people what they might be walking through, since I was told very little. I was very unprepared, and knew very little about chemo, the side effects, and other things a person might experience. I also wanted to glorify God, for making the way through in every area. I felt and still feel so grateful to Him. I was lucky and had a good support system with family and friends, but some don’t. I had many obstacles along the way, especially with insurance companies. Anyhow, I paid money to Westbow Press to publish my book and trusted the fact that they said they were a Christian publisher. Ha, quite a joke. It was written in the form of a diary. What I went through and how I felt. Many of my friends told me they bought my book, yet I have received a profit of $36.00. According to the author’s page I have made $70.86 in royalties. Where is the rest? They have made $282.25. For what. The cover was free from the free site. They did not edit, and even after I read the pre-copy book, they did not change the things I ask them to change. In fact, I know they did not even read the book. The only thing they did was make the first word on the pages with a fancy capital letter. I told them I only wanted them to charge about $10 – $12 for the book, especially since I was a new Author. They charged $19.95 way too much. I want to get my book out there but now have total distrust of being ripped off again. I feel people need to know what they might experience so they can spiritually, emotionally, and physically prepare.
Just received an email from Pearson Media today. It involved the “strict” selection process they’d used to select “your book” (no title given!). I have to say, though, they must have changed their approach since you wrote this review a year ago. No grammatical errors and a new Project Manager, John Curtis. Their website is pretty impressive (unless you look closely), and I shudder to think of the new comers and hopefuls who will be taken in by this scam! Thanks for being here.
Oh, a scam…
Looked genuine, the contract looked genuine, the $746.62 I shelled out was banked immediately and no word came back.
Their agent, Ben Harris, spoke in broken English and had no real clue about the nature of my book other than what could be gleaned from the blurb on my original dedicated website. Total BS but I’d paid out and, naturally, his email contact disappeared. Two weeks later, the same telephone voice rang, representing another marketting company but he denied being Ben. More BS. I was duped…shame on me, shame on him. Grr.
I received a solicitation email from Pearson Media Group about my book. I know they have no idea about my book. It is not the type of book one would make into a feature film. Makes me laugh to think my book is so important that I should have to pay them to turn it into a screenplay. I usually just delete such emails without investigating. This time, I went for it and found this very helpful article on PMG. Thanks for taking the time to set things straight.
Markus from Pearson Media Group continues to hound me with emails and bogus offers of screenplay fortunes. Like others in this string, initially, Markus sent an email about the potential of an earlier (self-published) book of mine. I replied that I was not interested in Book A, but would they consider Book B? He immediately replied, “yes”. I asked how he could consider Book B when his team of industry experts had not ‘screened’ it yet? Needless to say, this is a complete scam operation.
I received an email from Markus Torres about the scholarship to evaluate for possible movie. My writing had been honored in other ways. I appreciate this article.
Have any writers been contacted by Ava Fonda or Kris Austin that represent themselves as agents to write a treatment and screen play for $400.00 usd.
Pearson media group has also contacted myself 14 times by email and phone to write a screen play and treatment for $3500.00 usd.
Are any of these individuals scammers?
Barbara Ann Allemeersch
author ” Mirandas Appeasement”
I am honored to join this growing list of writers contacted by Pearson. Even happier to have stumbled on your article before responding to Markus. It is so pleasing to hear that a book has gone through extensive evaluation and been found exceptional! It is better to have the truth set out by a number of other potential victims!
I, too, got the Pearson Media Group email. I did not respond. Thanks for your footwork!
Yes, they are still at it. Just as you said. Poor grammar and minimal info about what they do other than broad generalities. If getting books into movies was a easy as they make it sound, we all be making movies. Glitzy Web site, but scam all over it.
I’ve been approached by this company as recent as last week. I was more surprised that the name of my book was in their initial contact.they are the usual vanity publishers,promise the world,deliver nothing. There should be a law against their practises. They should get prosecuted. What they do is cruel. Get a persons hopes up only to rob them of their hard earned cash..
yes total scam they told me that they are interested in a book i wrote, but they called it the name i was going to call it and did not call it that name at all. then told me it was evaluated, i asked where they got my email and they said someone told them about me i asked who they couldn`t answer, i asked have they any links to pearson uk they said no. these people need to be doing jail sentences for what they are getting away with.
I have been approached by smooth-talking companies like Glasslink Solutions about turning my novel into a film; The Great Plague-A Journey Into The Soul of Man by me, Jack Baret. Any advice about who can help me in this area would be much appreciated. I also write with a pen name; Angelo Zuccaro and have my anthology; Beyond Human Existence-Living and Dying in Suburbia and I have been approached by many companies, mostly bogus about this book as well.
Thanks for doing the exposé on these Pearsons Media scammers. It saves every author a lot of bother.
They assert that they are ‘very interested in your book …… great opportunities … endorsed to me for marketing evaluation ….’
I’ve been contacted so many times by Pearson media & consulting that I lost count. Many phone calls with different people, different business names, and different countries. Each one can’t even tell me what my book is about, but they want it bad… Lmao. Steer clear for sure. Oh, I forgot to mention that I am a screenwriter, published author of many books, and a producer. I don’t need your fake, vanity publishing that asks me for money. You want my work; then it’s you that has to pay me, morons. That’s how the system works not the other way around.
Yes, I’ve been contacted via email and phone (the # I gave her), both yesterday & today (10/26/21).
A slightly broken-English-speaking Maria Allerton & I were to discuss, today, how P-M-G would bring my book in front of Hollywood & TV-series decision-makers… for my success.
Thxfuly my Google-search, Ur blog, AND a tell-it-well comment [The Bestest], from Kyle Ripton was ALL that I needed for me to ignore Maria’s attempts at contacting me… 4 times since I started searching for “the truth”; which, again, thxfuly, U put out there/here.
HAB, Jr. [“Alón: of the T.E.N.S.”]
I’ve been contacted so many times by Pearson media & consulting that I lost count. Many phone calls with different people, different business names, and different countries. Each one can’t even tell me what my book is about, but they want it bad… Lmao. Steer clear for sure.
I was contacted by Pearson Media Group with the same line……selected by editors, film/movie opportunities, etc.
The problem is none of my books are suitable for movies or films. They are daily spiritual meditations, so I suspected right away this was a scam.
Hey John and your organization!,
I will not be surprised if you will not post this comment of course you don’t want this type of comment authors will read. You call yourselves watchdog ! ! or I would say, mouse trappers. All you do is write something negative on a company with no proof. Nice name watchdog because all you know is bark bark bark on something you cannot justify. If you are really what you claim concern to indie authors! ! Do some research first on a company! ! if you will accuse a company.
This is totally baiting to authors, pretending to have concerns to authors, even if don’t have any idea or knowledge at all. Trying to pretend to have knowledge but totally nothing.
You are the real scammers you made up stories or reviews to legit companies. Say something negative even if all your saying is totally made up! no proof, all are allegations! !
Authors check this blog or I don’t know what is this. Do you notice they made up negative stories to companies, but if you notice this whole page is a page of their scam website. They offer services and packages! ! to attract authors and clients to visit their website! ! they made up stories to companies and make a not credible advisory!!
This is their way to bait authors! ! Totally scammers!!! this is how scammers like this person ALLi’s Watchdog John Doppler! ! trick and manipulate authors! ! !
Hey John if you’re brave enough post this comment here! ! if not then your a pussy scammer that don’t know how to do research ! !
Ia am being asked to send $5,000 to Pearson Media Group to pay for a screen play writer. The agent from Sparks LM, Jen Davis, claims she is meeting with Amy Reinhard of Netflix. I called her office, and her secretary did say Davis met with her about a screen play. Do you think I should pay the $5,000?
Thank John for your great work; the 2 culprits supposedly named, Markus and Suarez tried to siphon $3500 from my cousin brother, a brilliant writer who escaped the Genocide of Tutsi in Rwanda with their pseudo subsidized offer to help adapt his book to cinema…until I called the crooks from Toronto, Canada where I live, investigating their genuiness, only for them to disappear before their crime!
Well done, John for your amazing, saving poor people from Africa and elsewhere to be robbed by these thugs.
Has anyone ever heard of BookWritingExperts? I can’t find much information about them.
If it sounds too good to be true, it usually isn’t! Don’t fall victim to their prey. I get emails like this all the time. I always check them out and this time I fell upon ALLi’s Watchdog John Doppler! Thanks for the heads up!
I got the email from Pearson Media Group, which I deleted after I briefly wondered which of my books had attracted their attention. Oh, right. They didn’t care about books, just gullibility.
Thanks for the article.
I almost fell pray to this scam. Thank you for your site I now know better. It really is terrible when people take advantage of someone.
Shame on these people! Thank you, John for protecting writers from the wolves in sheep’s clothing. You are so much appreciated.
I had a solicitation from Picador Media Works, which is probably the same scam company!