I would suggest AMP authors who have been stiffed by Ms. Hicks go to this November 9, 2011 Huffington Post article which lays out the authorities/entities to whom AMP authors can contact to get some help in dealing with this publisher. I worked with the reporter to get that article published. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/09/aspen-mountain-press-shut-down_n_1084382.html?1320865960.

My husband received a response from the Denver Better Business Bureau – a response to the snail mail letter which he sent to them setting forth the problems at AMP. The BBB letter stated my husband’s complaint has been assigned a case number. It stated that they have reviewed his case and have forwarded it to the business (AMP / Hicks) for the business’ response. It stated that if the business does not respond to his complaint by November 17, a second letter will be sent to the company. The letter encouraged my husband to use their Online Complaint System to keep up with the progress of this complaint, giving my husband a password to use along with the case number. The letter stated the BBB “appreciates the opportunity to work with you and the business to resolve this matter efficiently and to your mutual satisfaction.”

You are writers. Please write to these public law enforcement entities referred to in the Huffington Post article (the Colorado Office of Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section, the IRS, the Denver BBB and the IC3 Center at www.Ic3.gov which is a multi-agency consisting of the FBI, Dept of Justice and the National White Collar Crime Center charged with the prevention of cybercrimes) so that they may HELP you. The MORE authors they hear from, the more concerned they will become and all the more swift will their actions be (hopefully).  There IS power in numbers.  AMP authors need to unite in a common goal to be given their book rights back to them as well as any and all contracts nullified.  My best to you!

Yes, Aspen Mountain Press is a total and complete mess due to the actions of its publisher Susan Hicks.  AMP published my husband’s first book last August.  He has seen no royalties, no accounting and his emails have gone unanswered.  He is unable to re-publish elsewhere and he signed a seven year contract with Hicks from which, under the circumstances, he would very much like to be released.  Because it seems that “co-mingling of accounts” and “tax fraud” at minimum are occurring, here are some steps you can take to bring pressure upon Ms. Hicks to do the right thing for her authors.  Remember, there is power in numbers.  Gadhafi is now dead and gone due to power in numbers and the support of NATO, but it was the little guys who fought the good fight on the ground.

1)  I contacted the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service (1-877-777-4778) who advised me to download their IRS Form #3949A from www.irs.gov, fill it out and mail it to them.  They WILL look into the alleged co-mingling of accounts and tax fraud.

2)  I contacted the Arapahoe County District Attorney’s Office.  I left a message with the approprite District Attorney, asking him to read the blogs for more information regarding Ms. Hicks’ actions (or lack thereof).  It is my understanding that the D.A.’s Office, after reading the blogs, is of the opinion “there is nothing of a prosecutorial nature”.  I don’t understand that stance.  Bernie Madoff ripped people off monetarily.  What’s the difference here in the lack of royalty payments due to authors?  If you believe you have a “prosecutorial matter,” you should call that D.A.’s Office at 1-720-874-8500 and ask for “Mason”.  Since when does a D.A.’s office NOT investigate FRAUD?  I hope that office is inundated with phone calls.  My suspicion is we are just too “small fry” for them to care about, but a deluge of phone calls should change that stance.

3)  I spoke with someone in the Colorado State Attorney General’s Office (1-800-222-4444) in their Consumer Complaint Department who was very interested in this matter and very helpful.  The individual I spoke with said, “I recommend two things for you.  First, hire your own personal attorney, if you can afford it, to legally deal with the publisher in court.  Second, go to our web site at www.colorado.attorneygeneral/complaint web site, select the ‘Private Business’ link, fill out and submit that electronic form to us and we will look into the matter for you.”  In viewing that form, I see there are some problematic fields – such as Hicks’ Social Security number – but just fill out as much of the form as you can in order to give the AG’s Office as much ammo as possible.  Understand that the AG’s Consumer Prosection Section is charged in protecting consumers from “deceptive trade practices, anti-trust infringements, and a wide range of other violations of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act”.  The AG’s Office works closely with the Better Business Bureau and other agencies to investigate consumer complaints against businesses, creditors and collection agencies within Colorado.

4)  I contacted the Denver Better Business Bureau (1-303-758-2100).  I was advised that I and others affected by this publisher’s actions should compose a detailed snail mail letter addressed to the BBB listing all the infractions and mail it to the BBB at 1020 Cherokee Street, Denver, CO 80204 for their review.

5)  My husband and I can’t afford to hire an attorney, however, I wonder if the AMP authors have the ability to mobilize such that we can hire ONE excellent Colorado attorney to bring a class action suit against Ms. Hicks?  Comments?  Any one out there?

I am assisting my husband in getting Jobs 1, 3 and 4 accomplished this weekend.  I sincerely hope this information is helpful to other frustrated AMP authors, and I also sincerely hope those authors will get on board with us with regard to bringing this matter to the attention of the authorities vs. the wringing of hands via the Internet.  Again, there is power in numbers (look at Wall Street!).  Let’s DO this!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.